Miami Dolphins (1-3) at San Francisco 49ers (2-2) Line: 49ers by 8. Total: 51. Sunday, Oct. 11, 4:05 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Dolphins.
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SAN FRANCISCO OFFENSE: When I typed up the Patriots-Broncos pick, I noted that there were three quarterbacks who could possibly start for New England this week. The same applies to the 49ers, who will have to decide between a pair of backups if Jimmy Garoppolo can't play.
Nick Mullens appeared to have the No. 2 job, but he was terrible against the Eagles' injury-ravaged defense Sunday night. He left so many points on the field, and he was eventually replaced by C.J. Beathard. The Iowa product engineered a touchdown drive and nearly got a second one, but time expired. That said, Beathard was going up against a prevent defense, so I don't think those two possessions are an indication of things to come. The Dolphins have a pair of excellent cornerbacks, which will only make things more difficult for Beathard if he gets the nod.
That said, the Dolphins have a major liability on this side of the ball, and that would be the linebacking corps. George Kittle, as a result, should be able to dominate this game, much like he did against the Eagles.
MIAMI OFFENSE: The Dolphins also had a choice at quarterback this week, as they considered giving Tua Tagovailoa a chance to make his first NFL start. They made the right decision in going with Ryan Fitzpatrick again, however, as Tagovailoa isn't even a full year recovered from his nasty injury. He needs more time to get healthier, especially when considering the state of Miami's offensive line.
The Dolphins' blocking unit can be a liability, but it won't be very much in this game, given that the 49ers are missing Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. San Francisco didn't get much pressure on Carson Wentz last week despite the fact that the Eagles were missing three starting blockers, and at times, a fourth.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will have enough time to find his talented receivers for decent gains in this contest, especially against a battered San Francisco secondary that happens to be down its top three cornerbacks at the moment.
RECAP: This spread is way off the mark. I can't believe it's so high. My number is San Francisco -3.5, assuming Garoppolo doesn't play. Yet, the 49ers are favored by 8.5. This is a marginal spread difference of 17.15 percent, meaning if I'm right, the Dolphins have a 67.15-percent chance of covering on this number alone!
There are several other reasons to love the Dolphins. As mentioned, the 49ers are down their top three cornerbacks at the moment. If this continues to be the case, they're going to have severe problems against a Miami squad whose strength is the receiving corps. The Dolphins shouldn't have any trouble scoring.
Also, the 49ers may be unfocused. Check out whom they have to play after this non-conference game: Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, Saints and Rams. The 49ers have to prepare for that gauntlet.
Finally, neither Beathard nor Mullens has any business being favored by more than a touchdown. Both stink, and if either one of them starts, we're getting the better quarterback with 8.5 points!
This has the potential to be my October NFL Pick of the Month, but we obviously need to check on the status of Garoppolo and some of the 49er defenders.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Talking to Jacob via the video below, I've come to realize how underrated the Dolphins happen to be. Think about it. In their three losses, they've battled the Patriots, Bills and Seahawks. Those teams are a combined 10-2, and Miami was competitive in each contest. The win was a blowout victory at Jacksonville. With the 49ers reeling with injuries, the Dolphins should cover and might perhaps win outright. This could still be my October NFL Pick of the Month, but we need to learn Jimmy Garoppolo's status.
SATURDAY NOTES: Jimmy Garoppolo is returning, which is a bummer because the Dolphins would've been my October NFL Pick of the Month otherwise. Still, I love the Dolphins. The 49ers will be missing four cornerbacks (Richard Sherman, K'Wuan Williams, Emmanuel Moseley, Dontae Johnson) against a strong Miami receiving corps. The Dolphins are underrated and should cover; if not win outright.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: This spread seems to be bouncing back and forth between +8 and +8.5. It would be kind of nice for a +9 to appear, but nine is not a key number, so I'm not sweating that too much.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There's not much to say. The sharps haven't touched this game, and this line is +8 everywhere. The best number is +8 -108 at Bookmaker. I'm still very high on the Dolphins.
The Motivation. Edge: Dolphins.
After this game, the 49ers play the Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, Saints and Rams.
New York Giants (0-4) at Dallas Cowboys (1-3) Line: Cowboys by 7.5. Total: 52.5. Sunday, Oct. 11, 4:25 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Giants.
