The NFL Picks Column, Week Five: October Is the Month To Beat Vegas

Sean Crowe@CroweKnowsSenior Writer IOctober 4, 2008

Another week, another mediocre record picking NFL games (6-7 last week, 29-29 overall). I’m like the New England Patriots (pre-Tom Brady injury), I don’t hit my stride until about Week Eight.

The key is to stay afloat until about Week Six. It typically takes Vegas about a month longer than an observant fan does to get good reads on the real quality of most NFL teams.

Which means October is the month where real gamblers can make some serious money.

For example, in the lines below you’ll notice a few things:

1)    Vegas is overrating the Texans based on preseason expectation.

2)    Vegas is underrating the Bills.

3)    Vegas thinks the Cowboys are as good as last year’s Patriots.

Until Vegas figures these (and other things) out, you can make some money. If you’re smart. And if gambling is legal where you are. Not me. Because gambling isn’t legal. I just do this for fun.

Anyway, on to the picks!

(Home teams in CAPS)

Indianapolis (-3) over HOUSTON

It’s time for the Colts to shake off the early season cobwebs and start dominating inferior teams. The Houston Texans are perfect fodder for a superior team looking to get back on track.

Look for Peyton to get his groove early and carry it towards a blowout victory.

BALTIMORE (+2.5) over Tennessee

Yes, I understand that Tennessee’s defense should also be able to dominate Baltimore’s offense. Yes, I understand that Tennessee might be the second or third-best team in football so far this season.

I just have a guy feeling, that’s all...

San Diego (-6.5) over MIAMI

Miami spent two weeks celebrating their victory over the New England Patriots.

Funny thing about Miami: They still suck.

I worry about San Diego a little though. Their defense seems to have a tendency to fold late against good teams, and their offense was dominated for three quarters by the Oakland Raiders.

That said, Miami sucks.

CAROLINA (-9.5) over Kansas City

The picks basically comes down to the fact that I don’t trust Herm Edwards.

He has a formula that should, at the very least, keep games close. I just don’t think he’s going to follow it.

For those of you not aware, that formula’s name is Larry Johnson.

Washington (-6) over PHILADELPHIA

I made it a point to say that I think Philadelphia is going to win this weekend. I stand by that comment. But they’ll win by three or four, not six or seven.

Washington is playing out of their skull right now, but the Eagles need this win. They’re desperate, especially considering how well the rest of their division has been playing.

Desperate teams tend to win in the NFL.

Chicago (-3.5) over DETROIT

Everyone beats Detroit!

True story, I picked up Kyle Orton and inserted him in my fantasy football team’s starting lineup for this week. THAT is how bad Detroit’s defense is.

GREEN BAY (-3.5) over Atlanta

Aaron Rodgers is facing adversity for the first time since Packer fans tentatively embraced him in Week One. Not only did he have his worst week last week, but the guy he replaced went bat-crap and threw for six touchdowns.

I actually think he’s going to continue to struggle this week, especially considering his injured shoulder. But Atlanta’s not the same team on the road...

NEW YORK GIANTS (-7) over Seattle

I’m disinterested in Seattle. The Giants are the best team in the NFL right now.

Given my disinterest, I’m going to bring up something completely different.

Is it too much to ask to have two presidential and two vice presidential candidates that can pronounce the word nuclear correctly? Homer Simpson, who is supposed to be a moron, pronounces the word “nuc-ular.”

Now, Homer Simpson is unquestionably more qualified to be vice president than Sarah Palin, but that’s not the point.

If you talk like a complete moron, and haven’t even taken the time to learn to speak a word as critical as “nuclear” correctly, then you should be disqualified from the vice presidency.

Damn it, we went through eight years of a president who can’t pronounce the word... 

DENVER (-3) over Tampa Bay

Normally, I’d take Tampa Bay in this situation. Great defense typically beats great offense.

That said, I’m not sure Tampa Bay’s defense is great enough to stop Denver’s great offense. Plus, the defense over offense rule really only applies in the playoffs…

Just ask the Colts…

New England (-3) over SAN FRANCISCO

Matt Cassel depresses me. The more I think about him as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, the more depressed I get.

That said, I’d be FAR more depressed if I were a San Francisco 49ers fan...

Buffalo (+1.5) over ARIZONA

How is Arizona favored in this game?

This is insulting. The Bills should be insulted by this.

I’m insulted by this.

Cincinnati (+16) over DALLAS

16 points?

Dallas is going to mop the floor with the Bengals, whether Palmer plays or not. Dallas is better at every position. I’m not sure there are five players on the Bengals who would even make the Cowboys roster.

But 16 points? This isn’t the 2007 New England Patriots we’re talking about here...

Pittsburgh (+5) over JACKSONVILLE

Love this game.

Jacksonville has no business being favored over the Steelers by five, I don’t care what Pittsburgh’s health situation is. Jacksonville hasn’t exactly been playing gang-busters this year themselves.

This will be a defensive matchup. Either team can win this game.

But like the Steelers-Ravens game last week, it will come down to a field goal. A five point spread is ridiculous.

NEW ORLEANS (-3) over Minnesota

Are the Vikings the most disappointing team in the NFL?

I guess Cleveland is a little more disappointing, but I’m not sure anyone had them in the Super Bowl. Some people actually had the Vikings in the Super Bowl.

The Saints, whom I had in the Super Bowl, are edging into disappointing territory as well. They need to dominate the Vikings this week. They need to get back to the team that beat the Bucs in week one.

The Vikings’ season is already over. This Monday, New Orleans will put an exclamation point on it.

Last Week: 6-7

Overall Record: 29-29

Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.


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