Two straight weeks with a 5-3 ATS record isn’t bad at all. But you know what’s better than that? Going back up to .500. I’m looking to do just that heading into Week 6, even though there are a ton of tricky games involving home underdogs, not to mention the spate of division games that are also on the calendar. This should be an interesting betting week, that much I can tell you. Now, on to my picks.
Cowboys at Seahawks
Is Dallas really as good as advertised? We’re going to find a lot about this team when it goes to Seattle to face the defending champion Seahawks. The game opened at -8 for a lot of sportsbooks but early money on the Seahawks pushed that number up to -9 before settling in at -8.5. I’m not confident about Dallas’ chance to win the game outright, but if DeMarco Murray can get unglued and pierce that Seattle defense, this could end up becoming a closer game than the spread indicates.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 21
Giants at Eagles
This is a big game for both teams as they jostle for position in the NFC East. The Eagles sit tied for first with the Cowboys at 4-1 while the Giants aren’t too far behind at 3-2. The game opened with the Eagles as -2.5 favorites but that number has moved up to -3 where it probably should’ve been in the first place. Despite their 4-1 record, there’s something combustible about this Eagles team that makes me nervous to back them. LeSean McCoy hasn’t had a good year and Nick Foles has been having a lot of trouble against pressure this year. Those two things could become problems against a Giants defense that looks to be better than most people think. I know Philly’s playing at home but it’s not like New York’s out of its element, too. Like I said earlier in the week, I think the Giants take this one in a close contest.
Prediction: Giants 30, Eagles 28
Patriots at Bills
I’m actually surprised that the line for this game hasn’t moved from the -3 points New England is laying as road favorites. Some sharps even have the Bills as live dogs on this one, even though I can’t for the life of me pick the Bills knowing how many on and off-the-field issues they’ve been dealing with this season. if you would’ve asked me, I would’ve told you that this line would’ve moved to -4 by now. With the game still at -3 for New England, I’m taking that one to the bank.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Bills 16
Steelers at Browns
Now this one is interesting. The Browns opened as -2.5 favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers and while the line has moved on both sides throughout the week, it’s back to where it started at -2.5. For the record, I like what the Cleveland Browns have done this season. They’re a better team than people give them credit for and Brian Hoyer is a much better QB than he’s perceived to be. He’s no Manning, Brees, or Rodgers, but he’s proven his worth in this league. I just don’t see him winning this game at home against a Steelers team that traditionally plays the Browns well in Cleveland. If this game goes up to -3, I’m happy taking Big Ben Roethlesberger with the field goal.
Prediction: Steelers 20, Browns 17
Broncos at Jets
As expected, the public’s betting heavy on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos when they visit MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Jets. The game actually opened at -7 for Denver but that number has quickly shot up to -9.5. Don’t be surprised if it even goes to double digits by this weekend. Here’s where my conundrum lies. I would’ve been perfectly happy getting Denver at -7 earlier this week but now that the spread’s at -9.5, I’m a little more apprehensive. Supposing that number goes up to double digits – hopefully around -10.5 for Denver – I’m going to switch sides and ride with the Jets. I’ll probably sweat this game out from the start to finish but the Broncos as double-digit favorites on the road against a solid defense doesn’t excite me the least bit.
Prediction: Broncos 30, Jets 20
Chargers at Raiders
The San Diego Chargers have a lot of people’s attention. That includes sportsbooks who listed them as -7 road favorites against the Oakland Raiders. I made a point to say earlier in the week that the spread is inflated to get some money on Oakland. Most books still have it at -7 but I’ve seen some books have it as high as -8.5 for the visiting team. I think this game settles at -7.5 before kickoff and if those are the odds, I’m riding with the hot team to come to Oakland and cover the game easily. I think books picked a bad time to finale San Diego’s value because they’re playing one of the worst teams in the league.
Prediction: Chargers 31, Raiders 20
Packers at Dolphins
Week 6 has a lot of home dogs and here’s another one. The Green Bay Packers opened as -3.5 favorites when they visit the Miami Dolphins. The line opened at -3 but money on the Packers has moved that number half-a-point. Green Bay looks to have hit its stride with Aaron Rodgers throwing seven touchdowns and no picks in the past two games and Eddie Lacy finally finding his footing in that running game. Here’s the thing, though. I’m picking Miami here as a live home dog, especially if that 3.5 number doesn’t go down. Don’t sleep on this Dolphins because if they can get up on you, they have the players capable of holding off a team in comeback mode, even if that team has Aaron Rodgers on its side.
Prediction: Dolphins 23, Packers 20
Lions at Vikings
Guess what: this is another game featuring a home underdog playing a ‘favorite’ with short odds. The line actually opened with Detroit laying 3 points but with Calvin Johnson expected to miss this game, that number has fallen to -1.5. But I’m bullish on the Vikings in this game, especially if Teddy Bridgewater starts at quarterback. If its Christian Ponder, then, well, you know, good luck. But if the rookie QB is under center, I’m pounding on Minnesota to score the upset.
Prediction: Vikings 34, Lions 30
Week 5: 5-3