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NFL Week 5 picks: Bills beat KC; Jets make it two wins in a row, Giants cover in Dallas

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks to pass against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images/Bryan M. Bennett

If there’s anything we learned from last week’s stunning Jets and Giants overtime wins, it’s something we already knew but just needed a reminder: Don’t ever think you have the NFL figured out. Ever. Each week creates new surprises, and that will be the case again this week . . . and the next.

Underdogs went 8-8 against the spread (ATS) in Week 4 and have yet to have a losing week. They’re 36-27-1 for the season.

My most confident picks ATS this week are Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Cleveland. Stay away from New Orleans-Washington and Philadelphia-Carolina.

GAME OF THE WEEK

BUFFALO (3-1) AT KANSAS CITY (2-2)

TV: NBC, 8:20 p.m.

Kansas City by 3; O/U: 56.5

35-0. 43-21. 40-0. The Bills bulldozed Miami, Washington and Houston the last three weeks. Kansas City is a different beast. Buffalo will need to make some defensive stops and keep Patrick Mahomes from erupting like he did in last year’s AFC Championship Game, a 38-24 KC win after Buffalo led 9-0. Siding with Mahomes and KC is always the safe play, but the Bills have the all-around talent to win this game. The Chargers provided the blueprint for how to win at Kansas City in Week 3, and Josh Allen could have the same success Justin Herbert did against a KC defense that has allowed 29, 36, 30 and 30 points. Buffalo has probably been preparing for this game for two weeks (considering last week’s opponent) and will be super-motivated to show KC it is a serious contender. Buffalo 34, KC 31.

The pick: Buffalo

THE LOCALS

ATLANTA (1-3) VS. JETS (1-3), in LONDON

TV: NFL, WNBC, 9:30 a.m.

Atlanta by 3; O/U: 45.5

You should never overreact to one game, but the following statement is not an overreaction: The Jets can win this game. Atlanta shouldn't be favored by 3 over anyone, especially with no home-field advantage. Winning is contagious, and the Jets will have less pressure after last week's "change the narrative" performance. The Jets could treat this game like their Super Bowl: A win in London gets them to 2-3 entering the bye and just like that their season has a completely different feel to it. Zach Wilson made some impressive throws in his first win and the defense had seven sacks. Set the alarm for this one because I see a competitive, high-scoring game . . . won by the J-E-T-S!

The pick: Jets

GIANTS (1-3) AT COWBOYS (3-1)

TV: Fox, 4:25 p.m.

Dallas by 7; O/U: 52

Daniel Jones is playing some of the best football of his life. So is Dak Prescott, an early MVP candidate. Dallas has won three in a row since its two-point loss to the Bucs on Opening Night, and all signs point to another win here. But covering is a different story. This is a rivalry game, one that has produced some close finishes over the years. The Giants, like the Jets, could use last week’s stunning OT win as a springboard to a not-as-bad-as-everyone-thought-it-would-be season. It’s all about being competitive, and I expect last week’s gutsy performance to carry over in what will be a fun, close game.

The pick: Giants

1 p.m. GAMES

GREEN BAY (3-1) AT CINCINNATI (3-1)

TV: Fox

Green Bay by 3; O/U: 50.5

Admit it: You looked at this spread and circled Green Bay faster than Aaron Rodgers can spell R-E-L-A-X. I get it. But when you pick every game every week for the last six-plus seasons, you realize that Vegas knows what it’s doing. The most likely outcome of this game is Packers by 3, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Bengals won, either. Cincinnati has had extra time to prepare after its TNF squeaker. Green Bay has some defensive injury issues, too, so expect the connection of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase to take advantage of that.

The pick: Cincinnati

MIAMI (1-3) AT TAMBA BAY (3-1)

TV: CBS

Tampa Bay by 10; O/U: 48

This could be a good spot to fade Tom Brady after what had to have been an exhausting week leading up to his return to New England. Then you realize that’s just overthinking. What’s more likely: 34-17 Bucs or this being close?

The pick: Tampa Bay

PHILADELPHIA (1-3) AT CAROLINA (3-1)

Carolina by 3; O/U: 45

Carolina’s No. 1 defense ate some humble pie in Dallas last week. Expect it to bounce back at home, where it’s 2-0 while allowing 10.5 points per game. The Eagles had their chances against Kansas City last week but made too many mistakes. This will be close, so be careful.

The pick: Carolina

NEW ORLEANS (2-2) AT WASHINGTON (2-2)

New Orleans by 2.5; O/U: 43.5

If you can figure out this New Orleans team, please email me. The Saints’ season: 38-3 W, 26-7 L, 28-13 W, 27-21 L (OT). The pattern says it’s time for a win, but who knows? I almost sided with Washington, but New Orleans has its bye the following week so mayyyybe that can fuel another win.

