Free NFL Pick’em: Week Five

NFL Picks: Week 5Week 5 has arrived and so far the NFL season has not disappointed. Many old trends have remained true, while some teams have broken the wheel and moved towards the top of the NFL. The Chiefs and Rams look ready to become the new dominant franchises in the league. Meanwhile, the Browns remain the Browns, and the Patriots remain the Patriots. Let’s take a look at an interesting slate of games for Week 5.

Our staff NFL pick’em is shaping up to be a tight race throughout the season. Anthony Cervino has taken a 1 game lead in straight up pick’em. In the against the spread race, Brad Castronovo and myself are tied for first. Check our staff picks here.

Atlanta at Pittsburgh

Spread: Pittsburgh -3

I think it is pretty fair to say that most of us wouldn’t have expected these two teams to have combined for only two wins at this point in the season. Oh yeah, both teams are last in their divisions. Wow. Atlanta has absolutely been handicapped by injuries they have suffered on the defensive side of the ball. Fortunately for the Falcons, they have a pretty potent offense. Pittsburgh has battled through distraction, and they haven’t played well like we are used to seeing. Pittsburgh is being given a 50/50 shot here, in what will likely be the highest scoring game of the week. I think Pittsburgh gets it done in a close one.

My Pick: Pittsburgh 33-30

Baltimore at Cleveland

Spread: Baltimore -3.5

Baker-mania returns home to Cleveland. The crowd will be roaring all day in the dawg pound. Baker Mayfield has looked good through two games, but he will have to clean up the turnovers against a stout Ravens defense. I have to believe that this is a must-win game for Hue Jackson, then again he has survived two seasons with only one win. The Ravens looked great last Sunday night against the Steelers. Joe Flacco has delivered so far this season with his new set of receivers, keeping Lamar Jackson firmly seated on the bench. I am going to take the Browns at home behind a future star and a pumped-up crowd.

My Pick: Cleveland 23-21

Denver at N.Y. Jets

Spread: Denver -1.5

Sam Darnold showed promise in week 1. Since then… I’ll just say he is a rookie. Darnold just finished playing two tough defenses on the road, and it’s not going to get any easier for him against the Broncos. Denver has a relentless pass rush as we saw last Monday night. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are hungry, and this looks like a promising matchup against a rookie QB. Go with the Broncos, they have a formidable pair of rookie running backs that should get it done against a Jets run defense that has allowed 433 yards on the ground and 4 touchdowns.

My Pick: Denver 22-20

Green Bay at Detroit

Spread: Green Bay -1

The Packers may be without a few of their top wideouts. Randall Cobb has already been ruled out, while Adams and Allison are still question marks. Aaron Rodgers is still hobbling around on one leg, so I expect the Packers to run the ball against a struggling run defense in Detroit. Before the season, I liked Detroit to surprise people and make a playoff push. A week one embarrassment at home pushed me off the Lions. Still, I think the Lions can get it done. Detroit came close over the last two weeks on the road. This week they are home against a banged-up Packers offense.

My Pick: Detroit 28-25

Jacksonville at Kansas City

Spread: Kansas City -3

Woohoo! If you haven’t watched Patrick Mahomes play yet, you just aren’t doing yourself any favors. Mahomes play has been indescribable. I can’t wait for this game, as he will be tested by the vaunted Jaguars defense. Tyreek Hill and Jalen Ramsey are chirping, as they have set the stage for what should be an amazing game. The Jaguars have been great in all but one game. And now, with Leonard Fournette sidelined, Blake the Snake will have to bring the rain once again. Get your popcorn ready, Mahomes should show the world that he is the real MVP.

My Pick: Kansas City 27-23

Miami at Cincinnati

Spread: Cincinnati -6.5

The Dolphins are who we thought they were. After an embarrassing loss in New England last week, I believe the Dolphins will show up this week in Cincinnati. The return of Pro-Bowl safety Reshad Jones should help their defense, and allow Minkah Fitzpatrick to move back over to the slot where has been dominant. The Fins will have their hands full with star receiver A.J. Green and emerging star Tyler Boyd. The Bengals will also have Joe Mixon back on the field. Cincinnati has too many weapons and the Red Rifle will be firing on all cylinders.