Emmitt on the Brink Season 13 is underway! Emmitt re-visits NFL headquarters, where he used to reside as commissioner. What he finds there is a huge surprise!
DALLAS OFFENSE: The Cowboys have an abysmal defense, so you can't blame Dak Prescott for the losses, right? That's what the media would have you believe, but Prescott and his teammates have been turning the ball over at an alarming rate in the first halves of games. The offense is partly responsible for the team being buried in a huge hole.
Prescott normally wouldn't have a difficult matchup in this game, which would allow him to turn things around. However, he's going to be down two starting offensive linemen, as center Joe Looney will be sidelined in addition to right tackle La'el Collins, who is out for the year. The Giants don't have a great pass rush by any means, but they have some decent players in their front seven who can generate some pressure. Prescott will see some heat, which could lead to more give-aways.
It'll all be on Prescott's shoulders, as the Giants are actually pretty decent at defending the run. The good news for Prescott is that outside of the terrific James Bradberry, the Giants have very little at cornerback, so the receivers not going up against Bradberry should thrive.
NEW YORK OFFENSE: The New York receivers have great matchups as well, assuming the Cowboys continue to be banged up in their back seven. Dallas is currently down two of its top three cornerbacks and two of its top three linebackers. This has allowed opposing defenses to throw all over them. Odell Beckham Jr. was just the latest player to benefit.
The Giants no longer have anyone of Beckham's caliber, but Darius Slayton, Golden Tate and Evan Engram are all fine weapons, and I expect them to be able to generate big gains versus Dallas' woeful defense.
The one question mark on this side of the ball is Daniel Jones' ball security. Jones has not developed a better ability to take care of the ball. He can be blamed for that, as well as the coaches and the offensive line. Luckily for Jones, the Cowboys don't get much pressure on the quarterback, so perhaps he might have a rare, turnover-free game.
RECAP: This is another game in the late afternoon window that has a spread that's absurd. The marginal difference in this one isn't as high, but it could be if the line moves to +10.
My personal spread for this game is +4.5. That may surprise some, but only those who don't realize how terrible and banged-up the Cowboys are. Dallas has no business being favored by more than six over anyone, save for the Jets. And no, not the Giants. New York has plenty of offensive talent to keep games close. The Giants have been competitive in every contest this year, save for their Week 3 blowout defeat against the 49ers.
At the very worst, I think there's a good chance we get a back-door cover from Jones. However, I think there's a legitimate shot the Giants win this one, allowing Jason Garrett to avenge his firing.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: The Giants have been competitive in every game, save for the 49ers loss. I don't see why things would change against the Cowboys, a team with a miserable defense and an offensive line missing at least two starters.
SATURDAY NOTES: Tyron Smith has been placed on season-ending injured reserve, meaning the Cowboys are down three offensive linemen in addition to two linebackers and two cornerbacks. Yet, the Cowboys are somehow favored by nearly double digits. How does that make any sense?
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The sharps are aggressively betting the Giants, as this line has dropped to +7.5 with heavier vig on the visitor. I'm tempted to lock in this pick now, but I'm going to wait and hope for -110 or better.
FINAL THOUGHTS: As mentioned earlier, there's major sharp money on the Giants. I was hoping for a clean +7.5, but I couldn't find one. The best vig I could find for the Giants is -112 at Bookmaker.
Indianapolis Colts (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (3-1) Line: Browns by 1. Total: 48.5. Sunday, Oct. 11, 4:25 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Browns.
A reminder that Jerks of the Week for this week is up, so just click the link. This week's jerks entry is called Death Wishers.
INDIANAPOLIS OFFENSE: This doesn't seem like a good matchup for the Browns' defense. Cleveland relies on getting lots of pressure from its defensive line to force turnovers, which is what occurred against the Cowboys last week. Dallas was playing without multiple starters on the offensive line, so Myles Garrett was able to create lots of mayhem.
Garrett won't really be able to do as much in this matchup because the Colts have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Philip Rivers will have better protection than Dak Prescott enjoyed, and he'll have enough time to take advantage of the Browns' poor linebacking corps.
Frank Reich will surely have a plan prepared for this liability. The Browns have one of the worst linebacking corps in the NFL, which sounds like horrible news for them because the Colts utilize their running backs and tight ends so extensively.
