aNewDomain — Last week was filled with coulda, shoulda and woulda. Lots of all three, actually.
What if Peyton Manning hadn’t thrown the pickoff that eventually turned into a Vikings touchdown and cover? Why didn’t we know Andrew Luck was officially out before the announcement Sunday morning? Had we known, we would have gone with the Jaguars plus 9.5.
And why the heck couldn’t the Chiefs have actually scored a touchdown instead of kicking seven field goals?
Time to turn the page and get on with our Week Five NFL picks. All times listed are Eastern.
Indianapolis +2 at Houston
(Thursday, 8:20 p.m., CBS, NFL Network)
These teams are a combined 1-7 against the spread this season. Ugh. This game is so unappealing that it has two networks showing it. We’ll take the points and just hope. It’s all we can do.
Jacksonville +3 at Tampa Bay
(Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS, DTV 711)
The Jaguars are 5-2 ATS in their past seven outings and the Bucs are 1-6 in their past seven October games. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is having rookie growing pains and second-year Jags QB Blake Bortles is showing promise in his second season. Take the Jaguars. Seems as if we say that every week.
Tennessee +2.5 vs. Buffalo
(Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS, DTV 712)
With running backs LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams expected to miss the game, the Bills will have to rely even more on quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who struggled against the Giants last week. Tennessee is coming off a bye, which usually bodes well in the NFL.
Cleveland +6.5 at Baltimore
(Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS, DTV 709)
Enough picking the Ravens, which certainly is tempting this week. Baltimore has won 13 of the past 14 games straight up in this rivalry. The Browns have covered and pushed in five of the past seven meetings. We’ll take Cleveland.
Atlanta -7.5 vs. Washington
(Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX, DTV 705)
Somehow, the Falcons find a way to win (and cover) every week. While this appears to be an obvious time to take the dog getting 7.5, we’ve been on the wrong side of Falcon covers too many times this season.
Chicago +9 at Kansas City
(Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX, DTV 707)
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler came back last week and led his team to a close win over the Raiders. As we mentioned earlier, Kansas City kicked a near-record seven field goals in a loss at Cincinnati. The Chiefs have failed to cover in their past three games. Make it four.
New Orleans +5 at Philadelphia
(Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX, DTV 708)
The Eagles have arguably been the biggest disappointment so far. The Saints aren’t far behind. New Orleans has won and covered the past three games in the series. Good enough for us.
Green Bay -9.5 vs. St. Louis
(Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX, DTV 710)
The Rams seem to save their best play for their toughest opponents. They have taken down the Broncos, Cardinals and Seahawks over the past couple of seasons. But the Packers are 4-0 straight up and ATS in their recent meetings with the Rams. And they have Aaron Rodgers.
Seattle +3 at Cincinnati
(Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX, DTV 706)
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is questionable for this game but Seattle’s defense isn’t. Andy Dalton and his Bengals are 4-0 against the number this season but that streak has to end sooner or later. Try sooner.
Detroit +3 vs. Arizona
(Sunday, 4:05 p.m., FOX, DTV 713)
The Lions have to win one sooner or later. The Cardinals are 2-6-1 ATS in their past nine October games. These organizations know each other well; the teams have played 11 times since 2001. Familiarity pays off for the home dog.
New England -9.5 at Dallas
(Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS, DTV 714)
More and more money is going the Patriots’ way in this matchup. The game opened with a 7.5 point spread and has gone north from there. Tom Brady has been playing like a man on a mission and the Cowboys have too many injuries to overcome.
Oakland +5 vs. Denver
(Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS, DTV 715)
CBS grabs a couple of primo late-afternoon games. We think the Raiders could win this one straight up. Yes, the Broncos are 6-1 ATS in the past seven games of this rivalry but Oakland is vastly improved from last season.
New York Giants -7 vs. San Francisco
(Sunday, 8:30 p.m., NBC)
Since we can’t just skip this game, we’ll take the home team laying a touchdown. San Francisco has covered just once in its past 10 games.
Pittsburgh +3.5 at San Diego
(Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)
Michael Vick didn’t look bad in his start against the Ravens last Thursday and Le’Veon Bell is a beast. The Chargers struggled at home with the Browns last week and are 4-10 ATS against the Steelers in their past 14 meetings.
Last week: 7-7-1
Images: Tom Brady photo courtesy of Jack Newton via Flickr. Jameis Winston photo courtesy Yahoo. Andy Dalton photo courtesy of Emeybee. Le’Veon Bell photo courtesy of Commonist. All photos, all rights reserved.