We're just about at the quarter point of the 2021 NFL season, and there are several teams desperate for a win entering Week 5.
One team badly in need of a victory is the New England Patriots, who came up just short of upsetting Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 but lost 19-17. The defeat dropped the Patriots to 1-3 for the first time since 2001.
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Luckily for the Patriots, their next opponent is the struggling Houston Texans. After winning their season opener, the Texans have lost three consecutive games. Houston was outscored 64-9 over its last two games, including a 40-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills last week.
The Patriots have historically fared quite well against the Texans. New England is 10-3 (including the playoffs) all time versus Houston. Oddsmakers have made the Patriots 9-point favorites going into the weekend. It'll probably be the Patriots' largest spread as a favorite this season.
There are plenty of other intriguing games on the Week 5 schedule.
One of them is an NFC West battle with the Seattle Seahawks hosting the Los Angeles Rams on "Thursday Night Football". The Seahawks are 2-2 and can't afford to fall too far behind the 4-0 Arizona Cardinals and 3-1 Rams. The Rams are coming off a blowout loss to the Cardinals last weekend, so L.A. should be fired up for this matchup in Seattle.
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The best game of the week is a rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game featuring the Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills are 3-1 and again look like a formidable challenger to the Chiefs' reign atop the AFC. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are 2-2 thanks to a defense that's allowed the second-most points (31.3) in the league. A Bills win at Arrowhead Stadium on "Sunday Night Football" would send a statement to the rest of the conference.
Here are the opening spreads for the Week 5 games (matchups without lines will be updated when that info is available) -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.
Thursday, Oct. 7
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, Oct. 10
New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5)
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-1)
New Orleans Saints (-2) at Washington Football Team
Tennessee Titans (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-7.5)
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Green Bay Packers (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals
New England Patriots (-9) at Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5)
Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders (-5.5)
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-5.5)
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5)
Monday, Oct. 11
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-7)