CLEVELAND OFFENSE: Odell Beckham Jr. went nuts last week, which can't have been a surprise to anyone, given the severe number of injuries the Cowboys have in their secondary. Beckham, however, is unlikely to repeat this performance, and not just because of a regression to the mean.
The reason? Xavier Rhodes. The former Viking was atrocious last year, getting torched on a weakly basis. This year, Rhodes has rebounded to his former shutdown status. He's been one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL this season, so he should be able to limit Beckham. Rhodes' coverage, along with the pressure the Colts can generate up front, will make things very difficult for Baker Mayfield.
The Colts are solid against the run as well. The Browns lost Nick Chubb to injury reserve, but they still have Kareem Hunt, who is just as good; if not better. Hunt will do some damage, but it may not be enough.
RECAP: The Colts threw everyone off their scent with the Week 1 loss to the Jaguars. That's what people remember, especially when pointing out that they beat the lowly Jets and Vikings the following two weeks. They neglect to mention that those victories were blowouts. All of this is why I believe the Colts are extremely underrated.
Quite simply, the Colts are a much better team than the Browns, and I believe they match up extremely well against them. They should be able to cover this spread as long as it's under -3.
I'm not sure how many units I'll be betting on this game, but if the Browns are down some defensive backs again, this will be a several-unit wager at least.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: There's been some sharp money on the Browns. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced I'm not going to bet this game.
SATURDAY NOTES: The Colts are down a couple of key players in Anthony Castonzo and Darius Leonard. I don't think that'll be enough for me to bet the Browns, but I'm going to switch sides.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The sharps have been betting the Browns, perhaps because of the injuries the Colts have suffered. Cleveland is now even favored!
FINAL THOUGHTS: As mentioned earlier, there's smart money coming in on the Browns, probably because of the Indianapolis injuries. I'm not betting this game, but if you do, you can get -1 -103 at Bookmaker.
Minnesota Vikings (1-3) at Seattle Seahawks (4-0) Line: Seahawks by 6. Total: 54.5. Sunday, Oct. 11, 8:20 PM
The Matchup. Edge: None.
Last week, I brought up my friend Lincoln Baxter's Magic: The Gathering app, TopDecked. I used to play all the time, but sadly don't get to do so because I work 70-80 hours per week. However, when I'm dropping a deuce or shaving, I like to watch some MTG streamers. My favorite is Aspiring Spike because he's a smart player who talks through all of his plays. I've never spoken to him, but he has just 1,300 subscribers on YouTube and deserves way more than that.
SEATTLE OFFENSE: Russell Wilson cooked some dubious food for the Dolphins, at least through three quarters. This turned into hearty wild greens in the final frame, as Wilson and his teammates finally stopped shooting themselves in the foot. Multiple drops and a poor interception in the end zone restricted the Seahawks to just 17 points in the first three quarters.
I'll be shocked if Wilson doesn't rebound in this game. The Vikings have had trouble defending the pass all year, as they even allowed Ryan Tannehill to torch them in Week 3. We saw what happened when the Vikings battled an elite quarterback in Week 1 when Aaron Rodgers torched them for 43 points. Wilson, like Rodgers, is playing at the top of his game, and he has a much better second receiver at his disposal. The Vikings simply don't have the personnel to cover D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
The Vikings are at least better against the run, so Chris Carson will have to do some of his damage as a receiver out of the backfield. He should have some success in that regard, as the Vikings are missing a key linebacker in Anthony Barr.
MINNESOTA OFFENSE: I've been asked repeatedly if the Seahawks can win the Super Bowl, given the state of their pass defense. Right now, no, but things will change when some of their key players return from injury. They've been missing three starters in their back seven since the second half of the Dallas game: Quinton Dunbar, Jordyn Brooks, and most importantly, Jamal Adams.
Whether or not the Seahawks can contain the Vikings depends on the availability of those three players. It'll be imperative to have them, as Minnesota's passing attack has improved in recent weeks. This is because the Vikings finally decided to start rookie Justin Jefferson over Olabisi Johnson. Jefferson has been a revelation since, operating very well out of the slot.
Like the Vikings, the Seahawks are better against the run than the pass, at least at the moment. Dalvin Cook trampled the Texans' worst-ranked run defense last week, but he won't have as much success against the Seattle front.
