NFL odds, picks, predictions for Week 5: Expert model projects 49ers, Bills, Ravens will keep winning

The 2023 NFL season is about a quarter of the way through, and at this point, the sample size is getting large enough to start making clear conclusions about teams.

There’s the good. The 49ers are an absolute juggernaut. The Chiefs will be just fine. The Bills are still the team to beat in the AFC East. The Eagles and Cowboys are going to have a wild battle for the NFC East. The Ravens and the Lions are the new powers in the North.

There’s the bad. The Bears are a trainwreck. The Broncos are just barely better than that. The Giants breakout 2023 appears to have been a fluke. 

WEEK 5 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spread

Then there’s the ugly. The Bengals are in real trouble with a hobbled Joe Burrow. The Steelers don’t have it on offense. The Dolphins have some problems on defense. The Falcons might need to start considering starting Taylor Heinicke.

Each week, Sporting News’ model will project every game in the NFL 10,000 times to generate the number of times a team wins a matchup and calculate the win probability. The model adjusts after each week as it learns more about each team and that team’s quarterback, trying to parse through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Listed for each game is its projected spread, according to the model, and a team’s win probability. We’ve also included updated playoff and Super Bowl odds at the bottom. The odds listed with each game are not based on bookmakers, but rather how the model sees the game playing out.

Here’s how the model sees Week 5 shaping up.

MORE: Sign up for BetMGM here to make your NFL Week 5 picks

NFL picks, predictions Week 5

Commanders (-6) vs. Bears

Win probability: 69.8%, Commanders

The Bears are clearly one of the NFL’s worst teams. The Commanders perhaps benefitted by two early wins against the Cardinals and Broncos, two contenders with the Bears for NFL’s worst teams, but they’re still a much better squad than Chicago. The model and betting markets agree Washington should be about a touchdown favorite.


Bills (-7) vs. Jaguars

Win probability: 73.6%, Bills

London might be the Jaguars’ second home, but the Bills are fresh off a dismantling of the Dolphins in Week 4 and appear to be the closest challenger to the Chiefs in the AFC. The model again gives an extra point to the favorites over the betting markets, but both agree the Bills should be heavy favorites.


Falcons (-6) vs. Texans

Win probability: 70.3%, Falcons

This is where the markets and the model differ the most. The Texans are just 1.5-point underdogs, per BetMGM’s odds, but the model has them as near-touchdown underdogs. The model loves Atlanta’s defense and is still skeptical to fully buy into a rookie quarterback, though C.J. Stroud has been considerably better than Desmond Ridder to this point.


Titans (-2) vs. Colts

Win probability: 55.5%, Titans

Tennessee has been a tough team to pin down to this point. One week, it’s getting boat-raced by the Browns. The next week, it’s dominating the Bengals. BetMGM has the Colts, with Anthony Richardson — and possibly Jonathan Taylor — as the favorites by a point, while the model is taking the Titans by two. It’s worth bearing in mind the model does not take into account the return of Taylor from injury, while oddsmakers will.


Jared Goff

Lions (-11) vs. Panthers

Win probability: 76.2%, Lions

Two teams trending in very opposite directions. The Panthers can’t find a way to win a game this year, while the Lions are coming off an impressive win at Lambeau Field over the Packers. The model is giving the Lions a heavier edge (-11) compared to BetMGM, which has Detroit at -9, but both are in agreement that this game has blowout potential.


Dolphins (-8) vs. Giants

Win probability: 76.2%, Dolphins

The Giants’ offense has labored this season, and gives the Dolphins a chance to rebound after a horrible effort on the road at Buffalo. The model has its concerns over Miami’s defense, but it is still a bit surprising to see the Dolphins only eight-point favorites over the Giants. BetMGM has the Dolphins as double-digit favorites at -10.5.


Saints (-1) vs. Patriots

Win probability: 54.5%, Saints

Only the second time the model and oddsmakers have disagreed on the winner, the model is taking the Saints while markets are taking the Patriots. Both offenses looked putrid in Week 4, but the Patriots’ woes came on the road against the Cowboys while the Saints’ came against the Buccaneers in New Orleans. Ultimately, the difference here is that the model still thinks this Saints roster is considerably more well-rounded.


Ravens (-6) vs. Steelers

Win probability: 67.9%, Ravens

For the third time in four weeks, the Ravens are squaring off with an AFC North opponent. Baltimore beat the Bengals on the road and trounced the Browns in Week 4, with a stunning loss to the Colts in Baltimore in the middle. The Steelers have some serious offensive issues, even with Kenny Pickett healthy, and with that in question, the model is thinking the Ravens pick up a big win in Pittsburgh. BetMGM has the game much closer (-3.5, Ravens), as Pittsburgh tends to be a tough team to beat at home.


Bengals (-9) vs. Cardinals

Win probability: 77.8%, Bengals

This is the largest split between sportsbook odds and the model. BetMGM has the Bengals only as three-point road favorites over the Cardinals, who have been competitive in every game in which they have played so far this season. The same cannot be said for the Bengals, who have now been blown out twice. The model still expects the Bengals to figure it out at some point, but time is running out — they now have only a 35.3 percent chance of making the playoffs.


