NFL Week 5: Picking All the Games Straight Up and ATS
Last week, I followed up an 11-5 Week 3 performance by going 12-4. In case you haven't noticed—and judging by the reader count, you haven't—that's 23-9 over the past two frames.
Unfortunately, football fans, the bye weeks start today. Meaning fewer games to pick. Meaning, if Bleacher Report was paying—and they're not (yet, anyhow)—that they'd probably cut my wage based on a lack of games.
Watching at home this week are the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens.
Oh yeah, I went 8-8 ATS. Be careful, people—the juice will get you.
*All spreads provided by USAToday.com
**Yearly Totals: S/U 31-17, ATS 8-8
Tennessee at Pittsburgh (-3.5)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
I'm not sure if the odds makers have watched the Titans play all year, but I'm guessing not. No way they should be walking into the 'Burgh getting 3.5 points. It doesn't make sense. It's unfathomable.
Little update—Big Ben is hurt. The Steelers running game is non-existent and Rashard Mendenhall is hurt. The defense looks like they're a century old. All of these factors spell what is going to be a bad day in the Steel City.
S/U, ATS: Titans win, 27-17.
Seattle at NY Giants (-10)
Al Bello/Getty Images
The Giants have shocked everyone on their way to a 3-1 start. Not long ago, they lost they're entire secondary to injury and had numerous other pieces wind up on IR. Yet, here they are.
Seattle covered last week. Good for them.
S/U, ATS: Does Seattle do the unthinkable two weeks in a row? Perhaps. Giants win 24-16, as the Seahawks take the points.
Cincinnati (-1) at Jacksonville
John Grieshop/Getty Images
Cincinnati really looks sharp and have a lot to be positive about heading into the second quarter of the season. Andy Dalton is a player and teams must take him seriously.
Jacksonville is rebuilding. They're not playing for Andrew Luck... unless Blaine Gabbert starts looking worse every week.
S/U, ATS: The Bengals win and cover, 21-13.
New Orleans (-6.5) at Carolina
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The Saints are getting their wide receivers healthy and Drew Brees has been spectacular.
Carolina and Cam Newton have been a nice surprise. They're paying two very good running backs and under utilizing them. The way to win this game will be ball control, not an aerial explosion.
S/U, ATS: Carolina has played everyone tough. They're trying to be a passing team with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Perhaps they are having an identity crisis. Saints win this one, however, take the Panthers and the points. New Orleans 31, Carolina 27.
Oakland at Houston (-5)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Oakland has been gashing teams on the ground and Darren McFadden is looking like the Arkansas version of Darren McFadden. That's damn scary.
Houston's win over Pittsburgh was more dominating than the final score indicated. They can throw the ball, of course, but Andre Johnson is down for two weeks. On the flip side, they have two extremely capable runners in Arian Foster and Ben Tate. This game will come down to whichever run defense steps up first.
S/U, ATS: The Texans just have too many weapons and the Raiders, as good as they have been, will not be able to stop Matt Schaub and company. Houston wins and covers 27-20.
Philadelphia (-3) at Buffalo
John Grieshop/Getty Images
Is this a sucker bet? IS THIS A SUCKER BET?!
The Eagles have been terrible. The offense can't get going, the defense can't stop anyone. Mike Vick is banged up-no shock there.
The Bills have one of the league's best offenses and are at home. The defense is far from great, but should be good enough on this day.
S/U, ATS: If I had to pick one underdog to win outright, this is that game. Bills win because they are just better on the field than the Eagles at this point. Buffalo 34, Philly 24.
Kansas City at Indianapolis (-1.5)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Someone has to win this one, right?
Kansas City has looked like the worst team in the league offensively. They managed a hard-fought victory last week against the Vikings, but two in a row is asking way too much.
Indy has yet to add anything but a goose egg to the win column this season. Curtis Painter is slated to start and hasn't looked terrible. He should be better this week.
S/U, ATS: The Colts are a team learning how to win all over again. Today is their day. Indy, at home, wins and covers 23-20.
Arizona at Minnesota (-3)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Kevin Kolb is looking for one guy every time he drops back-Larry Fitzgerald. When he's not open, bad things happen. Let's not forget, this is not the same team Kurt Warner had a couple years back. Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston are gone and both were 80-catch a year guys. That's a lot of missing production. Things will come for Kolb in time.
The Vikings had higher hopes to start this season. Now, they are just hoping to win a game against and lowly foe. Donovan McNabb has looked better as the season has gone on and they still have a guy named Adrian Peterson carrying the ball.
S/U, ATS: If the Cardinals cannot run the ball, Kevin Kolb will be eaten alive by the Vikings defense. Beanie Wells is quietly having a decent season, but this will be a very tough test up front. Vikings win a close game at home, 23-21.
Tampa Bay at San Fransisco (-2.5)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
The Bucs are 3-1, but have won those games by a total of 14 points. They are as good as their record but are a better team than some stats would indicate.
The 49ers are also 3-1 and could probably have been 4-0 if not for an overtime loss to Dallas. Outside of beating down a terrible Seattle team, they've barely gotten by the Bengals and Eagles.
S/U, ATS: This is a game that will separate the contender from the pretender, albeit, San Fransisco may not have to win another game all year to make the playoffs. Ultimately, the Bucs trek out West and bring back the win, 21-17.
NY Jets at New England (-7.5)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Jets are playing very uninspired football. They're suppose to be a running team and are gaining a touch over three yards per carry as a team. In comes Nick Mangold back to the middle of the offensive line.
The Pats defense is not good. Tom Brady is going to cover up their defensive inefficiencies.
S/U, ATS: I'm not a fan of the Jets and feel they are quite over rated. Patriots win and cover the touch down plus spread, 31-17.
San Diego (-3.5) at Denver
Scott Boehm/Getty Images
The Chargers have been very unimpressive thus far. Of the three teams they've beaten, the combined record is 1-11. Their one loss was a severe beating at the hands of the Patriots.
The Broncos are not as bad as their record indicates. They beat a good Bengals team and lost by a field goal to both the Titans and Raiders.
S/U, ATS: Phillip Rivers has thrown more interceptions than he has touch downs. I think the Broncos catch the Chargers napping, 24-17.
Green Bay (-5.5) at Atlanta
Matt Ludtke/Getty Images
The Packers look like a team that will not lose. Disgusting how good this offense is.
Atlanta is obviously not one player away, no disrespect to Julio Jones who may turn in a fine career. They have got to get Michael Turner more than 75 yards a game, he is way too valuable.
S/U, ATS: Green Bay puts Atlanta in a vice and squeezes. Pack rolls, 42-24.
Chicago at Detroit (-5.5)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
The Bears have one of the top offensive players in the game in Matt Forte and they barely use him. His performance last week-205 rushing yards and a score-was, hopefully, the wake up call Mike Martz needed to get him more touches.
Detroit is fierce and are only going to get better today as rookie first round pick, Nick Fairly, makes his debut on the defensive line. Oh yeah, and they have this guy named Calvin Johnson.
S/U, ATS: At home, the Lions roar in victory 34-17.