RECAP: This may seem like a high number, but the Vikings probably won't be able to be very competitive against the Seahawks if Seattle has most of its defenders back on the field. Having Adams, in particular, would change everything.
That said, even if Adams, Dunbar and Brooks are sidelined, I still like the Seahawks, albeit for fewer units. I think it's foolish to go against Wilson right now, as he's playing on a higher level than any other quarterback in the NFL at the moment, save for perhaps Aaron Rodgers.
I think this spread is too short. I made it Seattle -11, though that priced in the return of some of the defenders. We'll see what happens per the injury report.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Sharp money bet the Vikings down to +7. The pros wagered against Russell Wilson last week and paid the price. I wouldn't bet against Wilson at the moment.
SATURDAY NOTES: Jamal Adams won't play in this game, but Qunton Dunbar and Jordyn Brooks are questionable. We don't have much clarity in that regard, but there's at least a chance one of them will play. The exact unit count will have to come down to Sunday afternoon.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The sharps have been betting the Vikings aggressively. They made a big mistake betting against Russell Wilson last week, and I think they're making the same blunder this week. We'll see, but I anticipate a decent -6.5 being available.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I wasn't kidding when I said the sharps were all over the Vikings. They've continued to pound Minnesota, taking this spread down to +6. Again, I don't think it's a smart decision to bet against Russell Wilson. I still like the Seahawks, especially with Quinton Dunbar returning. It sucks that Jamal Adams and Jordyn Brooks will continue to be sidelined, but Dunbar's presence will help a lot against Minnesota's receivers. I'm going to bet the Seahawks for two units, with the best line being available at Bookmaker at -112 vig.
Denver Broncos (1-3) at New England Patriots (2-2) Line: No Line (Newton). Total: . Monday, Oct. 12, 5:00 PM
The Matchup. Edge: TBA.
HATE MAIL: I will be posting hate mail here. We got a bit this week:
I posted this in my Death Wishers Jerks of the Week entry, and I can't get over it. Imagine wishing death upon someone because you bet too much on a football game per a recommendation from someone you never met! I don't know Mark May-Roberts' Twitter handle, but I imagine he was one of the people wishing for President Trump to die.
Here's someone else who messaged me via Facebook:
Imagine defending a violent, evil group by stating that another group with the same name fought evil 80 years ago. Like, think about it this way: What if you took part in forming a benevolent group right now that helps the sick and homeless called, I don't know, Avalanche. Everyone would love Avalanche. But what if in the year 2100, a group of evil scum bands together in an attempt to destroy civilization as we know it, and they call themselves Avalanche. I'm willing to bet I'd get Facebook messages saying, "Oh no, Avalanche can't possibly be bad, they helped the sick and homeless 80 years ago!?" Good lord!
NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: We have no idea who either of the quarterbacks will be in this game. The Patriots even have three options! There's Cam Newton, who is currently on the Fauxvid-19 list. He has a chance to suit up, but he'll likely have to miss one more week. Then, there's Brian Hoyer, who capsized a potential upset with numerous red zone blunders against the Chiefs. And finally, there's Jarrett Stidham, who is more talented than Hoyer, but far less seasoned.
If Newton isn't available, I think Bill Belichick has to go with Stidham. Hoyer's experience meant squat when he was taking timeouts he didn't possess or holding the ball for an eternity in the pocket in the red zone. Stidham at least gives the Patriots more upside. It'll help that Stidham will be well protected by a strong offensive line, which is key against a Denver defense that still boasts Bradley Chubb rushing on the edge.
That said, Stidham would have preferred to battle the Broncos last week because there's a chance Denver will be getting A.J. Bouye back from a shoulder injury. Bouye is eligible to come off injured reserve this week, so his return would obviously make it more difficult for Stidham to connect with his pedestrian receivers.
DENVER OFFENSE: Drew Lock is 50-50 to play in this game, according to James Palmer of the NFL Network. Lock is dealing with a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the previous two games, plus most of the Steelers affair in Week 2. Jeff Driskel was poor in his absence, while Brett Rypien was an improvement against the Jets, showing nice accuracy and smarts.
