Josh Frey’s Week 5 NFL Picks: Can the Vikings Shock the World?

Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker D.J. Wonnum (98) celebrates with linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) after a sack in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Week 4 was another rough one for the picks.

We’re now a month into the NFL season, so it’s time to start picking up the pace. Especially now that byes are limiting the number of games on a weekly basis, there is no room for error. It’s time to put together a good weekend.

Before we get into the Week 5 NFL picks, here is a reminder of how things went in Week 4:

  • Lions -1.5 (W)
  • Broncos -3.5 (L)
  • Jaguars -3 (W)
  • Bills -2.5 (W)
  • Browns -3 (L)
  • Bengals -2 (L)
  • Colts -1 (L)
  • Panthers +4 (L)
  • Panthers/Vikings O45.5 points (L)
  • Saints -3 (L)
  • Bucs/Saints U40.5 points (W)
  • Eagles -8 (L)
  • Steelers -3 (L)
  • Chargers -5.5 (W)
  • Cowboys -6.5 (W)
  • Cardinals +14 (L)
  • Chiefs -9.5 (L)
  • Seahawks (W)

Season Record: 26-39-2

Chicago Bears at Washington Commanders

Dec 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks to pass in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Commanders -6
  • O/U: 44 points

Frey’s Pick: Bears +6

This is a rematch of last year’s Thursday night humdinger in which Washington won 12-9. A year later, the matchup doesn’t look too much better. The Bears defense remains horrendous, and Washington has some serious problems on their offensive line.

Chicago needs to come out firing in this one after their devastating loss to the Denver Broncos in which they blew a 21-point lead. Meanwhile, the Commanders are coming off what was a very physical battle against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears will keep this one interesting.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills (London)

Oct 1, 2023; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) carries the ball during the second half of an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Bills -5.5
  • O/U: 48.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Jaguars +5.5

The Josh Allen vs. Josh Allen matchup. Both Allens have been on fire in recent weeks, with Buffalo’s Allen totalling 5 TDs against Miami last week while Jacksonville’s Allen is tied for the league-lead in sacks with 6.0.

The Jags are the road team in this game, but they have the advantage of already spending a week in London. Buffalo has quietly been one of the worst run defenses in the league through four weeks (allowing 6.3 yards per carry), so I expect Travis Etienne to get the ball a lot in this game. Jacksonville could pull off the upset this weekend.

Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons

Week 5 NFL Picks
Oct 1, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) celebrates after a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Falcons -2
  • O/U: 41.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Texans +2

The Houston Texans have been on fire over the past couple weeks. C.J. Stroud is putting together one of the best rookie QB seasons in NFL history, and he has propelled the Texans to 30+ points in their past two games, including a Week 4 matchup against a very tough Steelers defense.

Most impressively, the Texans did not give up a sack last weekend against Pittsburgh despite missing Laremy Tunsil, Josh Jones, and Tytus Howard on their offensive line. If Stroud has time to throw against this Falcons defense, I’d expect another strong showing from the rookie.

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions

Jan 1, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff pumps up the crowd as he walks off the field following their win over the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Lions -10
  • O/U: 45 points

Frey’s Pick: Lions -10

The Carolina Panthers’ offensive line hasn’t been able to stop anybody’s pass-rush this season, allowing 14 sacks through the first four weeks of the season. Meanwhile, the Lions defense has recorded 13 sacks and led by Aidan Hutchinson, they rank second in QB pressures.

Detroit has an excellent one-two punch in their backfield as well, and against a Panthers defense that has allowed 545 rushing yards this season, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs should feast once again. This is a big spread, but the Lions have proven to be one of the best teams in the league and should dominate this matchup.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) throws the ball, during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
  • Spread: Titans -2
  • O/U: 43 points

Frey’s Pick: Colts +2

The Tennessee Titans may be the most confusing team in football through the first four weeks of the season. They are 2-2, but their offense has been a roller coaster ride. Last weekend, they followed up a 94-yard performance against Cleveland with a 400-yard showing against the Bengals.

I seem to always be on the wrong side of things with Tennessee, but if the trend of a good week followed by a bad week is to continue, this feels like a good spot to take the Colts at home. Indy nearly came all the way back from down 23-0 against the Rams last weekend, and Jonathan Taylor could be back on the field for this game.

