One expression my mother is fond of saying goes like this: “Sometimes you’re the dog, sometimes you’re the hydrant.” On Monday Night Football, those of us who had a side in the Chiefs-Redskins fans could totally relate to that metaphor.
Kansas City was anywhere between a 6.5 and 7.5 point favorite and had kicked the game-winning field goal with four seconds left. Down by 3 with one play left, the Redskins tried to pull out a miracle…and then this happened…
"This might be meaningful for some" pic.twitter.com/BmhyMWSqVO
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) October 3, 2017
Fortunately I was one of those on the Kansas City side…thank you again, Chiefs defense! It was no doubt the most unlikely against the spread win in recent memory for me! Talk about an unfortunate bad beat for those who had Washington…I’d have been sick.
The Chiefs remain the only undefeated team in the NFL at 4-0 and their shocking backdoor (i.e. late game) cover improved my against the spread winning percentage to a very solid 58%.
Let’s see if I can continue the good fortune this week…
Week 5 NFL Picks
Last Week: 9-7 Straight Up (SU), 10-6 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 39-24 SU, 36-26-1 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)
New England 41, TAMPA BAY 28 (ATS: Patriots -5.5)
Can you tell me the last time the Patriots lost two games in a row? I certainly can’t think of it. I don’t see the Bucs defense slowing down a motivated Brady and extremely efficient New England offense. But then again, how will New England’s defense shut down Jameis Winston and company? A track meet should ensue…which is good for fantasy players like myself.
PHILADELPHIA 24, Arizona 13 (ATS: Eagles -6.5)
The Eagles have been one of the most impressive teams in the NFC. The Cardinals have been one of the least. So why should anything change this weekend?
MIAMI 24, Tennessee 20 (ATS: Dolphins +2.5)
A complete toss-up as of now with Titans QB Marcus Mariota’s status in question. Miami HAS to be better in their first home game of the season. Predicting a big day from RB Jay Ajayi.
INDIANAPOLIS 27, San Francisco 23 (ATS: Colts -1.5)
These two teams aren’t very good…but bad defenses = a fun game to watch. The first of a few true stinker matchups this weekend.
Carolina 23, DETROIT 20 (ATS: Panthers +3.5)
Detroit’s defense has been a revelation thus far…but Carolina has also surprised me including winning at New England last week. Going with Cam Newton to post back-to-back surprising road upsets.
CINCINNATI 20, Buffalo 19 (ATS: Bills +3.5)
The Bills are 3-1!? The Bengals actually look competent with a new offensive coordinator!? Something has to give, right? Randy Bullock wins it with a 44 yard field goal as time expires for Cincinnati.
NY GIANTS 30, Los Angeles Chargers 23 (ATS: Giants -3.5)
One of these teams will slip to 0-5…stunning. The Giants have looked significantly better in Weeks 3 and 4 than they did in their first two games…so I’ll give them the nod to get on the board in Week 5.
PITTSBURGH 23, Jacksonville 16 (ATS: Jaguars +8.5)
BAD loss for the Jaguars to the less-talented Jets last week…but note that Jacksonville has produced best in the odd weeks (1 & 3) this season. Expect an inspired defensive effort but Pittsburgh’s D will seal it late with a late interception of the turnover-prone Blake Bortles.
CLEVELAND 20, NY Jets 16 (ATS: Browns -1.5)
How the heck did the Jets win two games? Which Browns team will show up this week? Anyone who actually puts money on this game should automatically be considered a degenerate (and no, I won’t be).
Seattle 23, LOS ANGELES RAMS 20 (ATS: Seahawks +2.5)
The Rams aren’t really this good, are they? I’m going to say no…and therefore Seattle pulls a minor upset on the road. A trend to keep an eye on though…despite having inferior teams each time, the Rams are 3-0 at home since 2014 vs. Seattle.
OAKLAND 19, Baltimore 17 (ATS: Ravens +3.5)
I have absolutely no idea how this game will go and nor do you! The Ravens have rivaled the Dolphins for most pathetic team the last two weeks…while who knows what Bills castoff E.J. Manuel will do for the Raiders as a substitute for injured QB Derek Carr. Going with Oakland on a last-second field goal.