All of that will go out the window against Bill Belichick. The best coach in NFL history will throw stuff at Rypien that the young quarterback has never even dreamt of before. Belichick has an outstanding record against rookie quarterbacks (20-5), and while Rypien isn't technically a rookie, he certainly has the lack of experience of one.
The Denver quarterback will also be working with a diminished supporting cast. Already down Courtland Sutton, the Broncos lost K.J. Hamler and Noah Fant to injury versus the Jets. That leaves the starting signal-caller with Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and Albert Okwuegbunam as downfield weapons, which is a problem because Stephon Gilmore will erase Jeudy. The Broncos also have Melvin Gordon, but the Patriots do a great job of clamping down on the run.
RECAP: There's no line posted on this game because of the quarterback situation for both teams. As long as this spread isn't too high, I'll probably be on the Patriots if Rypien starts again. Lock would be a different story, though I'd have to know how healthy he is exactly.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: As mentioned in the previous Thursday Thoughts segment, Stephon Gilmore tested positive. This game may not take place, or it could be moved to Monday. I'd be up for another Monday double-header, which should be a common thing next year!
SATURDAY NOTES: Awaiting injury report and Cam Newton news...
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: This game has been postponed due to overreaction.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-3) at New Orleans Saints (2-2) Line: Saints by 7. Total: 50.5. Monday, Oct. 12, 8:15 PM
The Matchup. Edge: Saints.
This week on ESPN, we're going to have awful announcers calling the shots instead the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly, Ron Wolfley and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards, and aloof people like Dan Fouts and Jay Cutler. Here's what it would sound like if these seven dudes (and some special guests) were calling this game:
Reilly: Welcome to the city of New Orleans, where tonight, the San Diego Chargers will play against the New Orleans Chargers. Guys, in honor of the presidential debate, I think we should have a debate in our pre-game conversation. Who's with me?
Emmitt: Brian, I does not know why you are asking us to get the bait. Do we going fishing right now? I once tooked my son, Emmitt Smith IV, the III, the V, Sr., the VIII, Jr. Sr. XII Smith fishing one time, and he ask me if we can catch a shark. So we sat on the boat for a month trying to catch shark, like that one guy who trying to catch a whale. He named Moby Rick.
Reilly: Emmitt, I said "debate," not bait. What say you, Tolly? You're my best friend, so I value your opinion more than the other idiots on this panel.
Tollefson: Kevin, I'm a big fan of bait. I find some girl who looks like a gold digger, and I attach a $100 bill at the end of a fishing pole. I then dangle it in front of her, and once she reaches to grab it, I reel her in and then make her my sex slave for life.
Reilly: Tolly, I wish I could be cool like you and have sex slaves, but Mother won't let me talk to girls because it'll make me unpure. Anyway, let's get to our first debate. Jason Witten, which is the better team, the Cowboys or my Philadelphia Eagles?
Jason Witten: Hello, my name is Jason Witten and I just came out of retirement. Guys, I was asked who the better team is between the Eagles and Cowboys. You see, if the Cowboys are the better team than the Eagles, then that means the Cowboys are better than the Eagles, which means the Eagles are inferior to the Cowboys because they're superior to the Eagles, who are inferior. Because superior and inferior are opposites. That means they're not the same. Because, when you have two things that aren't the same, they're different, and that means they're not the same, and that they're different. Or, what if-
Reilly: Wrong! You can't name one football player who supports you, Jason Witten. Next topic: Am I 200 IQ points smarter than Charles Davis, or 300 IQ points smarter than Charles Davis? Take it away, Dan Fouts.
Fouts: Kevin, when you're talking about 200 IQ points and 300 IQ points, you have to remember that one is 200 IQ points and the other is 300 IQ points. When you talk about the 200 IQ points, it's not 300 IQ points, but rather 200 IQ points, but if you talk about 300 IQ points, it's not 200 IQ points, but-
Wolfley: DAN, I DON'T MEAN TO INTERRUPT YOU EVEN THOUGH I DO IT EVERY WEEK BECAUSE OF THE ORDER IN WHICH WE HAPPEN TO SPEAK, BUT MY IQ IS 500 POINTS. YOU'D THINK THIS IS IMPRESSIVE, BUT IT'S A LOW NUMBER ON MY HOME WORLD. FOR EXAMPLE, MY FRIEND, A PHONE BOOTH WITH ONE EYE, BIG LIPS AND A FAKE NOSE, HAS AN IQ OF 719 POINTS.
