Friday, October 09, 2009

NFL Pick 5 -- Week 5

So, after last week's powerful 5-0 record against the spread, my season record right now stands at 10-5 as we head into the first game of the second quarter of the 2009 NFL season. The league's best teams -- the Cheatriots, Ravens, Jets and the Colts in the AFC, and the Giants, Vikings, Saints and 49ers in the NFC -- have already started to distance themselves from the competition, while it's becoming increasingly clear who the bottom of the NFL in 2009 is going to be as well. It is with those teams at the top and bottom of the league so far this year in mind that I pick my five NFL games against the spread for Week 5, as always in no particular order:

1. Minnesota Vikings - 10 at the St. Louis Rams. Everybody knows the Rams are a terrible football team. With their utterly porous defense combined with an offense that can move the ball a little bit but finds a very hard time scoring, this should be a beatdown for the Vikings even when on the road. The Vikes control the ball with the best runningback in football, they have the grizzled veteran at qb who so far this year is managing the games beautifully, and they've also got one of the league's toughest defenses, in particular against the run which is perhaps the Rams' strongest point on offense. I know Brett Favre was really, really juiced to finally beat the team that chose Aaron Rodgers over him, so there is every possibility of a letdown game from Mr. Excitement in St. Louis this week, but even still this should be an easy win for one of the very best teams in the league over one of the very worst. I don't love the 10 points but ultimately I'm going to do what's worked over the past couple of weeks, and just hold my nose and pick a good team to win big against a bad team on the road.

2. Detroit Lions + 10.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers. Now on this one I'm going the opposite way. I already lost once this year picking the Lions, but I'm back this week to try to duplicate that feat once again in Week 5. I don't think the Lions are going to win outright over the defending superbowl champion Steelers, but the simple fact of the matter is that Pittsburgh is not quite the same team without Troy Polamalu out there prowling the field on defense. They've looked better over the past couple of weeks, but then the Lions have also seemed to be getting it together themselves if not only for a couple of quarters like last week against the Bears. But with the Lions at home, playing a bit of improved football, and facing a depleted or at least injury-slowed Steelers squad even if Polamalu is able to return from spraining his MCL while Willie Parker appears headed for the bench for a second straight week, I think more than 10 points is just too much to give for this game. I'll take the points.

3. New England Cheatriots -3 at Denver Broncos. Here is a chance for me to put my money where my mouth is, as the Cheatriots head to Mile High to take on the 4-0 Broncos in what will be billed as one of the biggest games of the week for sure. Last week I gave the Broncos the "Not as Good as Their Record" award, and this week I'm backing that up by picking the Cheaters to win by more than a field goal. With Denver's stingy defense this one is not likely in my view to run much more than 3 points, but with the chance that Denver could win outright, combined with the chance that they lose but by a field goal or less, this seems like value-town to me.

4. Indianapolis Colts -3.5 at Tennessee Titans. This one scares me a little bit because it seems so low that I fear it's one of those games somebody knows something I don't know about, but I just can't stay away after watching these two teams play multiple games already this year. One thing I know for sure is that the Titans' defense is weak, and their pass defense is downright nasty. It stinks out loud. Oh, and Peyton Manning is coming to town. I don't see how I can stay away from the Colts, even against a beyond-desperate 0-4 Titans squad, and even on the road, with the matchup looking this good and only giving up 3.5 points. The Colts could win by double digits in this one.

5. Jets -1.5 at Dolphins. Once again I will keep with trend and pick the Monday night game this week, and this time I'm going back with the Jets, a common pick this year for me that's been working out well on both sides of the score so far in 2009. Once thing I have noticed repeatedly (and been impressed with) about Jets' rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez is how he picks himself up and comes back -- emotionally and physically -- from a bad play or a bad game. So far in his young NFL career, the Sanchise seems to have that uncanny resiliency that is so crucial for any big-time NFL qb, and he's coming off his first bad game of the regular season against the Saints last week in New Orleans. The Dolphins are a hungry team, finally having gotten off the schneid last week in killing Buffalo by ramming the wildcat down their throats, but something tells me that Sanchise, coach Rex Ryan and the Jets are going down to Miami to send a message this week. If memory serves, Rex Ryan has absolutely eaten up the wildcat that the Dolphins ran so successfully over the past year or two, crushing the team in 2008 and I think back in 2007 as well, so I'm not as concerned as I might be against a more poorly-coach and poorly-prepared team, and like I said I expect Sanchise to step up and lead his team to victory once again on his first Monday night national television appearance of probably many over his NFL career.

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Blogger WillWonka said...

I'm also a little puzzled about the Indy line. I don't normally bet; but I don' think that I can pass this one up.

12:29 AM  

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