Alright, so my debut week of posting my picks did not turn out so hot as I went 5-8-1 against the spread. Overall in game picks I went a much more respectable 8-6, but everyone has a rough week from time to time. I’m feeling overall very confident looking ahead to Week 6 so without further ado, I’m going to jump right in.
All betting lines courtesy of Bovada in Las Vegas.
BONUS Thursday Night Pick: Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at New York Giants (1-4): PHI -2 Confidence: 7
Got it done in time to get the Thursday night game in the fold this week. The Eagles are coming off a disappointing home loss to a very good Vikings team. Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense hasn’t had the same “pop” in his first two games back, luckily they have a matchup with Big Blue to look forward to. The Giants took Carolina to the wire last week and their offense can make explosive plays, but this Eagles team is too talented to lose this game with the division this wide open. Time for a statement win against a long-time foe.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-4): ATL -3.0 Confidence: 8
Tampa Bay is fresh off a bye week with Jameis Winston back under center as their quarterback. The problem is they have to travel to Atlanta to take on a high-powered offense at home with their backs against the wall. Fresh off a disappointing showing in Pittsburgh, the Falcons have to win this game to have any shot at making the playoffs. 1-5 and your season is over, Atlanta responds with a statement win at home over a division opponent.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1): CIN -2.5 Confidence: 7
Who Dey. Those Bengals are impressive. A complete roster with their Quarterback playing inspired football and they get a Steelers team riding high off a big home win over the Falcons. This game will be physical, it will be hard-hitting and it will be intense. That’s the AFC North for ya, but with the Bengals playing at home and Andy Dalton locked in, I see him carving up the Steelers defense. No Le’Veon Bell for Pittsburgh and they fail to get it done. Bengals win and cover.
Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2-1): LAC -1.5 Confidence: 8
Look how far the Browns have come with Baker Mayfield. They currently hold the same record as Pittsburgh and are fresh off a home win against a very complete Ravens team. That said, look at this line. Did Vegas watch the Chargers last week against the Raiders? A team that scored their only win against the Browns I might add. I get Phillip Rivers and the better defense on the road and only have to swallow a point? Lock it in. Chargers win and cover easily. Pump the brakes on the Baker Train.
Buffalo Bills (2-3) at Houston Texans (2-3): BUF +10 Confidence: 7
This is a huge line for a Buffalo team coming off an upset win over Tennessee and a Houston team that slugged it out at home with the Cowboys on Sunday night. I like the way Sean McDermott‘s bunch play inspired football and I see this being a low-scoring defensive battle won in the trenches. Houston ultimately wins the football game with the deeper roster, but the Bills make it a close game to the wire and should cover the lofty spread.
Chicago Bears (3-1) at Miami Dolphins (3-2): CHI -3.5 Confidence: 9
The Bears, fresh off their bye, travel to South Beach to take on a Dolphins team that is reeling. After starting 3-0, Miami got beat-down in Foxboro and lost by double digits in Cincinnati. Returning to Hard Rock Stadium is a sight for sore eyes in Week 6. However, Miami has been exposed these last two weeks and now have to face a rested defense with an explosive play-maker in Khalil Mack chasing down Ryan Tannehill while Bears QB Mitch Trubisky has played like a Pro Bowler. I like what Matt Nagy has done thus far and I’ll take the Bears to win on the road and cover.
Arizona Cardinals (1-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1): MIN -10.5 Confidence: 7
The Vikings are winning this football game. At home, off a huge win on the road in Philly with their franchise Quarterback Kirk Cousins locked in with his top targets the Vikings should roll to a win. Arizona has some play-makers on defense namely Chandler Jones who could give the Minnesota offensive line some trouble all afternoon. Josh Rosen has looked pretty good all things considered for a rookie with the lack of talent around him on that football team, but I’ll still swallow the points at home for the Vikings who should roll to a comfortable win.
Indianapolis Colts (1-4) at New York Jets (2-3): IND +2.5 Confidence: 8
The Jets are fresh off a home win over the Denver Broncos while the Colts have an extra few days to recoup after losing last Thursday night in Foxboro at the hands of the Patriots. All things considered, the Colts didn’t look terrible on Thursday night and Andrew Luck made some nice throws, however that was nowhere near enough to beat the Patriots with that Indy defense. This matchup is much more their speed with an extra few days of rest against a rookie in Sam Darnold. Jets will be riding high off a win, enough for the Colts to come in and sneak out with Frank Reich‘s second as the head coach. At the very least this one will be close down to the wire and the Colts cover.
