Last week I accomplished the feat of going below .500 but finishing positive overall in units won/lost due to hitting my 5-unit play on the Detroit Lions.
A pair of late-game collapses cost me a perfect 3-0 week, but when it comes to gambling, there are no moral victories. So I’ve made a few lifestyle changes, closed out a couple of life-insurance policies, and begged my friends and family for some cash so that I can continue gambling.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks, hovering around the 50-percent mark for the year, so let’s get this season turned around with my NFL Week 5 picks against the spread.
Week 4 results: 1-2; +1 unit
Year-to-date results: 5-7; -5 units
Point Total Over 51: Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
One of the most shocking things so far this NFL season is the fact that the Green Bay Packers average just 23 points per game. Yes they shutout Buffalo last week, 22-0, but Aaron Rodgers is not pleased with how the offense is performing and openly expressed that this week to the media. What do I think the result of this is? A breakout week for the Packers on the offensive side of the ball.
The memory of the Detroit Lions holding New England to just 10 points a couple of weeks ago is still in the minds of many, but the other three weeks of the season they allowed 48, 30 and 26 points.
Until last week’s shutout, the Packers have allowed over 20 points in each game so far this season, and I’m putting little-to-no stock in shutting out the Bills last week. Matthew Stafford and the Lions are a much better team offensively than Buffalo and they should have no issues finding the endzone 3-4 times this week.
Over bets are 3-1 for both teams so far this season and I’m expecting that trend to continue as the over on the point total of 51 will be a 2-unit play for me this week.
Los Angeles Rams -7 @ Seattle Seahawks
Going into the season I believed the Seahawks would be able to get it done through the air but not on the ground. However, through the season’s first four weeks, they are 16th in the league in rushing but fourth to last in passing yards per game. This is where the bad news starts for Seattle as the strength of the Rams’ defense is against the run, ranking sixth in rushing yards allowed per game.
When you look at Seattle’s defense the strength has been against the pass. But now with Earl Thomas sidelined due to injury, the Seahawks have to face a Rams’ passing offense, which ranks second in the league in passing yards per game, that features the likes of Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp who are all off to great starts this season. Even if you are able to neutralize the Rams’ passing offense you still have to deal with Todd Gurley who currently ranks second in rushing yards and third in rushing touchdowns. And if somehow you already forgot, the Rams just torched the Vikings – who we thought had at least a respectable defense – for over 550 yards last week.
I’m a little nervous taking the road team in a divisional game, especially when favored by a touchdown, but these two teams are polar opposites of what they’ve been in recent memory. The Rams are 3-0-1 against the spread while the Seahawks sit 1-2-1; give me the road favorite for a 1-unit play.
Tennessee Titans -5 @ Buffalo Bills
I opened the discussion of this game on the podcast this week by saying its impressive how bad Buffalo is both offensively and defensively this season. Despite a blowout win a couple weeks ago against the Vikings, they still rank last in passing with just 133 yards per game. That total can literally be accomplished in two throws. And it’s not like they are much better on the ground ranking just 24th in rushing yards per game. I’m not certain this team necessarily has a particular strength on the offensive side of the ball.
Going into the season I believed the Titans biggest strength would be their ability to run the ball, therefore creating the opportunity for plays to be made in the passing game. But it’s been quite the opposite and that was put on display last week when Marcus Mariota threw for over 300 yards and the game-winning touchdown over the Eagles.
It’s hard to imagine the Bills performing as bad as they did last week in their shutout loss to the Packers, but the Titans defense has come around lately so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills once again fail to reach double digits.
As one of the bigger surprise teams this year, the Titans are now 3-1 both straight up and against the spread whereas the Bills are 1-3 both SU and ATS. I’ll take the Titans in this matchup for a 1-unit play.
For a complete NFL Week 5 preview, but sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys discuss their against the spread gambling picks as well as provide their daily fantasy sports bargains and stacks of the week!