Record After Week # 5 is: 19-8-2 *note: first 5 picks were all college picks
Alrighty, the five best bets and they’re all in the NFL this weekend
Browns (+7) over Raiders, Result: Push
So the Browns are getting 7 points at the Raiders, the Raiders had a big emotional game along with the passing of Al Davis and they delivered! But this week, they come back home – the funeral for Al Davis, that’s a distraction. This has never been a great team as a favourite, they’re 2-13 against the spread in their last 15 “favourite team” role. Furthermore, the Raiders can be an incredibly emotional team – driven by emotion, they lead the NFL in penalties (what else is new) and here is the one thing about Oakland – we’re all in love with their offensive and defensive line play, but they’ve given up 400+ yards in 4 straight weeks! And they’re not good against play action. Colt McCoy’s pretty good on play action and this week, guess who he gets back? Peyton Hillis. So here you have an emotional let down for the raiders. Cleveland, coming off a bye, they’re healthy; they get Peyton Hillis back –meaning they can eat up some ground game against the Raiders. Let Colt McCoy throw on play action where he’s actually pretty good at it. Raiders 21, Browns 20 but I’m taking the 7 points.
Cowboys (+7) over Patriots, Result: Win
I think the rest of the world is nuts on this. New England’s defense has been inconsistent – against the pass? It’s been absolutely terrible, terrible defense…and that’s against Chad Henne, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jason Campbell. But now it’s a step up in class! The Dallas offensive line has played much better than expected…has anybody else noticed that? Tony Romo with time – and he’ll have time Jarrod Mayo is out for New England, they don’t have a pass rush anyway. They’ve got 8 sacks in 5 games – and with Mayo out, it creates a huge huge weakness for the Patriots down the middle and Jason Whitten – who is an excellent combo of size and athleticism is going to have a big advantage over Brandon Spikes, who doesn’t actually run that well. Also Jason Garrett wants to pound the ball, eat the clock, get in and get outta town…make it a short game. New England has given up 4.6 yards per carry. Listen, I know everybody loves New England, but their defense has been bad against mediocre quarterbacks. Off a bye, finally healthy, a better offensive line than we thought….you doesn’t have to pick Dallas to win, just take the points. I’m going to take them to win, Dallas 33 New England 30.
Giants (-3) over Bills, Result: Push
Vegas is probably going to disagree with me on this, but I’m going to take the Giants at -3. Listen,the Bills were outgained 460 yards to 270 yards by Cincinnati. They were outgained by a hundred and fifty yards by Philadelphia. They rank as one of the worse 6 defenses in the league when it comes to yards allowed. Eli Manning, since week # 2, has fired 11 touchdown passes. Victor Cruz has emerged and he joins Akin Nix and Mario Manningham, this is a nice offense now that can throw the ball down the field. The other thing in this game, whenever I get a 4 for 4: quarterback, coach, offensive and defensive line advantage and the Giants have the better quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and coach – when I get that 4 for 4, I almost always love my position. Eli too, don’t forget, is capable of shredding defenses – he’s averaging 275 yards through the air. When Eli struggles there is pressure and the Bills frankly (sorry Mike) don’t pressure! They’ve only got 5 sacks they’ve got no pressure without a blitz, I’m sorry but the Giants are good when you never expect them to be good. Their coming off that ugly loss to Seattle – they will bring it! So they cover the spread, 31-24.
Ravens (-8) over Texans, Result: Win
This is a huge number – I think it’s a blow out game! Baltimore could return up to 8 starters – they’ve been banged up and are still dominating people, they get a bye week at home against the Texans team that just lost their 2 best players – Mario Williams, there goes some of the pass rush and Andre Johnson. By the way, they are 4-7 as Houston when playing without him. As well, Matt Schwab is having a down year! So I get a team with two weeks to prepare, getting 8 starters back – that even without them, has been really really tough, Houston’s lost their 2 best players, you wonder what that locker room is like…a really tough late loss to the Raiders. I think the Ravens cover the spread and blow them out, 31-17.
Panthers (+4) over Falcons, Result: Loss
I gotta tell you that earlier on in the week, I liked Atlanta, but I start looking at this game and Carolina get’s 4 points, they have a better offensive line by far and a better defensive line. Cam Newton has engineered back door covers against Green Bay and Chicago – two teams that have beaten Atlanta already, by a combined 30 points. Cam has had a hand in 12 of the 13 TD’s and the real story here is that Atlanta’s offensive line is so poor – that Matt Ryan has little time to throw, 6 INT’s this year when he had 9 all of last year. Julio Jones is now out, which compounds it. Atlanta is no longer a big play offense. Meanwhile, Atlanta is not getting any pass rush, which means that young Cam Newton will have time to throw. I just don’t think the Falcons have the firepower to blow anybody out, even though they are good at home. I’m going to take Atlanta to win, although I’m kinda hedging it. I’m going to take the 4 points, 24-23 Atlanta because 4 points is way too many points to play with an offense missing Julio Jones that can’t block for Matt Ryan.