Reilly: Wrong! All of you, wrong! I am much smarter than Charles Davis and his son! New Daddy and I are going to challenge Charles Davis and his son to a father-son challenge, right New Daddy?
Cutler: As long as I can nap through the whole thing, sign me up.
Reilly: NO, NEW DADDY, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO HELP ME DEFEAT CHARLES DAVIS SR. AND CHARLES DAVIS JR.! MAYBE MY FUTURE GIRLFRIEND ALYSSA MILANO WILL HELP!
Alyssa Milano: Future girlfriend!? I'm not your future girlfriend! This is the patriarchy forcing me into a womanly position! Hashtag me too! I'm calling 9-1-1!
Reilly: Alyssa Milano, you'll be my girlfriend when Mother passes, don't you worry. Charles Davis, here's the next topic: Who is the dumbest person in this booth? Hint, it's you, Charles Davis!
Charles Davis: Kevin, looks like we're talking about people in the booth, Kevin. Emmitt has problems with English, Kevin, but he's sneaky smart, Kevin. Tolly is creepy as f**k, but he's cunning in how he kidnaps women, Kevin. Jason Witten speaks in circles, Kevin, but he at least makes good points at times, Kevin. Dan Fouts, breaks things down a bit too much, but he's wise, Kevin. Ron Wolfley is not from this planet, Kevin, but he's probably smarter than us all, Kevin. Jay Cutler is asleep most of the time, Kevin, but he can be intelligent, Kevin. I'm not sure why Alyssa Milano is still here, Kevin, but she's a bright young lady, Kevin. And then there are us two, Kevin, and remember you clicked on the IQ ad on your phone, Kevin, and you took the test, Kevin? I checked the results, and you scored much lower than me, Kevin. So, it turns out that I have proof that you're dumber than me, Kevin.
Reilly: NO, THAT'S BULLS**T! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! I'M THE SMARTEST! YOU'RE THE DUMBEST! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! We'll be back after this!
NEW ORLEANS OFFENSE: The Saints have a high number of injury question marks, which makes it very difficult to handicap this game at the moment. Beginning with the obvious, Michael Thomas has been sidelined the past three weeks. There's a chance he'll return for this contest, especially with one more day to prepare. However, that's far from a guarantee. Thomas wasn't needed when the Saints scored on nearly every possession against the Lions, but the Chargers boast a better defense, despite some injuries they've suffered.
Thomas isn't the only injury question mark on this side of the ball, as right tackle Ryan Ramczyk got hurt against Detroit. The offense couldn't be stopped until Ramczyk was knocked out of the game. If Ramczyk is sidelined, the Saints will be without two starting offensive linemen (Andrus Peat), which will make things very difficult against a Charger front that still has talent despite Melvin Ingram's absence.
Regardless of what happens, the Saints will funnel their offense through Alvin Kamara. The Chargers have defended the run well this year, but they've given up lots of receiving yardage to backs. With that in mind, it'll be difficult for the Chargers to stop him.
SAN ANGELES OFFENSE: The Saints have injury concerns on this side of the ball as well. Their top two cornerbacks were out against the Lions, which is one of the reasons I loved Detroit so much. I thought that Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones would thrive against them, and that appeared to be the case when the Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead. What I didn't account for was Matthew Stafford throwing terribly in the red zone and the coaching staff ceaselessly feeding Adrian Peterson 3-yard carries.
Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins will be required against the Chargers, in all likelihood. Justin Herbert was amazing this past week, and he'll be able to connect repeatedly with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams if the two talented receivers are covered by backups.
The Chargers also have some injury question marks. They were missing three starting offensive linemen against the Buccaneers, yet they were somehow able to stay competitive. I believe this was because Tampa was looking ahead to its Thursday night affair. Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner will need to be on the field to keep Herbert safe against the Saints.
RECAP: It's very difficult to predict a winner at the moment without having more knowledge about the Saints' convoluted injury situation. I look forward to seeing the injury reports so I can make an educated prediction for this game.
For now, I'm going to side with the Saints right now. They're going to be a dominant team once everyone returns. I don't know if that'll be this week, but having one extra day to recover could help some of the players return.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: These teams haven't practiced yet. The injury report is so important for this game, so stay tuned for more updates.
