Friday, March 31 2023

By Geoff Schwartz
FOX Sports NFL Analyst

I can’t believe four weeks of the NFL season are already in the books! Where has the time gone? From a fan and bettor’s perspective, it’s been a blast.

Usually, oddsmakers will tighten up their power ratings after four weeks’ worth of data, so this Week 5 slate should be interesting.

As for my wagers, two lines stuck out to me immediately, so I pounced on them before the odds potentially moved. Let’s dive into my early Week 5 bets, with odds courtesy of FOX Bet.

Seahawks @ Saints (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)

Seattle is definitely entertaining, and they actually might be good, folks. After four weeks, the Seahawks’ offense ranks No. 1 in the NFC. Yes, you read that correctly.

According to expected points added (EPA) the Hawks are slightly ahead of the Eagles, but they just faced a defense allowing 35 points per game. On the other side of the ball, Seattle ranks near the bottom of the NFL on defense. What does that mean for this week? Well, New Orleans is not healthy nor playing particularly well.

The Saints’ defense was ranked 26th in DVOA entering their game against the Vikings in London, and they lived up to that ranking. The Vikings easily moved the ball but stalled out too much in the red zone, kicking five field goals in a 28-25 win.

The Saints now have to travel back from London and will attempt to get their quarterback, best running back and best receiver back on the field to face a feisty Seahawks team. I’ll gladly take the points early with the Seahawks in this spot.

PICK: Seahawks (+6 at FOX Bet) to lose by fewer than 6 points (or win outright)

Chargers @ Browns (1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

Cleveland had a weird loss to Atlanta on Sunday. The Browns’ first drive ended at the Falcons’ three-yard line after a failed fourth down attempt. On Cleveland’s fourth drive, it had a first and goal at the one-yard line but ended up with a field goal attempt from the 11. Despite the failed attempts at scoring touchdowns in those moments, the Browns had the ball with the game tied late in the fourth quarterback before a punt, and an interception ended their game.

The Browns have a 1-point loss to the Jets and an end-of-game field goal by the Falcons as their two losses. They are a good team that’s having some issues finishing games on offense and defense.

Los Angeles comes to Cleveland off a win against a bad Texans team. The Chargers will make another road trip without a left tackle, their best pass rusher, their best cornerback, an All-Pro center and a few other vital cogs. They are a beat-up football team, and the Browns have the players to take advantage of it, especially on the defensive line.

If Myles Garrett is back, that spells danger for Justin Herbert and his broken rib cartilage. The Chargers’ run defense is still leaky, and the Browns have the best combination of running backs and offensive linemen in the NFL. I’ll take the three points right now, early in the week.

PICK: Browns (+3 at FOX Bet) to lose by fewer than 3 points (or win outright)

Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

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Source: FOX Sports


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