It is a quarter of the way through the National Football League season, yet for some teams, their year is already over.
This group includes the winless Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, New York Jets and the Denver Broncos. Not a single win can be found among these six teams.
With this in mind, football fans want to test their knowledge by betting on big and meaningful games.
Here are six games to watch for in week five.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Gardner Minshew is a mad man for the Jaguars. He led the Jaguars 14-point comeback to beat Denver. The huge road win improves their record to 2-2.
Something special might be happening with Minshew in Jacksonville. However, the performance of a rookie quarterback is fairly inconsistent throughout a season so last week could end up being an anomaly.
For Carolina, they are in the middle of a tightly contested NFC South Division, tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 2-2, behind the 3-1 New Orleans Saints.
Panthers QB Kyle Allen is 2-0 since Carolina’s franchise QB Cam Newton has been held out of action due to an injury.
Allen threw for zero touchdowns and two interceptions last week but he also threw for four touchdowns and zero interceptions the week prior.
A quarterback’s plays dictate so much of a team’s success and Allen’s inconsistencies make his team tough to gauge. Jacksonville is a good option as a road underdog once again. There is a decent chance they will win this game, or at the very least keep it close. Take the Jaguars.
Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans (-5)
This game is interesting as the 1-3 Falcons sit at the bottom of their division. They need a win to give themselves a better chance at catching the division leading and 3-1 New Orleans Saints. On the other side for Houston, all four teams in their division sit .500 at 2-2, including the Texans.
The Falcons are 0-2 on the road this year, and they have been known to be a shell of their normal selves as they are at home.
Both of these teams carry a ton of talent. This game is just a question of who can play to their potential.
It would be a huge road win for Atlanta, who should be playing with great desperation. A Texans win should be expected here, but the circumstances for Atlanta should give bettors some pause. Stay away from this one.
Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) at New York Giants
The Vikings were humbled last week in Chicago as the Bears outplayed them in a defensive battle. The game saw Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky exit the game with a shoulder injury and Chase Daniel played in relief.
It was 16-0 through three quarters until the Vikings scored a late fourth-quarter touchdown, trimming the final deficit. This is a bad divisional game loss for Minnesota.
Kirk Cousins and the Vikings passing game needs to improve and do so fast. Cousins’ teammate and wide receiver Adam Thielen publicly criticized his own team’s offensive strategy after the loss to Chicago.
Minnesota needs to right the ship and produce an impressive win. The point spread is considerable for a road team coming off of a loss, which signifies that oddsmakers still believe in the Vikings’ talent.
A four-point spread would make things much easier here. Stay away from this game at this line as Cousins and the Vikings’ offense can not be trusted until proven otherwise.
Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5)
A few weeks ago, this Monday night game was not looking too appealing. But given Cleveland’s impressive 40-25 win against the Baltimore Ravens last week, this primetime game is now an exciting one.
The undefeated 49ers are returning from their bye week. In weeks one through three, they beat the Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This game is tough to call as the 49ers at home are only three point favourites. Many bettors are going to bet on Cleveland here and who can blame them. Take the Browns.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-1)
The Rams took a rather embarrassing loss to the Buccaneers at home last week, surrendering 55 points in the 15-point loss.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks beat Arizona handily on the road, 27-10.
Both teams enter this game 3-1 but on different notes. The Rams are a tough bet to make on the road in one of the most hostile stadiums in the league. As long as Seattle can pressure Rams QB Jared Goff, the Seahawks should shut down the Rams’ offense.
Take Seattle here and ride the home field advantage.
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (3.5)
On the road after a long week, the Packers visit the Cowboys’ stadium with extra days of preparation as a benefactor of playing on Thursday night. This is a significant game for them with the hope that they get back on track with a huge road win.
Just like Green Bay, Dallas enters this week after suffering their first loss of the season last week. This would be a huge win for the Cowboys because they have only beat the Giants, Dolphins and Redskins — who collectively carry a record of two wins and 10 losses. Last week, they lost to the Drew Brees-less Saints.
It is tough to predict this game with confidence. Dallas is a slight home favourite which makes Aaron Rodgers and the Packers a tempting pick. Take Green Bay and expect a close game.
Point spread are sourced from the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 at 5 p.m.
Graphic: Shawna Langer/ Graphics Editor