I went 7-5-1 last week against the spread. I pulled two games off the board due to last-minute injury substitutions. Sportsbooks adjusted the lines too late in the week after Hasselbeck started for the Colts and Brees started for the Saints.
A few players are returning from injuries and suspensions this week. Andrew Luck appears to be ready to start on Thursday, but is it too early? Also, thankfully we don’t have a London game this week, so we can all sleep in on Sunday.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 5 of the 2015 NFL season.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (+1) – My pick is Houston Texans
The short week does not work in the Colts’ favor. Andrew Luck is expected to play on Thursday, but would have benefited from a full week. Indy squeaked by Jacksonville in overtime, but they probably should have lost that game. The offensive line is a joke. J.J. Watt and the rest of the Texans defense should be able to get to Luck a lot. I don’t see the Colts pulling out a win on the road in a short week. I’m taking the Texans.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) – My pick is Cleveland Browns
Josh McCown is not a bad quarterback. After the year he had with the Bucs, I never thought I’d say that. The Browns nearly beat San Diego last week and the offense was nearly all McCown in that game. Steve Smith Sr. will not play in this game. The injury is off-set by Joe Haden possibly even things out a bit. Justin Forsett finally played well in their overtime win in Pittsburgh. The Ravens may win, but Cleveland’s run defense will make it close. I’m taking the points.
St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers (-9.5) – My pick is Green Bay Packers
The Rams have been all over the place the last two seasons. They will have an upset win followed by two stinkers. It looks like they are still in that pattern. I do like Todd Gurley a lot and will stabilize their offense going forward. As I said in the last few ‘NFL picks’ articles, I will ride Green Bay until they start getting double-digit point spreads. I’m sticking with the Packers again.
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (-5) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
I’m not sure if the Eagles deserved to be favored right now. The running game is a dumpster fire and Sam Bradford can’t do it alone. Drew Brees looked healthy last week for the Saints. The Eagles need to show me a lot before I hitch my wagon to them again. I’m taking the points.
Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans (+2.5) – My pick is Buffalo Bills
The Titans are coming off a their bye week and Buffalo just played like they had the week off. The Giants stopped the Bills’ running game and Tyrod Taylor wasn’t very accurate. The Titans will put up a fight in this game, but the Bills defense will confuse rookie Marcus Mariota. I’m taking the Bills to cover.
Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs (-9) – My pick is Chicago Bears
Both teams are 1-3 on the season, straight up and against the spread. The Chiefs and Bears both lost all three of their games against potential playoff teams. I doubt the Chiefs can score enough points to cover a nine-point spread. Their defense has played poorly. I’m taking the points in this game.
Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals (-3) – My pick is Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton has backed off on launching balls to A.J. Green. He has learned to trust Mohamed Sanu and Tyler Eifert more. Seattle’s offense hasn’t looked great this year. I believe Cincinnati will push Seattle’s defense all game. Cincinnati will cover at home.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) – My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ew! I feel sorry for those in Florida who have to stomach this game on their local CBS station. Jacksonville doesn’t look like they are any better this year than in year’s past. They lack playmaker receivers. Tampa Bay have playmakers, but Jameis Winston is still behind where he should be at this point. I don’t love this pick, but Bucs have more talent across the board.
Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons (-7.5) – My pick is Atlanta Falcons
When the hell did the NFC South become one the better divisions? Atlanta has been quite impressive. Matt Ryan is in the correct offense that shows off what he’s good at. Also, it’s amazing how much better a quarterback can look when the running game is working. Washington hasn’t been as bad as their record. They have been competitive in every game. I blame their 11-point loss to the Giants due to the short week. I still think Atlanta can win against the spread.
Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions (+3) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
I was high on Detroit this preseason, but I think it’s time to jump off the wagon. They are struggling in possibly their strongest aspect, offense. They just can’t finish off drives. Arizona has looked great this season, but fell a bit flat against the Rams. I do believe teams will be able to run against Arizona this year, but Todd Gurley made them look horrible. Arizona should be able to cover on the road against a Detroit team still reeling from a late bad call on Monday night.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (+5) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Denver has dominated Oakland ever since Peyton Manning came to town. Denver has won their last seven games against the Raiders are are 6-0-1 ATS during that span. Oakland may have had glimpses of ‘good’ this year, but Denver has their number. I’m taking Denver to cover in Oakland.
New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys (+10) – My pick is New England Patriots
New England is damn near perfect after a bye week. Bill Belichick has had two weeks to put together a defense for Brandon Weeden?! This line should be +14. The Patriots are in ‘eff you’ mode and will run up the score if given the chance.
San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants (-7) – My pick is New York Giants
The Giants have been pretty good against the run so far. The Niners haven’t been able to rely on Colin Kaepernick at all. They need their running game to get going in order to stay competitive. The Giants should be able to cover this one on Sunday night.
Pittsburgh Steelers at San Diego Chargers (-3.5) – My pick is San Diego Chargers
I feel like this line is just to get the Steelers public money. Martavis Bryant and Antonio Gates are both returning from PED-related suspensions. This benefits San Diego more than Pittsburgh. The Steelers are going to give the ball to Le’Veon Ball non-stop, so getting Bryant back isn’t a huge deal. Gates will help Rivers immediately. Pittsburgh misses Big Ben a lot and would come in handy in this one. I’m taking San Diego to cover.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob