By Joe Caputo
Week 5: 3-3
Yea, so, I had an off week. It sucks. But unfortunately, in the gambling world, you can’t win money every week. Luckily, it wasn’t an awful week. Now, I try to get back on track with 6 games from Week 6.
CLEVELAND (-1) v Pittsburgh
There is no way in hell Pittsburgh is the better team, which is what the line implies. The Browns are legit. I have bought in. No, they’re not a top flight team, but they are definitely good enough to put themselves in contention for a Wild Card this year. I simply think the Steelers are bad. Their record does not reflect the real team that they are. Their last 2 games, they lost at home to the Bucs and squeaked by Jacksonville. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why more than 60% of the public is backing the Steelers here, but I’ll take the the line adjustment in my favor. The Browns outscored Pittsburgh by more than 20 points in the second half of their last meeting at Heinz Field. They know they can play with Pitt, and this will be a different game in the Dawg Pound.
My Pick: Browns
MINNESOTA (-1) v Detroit
Detroit, like New Orleans and Atlanta, is another one of those teams that I will simply not pick outdoors until they prove me wrong. Teddy is back, which means Minnesota’s offense will be drastically improved from their Week 5 form when they were obliterated in Green Bay. I love the idea of picking a team that looked terrible the previous week. That’s when you’re getting the most value. The Lions showed last week with their loss at home to Buffalo that they have not turned the corner, like many thought they had. They are still going to be inconsistent. Although they really need this game at Minnesota, I don’t think they get it.
My Pick: Vikings
BUFFALO (+3) v New England
Another example of a primetime blowout inflating a line. If this game was in New England, the Pats would be more than a touchdown favorite. The Pats didn’t even beat the Raiders by more than a touchdown at home. Yes, the Pats looked phenomenal last week on Sunday night, but wasn’t the stage just set perfectly for them? Now, they have to go out to Buffalo, where the crowd will be rocking knowing that a win will tie them for first in the AFC East. The Bills defense has been very solid this year for a team that is not being talked about. Let’s face it, which Pats team do you trust? I’ll take the one that I’ve seen for the first 4 weeks. Last week was a fluke.
My Pick: Bills
MIAMI (+3.5) v Green Bay
This was a game I went back and forth on, but now feel pretty comfortable with it. Green Bay simply isn’t used to playing in hot weather. It is going to push 90 degrees this Sunday in Miami. Earlier in the year, we saw Seattle look exhausted in the second half of their game in San Diego playing in the sweltering heat. I don’t think the Packers defense will be able to keep their energy a full 60 minutes. Yea, the Packers have looked great this year, but by the numbers, Miami has one of the better defenses in the NFL. I think they have the ability to slow down Rodgers’ hot streak, control the ball with their ground game, and pull an upset as a home dog.
My Pick: Dolphins
OAKLAND (+7.5) v San Diego
Ahhhhh, this is just my kind of week now isn’t it? How many home dogs are you gonna give me? Yes, San Diego has looked outstanding this season. They are the only team in the NFL that has covered the spread in each of their games. But this one’s different. Yes, the Raiders are pretty terrible. But, there are a few things working in their favor here. First, the new head coach should at least energize them for some period of time. Coming off their bye, this might be the most inspired effort you see from the Raiders all season. Second, the Raiders always seem to get up for their home game agaisnt the division-rival Chargers. Last year, they actually beat San Diego at home. I know, it’s tough to actually get yourself to bet the Raiders at this point, but if there were ever a time to do it, it’s now.
My Pick: Raiders
PHILADELPHIA (-2.5) v NY Giants
What a treat on Sunday night. The overrated Eagles host the G-men, a team that is simply surging. The Giants are my pick to win the division at this point. Don’t sit there and try to argue with me that the Eagles have not been fortunate this season. They have scored 7 non-offensive touchdowns this year. You really think that’s a sustainable stat? Meanwhile, their defense allowed 28 points to Austin Davis at home last week in a near improbable comeback by St. Louis. I think the Giants are the better team here. They have been far more consistent offensively ever since Eli figured out this system in Week 3, and I think the trend continues. Also, Philly’s home-field tends to be a little weak at times. Seems to me like a typical Eli shows up for a primetime divisional matchup situation.
My Pick: Giants
I’ll take the moneylines of:
Miami, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, and the Giants
Used: Philadelphia, Green Bay, New England, Indianapolis, San Francisco
Week 6: Cincinnati