SATURDAY NOTES: Awaiting injury report. There is so much important news pending.
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Can't wait to see the inactives list!
FINAL THOUGHTS: It sucks that Michael Thomas won't play, but his absence has dropped the spread to -7. Even better, Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Davenport will be back on the field for the Saints, which is huge. I love the Saints tonight for four units, as the Chargers will be down three starting offensive linemen. The best line I see New Orleans -7 -105 at both Bovada, FanDuel and BetUS.
BUFFALO OFFENSE: Josh Allen has improved so much as a passer this year. He's not even running anymore, as he finished with negative rushing yardage against the Raiders. He obviously still has his legs in his arsenal, but he has evolved so much that he doesn't have to beat teams via rushing the ball anymore.
This is bad news for the Titans, who have struggled against the pass this year. They failed to stop Drew Lock, Gardner Minshew and Kirk Cousins in the first three weeks of the season, and Allen is obviously much better than all three of those signal-callers.
The Titans may have a bit of good news in that they may have Adoree Jackson back from injured reserve. Jackson is the team's top cornerback, and he has sorely been missed. However, Jeffery Simmons and Da'Quan Jones have both been placed on the Fauxvid list, meaning the Titans could be down their top two defensive linemen against an explosive offense.
TENNESSEE OFFENSE: The Titans also have some injury question marks on this side of the ball, as Taylor Lewan suffered an injury in Week 4. Top receiver A.J. Brown has been knocked out since Week 1 as well. It sounds like Brown will play, while Lewan's status is up in the air. A week off should have helped him, obviously.
The Titans will need all hands on deck against the Bills, who have a great front that will certainly take advantage of Lewan's potential absence. The secondary, meanwhile, is excellent, so the Titans will need Brown on the field to occupy Tre'Davious White's coverage. This will allow Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith to have better opportunities, especially if Levi Wallace and Matt Milano are sidelined.
Meanwhile, it's difficult to imagine the Titans establishing Derrick Henry. The big back typically isn't as potent this early in the season, and the Bills are excellent at defending the run. They just shut down Josh Jacobs, so they'll be able to limit Henry.
RECAP: I haven't quite bought into the Titans yet. They're 3-0, but they're three field goals away from being 0-3. They're a solid team, and they're very well coached, but they're not an undefeated-caliber squad.
The Bills, on the other hand, are quite legitiamte. I think they'll win this game. I have no idea if they'll cover because there's no point spread posted at the moment, since it's unclear if this game will even take place. However, given that the Titans have had no new positive tests over the past 48 hours as of this writing, it's likely that this game will be played. I'm quietly rooting for another Monday night double-header that starts at 7 p.m., because that was awesome.
At any rate, I'll have a spread posted once a line becomes available.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Four more Titans players have tested positive since Tuesday, putting this game in doubt. At this rate, Tennessee should really be forced to forfeit its games for failing to follow protocol.
SATURDAY NOTES: Awaiting injury report and confirmation this game will be played...
SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: A coach tested positive, but this game is apparently still going to happen, as of this writing. This is because the NFL has already given the Titans a bye week, so another one would create major issues.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There are so many injuries on each side. The Bills are missing their top two cornerbacks and Matt Milano, so the Titans would look enticing if it weren't for them missing two key cornerbacks, a starting guard, two receivers and top defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons. I wish we had just one team having block injuries, but that's not the case. So, this will be a non-wager, but I'm going with the Bills at -3, available at BetUS. They're the better team, and the Titans haven't been able to practice.
The Motivation. Edge: Titans.
The Bills play against the Chiefs on Thursday.
The Spread. Edge: TBA.
WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Bills -1.
Westgate Advance Point Spread: No Line.
Computer Model: Titans -2.
DVOA Spread: Titans -1.5.
The Vegas. Edge: Titans.
Slight lean on the Bills.
week 5 NFL Picks - Early Games
Buccaneers at Bears, Panthers at Falcons, Raiders at Chiefs, Cardinals at Jets, Eagles at Steelers, Rams at Redskins, Bengals at Ravens, Jaguars at Texans
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.
