-NFL Week 5 Game Predictions

After an amazing run during my inaugural picks in Week 3, the clock struck 12 and reality most certainly did bite. An awful 7-9 run in Week 4 leaves a two week season total of 19-11 on straight up picks & a sour taste in my mouth.  This 19-11 record includes two losses that I ceded due to not posting picks for the week 3 Sunday Night and Monday Night Games. Where does this straight-up record leave the Coach in the standings versus the ESPN Analyts? Dead last that’s where. Accumulating there picks since week 3 I am tied with only Ron Jaworski.

I am gonna blame last week’s terrible picks on my post- mortem, Red Sox collapse syndrome (RSCS). The picks against the spread or ATS in addition to the over/under picks went a paltry 7-9 each. Luckily, however the week was saved by an exact score prediction on the Monday Night affair as well as basically calling the game as it went.

Monday Night Football:Tampa Bay at Indy: Normally I would say Tampa is due for a let down after a big win at home versus the Falcons, but its Monday Night folks and the Colts look awful this year. They will keep it respectable for a half, but Josh Freeman, M Williams and L. Blount will batter the Indy defense and Kerry Collins will looking for his rocking chair after this one.  My Pick: TB wins but fails to cover the -10 points on the road. The Colts do have some respect for themselves and its a National Game. 24-17. A push on the total of 41

So with a clear conscious and a better mood after watching the Bruins raise their championship banner, the week 5 selections are as follows.

Week 5 

New Orleans @ Carolina: The line has stayed put for the most part at Saints -6.5 with the total at 52.5 points. Some trends to think about first are that the under is 8-0 in the last 8 games between these two teams in Carolina and the Saints under is 10-1 in their last 11 games inside the division. Something tells me this trend is broken this time around. Carolina’s defense & special teams are downright awful. Marques Colston is back in the fold, Ingram is helping make the offense balanced and there are two QB’s playing great football right now.  The game will not be close as Newton will indeed turn the ball over a couple of times and Brees will make the kid pay dearly. Pick: Saints roll 41-24 in fantasy footballers dream!!! Over the total and a Saints cover.

Philly @ Buffalo: The highly touted “Dream Team” has been anything but that, thus far in the season. Buffalo on the other hand has been a surprise this season. Philly is in a must-win situation five weeks into the season and their defense hasn’t been getting it done at all. What exactly was the point of having Rogers-Cromartie, Samuel and Asomugha in your defensive back field as three of the best man-to-man defenders in the NFL and then play them in a zone? Samuel in this zone ends up dropping back to safety. Samuel couldn’t tackle a mannequin with an injury, nevermind a top NFL running back. I say they tweak the scheme this week and cause Fitzy fitz. Buffalo is overrated, yes I said it. A blowout win over a weak KC team, a comeback win over a slightly better than average AFC West team, a huge win in their Super Bowl game of the season over Pats (helped by Brady’s 4 INTs) and a loss to Cincy. Both teams switch roles and show their true colors. Pick: The Eagles cover as 2.5 pts favorites on the road 31-17 and the game goes under the total of 48.5

Seattle @ NYG: Look don’t be fooled by the Hawks comeback last week. This game is on the road and Seattle is flat-out terrible away from home. The G-Men on the other hand are on a winning streak of 3 games and despite some officiating help last week, will win this game handily. Why? Their defense will demolish the hapless Tarvaris Jackson at home. Think noise, pressure and picks. The two games the Hawks have played on the road this season have both been blowouts & although I think they can keep it closer this week, I’m expecting a loss of at least 7 points. The line has moved lately from NYG -11.5  to -9.5. A definite indicator of sharp book movement. Pick: NYG wins 21-13 and the score goes under the 41.5 total. The Hawks however get the cover.

Cincy @ Jax: The Bengals are coming off a huge win last week, the Jags are still rebuilding and with a really strong defense against both the run and the pass will I see the Bengals moving past the .500 mark this year. Yes, it is a road game, but Gabbert still has some learning curves ahead of him and A.J. Green and the resilient Andy Dalton leads the team to another 4th quarter field goal drive. Pick: Bengals cover on the road as -1 favorites and the score looks like a 20-17 finish. Over the 35.5 total barely.

KC @ Indy: This game is all about Dwight Freeney in my opinion and Painter looks like he will become more comfortable in the pocket against an inferior KC defense. The fact that Indy doesn’t have a strong run game will keep this closer than the public eye is expecting. In fact, 79% of the public bets are on the Colts in this affair, which normally scares me, but I firmly believe that Cassell will be on the turf a lot. Pick: Indy wins a low scoring game 17-13  to cover as -1 point home favorites and the score falls under the total of 38.

Tennessee @ Pitt: The Steelers defense looks old and slow and following a similar game-plan used by the Texans last week, the swift moving Chris Johnson will be able to exploit the edges of the defense and break 2 big ones this week on hostile grounds. Big Ben is getting hit a ton this year and the offensive-line leads the league in mental and physical mistakes so far. Pick: Titans pull the upset as +3 point dogs on the road and wins outright 27-23. The score goes over the 40.5 point total here.

