Week 5 Picks Against the Spread
This is an unprecedented run if I do say so myself. I said last week it may have been time to start fading my picks, but I'm feeling myself and my hands are so hot that Doug Pederson would let me lead his RBBC. This slate is looking beautiful in my humble opinion, so without further ado, let's fill our pockets.
Last Week: 9-6-0
Current Record: 37-26-0
Superlock Record: 3-3
Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (-1.5)
Pick: Rams (+1.5)
Talk about recency bias. The Rams were 3-0 before Jameis Winston turned them inside out while the Seahawks beat up on a Cardinals team that has as many wins as I have confidence. Sure, they're at home, but what does that even mean? The Saints dominated them despite playing with a backup QB and in week one, edged out the Cincishitty Bengals by just one point. Now, they're 1.5 point favorites against a team that is superior in every department aside from QB? Yeah, I'll take the Rams. Now, I will say, week after week I tell myself to go against my gut on Thursdays since they've been such terrible contests thus far, but I had to go with this one. I don't see how it loses, but it's not my superlock because I don't want to be let down this early in the week.
Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
Pick: Cardinals (+3.5)
The Bengals are terrible. Simply awful. Mason Rudolph made Andy Dalton look like the one with the red nose (clownshow), which is fitting as it matches his hair. On the other side, the Cardinals have been everything but impressive, but if there was a week where their offense could finally figure it out, it's here. Cincy is on a short week, which doesn't even matter because if they had a month to prepare they'd still lose. If there's one thing I can 100% guarantee, it's that I'm not watching this game outside of the field goals the Cardinals take on the three yard line that RedZone loves to show.
Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
Pick: Bills (+2.5)
This is my super lock pick of the week. I absolutely love this number. The Titans suck. The Bills don't. Quite a simple explanation, right? The only thing in question here is Josh Allen's availability this week, as the Patriots were headhunting the league's best passer, but even if he's out, Matt Barkley is #elite. He won in his only start last season, and if we're comparing him to the opposing QB, Marcus Mariota, I'm not sure there's a huge disparity between the two. The Bills' defense is elite, their receiving core is more consistent, their defense looks to be a top three unit, and the only area where Tennessee edges them out at RB, and I don't even think it's that large of a gap (plus RBs don't matter). Even on the road with the possibility of needing to use a backup QB, I think Buffalo wins outright.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Pick: Panthers (-3.5)
This is another game I'm a huge fan of. The Panthers' defense is legitimately good and even though Minshew looks like Patrick Mahomes in the pocket, the pressure they bring should cause him to throw under pressure consistently. The Broncos went into week four with zero sacks yet were able to get to the QB last week, so an actual pass rush should have no problem in this spot. Carolina's offense is far better than Denver's, and their defense is most certainly the stronger unit, so at home, I think they take care of business.
Chicago Bears (-4.5) vs Oakland Raiders ***LONDON GAME***
Pick: Bears (-4.5)
It makes sense that this game is in London since both teams will be kicking the ball more than anything else. For us American viewers, it will be a garbage showing between two backup QBs and a pair of slow, disappointing rookie runningbacks. Both teams won games that they weren't expected to last week, so what really makes my decision here is the time zone. The game is being played at one o'clock, which, in California time, is 10 in the morning. Oakland doesn't even want to play football, let alone at ten in the morning. This early kick off is going to hit them harder than Vontaze Burfict, so give me the best unit in this game, the Bears' defense. I am a bit worried that they don't score enough to cover the number, but a defensive score is more likely than not in the cards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
Pick: Buccaneers (+3.5)
The Bucs are now my team. They maked me look very smart last week making them my superlock, and I have confidence in them again. Their run defense is incredible, and if they manage to limit Kamara on the ground and force Teddy Beans to throw, this could get out of hand. Tampa's offense has looked much improved since their Thursday Night performance against the Panthers, and although the Saints' defense is nothing to scoff at, I'll ride the hot hand of Jameis until he shrivels up and dies again. Yes, I realize in doing this I'll eventually be a week late in hopping off the Bucs' wagon, but siding with Tampa basically means you're an advocate for bad decisions so I'm fine with it. If their defense shows up in a divisional game, they could win outright, so as three and a half point dogs, they're basically my superlock without them being my superlock.
Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) @ New York Giants
Pick: Vikings (-5.5)
This game confuses me. The Giants have looked good since Daniel Jones took over for (sid)Eli(ne) Manning yet I was out on them last week and foolishly took Washington. With Minnesota looking terrible and New York being not awful, it would make sense to side with the boys in blue. No sir. That's what they want me to do, and if Kodak Black taught me one thing, it's that they don't want to see you winning. Sure, Kirk Cousins throws the ball like a toddler, but Adam Thielen boxed him in with hurtful comments, and nobody puts baby in a corner. I wouldn't be surprised if they throw 40+ times in this spot against a defense that made Jameis Winston look like 2015 Ryan Fitzpatrick, which seems like a recipe for success when you boast two top 15 receivers. As for the Giants, I think they can keep this close, but I'm just fading them until it works out. I'm stubborn, but these picks have somehow worked out thus far.
