NFL Week 5 Swinger’s Best Bets: Lions Will Maul Panthers on Sunday

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Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of the game at Bank of America Stadium. Grant Halverson/Getty Images/AFP

NFL Pick: Lions -9½ (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) – For 5 units

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Lions -9½ (-108)
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Week 4 proved to be better than Week 3 for Swinger but the bar that was set was so low it resembled more of a limbo stick with only a quick hop needed to rise above it. Can Swinger finally get back on track on Week 5 or is he now on auto-fade? You decide.

  • Twitter@SwingeratBMR
  • Swinger’s 2023 NFL Record: 3-10 ATS (-27.51 units using a 1-to-5-unit system)

Week 4 Recap

As I opened last week in this very same column, I feel it’s incumbent upon me to do the same because I deserve this:

I would like to direct your attention to last week’s headline, one that I created by the way, that perfectly illustrates just how grotesquely inaccurate I was last week. Sunday Night Belongs to the Chiefs.

The previous week I touted the virtues of the Broncos and last week I confidently predicted the Chiefs would have their way with the woeful Jets. That proved to be disappointingly inaccurate but at least it wasn’t nearly as off-base as my Denver prediction the previous week.

Whatever It Takes

At this point, I’ll take whatever little victories I can get, even though the Chiefs won but failed to cover and it cost me 3 units. My other felonious selection was the Patriots getting +7 on the NFL odds board against the Cowboys for 3 units. I apologize but I am not mentally prepared to discuss that game without further counseling.

Oh, and yippee, I caught the Jags laying points over the Falcons for 2 units. My only cover of the day and my smallest unit play – figures.

However, if you follow me on X, you would have read a prescient post by one of my favorites, Gaby in Las Vegas who wrote:

“I like them! Time to turn it around! I have a total for you: Seahawks / Giants under 47 Good luck today “

Final Score: Seahawks 24 – Giants 3

Listen to Gaby.

Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions

Sunday, October 08, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Ford Field

Key Stats

  • Carolina is 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • Carolina is 2-12 SU in their last 14 games on the road.
  • Detroit is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games at home.

I am the first to confess I have a square side that reflexively gravitates to the favorite. And to mitigate that I often advocate for the underdog in the internal dialogue I have when considering my NFL picks. I tried desperately to make a case for the Panthers in this one but soon realized it was pointless.

Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean I was going to bet on the Lions. I had to let the evidence convince me that Detroit was worth laying the big number at home, otherwise, I would pass the game as I do with most of them. Only three bets of the best sportsbooks are worthy of this column but unfortunately, this column has yet to be worthy of you – at least this year.

So here it is. Bryce Young is a bust. I am normally very forgiving of young quarterbacks because the pro level is so much quicker and protection is critical in the success of any quarterback, young or otherwise. But I’ve watched Young and he looks bewildered, overwhelmed, and underconfident.

Step Right In!

Aidan Hutchinson will make the Panthers’ offensive line look like a turnstile and the Lions will eat Young for breakfast. And if Carolina believes they will set up the pass with a healthy dose of running then good luck with that. Detroit owns the No. 1 run-stop unit in the league, surrendering just 60.8 yards per game while Carolina’s rushing attack is ranked 22nd averaging 95.3 yards per game.

On the flip side of the equation, the Lions will ground and pound their way to victory. They have the 10th-ranked rushing attack and will lean heavily on David Montgomery. But I suspect their first-round pick, Jahmyr Gibbs, will get a fair taste of running the rock as well. Once the Carolina defense loads up the middle, anticipating the run, Jared Goff will beat them with screen passes.

The only way Detroit doesn’t cover is if they become disinterested in the final quarter and I don’t think Dan Campbell will allow that nonsense. This is my first 5-unit maximum play of the season so pray with me, won’t you?

NFL Pick: Lions -9 ½ (-108) at Heritage Sports – For 5 units

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, October 08, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Acrisure Stadium

Key Stats

  • Baltimore is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games against Pittsburgh.
  • Pittsburgh is 11-3 SU in their last 14 games played in Week 5.
  • Pittsburgh is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against divisional opponents.

Many will shy away from this game because Kenny Pickett’s status is in doubt due to an injury (bone bruise to the knee) he suffered last week in Pittsburgh’s loss to the Texans. The public will also have a mental snapshot of that 30-6 loss to an underrated Texans’ team that won’t help their street cred this week either.

But listen up, we might be better off with Pickett out of the picture. He wasn’t playing very well and although you may gasp at the specter of Mitchell Trubisky lining up under center, you should know he is excellent against the blitz and the Ravens like to bring the heat early and often.

Close Quarters

Lastly, when these teams play each other, the games are always close. Consider the following scores over their last six meetings:

  • 2020 – Pittsburgh 28 Baltimore 24 & Pittsburgh 19 – Baltimore 14
  • 2021 – Pittsburgh 20 Baltimore 19 & Pittsburgh 16 Baltimore 13 (OT)
  • 2022 – Baltimore 16 Pittsburgh 14 & Pittsburgh 16 Baltimore 13

You may have also noticed the Steelers have won 5 of their last 6 meetings with the Ravens. Lastly, you should note that Mike Tomlin is 13-2 against the spread after a loss of 20 or more points over his coaching career.

I suspect another close game and if that’s the case I don’t care who wins or loses, just get me that Steelers cover, baby!

NFL Pick: Steelers +4 (-105) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review) – For 3 units

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New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots

Sunday, October 08, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Gillette Stadium

Key Stats

  • New Orleans is 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • New Orleans is 2-5 SU in their last 7 games against New England.
  • New England is 8-0 SU in their last 8 games played in Week 5.

Derek Carr is just about finished. He was removed as the starter last year in Vegas and has been dealing with an elbow injury this season. Personally, I don’t think he’s got anything left in the tank and that will not only pose a problem for the Saints on Sunday but throughout the rest of the season.

Mac Jones is a good quarterback with an atrocious offensive line. He also had a bad game against the Cowboys last week but will rebound in this spot. The Saints have a middling defense but I suspect the New England coaches will be working overtime after last week’s embarrassment.

The Pick

Unfortunately, the Patriots lost their two best defensive players last week when Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez both suffered what are likely season-ending injuries. This won’t help their cause, of course, but the Saints’ offense doesn’t concern me. Let’s back the Pats in what should be a day of atonement for Bill B and the boys.

NFL Pick: Patriots PK (-108) at Heritage Sports – For 3 units

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The Woodman’s Corner (2-2 ATS)

The Woodman is catching my virus, having lost two consecutive weeks in a row, first with the Bears and last week with the Cardinals who were blown out by the 49ers. But this week he is shifting gears and getting down with a chalky little number.

If you know the Woodman, he’s about as fond of favorites as a fat guy is of an all-you-can-eat celery buffet. But he says Josh Allen will make all your financial dreams come true when the Bills welcome the Jaguars to town on Sunday.

Bet the farm on the Bills, so sayeth the Woodman!

Woodman’s Pick: Bills -5 ½ (-108) at Heritage Sports

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.