NFL Picks Against the Spread Week 5: Safest Picks of This Week

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIOctober 4, 2012

NFL Picks Against the Spread Week 5: Safest Picks of This Week

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    Who’s going to win in Week 5 of the NFL season? Don’t worry, I’m going to break down some of the safest picks you can make against the spread as the weekend approaches.

    I’m not a betting man and I don’t have a horse in this race, but I do know a thing or two about the NFL and picking a winner. I’m currently at over 60 percent accuracy in picking each week and will boost that total thanks to a somewhat easy week of games to choose from.

    Take a look at my four safest bets against the spread and my reasoning for those Week 5 picks.

Baltimore Ravens (-6) at Kansas City Chiefs

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    BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)

    Line: Baltimore (-6) as of October 3 (Bovada)



    Baltimore is a finely-tuned offensive machine under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. The hurry-up offense has sparked Joe Flacco as more deadly component of the team’s offense.

    Defense is a question mark, though. Teams have been able to pass the football against an aging and thin secondary and linebacker group that has been banged up and undergone some changes.



    Kansas City has found itself trailing early in each of its first four games. Slow starts and inconsistency from quarterback Matt Cassell has hindered the team’s ability to operate a balanced offense.

    That’s a shame because they have one of the most explosive weapons in the NFL in their backfield—Jamaal Charles. 


    Why Bet on Baltimore

    Baltimore is a well-rounded team that is turning into an offensive juggernaut. Kansas City, on the other hand, is simply not. The Ravens will utilize the threat of Torrey Smith to take the top off the defense to keep them honest while pounding Ray Rice on the ground and in the short passing game.

    The Chiefs have a lot of pieces in place but aren’t ready to take any steps forward just yet, especially against a team as talented all-around as the Ravens.

Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals (-4)

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    Miami Dolphins (1-3) at CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-1)

    Line: Bengals (-4) as of October 3 (Bovada) 



    Miami has surprised its followers with some decent football thus far in 2012. However, they’ve been unable to stop opponents throwing the ball and it’s led to deficits too high to recover from. Reggie Bush has continued his late-season success from 2011 and is turning into the running back many thought he could never become.

    The winner of this game will be determined by rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s ability to beat the recovering Cincinnati Bengals secondary. Tannehill been getting better each week and could be the long-term solution the Fins have been searching for. 



    Second-year quarterback Andy Dalton has led the charge as the Bengals have won three consecutive games after an opening week dud on Monday Night Football. He’s putting up big numbers and playing as good as any quarterback in the league right now.

    On the ground, the Bengals have been feeding BenJarvus Green-Ellis the ball but will have Bernard Scott back in action for this game. Scott brings a whole new dimension to the offense due to the home-run speed he adds to the backfield. 


    Why Bet on the Bengals

    Miami has been playing outside of itself lately and they’ll get a large dose of reality as their tough AFC North opponents host them at Paul Brown Stadium.

    It’s a hostile environment for a rookie quarterback to go into, and Cincinnati’s secondary finally looks like its getting back onto the field. They’ve struggled some but will benefit from their possible return.

Houston Texans (-9) at New York Jets

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    HOUSTON TEXANS (4-0) at New York Jets (2-2)

    Line: Texans (-9) as of October 3 (Bovada) 



    The undefeated Texans have arguably the best running back combination in recent NFL history in Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Add Andre Johnson, one of the game’s best wide receivers, into the mix and there’s something a little unfair about the Texans right now. Matt Schaub is also finally healthy, despite losing a piece of his ear, and playing excellent football.

    A huge factor in the success of the Texans to this point has surprisingly been their defense. As a unit they’re allowing just 182.8 yards through the air and 90.3 yards rushing per game. 



    The Jets are allowing the second-worst yards-per-game on the ground (178) while finishing in the bottom-third of offensive categories. Losing Santonio Holmes for the season certainly won’t help bail out Mark Sanchez. The embattled quarterback is fending off public calls for a change at the quarterback position.

    It may be Tebow time in New York if the team fails as expected at home—on prime time on Monday night.

    Two weeks ago, the team lost star cornerback Darrelle Revis to a season-ending injury. This has hurt the morale of the defense and it will continue to be a concern for the team's pass defense as the season progresses.

    Missing him is an understatement—he had the ability to neutralize the opposing team's No. 1 wide receiver for much of a contest. 


    Why Bet on the Texans

    They’re undefeated and going up against a reeling and depleted New York Jets team. This is the same team that was accused of quitting in its 34-0 blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers just one week ago.

    There is never a sure thing in the NFL and betting world, but this is as close as it gets barring an unforeseen twist of events Monday night.

Chicago Bears (-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars

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    CHICAGO BEARS (3-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)

    Line: Bears (-6) as of October 3 (Bovada) 



    After getting destroyed by the Green Bay Packers in Week 2, Jay Cutler and his offensive line have recovered and survived the meltdown everyone saw coming. They’ve rattled off two consecutive and convincing wins over the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys since that loss to the Packers.

    They’re doing it with both passing and rushing on offense and with a fundamentally sound and stifling defense. They let up some yards in the pass game but also make big plays in the secondary to make up for that.

    It’s the old “bend but not break” cliché for the Bears pass defense. 



    Maurice Jones-Drew is the lone bright spot for a team that is trying to define itself and make some positive strides this season. On defense, the pass rush has been non-existent and the secondary is suffering as a result. They’ve been torched through the air and on the ground and are a bottom-third overall defense. 


    Why Bet on the Bears

    The Bears are clear favorites in every aspect of the game. Jacksonville’s rushing game will struggle against the tough Bears’ defense and second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert is not capable of doing it himself just yet.

    The Bears are coming off of a big Monday night win over the Dallas Cowboys and could have a letdown on the road against the Jags. However, even a letdown should be enough to cover the six-point spread in this case.