DALLAS 31, GREEN BAY 27 (ATS: Cowboys -2.5)
As a Packers fan I hate to make this pick. But I view this as a revenge game for the Cowboys who lost in the NFC Divisional Playoffs last season to Green Bay. Start all of your fantasy players in this one.
Kansas City 27, HOUSTON 24 (ATS: Chiefs -1.5)
The Chiefs are undefeated and based on the eye test, they look to be the best team in the NFL as of now. Rookie RB Kareem Hunt is easily the favorite for rookie of the year though Texans QB Deshaun Watson might give him a run for his money at some point. Should be an exciting matchup on Sunday night.
Minnesota 23, CHICAGO 16 (ATS: Vikings -2.5)
The Mitchell Trubisky era starts in Chicago on Monday night. Despite losing star rookie RB Dalvin Cook to a torn-ACL last Sunday, I expect a big night from Minnesota’s defense in a game where the score might be closer than the game itself.
I have to give credit to last week’s guest picker, Arnie Spanier, on a season high for any picker, 8-2 week against the spread. While the straight up picks race is wide open, the guest pickers maintain a comfortable lead in the ATS race.
Week 6 College Football Predictions
|Eric Cohen||Jon Bell||Steve Malina||Guest Picks (Jason McIntyre)|
|Overall (Straight Up):||36-14||34-16||37-13||35-15|
|Overall (Against the Spread):||21-28||17-32||25-24||28-21|
|Last Week (SU):||8-2||8-2||8-2||8-2|
|Last Week (ATS):||3-7||6-4||6-4||8-2|
|Arizona at Colorado (-6.5)||COL 34-17||COL 24-20||COL 30-24||COL 34-24|
|Louisville (-3.5) at NC State||NCST 30-24||LOU 21-20||LOU 38-31||LOU 36-23|
|Miami (-2.5) at Florida State||FSU 27-23||MIA 24-17||FSU 28-24||MIA 24-23|
|West Virginia at TCU (-13.5)||TCU 44-24||TCU 31-16||TCU 42-31||TCU 27-26|
|Alabama (-26.5) at Texas A&M||ALA 28-20||ALA 48-14||ALA 31-14||ALA 40-20|
|Washington State at Oregon (-2.5)||ORE 34-30||WSU 41-30||WSU 37-35||WSU 37-29|
|Wisconsin (-11.5) at Nebraska||WISC 26-13||WISC 23-22||WISC 28-13||WISC 31-17|
|Michigan State at Michigan (-10.5)||MICH 27-10||MICH 38-9||MICH 27-17||MICH 38-13|
|Stanford (-6.5) at Utah||STAN 26-20||STAN 23-10||STAN 31-28||UTAH 31-30|
|Cal at Washington (-26.5)||WASH 44-21||WASH 31-10||WASH 41-17||WASH 50-17|
This Week’s Bold Prediction:
EC: Two predictions from the top-heavy SEC: Texas A&M puts a real scare into top-ranked Alabama but the Crimson Tide hold in the final minutes to preserve a one possession victory. In Gainesville, the LSU-Florida game is an ugly, field goal kicking competition until the Gators score late to win 16-12.
JB: Hard to say who has the more miserable fan base between Tennessee and LSU, but I have to give a slight edge to the Tigers. Saturday’s debacle in Knoxville looked more like the inevitable conclusion that a coaching change is imminent the way this season has been for the Vols. But LSU losing at home…to Troy…in year one of Ed Orgeron‘s regime had Coach O’s buyout trending on twitter on Saturday night. Guessing the trustees and boosters are quietly looking into both an AD and head coach buyout while quietly scheming to go back to the Michigan State well and pry Mark Dantonio away from East Lansing.
SM: In the battle of service academies, Air Force wins on the road at Navy as a 7.5 point underdog.
JM: Miami becomes a threat to Clemson in the ACC after a win at FSU.
Many prayers to those in Las Vegas. I had friends who attended the festival in years past as well as last Friday night and what happened on Sunday is unimaginable. #VegasStrong
For more thoughts and predictions on these games check out Friday’s Quick Hitters blog.