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2023 NFL Week 5 Betting Picks Guide—Buying Unproductive Dogs Low

NFL Betting Picks: Six dogs warrant consideration, says this profitable, history-informed angle

History says six underdogs are worth the considering for wins versus the spread in 2023 NFL week 5 action

In each of the previous three weeks of the current season, we made the case for bucking the very human tendency to succumb to recency bias and back point-takers coming off disappointing offensive performances (see here, here and here). History suggests a high probability of long-term profit for bettors with the stomach for such a contrarian endeavor. The games we recommended per this angle are are a profitable 10-8-1 ATS (56%) through week 4. We reiterate this same admonition for week 5.


Backing NFL underdogs off low-productivity offensive performances has proven a solidly profitable strategy early in the regular season

The system detailed in the graphic has proven good for a statistically significant 9% profit over the examination period.


As we indicated in the prior notes on this topic, as justification for the success of this angle, we submit that casual bettors tend to extrapolate bad offensive showings into the future, particularly for poorer squads (read: underdogs) and especially early in the season, when data regarding team competencies is still relatively sparce. This is to say that casual bettors prefer siding with favorites to beat the number versus teams that have struggled to points on the board.


Relatedly, the shunning of point-takers is well documented in academic literature: Golec & Tamarkin (1991), for instance, observed an increased bias against underdogs; Humphreys, Paul & Weinbach (2013) likewise found that bettors gravitate towards the best teams. In reaction to this tendency, bookies shade lines to exploit this cognitive bias and maximize their profits, creating opportunity for objective market participants—Levitt (2004) concluded that linemakers set prices to capitalize on bettor biases, while Humphreys (2011) noted that sportsbooks tolerate unbalanced betting in order to generate excess profits.


This approach to betting highlights seven NFL betting picks this week, but we disqualify one based on conflicting data. All are listed below, but the wagers we endorse are indicated in bold print.


Carolina Panthers +9.5 -115 @ Detroit Lions

New York Giants +13 @ Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints +1.5 -105 @ New England Patriots

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers +4.5

Cincinnati Bengals @ Arizona Cardinals +3.5 -125

New York Jets +1.5 @ Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers +2 @ Las Vegas Raiders


(See here for a totally unrelated rationale for plays on the Steelers and New York Giants.)


Happy betting!!


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