NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 5, 2019

NFL Picks (Preseason 2019): 14-6 (+$1,535)
NFL Picks (Week 1, 2019): 5-10-1 (-$515)
NFL Picks (Week 2, 2019): 10-6 (+$140)
NFL Picks (Week 3, 2019): 10-6 (+$1,365)
NFL Picks (Week 4, 2019): 12-3 (+$1,240)

NFL Picks (2019): 51-31-1 (+$3,765)
NFL Picks (2018): 140-134-12 (+$845)
NFL Picks (2017): 137-147-10 (-$4,300)
NFL Picks (2016): 148-127-10 (+$780)
NFL Picks (2015): 133-138-10 (-$3,215)
NFL Picks (2014): 143-133-7 (-$1,885)
NFL Picks (2013): 144-131-8 (+$7,825)
NFL Picks (2012): 130-145-8 (-$7,445)
NFL Picks (2011): 137-133-12 (-$1,335)
NFL Picks (2010): 144-131-8 (+$5,880)
NFL Picks (2009): 151-124-9 (+$4,235)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$6,105)
NFL Picks (2007): 162-135-10 (+$3,585)
If you don't quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Oct. 6, 11:25 a.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Go to Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games

Los Angeles Rams (3-1) at Seattle Seahawks (3-1)
Line: Seahawks by 1.5. Total: 49.

Thursday, Oct. 3, 8:20 PM

The Matchup. Edge: Seahawks.

Week 4 Recap: Week 4 was another great one, as we went 12-3 (+$1,240). This was the first time we had consecutive $1,000-plus results since Weeks 16-17 in 2017. We had two big losses this past week, with the Cardinals and Texans failing to cover. Bill O'Brien proved once again to be a buffoon of a head coach, but I was the moron pertaining to the Arizona pick. There was some stuff I chose to ignore that I should have taken into account (the offensive line, the two missing cornerbacks against Russell Wilson.) Had I moved off the Cardinals, Week 4 would have been a monstrous result.

LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: It truly amazes me how many analysts on ESPN don't watch football games. You can tell who does, and who doesn't. There were several people on their afternoon analysis shows who said the Rams had a strong offensive performance this past Sunday because the team posted 40 points. This is pure ignorance. The Rams struggled on this side of the ball in meaningful action, falling behind 21-0 and failing to do much before the Buccaneers began playing it safe as the afternoon progressed.

The Rams' offensive struggles shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone paying attention to them. They lost two offensive linemen in the offseason, while long-time left tackle Andrew Whitworth is finally beginning to decline. The Rams are struggling to pass protect, and when Jared Goff doesn't have time in the pocket, he becomes frazzled and begins making mistakes, which we saw plenty of against Tampa. The question is if the Seahawks can generate pressure on Goff, and I believe they can. Ziggy Ansah is able to provide some heat on the edge, while Jadeveon Clowney has finally rounded into shape.

I don't see the Rams having much success establishing the run either, as Seattle is better versus ground attacks. Thus, it'll be completely up to Goff to move the chains with his receivers and Todd Gurley out of the backfield. There's some potential versus the poor Seahawk secondary for the talented Los Angeles wideouts to exploit, but Goff won't be very efficient in getting the ball to them.

SEATTLE OFFENSE: The Rams struggling on offense shouldn't have been a shock to anyone who actually watched the game. The defense, conversely, had a very disappointing poor performance against the Buccaneers, surrendering 55 points. Jameis Winston moved the chains with ease against the Rams, who had no answer for Chris Godwin when trying to take away Mike Evans.

The Seahawks have a superior offense compared to the Buccaneers, so it's reasonable to expect them to be successful in establishing scoring drives. The Rams' safeties are the weak part of their stop unit, and Russell Wilson is certainly capable of launching deep passes to Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf.

This seems like a major advantage for the Seahawks, and I'd agree, save for one thing: Seattle's offensive line. The Seahawks don't have the worst blocking group in the NFL, but the team isn't great at keeping the backfield clean. That will be a problem against the prolific Aaron Donald, as well as Dante Fowler and Michael Brockers, both of whom are having strong seasons.

RECAP: I've been calling the Rams the luckiest team in the NFL. They're extremely fortunate to be 3-1 right now, as they barely scraped by against a clearly hobbled Cam Newton and then the Saints, who lost Drew Brees in the opening half. I was hoping to get a great line like Seattle +3 in this game, and perhaps we would have seen that number had the Seahawks lost to the Cardinals. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

We're getting no line value at Seattle -2, which is the correct spread. However, I still like the Seahawks a bit, as they should be able to take advantage of the Rams' horrific blocking. This is also an opportunity for them to claim double revenge after last year's sweep. My Week 5 NFL Picks will be posted all day Tuesday. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing really has convinced me to bet more than a unit on the Seahawks. I'll keep digging, but I don't think that's going to change.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I've been asked if all the snaps the Rams' defense played this past Sunday could adversely affect them in this game, and I think there's some validity to that. I'm not going to increase my unit count, but I wouldn't blame you if you did. This spread is -1.5 across the board with no sharp action to speak of. If you disagree with me and want to wager on the Rams, I'd just take the moneyline at -105.

The Motivation. Edge: Seahawks.
This is double revenge for the Rams' sweep of the Seahawks last year.

The Spread. Edge: None. Calculated Spread: Seahawks -2.
Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Rams -2.5.
Computer Model: Rams -1.
DVOA Spread: Seahawks -1.5.

The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.

Percentage of money on Seattle: 53% (21,000 bets)

The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Rams have won 7 of the last 10 meetings.
  • Opening Line: Rams -2.
  • Opening Total: 49.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 58 degrees. Light wind.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Seahawks 30, Rams 24
    Seahawks -1.5 (1 Unit) -- Incorrect; -$110
    Over 49 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Seahawks 30, Rams 29

    Baltimore Ravens (2-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)
    Line: Ravens by 3.5. Total: 44.5.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    My overrated-underrated feature was posted in this spot the past couple of years. I thought it would be better if there was less clutter on this page, so I set up a new NFL Overrated and Underrated Teams page that will be updated every Monday. I have overrated and underrated teams listed there, and some may shock you!

    BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens have been a fixture of my overrated list this entire season, especially after their Week 1 victory over the worst team in NFL history. Since then, Lamar Jackson has regressed in each game. He beat the putrid Cardinals by just six points, then has been blown out at Kansas City and versus the Browns at home. It's one thing to get trounced by the Chiefs on the road, but the Browns as hosts? Ouch.

    The thing is, Jackson hasn't battled a tough defense yet. The Dolphins, Cardinals and Chiefs all have poor stop units. The Browns don't under normal circumstances, but they were missing three starters in their secondary. Based on his regression, Jackson will be in trouble against the Steelers, who strengthened their defensive backfield in the wake of the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade. Pittsburgh has the personnel to erase Jackson's weapons, all while putting lots of pressure on him with T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt.

    Baltimore, of course, will attempt to establish Mark Ingram. It was not successful in doing so last week versus the Browns' stalwart front, which does not bode well for this matchup because the Steelers are even better versus the rush.

    PITTSBURGH OFFENSE: Speaking of underwhelming quarterbacking, Mason Rudolph checked the ball down on almost every play on Monday night. Sixteen of his passes went to his running backs, and the Steelers didn't even bother with Rudolph on some occasions, opting to run the Wildcat on several plays.