New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles (-13.5)
Pick: Jets (+13.5)
This is an awful pick. Philly is at home playing a team that may not even know what a football looks like after taking a week off from the game and the spread isn't all too great given the disparity between the two teams, which is where my issue lies. Why is this number less than two touchdowns? If the Eagles were as good as we all wanted them to me, this number would be closer to 20 than 10, and I think it's a fishy spread, and you know what they say, if you see a spread and it smells like tuna, avoid it. Because of this terrible process, I'm siding with the second best team in New York that isn't even in New York.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Ravens (-3.5)
The Steelers blowing out the Bengals is basically the equivalent of Yao Ming entering a dunk content with a bunch of Bagel Boss clones, so what happened on Monday night means nothing to me. If Mason Rudolph had a gun to his head and was asked to throw the ball 10 yards facing zero pressure and having a wide open receiver, the only bullet that would be delivered would be directed at him rather than from him. Anyways, I love Baltimore in this spot. Their defense sucks, sure, but Pittsburgh's offense isn't something you go to bed worrying about whereas the Ravens' O is going to give the Steelers fits. Plus, they lost to the Chiefs a few weeks ago, an accomplishment 16 teams will get to boast about this year, and just got embarrassed by the Browns. As with the Steelers, I don't put much stock into that game because that was Cleveland's super bowl, so Baltimore is in store for a big turn around against a division rival. I don't love picking against home dogs, but it makes it easier when that team has no redeeming qualities.
New England Patriots (-14.5) @ Washington Redskins
Pick: Patriots (-14.5)
Talk about a super lock. There is nothing for me to say. Washington sucks and they're running a QBBC with a rookie who is obviously not ready and a QB who hasn't been good since he was throwing darts to Jordan Shipley. Their defense won't be able to hold the Pats to anything less than 30 points, and I don't see how the Skins put up more than maybe...MAYBE...six points. Even that's a stretch. AI honestly feel like I'm cheating using my superlock on this game, but is there any more fitting team for me to benefit on by cheating?
Atlanta Falcons @ Houston Texans (-4.5)
Pick: Texans (-4.5)
Both of these teams stink out loud, but since the Texans have shown zero life since Drew Brees buried them during the closing seconds in week one, I'm rolling with them. Whatever the over in this game is, hammer it. I just continue to bet on teams that underperform in hopes of them turning it around, and so far, it's worked out decently. Watson should finally feel comfortable in the pocket since the Falcons can't bring any pressure, which should bode well for their offense. As for Atlanta, I don't even know what's going on. Austin Hooper is basically Tony Gonzales and Mohamed Sanu is prime Jarvis Landry while Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones sit back and watch the team collapse. I'm avoiding this headache and instead siding with a migraine.
Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5)
Pick: Chargers (-6.5)
I hate this pick. The Chargers always struggle against the Broncos, no matter where they play. Bradley Chubb tore his ACL last week, which will alleviate some pressure for the Chargers' atrocious line, but Melvin Ingram will also be inactive, along with hundreds of other players for the bolts, so Joe Flacco may actually turn in a decent performance. No way in hell should the Broncos keep this close, but the Chargers make frauds look like all-pros, so I'm a bit worried. WIth all this being said, there's still no way I'm picking against them in a divisional game.
Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys (-3.5)
Pick: Packers (+3.5)
The pacmen are coming off a long week where they were blindsided, literally and figuratively, by the Eagles. Is this L why I'm picking against them? No, it's because of how terrible Dallas looked against the Saints. They moved away from the scheme that made them look like a top five unit in the league, and it certainly did not work. If they revert back to their old ways, they should have no trouble moving the ball. Yes, I know the Packers' pass defense is elite and Dak is far from it, but their run game should open up play-action to catch ARod and the cheeseheads slipping. With Davante looking like he's out and one runningback available who's averaging 0.3 YPC, Rodgers is going to have to carry the offense on his back, and with his frail collarbones, I don't think he steps up to the task. You may be saying, "Hey, I thought you're taking Green Bay +3.5". Yes, you're right. I'm laying out the foundation for why I should ride with the Cowboys, but as we all know, going with your gut is a recipe for disaster, so with all this being said, gimme the dogs.
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5)
Pick: Chiefs (-10.5)
The Colts just lost to the Raiders, so it's about that time to see a bounceback game from them, but Kansas City's offense was also slow against a sneaky good Lions' defense. If the Colts let up a million points to Oakland, I'm not sure the Chiefs don't hit two million. It's quite a big number considering the Colts aren't a dumpster fire, but at Arrowhead with Mahomes at QB, there aren't many games I'd pick against them in.
Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers (-3.5)
Pick: Browns (+3.5)
The 9ers are on a super long week, coming off a bye and playing on Monday night, but I'm not so sure that helps them here. The Browns have the most momentum they'll muster up this season after blowing out the Ravens and will look to ride this wave into Monday night. San Fran has an elite run defense, which may force Cleveland to throw, which will wither be at their detriment or finally be the game Baker looks like himself. As for the 49ers' offense, they still can't throw the ball and are running a ton, but the Browns have allowed just one rushing score and less than 4.0 YPC thus far. Take the under in this spot, and in what should be a low scoring game, give me the road dogs.