NFL Week 5 Picks: Underdogs Set to Cover the Spread
After four weeks of huge upsets and complete handicapping insanity, one would expect some logic and normalcy to return to the NFL during Week 5.
Not a chance.
A number of underdogs are once again ready to pull out upsets this week, with even more poised to cover the spread.
Take the points for the following games.
Chargers +3.5 at Saints
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The New Orleans Saints are overdue for a victory and are much better than their record.
Sound familiar? That's what handicappers have said the last two weeks, with both weeks ending in a loss.
It's obvious that, at this point, the Saints are just not a great football team. They look lost without Sean Payton on the sideline and their defense looks genuinely horrendous.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Chargers are 3-1 and have pulled off two divisional road wins. Philip Rivers looks good, the offense is in sync and the team looks poised to make a deep run in the postseason.
The spotlight will be on Drew Brees breaking Johnny Unitas' touchdown record. The money, however, should be on the Chargers, especially with the extra 3.5 points.
Colts +7 vs. Packers
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With a seven-point spread, home field advantage and two weeks of rest, all signs point to the Indianapolis Colts covering this week.
The Green Bay Packers have put together an all-around underwhelming performance this year. Aaron Rodgers looks good, not elite, and the Pack looks nowhere close to the caliber of last year's 15-win squad.
Meanwhile, Dwight Freeney will likely be back on the field and should run all over Green Bay's weak O-line.
It's possible that Andrew Luck breaks through this week, cuts down on the turnovers and keeps the score close. At home, the Colts will cover.
Eagles +3.5 at Steelers
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From a handicapping standpoint, it's easy to hate on the Philadelphia Eagles this year.
The Eagles' three wins have come by a combined four points. They were also absolutely blown out and beat down by the Arizona Cardinals 27-6.
This doesn't mean, however, that the Eagles aren't one of the best teams in the NFC and can't beat the angry and well-rested Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Eagles have pulled out tough wins against the Giants and Ravens, who are both among the league's elite.
The Eagles are also regaining consistency in their running game and look vastly improved defensively in the last couple weeks. Michael Vick is also starting to look real comfortable in the pocket.
Finally, the Eagles, for the first time in a while, have their health. The entire offense looks entirely good to go, and only LB Akeem Jordan is listed as out.
And while James Harrison, Troy Polamalu and Rashard Mendenhall are all returning, who knows how effective and in rhythm they can be coming back after multi-week absences.
Don't let the close wins and the loss at Arizona scare you. The Eagles have a knack for close games, and that 3.5-point spread could make all the difference if it comes down to a field goal.
Bills +10 at 49ers
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The San Francisco 49ers are clearly one of the best teams in the NFL and should be considered among the favorites to take home the Super Bowl. They should pull out a win at home against the Buffalo Bills.
However, let's put the 49ers season into perspective. They won their first two games by single digits and then lost in Minnesota.
Sure, last week's win was impressive, but the Bills are 2-2 and have a generally underrated and solid overall team on the field.
The 49ers will win the game, but by two scores against a well-balanced team? Take the points.