Wed, Oct 3, 11:09am by Staff Writer
Week 5 of the 2018 NFL season begins with some star power at quarterback when the Indianapolis Colts visit the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Friday, 5 October 2018 at 10:20am at Gilette Stadium, Foxborough
The New England Patriots sent a stern warning to their nearest AFC East rival the Miami Dolphins in week four, when they hammered the previously undefeated Fins 38-7 at home.
New England looks to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season when it hosts Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
New England is a short priced favourite to win the match at $1.19 in the head-to-head market, with the Colts priced at $5.
The Colts-Patriots rivalry is probably the NFL’s best rivalry for the first decade of this century given it was Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady.
These two organisations don’t like each other very much, with the much publicised ‘Deflategate’ issue stemming from the Colts reporting the Patriots after the 2014 AFC Championship game.
The Patriots have won seven straight matches in this series. The last time the two teams met was in October 2015, when New England won 34-27 on the road.
A bizarre decision by Colts first-year coach Frank Reich to throw the ball on 4th and 4 from Indy’s own 43 during overtime proved costly, as Luck’s pass to Chester Rogers was thrown incomplete. Houston would go on to kick a match winning field goal and win the game 37-34.
Luck passed for 464 yards and had four touchdowns, while Adam Vinatieri kicked two field goals to become the NFL’s career leader in made kicks. The Colts are 1-3 and have played poorly late in games, otherwise they could have been 4-0.
New England avoided its first three-game losing streak since 2002 in week four, but it came at a cost. Tight end Rob Gronkowski let in the third quarter and didn’t return. Given the short week it would be a surprise if he played.
The handicap is 10.5 points and that’s too many to give to a Colts side that is capable of scoring the ball.
Best bet- Indianapolis Colts to cover 10.5-point handicap at $1.85
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Monday, 8 October 2018 at 4am at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
Two teams with 3-1 records meet in week five, with few predicting either Miami or Cincinnati to lead their divisions after the first month of the season.
It is the Bengals who are $1.37 favourites to win the match, with the Dolphins priced at $3.21.
The forecast is for warm weather for this one, which will be a relief for the Dolphins given their poor play in cold conditions.
Miami possesses a 16-6 all-time record against the Bengals, with the teams last playing in 2016. On that afternoon, the Bengals prevailed 22-7. Andy Dalton threw 296 yards and a touchdown, while AJ Green had a 173-yard game.
Miami relinquished its stranglehold on the AFC East in week four when they were throttled 38-7 by the Patriots. Their running game was non existent and they were spooked by the Patriots offensively.
Cincinnati has played three of four games on the road to start the season and won a wild one in Atlanta in week four 37-36.
Miami has covered in nine of its past 12 games against the Bengals, but given they are on the road for consecutive weeks and Cincinnati is returning home for the beginning of a home stand, getting less than a touchdown start on the home team looks a good play.
Best bet- Cincinnati Bengals to cover 6.5-point handicap at $1.91
Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
Monday, 8 October 2018 at 11:20am at NRG Stadium, Houston
An all-Texas showdown on Sunday Night Football this week when the Cowboys visit the Texans.
Houston is a $1.61 favourite, with the Cowboys priced at $2.39.
Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson are two young, exciting quarterbacks but neither has put their best foot forward this season as their respective teams struggle.
Prescott was the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Watson was close to being the 2017 iteration before an ACL injury ruined his 2017 season.
Houston are 1-3 and tied for last in a competitive AFC South division, while the Cowboys are 2-2 in the NFC East.
These teams have only met four times since the Texan’s inception to the league in 2002. The Cowboys have won the past three meetings between the sides after Houston won the first match.
Dallas moved to 2-0 at home after a 26-24 win against Detroit in week four. The Cowboys blew a 20-10 fourth quarter lead and were saved by a 38-yard field goal as time expired.
The Texans came perilously close to dropping to 0-4 but just got over the line against the Colts, giving coach Bill O’Brien another week in his job.
Dallas’ road form does not lie and they have lost both road games this season. The Texans will lift for this prime time game and just sneak over the line.
Best bet- Houston Texans 1-13 point margin at $2.61
NFL Week 5 Odds
Indianapolis $5 New England $1.19
Denver $1.94 New York Jets $1.90
New York Giants $3.39 Carolina $1.34
Tennessee $1.57 Buffalo $2.48
Baltimore $1.65 Cleveland $2.30
Jacksonville $2.33 Kansas City $1.64
Miami $3.21 Cincinnati $1.37
Green Bay $1.89 Detroit $1.95
Atlanta $2.45 Pittsburgh $1.58
Oakland $2.97 Los Angeles Chargers $1.42
Los Angeles Rams $1.33 Seattle $3.48
Arizona $2.73 San Francisco $1.48
Minnesota $2.40 Philadelphia $1.60
Dallas $2.39 Houston $1.61
Washington $3.15 New Orleans $1.38
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