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Old 10-09-2009, 05:55 AM   #2
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 5 Picks



Last week: 7-7. Season totals: 28-34, Pct. .452. Best Bets: 5-7, Pct. .417.

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


SUNDAY

N.Y. GIANTS
21, Oakland 3 (+16) - For the second week in a row the Giants find themselves on the right end of what can be termed a mismatch with benefits, in that not only have the Raiders lost 13 consecutive games on artificial turf, but they're also 1-12 against the spread in that baker's dozen. True, Eli Manning did not practice on Thursday (bruised heel), but even if he can't go, how many points will the Giants need to score to cover facing an offense that hasn't scored a touchdown in either of their last two games?

PHILADELPHIA 27, Tampa Bay 7 (+13 1/2) - And the Giants aren't the only NFC East team having a "mismatch with benefits" in their favor this week, as Andy Reid puts his unbeaten lifetime record coming off a bye week on the line - he's 10-0 straight up and 8-2 against the line doing that (13-0 and 10-3 if playoffs are included). The Eagles also have a question mark at quarterback with Donovan McNabb arguably being rushed back (rib fracture) - but how much will they need to score to beat both the spread and Josh Johnson, whose only NFL touchdown drive encompassed all of eight yards?

BUFFALO 17, Cleveland 13 (+6) - Tom Durkin with the call of the AFC North race: "Cleveland has thrown in the towel" (by essentially giving away Braylon Edwards of course). But I'll take the points anyway.

CAROLINA 12, Washington 9 (+4 1/2) - And I'll take them here too. It hasn't been pretty to say the least, but the bottom line is that the Redskins are 2-2 - and 7-1 lifetime against Carolina straight up, and covered in the lone loss (in 2003). John Kasay has the last word in a battle of field goals between (to put it charitably) two struggling offenses.

Pittsburgh 34, DETROIT 16 (+11) - If the Lions could stop anybody they might hold some appeal getting double digits at home; however, they are on pace to not only give up more points than last year's winless edition did, but to break the all-time record for same established by the '81 Colts, whose defense was so spectacularly rotten that they had 12 punt returns that entire season. And Matt Stafford (apparently no more "Matthew Stafford" - what's with that?) hasn't practiced all week (knee).

BALTIMORE 20, Cincinnati 14 (+9) - Underrated Bengals defense has faced better this year, and more than held their own. Take the points in what no one expected to be a marquee matchup two months ago, but has turned out to be one of sorts.

Minnesota 24, ST. LOUIS 16 (+10) - Who in their right mind would take the Rams here? Yet the Vikings are 0-3-1 against the spread in St. Louis - allowing a staggering 168 points in those four games, three of which they also lost outright - and their Monday night win was just dramatic enough to make letdown a potential issue.

Dallas 23, KANSAS CITY 17 (+8 1/2) - Matt Cassel is overdue for a solid outing, while Tony Romo is long, long overdue to stop underachieving - and with the home team in this one having won the last six meetings, it's not too much to ask for KC to cover.

SAN FRANCISCO 20, Atlanta 13 (+2 1/2) - On paper, Matt Ryan (are there any quarterbacks in the NFL these days with some other first name?) is clearly "better" than Shaun Hill - yet Hill is 7-0 straight up and 6-0-1 against the spread at home and has a 100.7 passer rating therein, while Ryan's career passer rating outdoors is 79.5, compared with 97.3 in domes during the regular season. Two things had to happen for the 49ers to win the NFC West - and so far at least, both are panning out: Arizona had to fall victim to the Super Bowl Runner-Up Jinx, and Matt (!) Hasselbeck's injury woes had to continue in Seattle.

New England 27, DENVER 21 (+3 1/2) - Unlike Tony Romo, Tom Brady finishes off what he starts - like game-winning drives.

Houston 30 (+6), ARIZONA 23 - And the second-ever head-to-head clash of the retractable-roof fraternity goes no better for the Cards than the first one did.

SEATTLE 16, Jacksonville 10 (+1) - The NFL's own version of The View, also starring a Hasselbeck, remains on the air courtesy of his latest injury; but Seneca Wallace actually didn't play that badly in his start at home two weeks ago, and the Jaguars could be feeling lightheaded from a double dose of letdown following back-to-back AFC South wins.

Indianapolis 31, TENNESSEE 13 (+3) - Whenever Peyton Manning doesn't have surgery in July, the Colts always win (25-0!) and nearly always cover (18-6-1) in September and October (from 2005 to the present, omitting last year when he did have such an operation). And where two things needed to go right for San Francisco to succeed this year, two things needed to go wrong for the Titans to fail - and both have: They had to show they truly felt the loss of Albert Haynesworth, and Kerry Collins had to finally start acting his age.

MONDAY NIGHT

N.Y. Jets
24, MIAMI 10 (+1) - The Jets were a stone-cold lock in this spot even before they bought Braylon Edwards in that Cleveland garage sale: They've won 17 of their last 22 against the Dolphins, and they have covered six in a row and ten of their last eleven at The Pigeon-Toed Orange Bowl.

BEST BETS: HOUSTON, INDIANAPOLIS, N.Y. JETS

Last edited by Anthony; 10-09-2009 at 06:19 AM.
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