Welcome to SLICED SPREAD, the place on Inside Pulse Sports for weekly NFL picks against the spread, head to head survivor picks, and score prognostications.
During Monday night’s riveting showdown between the Vikings and the Jets, there was a moment when I really thought that I was going to get what both my heart and mind wanted: a Jets win and a Vikings (+4.5) cover.
For those who lived in football Siberia last week, allow me to elaborate. The Jets were winning 22-20 with just over 2 minutes left in the game, and all they had to do to preserve the win and the Vikings cover was run the ball effectively, get a first down or two, and then take a couple of knees to close out the game.
Instead, the Jets horribly mismanaged the clock and they gave the Vikings one last puncher’s chance to possibly pull out an unlikely victory with a quick drive and field goal. Therefore, as genuinely excited I was as a fan to see the Jets seal the win with a pick six against Brett Favre, that final score of 29-20 does stick in my craw just a little bit knowing how close I was to nailing that pick against the spread.
With all that said, I still managed a winning week, finishing 8-6 thanks to five ATS callouts I am particularly proud of:
–Eagles (+3.5) over the Niners (Eagles won 27-24) — I KNEW IT!!!
–Giants (+3.5) over the Texans (Giants won 34-10)
–Titans (+6.5) over the Cowboys (Titans won 34-27)
–Cardinals (+6.5) over the Saints (Cards won 30-20)
–Buccaneers (+6.5) over the Bengals (Bucs won 24-21)
Also, even though I was wrong about the Chiefs covering the 8.5 points against the Colts (Colts won 19-9), picking Indy as my head-to-head survivor pick paid off, giving me 5 straight survivor wins to start the season.
Now if only I can improve my LOCKS, oh well…
Onto the breakdown!
SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 5 BREAKDOWN
WEEK 5 ATS: 8-6
WEEK 5 LOCKS ATS: 1-2
WEEK 5 H2H SURVIVOR PICK: WIN (Indianapolis over Kansas City)
THIS SEASON ATS: 36-40
THIS SEASON LOCKS ATS: 4-11
H2H SURVIVOR TEAMS USED:
Tennessee (Week 1, Win)
Green Bay (Week 2, Win)
New England (Week 3, Win)
New Orleans (Week 4, Win)
Indianapolis (Week 5, Win)
SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 6 PICKS
Home teams are shown in CAPS
Point spreads shown in ().
New Orleans (-4.5) over TAMPA BAY – Though I am leery of the Saints being favored in this matchup, I just have that feeling that the law of averages is going to catch up with both Tampa and New Orleans at some point. I was very happy to see the Bucs escape Cincinnati with a road win over the Bengals, something that I suspected might happen with Tampa coming off of their bye week and Carson Palmer not remembering how to score points. Meanwhile, Arizona really took it to Drew Brees and Co. last Sunday, and now the 3-2 Saints are still without a breakout win in 2010. I think the Saints make a statement here, fending off a pesky Bucs team by pulling away late. Saints win 28-17
Miami (+6.5) over GREEN BAY – The Packers have all kinds of injuries on both sides of the ball, and even if Aaron Rodgers plays he will not be 100% one week after suffering a concussion. Miami is also coming off a bye week, and while I don’t necessarily love the Dolphins in this spot, they are the fresher team and I think they will do enough to cover the spread if not win. Packers win 20-16
Atlanta (+1.5) over PHILADELPHIA – Last week, I just KNEW that Andy Reid was going to pull the rabbit out of the hat and notch another win that almost no one saw coming. Usually when that happens, the magic wears off pretty quickly, and whether it’s Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick behind Center, I like the Falcons to take this one in Philly. Atlanta is 2-1 on the road so far this season – their lone traveling loss coming against the Steelers in Week 1 – and the always-underrated Matt Ryan will prove once again that this Falcons team is for real in a mild upset. Falcons win 24-21
*LOCK IT UP: CHICAGO (-6.5) over Seattle – Even though the Seahawks are coming off their bye week, I still have absolutely no faith in them on the road. Last week, the Bears proved they could win with Todd freakin’ Collins as their starting QB, and Jay Cutler is likely going to be back anyway when Seattle comes to the Windy City. Cutler or Collins will do just fine controlling the game on the offensive side of the ball, and Julius Peppers along with the rest of the Bears’ defense will shine once again. Bears win 21-10
