NFL Week 5 Gridiron Guide: Go against Giants, Jets

Lawrence Tynes reacts after missing a field goal Lawrence Tynes reacts after missing a field goal during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (Sept. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty

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John Boell Newsday sports writer John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various capacities since 1999. In 2010, he became Newsday's ...

BROWNS (0-4) at GIANTS (2-2)

Giants by 9; O/U: 44

TV: Ch. 2 Radio: WFAN (660)

A yard or two can decide a game, a fact the Giants learned in Philly. An offensive pass interference call against WR Ramses Barden pushed Lawrence Tynes back too far, as he missed a 54-yarder by about a yard. Don't be fooled by the Browns' record. RB Trent Richardson is a talented rookie and Cleveland is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six road games. The Giants are 2-12 ATS in their last 14 home games against a team with a losing road record (Browns are 0-2). Giants win, but no cover.

THE PICK: Browns

 

TEXANS (4-0)

at JETS (2-2), 8:30 p.m.

Texans by 8; O/U: 41 1/2

TV: ESPN, Ch. 9. Radio: ESPN (98.7).

Somehow, things got worse after the Jets' 34-0 loss to the 49ers. They'll be without one of their only weapons on offense, WR Santonio Holmes (foot), for the rest of the season. So who did the Jets sign . . . Terrell Owens, Plaxico Burress? Nope. Nope. Chad Johnson? Child, please! How about (save the drum roll) Jason Hill. Huh? The Texans -- an NFL-best 4-0 against the spread (ATS) this season -- might be due for a letdown. But the bright lights of Monday Night Football should be more than enough motivation for the Texans, 14-3-2 ATS in their last 19 AFC games. Houston, they'll have no problem.

THE PICK: Texans

 

EAGLES (3-1)

at STEELERS (1-2)

Steelers by 3 1/2; O/U: 43

Philly sports fans already have an inferiority complex (thanks, New York and Boston). But when it comes to the Eagles, the city's sports psyche is even more fragile thanks to that other Pennsylvania team with six Super Bowl trophies. (Iggles fans are still waiting for No. 1!) Pittsburgh is rested, coming off a bye, and healthy, with S Troy Polamalu, LB James Harrison and RB Rashard Mendenhall returning. THE PICK: Steelers

 

PACKERS (2-2)

at COLTS (1-2)

Packers by 7; O/U: 47 1/2

What is it with the Packers and referees the last two weeks? Green Bay is one of the best bounce-back teams in the NFL with a 10-1 ATS mark in their last 11 games following an ATS loss. Best wishes to Indy coach Chuck Pagano, out indefinitely after being diagnosed with leukemia.

THE PICK: Packers

 

 

RAVENS (3-1) at CHIEFS (1-3)

Ravens by 6; O/U: 46 1/2

There are whispers in KC that the leash is growing shorter for Matt Cassel, who leads the NFL with 10 turnovers and has 7 interceptions, second most. The Ravens will pack the box to slow down Jamaal Charles (NFL second-best 411 rushing yards) and make Cassel beat them. Start warming up, Brady Quinn!

THE PICK: Ravens

 

DOLPHINS (1-3)

at BENGALS (3-1)

Bengals by 3 1/2; O/U: 45

Call this one the Hard Knocks Bowl. The Bengals (Class of 2009) have won three straight games, including two straight covers. The Dolphins (Class of 2012) have suffered two straight gut-wrenching OT losses, but are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games vs. teams with winning records.

THE PICK: Dolphins

 

 

FALCONS (4-0)

at REDSKINS (2-2)

Falcons by 3; O/U: 50 1/2

Washington has an offense that churns out some big numbers. It also has a large number of defensive players on injured reserve. This one is close, but go with the Falcons (NFL-best +10 turnover margin) and Matt Ryan (No. 1 in QB rating, 112.1) who should have enough to start 5-0.

THE PICK: Falcons

 

BRONCOS (2-2)

at PATRIOTS (2-2), 4:25 p.m.

Patriots by 6 1/2; O/U: 51 1/2

TV: Ch. 2 Radio: WFAN (660)

One day, I'll tell my grandkids about two of the best QBs I've ever seen: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Brady leads matchup, 8-4. This marks just the second time in NFL history that starting QBs meet with more than 125 career regular-season wins (Manning, 143; Brady, 126). I'll take the points in a tight contest.

THE PICK: Broncos

 

BEARS (3-1)

at JAGUARS (1-3), 4:05 p.m.

Bears by 4 1/2; O/U: 40

Did you see the way Jay Cutler walked away from Bears offensive coordinator and Central Islip product Mike Tice on the sideline Monday night? I'm surprised the 6-7 former tight end didn't body slam Cutler. I'll say one thing for the Bears QB: If he has time to throw, he's one of the better passers in the NFL. It could be a short-week, coming-off-a-big-win, letdown kind of a game for Chicago, but I don't see it here.

THE PICK: Bears

 

SEAHAWKS (2-2)

at PANTHERS (1-3), 4:05 p.m.

Panthers by 3; O/U: 43 1/2

One week you're riding high after a big, albeit controversial win vs. the Packers on Monday Night Football, the next week you're losing to the Rams. Coach Pete Carroll is sticking with rookie QB Russell Wilson for now. Until they prove otherwise, I can't pick the Seagulls unless they're playing at home, especially against a desperate Panthers team looking to avoid a 1-4 start. Seattle is 17-37-2 ATS in its last 56 road games.

The pick: Panthers

 

BILLS (2-2)

at 49ERS (3-1), 4:25 p.m.

49ers by 9 1/2; O/U: 44 1/2

San Francisco gets a week of home cooking after spending last week in Ohio prepping for the Jets. The Bills followed suit and spent this week in Arizona getting used to the time difference and overcoming jet lag. The 49ers are 4-1 ATS under Jim Harbaugh as 7-point favorites or higher. Buffalo is 2-6-1 ATS in its last nine on road. THE PICK: 49ers

 

TITANS (1-3)

at VIKINGS (3-1), 4:25 p.m.

Vikings by 5 1/2; O/U: 44

Minnesota is one of the NFL's biggest surprises, but beware of road underdogs (24-14-2 ATS).

THE PICK: Titans

 

 

CHARGERS (3-1)

at SAINTS (0-4), 8:20 p.m.

Saints by 3 1/2; O/U: 54

TV: Ch. 4 Radio: WFAN (660)

If Drew Brees throws a touchdown, he will set an NFL record with 48 consecutive games with at least one TD pass, surpassing Johnny Unitas' 47. Suspended coach Sean Payton has been allowed to attend the game. That, plus Brees' motivation going against his former team, is big.

THE PICK: Saints

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