SportsGrid’s Week 5 NFL Pick$: We Suck, So We’re Shaking Things Up!
I'm down approximately 10 million shekels this year. What I'm doing clearly isn't working. But I've sold my prized possession, my game-worn Bill Belichick butt-plug, I have enough money for a redefined approach, and I will go back to what I used to do, back in the day. No more reaching. I will be very selective, because I clearly have overextended myself, and I'm not Stretch Armstrong.
Here are my Week 5 NFL picks and bets. They will be better this time. Maybe. There will be fewer of them. Definitely. Probably.
Realize: betting NFL is really hard. These picks are meant to hopefully help you out a bit, but mainly to entertain you. They AREN'T meant to be followed blindly. Listen, and hopefully be entertained by my childish jokes. Or at least say something mean about me so I can get a good cry in.
I will make a pick for every game. But if I don't specifically recommend a bet, I'm just throwing darts. Don't listen to my advice. The pick is there so I can have a record for picking every game, one that will undoubtedly suck. And then you can make fun of me. I'm a man of the people. As always, I hope you argue with me on Twitter.
For the actual bets, I will keep track of my record and profits/losses. Unlike my NHL/NBA "how not to lose your money gamblin' " series, a normal bet will be to win $100, for tracking purposes, because I'm a hypothetical high-roller, and you are too. There will be occasional double, triple, quadruple, and probably even quintuple bets.
Home teams are starred.
Cleveland Browns (-4) over Buffalo Bills
The funny thing about this game is that the NFL thought it was picking two of the three worst and most-boring teams to play on a night where there's nothing else to watch. But, then, the Trent Richardson trade and a few decent EJ Manuel came, and BOOM, we're now watching two of the SIX-OR-SO worst and most boring teams in the league!
America wins! It's a marquee matchup between two teams that might have an outside shot at seven wins! Clear your schedules! Make some chicken parmigiana! Suck on Jordan Cameron's man meat, NFL.
But seriously, this game is worth watching, but only if you have literally nothing else to do. Like, even buying new shoelaces counts. Your right shoelace is a little frayed. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WATCH; YOU HAVE IMPORTANT SHIT TO TAKE CARE OF.
Bet: I like the Browns, a bit. But, I told you, I'm restraining myself from now on. Actually, fuck it. I'll think outside-the-box for this one. I'll start restraining myself tomorrow.
PARLAY: Browns ML AND Washington Capitals ML (yes, hockey) (+122), $100 to win $122
Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5) over New York Giants*
I swear this spread was Giants -3.5 when I spotted this. It is no longer, presumably because everyone knows the Giants have looked like the (second!) worst team in the NFL so far.
(Just so you know I'm not a LIAR:)
There's nothing that says the Giants are better than the Eagles. Absolutely nothing. I know everyone's joking about Chip Kelly, that his offense is "figured out," and lots of other duck-dick like that. But here's the case for the Eagles:
- They're still first in the NFL in yards per play, at 6.8. (Well, they're tied for first with the Broncos.)
- They blew out the Potato Skins, should have beaten the Chargers, who look solid, would have beaten the Chiefs if not for FIVE turnovers to ZERO (which isn't even sustainable for Michael Vick), and then they lost to a team that looks so good it is favored by 27 (well, now 25) points over a fellow professional football team.
Even while being pummeled by the Broncos, the Eagles showed signs of being good.
- They put up 6.5 yards per play. The Broncos barely edged them at 6.6.
- They gave up a return TD to Trindon Holliday. This is very acceptable. As acceptable as it would be to my grandmother is I married a Jewish girl.
- They gave up a blocked-punt-for-TD. These are rare and fluky.
- They missed a field goal.
- They lost by 32, to the best team in the NFL, at home. Remove the flukes, and they lose, but it's not a massive blowout. They weren't awful.
Philly's offense is very good. I swear.
Do you get that I like the Eagles? I sound like I'm making excuses, but the fact is that they're playing a team that looks abysmal, and they're undervalued. Philly's defense is shaky, but they're playing Eli Manning, who apparently is satisfied with his career success and transferred all of his ability to Peyton before the season as a kind gesture.
Bet: Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 (-110), $220 to win $200
New Orleans Saints (pk) over Chicago Bears*
The Saints are a different team at home and on the road. The only intelligent thing I wrote last week was: "the Saints are 18-5 against the spread in their last 23 home games." I bet on them. Now they're 19-5.
Three weeks ago, they went into Tampa and played everyone's favorite shitshow... and they barely beat the Bucs, winning by 2 and not covering the spread. That's the only road game they've played this year.
This spread is probably pretty fair. The only reason I'm betting on the Saints is the matchup. You probably assume the Bears have a good pass defense. Well, they're 29th in the NFL, allowing EIGHT yards per pass attempt. That's higher than Drew Brees' career average, and Drew Brees is very good and likes to throw balls far, with accuracy. And that number isn't skewed by competition, since the Bears played Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Ben Roethlisberger and Matthew Stafford. A team consisting entirely of bars of Dove soap would hold Christian ponder under 7 yards per attempt.
Brees *should* torch them. If he doesn't, the Saints will be marching in my doghouse (do you get it, it's like the song, the one where the Saints march in).
