Another week, another total punch to the gut. A lot of really close losses for me, but being close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. On the bright side, I tied for my best week so far by going a pathetic 2-4 for the second week in a row. The major positive I can take away from last week is that my lock of the Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers under 43.5 hit.
I mentioned a few weeks back that now that the dust is settling on the 2019 NFL season we are able to see who the contenders and the pretenders are. However, we may have run into a little bit of a problem. The playing field is still very leveled out and you can argue that there is no true front runner just yet. Patriots fans please sit down.
BUT, that makes for a great week of gambling as every game, for the most part, should still be a good one this week. Games that offer legitimate plays no matter what angle you might look at it from. I’m done giving you my weekly pep talk and instead, I’ll just let you get right into the picks you should fade for Week 5.
New England Patriots -15 vs. Washington Redskins
This one right here is an easy pick for me. In fact, I think you should lock this line in as early as you can because I can see it this one climbing up a few points before kickoff. The worst thing that could have happened to the half-dead Washington Redskins was that Tom Brady and his New England Patriots played a close game last week. Tom Brady might be old, he might be at the end of his career, but that man does not slip up twice in a row.
I like for the Patriots to take all of last week’s frustrations out on Redskins’ rookie quarterback, Dwayne Haskins. Case Keenum is still in play to start at the time this article was written, either way, it doesn’t matter. I think the Patriots offense also takes complete advantage of a defense that ranks in the bottom five of virtually every defensive category. I think the Patriots completely spank the Redskins in this one. I’m locking in the Patriots -15 as soon as I can.
**The Patriots are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games. The Patriots are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after consecutive ATS losses.
Arizona Cardinals +3 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Another week, another toilet bowl matchup between a couple of winless squads in the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals. On the bright side here, one of these teams will finally pick up their first (and possibly their only) win of the season so there should still be some signs of life during this contest.
With that being said, I like that Cardinals with the points in this game. The Bengals are coming off of a shortened week in which we saw them drop a complete snoozer on Monday Night Football against another bad team in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Although the Bengals do rank towards the top of the league in passing yards, they are dead last in rushing. I just have not seen enough from them offensively through the eye test to take them here. This also could be the game we see Ryan Finley if Andy Dalton and the offense fails to produce early points. Although the Cardinals are still winless, I think they have shown some positive improvements so far this season as it looks like they are on the uptick of their rebuild. I think the Cardinals have a little more offensive firepower to cover this +3.5 spread.
**The Bengals are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games at home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3 vs. New Orleans Saints
Four weeks ago, nobody could have imagined that we would be talking about this matchup as one of the better ones of the weekend. Jameis Winston and the Tampa Buccaneers are rolling into Mercedes Benz Stadium against the perennial division powerhouse in the New Orleans Saints in a game that figures to be a lot closer than some would expect.
However, Drew Brees is still out and Winston is actually on pace to have a career year. Oh, and as strange is it is to even think about, the Buccaneers actually have a little bit of a defense this year, particularly against the run. I think the Buccaneers are a more complete team than most people have been used to over the last few years under new Head Coach Bruce Arians. They're a team that would also be 3-1 and atop the NFC South if it wasn’t for a last-second missed kick fiasco.
I think the Buccaneers are peaking at the right time while, although they’ve taken care of business lately, the Saints look due to hit a wall here sooner rather than later. I like the Buccaneers with the points here +3, while also strongly considering them on the ML and the under 47.5.
**The Saints are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games as favorites. The total has gone under in 15 of the Buccaneers’ last 21 games vs. the Saints
New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles Under 44
This is the type of pick I have been taking the last few weeks. A type of pick that I’m actually hitting on. A pick where I simply think this game is so one-sided that one of the two teams might not put any points up.
You could argue that the New York Jets have been the most disappointing team early on in this 2019 season as their hopeful franchise savior, Sam Darnold has missed a majority of the season with Mononucleosis. Oh, and does anybody actually remember that Le’Veon Bell, is in fact on this roster?
A week ago, some people may have argued that the Philadelphia Eagles were in line to take the crown for most disappointing. However, they rebounded and had a nice season-saving against a tough Green Bay Packers team at Lambeau Field last week. Even if Sam Darnold does play in this game, I think the Eagles continue to get on track by completely wiping the floor with the Jets with a score along the lines of 36-0. As long as the Eagles don’t score more than 44 points themselves, I’m taking the under 44 in this game.
**There are no huge trends to support this under pick, but if you have watched any of the Jets this season you know that scoring is something that is very difficult for them as they are in the bottom five of virtually every offensive category
Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans -2.5
Am I surprised that the Buffalo Bills are 3-1? Absolutely not. Do I think they’re as good if not better than literally any other team that is also 3-1 or better this season? Absolutely not. Let’s take a look at who the Bills have beaten so far this season. We have the New York Jets, an Eli Manning lead New York Giants and the Cincinnati Bengals. Combined these teams have a record of 2-9 and the Bills have won by a combined score of 19 points.
Don’t get me wrong, their defense has looked solid and they did a great job keeping their game last week against the New England Patriots a close one, but I’m nowhere near ready to give this team credit until they can beat a team with a winning record.
If you have been following this blog throughout the season, you already know that I think the Tennessee Titans are the NFL’s biggest sleeper. Well, that thought continues to thrive as I thought the Titans looked like a very solid, complete team in their last week’s win at the Atlanta Falcons. The fact that Josh Allen is questionable to play, the Titans are at home and that I simply believe the Titans are a better team all-around make it easy for me to take the Titans -2.5 here.
**The Bills are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games against the Titans.
Baltimore Ravens -3.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Although I think the Baltimore Ravens are a much, much, much better team than this year’s version of the Pittsburgh Steelers, everything in me still wants to take the Steelers.
Every stat and legitimate betting trend favors the Steelers in this matchup and ever since blowing out the horrendous Miami Dolphins, the Ravens haven’t done much to appease the ones betting on them. However, I just can’t ignore the talent gap between quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph.
Although Rudolph has done a serviceable job as the backup and has flashed a few moments of potential, Jackson is just capable of so much more. The only way I see the Steelers being able to keep up with the Ravens in this one is if they can outscore them and I simply don’t see that happening with Rudolph at the helm. I really like for the Ravens to be able to bounce back after a tough divisional loss to the Cleveland Browns last week. I like the Ravens -3.5 in this one.
**The Ravens are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against the Steelers.
Season record: 5-13
All lines, totals and trends are courtesy of OddShark.com