Hot Picks. Hot Takes.

Betspin's Week Five NFL Picks

Man, Christian Ponder is the worst. He took a smart pick in the Minnesota Vikings and just rewarded all of the square idiots out there by going down by 42 (!) points at one point in Minnesota's great big loss to Green Bay. Whatever. Let's pick some other football games!


As always, spreads are from the Westgate Superbook (formerly known as the LVH) via VegasInsider, and bet trends mentioned are from SportsInsights. Home teams are mentioned in CAPS.

Bears +2.5 over PANTHERS

We need to talk about the Bears. Injuries to their offensive line are an issue, while Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey have not been able to live up to their output in the first two weeks of the season for a multitude of reasons.

One of those reasons is Jay Cutler who, thanks in part to the offensive line issues on his team, is averaging 6.49 yards per pass attempt. That puts him outside of the top 25 in the NFL in that category, and one spot behind Drew Stanton.

HOWEVER, the Panthers cannot run the ball (3.1 yards per rush, 30th in the NFL) and cannot play defense (28th in DVOA). So you take the points here.


Browns +2 over TITANS

Cleveland is third in the league in DVOA on offense, and are tenth in yards per play. That's just weird to see, but it's true. Cleveland's offense has been spectacular to this point in the season, and that will be the difference maker here.


EAGLES -6.5 over Rams

After looking shaky at San Francisco last week, look for Philadelphia to take advantage of St. Louis' poor defense (30th in DVOA) to get back on track. The Rams are one of seven teams in the NFL currently allowing at least five yards per carry, which will be a huge boost for a struggling LeSean McCoy.


Falcons +4 over GIANTS

As a Giants fan, it is so exciting to see the Giants favored in a home game against a competent opponent again. However, as a Giants fan, I know better than to expect great things from them in this spot.


While the Giants have played great defense, especially against the pass where they're ranked fifth in DVOA, they're still 29th in the league in yards against per pass attempt (7.9 ypa). That's not going to get it done against an offense led by Matt Ryan, who is third in the league in yards per pass, with 8.31 yards per attempt.

SAINTS -10 over Buccaneers


You play the Saints at home, you fade them on the road, and you make money. Simple.

COWBOYS -6.5 over Texans

This is a case in which one team's strength is going up against the other team's weakness, and it's going to benefit the Cowboys a whole lot.


Dallas is third in the NFL in DVOA running the ball, and are third in yards per carry with 5.1 yards per rush. Houston, meanwhile, is one of those aforementioned seven teams allowing five yards or more per carry this season, and are 29th in DVOA against the run. DeMarco Murray is going to have a huge week.

Bills +6.5 over LIONS

Calvin Johnson isn't healthy, and Buffalo's defense is stingy as it is. Detroit will win, but this game will be a real pain in the ass for them.


Ravens +3.5 over COLTS

Over 60% of bettors are on the Colts here, but the line has remained consistent. For all of the love Andrew Luck gets, his pass offense is rated below Baltimore by three spots in DVOA. Maybe Joe Flacco is elite.


Steelers -6 over JAGUARS

I can't do it. I can't take the Jaguars, even though I really want to.

Cardinals +7.5 over BRONCOS

I like the idea of a stingy defense having two weeks to prepare for Peyton Manning. I like it a lot.


Peyton Manning, by the way, is 18th in the NFL in yards per pass attempt. Maybe he should use that out and up route he used at the end of the Seattle game more often.

Chiefs +5.5 over 49ERS


CHARGERS -6.5 over Jets

Geno Smith is a dumpster fire. This will be the game the Jets switch to Vick.

Bengals -1 over PATRIOTS

This game opened at Patriots -3, and has moved by four points with two thirds of bettors on the Bengals.


Cincinnati is an interesting team in that they have the best pass defense in the league, but the worst rush defense as well. That would be problematic if the Patriots weren't abominable in both phases of offense.

Andy Dalton, by the way, is leading the NFL in yards per pass. This will be rendered meaningless when he goes 12-45 for 114 yards, no touchdowns, and two picks in the Wild Card round this year.


Seahawks -7 over RACISTS

Dan Snyder can sit on a trident.

Last Week: 8-5

This Week: 0-1

2014 ATS: 34-28

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