NFL betting: Last week's games are impacting this week's lines — here's how to take advantage

·Betting analyst
·5 min read

Every Monday of the NFL season, I stand in front of the mirror and repeat the same phrase to myself until February — "Do not overreact." The truth of the matter is that it's much easier said than done. Two weeks ago, Justin Herbert led the Chargers to a fourth-quarter victory over the defending AFC champion Chiefs. The following week was filled with MVP predictions for the second-year starter.

Sunday night, Josh Allen put on a clinic in Kansas City, firing missiles downfield with ease for three touchdowns and rushing for a fourth. I glanced down from the mirror to see the notifications on my phone reading that Josh Allen is now the betting favorite at +450 for NFL MVP.

The Chiefs' historically bad defense has become a PR machine for opposing quarterbacks. Let the truth be known, Josh Allen and Justin Herbert deserve all the accolades. These guys are elite and very well could be holding the award at the end of the year. Focus on the sudden shift in perception. Only a few days ago Allen was not getting much credit due to the weak level of competition he faced this season. After a great game against the NFL's worst defense, which is allowing 7.1 yards per play, his odds skyrocket to the top of the MVP board. The strength of defense he faced didn't improve, only our perception.

These are types of overreactions sports bettors have to brace themselves for each week. There are a few games on the board I'm targeting where I think the last week is holding a little too much influence over the number. Let's take advantage and hold them accountable by placing some solid wagers in Week 6.

TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 10: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers directs the offense against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 10: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers directs the offense against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) at Philadelphia Eagles

Philly had to fight tooth and nail to get its second victory of the season after falling behind 15-6 in the first half. A blocked punt in the fourth quarter finished off a comeback that was also aided by a trifecta of interceptions by Carolina's Sam Darnold. Adam Gase was smirking somewhere as the clock struck 12 on Darnold's fairytale season. Give the Eagles credit for the fight, but the Panthers literally gave this game away.

Now we have a situational smash spot for bettors. A first-year head coach preparing for Tom Brady on a short week. It doesn't get any more challenging for the most penalized team in the NFL. To see this game lined at a touchdown tells me Philly is getting a little too much credit for the win against Carolina.

The Eagles are ranked 24th in the NFL in net success rate and only totaled 273 yards in the win over the Panthers. Do we think they can score with Tampa? The defense looked much improved but allowed 40+ points the previous two weeks when they played top-five offenses (Dallas and Kansas City). Tampa closed -7 at New England two weeks ago. Do you rate Philly and New England the same? I don't. Play the short line with the Buccaneers.

Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington Football Team

You will hear all week how bad the K.C. defense is and it is not an exaggeration. What they won't tell you is that when you have an elite offense, you can still blow teams out by using scoreboard pressure to force them into mistakes. Both teams here have very poor secondaries, so it's the perfect matchup for KC to get right.

The Chiefs only being favored by less than a touchdown is an overreaction to what we saw Sunday night. Kansas City has the same problems that they had three weeks ago when they closed as 6.5-point favorites against the Chargers. Now, we get the same number with Washington. No team has allowed more passing touchdowns than Ron Rivera's defense, and I am happy to bet Taylor Heinicke will fail hard when trying to keep pace with Pat Mahomes.

Dallas Cowboys (-4) at New England Patriots

Every overreaction isn't a major one. Yes, the optics of New England struggling in Houston look bad. Keep in mind, the Patriots went into that game without four starting offensive linemen. They will get at least two back off the COVID-19 list this week, and possibly Shaq Mason returning from injury. Per PFF, Ted Karras graded out as the fifth-best pass-blocking guard in Week 5. There are legit reasons to believe the Patriots are not what they showed us on Sunday.

Maybe I believe a little more in Bill Belichick than Mike McCarthy. Considering New England has closed as favorites in four of five games this season, I think they are being undervalued here. The Patriots are top 10 in net success rate and tied for fourth in yards per play allowed. Belichick covered easily by holding Tom Brady's elite offense to 19 points in the only game the Patriots have been underdogs this season. I'm happy to buy low on Belichick and take advantage of the bad look in Houston. Anything over 3 is a bet.

Stats provided by teamrankings.com, rbsdm.com.

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