TheLines: NFL Week 5 point spreads very close after competitive opening month

Oddsmakers have noticed the close action in the NFL's first four weeks, according to TheLines, which tracks odds in US-regulated sports betting markets.
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Games across the NFL over the first four weeks of the season have often been close, and oddsmakers have noticed, according to TheLines, which tracks odds in US-regulated sports betting markets. Nine games on the Week 5 schedule have point spreads of four points or less, and four of those feature a spread of 1.5 or less.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 10.5-point home favorites over the Miami Dolphins, the only game on the Week 5 slate that has a double-digit point spread, according to a consensus of the nation’s largest legal online sportsbooks — including BetAmerica, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, SugarHouse, and Unibet. The line for Bucs-Dolphins spread has moved into double-digits after being offered with a lookahead line of -9.5.

Eight games in Week 4 concluded with a single-digit scoring margin. So far this season, the sum of the average scoring margin across all 32 teams is 1.8 through the first four weeks. In 2020, that number was 9.2 points across all 32 teams.

Brett Collson, lead analyst for, commented: “The combination of competitive schedule making and the relative parity in the NFL is producing a lot of close games. That makes for a challenge for oddsmakers, but makes for a fun environment for NFL fans.”

The consensus point spreads for Week 5 games, as of October 4:

  • Los Angeles Rams (-1.5) at Seattle Seahawks; over/under 53.5
  • New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5); over/under 43.5
  • Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5); over/under 49.5
  • Tennessee Titans (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars; over/under 48.5
  • Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals; over/under 49.5
  • New England Patriots (-9.5) at Houston Texans; over/under 39.5
  • Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-8); over/under 49.5
  • New Orleans Saints (-1.5) at Washington Football Team; over/under 44
  • Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers (-4); over/under 46
  • Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5); over/under 40.5
  • Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders (-5.5); over/under 45.5
  • Cleveland Browns (-1) at Los Angeles Chargers; over/under 49.5
  • New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5); over/under 50.5
  • San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-5); over/under 53.5
  • Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5); over/under 56.5
  • Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-7); over/under 48