    This sort of gimmicky attack wouldn't come close to working against Baltimore in past seasons, but these are not your very slightly older brother's Ravens. The team lost its top pass rushers in the offseason, as well as C.J. Mosley. The Ravens have trouble stopping the run and covering in space, hence what we saw from Nick Chubb last week. I don't think James Conner and Jaylen Samuels will match Chubb's rushing totals, but they'll be instrumental in moving the chains.

    Meanwhile, the lacking pass rush will give Rudolph a chance versus a depleted secondary. It's nice that rookie Dionate Johnson has established himself as a viable No. 2 receiver, which could eventually free up JuJu Smith-Schuster from the constant double teams he sees.

    RECAP: Anyone who thinks the Ravens should be favored by 3.5 in this matchup hasn't watched them this year beyond the opener in Miami. They barely beat the Cardinals at home and were blown out in two consecutive contests, and now they're being asked to win by four or more in Pittsburgh, against a great Steeler defense? If anyone should be favored by 3.5 points, it's the Steelers!

    My calculated spread for this game is Pittsburgh -1.5. The computer model I use says Baltimore -1 is the correct number. Either way, this gives us great line value with the Steelers, as we're going through the greatest key number in football (3). Also, this spread is plummeting because of sharp action on the Steelers. It was +4 at the open, but it's now down to +3 in some books. Luckily, it's still +3.5 at BetUS and +3.5 -115 at 5Dimes.

    I'm going to lock in the former before this spread falls even further and wager five units on the home dog. I love the Steelers at this price; I can't believe how wrong the spread is.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm glad I locked this in at +3.5 because there are +3s listed at most books, though you can get +3.5 -120 at Bovada. It's definitely worth paying 20 cents on the dollar to make sure you cover +3.

    SATURDAY NOTES: It turns out that locking this in early wasn't necessary because a +3.5 has popped up at BetUS on Friday. It's no longer available. Either way, I still love the Steelers.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: JuJu Smith-Schuster is active, but that didn't really matter to me. This spread, even at +3, is way too off. The Steelers should be favored, so I still love them.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Spread. Edge: Steelers. Calculated Spread: Steelers -1.5.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Ravens -3.5.
    Computer Model: Ravens -1.
    DVOA Spread: Pick.

    The Vegas. Edge: Steelers.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Pittsburgh: 52% (8,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Steelers.
  • History: Home Team has won 24 of the last 36 meetings.
  • John Harbaugh is 12-6 ATS following a loss of 10+.
  • Ravens are 16-25 ATS as road favorites since 2005.
  • Opening Line: Ravens -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 42.5.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 71 degrees. Light wind.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Steelers 26, Ravens 23
    Steelers +3.5 (5 Units) - BetUS -- Correct; +$500
    Steelers +160 (0.5 Units) - Bovada -- Incorrect; -$50
    Over 44.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Ravens 26, Steelers 23

    Chicago Bears (3-1) vs. Oakland Raiders (2-2)
    Line: Bears by 6.5. Total: 40.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM
    At London

    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    VEGAS UPDATE: I'll be posting how the Vegas sportsbooks have done the previous week in this spot. The highest-bet sides were 38-44-3 last season, a year that was pretty painful for the books. Perhaps the pendulum will swing the other way...

    Here were the teams getting the most bets this week:

  • Chiefs -7
  • Patriots -7
  • Seahawks -4
  • Vikings +3
  • Cowboys -3
  • Ravens -6

  • The books went 5-1 in Week 4. It was a monstrous week for the house, while the public got slaughtered. Sportsbooks are now now 13-11-1 on lopsided bets this year.

    Here are the teams getting the most bets this week:

  • Patriots -15
  • Vikings -5.5
  • Bears -4.5
  • Cardinals +3

  • Only one underdog this week, so perhaps the public is being "cautious" after taking such a beating in Week 4.

    CHICAGO OFFENSE: Mitchell Trubisky injured his non-throwing shoulder during the opening drive of the Minnesota game. Chase Daniel stepped in and was actually better than Trubisky. While Daniel doesn't have the ceiling Trubisky maintains, Daniel also has a much higher floor. Trubisky has been a disaster this season, constantly throwing off his back foot and making other mistakes. He just doesn't seem to be developing, so perhaps it's best for the Bears to move forward with Daniel until they find another solution at quarterback.

    Daniel did a very good job against the Vikings, methodically moving the chains against a tough defense. He'll have a much easier matchup in this game. The Raiders have a shaky secondary and a lacking pass rush. Conversely, Daniel is protected well and will be throwing to a couple of dynamic threats like Allen Robinson and Tarik Cohen. Both have solid matchups, as does Anthony Miller in the slot; it doesn't seem as though the Raiders have an answer for that position this year.

    Of course, Daniel may not have to do much. The Raiders lost Vontaze Burfict to a yearlong suspension, so David Montgomery could have his best performance yet as a pro.

    OAKLAND OFFENSE: Think Khalil Mack had this game circled on his calender the very day the schedule was released? It's payback time for one of the best players in the NFL.

    Mack has an easy matchup in this game against second-year left tackle Kolton Miller. I wouldn't say Miller is a bad lineman, but he's not very good either, so a very motivated Mack should have a field day against him. This will force Derek Carr to release quicker passes than normal into a talented secondary, which doesn't seem like a winning formula.

    One way to negate a heavy pass rush is to establish the run, which Jon Gruden will obviously attempt to do with Josh Jacobs. Doing so versus the Bears will prove to be very difficult, as this Chicago defense just put the clamps on Dalvin Cook. Stopping Jacobs won't be an issue.

    RECAP: This isn't always the case, but London games tend to favor the superior team (as far as covering is concerned), as the better squad will be more prepared after traveling overseas and whatnot. The exception has been in Jacksonville games, given that the Jaguars are so used to playing in England.

    The Raiders had a London game last year as well, but they were smoked by the Seahawks. This could have a similar result, given that the Bears are much better than they are.

    I like the Bears to cover, as I think this spread is way off. I made this line Chicago -7.5. The computer says Chicago -9 is the correct number. Yet, this line is only -4.5, as if the oddsmakers believe the public will think this game is in Oakland, or something. I don't know; I can't explain why this spread is so low.

    Unfortunately, there's a ton of public action on the Bears, so I'm not rushing to wager on them. This is going to be one of the more lopsided games as far as bets are concerned, so I feel as though I'm missing something with the line only being -4.5. I'm going to lay off for now.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I saw that West Coast teams are 1-5 against the spread in London if they're playing an East Coast or Central Time Zone team. I hate trends, and I hate small sample sizes, but it would make sense that the West Coast teams would struggle in London.

    SATURDAY NOTES: There was some concern that Kyle Long wouldn't play, but he'll be in the lineup for the Bears. Conversely, the Raiders might be missing two of their talented guards. Gabe Jackson has been ruled out, while Richie Incognito is questionable after missing Friday's practice. Incognito is an old veteran who doesn't need to practice in order to play, so it's difficult to say if he'll be out. If he's ruled out Sunday morning, I'll be interested in betting on Chicago.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow, look at this line movement! Both public and sharp action has moved this line past -6. The thing is, Richie Incognito is active, so I wouldn't even have interest in betting Chicago at -4.5. I even thought about switching my pick to Oakland, but it's 50-50.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Spread. Edge: Bears. Calculated Spread: Bears -7.5.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bears -6.
    Computer Model: Bears -9.
    DVOA Spread: Bears -4.5.