Eagles (-7) vs. Rams

Win probability: 62.5%, Eagles

Like the Cardinals, the Rams have looked like a competitive team in every matchup this season. Los Angeles beat the Colts in overtime, while the Eagles edged the Commanders in overtime. Philadelphia is only 4.5-point road favorites over the Rams, but the model still sees them as a touchdown favorite. 


Broncos (PK) vs. Jets

Win probability: 50.1%, Broncos

It took facing the Bears for Sean Payton to pick up his first win as the Broncos head coach, a week removed from a 70-20 defeat at the hands of the Dolphins. Zach Wilson, meanwhile, looked as good as he has at any point in his career in last week’s loss to the Chiefs. Both the model and BetMGM (-1.5, Broncos) have this as a close one, with both ultimately picking Denver to win at home.


Chiefs (-7) vs. Vikings

Win probability: 74.6%, Chiefs

The Chiefs looked sloppy in a narrow win against the Jets in Week 4, but Patrick Mahomes is still Patrick Mahomes, and this offense is still one of the league’s best. The Vikings managed to scrap out a win over the Panthers. Even with the game in Minnesota, both the model and BetMGM agree the Chiefs should win comfortably, with Kansas City a 5.5-point favorite over the Vikings.


49ers (-4) vs. Cowboys

Win probability: 64.5%, 49ers

This matchup has “Game of the Year” potential. The 49ers have been steamrolling opponents week after week, while the Cowboys’ defense looks like a machine. This game being in San Francisco could be the difference-maker between two Super Bowl contenders, with both the model and BetMGM (-3.5) agreeing that the 49ers are slight favorites.


Packers (-2) vs. Raiders

Win probability: 58.2%, Packers

The Raiders will turn to unknown Aidan O’Connell at quarterback. Had Jimmy Garoppolo been under center, perhaps it would be different, though he has struggled to begin the year. The Packers were clobbered by the Lions in Green Bay, but Jordan Love has still impressed through four starts, which is part of the reason BetMGM and the model are giving the Packers the edge.


Updated NFL projections 2023

AFC East

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Bills 12-5 70.5% 24% 94.5% 23.5% 26.4% 12.8%
Dolphins 10-7 27.4% 50.6% 78% 6.9% 5.9% 2.5%
Jets 7-10 1.3% 10.7% 12% 0.1% 0.3% 0.1%
Patriots 6-11 0.7% 5.6% 6.4% 0% 0% 0%

AFC North

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Ravens 11-6 69% 19.7% 88.8% 15.7% 13.2% 5.9%
Browns 9-8 15.4% 35% 50.4% 1.3% 2.1% 1%
Bengals 8-9 8.5% 26.8% 35.3% 0.4% 2.4% 1%
Steelers 8-9 7.1% 19.1% 26.2% 0.4% 0.7% 0.2%

AFC South

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Jaguars 9-8 40.6% 15.7% 56.3% 1.6% 3.1% 1.4%
Titans 9-8 39.1% 14.9% 54% 1.6% 1.7% 0.5%
Texans 7-10 10.4% 8.9% 19.4% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1%
Colts 7-10 9.8% 8.9% 18.7% 0.1% 0.1% 0%

AFC West

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Chiefs 13-4 89% 8.7% 97.7% 45.9% 40.2% 20.6%
Chargers 9-8 9.9% 40.3% 50.2% 2.4% 3.6% 1.3%
Broncos 6-11 0.6% 5.7% 6.2% 0% 0.2% 0.1%
Raiders 6-11 0.5% 5.5% 6% 0% 0.1% 0%

NFC East

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Eagles 13-4 64.7% 31.7% 96.4% 26.7% 25.5% 13.3%
Cowboys 11-6 34.5% 54.3% 88.8% 11.3% 16.3% 8.7%
Commanders 7-10 0.6% 8% 8.6% 0% 0.1% 0%
Giants 6-11 0.2% 4.6% 4.9% 0% 0.1% 0%

NFC North

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Lions 11-6 79.5% 10.9% 90.4% 10% 8.9% 4.2%
Packers 8-9 11% 23.7% 34.6% 0.3% 0.6% 0.2%
Vikings 7-10 8.8% 15.6% 24.4% 0.1% 0.6% 0.2%
Bears 5-12 0.7% 1.5% 2.2% 0% 0% 0%

NFC South

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Saints 10-7 54.1% 17.5% 71.6% 1.8% 3.2% 1.4%
Falcons 9-8 28.3% 19.1% 47.3% 0.6% 0.6% 0.3%
Buccaneers 8-9 17.1% 16.1% 33.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.1%
Panthers 5-12 0.5% 1.1% 1.6% 0% 0% 0%

NFC West

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
49ers 13-4 87.1% 11.3% 98.3% 45.8% 39.5% 22.2%
Seahawks 10-7 11.1% 56.1% 67.2% 2.8% 3.8% 1.6%
Rams 8-9 1.9% 28.2% 30.1% 0.3% 0.5% 0.2%
Cardinals 4-13 0% 0.4% 0.4% 0% 0% 0%

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