• Bookies
  • Picks
  • 2023 NFL Week 5 Betting Analysis & Takeaways: The Empire Strikes Back
Most Valuable Offer

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

Visit site
Must be 21+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

2023 NFL Week 5 Betting Analysis & Takeaways: The Empire Strikes Back

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 6 mins

2023 NFL Week 5 Betting Analysis & Takeaways: The Empire Strikes Back

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

Visit site
Used 34 Times Today
Popular in Virginia
Must be 21+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

The NFL did not need Taylor Swift cheering on her purported beau from a luxury box on national TV to boost betting interest as Sunday night's Cowboys-49ers' game was the most-bet contest of the year at some books. 

The NFL roared back into the public spectacle Sunday without any help from the Swifties who have dominated the spotlight in recent weeks. 

The Cowboys-49ers game-dominated betting sites in terms of interest and handle. The public rode heavily with the 49ers, who crushed Dallas 42-10. That delivered an easy cover on the 3.5-point line and hit the over on the kickoff total of 45 points. 

Interest in the Cowboys-49ers was driven by its Sunday night slot and the storyline. It has been an NFL fixture for decades.

“The Niners-Cowboys game tonight will be the most heavily bet game of the season thus far,” Borgata AC Director of Race and Sports Thomas Gable told bookies.com early Sunday. “Great two-way action.”

Earlier in the day, the books scored with heavy public action on the Bills at -5.5 in London. The Jaguars scored their second straight win in London, 25-20. 

Wins for the public occurred with the Dolphins pulling off the cover at -12.5 with a 36-16 win over the visiting Giants. The Lions kept filling the betting accounts of their supporters. The number ATS hit 4-1 with a 43-24 thrashing of the visiting Carolina Panthers. The Lions boast the best winning percentage ATS overall since the start of the 2021 season. 

Even without Swift watching on-site in Minnesota, the Chiefs beat the Vikings 27-20 to hold for the cover at 5.5 points. The total fell under the mark at 52.5 points.

Week 5 Breakdown By The Book

2023 NFL Week 5 Betting Analysis & Takeaways: The Empire Strikes Back 1

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM and several other top sportsbooks saw the Cowboys-49ers outcome determine the book’s fate for the week. 

BetMGM’s John Ewing told bookies.com that the book needed the Cowboys Sunday night to settle its books for the week and that the outcome was good for the betting public. 

BetMGM had 73% of its spread wagers and 71% of its spread handle on the 49ers. That line held relatively steady for the week at 3.5 points. 

The book carried its largest liability of the day in terms of percentage on the Dolphins. A whopping 91% of the spread handle and 84% of the tickets backed Miami. The line opened at 9.5 before closing at 12.5. All Dolphins wagers cashed after host Miami’s 15-point win over Big Blue. 


Here is a look at the book’s top NFL Moneymakers in terms of teams and players for the betting public in Week 5 (before Monday night): 

Team Rank Player
San Francisco 49ers1 DeVon Achane
New York Jets2 George Kittle
Kansas City Chiefs3 Ja’Marr Chase
Cincinnati Bengals4 Breece Hall
Philadelphia Eagles5 Dallas Goedert

The Boston-based book’s biggest liability in terms of percentage rode with the Patriots. New England closed a 2.5-point favorite. The Patriots lost 34-0. Bill Belichick’s team has lost their past 2 games by a combined 72-3 score. The Patriots suffered back-to-back losses by more than 30 points for the first time since 1970. That season, the Boston Patriots played their home games at Harvard Stadium. 

In terms of spread handle, DraftKings Sportsbook carried the most action in terms of handle and moneyline on the Dolphins, Lions, and Chiefs. All three covered and won outright with relative ease. The Chiefs needed a boost from Park Avenue as their second consecutive game was marred by questionable calls and missed penalties in the final minutes.

The book saw some bleeding on the player prop front. 

Its top three most-bet Anytime TD players found paydirt: DeVon Archane of the Dolphins (-115), San Francisco RB Christian McCaffrey (-185), and WR Tyreek Hill of the Dolphins (-145). 49ers TE George Kittle was +900 to score first Sunday night. He paid +900 and absorbed 18% of the handle in that market. 

Circa Sportsbook

Circa Director of Operations Jeffrey Benson told bookies.com that his book did “OK” on the day’s afternoon games. The book saw sharp action on the Jaguars (+4.5); Titans (+1); Rams (+5.5); and Vikings (+5.5). The Jaguars and Titans won outright. Both the Rams and Vikings were in their respective games from a spread standpoint until late in the fourth quarter. 

The book also offered a “More Receiving Yards” prop wager featuring Rams wide receivers Cooper Kupp (-105) and Puka Nacua. Kupp bettors cashed as the All-Universe WR finished with 118 receiving yards to Nacua’s 71.  

Borgata AC

“The day has been up and down. Got off to a great start with the Jags winning in London. Lost on Atlanta and Detroit early. And the Eagles and Jets games weren’t great either,” Gable said. “But ended up doing well on the Chiefs and the Dolphins games. Took sharp money on the Rams throughout the week but a lot of public money on the Eagles won out in that one.”

The Eagles and the public won that one outright and ATS by a 23-14 score. 

Betting Pool Update 

Players in the Circa Survivor pool only backed one losing team this week. But it took out a sizable number of players. The Commanders loss on Thursday night to the Bears ended the season for 412 entrants. Before the Sunday games, 6,794 of 9,267 entrants had been eliminated, or 73.3%.

Major NFL Week 5 Bets Of Note


  • Loss: $64,083.31 on MIN +4.5 at (-110)
  • Win $38,999.72 on $50,699.63 TEN ML Wager at (-130) 
  • Win: $39,161.68 on $43,077.85 PIT +4.5 Wager at (-110) 
  • Win: $24,800 on $20,000 NY Jets ML Wager at (+124)

Caesars Sportsbook

  • Win: $29,409.78 on a $25, 11-Leg Parlay ATL/CIN/MIA/IND/NO/NYJ/PIT/KC/PHI/DET/SF
  • Loss: $220,000 (-110) on DAL +3.5

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.