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NFL Week 5 Picks

October 11th, 2020

I’m not sure there’s a point in continuing to try to predict the outcomes of games that may or may not be played. But at least for one more week, I’m doing it anyhow.

I lost power due to a storm on Wednesday evening and didn’t get it back until close to midnight Thursday, as a result of which I wasn’t able to post my Tampa Bay-Chicago pick before the game. So I’m just going to have to ask you to trust me when I say I was going to take the Bucs and give the 4.5 points. So that’s me 0-1 straight up and against the spread so far this week.

I went 10-5 straight up and 6-7-2 with the points in week four, which landed me at an illustrious 43-19-1 (.690), 25-35-3 (.421) on the season coming into the weekend. Let’s see how much worse it can get.

Here’s what not to expect (even if you expect any games to be played at all).

Carolina (+2.5) at Atlanta
With matchups like this on the schedule, it’s easy to understand why the NFL persists with this mistake of a season. Falcons by four.

Las Vegas (+11) at Kansas City
The Chiefs are better than the Raiders by enough that they should be able to win by more than 11 at home. But, you know, division rivalries are weird. Kansas City by eight.

Arizona (-7) at NY Jets
So far this season, the Cardinals haven’t lived up to expectations. But the Jets certainly have lived down to theirs. Arizona by six.

Philadelphia (+7) at Pittsburgh
It looks like the only thing that can keep the Steelers from spending the entire season beating up on weak opponents is Covid-19. We’ll see how that turns out. Pittsburgh by 10.

LA Rams (-7) at Washington
Surprisingly, it works out that halfway changing the name of a football team does not dramatically change that team’s ability to compete. Rams by 11.

Cincinnati (+11.5) at Baltimore
This might be a pretty good matchup. Next season. For now, let’s just figure the division rivalry factor keeps it closer on the scoreboard than it is on the field. Ravens by a touchdown.

Jacksonville (+5.5) at Houston
I guess the thinking in Houston was that this season didn’t have enough disruptions built into it already. Texans by three.

Miami (+8) at San Francisco
I don’t even know who’s playing in this game. And I’m not sure I care. San Francisco by four.

Indianapolis (+1) at Cleveland
Pretty even matchup between what appears to be a pair of fairly good, but ultimately unbalanced teams. In a situation like this, you go with home team by three.

NY Giants (+7.5) at Dallas
The Cowboys can’t really be as bad as they’ve looked. Unless they are. The Giants can definitely be as bad as they’ve looked. Dallas by nine.

Minnesota (+7) at Seattle
After a slow start, the Vikings have a solid one-game winning streak working. That might be as good as it gets for Minnesota this season. Seahawks by 10.

LA Chargers (+8) at New Orleans
The Saints are almost certainly a better team than the Chargers. But maybe not by quite as much as one might have anticipated. New Orleans by four.

Buffalo (-6.5) at Tennessee
The best bet is that the game doesn’t get played. If it does … eh, Bills by seven.

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