NFL Week #5 Picks
STARTING BANKROLL: $10,000.
CURRENT BALANCE: $11,150.
OVERALL W-L RECORD: 12 wins / 7 loses
Week #1 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$250
Week #2 — 1 win, 0 losses = net +$350
Week #3 — 7 wins, 2 losses = net +$1,070
Week #4 — 1 win, 1 loss = net -$20
There’s a startling trend that merits betting blindly in my opinion. That trend is backing winless teams. I don’t have the exact numbers handy, but since 1989 from regular season Week #5 on, winless teams cover the spread about 60 percent of the time. This trend has produced an unusually large number of trials — about 250 over the past 28 seasons. The shit teams are about 150-100 to the good when backing them, which comes out to a stellar win percentage of about 60 percent covers. You won’t find these percentages on any large-scale trends, so I will recommend latching on to this one given there’s some added value on these “bad” teams. A team might indeed be bad, but good to bet on.
One of the potential pitfalls of betting trends like this (most aren’t widely known), is falling into a possible trap that the point spread has already adjusted taking this solid 60 percent angle into account. However, I see no evidence of this currently with the teams I’m looking at wagering on. These games look to be very winnable outright.
This angle also melds into my overall contrarian betting philosophy very nicely. These winless shit teams typically get no respect from the public, which means they keep getting more and more points during the losing streak until finally — they produce solid value. This has been a good season for contrarians already. So. no reason to get off the money train, just yet.
Here are the winless teams I’m betting this week, for no other reason than faith in the continuance of this solid historical trend. I’ve also included some other recommendations, as well [TEN PLAYS IN ALL THIS WEEK]:
San Diego Chargers at New York Giants
Oops! Problem here. Two winless teams are playing against each other. This stalemate seems to cancel each other out. However, since the NY Giants have been notoriously ill-prepared and slow starters in every game this season, I’m wagering on San Diego/Los Angeles getting +2.5 in the first half. I’m also playing the Chargers +3.5 for the full game. Everything here between these two looks like a toss-up. Two desperate teams with two veteran quarterbacks, so I’ll take the points where I can get them.
SAN DIEGO +2.5 (FIRST HALF) risking $220 to win $200
SAN DIEGO +3.5 (GAME) risking $220 to win $200
NY Jets at Cleveland
Note that I’ve been the Jets biggest cheerleader over the previous two weeks. I’ve backed them in both games (people laughed at me), and I not only cashed both tickets — my underdog won outright. Hard to imagine the Jets could possibly go 3-2 with a win here and end up in contention for the AFC East title. But here’s where contrarians will shift gears and (hopefully) make some money. Look for the public to suddenly sniff the cheap perfume and fall in love the with stinky Jets, only to get their dreams crushed this week when they lose in Cleveland. Sure, the Browns are young and a mess and they’re the Browns, but bad teams usually win 2-3 games each year and this is looked upon as a very winnable game for the host. Jets have won largely on the basis of defense and have also caught two favored visitors sleeping at home. Not sure this Jets team has the pedigree to go on the road and defeat what is an equally motivated team to win. YOu Jets team now has the pressure off while Browns have to be looking at this as the one game they can win. Looking for the home host to play tough and pick up a first victory of the season here.
CLEVELAND (PICK) risking $220 to win $200
San Francisco at Indianapolis
I’ve lambasted 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in the past, but there are clear signs of improvement in San Francisco. 49ers have played two decent teams tough during the previous two weeks, losing by a couple of points to the juggernaut 3-1 Rams and taking the 2-2 Cardinals into overtime on the road. San Francisco looks primed for a win here against what’s clearly the NFL worst defense. Indianapolis is surrendering a whopping 34 points per game. Indy has no offensive weapons, other than WR Hill who can’t get the ball often enough. Given the fact we have the winless teams angle, some added motivation, and we’re getting what appears to be the better team at the moment (certainly defensively), I’ll back the small dog 49ers. I’m also teasing San Francisco because even with a Colt victory, I don’t expect they’re capable of blowing out an opponent, especially a team that’s showing improvement by the week. So — I’ll tease the 49ers with Cleveland expecting the generous +6 points to be more valuable in what’s expected to be an offensively-challenged, low-scoring game. I’ll also take the visiting Ravens on a tease at Oakland since QB Carr is doubtful. Raiders are an entirely different team without Carr in the backfield, and Baltimore should be better prepared after falling to 2-2 after losing two straight games. Plus 9 points against a hobbled team is too tempting to pass up. The third teaser will be the 49ers with Philadelphia, which should handle Arizona at home handily.
