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Old 10-02-2013, 05:30 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 5 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 8-6-1. Season totals: 32-27-4, Pct. .540. Best Bets: 6-4-2, Pct. .583.

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.



THURSDAY NIGHT

CLEVELAND
16, Buffalo 10 (+3) - It's business as usual for the Browns with Brian Hoyer at quarterback, with one important exception: They're actually winning; and in the just-concluded baseball season, only one team - the woebegone Houston Astros - had a lower winning percentage than the .337 the Bills have logged on natural grass dating all the way back to 1995 (29-57 straight up).


SUNDAY

N.Y. GIANTS
35, Philadelphia 28 (+3) - At least the Giants are a major disappointment at 0-4. If anything, the Eagles are a pleasant surprise at 1-3. Philly defensive coordinator Billy Davis might be the most incompetent and unqualified assistant coach in living memory.

Baltimore 27 (+3), MIAMI 14 - Could the 2013 Miami Dolphins be a redux of the 2012 Arizona Cardinals? That was quite a reality check they got Monday night - and the Ravens still have more than enough of a pass rush to exploit Miami's tied-for-worst-in-the-league offensive line (18 sacks allowed, same as in-state rival Jacksonville) and have beaten the Dolphins in four of the last five, covering in the last three. Certified best bet material.

New England 28 (+1 1/2), CINCINNATI 13 - The Bengals proved last week that they haven't transcended gatekeeper status in the AFC playoff picture, and they have lost four in a row to the Patriots by a combined 67 points (145-78). Can't believe New England is an underdog here - and the level of disbelief is high enough to proclaim the Pats one of the week's safest investments.

Seattle 27, INDIANAPOLIS 21 (+3) - The Seahawks got more lucky bounces last week than the pinball wizard from Tommy fame - picking up from where they left off last year, when they received a gift-wrapped win courtesy of the scab officials. Their good fortune may very well run out on December 2 when the Saints come marching into their building, but until then it's probably unwise to go against them.

Kansas City 24, TENNESSEE 0 (+3 1/2) - Fat Boy's league-leading defense (in points allowed per game) against Ryan Fitzpatrick? That's an even worse mismatch than next week's Jacksonville at Denver game, which one outlet has already opened with the Broncos as a 26 1/2-point favorite. This rounds out the best bet slate for the week.

GREEN BAY 31, Detroit 17 (+6 1/2) - The Lions got off an 0-for-21 schneid in Washington two weeks ago. Now they've got a 22-game road losing streak to the Packers to surmount, during which Detroit has gone 5-16-1 against the spread (the push coming last year). Green Bay has also covered seven in a row following a bye week. A best bet in any normal week - but this is hardly a normal week, with the wrong team favored in two games and a proven no-hoper at quarterback taking on a red-hot defense in a third matchup.

CHICAGO 30, New Orleans 23 (+1) - Despite the easy win Monday night, the Saints' frequent offensive-line lapses and penalties were troubling, and the home team is 4-0 outright and 3-0-1 pointwise in the last four here, so willing to take a stand against them in this short-week, home-to-road situation.

ST. LOUIS 24, Jacksonville 6 (+12 1/2) - I know, the Rams probably don't deserve to be favored by this much over Rice - but unless and until the Jaguars show some signs of life on either side of the ball they are impossible to endorse at any number.

Carolina 17, ARIZONA 10 (+2 1/2) - Everything you always wanted to know about 2 1/2-point favorites but were afraid to ask: So far in this decade there have been 23 of them - with 10 both winning and covering, 11 losing outright, and two winning but not covering (in both cases involving the same team in the same year - the 2010 Colts - on either side of the equation once each). But with the Panthers coming off a bye, you might be better off not even asking about Arizona's record in so-called fatigue games - because the answer is 2-10, both ways, since the bye era began in 1990.

Denver 35, DALLAS 31 (+7) - Nobody in their "right mind" will take the Cowboys in this spot, even with the points, despite the fact that they may be one of the few teams with enough firepower to match the Broncos stride for stride offensively - and unlike last week, Peyton Manning might actually feel some pass-rush heat here. So everyone will say that it takes "guts" to pick Dallas - and since we could all use some ego-stroking once in a while ...

SAN FRANCISCO 28, Houston 17 (+6 1/2) - The Texans should be well-rested after the nap they took in the second half last week and the 49ers have three extra days to prepare for this after righting the ship in a big way in St. Louis.

San Diego 23, OAKLAND 10 (+6) - Chances are, the result of this game won't even be in your Monday morning newspaper because it won't be over until 3:00 AM (Eastern time) or thereabouts, a stadium conflict with baseball's playoff-making A's relegating it to a starting time normally associated, fittingly enough, with West Coast night baseball games. But what you will miss reading about is the Chargers getting their 10th win, both straight up and against the spread, in their most recent dozen at Oakland.


MONDAY NIGHT

ATLANTA
34, N.Y. Jets 14 (+7 1/2) - This is the last chance for the Falcons: Win here, and win big, or they don't so much as make the playoffs this year. Rex Ryan has even been toying with the idea of benching Geno Smith in favor of Phil Simms' no-talent son Matt.


BEST BETS: BALTIMORE, NEW ENGLAND, KANSAS CITY
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