New York Giants at Miami Dolphins

Sep 24, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Dolphins -11
  • O/U: 48.5 points

Frey’s Picks: Dolphins -11, O48.5 points

A couple weeks ago, I said I would take the Dolphins -20 against the Denver Broncos if the spread got that high. This feels like another of those instances. The New York Giants have the worst scoring offense, third-worst scoring defense, and worst point differential in the league.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Buffalo Bills, and at home, they have a chance to put up another massive point total. I’ll add the over as well considering Miami may hit that number by themselves.

New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots

Sep 18, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) reacts with wide receiver Chris Olave (12) in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Patriots -1
  • O/U: 40 points

Frey’s Pick: Saints +1

Typically, the Patriots have been untouchable in Foxborough during the Bill Belichick era. However, that has quickly changed over the past couple years. Since the start of the 2022 season, New England is 4-6 at home.

The Saints defense has been one of the best units against the pass to begin the year, and that will cause some trouble for Mac Jones in this contest.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sep 11, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates with wide receiver Rashod Bateman (7) during the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Ravens -4
  • O/U: 38 points

Frey’s Pick: Ravens -4

Kenny Pickett is working through a knee injury, and that could spell further disaster for a Steelers offense that already hasn’t looked very good this year. Meanwhile, Baltimore’s offense has been clipping along over the past few weeks to the tune of a 25 points per game average over their past three games.

With this being an important divisional game for the Ravens to maintain their lead in the AFC North, I believe Baltimore will take this one.

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams

Oct 9, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Eagles -4.5
  • O/U: 50.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Rams +4.5

The Eagles are 4-0 right now, but they have played down to their opponents in a number of these games. Three of their first four wins have been decided by one possession, including games against the Patriots and Commanders.

Meanwhile, the Rams have been surprisingly feisty through four weeks. Tutu Atwell and Puka Nacua have done a terrific job of holding down the receiver room with Cooper Kupp on IR, and now, there is a chance that the All-Pro receiver could be back for this game. At home, the Rams will keep this one close.

Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals

Sep 10, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass under pressure from Cleveland Browns defensive end Za’Darius Smith (99) during the first half at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Bengals -3
  • O/U: 44.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Bengals -3

This is do-or-die territory for the Bengals. Their offense has been very lethargic through the first four weeks of the season, averaging 12.3 points per game to start the year. They’re not as bad as the Giants, but they’re pretty darn close.

If Cincinnati is going to get things together and save their season, it has to happen this week. The Cardinals have been feisty, and this is a second consecutive road game for the Bengals, so it will be tough. I still have faith in this team, though.

New York Jets at Denver Broncos

Sep 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) hands off to running back Dalvin Cook (33) in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Broncos -1.5
  • O/U: 52.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Jets +1.5

Can I just skip this game? I know I committed to making picks for every game this year, and I want to make right on that, but this game is no fun. The Broncos are horrible, and the Jets are just plain old bad. This game was supposed to be an AFC heavyweight fight (at least, according to my preseason projections), and now, it’s not. Out of spite for Denver making me wrong in so many ways this year, I’m going with the Jets.

Kansas City Chiefs at Minnesota Vikings

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) leaves the field before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Chiefs -4
  • O/U: 52.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Vikings +4

The more I think about this game, the more I believe the Vikings can win. Kansas City’s offensive line has seen some struggles with Jawaan Taylor at right tackle, and they have had a tough time stopping the run to begin the year.

Obviously, Patrick Mahomes is miles better than Bryce Young, but this was the same recipe that helped the Vikings get their first win in Carolina last weekend. If they can cut down on the goofy turnovers, Minnesota has the tools to keep this game close. Of course, this line of thinking probably means the Chiefs will win by 30.

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

Oct 1, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) runs off the field after the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: 49ers -4
  • O/U: 45 points

Frey’s Pick: 49ers -4

It happens every year. The Cowboys go into a primetime game with a chance to prove to everyone that they are ready to become bonafide Super Bowl contenders… and they fall flat on their faces. It’s going to happen again against the 49ers.

San Francisco’s offense is firing on all cylinders, scoring 30+ in each of their first four games. This team is a machine, and they will cruise to another victory.

Green Bay Packers at Las Vegas Raiders

Dec 25, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Packers -1
  • O/U: 44.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Packers -1

Green Bay has had plenty of time to think about their Thursday night loss to the Detroit Lions last week, and with the extra rest, they should be plenty prepared for this game. Their running game has been uncharacteristically bad to begin the year, but a matchup against the Raiders defense may be the recipe to get them back on track.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.