It’s been an underdog-type of year so far in the NFL.

Underdogs are 33-27-1 against the spread this season in the NFL, which shouldn’t be surprising with oddsmakers and the betting public still feeling out how good teams are this season.

Unfortunately, I failed to follow my own advice last week in the Westgate Supercontest with underdogs, and compiled my first below-.500 record so far this season.

I’ll make sure to listen to myself this week with underdogs and will pound away with teams not expected to win in week 5.

As always, follow my Supercontest journey on this blog and @AgainstTheChalk on Twitter. The journey could not have been completed without my proxy Vegas Football Proxy. If you’re entering next year, be sure to reach out to Tom at Vegas Football Proxy.

Here’s my favorite three underdogs in the week 5 NFL picks.

Matt Ryan should lead the Falcons to a straight-up win in the week 5 NFL picks. Flickr/Keith Allison/

Overall: 11-11-2 ATS

SuperContest: 9-8-3 ATS (10.5 points)

Underdogs: 7-4-1 ATS

Atlanta Falcons (+3) at Pittsburgh Steelers

This is my favorite pick of the week.

Atlanta’s offense is unstoppable at the moment. The Falcons rank fourth in yards per play this season at 6.5. In the last three games, that has been even higher, at 7.2.

The main reason why the Falcons are a full three-point underdog is the notion that this Pittsburgh team is still the one that dominated the AFC in the past. That just isn’t the case.

Pittsburgh’s defense is worse than Atlanta’s. And that’s saying a lot. Teams are passing at will against Pittsburgh, with the Steelers allowing 8.9 yards per pass attempt in the last three games, tied for the worst mark in the NFL.

The Steelers won’t be able to stop Atlanta when the Falcons have the ball. And while the Atlanta defense is decimated by injuries, I still believe this unit can get better as the season progresses. It’s a shock when injuries happen to good players. Over time, though, Atlanta can adjust and get more comfortable with the players on the field.

Atlanta is better than Pittsburgh and home-field advantage shouldn’t account for these three points. — Go Against The Chalk with Atlanta

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (+7.5)

I know this is like signing my own death sentence, but this number is too inflated.

The Rams are really good on offense. Los Angeles is averaging a ridiculous 7.4 yards per play, along with an even more ridiculous 11.3 yards per pass attempt in the last three games.

Is that sustainable? And has that transpired against good defenses?

I have my doubts. Minnesota, Arizona, Oakland and the Los Angeles Chargers are proving to be some of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, and they happen to be the Rams first four opponents.

In terms of opponent yards per pass attempt, Arizona, Oakland, the Chargers and Minnesota rank 27th through 30th, respectively. That’s terrible. And while the Rams have contributed to that number, they aren’t the only team to be throwing all over the place on those teams.

Meanwhile, Seattle is giving up 6.1 yards per pass attempt, ranking fourth in the NFL.

This game is a contrast of styles, and last I checked, Russell Wilson still occupies room on the opposing sideline. There’s a legitimate home-field advantage for Seattle and this game will be much closer than experts predict. — Go Against The Chalk with Seattle

Washington Redskins (+6.5) at New Orleans Saints

If you’re betting New Orleans, you’re betting recent history.

There’s no other way to explain it. The Saints haven’t been as dominant as many expected this year so far. And even with a nice win on the road against New York in week 4, the offense sputtered at times, and I’m not sure holding down the Giants’ offense is much to brag about.

The Redskins are coming off a bye and have been one of the surprising defensive teams in the NFL this season. They’re not allowing anything in the passing game, giving up just 5.1 yards per pass attempt (the second-best mark in the NFL) and they’re moving the ball on offense, with a nice running and passing mix.

The Saints showed some nice strides on the defensive side of the ball in week 4, but I’m not sure if that has more to do with the Giants’ ineptness, or if New Orleans is really improving.

The Saints should be favored, but this is too big of a number. —  Go Against The Chalk with Washington

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