Walking the Line: Week 5

It seems like things might be turning around…for one of us at least. Shaun finally gets a winning week and I am stuck again with a lackluster performance. This season continues to be one that frustrates bettors as Vegas was successful yet again this week and we are all left trying to make some sense of it all. Luckily, the season is long, and after 4 week, we have 13 left to go and a long hill to climb. I’m hoping next week I don’t have to open this article with an apology! So enough with it, we are feeling great about week 5 let’s get started!

Last Week

Steve: 2-3                                            Season Record: 8-11-1

Shaun: 3-2                                           Season Record: 8-11-1

That looks ugly. Let’s change it.

Steve’s Picks

Buffalo @ Los Angeles (-2) Confidence LVL: 7

Oh what a few weeks can do to a team’s value. Following their week 1 drubbing in San Francisco, the Rams were the laughing stock of the league and looked absolutely terrible. Three weeks later they are 3-1 and lead the NFC West. Yes, that’s not a typo. Buffalo is also turning things around since getting slapped around by the apparently grounded Jets on Thursday night, but on Sunday, something’s got to give. And for me, that something will be Buffalo. What sticks out to me is that Buffalo is 0-9 SU (straight up) and 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games following consecutive wins, meaning they haven’t had a 3 game winning streak in their last 9 chances. On top of that, Buffalo is 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 road games. The Rams on the other hand are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last 5 games. I’ll take the home team to barely cover this one, but barely counts!

Cincinnati (-2) @ Dallas Confidence LVL: 8

This game should be fun to watch, but we aren’t here to have fun (and believe me, I haven’t been lately). The Bengals are coming off an impressive game against the Dolphins on Thursday night last week while the Cowboys celebrated a victory which saw them come back from a 14-0 deficit in the 1st quarter. So why am I going against the Cowboys? A home team getting points is almost always a smart bet based on principle alone, but I think this comes down to the Bengals being a really good team, and I just don’t think that the Cowboys are. Sure they’re 3-1, but they’ve beat Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco. The Bengals are 8-1-1 ATS and 7-3 SU in their last 10 road games, while Dallas is only 1-3-2 in their last 6 at Jerry’s World. Give me the better team to win this game by almost a TD.

Chargers (+3.5) @ Oakland Confidence LVL: 8

This one comes in as my favorite pick of the week. Being a Broncos fan, I’m not a huge supporter of these two teams, but I won’t deny that they usually provide a pretty good show when they meet up and I don’t expect this one to be any different. There will be points. Lots of them. The Raiders are 3-1 (3-0 on the road, 0-1 at home) while the Chargers are the opposite at 1-3 and have had the lead in the 4th quarter of each game they’ve played. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that same scenario play out here again with Oakland winning the game on a late field goal although the Chargers are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games when visiting the Coliseum. On top of that, SD is also 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games. Oakland surprisingly is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games and I don’t blame them, I don’t like Oakland either. What’s more is that the Raiders are 6-23 ATS when favored by 4.5 or less. That’s a lot of losses. The Raiders might win this one, but if they do it won’t be by much. Take the points.

Eagles @ Lions (+3.5) Confidence LVL: 6

I’ve kind of grown accustomed to at least one crazy pick per week and I think this one fits the mold. This one definitely has the makings of a trap game for the Eagles, who are flying high (I’m sorry that was bad) and coming in fresh off of their bye week. The Lions are coming off a really bad loss in Chicago and find themselves at 1-3 in this early season. There aren’t any stats I could find that made me feel better about this game. In fact, the Eagles are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last 5 games. For the Lions, they are 8-2 SU at home following a home loss, meaning they rarely lose at home twice in a row. Sometimes you just can’t explain why things happen and I think we will see that this week in Detroit. The Eagles get trapped and the Lions win this one SU but if they’re giving you points, you take them!

Shaun’s Picks

Houston @ Minnesota (-7) Confidence LVL: 8

I'm on board the Sam Bradford Vikings bandwagon?? I can’t believe those words were typed by these hands, but that defense is unbelievable so far this year. Minnesota is 4-0 and 4-0 ATS as well. They are rollin’. They are coming off a win Monday night vs bad quarterback Eli Manning and OBJ who apparently has the patience and attitude of a three year old. The Texans got back on the right track as well by beating the terrible Titans for the eighth time out of last nine times they've played each other. Although Hopkins owners would disagree about being back on track. I don't think the Texans will be able to move the ball on the road vs this purple D. And Sam, Rudolph, and the stable of below average running backs will put up enough points to cover the spread. Vikings 24-13.

Washington (+3.5) @ Baltimore Confidence LVL: 7

The Kirk Cousinskins are on a mini roll of their own, winning and covering the last two weeks, albeit vs the hapless Giants and the *cough* Browns *cough*. Jordan Reed finally blew up for 9-73-2, Captain Kirk is looking more confident, and Matt Jones is looking like a competent RB2. Baltimore is coming off of a tough home loss vs the Raiders. My favorite, Old Steve Smith, had himself a game. The Ravens cut Forsett (again) hinting that all the Dixon stashers may finally get to see him in action. Baltimore I feel is a better road team and they are at home vs the streaking Redskins.  I like the boys from Washington to win or at least stay within a field goal. Washington 31-27.

Philadelphia (-3) @ Detroit Confidence LVL: 6

Philly is ridin' high at 3-0 with rookie Carson Wentz, an over achieving defense, and the ageless wonder Darren Sproles. Philly is 5-2 in their last 7 vs the Lions. Detroit lost to the Bears last week. THE BEARS!! Matt Stafford and the whole offense really came crashing down inexplicably against Chicago. Golden Tate has been one of the biggest disappointments of the fantasy season. I mean seriously!! He caused an awful interception last week when he ran the wrong route, and caught 1 pass for 1 yard, on 4 targets. Marvin Jones however has been fantasy gold, especially where you drafted him. Theo is better when he's not asked to carry the full load. I think the Lions O gets back on track but their D can’t hold the Wentzonator. Eagles 31-24.

 NY Giants (+7.5) @ Green Bay Confidence LVL: 4 

This one is a total gut call. The NY Giants haven't shown themselves to be a playoff caliber team as of yet, most recently running into the purple buzz saw that is the Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay is coming off a bye week. The Giants have been bad, losing their last three games while going 0-3 ATS in the stretch. Green Bay is coming off a win vs Detroit in week 3 where they finally started to look like the offense fantasy players expected. I feel like traditionally, the Giants don't start playing well until the sky is falling. Well, with only bad Eli being in town so far this year and Odell Baby Jr. throwing tantrums all over the place, I feel like it may be now or never for the G-men. Not saying they will win but they will keep it close. Packers 31-27.

Wildcards

Steve: Buffalo/Los Angeles UNDER 39.5 Confidence LVL: 6

When you think of these 2 teams, you don’t exactly start imagining high flying offenses who put up a ton of points, not anymore at least. The teams are actually known for how lackluster their offenses have been the last few years so it’s not surprising that the total has gone under in 4 of Buffalo’s last 6 games or in 5 of Los Angeles’ last 6 games. These teams don’t score a lot and I don’t think that’s going to change this week. Take the under and watch a different game.

Shaun: Washington/Baltimore OVER 45 Confidence LVL: 7

The Redskins and Ravens have both been scoring points so far this year. I made my prediction above so double down and take the over in this game as well as Washington and the points.