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2023 NFL Week 5 Betting Picks Guide—When Struggling Teams Meet

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

NFL Betting Picks: Backing the Bears +6.5 at the Commanders in week 5 Thursday Night Football action

In 2023-24 NFL week 5 Thursday Night Football action, the Washington Commanders will host the Chicago Bears

We suspect the betting public is too down on the Chicago Bears after last season's 3-14 straight up record and the 0-4 start this year. As three-point dogs, we (intrepidly) rode #DaBears to ATS victory last week in their 31-28 home loss to the Broncos, though we cashed that ticket only because got the hook. In the first of our NFL betting picks for week 5, we are backing Chicago again for the ATS win at Washington in Thursday Night Football action.


Supporting our second consecutive play on the lowly Bears, we have observed that in matchups between two struggling teams, taking the points is often a profitable rule of thumb. This thesis was the basis of our siding with Chicago last week, and a variation of the same angle endorses the Bears again in week 5 at the Commanders, who have dropped two straight to fall to 2-2, after amassing a similarly meager 8-8-1 record last season.

History says the Bears have an edge versus the number at the Commanders in 2023-24 NFL week 5 Thursday Night Football action

This system has delivered a statistically significant, long-term 14% return on investment.


To explain its success, we hypothesize that the betting public's recency bias and disposition towards favorites impels herding around even overvalued chalk layers (we have reviewed academic research documenting the propensities to overweight recent outcomes and to side with favorites on several occasions, including here and here recently). Worth mentioning, we attribute this angle's the drop-off in profitability for teams riding longer losing streaks to the possibility that squads that lost more than four consecutive games might be facing bigger-picture, more structural, issues.


Happy betting!!


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