FOX Sports Betting Analyst
After four weeks, teams in the NFL are rounding into form.
Even though wagering on pro football is always tough, It does feel as though we know how to better wager on the league after a few games.
RELATED: NFL Week 5 odds, spreads for every game
That being said, here are two of my favorite plays early into Week 5.
All times ET
Ravens @ Steelers (1 p.m., CBS)
It’s almost becoming an auto-wager for me when two coaches are home underdogs: Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans, who covered a second game this season as a home ‘dog on Sunday, and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.
The Steelers got their teeth knocked in by the Texans on Sunday as a road favorite, a classic loser if you’re wagering on the Steelers. However, they are at home this weekend and are getting four points. Tomlin is 13-6 against the spread (ATS) as a home underdog. He’s a profitable 51-39-1 ATS after a loss.
The Steelers are not playing particularly well right now, but they just got embarrassed in Houston, and teams with the Steelers’ pedigree do not get waxed in back-to-back weekends.
The last four games between the AFC North Division rivals have been decided by three or fewer points, no matter how well either team was playing at the time.
I’m picking the Steelers to cover this spread, even if they play without quarterback Kenny Pickett (sprained knee).
Dave Helman reacts to Dallas dominating New England
Cowboys @ 49ers (8:20 p.m., NBC)
I like the 49ers to cover this spread in his heavyweight battle of NFC rivals in prime-time on Sunday.
San Francisco is just better, and it’s hard to see where the Cowboys can affect the 49ers to make this a game that’s within a touchdown.
Brock Purdy has led San Francisco’s offense to at least 30 points in seven straight regular-season games. While Purdy is not always the reason for the offensive success, he is the reason the ball is getting into the hands of the right playmakers. Purdy does exactly what the play calls for and does it without turning the ball over.
Dallas has faced Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson, Joshua Dobbs and Mac Jones in its first four games. The Cowboys have seen nothing close to the 49ers offense and will struggle to contain all the weapons wearing red.
On the flip side, I’m concerned about Dallas’ ability to score touchdowns without explosive offensive plays or points produced by the defense. The Cowboys are 30th in red-zone touchdown percentage.
When the Cowboys get into the red zone, the offense looks completely different. There doesn’t appear to be any rhythm and/or a coherent plan. They’ve also made more mistakes like missed blocks and poor throws in this area of the field.
If the Cowboys struggle again the red zone, the 49ers defense will gladly clean up and force field goals. Field goals aren’t winning this game for Dallas.
PICK: 49ers (-3.5) to win by more than 3.5 points
Geoff Schwartz is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.
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