The pick: New Orleans

LOCK OF THE WEEK

DENVER (3-1) AT PITTSBURGH (1-3)

Pittsburgh by 1; O/U: 39.5

Pittsburgh has lost three in a row, its offense is a mess and . . . yet they’re my most confident pick of the week. This is a great spot for the Steelers to regroup at home. Denver may have to start Drew Lock at quarterback, and let’s face it: The Broncos’ 3-0 start was very misleading against the Giants, Jaguars and Jets. Ben Roethlisberger and the offense will do enough, and T.J. Watt and the defense will star in a much, much-needed win.

The pick: Pittsburgh

TENNESSEE (2-2) AT JACKSONVILLE (0-4)

Tennessee by 4.5; O/U: 48.5

Jacksonville never trailed at Cincinnati last Thursday night . . . till the final play of the game. Them’s the breaks for a franchise that has lost 19 straight games. Urban Meyer needs a win in the worst way. The Titans won’t want to make it back-to-back losses to winless teams, but it’s the NFL and far crazier things have happened. Look for a frustrated Jaguars team to show up and keep this close.

The pick: Jacksonville

DETROIT (0-4) AT MINNESOTA (1-3)

Minnesota by 9.5; O/U: 49

The Vikings have won the last seven meetings. Kirk Cousins is 6-0 vs. Detroit since joining Minnesota, and here were the three scores in the home games: 34-20, 20-7 and 24-9.

The pick: Minnesota

NEW ENGLAND (1-3) AT HOUSTON (1-3)

New England by 9; O/U: 39.5

Houston has lost by 10, 15 and 40 the last three weeks. Bill Belichick is 22-6 all-time against rookie quarterbacks, so it should be another long day for Davis Mills.

The pick: New England

4 p.m. GAMES

CLEVELAND (3-1) AT L.A. CHARGERS (3-1)

L.A. by 2; O/U: 47

If Buffalo-KC is the game of the week, then this is a close second. This could go either way, hence the small spread, but Cleveland’s defense has been very impressive (after the Vikings scored on their opening TD drive last week, they got zilch on the next 11). Justin Herbert has played better than Baker Mayfield, but the former No. 1 pick is primed for a bounce-back game here.

The pick: Cleveland

SAN FRANCISCO (2-2) AT ARIZONA (4-0)

Arizona by 5; O/U: 50

The Cardinals. the NFL’s only 4-0 team, are off an impressive 37-20 win over the Rams. That doesn’t mean they’re a lock to cover this number. First, it’s a division battle. Second, San Francisco could have rookie QB Trey Lance take over and that makes things more interesting. This setup reminds me of Week 2 when the Cards had just won by 25 at Tennessee and escaped at home against Minnesota as it failed to cover a similar spread.

The pick: San Francisco

CHICAGO (2-2) AT LAS VEGAS (3-1)

Las Vegas by 5.5; O/U: 44.5

Khalil Mack vs. Jon Gruden doesn’t have the same buzz as Tom Brady vs. Bill Belichick, but it’s intriguing enough. It’s officially Justin Fields’ show for Chicago. This number feels a little too high so I’ll roll the dice against Vegas.

The pick: Chicago

MONDAY NIGHT

INDIANAPOLIS (1-3) AT BALTIMORE (3-1)

TV: ESPN, 8:15 p.m.

Baltimore by 7; O/U: 45.5

Expect this Colts game, and the lead-up to it, to be heavily featured on "Hard Knocks," which for the first time is following an NFL team DURING the season. Baltimore wins, but I’ll take a shot that Indy builds off last week and keeps this close.

The pick: Indianapolis

STAFF STANDINGS AND PICKS

(best bets in bold)

JOE MANNIELLO

32-31-1 overall, 2-2 best bets

Last week: 5-11

L.A. Rams Jets Giants Cincinnati

Tampa Bay Carolina New Orleans Pittsburgh

Jacksonville Minnesota New England Cleveland

San Francisco Chicago Buffalo Indianapolis

BOB GLAUBER

32-31-1, 1-3

Last week: 7-9

L.A. Rams Jets Dallas Green Bay

Tampa Bay Carolina Washington Pittsburgh

Tennessee Detroit New England L.A. Chargers

San Francisco Las Vegas Buffalo Baltimore

TOM ROCK

37-26-1, 2-2

Last week: 9-7

Seattle Jets Dallas Green Bay

Miami Carolina New Orleans Denver

Tennessee Detroit New England Cleveland

Arizona Chicago Buffalo Baltimore

AL IANNAZZONE

26-37-1, 1-2-1

Last week: 9-7

L.A. Rams Jets Dallas Green Bay

Tampa Bay Carolina New Orleans Pittsburgh

Tennessee Minnesota New England L.A. Chargers

Arizona Las Vegas Kansas City Baltimore

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