    The Vegas. Edge: Raiders.
    No surprise where the action is going.

    Percentage of money on Chicago: 77% (10,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Bears.
  • Raiders are 18-39 ATS after a win since 2009.
  • Opening Line: Bears -7.
  • Opening Total: 41.
  • Weather: Dome.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Bears 20, Raiders 13
    Bears -6.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 40.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Raiders 24, Bears 21

    Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-4)
    Line: Bengals by 3. Total: 47.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: TBA.

    HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. Here's some hate mail from last week:

    This was the most shocking thing from Week 4. This guy clearly knows lots of football players who have told him that they never look ahead. And yet, some teams looked ahead in Week 4! How did that happen!?

    Here's something sexy:

    I'll try my hardest to penetrate deeper next time, I promise!

    Here's something that did not age well for this poster:

    D'oh! The Patriots didn't even rach 17 points, and seven of their points were scored on a blocked punt.

    When you can't criticize my picks, you can always criticize the site design:

    Who cares about site designs outside of 12-year-old girls? Seriously, content is way more important than site design.

    That said, we had way too many ads on the page in the past that really slowed everything down. I hope you've noticed that we have fixed this issue. It comes with some risk, however, so I hope you guys can spread the word about this Web site, which would help immensely with slightly less ad revenue coming in as a result of our change.

    CINCINNATI OFFENSE: We're using the word "offense" loosely here. The Bengals wouldn't have scored a single point Monday night in Pittsburgh if it weren't for Diontae Johnson's early fumble. They were blanked otherwise in what was a dreadful showing by the entire unit.

    The root cause of the Bengals' ineptitude is the offensive line, which has been missing three starters. Jonah Williams is out for the year, while Clint Boling unceremoniously retired prior to the season. The one blocker who could return this week is Cordy Glenn, who has been in concussion protocol this entire season. Glenn actually practiced a bit last week, so there's hope that he could make his way back to the field, which would provide a huge boost for the Bengals.

    Cincinnati will need Glenn, even in this matchup. The Cardinals have a putrid defense, but the one thing they can do well is generate pressure on the edge with Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs. If Glenn is available to give Andy Dalton a chance to not get sacked eight times this contest, Dalton will be able to connect with his receivers and tight ends against an Arizona defense that hasn't been able to cover anyone this season.

    ARIZONA OFFENSE: Pass protection has been a major issue for Kyler Murray as well. Murray has taken 12 sacks in the past two weeks. The Cardinals are missing a key tackle as well, with right tackle Marcus Gilbert being placed on injured reserve a couple of weeks ago.

    The Bengals don't have a great pass rush, but Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins can apply some pressure on the quarterback. Dunlap especially has a great matchup, so Murray will be running for his life on some occasions once again. Fortunately for Murray, he'll be able to connect with Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk against a poor secondary, provided Kirk can play after a late injury he suffered in garbage time last week.

    The best way Arizona will be able to move the chains is via David Johnson. We just saw James Conner and Jaylen Samuels torch the Bengals through the air, which was hardly a surprise because Cincinnati has the worst linebacking corps in the NFL. Johnson is even better as a receiver out of the backfield, so he could have a monster game.

    RECAP: This pick will need a "TBA units" designation on it. We don't know if Glenn will play. His availability, as I discussed, is huge. His presence could even sway my selection to the other side.

    I'm going to stick with the Cardinals for now. Cincinnati having one fewer day to fix its problems is a major factor in my decision. Glenn being absent again might put that over the top and prompt me to bet on Arizona. We'll see. Check back, or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We're still waiting on the Glenn news. If he plays, I'll pick the Bengals to cover, and I may even bet on them. The Cardinals are a massive public dog, which makes Cincinnati appealing.

    SATURDAY NOTES: If you thought Cincinnati's offensive line looked bad Monday night, you haven't seen anything yet. The Cardinals, already down their starting right tackle, will be missing their backup right tackle and possibly starting guard Justin Pugh because of a shoulder injury. Pugh is questionable after having just one limited practice during the week. Given this, as well as the fact that the Cardinals are such a huge public dog, they are unbettable this week. Meanwhile, Cincinnati once again won't have Cordy Glenn, so I don't want to put any money on them either. I am, however, going to make a pick change as long as this line is -3. At +3.5, I'd go with Arizona.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm not betting this game. These are two horrible teams, and the most likely result is Cincinnati winning by three, which is what the spread is.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Spread. Edge: None. Calculated Spread: Bengals -2.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Bengals -4.
    Computer Model: Bengals -2.
    DVOA Spread: Bengals -3.

    The Vegas. Edge: Bengals.
    Plenty of action on the underdog.

    Percentage of money on Arizona: 67% (5,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Cardinals.
  • Bengals are 8-15 ATS after playing the Steelers.
  • Opening Line: Bengals -4.
  • Opening Total: 48.5.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 75 degrees. Light wind.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Bengals 21, Cardinals 17
    Bengals -3 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 47 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Cardinals 26, Bengals 23

    Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) at Carolina Panthers (2-2)
    Line: Panthers by 3.5. Total: 40.5.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: Panthers.

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    JACKSONVILLE OFFENSE: I didn't cover the Jaguars-Broncos game for our NFL Game Recaps page - Charlie did - but I couldn't wait to watch Gardner Minshew myself, so I fired up Game Pass last night and tuned in to see what all of the hype was about.

    Minshew made a couple of great plays against Denver, including his dancing-in-the-pocket touchdown in the third quarter, but most of his positive plays occurred once Bradley Chubb was knocked out of the game. Minshew had major problems with pressure beforehand, as he took tons of sacks. The Jaguars even had four three-and-outs in the opening half. With Chubb gone, however, Minshew was able to have more time in the pocket to exploit a Denver secondary missing two starting cornerbacks.

    I believe things will be much more difficult for Minshew this time around, unless the Panthers suffer some defensive injuries as well. Carolina has a ferocious pass rush that won't have any trouble overwhelming Jacksonville's putrid blocking group. This means Minshew will take more sacks and perhaps will be forced into more turnovers while throwing into an improved Carolina secondary. The Panthers just locked down DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller despite missing starting cornerback Donte Jackson, so covering D.J. Chark and company shouldn't be an issue. Meanwhile, Carolina also has a terrific run defense, so Leonard Fournette won't repeat what the 200-yard performance he put together in Mile High last week.

    CAROLINA OFFENSE: Kyle Allen is another young starter who is being overhyped, though that hasn't yet reached the level of Minshew Mania. Perhaps that will be the case if the Panthers win their third-consecutive game with the Houston product under center.

    Allen has done a good job of managing the offense for the most part, but his fumbles have been a major issue. He has fumbled six times in his two starts, and you better believe that more careless give-aways are in store against the Jaguars. While the Panthers' offensive line has improved this season, it still has some holes for Jacksonville's dominant front to expose.