Bet: Saints pk (-105), $105 to win $100
Carolina Panthers (-1.5) over Arizona Cardinals*
This seems like an obvious bet, but then you remember that the Cardinals beat the Lions at home, then you remember that Cam Newton was bad in two of three games and then just pretty good in a 38-0 shellacking of the Giants, and then you get stressed out. You feel like you're trapped, and you want an easy way out. You go into your closet, take out a box of pills, and pop two in your mouth.
The next day, you feel great. You hadn't gone outside in quite some time, and you were Vitamin D deficient! You feel great now, and you realize that the Panthers have the better defense in this matchup, the better passing game, the better running game, and the only thing you're worried about is Patrick Peterson shutting down Steve Smith, forcing Newton to throw the ball to Ted Ginn and Greg Olsen 32 times. You then realize this will result in three completions and 29 interceptions, so you reconsider.
Then you realize you shouldn't be betting on this game.
Dallas Cowboys* (+7.5) over Denver Broncos
I don't care how good the Broncos are, or how good Peyton Manning is — it's impossible to be this hyped up and NOT be overrated. The Broncos are excellent and probably the best team in the NFL. But the best team in the NFL is not 10.5 points better than a likely playoff team.
No good NFL team should be getting over a touchdown, at home, against another NFL team. This is BLASPHEMY.
Again, this doesn't mean it's a sure thing, but it does mean this line is ridiculously inflated and worth betting on.
Bet: Cowboys +7.5 (-110), $190 to win $172.73 AND ML +265, $30 to win $79.50
New York Jets (+10) over Atlanta Falcons*
I know, I'm crazy, I'm biased, I'm dumb, but people haven't yet realized that the Jets are a bonafide top-5 defense, and that the Falcons are no longer a top-5 offense. It's classic underrated vs. overrated, but as we all know, nothing crazy here, because Geno Smith will probably continue to excrete pig skin.
Bet: Jets +10 (-110), $110 to win $100 AND ML +375, $20 to win $75
Green Bay Packers* (-7) over Detroit Lions
Did you know: the Packers are allowing 8.7 yards per passing attempts? That's worse than the Potato Skins!
Miami Dolphins (-3)* over Baltimore Ravens
Just FORGET that the Ravens won the Super Bowl. Remove that memory from your brain and replace it with one of Tebow winning a Super Bowl, because that memory cannot possibly hamper your analysis, because Tebow is not an NFL player.
This team is worse than last year's team, which was a pretty good team that got scorching hot in the playoffs. They'll likely improve as the season progresses, but this offense has been putrid so far. Putrid. Everybody is brainwashed by last year's results. Until further notice, this is a genuinely subpar team.
So, the Dolphins are a lock, right? Well, no. The Dolphins are that overrated team that's only overrated because ESPN can't find any more "sleeper" teams, so they have to hype a game like Dolphins-Saints as if it should be close, since both teams are undefeated. At the gym last week I heard about 90 Pandora ads for "BATTLE OF THE UNDEFEATEDS. Tannehill. Brees. Saints. Falcons. WATCH! And stop picking your butt in the mirror." I stopped picking my butt, I watched, and the game sucked. It was one of the only bets I won.
The point is: The Dolphins are certainly the better team, but the Ravens defense is improving, but the Dolphins' defense is a bit shaky, especially withCameron Wake questionable. So:
Cincinnati Bengals* (pk) over New England Patriots
Why doesn't Andy Dalton do this?
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) over Indianapolis Colts*
I am still trying to figure out if the Colts defense isn't awful.
Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) over Tennessee Titans*
I'm really not sold on the Chiefs. They beat the Jaguars, which is like taking a Reese's from a levelheaded person with a severe peanut allergy. They barely edged the Cowboys at home, they were fortunate to be handed the ball FIVE times by the Eagles, and then they beat the Giants, which is like taking soup from a homeless kitchen if you are homeless.
They are a decent team with a good defense, but this offense is like watching paint that is already dry just sit there and do absolutely nothing. They're averaging 5.1 yards per play, which is... 24th in the NFL.
But, with Jake Injured Locker hurt, Ryan Fitzpatrick will step in. Never bet on Ryan Fitzpatrick unless you're betting on a SPELLING BEE LOL (cuz he went to Harvard LOL NERD).
Jacksonville Jaguars (+11.5) over St. Louis Rams*
Three rules of living a happy life:
1) Never bet on the Rams as double-digit favorites, unless you have a time machine and Az-Zahir Hakim is in the slot.
2) Never bet on the Jaguars, unless you invented a time machine and thus are rich enough to waste your money on things that would make you look like a genius if right.
3) Alert airport security when flying if you have the brass balls necessary to bet on the Jaguars.
San Diego Chargers (-4) over Oakland Raiders*
The Chargers defense is awful (allowing 6.7 yards per play!). Not worth the stress.
San Francisco 49ers (-6.5)* over Houston Texans
Two of the best teams last year now officially look like shit. It's like how shit looks like food before you eat it.
Betting Record 20-24 (.455) (-$1,968.34)
Dart-throwing record: 29-33 (.468)
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