By: Kevin Ryan
Week Four Recap: 10/14 picks correct
Week Five Bye: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay
Arizona at St. Louis, Thursday Night Football (NFL Network)
Vegas Odds: Arizona (-2.5)
While the Cardinals are one of the hottest teams in the NFL after starting 4-0, the Birds have a tough matchup on the road against the St. Louis Rams.
Don’t sleep on St. Louis! The Rams are proven to be tough at home after
The Cardinals are fresh off a nail-biting overtime win against the lowly Miami Dolphins and have a major target on their backs coming into this Thursday night game where emotion plays a big factor. I think the Rams are going to utilize the emotion factor and show the NFL that they have something to prove.
Daily Shootout Pick: Rams +2.5
Miami at Cincinnati, Sunday 1:00 ET (CBS)
Vegas Odds: Cincy (-5)
Miami has suffered some tough losses in 2012, however they still don’t match up
well with the Bengals this week. I will be looking for the always effective Dalton-to-Green duo all game long. The Fins have one of the worst defenses in the league going against the efficient signal caller from TCU, a match up that surely can cover a modest five-point spread.
Daily Shootout Pick: Bengals -5
Green Bay at Indianapolis, Sunday 1:00 ET (FOX)
Vegas Odds: Green Bay (-7)
I am thoroughly impressed with Andrew Luck’s performance given the reality that Reggie Wayne is his only true target available, however Aaron Rodgers is only vulnerable when his offensive line loses their battles as we saw in the first half of the Monday night game at Seattle just last week. Pack all the way.
Daily Shootout Pick: Packers -7
Baltimore at Kansas City, Sunday 1:00 ET (CBS)
Vegas Odds: Baltimore (-5)
Though the Blackbirds beat the winless Browns by just seven points last Thursday, I fully expect the well-rested Ray Rice & Co. to purely dominate the Kansas City Chiefs, just as everyone else has this season. I personally would set the spread at Ravens -7.5 to add in the two-score factor for betting because I see this being a complete blowout.
Daily Shootout Pick: Ravens -5
Atlanta at Washington, Sunday 1:00 ET (FOX)
Vegas Odds: Atlanta (-5)
With Washington’s injury-riddled season, this bet is a no-brainer against the MVP front-runner Matt Ryan and the explosive Falcons offense. Julio Jones and Roddy White are arguably the best wide-receiver duo in the NFL in the last twenty to thirty years and are clearly no match for a bruised and beaten Washington Redskins squad.
Daily Shootout Pick: Falcons -5
Cleveland at New York Giants, Sunday 1:00 ET (CBS)
Vegas Odds: New York (-10.5)
On paper, this pick seems very simple: Browns are 0-4; Giants are reigning Super Bowl Champs.
However in the betting world, a 10.5-point spread is extremely tricky. Earlier in the season, the Giants were given a 10.5-point favorite against Tampa Bay and barely escaped with a win. In fact, Eli Manning had to put up monstrous fourth-quarter numbers just to keep the Giants in the game. This week the question is: Can the Joe Haden-less Browns keep Eli within the 11 points? Not a chance, Giants all the way.
Daily Shootout Pick: Giants -10.5
Philly at Pittsburgh, Sunday 1:00 ET (FOX)
Vegas Odds: Pittsburgh (-5)
This is the game of the week! Don’t you just love these inner-Pennsylvania rivalries?
Anyone who moderately follows the NHL knows that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have no love for each other, and this same anger is carried directly to the football field as well.
While the Steelers are at home and fresh off a bye week, I still think Vick and the Eagles’ explosive offensive talent can upset the Steelers on the road.
Daily Shootout Pick: Eagles +5
Seattle at Carolina, Sunday 4:05 ET (FOX)
Vegas Odds: Carolina (-3.5)
Let it be known that I was personally ripped by the Golden Tate “catch” that forced a Packers -3 spread into a loss, so I hate the Seahawks. However, emotion must never affect a bet and I think that the Hawks bring one of the league’s best defenses into the Dirty South to dominate Cam Newton like they did Aaron Rodgers on Monday Night Football. As we saw last week, an immobile Cam Newton is a deal-breaker for Panther fans – only this week a powerful and hard-hitting defense will be coming to town.
Because the Hawks lost last week on the road in St. Louis, bettors are given a hand-wrapped LOCK this week with the Panthers being three-point favorites.
Daily Shootout Pick: Seahawks +3.5
Chicago at Jacksonville, Sunday 4:05 ET (FOX)
Vegas Odds: Chicago (-4)
I’m honestly surprised to see such a modest line favoring Chicago as I expect Cutler and the rest of Chicago to maul the Jaguars as seemingly everyone else has. Cutler and Marshall looked All-Pro on Monday Night in Dallas, and if they can play that well on a major stage on the road, why can’t they reciprocate it in Jacksonville?
Daily Shootout Pick: Bears -4
Tennessee at Minnesota, Sunday 4:25 ET (CBS)
Vegas Odds: Minnesota (-5)
This is perhaps the biggest toss-up of the week. On one hand, we have an impressive Minnesota Vikings team who is 3-1 when their season wins total was set at just six. On the other hand, there’s a Tennessee team who has one impressive game coupled with their three agonizing defeats. With Jake Locker sidelined, I see Minnesota narrowly taking this home game and improving to 4-1.
Daily Shootout Pick: Minnesota -5
Denver at New England, Sunday 4:25 ET (CBS)
Vegas Odds: New England (-7.5)
I spoke too soon with the Philly-Pittsburgh game – this is the game of the week! I used to love watching Manning and the Colts take on Brady and his seemingly unbeatable Patriots, but now there are many factors that can sway this game in either direction. When both Manning and Brady are efficient, their offenses can straight dominate. I like the matchup of Denver’s defense battling Tom Brady, which is why I’m taking the two-possession point spread as a cushion for the Broncos.
Daily Shootout Pick: Broncos +7.5
Buffalo at San Francisco, Sunday 4:25 ET (CBS)
Vegas Odds: San Francisco –(9)
We saw what happens when Buffalo plays a well-rounded team last week, and we saw what happens when San Francisco plays a weak team as well. The Gold Rush are purely rolling after that 34-0 shutout over Tebow and will continue this dominance over Buffalo in week five.
Daily Shootout Pick: 49ers -9
San Diego at New Orleans, Sunday Night Football 8:20 ET (NBC)
Vegas Odds: New Orleans (-3.5)
The Chargers are very annoying to me as a bettor purely based on their inconsistency. After impressive wins in weeks one and two, the Bolts completely folded against Matt Ryan’s Dirty Birds and got spanked 27-3. Last week, they purely outplayed Kansas City yet somehow managed to still give up 20 points. If Rivers is off his game, the Chargers offense is completely shot.
I like the 0-4 Saints to improve and finally scrape out their first win against this lackluster Chargers squad, but the absence of their $7,000,000 Head Coach could bite them in the behind yet again.
Honestly, all I really care about is NBC finally realizing how awful their pregame singer is compared to Monday Night’s Charlie Daniels and that shredding of the violin.
Daily Shootout Pick: Saints -3.5
Houston at New York Jets, Monday Night Football 8:30 ET (ESPN)
Vegas Odds: Houston (-9)
It all comes down to Monday Night! Well…sort of. This match up is very exciting from a pre-season standpoint, but now that we all know how dominant Houston is and how weak and depleted the Revis-less jets are. This is like the movie 300, only there will probably be more bloodshed.
Daily Shootout Pick: Texans -9