    Running the ball won't be all that easy either, but perhaps the Panthers can take advantage of one weak spot of the Jaguar defense, which is the linebacking corps. Telvin Smith's absence has caused this group to suffer a major decline, with replacement Quincy Williams being unable to cover in space. This will be a huge problem against Christian McCaffrey. I thought the Broncos would attack this liability with Phillip Lindsay, but they barely gave him the ball because their coaches are idiots. I highly doubt the Panthers will forget about McCaffrey, especially given that Allen locks in on his talented back as his first read.

    RECAP: This is a tough call, but I believe I'll be on the Panthers, especially if this spread falls to -3. I would need -3 to even entertain betting on Carolina, as the Panthers winning by three is probably the most likely result of this game.

    However, I still think Carolina is the right side at -3.5. I don't trust Jacksonville's offensive line at all, as the Panthers have a major matchup edge because of that. Also, my calculated spread for this game is Carolina -6, so we're getting good line value with the host.

    On the other hand, the computer model thinks Carolina -2 is the right number, which is a bit disconcerting. Also, there's been sharp action bringing this line down. Perhaps this is phantom movement to set up a huge play on the Panthers at -3. Either way, as I said, I'm not going to bet this game unless a clean -3 appears.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: So much for that clean -3! This spread moved up to -3.5, which makes me believe I was correct in thinking there was phantom movement on Jacksonville earlier in the week. The sharps pounced on Carolina -3, and rightfully so.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Jalen Ramsey is out, but that doesn't concern me because Kyle Allen can't really get the ball to his receivers unless he's playing in a very easy matchup. The Panthers are the ones with the injury woes. Donte Jackson's impending absence is getting all the press, but the Panthers' offensive line will down two starters, as left tackle Greg "Mr. Reliable" Little and guard Trai Turner have been ruled out. This is enough to make me switch sides to the Jaguars, though Jacksonville certainly has its own blocking woes.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Once again, people are focusing on Jalen Ramsey's absence, but the bigger factor for me is that the Panthers will be missing two starting offensive linemen versus Jacksonville's great defensive front. I would've thought about betting Jacksonville +3.5 -110 at a unit, but the sharps have bet the Jaguars down to +3 at plus juice. There is, however, a +3.5 -115 available at Bookmaker. I think I'll bet a unit on that after all.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Spread. Edge: None. Calculated Spread: Panthers -6.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Panthers -3.
    Computer Model: Panthers -2.
    DVOA Spread: Panthers -5.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Jacksonville: 56% (5,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Panthers.
  • Jaguars are 41-73 ATS against non-divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Jaguars are 12-35 ATS vs. NFC opponents since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Panthers -4.
  • Opening Total: 42.
  • Weather: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees. Light wind.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Panthers 23, Jaguars 20
    Jaguars +3.5 -115 (1 Unit) - Bookmaker -- Incorrect; -$115
    Over 40.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Panthers 34, Jaguars 27

    Minnesota Vikings (2-2) at New York Giants (2-2)
    Line: Vikings by 5.5. Total: 43.5.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    I wouldn't say my weekly random NFL notes cluttered these picks pages, so I'll keep them here. What I'm also going to do is store all of them in a Random NFL Notes section so that you can go back and read previous entries in the future.

    Some random NFL notes I can't put anywhere else:

    1. E-mailer Joe B. sent me the following message:

    I'm at a National conference for work held this year in Jacksonville. Representatives from almost every state are here for this. They began the conference with someone from the Florida office giving a little history and general "interesting facts" about Jacksonville. This woman actually said this: "The stadium where the Jacksonville Jaguars play has a swimming pool where fans can swim during games." It was all I could do to not stand up and shout "what fans?" I'm not kidding. Not only did she admit the pool exists, but she actually seemed proud of it for some reason. I'm shocked she didn't also add something like "our quarterback has a mustache and wears jorts!"

    I would have agreed with Joe B. in the past, but then I saw this:

    Man, if I weren't married, I'd book a flight and buy a ticket to the next Jaguars game. I don't care if the Jaguars pay these women to be there; it still seems like a great time!

    2. Someone who's having the opposite of a good time is Cordy Glenn, Cincinnati's left tackle. Glenn hasn't been able to play at all this year because of a concussion.

    This sucks for Glenn, but someone on Twitter isn't buying that Glenn is dealing with a head injury:

    Kinda absurd indeed. Absurd to make up baseless facts, that is. There have been plenty of players to miss three-plus games due to a concussion. Jordan Reed is an example of that this year alone!

    Nati_Sports says Glenn should retire from football. I propose Nati_Sports should retire from tweeting.

    3. Speaking of a**hole tweeters, O.J. Simpson is a riot on that platform. I don't know if you saw what he said about Antonio Brown, but here it is:

    It's amazing that we live in a world where O.J. Simpson discusses Brown's rape allegations on a national platform. Amazing.

    At any rate, Simpson might be an a**hole, but he's funny as hell on Twitter, if only for the reactions he gets from everyone. Just look at the responses. I could read these all day.

    By the way, what sort of league is Simpson in that he just "picked up" Tyrell Williams? Is he in a six-team league, or something?

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: Daniel Jones continues to be a mixed bag of sorts. He has been a huge upgrade over Eli Manning because he can actually complete passes at a consistent rate. However, he tends to make a couple of rookie mistakes each game. I suppose you can't fault him for that because he's, well, a rookie, but Jones obviously still needs time and development to be a great quarterback. He has the tools to get there; now he just needs the experience.

    Jones, however, will be going up his toughest opponent yet. The Vikings have great aspects to their defense, including their defensive line and safeties. The Giants protect Jones well, but I don't like tackles going up against Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter. I also am not crazy about Jones battling Mike Zimmer, who frustrated another New York rookie quarterback last year in Sam Darnold.

    However, the difference between Jones and Darnold is that the former has viable weapons to throw to. Darnold possessed no running game, and his sole viable downfield threat was Robby Anderson. Jones has Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and now Golden Tate, who is coming off suspension. The Viking corners can be beaten, especially in the slot, and the Giants are very strong in that area with Shepard and Tate being able to play that position extremely well.

    MINNESOTA OFFENSE: If the Giants maintained the same sort of pass rush the Vikings do, I'd be concerned about Kirk Cousins' safety in this contest. The Vikings have a poor offensive line, but the question is whether or not the pedestrian New York pass rushers can apply heavy pressure on Cousins. I'm not sure they'll be able to.

    Kirk Cousins chokes in big games, but he feasts against easy opponents like the Giants' defense. New York hasn't been able to cover anyone, though Janoris Jenkins finally had a decent performance last week. Jenkins has been torched all year, though it's not like he had much of a challenge versus the Terry McLaurin-less Redskins. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs will obviously be much tougher to cover for Jenkins and first-round cornerback DeAndre Baker, who doesn't seem to know how to play football.

    The Giants are better versus the run than the pass, and that's not by default. They have some strong run defenders at the line of scrimmage. Dalvin Cook should still have a strong performance, however, as he has trampled weaker foes. Cook should be able to take advantage of the linebackers in space as well.

    RECAP: This seems like a lopsided affair to most, which would explain why about three-quarters of the action is on Minnesota. Jones against Zimmer seems like a big edge for the Vikings, as does the prospect of the Giants' secondary trying to stop Thielen and Diggs.

