NFL expert picks for Week 5 begin with the Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, October 6. The battle between NFC West teams takes place at 5:25 p.m. PT/8:25 p.m. ET and is a must-win situation for both franchises. A quick look at the updated NFL standings shows that the Cardinals and 49ers are tied for the worst record in the NFC at 1-3, which is not a place where the experts had the defending NFC West champion Cardinals during the preseason.
Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer is expected to miss the Arizona vs. San Francisco game due to a concussion, giving backup Drew Stanton an opportunity to take center stage. A report depicting the Week 5 NFL expert picks from ESPN reveals that the analysts still have a lot of confidence in the Cardinals. Seth Wickersham and Merril Hoge are alone in their predictions of a 49ers victory, but it’s important to point out that Wickersham has only posted a 32-31 record in his picks during the 2016 NFL season.
Within the Week 5 NFL expert picks, there are quite a few games that the ESPN analysts feel are going to be very one-sided. The unanimous predictions include the New England Patriots over the Cleveland Browns, the Indianapolis Colts over the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Vikings over the Houston Texans, the Pittsburgh Steelers over the New York Jets, the Denver Broncos over the Atlanta Falcons, the Green Bay Packers over the New York Giants, and the Carolina Panthers over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s eight games the analysts predict won’t be competitive.
A report from CBS Sports states that the Arizona vs. San Francisco game isn’t going to be close either, with all the experts there siding with the Cardinals. NFL analyst Jason La Confora has sided with the New York Giants over the Green Bay Packers, standing alone in this Sunday night game. La Confora is 34-29 in his predictions this season and has also predicted that the Atlanta Falcons will beat the Denver Broncos. For comparison, Will Brinson is the worst with a 30-33 record in predictions, while Dave Richard is the best with a 40-23 record this season.
There are four teams with byes in the Week 5 NFL schedule, and they are the Seattle Seahawks, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the New Orleans Saints. The Jaguars and Saints have struggled to 1-3 records so far, making this a good time for the bye week. The teams will all look to re-group and continue possible runs toward the 2016 NFL Playoffs in Week 6. Week 5 is also going to be the first time that quarterback Tom Brady plays for the New England Patriots, as he returns from his four-game suspension.
In addition to the Thursday night game (October 6) of the Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers, the Sunday night game (October 9) is the New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers. The Packers (2-1) are favored by most analysts to beat the Giants (2-2) at home. That then leads to the Monday night game (October 10), which is the Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. None of the Week 5 NFL expert picks suggest that the Buccaneers are going to be able to pull off an upset in this road game, despite it being an important battle in the NFC South standings.
Week 5 NFL Expert Picks
Arizona Cardinals over San Francisco 49ers (Thursday night game)
New England Patriots over Cleveland Browns
Philadelphia Eagles over Detroit Lions
Indianapolis Colts over Chicago Bears
Miami Dolphins over Tennessee Titans
Baltimore Ravens over Washington Redskins
Minnesota Vikings over Houston Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers over New York Jets
Denver Broncos over Atlanta Falcons
Cincinnati Bengals over Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Rams over Buffalo Bills
Oakland Raiders over San Diego Chargers
Green Bay Packers over New York Giants (Sunday night game)
Carolina Panthers over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Monday night game)
[Featured Image by Norm Hall/Getty Images]