Seattle Seahawks (2-3) at Oakland Raiders (1-4): OAK +3 Confidence: 6
Seattle took the Rams to the brink last week at home and have to travel all the way to London to square off with the Raiders coming off a disappointing loss to the Chargers. I’m not convinced the Raiders have fully bought in to Jon Gruden and their new coaching staff, but this would be the week for that to happen. Get it done across the pond with your high-powered offense and franchise Quarterback against a beat-up Seahawks roster. Oakland will keep it close and cover, and I have them squeaking out a win to prevent from falling to 1-5.
Carolina Panthers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2): CAR +1 Confidence: 10
Did Vegas watch that Monday night game? The Redskins were beat down and exploited off a bye on national television. Now they are returning home with a veteran QB Alex Smith and a very good head coach, but the Panthers are the much better football team. They needed a last-second prayer of a field goal from Graham Gano to beat the Giants last week, but I will take that point and Carolina to win the football game. Their offense is going to be too much to handle for the Washington defense while Luke Kuechly will hold Smith in the pocket and force him to beat them with his arm.
Los Angeles Rams (5-0) at Denver Broncos (2-3): DEN +7 Confidence: 8
The Rams are banged up coming into this week with the status of their two top receivers in the air after getting knocked out of the game against Seattle with concussions. I am confident in Sean McVay and Jared Goff to craft a game plan to get it done on the road and remain unbeaten that leans heavily on Todd Gurley, but this one is going to be close. Denver is a notoriously difficult place for opposing teams to come in and steal a win, and as good as the Rams are, the Broncos are strapped with talent on both sides of the ball. Chalk last week up to struggles traveling east, but back at home with the veteran Case Keenum who almost beat the Chiefs a few weeks back, and this one will be a battle. As mentioned, I like the Rams to eek out a win and remain unbeaten, but 7 points is too much to give up so I’ll take the home team with a good defense to cover against the Rams who will most likely be without two of their top weapons.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) at Dallas Cowboys (2-3): DAL +3 Confidence: 7
The Jags were stomped last week by the Chiefs on the road and now have to travel to Jerry’s World to take on the Cowboys fresh off an overtime loss to Houston. This is a tough one to pick because we’ve all seen just how good the Jags can be on defense and even on offense with Blake Bortles locked in, and Dallas is hit or miss these days with Dak Prescott receiving a ton of criticism. This is a huge game for “America’s Team”. The division is wide open and you have a chance to go out at home and get a statement win against a very good football team. Jason Garrett needs this win to prevent his football team from falling to 2-4 and cool down his seat, lean on Ezekiel Elliott to pound the Jags into submission. I’ll take Dallas with the points to win a very low scoring and tight football game.
Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-2): BAL -3 Confidence: 7
This is one of the toughest games of the week to call. Both teams have good defenses with outstanding coaching in their own right and both are coming off tough road losses to underdogs. Both will be looking for a bounce-back performance and the Titans have home field advantage. That said, I’m going with experience in this one. John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco have been there and done that quite a few more times than Mike Vrabel and Marcus Mariota. I think both teams are loaded with talent, but the scale still tips in the Ravens favor. Baltimore wins and covers.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) at New England Patriots (3-2): NE -3 Confidence: 5
For the full analysis of this matchup, stay tuned for my game preview that will be released on Saturday. This game is going to be a high-scoring shootout, but I think New England gets the ball last and makes a few key plays to dethrone the Chiefs for the first time this season. Not picking against Tom Brady & Bill Belichick at home in this spot.
San Francisco 49ers (1-4) at Green Bay Packers (2-2-1): SF +9.5 Confidence: 7
The 49ers hopes of being competitive were dashed when Jimmy G tore his ACL. Now, it’s just about head coach Kyle Shanahan getting his team up for games when they are the heavy underdog such as Monday Night at Lambeau. The good thing they have going for them is the Packers just don’t have a ton of talent on either side of the ball despite a future Hall of Fame QB in Aaron Rodgers. I think Green Bay ultimately wins the football game, but I like the niners and CJ Beathard to keep it respectable in front of a primetime audience. Green Bay wins, San Francisco covers the lofty spread.