NFL Newsletter: Week Five Football Predictions 10-8-17
L.A. Chargers vs. New York Giants Pick
I’d be lying to you if I said things are about to get better for the
Woeful Giants. After three successive losing seasons, and then finally crashing the NFL playoff party last season, they are destined to return to their old ways this year following a pathetic 0-4 start.
Considering the plight of 0-4 teams in Game Five (5-18 SU and 7-16 ATS since 2009), the good news for not-so-Big Blue is that the Chargers have yet to taste victory this season as well. And with this being a 1:00 PM ET kick-off, there are no excuses should the Giants not handle their sleepy west coast visitors today.
The problem is – and there are many of them for NYG – the Giants are 3-14 ATS as favorites following an away game versus non-division opponents coming off a home game. Also, QB Eli Manning is 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS in his last six games versus AFC West opponents.
On the flip side, Eli’s counterpart, Philip Rivers, is 7-1 SU and 6-1-1 ATS in his career versus NFC East opponents. And not to mention the Chargers are 9-1 SUATS away following consecutive home games. Early start aside, the bottom line is in his 182nd straight NFL start, Rivers owns the superior numbers. And numbers don’t lie. FYI: there have been only three matchups of 0-4 teams in Game Five since 1980 (the last was in 2003 between Jacksonville and San Diego). The dog went 2-1 ATS in those meetings.
- L.A. Chargers +3.5
Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals Pick
Sometimes there’s nothing better for an ailing team than a trip to the Dawg Pound. It’s there where confidence is renewed, and sputtering teams often get back on track. After opening the season with three straight losses, the Bengals found their groove on the North coast last week and are now prepared to crash the ‘party-of-three’ as only 3 NFL teams have made it to the playoffs following 0-3 starts.
The upstart Bills – with a coaching staff that features ten coaches with Super Bowl experience – figures to oblige, too, as they’re 0-12 SU and 2-8-2 ATS in non-division games before a bye week. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is 17-2 ATS following an away game when facing a .500 or greater non-division opponent coming off an away game.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton is 12-2 ATS against opponents coming off an SU underdog win, including 8-0 ATS the previous eight, and 9-0 ATS the last nine versus non-division foes.
- Cincinnati Bengals -3
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Pick
The Brown nosers still lead the chase for Sam Darnold (or Josh Rosen) in this year’s NFL quarterback sweepstakes with the early odds-on favorite, the Jets, falling back into mid-pack with a pair of wins to start the season. And if I’m correct in my assumption, Cleveland will still reside in the pole position at the end of the day.
Remember, everything they did in last year’s draft was about this year’s draft, even so far as trading down and passing on what should have been their star QB of the future (Deshaun Watson). Just keep stockpiling the picks, Cleveland, and one day you’ll become the Philadelphia 76ers of the NFL.
The Browns dress up as favorites again today for the second time in the Hue Jackson era (see debacle at Indianapolis two weeks ago) looking to shake a 1-10 ATS record at home following a home game, and a paltry 0-4 SUATS mark the last four games in this series. The Jets are 12-2 ATS as road dogs before facing New England and have rushed for 100 or more yards in 7 of their last eight games. That’s important given the fact that Cleveland is 0-21 SU and 3-17-1 ATS in their previous 21 games in which they have surrendered 100 or more rush yards.
Remember, the Browns are 2-28 SU and 7-22-1 ATS the last 30 games, including 1-19 SU and 5-15 ATS under HC Jackson. They lost 31-28 here to the Jets as 2.5-point dogs last year. They can do the same today.
- New York Jets PK
San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts Pick
Whoever coined the phrase good teams find ways to win while bad teams find ways to lose definitely invented ‘live’ betting! Was there any doubt that the Niners would somehow find a way to let the Cardinals drive 75 yards for a game-winning touchdown with just over two minutes left in overtime? After keeping the Redbirds out of the end zone for the first 67 minutes? Or that the Colts would go sleepless in Seattle for the entire second half? Not really.
Somehow for teams that should be playing on Wednesday (when the Sun Belt shines) instead of Sunday, they arrive with some surprisingly good numbers.
The winless 49ers are 3-1 SU and 3-0-1 ATS away in the middle of a three-game road trip while their quarterback, Brian Hoyer, is 12-3-1 ATS following an SU loss, including 9-1-1 ATS against losing opposition.
As for the 1-3 Colts, HC Chuck Pagano is 25-8 SUATS off an SU loss, including 16-6 SU and 18-4 ATS against non-division foes and 13-5 ATS at home. It’s probably best to steer clear of this mess, but if you want to get involved, I should perhaps point out that 0-4 NFL teams are 35-74 SU since 1980, including 4-18 SU since 2009.
In addition, San Francisco has been no treat on the road, logging a 2-16 SU record the last 2-plus seasons. Lay it or leave it in what could very well be another Frisco fiasco.