*LOCK IT UP: NY GIANTS (-10.5) over Detroit – The Lions destroyed the Rams last Sunday in a 44-6 onslaught that I did not see coming. I doubt they’ll even reach half that point total against a surging Giants defense. Also, don’t look now, but Eli Manning is starting to find receivers who can actually catch his passes. As long as the Giants limit batted balls and undisciplined penalties, I expect them to simply blast Detroit out of the water in what should be a convincing home victory for Big Blue. Giants win 31-13
HOUSTON (-4.5) over Kansas City – This is yet another game with yet another 4.5-point spread that I am not crazy about at all. I’m taking the Texans on a hunch that they will man up and show some Texas-sized pride to make up for last week’s debacle against the Giants. That, and I don’t trust the Chiefs in their second straight road game after they came out flat as a pancake in Indy. Texans win 24-19
*LOCK IT UP / H2H SURVIVOR PICK: PITTSBURGH (-13.5) over Cleveland – It’s Week 6 and I’ve nailed five straight head-to-head Survivor picks to start the season. I expect this to be one of the easiest Survivor pool wins to date, because there is just no way I could possibly fathom the Browns spoiling Big Ben’s return to the lineup when they might not be able to score more than 6 points in the whole game against that Steelers’ defense. Oh, and did I mention Colt McCoy was starting for the Browns this week? Steelers win 24-3
ST. LOUIS (+8.5) over San Diego – I am no longer trusting the Chargers on the road against ANYONE until they show me they can actually win away from San Diego. This point spread is ridiculously high thanks to the Rams getting blown out 44-6 by the Lions last week, but to me that has to be an aberration. What’s not an aberration is San Diego acting like they can simply show up and win games based on past reputation alone. The Chargers MIGHT escape with a win in St. Louis, but who wants to pick them by more than a field goal at this point, let alone 8.5 points? Chargers win 20-17
Baltimore (+3.5) over NEW ENGLAND – To this point in the season, the Ravens have played better than the Patriots. I know New England has had two weeks to prepare for this game – an eventful two weeks at that – but I just can’t go against Baltimore right now, especially since they relish being the underdogs in these kinds of fights. In fact, I think the Ravens win outright despite the numerous offensive weapons at Tom Brady’s disposal, even without Randy Moss. Ravens win 28-24
DENVER (+2.5) over NY Jets – At this point, I am picking against the Jets to simply make sure that if they do trip up I actually get the pick right. That, and this one has trap game written all over it. Broncos win 27-20
Oakland (+6.5) over SAN FRANCISCO – If the 0-5 Niners are ever going to win a game this season, this just might be the one they scratch out by the skin of their teeth. With that said, the Raiders are coming off a huge division win against the Chargers, and I just don’t understand for the life of me why there is such a high premium on an 0-5 team. Let’s face it, a loss is a loss is a loss is a loss is a loss, and I’ll take the 6.5 points in this situation any day of the week. Niners scrape by head to head. Niners win 21-20
Dallas (+1.5) over MINNESOTA – Both teams are now in super desperation mode, so I’ll go with the team that at least showed some spark in a similar spot earlier this season. The Cowboys marched into Houston in Week 3 and trampled the Texans 27-13, and I have that same sneaking suspicion that they get it done once again in a tough spot on the road. The Vikings are simply reeling, and now they are going to find out what life is like when things start to fall apart for an elbow-injured, league-investigated and soon-to-be deflated Brett Favre. Cowboys win 28-21
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
Indianapolis (-2.5) over WASHINGTON – I just haven’t been able to get a solid read on the Redskins this season. Thankfully, a low spread against Peyton Manning makes my life easy for a week. This is not a wacky division game like the two road losses the Colts suffered against the Texans and Jags, and at some point Manning will put his stamp on a game like this to show everyone the Colts are still a real contender to be reckoned with this season. Colts win 35-26
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
Tennessee (-2.5) over JACKSONVILLE – The Titans have won both of their road games this season, impressively upending the Giants 29-10 in Week 3 and besting the Cowboys 34-27 last week. It’s never easy winning on the road against the NFC East, and while I don’t expect a decent Jacksonville team to lie down at home, I like this road-tested Tennessee team to win this more traditional ground and pound gridiron clash. Titans win 28-23
That’s it for this week’s edition of SLICED SPREAD.
See you next week – CB.
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