Arizona @ Minnesota: Look the Vikings have to win a game eventually and this is the week they pull it off. The Cards will still be reeling after last week’s late loss after what I believe is a “Sally” rule in the NFL. If you want to instill a rule about giving yourself up in a professional tackle football game you can eat beans. That rule is Busch league and very Pop Warner like. Oh yes, there is a game to talk about here, one in which Adrian Peterson has to be starving for a huge game and McNabb’s job is on the line to a guy named Christian Ponder. Pick: Minny finally breaks their losing streak, AP goes off and Kolb wonders why he’s shaking his head on the sidelines again. Minny wins 26-20  and the line goes over the posted 45.5 total.

Oakland @ Houston: First and foremost RIP Al Davis, who passed at the age of 82 years young on Friday. Will the Raiders play inspired “win one for the gipper” type of football? For a half, yes. The pressure on J. Campbell will finally hurt them this week as Mario Williams will continue his surge towards Defensive Player of The Year. Wade Philips has the Texans “D” playing great and Oakland’s defense isn’t fast enough for this balanced offense. Expect a lot of Tight End action from Houston with Adrian Foster dominating again. Pick: Houston wins 28-17 to cover the -5.5 spread, but another under here with their renewed defense and the absence of Andre johnson. The total posts at a too high 48.5

TB @ SF: Both of these teams are playing very good football right now and each could easily be 4-0. Harbaugh has the Niners playing inspired and resilient football, but I don’t think they have the physicality to deal with the likes of L. Blount and Freeman. Each game we’ve seen from Tampa this season, the opposing defense seems to fade from the bruises in the 2nd half. Gore will help keep this a great game, but Josh Freeman is tough as nails late in the game and will pull this closely contested, slugfest out in the end. My gut says OT in this one. Pick: TB wins a fantastic game in OT 23-20 covers the spread and it goes over the 41.5 total due to the OT factor.

NYJ @New England: Yes I’m aware that the JETS have looked awfully vulnerable and a bit old in the tooth this season. I’m also aware that Brady is Brady and Mark Sanchez needs to step-up in this game for NY to pull out a much-needed road win. The Pats defense is ripe for the taking here as the injuries, lack of QB pressure, and the rivalry keep this game close. The line opened at -10 for the Pats at home, but has moved a ton down to -7.5. Why? The Patriots did crush the Jets 45-3 at home last season but the road team in this rivalry is an amazing 18-7-1 ATS in the last 26 meetings. With the sharp money dropping the line and the trends in favor of the road team, the Jets look more and more like the team to cover the money picks. Expect Belicheck to keep things balanced against the Jets weak run defense thereby eating a lot of clock and allowing NY to keep it close, but not enough to win this game out-right. Pick: Patriots win, but as usual the Jets make em work hard for it. 21-17 Pats and way under the ridiculous 50 point total.

San Diego @ Denver: The Chargers absolutely own the Broncos lately. 7-1-1 in their last 10 meetings ATS. Orton looks like he wants a new home and with Denver’s defense (Dawkins looks soo slow), I’m feeling a blowout in this one. The Chargers typically struggle on grass to score points, but this is a different squad and Vincent Jackson and Rivers continue to play Tecmo Bowl styled football against the Broncos on the road. The line is moving fast from -6.5 to -4 which is alarming to me, but not enough to sway my vote. Pick: San Diego 35-24 on the road. The over is crushed as Denver has played over the total in 7 of their last 8 home games.

Sunday Night Football

Green Bay @ Atlanta: The Falcons traded everything under the sun for Julio Jones in an attempt to gun it out with the Packers this season, but my bet is that it just balances the offense better. An overdose of Michael Turner helps pull the Sunday Night stunner for the Falcons as they continue to play unreal football at the Georgia Dome. Aaron Rodgers has his first less than stellar game this season and Atlanta gets revenge on last season’s playoff blow-out.  Green Bay loses its first game despite being the better team. Pick: Atlanta with the home upset 23-17 and under the total of 53.5. 

Monday Night Football

Chicago @ Detroit: A MNF game in Detroit!?! The possibility of being the only undefeated team in the NFL!?! Yes, it’s true the Motor City is rockin again. Da Bears just as everyone else has discovered this season have nobody that can cover Megatron and Mike Martz  just loves leaving his QBs out to dry. The Lions will not pass up this nationally televised opportunity to further cement themselves as an elite team to be reckoned with this season. Prop pick of the week is Javhid Best breaks-off for a big one versus and over-aggressibe deep coverage package/blitz. Calvin Johnson goes deep leaving the underneath open all night and Best records a 100 yard receiving game out of the backfield. Suh will be in Cutler’s fragile face all night and the Lions roar to a huge win!!! Pick: 30-21 Lions to cover, the game goes over the total and Detroit leaps into the number one spot in this week’s NFL Power Rankings

You can follow Coach Lespray on twitter @coachlespray or see his game-time tweets on his facebook page Paul LeSpray.

All odds and trends information regarding this column have been pulled from the website Covers.com.

One Response to “-NFL Week 5 Game Predictions”
  1. Scorcho Slim says:

    Le’Spray du monde?! Nice breakdown. I agree about the Pats game: the Jets do tend to make us work for it. I would hope we break above 21 but it won’t matter as long as we walk away with the ‘W’.

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