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 11, 2020): 3-11 (-$1,935)
Last Week's 2-3 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2020): 0-5 (-$1,575)
Last Week's 4-5 Unit NFL Picks (Week 11, 2020): 1-2 (-$690)
Last Week Over-Under (Week 11, 2020): 11-3 ($0)
Last Week's Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks (Week 11, 2020): +$230
2020 NFL Picks of the Month: 0-2, 0% (-$1,735)
2020 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 80-76-5, 51.3% (-$1,115) 2020 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 28-31-3, 47.5% (-$2,750) 2020 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-14, 60.0% (+$2,585) 2020 Season Over-Under: 83-74-4, 52.9% ($0) 2020 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$420
1999 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 27-41-3 (39.7%) 2000 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 128-123-8 (51.0%) 2001 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 127-122-7 (51.0%) 2002 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 123-136-7 (47.5%) 2003 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 146-126-8 (53.7%) 2004 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 157-123-8 (56.1%) 2005 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 156-126-11 (55.3%) 2006 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-135-9 (52.8%) 2007 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 162-135-10, 54.5% (+$3,585) 2008 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-140-7, 51.4% (+$6,105) 2009 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 151-124-9, 54.9% (+$4,235) 2010 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$5,880) 2011 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-133-12, 50.7% (-$1,335) 2012 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 130-145-8, 47.3% (-$7,445) 2013 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 144-131-8, 52.4% (+$7,825) 2014 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 143-133-7, 51.8% (-$1,885) 2015 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 134-138-12, 49.3% (-$3,215) 2016 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 148-127-10, 53.8% (+$780) 2017 Season NFL Picks Against The Spread: 137-140-8, 49.5% (-$4,300) 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%) 2005 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 77-61-1 (55.8%) 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) 2010 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 51-38-4, 57.3% (+$3,180) 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) 2013 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 38-42, 47.5% (-$2,890) 2015 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 47-44-1, 51.6% (-$820) 2016 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 42-35-3, 54.5% (+$475) 2017 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 32-40-3, 43.8% (-$2,395) 2018 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 52-41-2, 55.9% (+$2,670) 2019 Season 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 44-36-2, 55.0% (+$655)
2002 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 11-12 (47.8%) 2003 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 16-13-1 (55.2%) 2004 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 18-11 (62.1%) 2005 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 25-22-1 (53.2%) 2006 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 21-29-1 (42.0%) 2007 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 35-30-2, 53.8% (+$420) 2008 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 39-26-2, 60.0% (+$4,055) 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) 2012 Season 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 14-21, 40.0% (-$3,650) 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%) 2002 Season Over-Under: 121-91-3 (57.1%) 2003 Season Over-Under: 126-132-2 (48.8%) 2004 Season Over-Under: 139-124-4 (52.9%) 2005 Season Over-Under: 117-145-4 (44.7%) 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) 2019 Season Over-Under: 126-133-4, 48.6% (-$50)
2007 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,035 2008 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,775 2009 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$865 2010 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$200 2011 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$590 2012 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,685 2013 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$2,245 2015 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$855 2016 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$275 2017 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$510 2018 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: +$1,495 2019 Season Prop/ML/Teaser/Parlay Picks: -$1,715
2006 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3 (50%) 2007 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$400) 2008 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-1, 85.7% (+$3,720) 2009 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$640) 2010 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,810) 2011 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-2, 71.4% (+$1,870) 2012 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-2, 60.0% (+$560) 2013 NFL Picks of the Month: 6-0, 100% (+$3,900) 2014 NFL Picks of the Month: 2-4, 33.3% (-$1,350) 2015 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3, 50.0% (-$100) 2016 NFL Picks of the Month: 5-1, 83.3% (+$2,780) 2017 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-2, 66.7% (+$1,040) 2018 NFL Picks of the Month: 4-3, 57.1% (-$640) 2019 NFL Picks of the Month: 3-3-1, 50.0% (-$625)
Career NFL Picks Against The Spread: 2,937-2,713-177, 52.0% (+$9,190) Career 2-3 Unit NFL Picks: 938-847-49 (52.6%) Career 4-5 Unit NFL Picks: 436-388-22 (52.9%) Career Over-Under: 2,406-2,368-65 (50.4%) Career Second-Half NFL Picks: 22-15-1 (61.1%) Career NFL Picks of the Month: 43-29-1 (59.7%)
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.