NFL Week 5 Best Bets: Matchup angles to bet, including The L.A. Rams over 22.5 team total

2RYMW62 Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws downfield under pressure during an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

Throughout the years, PFF data scientists have developed and conducted numerous studies to better understand and predict performance.

While many of these seminal works have furthered the conversation and certainly linger in the background, the goal in this space is to identify how the findings manifest in particular weekly matchups and to source the matchups or interactions the betting market has overlooked.

Some bets will track traditional markets, but others will look to more exotic markets to ensure we utilize the best market for the particular thesis or angle. 

Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams

Angle: Lean into Rams QB Matthew Stafford in good situational spots

As we highlighted last week, we want to bet on Stafford when his opposing defense isn’t overwhelming and when he has solid weapons at his disposal.

The veteran quarterback rarely scrambles, which makes him far more situation-sensitive, according to our research.

While the Eagles have developed a reputation for fielding a dominant pass rush, their results have been subpar to start the season. The team ranks below average at generating quick pressure and is slightly worse (19th) at generating pressure altogether.

 The Eagles defense has also struggled to prevent separation in coverage. In terms of separation prevented, the team's corners rank 81st, 96th and 104th out of 108 qualifiers.

 The underlying play has been weak despite the big names, whether because of the scheme or some other factor. However, the markets are still pricing the Eagles as the league's 10th-best defense.

Betting advice: I’ll be buying Stafford passing yards, parlayed with Rams alt lines and Rams over 22.5 team total.


Houston Texans @ Atlanta Falcons

Angle: Improvement of the offensive line will only further elevate QB C.J. Stroud

 In a 2022 article, we set out to answer whether elevating a weaker player on the offensive line is more beneficial to a team than making a good player even better.

 We found that elevating one weak link is far more beneficial. Developing a player who is successful on 85% of blocks and turning him into one who is successful on 90% of blocks is far more fruitful than taking a player from 90% to 95%.

 This is particularly relevant for the Texans, who will welcome back two new offensive linemen, both of whom had successful block rates north of the 90% threshold and will replace players around the 85% mark.

 This should have a non-linear effect on improving this offensive line and the offense as a whole.

 The above chart shows that C.J. Stroud has very rarely had clean pockets to throw from, but when he has been free from pressure, he has generated the most EPA in the NFL.

 With improvements on the offensive line, Stroud should have more clean pockets, further elevating his efficiency.

Betting advice: I’ll be betting on the Houston moneyline and alt lines, parlayed with some C.J. Stroud passing props.

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