- Flip a Coin
Arizona Cardinals vs Philadelphia Eagles Pick
After beating the Giants on a last-second 61-yard FG at home two weeks ago and holding off the Chargers in front of 11 fans. (The rest were Eagle fanatics) It would come as no surprise to see the Eagles relax a bit and get off to a rare slow start (they have outscored their first four opponents 20-3 in the opening quarter this season) in front of the home faithful.
As it is, they’re just 2-9 SU and 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games against NFC West opposition. In addition, Eagles HC Doug Pederson is 0-3 ATS at home against foes arriving off an ATS loss. HC Bruce Arians, meanwhile, does some of his best work against opponents coming off a SUATS win, posting a 19-6 SUATS log. That leads me to believe that even if the Boo Birds aren’t out early, they’ll indeed be around late. Too many points to pass up in a game I can see the birds winning outright.
- Arizona Cardinals +7
Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions Pick
Surprised to see Carolina on the winning side of this prediction after knocking off the Pats last week in Foxborough? While a letdown is normally in order after knocking off the defending Super Bowl champs, the previous five teams who have pulled the upset are 5-0 ATS the following game.
That doesn’t bode well for a Detroit team that is 0-7 ATS at home off an away game against non-division opponents also arriving off an away game. In addition, Matthew Stafford is just 5-10 ATS against NFC South opposition. A short work week ahead (the Panthers host the Eagles on Thursday night) is a concern but sitting tied atop the NFC South after just having defeated the Brady Bunch tells me nothing could be more elegant than to be Carolina these days.
A win today gives them clear possession of first place, too, with the Falcons on a bye week. And while you’re still divulging all the numbers we’ve shared with you in this surprise call, swallow this one, too: Cam Newton is a mind-blowing 39-1 SU in his NFL career in games when he rushes eight times or more. An easy take, as Cam’s Cats improve to 6-1 ATS away in Game Five of the season.
- Carolina Panthers +2.5
Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders Pick
Oh my how the Raiders have gone from NFL fans’ penthouse to the
outhouse in one short season. It’s what happens when a rabid fan base grows tired of losing. And it’s happened in a blink, too, as last year’s 12-win Oakland squad won it first two games of the 2017 season before dropping a pair of SUATS losses the past two weeks.
And just like that, like a franchise headed to Las Vegas, they’re outta here. Making matters worse, with starting QB Derek Carr out 2-6 weeks with a back fracture, the Raiders turn the keys over to E.J. Manuel – and that’s never been a good thing.
Manuel is 6-11 SU and 7-10 ATS in the NFL, including 0-5 SUATS the last five, and 1-7 SUATS against foes off a loss (0-7 SUATS the previous seven). That’s not good. Not when Oakland is 2-13 ATS in games before facing the Chargers. And not when Baltimore QB Joe Flacco is 13-5 ATS as a dog against opponents coming off a loss.
While both teams have problems, the Ravens have a former Pro Bowl quarterback… and they’re the underdogs.
- Baltimore Ravens +3
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans Pick
By the grace of a botched last play of the game lateral-gone-bad, the Chiefs are 4-0 SUATS to start the 2017 season. And while these 4-0 SUATS starters are 25-12 SU in Game Fives of the season, they are just 16-17-4 ATS.
Meaning a cool-down is generally right around the corner.
To help maintain that notion, KC is 1-7 ATS in non-division games following a non-division Monday night game. It should also be noted, however, that the Featherheads are 11-0 SU and 10-1 ATS as favorites of late in Sunday night games.
Houston enters tonight’s scrape knowing they are 2-7 SU and 1-6-2 ATS in their last nine Sunday night appearances. The good news for Texans backers is the fact that NFL home teams are 8-3 SUATS after scoring 50+ points at home the previous game. Coupled with the fact that Sunday night teams are just 1-8-1 SUATS in their last ten performances on the heels of a Monday night contest, look for that cool-down to start tonight.
- Houston Texans +1
Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys Pick
To set the table here, the most crucial ingredient being served up today is the fact that the Packers eliminated the Cowboys from the playoffs last season. And for a team off a home loss currently sitting at 2-2 on the season – one that lost only three regular games last season – this becomes a considerable revenge chip.
However, the fact that Dallas is just 9-17 SU and 5-21 ATS at home following a home loss. While head coach Jason Garrett is 4-16 ATS as a home favorite against opponents coming off a win, including 0-6 ATS versus .727 or greater foes, gives me cause for concern.
It’s never easy laying points into an Aaron Rodgers team, even as banged up as they are at the moment. Granted, the Pack is just 2-8 ATS the last ten games as a visitor in this series, but too many negative numbers abound in the Cowboy camp to suggest we ride the revenge train here today.
- Green Bay Packers +3
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