My Pick: Cincinnati 27-20

N.Y. Giants at Carolina

Spread: Carolina -6.5

This game offers us two promising young running backs on both sides of the ball. Carolina features Christian McCaffrey, who has already racked up 428 yards from scrimmage in three games. New York features Saquon Barkley, who has racked up 453 yards from scrimmage in four games. The difference between these two teams is at quarterback. Cam Newton looks unstoppable and as smiley as his MVP days. I’m over the Giants.

My Pick: Carolina 27-17

Tennessee at Buffalo

Spread: Tennessee -6

After an amazing come-from-behind victory against Philadelphia, we learned that Marcus Mariota looks to be back, and young star Corey Davis may have finally arrived in the NFL. The Titans defense struggled early but buckled down against the Eagles. They should have their way with the Bills. The Bills lack talent throughout their offensive depth chart. It’s downright offensive. Josh Allen has been sacked 18 times, fumbled 4 times, and he has thrown 4 interceptions. The Bills got lucky once this year, but there will not be a second time.

My Pick: Tennessee  20-13

Oakland at L.A. Chargers

Spread: L.A. Chargers -5.5

Over the last six games between these two teams, only one game was decided by more than a single score. The Chargers just can’t seem to pull away from opponents, and that fact is troublesome. This is a home game for the Chargers, but I think the Oakland fans will be available in full force. Still, the Raiders were lucky to win against the Browns last week, with the help of some horrible calls by the refs. This game feels like a toss-up, but I can’t bet against Philip Rivers when he is playing this good. Go Chargers Go!

My Pick: L.A. Chargers 31-30

Arizona at San Francisco

Spread: San Francisco -3.5

The 49ers showed up last week behind backup quarterback C.J. Beathard. He almost pulled off the win, but almost only counts in…. you know the expression. Beathard is 1-5 in 6 career starts and has 6 touchdowns against 8 interceptions. In Arizona, I like what I saw from rookie Josh Rosen last week. He will need more help from his receivers as they dropped passes left and right last week, including a few in the endzone. The 49ers are favored by 3.5 at home which screams 50/50, but they are being picked by 70 percent of the public. I’ll take some of that much-needed variance and pick the Cardinals.

My Pick: Arizona 20-18



L.A. Rams at Seattle

Spread: L.A. Rams -7.5

I’ll keep it short and sweet here. Don’t get cute. I know the Seahawks have Russell Wilson but he can’t single-handedly beat this L.A. team. The 12th man doesn’t actually play football. The Rams are too good and have too many weapons. I don’t plan on picking against the Rams or the Chiefs until they lose a game and I can live with that.

My Pick: L.A. Rams 34-23

Minnesota at Philadelphia

Spread: Philadelphia -3

Four weeks in and these two teams are anything other than Super Bowl contenders. With that said, the Eagles were without their best weapon for a few weeks in Carson Wentz. He has been shaky and he continues to throw the ball into windows he shouldn’t. But hey, that’s what makes him great. Wentz isn’t afraid to take a shot and be a winner. Kirk Cousins continues to post gaudy numbers but fails when the game is on the line. Just like in Washington… just like I expected. I’ll wait for Captain Kirk to show me the money and until then, I’ll be placing my bets on Carson Wentz.

My Pick: Philadelphia 30-27

Dallas at Houston

Spread: Houston -3

Frank Reich wrapped a nice win up for the Texans last week, he even put a bow on it. How nice of him. Houston continues to disappoint on defense. Thankfully for the Texans, the Cowboys have been anything but an offensive juggernaut. Dallas is 27th in offensive yards per game. Dak Prescott doesn’t have much to work with and he will have to feed the ball to Ezekiel Elliot. For the Texans, they will have to let Deshaun Watson play backyard football with Deandre Hopkins against a tough Dallas defense. That’s just not a recipe for success. I’ll bet Bill O’Brien and that chin of his are looking for a job next week.

My Pick: Dallas 23-17

Washington at New Orleans

Spread: New Orleans -6.5

Drew Brees needs 4 touchdowns to join Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and Peyton Manning in the 500 club. What better stage than at home in the Superdome? Brees loves the spotlight and his home crowd seems to roar louder on Primetime games. The Redskins will be in a gunfight here and they just don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up. Adrian Peterson will be looking to get some against the Saints after his quick departure from The Big Easy last year, but I expect the Saints to jump out on the Redskins quickly and render him useless in this one.

My Pick: New Orleans 31-23

Eliminator/Survivor Suggestions:

  • Panthers
  • Rams
  • Saints


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