    However, I think there are more things favoring the Giants. I already mentioned Minnesota's abysmal offensive line, which could make it difficult for the Vikings to maintain drives. Also, head coach Pat Shurmur was offensive coordinator of the Vikings a couple of years ago, so he might have some insight on how to beat his former team.

    Beyond that, the spread doesn't seem to be correct. The computer model says Minnesota -4 is the right line, which gives us a key number, albeit not one of the top three figures. However, my personal line is New York -1.5. Perhaps that seems crazy, but the Vikings are a mediocre team, while the Giants are below average. Does a mediocre team deserve to be a road favorite over a below-average one? I don't think so.

    This line is inflated because the public believes the Vikings are a very good team, based on two blowout victories against horrific opponents (Falcons, Raiders) at home. The Vikings are a different team on the road, however, and the Giants have been competitive with Jones under center. I like them to cover this spread, and I'm even going to bet a few units on them.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I'm getting more and more scared of betting on a rookie quarterback versus Mike Zimmer. I might decrease my unit count, though getting +6 would make me feel better about the Giants. It doesn't look like we're going to get that because there's some sharp money on the Giants.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The narrative entering this game seems to be that the Vikings will win because Kirk Cousins beats up on bad teams. Cousins sucks, so I wouldn't trust him regardless. What worries me is Mike Zimmer versus a rookie quarterback. I've been fearful of this all week. However, Daniel Jones has tons of talent to work with, and he's protected well. I still like the Giants for three units, and what's nice is that +6 -115 is available at Bovada. I'm going to lock that in now.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I should have waited, as Bovada has +6 -110 available. This spread is +5.5 elsewhere. I still like the Giants a good deal, but I don't love them because of the Mike Zimmer-rookie quarterback situation.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Spread. Edge: Giants. Calculated Spread: Giants -1.5.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Vikings -5.5.
    Computer Model: Vikings -4.
    DVOA Spread: Pick.

    The Vegas. Edge: Giants.
    People think this will be an easy win for the Vikings.

    Percentage of money on Minnesota: 72% (8,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Vikings.
  • Mike Zimmer is 54-29 ATS as head coach of the Vikings.
  • Opening Line: Vikings -6.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 71 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Vikings 23, Giants 20
    Giants +6 -115 (3 Units) - Bovada -- Incorrect; -$345
    Under 43.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Vikings 28, Giants 10

    New England Patriots (4-0) at Washington Redskins (0-4)
    Line: Patriots by 16.5. Total: 42.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: TBA.

    As with the random NFL notes, I'm going to have all of my Random College Football Notes on one page as well. Oh, and you can find my College Football Picks here.

    Random College Football Notes:

    1. The biggest college football related-story was the Carson King drama this week. If you somehow missed it, a college football fan named Carson King held up a sign for people to donate money to him for beer during ESPN's pre-game show. People began giving money to him, so he denoted it to charity instead. He ended up raising $2 million for a children's hospital. Anheuser Busch jumped onto the charity and matched King's donation. However, a scumbag reporter working for the Des Moines Register dug up tweets King published when he was a teenager. King had a couple of "racist" tweets in which he was quoting a Comedy Central show, Tosh.0, yet this didn't matter. Anheuser Busch "canceled" King, based on what he wrote when he was a kid.

    The great irony is that the douche bag who dug up these tweets, Aaron Calvin, had racist tweets of his own. He was promptly fired from the Des Moines Register. Not that it matters because no one reads newspapers anymore anyway.

    I'm normally not one to advocate for a firing based on what someone said or did as a child, but I'm glad Calvin was canned. He was a miserable a**hole who was attempting to ruin a charity that was helping kids with cancer. Why would someone do that? How can you be so miserable that you want kids to die of cancer? What a piece of s**t.

    That said, Anheuser Busch deserves major criticism as well. What the hell are they doing listening to what some amateur beta male Harry Potter-look alike newspaper reporter has to say? Who the hell cares? There might be like 20 people who are mad about it on Twitter, but those miserable idiots will just find something new to get angry about the following day. Appeasing these worthless morons does more harm than good because I am now willing to refrain from buying any Anheuser Busch product, and if you care about kids getting cured from cancer, I urge you to do the same.

    2. On a far less serious note, there was a player in the Wisconsin-Northwestern game named Wildgoose. I couldn't believe it. I'm just disappointed that the announcers didn't say it was a "Wildgoose chase" when he was running after someone.

    The announcers in that game, however, were brutal. One of the guys said something like, "Those players are like magnets, they attached to each other."

    Isn't that only half true? Like, if you place two of the same poles of a pair of magnets next to each other, they repel. Shouldn't the announcer have clarified that he was talking about opposite poles?

    3. I'd be remiss not to thank for linking to me last week! This was a story about Shea Patterson's brother trashing Jim Harbaugh, but the important thing was that they linked to our quarterback prospect rankings, which was awesome to see.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: E-mailer Darby O. sent me a message last week. Unfortunately, I didn't see it until Saturday afternoon; otherwise it would have enticed me to bet on the Bills. He noticed that Tom Brady suffered some sort of injury in the second quarter in Week 3 and wasn't the same after that. He also pointed out that Bill Belichick signed Cody Kessler, perhaps as an emergency. I skipped re-watching Patriots-Jets because I didn't think I'd learn anything from that blowout, but I paid the price.

    Darby turned out to be right on the money concerning Brady's health. Brady's balky calf seemed to give him issues against a great Buffalo defense. He never looked comfortable in the pocket, which proved to be extra problematic because his outside receivers were smothered.

    Brady's weapons won't have such issues in this game. The Redskins can't cover anyone, including slot receivers, so I expect a presumably healthier Julian Edelman to put together a big afternoon. The Patriots will also be able to run the ball well, as the Redskins didn't even have an answer for Wayne Gallman last week.

    WASHINGTON OFFENSE: I can see why Trent Williams doesn't trust the Redskins' medical staff. Case Keenum was in a walking boot last Wednesday, yet the coaching staff had no issues suiting him up on a short work week behind an offensive line missing three starters. Why didn't they just prepare Dwayne Haskins to start? I don't understand what Jay Gruden is thinking. He needed to be fired long ago.

    Handicapping this game is very difficult because we have no idea who's going to play for Washington. It could be one of three quarterbacks, as Colt McCoy is somehow ready to play. I'm not sure why the Redskins would bench Haskins after one game in favor of McCoy, but I'm not making the decisions.

    Meanwhile, the status of Washington's offensive line is crucial. They were missing center Chase Roullier and Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff on top of Williams last week. If they get Roullier and Scherff back, they'll have some success moving the chains. Otherwise, they'll have another dismal performance.

    RECAP: I don't think we'll see New England's best effort this week. The team is coming off a big win against an undefeated opponent and will have to prepare for a game in four days. Furthermore, Brady's calf is limiting him, which might make it tough for New England to win by more than 15 points.

    Also, this spread is way off. My calculated line is New England -7. That may seem oddly low to you, but that factors in the Redskins' offensive line being at full strength. If Washington's blockers are out again, I won't take the value, so we're going to have to wait for the injury report.

