Banking on the NFL: Week FIve

David CohenSenior Analyst IOctober 3, 2008

Week 4: 1-1, +.05 units

(Titans -2.5 @ Vikings, 49ers +6 @ Saints)


Overall: 4-1, +2.25 units

Well, I finally lost a game. J.T. O’Sullivan turned it over in scoring territory a couple times too many and that cost me. On the bright side, I did have a “winning” week.


This week doesn’t have a lot to offer, so I’m making a super play.


Chargers (-6) @ Dolphins

The Dolphins immediately gain a little too much respect from Vegas after they beat the Patriots with the Darren McFadden formation.

The Chargers are still getting off to slow starts, but are finally getting healthy on offense. LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates are coming around and that spells big trouble for Miami. They can’t cover both Gates and Chris Chambers. With the offensive LT and Darren Sproles in the backfield the Dolphins are going to have their hands full. Philip Rivers is no Matt Cassel.

Meanwhile, I can’t see how the Dolphins are going to score any points. The Chargers can play bump and run coverage the entire game and not have much to worry about.

This means they can blitz all day long and cause trouble for Miami. The Dolphins will have some success with the run but when they get behind and have to throw, they’ll be in big trouble.

The only danger in this one would have been the Chargers overlooking the Dolphins, but after the Patriots game, that’s not going to happen.

The Play: Chargers (-6) for 2 units, to get back 3.85 units


PROP BONUS PLAY: Bengals total points OVER 13.5

The Bengals have only scored more than two touchdowns once. That was in Carson Palmer’s last game against the Giants at the Meadowlands. He was gone last week, and the other two games were at Baltimore and against Tennessee. Those are the two best defenses in the league.

Dallas has given up the required amount in the last three weeks. Only the lowly Browns couldn’t do this against the Cowboys.

With Chad Ocho Cinco, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and the impending return of Chris Henry, someone should be open when Palmer isn’t getting sacked. Even if they just have a touchdown going into the fourth, they will be throwing because they will be down big and get a garbage touchdown to get the points.

And if all else fails, Tony Romo will make the key mistake to put the Bengals in position to get the touchdown. He always makes one egregious error per game.


The Play: Bengals OVER 13.5 for .8 units to get back 1.55 units


Other lines and why I’m not playing them

Colts (-3) @ Texans 

The Colts are due for a comeback but they seem to struggle against Houston for some reason, and the Texans looked like a football team last week.


Titans (-3) @ Ravens 

Neither team will be moving the ball much in this one. The Titans should win but might meet their maker here.


Chiefs @ Panthers (-10) 

You never know which Panthers team will show up.


Redskins @ Eagles (-6) 

The game of the week, but with the health of Westbrook up in the air, it’s tough to take the Eagles. The Redskins are still ailing on the defensive line, and it’s uncertain how they will handle the Eagles blitzing packages. The Giants gave them fits with their pressure defense.

Barring a major injury the rest of the way, the Redskins will win the NFC East if they win this game. And for those who listen to 1420 sports in St. Augustine, you’ll realize “that kid” who picked them to win the division wasn’t so crazy after all.


Bears (-3.5) @ Lions

I don’t like taking road favorites unless I’m 100 percent sure they will cover. That’s the only reason to avoid the Bears.


Seahawks @ Giants (-7.5) 

The Giants are without Plaxico and their offense drops significantly without him. The Seahawks are going to struggle offensively. A toss-up.


Bucs @ Broncos (-3)

The Bucs should pull off an upset here. The only major concern is that whenever you get Ronde Barber in single coverage this year, you burn him badly. Eddie Royal might go off again.


Patriots (-3) @ 49ers 

The Patriots didn’t show up against the Dolphins. Their players went into the game thinking that they just had to show up. We’ll find out this week just how good they are going to be as the season moves on.


Bills @ Cardinals (-1) 

You would think the Bills have an easy one, but the Cardinals are much better then they showed last week and could bounce back with a win.


Bengals @ Cowboys (-16.5) 

The Cowboys should destroy Cincinnati. Then again, T.O. should keep his mouth shut.


Steelers @ Jaguars (-4)

The Jags could easily be 0-4 right now. The Steelers might not be able to field enough players. In a normal week, the Steelers are better. But after their slugfest Monday Night, they may fall in Jacksonville.


Vikings @ Saints (-3.5) 

The Saints should be able to throw all night against the Vikings secondary. The problem is that All Day Adrian Peterson should be able to run all night against the Saints. The Vikings know they are in a must-win spot. This will be another interesting Monday Night game.


That does it for this week. The Chargers better cover.


*Because of the uncertainty of Aaron Rodgers, the Falcons @ Packers game line is currently off the board. I would say the Falcons cover if Rodgers is out and the Packers cover if Rodgers makes it through the game.