Week 5 NFL Picks: Favorites on Upset Alert

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2012

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 09:  The NFL shield logo on the goal post during play between the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on November 9, 2008 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season is already upon us, so it’s time to figure out which favorites have been overestimated and will be on upset alert.

As we have seen every week in the NFL so far, there has been parity throughout and no favorite is safe anymore.

This week has some major organizations on upset alert.

While their inclusion on this list doesn’t mean each of these teams will lose, these games will not cover the spreads and at least two of these teams will lose outright.

If you are a gambler or just a hardcore fan, stay away from these favorites in Week 5.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (-3)

In what should be the most intriguing matchup of the entire weekend, the 3-1 Philadelphia Eagles head to Pittsburgh to take on a Steelers team coming off a bye week.

Besides Pittsburgh’s dominance after the bye week, the return of injured stars Rashard Mendenhall, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison has oddsmakers giving the advantage to the Steelers.

Not so fast.

With Philadelphia’s offense rounding into shape and their defense playing lights out, the infusion of all the returning pieces could actually be a detriment to the Steelers. If the returning stars aren’t up to pace, Pittsburgh will lose this game outright.

Final Score: Philadelphia 27, Pittsburgh 24


New Orleans Saints

San Diego at New Orleans (-3.5)

While this matchup would have been a marquee game last year, the fact that the New Orleans Saints are a shell of the team they were last year has many fans wondering why the 0-4 Saints are favored over the 3-1 San Diego Chargers.

As good as Drew Brees and the offensive unit are in New Orleans, Philip Rivers is no slouch and will put up serious points on the league’s worst statistical defense (24th against the pass and 32nd against the run).

Despite being in front of the home crowd, the Saints will not be able to stop the tough-running Chargers and will lose this game. Brees will pass Johnny Unitas for most consecutive games with a TD pass, but that will be the end of the celebration as the team starts 0-5.

Final Score: San Diego 40, New Orleans 37


New England Patriots

Denver at New England (-6.5)

While the uniform may be different, the battle between new Denver Broncos starting quarterback Peyton Manning and New England patriots star Tom Brady will be just as intense as it ever was.

The major difference this time is that Manning has a defense worthy of the talent he brings to the field.

With the Broncos D standing on its head to stop the Patriots’ offensive assault after last year’s postseason mugging, look for Manning to help lead his new team to a win over their bitter AFC rivals.

Denver’s Top 10 offense is ready to go all-in on their Week 5 matchup against New England, but this game will come down to the battle of the veteran QBs, as it always does.

Final Score: New England 30, Denver 27.


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