We ended Week 4 on a high note being all over the Kansas City Chiefs in their Monday night thrashing of the New England Patriots, but overall … it was not a great week: 5-7-1 in Week 4 puts us at 28-30-2 overall for the season.
Let me remind you, it is a long season, but we need to get our heads above water and make something happen soon with a winning week.
How about Week 5? Let’s do it.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-9)
The law of averages suggests we have to be on the correct side of a Thursday night game eventually, right? This one is tough, especially because we do not know the status of newly minted starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Teddy H20 sprained his ankle at the end of Minnesota’s Week 4 win over the Falcons and had to be carted off the field. He’s questionable to play and adds a wrinkle to the game if he’s able to suit up. The thought here is that the Vikings coaching staff does not want to rush their first-round pick out there and they turn to Christian Ponder. Yikes. If that’s the case the Packers defense should be licking their chops.
THE PICK: Go Pack Go (-9)
Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (-3)
Wow has the season turned sour quickly for Carolina the last two weeks. They started 2-0, but followed that up with two straight blowout losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore. The Panthers are struggling on defense, gashed on the ground the last two games and a banged up Cam Newton isn’t helping their passing attack. To only be a 3-point favorite with the home field advantage tells me Vegas sees this as a pick ‘em game. The Bears could have a field day if Carolina’s defense doesn’t show.
THE PICK: Bears +3
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-2)
The Browns are off a bye and getting healthy with Jordan Cameron and Ben Tate expected to return from injuries. The Titans on the other hand cannot say the same, as their quarterback Jake Locker is banged up and his backup, Charlie Whitehurst, was pretty bad in last week’s blowout loss. If Locker can’t go, it’ll be a long game for Tennessee’s anemic offense. The Browns have played with confidence in the first few weeks and will be licking their chops no matter who plays.
THE PICK: Browns (+2)
St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (-7)
St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (-7)
Every Joe Schmo is running to the ticket counter to put their money on Philadelphia in a classic “get right” game. Philadelphia’s offense was pathetic in their Week 4 loss to San Francisco. They’ve started slow offensively in every game thus far, so why would this week be any different? Their offensive line is banged up and Nick Foles has been hit hard and often. The Rams haven’t done a great job of rushing the passer, but against this offensive line they should have success. By Sunday this line will be up around 8 or more as the public hammers Philadelphia. Jeff Fisher is also 2-0 ATS coming off a bye as the St. Louis Rams head coach.
THE PICK: Rams +7
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-4)
Boy the Falcons are bad. Really bad. Especially on the road. Not sure how you can back their defense on the road, especially after the success Eli and that Giants offense has had the last few weeks. The Giants are back to 2-2 and looking confident as they learn the new offensive system implemented this year. The Falcons will be playing catch-up in this game and they just learned they have two new injuries on the offensive line, an already weak unit to begin with.
THE PICK: Giants (-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-10)
The Buccaneers are clearly better with Mike Glennon at quarterback than with Josh McCown and they showed that in their upset win last week in Pittsburgh. The Saints have a great quarterback, but a horrendous defense; Dallas picked them apart on Sunday night. It’s tough to back a team who has obvious deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball and is capable of allowing the backdoor.
THE PICK: Buccaneers (+10)
Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys (-6)
This looks like a classic letdown game for Dallas. But the matchup is really in their favor. The Cowboys are running the pigskin and they’re running it well. Even with J.J. Watt, the Texans are 24th against the run while Dallas runs it better than any team in the NFL right now. For the Texans, Arian Foster is banged up and not expected to play. His presence alone could factor in to this line moving.
THE PICK: Cowboys (-6)
Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions (-7)
We talked last week about what a change at quarterback can do to boost the morale of a team. The Bills are turning to journeyman Kyle Orton. Remember: he’s a journeyman for a reason. He’ll need a good running game to win steal one on the road. The Lions boast a formidable rush defense (6th overall) featuring Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. If the Bills can’t run it, Orton can’t win it.
THE PICK: Lions (-7)
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts (-3.5)
This is the toughest game on the board to pick this week between two teams playing good football over the last two weeks. Baltimore’s balance — 12th in passing and 9th in rushing — allows them to stay in games on the road. Andrew Luck roasted Jacksonville and Tennessee the last two weeks, but Baltimore (13th in total yards allowed) sports a stiffer test on defense. Ravens keep it close.
THE PICK: Ravens (+3.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars are bad. They are 0-4 ATS this season. Pittsburgh comes in to Jacksonville off a horrendous loss at home in the last minute against the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Steelers and Big Ben come in with a top-10 passing attack — 8th in passing yards — and get a juicy matchup with Jacksonville’s dead-last pass defense. Big Ben and Antonio Brown will be spinning it all day Sunday.
THE PICK: Steelers (-6)
Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos (-7)
This is yet another game with a questionable injury at the quarterback position. The Birds are undefeated on the year, but may be starting Drew Stanton in place of Carson Palmer on Sunday. Arizona has three sacks, total, from their defense and will need a better pass rush to get to Peyton Manning. The Broncos haven’t exactly played a perfect game on offense as they did countless times in 2013. They get it done in this one though.
THE PICK: Broncos (-7)
Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers (-6)
The 49ers got their “must-win” out of the way last week against Philadelphia. But the turmoil inside that locker room and the rumors leaking to the media don’t paint a pretty picture on the focus of this football team. Kansas City on the other hand will have a focused quarterback looking for revenge against the team that sent him packing two seasons ago. Alex Smith gets his revenge.
THE PICKS: Chiefs (+6)
The New York Jets at San Diego Chargers (-6.5)
The San Diego Chargers are 4-0-0 against the spread. The Jets are 0-3-1 against the spread so far. On paper, it seems like a total mismatch and the public will be all over the Chargers. But this is the NFL and it’s a week-to-week league. Rex Ryan always gets the most out of his team and his defense will be up to the challenge of a red-hot Phillip Rivers. The Jets have to pound Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson and control the clock against San Diego’s 24th ranked defense. The Chargers can’t go undefeated against the spread the entire year — can they?
THE PICK: Jets (+6.5)
Cincinnati Bengals (-1) at New England Patriots
The Patriots looked awful on Monday night against the Chiefs. But good teams bounce back right? Well, what if you aren’t that good? Sure, the Patriots own the league’s best pass defense in terms of total yards. That’s because teams know they can gash them on the ground. The Bengals <defensively dominated this matchup last year (13-6) and the way the Patriots offensive line looks, they’ll probably do it again.
THE PICK: Bengals (-1)
Seattle Seahawks (-7) at Washington Football Team
Washington embarrassed us and themselves last week on Thursday Night Football and now they draw arguably the league’s best team on primetime television. If the stage was too big for Kirk Cousins against the Giants then what will it be like against the Legion of Boom? Hawks silence the critics as they win convincingly on the road.
THE PICK: Seahawks (-7)
All stats are courtesy of NFL.com. All lines are provided by vegasinsider.com
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