NFL Gridiron Guide Week 5: Giants finally have their day; Jets in big trouble Monday night
John BoellJohn Boell
Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various
EAGLES (1-3) at GIANTS (0-4), 1 p.m.
Giants by 2; O/U: 54
TV: Ch. 5; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)
I'm taking my cue from former handicapping great Albert Einstein: "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." For me, it's picking the same team (see: Giants) and hoping for a new outcome (d'oh!). I've taken Big Blue each of the first four weeks, and like them, I'm 0-4. If there's a week they break out, this is it. The Eagles' defense can't cover anyone. Maybe Eli Manning & Co. have a field day like Peyton and Denver did last week, dropping 52 on Philly. Oh, and October is the Giants' month: 25-10-2 against the spread in their last 37 October games. Fifth time's the charm?
The pick: Giants
1 PM GAMES
SEAHAWKS (4-0) at COLTS (3-1)
Seahawks by 2 1/2; O/U: 43 1/2
Could very well be the best game of Week 5, which features some of the best matchups in recent memory. Seattle has covered six straight road games and is 26-9-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last 36 overall. The Colts are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 regular-season games and are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games. Home clubs are 35-25-3 ATS this season.
The pick: Colts
LIONS (3-1) at PACKERS (1-2)
Packers by 7; O/U: 53 1/2
I'd like this line more if it was 6 1/2, but I'll take the bait. The Lions are 0-4 ATS their last four vs. the Pack, and 2-5 ATS in their last seven in Green Bay. The Pack (24-9 ATS in their last 33 vs. NFC North) should be primed off a bye.
The pick: Packers
CHIEFS (4-0) at TITANS (3-1)
Chiefs by 2 1/2; O/U: 38 1/2
These two teams lead the NFL with a plus-nine turnover margin. With Jake Locker out, you'd think it's a layup for the Chiefs, but I think former Bills QB -- and Harvard grad -- Ryan Fitzpatrick will make me look like a smart man with this pick.
The pick: Titans
PATRIOTS (4-0) at BENGALS (2-2)
Bengals by 1; O/U: 45
The Pats as an underdog for the second straight week? C'mon, man! New England has covered six straight since 2010 as a 'dog.
The pick: Patriots
SAINTS (4-0) at BEARS (3-1)
Pick 'em; O/U: 48 1/2
The Saints won't have a letdown after Monday night, thanks to its high-powered 'O' and a resurgent defense. Nice work, Rob Ryan!
The pick: Saints
RAVENS (2-2) at DOLPHINS (3-1)
Dolphins by 3; O/U: 43 1/2
Which Ravens team will show up? The one that crushed Houston or lost at Buffalo? I'll take the points.
The pick: Ravens
JAGUARS (0-4) at RAMS (1-3)
Rams by 11 1/2; O/U: 42
I thought about taking the Jags, but I just can't. They're 2-18 overall in their last 20 games as an underdog. Oh, and next week, rumor has it the Jags might be a 30-point underdog in Denver. That's it?
The pick: Rams
4 P.M. AND LATER GAMES
PANTHERS (1-2) at CARDINALS (2-2), 4:05 p.m.
Panthers by 2; O/U: 42
The Cards rallied from 10 down in last week to beat the dysfunctional Bucs, but they won't be as lucky against an underrated Panthers team coming off a bye. Carolina is 6-2 ATS in its last eight roadies.
The pick: Panthers
BRONCOS (4-0) at COWBOYS (2-2), 4:25 p.m.
Broncos by 7 1/2; O/U: 56 1/2
TV: Ch. 2; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)
Peyton Manning and Denver are on pace for a historic season. The Broncos have scored 49, 41, 37 and 52 points, respectively, for a total of 179 -- the most points scored through four games since the NFL/AFL merger. The only team to score more through Week 4 were the 1966 Cowboys (183 points). Expect Denver's big 'O' to put on a big show in Big D and roll to 5-0.
The pick: Broncos
TEXANS (2-2) at 49ERS (2-2), 8:30 p.m.
49ers by 6 1/2; O/U: 42 1/2
TV: Ch. 4; Radio: WFAN (660)
A fan burned a Matt Schaub jersey after his third consecutive week of throwing a pick-6 led to a loss. You have to think Houston will be fired up, and I'm not convinced the 49ers are back to their 2012 form.
The pick: Texans
CHARGERS (2-2) at RAIDERS (1-3), 11:35 p.m.
Chargers by 4 1/2; O/U: 44 1/2
TV: NFL; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)
Insomniac NFL fans who live on the East Coast, rejoice! The A's playoff game pushed the start time back, which means most of us won't know until we wake up Monday that San Diego covered.
The pick: Chargers
JETS (2-2) at FALCONS (1-3), 8:40 p.m.
Falcons by 10; O/U: 43 1/2
TV: ESPN, Ch. 11 Radio: ESPN (98.7)
This sets up as a perfect storm for Geno Smith and the Jets: A tough, prime-time road game against a Falcons team coming off a loss and trying to avoid a 1-4 start. Atlanta has a 34-8 regular-season home record with coach Mike Smith and QB Matt Ryan. May want to make other plans Monday night, Jets fans: This one could get ugly.
The pick: Falcons
STAFF PICKS (best bets in bold)
JOHN BOELL: 32-28-3, 1-3 best bets; Last week: 9-6
Giants Falcons Colts Packers Titans Patriots Saints Ravens Rams Panthers Broncos Texans Chargers
BOB GLAUBER: 33-27-3, 2-1-1; Last week: 8-7
Giants Falcons Colts Packers Titans Patriots Bears Dolphins Rams Cardinals Broncos 49ers Chargers
KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN: 31-29-3, 2-2; Last week: 6-9
Eagles Falcons Seahawks Packers Chiefs Patriots Saints Dolphins Rams Panthers Broncos 49ers Chargers
TOM ROCK: 27-32-3, 0-4; Last week: 6-9
Giants Falcons Seahawks Lions Chiefs Bengals Saints Dolphins Jaguars Cardinals Broncos 49ers Chargers