By Paul Schmidt
Last week, I bragged about how well I was doing with my NFL picks. I said EVERYONE should listen to me. I even went so far as to demand from my wife that she should start betting all of my games if I went 4-0 again.
If you read that last paragraph and didn’t understand that I probably REALLY pissed off the gambling gods, well, then you haven’t gambled enough.
I went 2-2, which was respectable, but it wasn’t real good, regardless. I made the indefensible move of wagering on a TERRIBLE Washington team laying a ton of points…and I guess not knowing that Buffalo was awful, despite every Buffalo fan I know telling me how bad they were. Just dumb.
So coming into this week, I realized I’d have to just go with what I knew from the first four weeks, and I do feel like, I, and really all of us, know quite a bit at this point. Hopefully…it will be reflected in my picks.
This week’s lines seem a little goofy. I actually had trouble picking the 4 games I officially wanted to bet, because I really didn’t mind almost every single game. I can’t remember that happening in the last few seasons. Also, you’re going to see some of the highest lines that I’ve seen in a few seasons, which should make for some fun wagering.
Here’s my four Week 5 games:
Minnesota (-10.5) at St. Louis
This line is what really got my toes a-tappin’. I thought this would be the biggest line of the week, and it’s not close. Look, I think Brett Favre is just as overrated as everyone else…but he’s absolutely in the zone now. And while I typically HATE teams coming off the short week (one less day to heal and prepare for the next game), but this is the Rams. They are the worst team in the NFL.
And when you think about it…that’s saying something with a team like Oakland out there on the board to say that about…Pick: Minnesota -10.5
Oakland (+15.5) at New York Giants
I’m not all that sure I can remember seeing a line higher than 15.5…perhaps during the crazy New England run two years ago, but I can’t be sure. I think I remember a 17 point one then…but the fog of old age is setting in…
Look, this Giants team does nothing spectactular, but they find ways to blow you out. They’ve won every game this year by double-digits, and that certainly won’t stop this week. And this week, it’ll be cold and miserable in New York, and that great Giants defense has GOT to be licking their chops to take on JaMarcus Russell this week.
Russell is closing in on being historically bad, and this might be the week that gets him there. Trust me, I know that this is a lot of points to lay, but I think we’ll get there with room to spare with New York pitching a shutout. Pick: Giants -15.5
Tampa Bay +15.5 at Philadelphia
This Philly team is just a little bit scary. I think they are really good, but I think at this point they might be starting the wrong QB. McNabb, if not 100% healthy, just isn’t better than Kevin Kolb. It’s a sad thing to say, but I think it’s true.
Westbrook looks like he is going to play for Philadelphia, which is good for them, but he’ll be spltting time with LeSean McCoy, so, once again, I think they just might be keeping their best option on the bench part of the time to assuage the veteran.
See, the above is my problem with the Eagles…their young guys might be the best guys they have, and they aren’t getting them the proper amount of PT. For that reason, and for the friskiness of the Bucs last week with Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson at QB…well…
And yes, I’m ignoring how horrible the Bucs run defense is. It’s awful. I am going on a limb and saying that it won’t matter this week. Pick: Bucs +15.5
Atlanta +2 at San Francisco
Apparently folks aren’t down with the 49ers yet.
I was sold after they should have beaten the VIkings on the road. That was a flukey loss. I’m not really convinced on the Falcons and Matt Ryan yet…and I know, I know, I have a season and a third of evidence saying Matt Ryan is one helluva QB.
But something keeps nagging at me. I think he has a propensity for laying a stinkbomb, and this is a really good Niners defense, helmed by Patrick Willis — my darkhorse pick for Defensive Player of the Year in the NFL. He is just a beast. And with that defense and an offense that just doesn’t make mistakes, especially at home…well, I just think this is the strangest line of the day. Niners roll. Pick: San Francisco -2
Last Week: 2-2
Season Record: 11-5