I have been handicapping NFL games for over 10 years, and can say that I have never had a perfect week. That changed last week as I went 5-0.
Now let’s move on to Week 6 and keep the hot streak going.
Home team in CAPS.
Detroit (+5.5) over PHILADELPHIA
The Lions (1-3) are coming off of a bye week in desperate need of a win to save their season.
While this isn’t a ‘must-win’ game, falling to 1-4 would almost certainly ensure that the Lions would miss out on the playoffs.
Star receiver Calvin Johnson admitted to having a concussion earlier this week, however he is not listed on the injury report and is expected to play.
Johnson has just 29 catches and one touchdown this season, due mostly to the fact that he is receiving most of the opposing defence’s attention. The Lions rank second in the league in first downs and third in total yards,
I think this week they will translate this success into points.
Philadelphia’s three wins this season have been decided by less than three points. The Eagles have struggled to score so far, averaging just 16 points per game and it doesn’t help that they have turned the ball over a mind boggling 14 times.
Their inability to score touchdowns and the frequency at which they turn the ball over should be enough to allow the Lions to keep it close, if not win outright.
Dallas (+4.5) over BALTIMORE
The Ravens couldn’t score a touchdown last week in their 9-6 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. That doesn’t seem to bother the public, as over 70 per cent of the public bettors are taking the Ravens.
Joe Flacco was held to just 187 passing against the Chiefs, perhaps he has come down to earth after passing for 738 yards the previous two weeks.
This may just be the perfect scenario for the Cowboys, who are being ripped apart in Texas. Coming off a beating from their divisional-rivals last week, confidence in Tony Romo may just be at an all-time low.
No expectations may just be what the doctor ordered for this offence. Personally I think the blame should be split between underachieving stars DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant. Murray ranks 29th in the league averaging just 67.8 yards per game, and Bryant hasn’t found the end zone yet this season.
The Cowboys are 7-1 after a bye week and I expect them to keep it close, perhaps even coming away with an upset.
Cincinnati (-2.5) over CLEVELAND
The Browns welcome the return of cornerback Joe Haden, who will make his season debut after serving a four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
This should help in Cleveland’s attempts to contain Bengals wide-out AJ Green. Haden, who has been going head-to-head against Green since their days in the SEC, held Green to just four catches in two games last season.
However, two of those catches were part of the Bengals game-winning drives.
The Bengals have won six of the past seven meetings between these two AFC North rivals. This is a must-win game for Cincinnati if they plan to make a playoff push. Their next three opponents are Pittsburgh, Denver and New York Giants.
New York (+6.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
Yes, its true, I am going against the 49ers. They have been great to me this season (4-1) ATS and I have been along for the ride each week.
The Niners have looked scary good since their loss to the upstart Vikings, outscoring opponents 79-3. However, they are not playing the Jets or Bills this week, instead Eli and the world champions are coming to town.
The 49ers circled this game on the calendar, looking to avenge their heart breaking 20-17 loss in the NFC Championship game last season, in which they thoroughly outplayed the Giants.
This is without a doubt the marquee matchup this week, and I expect it to live up to the hype. I won’t cite any stats in this game, this is simply a case of taking the points with the reigning Super Bowl champs.
Ok fine, just one stat, the G-Men are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against San Francisco.
Green Bay (+3.5) over HOUSTON
Houston (5-0) are off to their best start in franchise history however the loss of their defensive leader Brian Cushing to an ACL tear should slow down this red-hot bunch.
Cushing led the team with 29 tackles and was the emotional leader on this team, JJ Watt will have to do even more to fill this void, if that is possible.
The Texans have done a great job in protecting quarterback Matt Schaub this season, allowing a league-best three sacks this season.
This week however, they face their toughest test, Green Bay leads the league with 18 sacks thus far.
Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers has thrown four interceptions this season; he had six all of last year. The loss of receiver Greg Jennings has had more of an effect than anticipated, and Jennings most likely won’t be playing this week either.
The Packers late fourth quarter collapse against the Indianapolis Colts was an eye-opener for this veteran squad. Rodgers accepted the blame and stated that he needs to be a better leader, when the best player in the league calls himself out, look for him to have a good game.
If the Packers win, they will be (3-3), the same record they had in 2010 when they went on the win the Super Bowl.
Last week (5-0)
This season (14-9-1)
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