    Check back later in week for updates. The injury report will dictate where I'll be going with this game. I'm going to pencil in the Redskins for now.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Does anyone know why this spread was off the board on Wednesday night? It can't have been because of the Redskin quarterbacks. Is it because the books thought Tom Brady may not play? The spread is back up, so I wouldn't read much into it, but it was just very strange.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Why is Colt McCoy starting? Seriously, why? What does this accomplish? At this point, I'm convinced Jay Gruden is trying his hardest to get fired. McCoy is a dreadful quarterback who needs to be faded in most opportunities. That includes this one, as the Redskins are down at least two offensive linemen (Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff) and possibly a third, with Chase Roullier questionable. I'm switching my pick to the Patriots, but I'm not going to bet them because of Brady's balky calf.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: This spread is up to -16.5, even -17 at Bovada! The public is thinking this is free money, and the sharps want no part of this game. I'd be betting the Patriots if Tom Brady were healthy, but he's not, so a 20-6 game is possible.

    The Motivation. Edge: Redskins.
    The Patriots are coming off a big win and have to play in four days after this game.

    The Spread. Edge: Redskins. Calculated Spread: Patriots -7.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Patriots -13.
    Computer Model: Patriots -16.
    DVOA Spread: Patriots -7.5.

    The Vegas. Edge: Redskins.
    An easy pick for the public.

    Percentage of money on New England: 87% (9,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Patriots.
  • Tom Brady is 239-73 as a starter (177-121 ATS).
  • Patriots are 24-11 ATS on the road vs. NFC opponents since 2001.
  • Patriots are 17-20 ATS as road favorites since 2013.
  • Opening Line: Patriots -13.
  • Opening Total: 47.5.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 72 degrees. Light wind.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Patriots 24, Redskins 0
    Patriots -16.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Under 42 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Patriots 33, Redskins 7

    New York Jets (0-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)
    Line: Eagles by 14. Total: 43.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: Eagles.

    If you've followed this site for a while, you might remember that I like to respond to my spam mails. It all started seven years ago, when a man named Jon Wire from the "United Bank of Africoan" promised me an ATM card of some sort, so I responded as a man named Mister Compassion Chuck Norris, who was raised by wolves. The following season, I received e-mails from Richard Held and Loon Bruce, who told me I won a Facebook Award, which comes with a "lump sum pay out of (750,000.00 GBP)." Pretending to be Matthew Millen Kim, I sent out my application and fake money.

    I've been messing around with spammers ever since, pretending to be Harvey Weinstein, Tom Brady, Ramsay Bolton and Walter White. I have brand new Spam Mails this year, so check them out if you want to see me screw with spammers. I'll have new ones every week!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: It was cute that Sam Darnold thought he was going to play this game. As someone who had mono in his 20s, I can say that Darnold had no chance. Mono prevents people from doing physical activities, so Darnold probably has lost muscle mass and isn't in playing shape at the moment. Even if he feels better, he'll need two more weeks to get ready to take the field. I expect him to be back in Week 7.

    With that in mind, we'll be getting Luke Falk, who should not be in the NFL. Falk will be the worst starting quarterback taking the field in the pros this weekend, and it won't be close. He has a pop-gun arm and can't expose the one liability the Eagles possess, which would be at cornerback. He'll have to complete checkdowns, which will be fine to move the chains here and there, but any sort of penalty, incompletion or negative play would instantly ruin a drive.

    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: Darnold isn't the only prominent Jet who will be out this week. It sounds like C.J. Mosley could miss this contest as well, which would make things very easy for the Eagles' scoring attack. We've seen the Jets play far worse without Mosley on this side of the ball this year, so Mosley's absence would be huge.

    While the Jets won't be at full strength, the Eagles will be. They had Alshon Jeffery back this past Thursday night, and it sounds as though DeSean Jackson will be able to play this week. The Jets simply don't have the cornerbacks to cover Jeffery and Jackson.

    One positive for the Jets is that rookie Quinnen Williams will return to bolster the front. The Eagles may not have as much success running the ball this week with Williams back on the field, but throwing on New York will be so easy that it probably won't matter.

    RECAP: This spread isn't available at some books because they're waiting on Darnold confirmation. I'll be shocked if he plays. If he does, he won't be anywhere near 100 percent.

    I'm confident Darnold will sit out, so my biggest question is Mosley's availability. If he's out, the Eagles should be able to cover this spread quite easily. The Jets simply don't have a functional offense with Falk under center, while their defense is so much worse without Mosley patrolling the middle of the field.

    I'm going to pencil in the Eagles as a two-unit wager right now, but that bet may increase based on what news is revealed later in the week.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Surprise, surprise, Sam Darnold has yet to be cleared for contact. I don't understand how he could possibly play this week, so I'm more than happy to fade Luke Falk.

    SATURDAY NOTES: As expected, Sam Darnold is out. There was no way he was going to play this week, and the next game is very questionable as well. Unfortunately, this spread rose before I had a chance to lock in this wager. Fourteen is a key number, so it's important to get that rather than -14.5. That's why I'm going to lock this in at three units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: In addition to the injuries we already knew about, the Jets are missing Kelechi Osemele, one of their top offensive linemen. I'm glad I moved to three units on the Eagles.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Spread. Edge: None. Calculated Spread: Eagles -14.5.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: No Line (Darnold).
    Computer Model: Eagles -13.
    DVOA Spread: Eagles -10.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    People are... betting the Jets???

    Percentage of money on New York: 55% (4,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Eagles.
  • Doug Pederson is 11-7 ATS with extra time to prepare.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -14.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 70 degrees. Mild wind, 11 mph.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Eagles 27, Jets 3
    Eagles -14 (3 Units) - Bovada -- Correct; +$300
    Under 43 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Eagles 31, Jets 6

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) at New Orleans Saints (3-1)
    Line: Saints by 3. Total: 46.5.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    Video of the Week: This video is just. Wow. (Thanks, Luke T:)

    Man, this really makes me think that people need to start having licenses to have kids because this is ridiculous. Starch masks!

    TAMPA BAY OFFENSE: If you predicted that the Buccaneers would score 50-plus points on the Rams last week, please send me the winning lottery ticket numbers for the next jackpot. I had Tampa down as a four-unit wager, and yet I didn't forsee anything like that.

    Jameis Winston had one of the best performances of his career, but he's been so inconsistent over the years that he could just as easily bottom out in this game. What we know is that he'll have a tougher matchup this week than he did versus the Rams. The Saints just limited Dallas' high-octane offense to just 10 points, as Marshon Lattimore smothered Amari Cooper. Lattimore should have success shadowing Mike Evans, so Winston may prefer to throw to Chris Godwin again. This will be a wise decision, as the Saints aren't great versus slot receivers.

    However, the Buccaneers won't have as much success establishing the run like they did in Los Angeles. The Saints did a good job of limiting Ezekiel Elliott, so stopping Ronald Jones shouldn't be too difficult. Also, New Orleans figures to win in the trenches as far as the pass rush is concerned. The Buccaneers have pedestrian tackles, meaning Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport have great matchups they'll be able to exploit.

    NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: Shaq Barrett has been a monster this year. Charlie Campbell tweeted that Barrett is currently the runaway candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, and I would agree. Barrett is on pace for 36 sacks this season, which would shatter all records. However, Barrett will have a much tougher matchup this week. Terron Armstead is a good blocker when he hears the snap count, so I don't see Barrett having more than one sack in this contest.

