This week I’m changing up my formula in an attempt to give our readers more content, more degenerate gambling advice and to improve my record. The first three weeks I choose 6 games to bet on and I went 9-8 with one push. This week I’m taking a look at every single game, giving you my pick including the game of the week that is my big upset, don’t touch and lock of the week.
Week 5 is when things get a little tougher with both spread picks and fantasy football. We starting getting a handful of teams on bye weeks which means in fantasy you are forced to use your bench more and when picking games you have less total games to go off of so you have to make your picks count.
This week is also challenging because so many playoff teams from last season are at .500 or worse and so many previously perceived bad teams are 3-1. You have to decide if you are sticking by the teams expected or if you start to show faith in one of these surprising teams like the Falcons, Eagles or Rams.
Week 5 Spread Picks
Overall Record 33-30 through 10/6
UPSET SPECIAL- Houston Texans(+6.5) at Minnesota Vikings: This is going to be a low scoring affair. Average quarterbacks facing really good defenses mean that points will be at a premium. I think the difference in this game will be the better offensive line from Houston and the better running game, against with Houston featuring Lamar Miller. The 6.5 line makes me feel good about taking the Texans, but I think they win this game outright.
Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins(-3): This game is huge for draft positioning, but not much else. Both teams stink, so I’ll take the team that got a few extra days to prepare.
New England Patriots(-10.5) at Cleveland Browns: Tom Brady is back from suspension and probably still pretty pissed off. I feel sorry for the team he faces first. Oh dear God, it’s Cleveland. Give the Browns credit, they’re 0-4 but have been in every single game so far. That ends this week as a the Patriots come in fired up for Tom’s return and also humbled after their 16-0 loss to Buffalo last week.
New York Jets(+9) at Pittsburgh Steelers: The match-up in this game to watch is the Jets defensive front against a pretty mediocre Steelers offensive line. The Eagles exposed that match-up on their way to a 34-3 win in Week 3 and I believe the Jets will push the Steelers pocket back and disrupt Big Ben’s timing. I still think Pittsburgh wins, just not by double digits.
DO NOT TOUCH- Washington at Baltimore Ravens(-4): I would never advise you to bet on a game where the weather is going to be bad. Wind gusts are expected over 30 mph and that means you should see a very sloppy game. If you insist on picking this game, take Baltimore who has the quarterback with the stronger arm and the team that is better built to win sloppy games.
Philadelphia Eagles(-3.5) at Detroit Lions: I was really close to making this one my lock of the week, but I try to stay away from both the team I root for and road teams when it comes to locks. The Lions will be without their best rusher(Ameer Abdullah), their second best receiver(Eric Ebron) and their best pass rusher(Ezekiel Ansah). This wasn’t a deep roster when healthy, take away three of probably seven or eight of their most important players and I have a hard time picking them against anybody. Case and point last week when they lost to the Chicago Bears. I haven’t even gotten to how much I love the Eagles front four, Carson Wentz’s feel for the offense the lacking of coaching ability from the Lions sideline. Eagles should roll in this one, possibly by a couple touchdowns.
LOCK OF THE WEEK- Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts(-4.5): It’s borderline insane to make the Colts your lock of the week at any point when Chuck Pagano is their coach and Ryan Grigson is still in charge of their roster, but hear me out. The Bears are seriously banged up, Brian Hoyer doesn’t have the arm to expose the Colts secondary and Andrew Luck should feast on that Bears secondary. Plus you’re getting each team at the right time. The Colts are coming off a rough loss while the Bears are coming off a division win.
Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos(-4): I thought about this one for my lock as well because it’s a very friendly line in a game that is a huge mismatch. The Broncos defense is dominating right now and the Falcons passing offense is completely dependent on Julio Jones. Jones will still get his numbers, but he won’t have anywhere near 300 yards this time around. On the other side of the ball, running back C.J. Anderson should rack up at least 100 yards on the ground and rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch is actually an upgrade over Trevor Siemian. He has a stronger arm and is a better athlete. If he can settle into this game early that will allow him to run a more aggressive offense and put this game away early.
Buffalo Bills at LA Rams(-1): I’m beyond shocked that neither of these teams have a losing record, but give both coaches credit. They know their teams well and aren’t trying to be something their not. Neither will make the postseason, but they will be a tough out every single week. For this game I take the Rex Ryan team to have a letdown the week after beating the Patriots.
San Diego Chargers(+3.5) at Oakland Raiders: I love the Chargers in this game. They are a really good passing team facing a horrible secondary, the Raiders will be without starting running back Latavius Murray and the Chargers are a desperate team right now.
Cincinnati Bengals(-2) at Dallas Cowboys: Who the media loves and who Vegas loves are two very different things. The media loves the Cowboys because their fan base will buy the hype over literally nothing in the drop of a hat. That leads to good ratings for the sports talk shows that slurp up Dallas. Vegas on the other hand, will lose money if they kiss the Cowboys ass. They are taking a 2-2 team, on the road, by two points over a 3-1 team at home. That should tell you all you need to know. Plus Cincinnati got 3 extra days to prepare for this game and their pass rush when just sending four is going to cause Dak Prescott a lot of problems. They don’t have to blitz, but they get consistent pressure so they can play tight with the Dez-less Cowboys receivers.
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers(-7): Somehow I am 3-2 picking Thursday night games but just 1-3 picking Sunday night games. This week should turn that around. That Giants defense got a lot of praise after all their big money signings in free agency and holding the Dallas Cowboys to just 19 points in Week 1, but this is still a pretty lousy defense. They rarely rotate their defensive linemen which leads to less energy late in games from their pass rush and the back end of their secondary is still a liability. Add the fact that the Packers are coming off a bye week I see the Packers winning this one by a lot.
Tampa Bay Bucs(+4) at Carolina Panthers: I hate Carolina in this game. No Cam Newton, no Jonathan Stewart, still a horrid secondary and playing at home, in primetime in a must win game. Tampa Bay is also 1-3, but with far less pressure on them. If the Bucs can keep Jamies Winston upright, he should put up big numbers. I like Tampa Bay as 4 point dogs and I like them to win outright as well.