SAN FRANCISCO (+1.5) risking $220 to win $200
TEASER: SAN FRANCISCO +7.5 with CLEVELAND +6 risking $220 to win $200
TEASER: SAN FRANCISCO +7.5 with BALTIMORE +9 risking $220 to win $200
TEASER: SAN FRANCISCO +7.5 with PHILADELPHIA -.5 risking $220 to win $200
Cincinnati vs. Buffalo
I’m not drinking the Buffalo kool-aid. The (perhaps overconfident) 3-1 Bills should run into a buzz saw this week versus a team that got off to a horrendous start but has played much better the previous two weeks, playing at Green Bay tough and beating the Browns badly. Bengals have a chance here back at home to crawl back in the race with a win, and I’ll go with that prospect given this remains a veteran team with some talent in a dire situation.
CINCINNATI (-3) risking $220 to win $200
Arizona at Philadelphia
I’m not totally sold yet on the Eagles as a playoff team, but they should handle aging Arizona easily at home, which seems to have lost all the spark of what was one of the NFL’s rising teams a few years ago. Arizona’s offensive line is a mess. This problem is made worse by a weak running attack (note the injury) and a soft, aging quarterback named Carson Palmer who’s best days are way behind him. Palmer’s immobility is a huge problem here, exacerbated by a porous, injury-filled line. Cards have allowed 17 sacks already in 4 games. Look for Eagles back at home to string together one of their better efforts versus a team that’s struggled all season long. It will likely take a huge game by WR Fitzgerald and although he’s a game breaker, I don’t think the protection will be there for Palmer to get him the ball often enough. We also get the old angle to fade teams flying cross-country to the East for an early start time. Eagles should roll here. Line should be at least a touchdown.
PHILADELPHIA (-6.5) risking $220 to win $200
Baltimore at Oakland
Two teams reeling from consecutive losses. I wouldn’t touch this if QB Carr was healthy, but he’s doubtful to start (at present) and that’s a huge downgrade to EJ Manuel. Baltimore getting +3 isn’t quite enough to pull the trigger on the Ravens…..but will bet them if the line moves to +3.5 If Carr starts, even though he may not be full speed, that would still be a disqualifer. Better play here is to leave Ravens in the teaser all the way up to +9 and then enjoy what should be a close game.
Kansas City at Houston
This Sunday night game could be a feast. Suddenly, HOU is one of the NFL’s most exciting teams to watch fresh off a 57-point outburst last week on top of a close call loss at New England the week prior. Back at home again a consecutive time, undefeated Kansas City is the perfect fat and happy opponent and a statement game for the Texans. Houston defense should be fine and assuming what we are seeing with Houston’s new young quarterback is real, Texans should the win and cover here.
HOUSTON (pick) risking $220 to win $200
Tempting to play JAX in a rebound situation versus highly-inconsistent PIT, but JAX is playing third straight on the road, so I will pass.
TEN looks like money laying a small number at MIA. However, MIA has looked so horrendous the last two games, one has to expect an all-out change of philosophy and a retooling which might surprise. Yes, fading Cutler is always wise, yet I’ll pull up on this one preferring greener pastures elsewhere.
DET at home laying -2.5 now after the -3 opener. CAR playing second straight on road following huge win at NWE. Was CAR really that good, or was the NWE defense just so dreadful they make any offense look decent?
Contrarian play on SEA getting small number at LAR, perhaps. LAR off huge win at DAL and now rolling at 3-1. This could be a letdown week, even against a division rival they usually play against tough at home. Pass, but very tempting.
GB very tempting to take at +3. Injuries keep me off them this week. DAL showing some signs of falling back to mediocrity. This is big test for DAL, which makes me think they go all out here. Too many variables cancel each other out.
I want no part of the MIN at CHI Monday night game.
Good luck to all.