    Something else going against Barrett is that Teddy Bridgewater is releasing the ball quickly. Teddy Two Shoes isn't going deep very much, but he's being quick and decisive with his throws, and he has been accurate in the short range. He'll get the ball to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara extensively once again.

    Speaking of Kamara, I expect the Buccaneers to clamp down on him when he runs the ball. We've seen Tampa do a number on Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley, thanks to Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea, so I don't see any reason why Kamara would have more success than the other stud backs as a rusher.

    RECAP: The Westgate advance spread on this game was New Orleans -6.5. This line has plummeted based on one week's worth of action, and New Orleans is now favored by only three points (albeit at -120 juice).

    Barring injury, there's nothing that can happen in one contest that should move the spread more than three points, especially across numerous key numbers. My numbers say that this line should be closer to what it was last week; my calculation is New Orleans -5.5, while the computer model believes New Orleans -6 is correct.

    Either way, we're getting great value with the Saints at -3, especially when considering that a very likely result in this contest is New Orleans winning by exactly three points.

    I'll be betting a couple of units on the Saints as long as they're favored by just a field goal. I may move the unit count to three if we get a clean -3 line.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: A solid number on the Saints has appeared on Bookmaker at -3 -106. However, Bookmaker is one of the sharpest books out there, so that indicates that they want more New Orleans money.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Sharp money on the Buccaneers is driving the juice down to -105 on the New Orleans -3 line. Going against the sharps is a bit worrying, but I still like the Saints for a couple of units.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Devin White is back for the Buccaneers, which is not ideal for the Saints wager. However, I still like New Orleans at -3. You can get the Saints -3 -105 at 5Dimes.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Spread. Edge: Saints. Calculated Spread: Saints -5.5.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Saints -6.5.
    Computer Model: Saints -5.
    DVOA Spread: Saints -6.5.

    The Vegas. Edge: Saints.
    The Buccaneers are a slight public dog.

    Percentage of money on Tampa Bay: 57% (8,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Saints have won 11 of the last 15 meetings.
  • Road Team is 93-57 ATS in Buccaneers games since 2009.
  • Saints are 44-37 ATS as a home favorite since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Saints -5.5.
  • Opening Total: 47.
  • Weather: Dome.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Saints 31, Buccaneers 24
    Saints -3 -105 (2 Units) - 5Dimes -- Correct; +$200
    Over 46.5 (0 Units) -- Correct; $0
    Saints 31, Buccaneers 24

    Atlanta Falcons (1-3) at Houston Texans (2-2)
    Line: Texans by 4. Total: 49.5.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: Texans.

    The 2019 Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts are here!

    To read about this, check out the 2019 Adventures of Tom Brady's Haircuts via the link!

    HOUSTON OFFENSE: I'd love to see what the Texans could accomplish if they had a competent head coach on the sidelines. Bill O'Brien is horrible for several reasons. His poor coaching was on full display last week versus the Panthers when he called a trick play that had DeAndre Hopkins throw a deep pass across the field in the red zone, which was easily picked off. He then wasted a challenge when he asked the officials to review a very obvious reception. O'Brien has no idea how to coach, and it's a shame that Deshaun Watson and Hopkins' talents are going to waste.

    That said, O'Brien could have one hand tied behind his back and still not find a way to blow this game. The Texans will be battling a far worse NFC South team this week, as the Falcons are incompetent defensively. They had no answer for Marcus Mariota throwing to Corey Davis and A.J. Brown, so how are they going to stop Watson, Hopkins and Will Fuller? Their cornerbacks were roasted last week by mediocre receivers, so Hopkins and Fuller will be able to get open easily.

    Now, if you're thinking: What about Houston's offensive line? That would normally be an issue - it certainly was versus Jacksonville and Carolina - but the Falcons have no pass rush to speak of, so Watson will have more time in the pocket than usual.

    ATLANTA OFFENSE: We're used to the Falcons having a poor defense most years, but their offense has taken a big hit this season. The problem is the offensive line, which has regressed to be one of the league's worst blocking units. The players the Falcons added in free agency have been failures; Chris Lindstrom is injured; while the mainstays, Jake Matthews and Alex Mack, haven't been themselves this year.

    This does not bode well for the matchup against the Texans. Whitney Mercilus is having a resurgent year, so he and J.J. Watt will place tons of heat on Matt Ryan. This could force Ryan into more interceptions.

    The Texans don't have the best secondary, so if Ryan miraculously has time in the pocket, he should be able to connect with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley for some big plays. However, that was the case last week as well, yet Ryan didn't have the protection to hit Jones and Ridley consistently.

    RECAP: I'm betting on the Texans, if you couldn't tell. Atlanta sucks. I don't think the public has quite figured out how miserable the Falcons are yet; my calculated spread for this game is Houston -6.5, while the computer model believes -6 is correct. Either way, we're going through the third-most-important key number (6).

    That said, this is not a big wager. Outside of this slight value and the prospect of fading Atlanta's offensive line, there's not much else that favors the Texans.

    One concern I have is that O'Brien will goof around, so the Texans won't have as big of a lead as they should, which could allow the Falcons to put together a back-door cover at the end, much like they did in Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago. I'd be way more comfortable betting the Texans at +1 or whatever if this game were in Atlanta because we wouldn't have to worry about getting back doored. That's a very realistic possibility with Ryan at the helm for Atlanta.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Nothing has swayed me into thinking that there definitely won't be a back-door cover. That's what I'm most fearful in this game, so I will not be betting Houston heavily.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Sharps have bet this spread down to +4. Perhaps they're anticipating the very possible back-door cover I discussed on Thursday.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I was wondering if the sharps would continue to bet the Falcons at +4, but they haven't done that. I think the Texans are fine for a unit, but I wouldn't go crazy with this game.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    The Texans have to play the Chiefs next week, but they're coming off a loss, so I don't see this as being a look-ahead alert.

    The Spread. Edge: None. Calculated Spread: Texans -6.5.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Texans -4.
    Computer Model: Texans -6.
    DVOA Spread: Texans -4.5.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Atlanta: 55% (4,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Falcons.
  • Falcons are 27-15 ATS following a loss of 6+ in the previous 42 instances.
  • Opening Line: Texans -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: Dome.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Texans 27, Falcons 20
    Texans -4 (1 Unit) - any sportsbook -- Correct; +$100
    Under 49.5 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Texans 53, Falcons 32

    Buffalo Bills (3-1) at Tennessee Titans (2-2)
    Line: Titans by 3. Total: 39.

    Sunday, Oct. 6, 1:00 PM

    The Matchup. Edge: TBA.

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    TENNESSEE OFFENSE: There's no spread on this game because Josh Allen is in concussion protocol, but we can at least discuss what will happen when the Titans will have the ball. The answer: Not very much.

    The Bills' stalwart defense limited Tom Brady to just nine points last week (seven came via a blocked punt.) They have excellent cornerbacks who will be able to erase Tennessee's mediocre receivers. Meanwhile, the run defense is excellent, so Derrick Henry won't have much success.

