I had a strong week for picks and coupled with my OK status in week 4, I’m officially on a roll.  Time to keep capitalizing on the trends – every week there are teams in particularly good or bad spots that the line doesn’t seem to take into account.

Some of the most intriguing matchups of the week are divisional rivalry games, there are three in particular that I like, while the marquee game is supposed to be Dallas and Seattle.

Is that really a matchup of elite teams?   I guess we’ll know on Monday morning.

Last Week’s Picks: 14-5 Best: 3-2
Season Total: 52-37-1 Best: 10-9

Denver (-9) @NY Jets (Stations)

In any other season, this is the exact kind of game where I’d be all over the Jets, no matter how bad they had looked up to now.  At home, getting a lot of points to a much better team – this is where the old Jets would normally show up big time and, at least, keep the game close.  But not this year.  Rex Ryan is a lame duck coach and, mark my words, by season’s end the Jets will be one of the three worst teams in the NFL.  It’s just that kind of down year for them.

Denver Broncos 28 New York Jets 17


Pittsburgh (+1.5) @Cleveland (Westgate Superbook)

I don’t follow every single trend, but the ones I do are frequently those that apply to divisional rivalries.  I’m making a big exception to my rule in this game, where the Steelers have won 26 of the last 29 games.  But Pittsburgh doesn’t look right to me this season, they look like a team that is struggling to find itself.  And Cleveland looks like a team that is willing to fight through hell itself to overcome the loser tag they’ve been carrying around for the last decade.  Dog gone it, damn the torpedoes, I’m taking the Browns.

Cleveland Browns 26 Pittsburgh Steelers 24


Jacksonville (+5) @Tennessee (Stations)

It’s hard to find a line on this game because as of this writing there’s been no official announcement on Jake Locker.  Locker didn’t practice on Thursday, however, so you’d have to think he’s doubtful for Sunday.  In the meantime, Jacksonville is a team that has been down for a while, but they always manage to win one of their games with the Tennessee Titans.  Even the year they went 2-14, one of the wins was over the Titans.  And the Titans are playing like crap right now.  So much so, that I’d be tempted to put this game in best picks, except…Jacksonville can’t be trusted either.  This is a stay away game, but the Jags are the right side if you can’t help yourself.

Tennessee Titans 20 Jacksonville Jaguars 16.


Green Bay (-3.5) @Miami (Golden Nugget)

I’m a bit torn on this game.  On the one hand, the Packers look resurgent.  On the other hand, Miami has had two weeks to get ready for this game.  I think Green Bay finds a way to win it, but Miami will keep it within a field goal.  The fact that this line is starting to come down in some books tells me maybe I’ve got it right.

Green Bay Packers 24 Miami Dolphins 21


Detroit (-2) @Minnesota (Sportsbook.ag)

How will Detroit find a way to lose this game?  Let’s tune in and see.

Minnesota Vikings 23 Detroit Lions 17


New England (-3) @Buffalo (Westgate Superbook)

The Bills’ defense is for real.  They haven’t allowed an opponent to score more than 23 points through 5 games.  But the trend in this rivalry is for real too.  That favors the Patriots, who’ve won 20 of 21 games against the Bills.  Last year, better Patriots beat worse Bills in Buffalo by just 2.  I’ll guess a repeat performance here.

New England Patriots 22 Buffalo Bills 20


Baltimore (-3) @Tampa Bay (Westgate Superbook)

I don’t love the Ravens as a road favorite, but they are an underrated team and I think they have enough firepower to take down the Bucs, who aren’t as bad as people think, but still aren’t that great either.

Baltimore Ravens 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24


Baltimore @Tampa Bay o/u 43 (Westgate Superbook)

I’m a little surprised at how low this over under is.  Baltimore has a very effective offense, and the Buccaneers are improved in that department since Mike Glennon took over at quarterback.  I think this is a case of perception having not caught up to reality yet.  Take the over.

Baltimore Ravens 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24


Washington (+3.5) @Arizona (Stations)

I hate to even make a pick on this game because it remains unknown whether the Cardinals will have to start third stringer Logan Thomas at quarterback.  Last week, Thomas did not look a viable NFL player, and if you wonder what the difference between a “game manager” like Drew Stanton and a not-game manager are, well, watch this game this week.  Assuming Stanton doesn’t play, I’ll take Washington, who look out facing the last man on the depth chart.

Washington RacialSlurs 20 Arizona Cardinals 13


NY Giants (+3) @Philadelphia (MGM Mirage)

This is one of those division rivalries that has a quirky recent history.  The road team actually has the advantage.  The Eagles, moreover, have not looked good in their last few games, getting by on special teams play and turnovers.  You can’t game plan for that stuff, and he who lives by the sword…

New York Giants 28 Philadelphia Eagles 24


San Francisco (-3) @St. Louis (William Hill)

For now, the 49ers have managed to keep their heads above the turbulence surrounding their team – Ray McDonald, Jim Harbaugh, etc.  The Rams aren’t good enough to take advantage of whatever distraction there is, so expect the Niners to coast for at least one more week.

San Francisco 49ers 24 St. Louis Rams 20


Best Picks of the Week

Shut up I’m doin’ my touchdown dance!


 Chicago (+3) @Atlanta

Honestly, I think I may be off the Bears for good.  They’re as bad as the Lions when it comes to shooting themselves in the foot.  Playing the Falcons in Atlanta where they are much MUCH better is not for the faint of heart.  It’s certainly not for this group of screw ups.

Atlanta Falcons 34 Chicago Bears 20


Carolina (+6.5) @Cincinnati (William Hill)

Even with A.J. Green most likely out, the line on the Bengals is pushing a touchdown hosting Carolina.  That’s because despite being 3-2, the Panthers have not looked very impressive.  Cincinnati’s clampdown defense ought to have no problem shutting down this anemic group.

Cincinnati Bengals 24 Carolina Panthers 14


Carolina @Cincinnati over/under 44 (William Hill)

As a scoring offense, Carolina is bottom third.  Now they’re visiting the Bengals, who are top 5 in scoring defense.  Cincinnati is going to be missing A.J. Green.  That’s the kicker.  The Bengals aren’t going to run it up either.  This game stays under.

Cincinnati Bengals 24 Carolina Panthers 14

San Diego (-7) @Oakland (Caesar’s)

I went back and forth on whether to put this game in bests or not.  Ultimately, I feel like the Chargers are just so good right now that they will beat the Raiders by more than 7 without even really trying.

San Diego Chargers 24 Oakland Raiders 14


Dallas (+8) @Seattle (MGM Mirage)

If this is the game of the week, why is Seattle favored by a blowout level 8 points?  In reality, Dallas (and frankly the rest of the NFC East) is a paper tiger.  Look who they’ve beaten.  Not one team that could stay in the building with Seattle, that’s for sure.  The other part of this is that the Seahawks have no ordinary home field advantage.  They’re crazy good in their own building.   Eight is enough.

Seattle Seahawks 28 Dallas Cowboys 17

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