NFL Picks Week 5: Underdogs Who Will Beat the Spread

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

We haven't reached the point where point spreads are formulated by someone sitting in a room with his eyes closed, randomly plopping his finger down on a sheet of paper with the upcoming week's NFL games on it and randomly shouting out numbers.

At least we hope that's not how it's done.

Yet week after week, a favored team fails to cover, whether it be due to their own ineptitude or the underdog raising their own level of play.

Week 5 in the NFL is no different, and if you are looking for underdogs to pick, these are the games you want to consider.

All point spreads courtesy of CBS Sports.


Cleveland Browns (+9) vs. New York Giants

It's true that the Giants are the defending world champions and boast one of the most prolific passing attacks in the league.

Also true is the fact that the Browns are playing, yet again, without corner Joe Haden, one of the best in the league as he continues to serve his four-game suspension for substance abuse. 

But this has the makings of a trap game written all over it, and we've seen the Giants struggle in these situations before.

All we need to is look back to last season, when the Giants dropped home games to the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins and barely held off the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, for evidence that Big Blue has a tendency to play down to their competition.

On top of that, since last season,the Browns are 5-0-1 against the spread on artificial turf.

The Giants will win, but it's going to be closer than they'd like.


Denver Broncos (+6.5) vs. New England Patriots

The Patriots were able to force six turnovers against the Bills and dropped 52 points on their division rivals, but the Bills are not the Broncos—and nobody is going to mistake Ryan Fitzpatrick for Peyton Manning.

Manning has lost a bit off of his long ball, but he's adjusted, feasting on short routes that his receivers have broken off for big gains all season long.

The Patriots' defense has struggled against the pass this season, giving up an average of 282 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks and allowing nine touchdowns through the air. While they have six interceptions, keep in mind that four of those came against Fitzpatrick—and like I said, Fitzpatrick isn't Manning.

This has the makings of a one-possession game written all over it.


San Diego Chargers (+3.5) vs. New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees is going to break Johnny Unitas' consecutive-games-with-a-touchdown-pass record, and the Saints will be fired up with suspended head coach Sean Payton in attendance.

But the Saints defense has been atrocious all season long, whether it be against the run or the pass, while the Chargers defense has been mediocre against the pass but virtually impossible to run on, surrendering only 317 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while forcing four fumbles.

Amazing as it sounds, the New Orleans Saints are headed to an 0-5 start to the 2012 season.