    It'll be interesting to see how Taylor Lewan plays. Lewan is coming off suspension, so he'll reprise his role as Tennessee's blind-side protector. However, he has yet to play this year, so there could be rust as he battles against Jerry Hughes.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Again, Allen's status is unknown. Allen's availability will be huge because the Titans figure to place plenty of pressure against the Bills' mediocre front, so Allen's mobility will be needed. Of course, Allen will also need to stop turning the ball over, as he single-handedly murdered the Bills' chances of pulling the upset last week.

    Allen will provide the Bills with a much-needed rushing threat. I don't expect Frank Gore to thrive like he did last week, as Tennessee specializes in stopping ground attacks, so if Allen is out, the Bills will have to do almost everything aerially, which will be a problem with Matt Barkley at quarterback.

    RECAP: It's impossible to make a pick because there's no spread, nor do we know if Allen will play.

    I'm going to pencil in the Titans for now, but check back, or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We still don't know if Josh Allen will play, so there's no line available.

    SATURDAY NOTES: A spread has been posted! It seems a bit low. The computer model says Tennessee -6 is the correct number, while DVOA thinks this line should be -4.5. I'm going to side with the host.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Looks like there's some sharp money on Tennessee -3. I can understand that, even if Cameron Wake is out. I like the Titans, but not enough to bet them.

    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.

    The Spread. Edge: TBA. Calculated Spread: Titans -3.
    Las Vegas Hilton Advance Point Spread: Titans -1.5.
    Computer Model: Titans -7.
    DVOA Spread: Titans -4.5.

    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Tennessee: 51% (3,000 bets)

    The Trends. Edge: Bills.
  • Bills are 21-11 ATS after playing the New England Patriots since 1999.
  • Opening Line: Titans -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 38.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 80 degrees. Light wind.

  • Week 5 NFL Pick: Titans 17, Bills 10
    Titans -3 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Under 39 (0 Units) -- Incorrect; $0
    Bills 14, Titans 7

    Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games
    Broncos at Chargers, Packers at Cowboys, Colts at Chiefs, Browns at 49ers


    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenever winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.

    Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 5 NFL Picks - Late Games

    NFL Picks - Jan. 16

    2021 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 13

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 11

    2022 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 15

    NFL Power Rankings - Nov. 14

    2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14

    2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27


    Note: For legality purposes, this Web site does not promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only.

    Last Week's NFL Picks Against The Spread (Week 18, 2020): 1-5 (-$1,430)
    Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 18, 2020): 0-2 (-$575)
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    Last Week Over-Under (Week 18, 2020): 2-3-1 ($0)
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    2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-2, 50.0% (-$135)

    2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 132-123-6, 52.6% (+$3,280)
    2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 43-42-3, 50.6% (-$2,650)
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    2020 Season Over-Under: 137-119-6, 53.5% ($0)
    2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$375

    1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%)
    2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%)
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    2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$780)
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    2018 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 140-134-14, 51.3% (+$845)
    2019 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 149-128-9, 53.6% (+$1,200)

    2002 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 41-49-2 (45.6%)
    2003 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-51-2 (50.5%)
    2004 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-44-3 (59.6%)
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    2006 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 65-61-4 (51.6%)
    2007 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 83-59-5, 58.5% (+$4,110)
    2008 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-57-3, 43.6% (-$3,510)
    2009 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 49-35-3, 58.3% (+$2,260)
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    2011 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-51-3, 46.3% (-$2,715)
    2012 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 45-50-2, 47.4% (-$2,130)
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    2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%)
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    2009 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 29-26, 52.7% (+$330)
    2010 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 32-22, 59.3% (+$4,790)
    2011 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-14, 50.0% (-$1,260)
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    2013 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-9-3, 65.4% (+$2,970)
    2015 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 17-16-2, 51.5% (-$1,120)
    2016 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-22-5, 48.8% (-$1,465)
    2017 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 20-22-1, 47.6% (-$1,595)
    2018 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 27-32-1, 45.8% (-$4,735)
    2019 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 37-27-2, 57.8% (+$2,185)

    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
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    2006 Season Over-Under: 129-132-5 (49.4%)
    2007 Season Over-Under: 136-145-3, 48.4% (-$1,900)
    2008 Season Over-Under: 137-125-6, 52.3% (+$860)
    2009 Season Over-Under: 128-135-4, 48.7% (-$3,195)
    2010 Season Over-Under: 128-135-5, 48.7% (-$5)
    2011 Season Over-Under: 131-131-5, 50.0% (+$135)
    2012 Season Over-Under: 125-121-5, 50.8% (+$30)
    2013 Season Over-Under: 132-130-5, 50.4% (-$340)
    2015 Season Over-Under: 143-119-5, 54.6% ($0)
    2016 Season Over-Under: 123-141-1, 46.6% (+$95)
    2017 Season Over-Under: 136-139-2, 49.5% (+$640)
    2018 Season Over-Under: 118-128-3, 48.0% (-$225)
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    2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035
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    2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%)
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    Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,989-2,760-179, 52.0% (+$13,585)
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    Career NFL Picks of the Month: 44-29-1 (60.3%)

    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

    Cowboys: 11-5 (2014-19: 47-50)
    Bears: 6-11 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Bucs: 7-9 (2014-19: 44-45)
    49ers: 8-8 (2014-19: 53-44)
    Eagles: 8-8 (2014-19: 55-46)
    Lions: 9-6 (2014-19: 53-42)
    Falcons: 9-7 (2014-19: 55-45)
    Cardinals: 10-6 (2014-19: 45-50)
    Giants: 3-13 (2014-19: 52-41)
    Packers: 12-4 (2014-19: 54-46)
    Panthers: 13-3 (2014-19: 47-52)
    Rams: 5-12 (2014-19: 53-41)
    Redskins: 7-8 (2014-19: 47-48)
    Vikings: 9-7 (2014-19: 51-45)
    Saints: 7-10 (2014-19: 49-50)
    Seahawks: 8-9 (2014-19: 43-56)
    Bills: 10-7 (2014-19: 52-42)
    Bengals: 9-5 (2014-19: 42-52)
    Colts: 8-7 (2014-19: 50-45)
    Broncos: 9-7 (2014-19: 45-48)
    Dolphins: 12-4 (2014-19: 47-46)
    Browns: 7-9 (2014-19: 46-44)
    Jaguars: 4-11 (2014-19: 41-55)
    Chargers: 8-6 (2014-19: 46-49)
    Jets: 8-8 (2014-19: 50-40)
    Ravens: 5-11 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Texans: 10-5 (2014-19: 48-47)
    Chiefs: 12-4 (2014-19: 56-50)
    Patriots: 6-10 (2014-19: 55-53)
    Steelers: 7-10 (2014-19: 56-43)
    Titans: 10-7 (2014-19: 49-47)
    Raiders: 7-9 (2014-19: 43-52)
    Divisional: 43-47 (2011-19: 405-394)
    2x Game Edge: 63-60 (2011-19: 213-210)
    2x Motivation Edge: 45-30 (2011-19: 347-288)
    2x Spread Edge: 42-33 (2011-19: 61-55)
    2x Vegas Edge: 25-22 (2011-19: 320-335)
    2x Trend Edge: 18-13 (2011-19: 250-228)
    Double Edge: 27-21 (2011-19: 122-107)
    Triple Edge: 5-4 (2011-19: 21-18)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
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