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NFL 2021 Week Five Picks

October 10th, 2021

Things are not turning around for me.

Not much, anyhow. I managed to get 10 games right picking straight up in week four. And that’s at least slightly less awful than I’d done over the previous three weeks. But I was 6-10 against the spread, which I can’t cast as anything other than thoroughly embarrassing.

That lands me at 34-30 (.531) straight up, 24-39-1 (.383) with the points through week four. And I’m powering to this weekend 0-1 both ways.

Here’s what not to expect over the remainder of week five.

NY Jets (+2.5) at Atlanta
The Falcons can’t keep opponents off the scoreboard. Lucky for them, the Jets are pretty good at keeping themselves off the board. Atlanta by a point.

Green Bay (-3) at Cincinnati
Maybe by the time the game ends, I’ll be able to tell these teams apart. Bengals by a field goal.

Detroit (+10) at Minnesota
The Vikings aren’t good, but the Lions are horrible. Minnesota by 13.

Denver (-1) at Pittsburgh
Ben Roethlisberger is tracking 16 TDs, 16, interceptions and 40 sacks in the 2021 season. You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but, um, that’s not good. Broncos by four.

Miami (+10) at Tampa Bay
If the Dolphins had anything resembling an offense, they might’ve had a chance to keep this one closer than anyone expects. Buccaneers by 14.

New Orleans (-2.5) at Washington
Even with four games to look at, it’s hard to know what to make of the Saints. They struggle … when they struggle. I suspect they won’t struggle (or, you know, not much) against an opponent with no defense. New Orleans by six.

Philadelphia (+3) at Carolina
In this one the NFC East team with no defense is on the road. Carolina by 10.

Tennessee (-4.5) at Jacksonville
I’d say the only thing the Jaguars really need is a coach. Except that’s not true. Might be a start, though, if the organization ever decides it wants to start fixing things. Titans by seven.

New England (-8) at Houston
You know what you call a healthy person who remains unvaccinated at this point despite having easy access and obligations to his teammates in addition to his obligations to his family and community? A stupid, selfish asshole. That’s what. The Patriots are very lucky they’re facing the softest of soft opponents this week. And I still can’t give a touchdown plus in a road game in which they’re forced to field a pointlessly depleted offensive line. New England by three.

Chicago (+5.5) at Las Vegas
This matchup really should not present much of a challenge for the home team. And yet somehow it will. Raiders by four.

Cleveland (+2.5) at LA Chargers
The way to beat the Chargers is to keep the ball on the ground and avoid turnovers. I know the Browns should be able to accomplish the former. The latter might prove a problem. I think the home team edges this one out by way of a critical takeaway. Chargers by one.

NY Giants (+7) at Dallas
The Giants aren’t ready to compete with the Cowboys. Dallas by nine.

San Francisco (+5.5) at Arizona
The Cards sure have looked like the class of the NFC West so far. I don’t see that changing here. No much, anyhow. Arizona by three.

Buffalo (+3) at Kansas City
You can talk all you want about Kansas City being better than their slow start. Maybe. And maybe they show it here. But from my perspective, Buffalo simply has the more complete team. Or maybe it’s just the more prepared team. Whatever. Bills by four.

Indianapolis (+7) at Baltimore
There’s nothing that indicates to me that these two teams belong on the same field. Ravens by 14.

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