Week 5 Early Games

Our late game picks will be ready by tomorrow. If you subscribe to our email you're going to get it sometime during the second half of the late games.

NY GIANTS (0-4)  -3.5 vs LA Chargers (0-4) 

There has been so much written about this game that we don't need to add anything else. Truth is, both of these teams are talented but simply haven't been able to get a W. It’s the most-analyzed matchup of 0-4 teams in NFL history.

The Giants’ struggles are known. A weak offensive line and terrible play calling from a young head coach who’s too slow to adapt his style. He’s struggling to learn how to be a head coach and how to lead his staff. Not surprising. It’s gotten a little better but the team and fans are suffering as he takes forever to realize that he’s overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility he wants to have. He can allow his OC to call plays and still coach. Giving more responsibility to Eli is not an option. He would turn his back and throw the clipboard at the ground if anyone got near him.

The Chargers’ problems go way deeper. It appears that the universe does not want them to win. How the heck do you contend with that? The Chargers this week tried cutting their kicker. Sucks for Koo, but we don't think it matters. The bad karma resides in the owner’s box.

Chargers playing early game on east coast = Giants victory. It’s independent of all the drama around these two teams. San Diego not being able to win or lose by more than 3 is something to think about. Betting action is pretty heavy on SD at 3.5, but not enough to move it to 3. We think it gets to 3 at game time, and if it moves to 2.5 (unlikely), you should bet whatever you can on it.

Giants may be their own worst enemy, but there’s no cure for what the Chargers got. At least the Chargers will be comfortable in a stadium where almost everyone is rooting for the other team.

Pick: Giants -3.5

CLEVELAND (0-4)  -0.5 vs NY Jets (2-2) 

The trend is your friend. Cleveland hasn't been able to break through with a victory, and the Jets have played teams surprisingly tough. The Browns lead the league in blitzes, and are last in getting to the quarterback (thanks to The Ringer for that one). And Josh McCown is completing 75% of his passes when being blitzed. If Kenny Britt comes back to drop a few more passes, this game could get out of control. 

Don't take Cleveland. They need to win a game before that happens.

Pick: Jets +0.5

PITTSBURGH (3-1)  -8.5 vs Jacksonville (2-2)

At home you typically see a different Steelers team. There’s been a lot written about their issues as a team. They’re a bunch of pros but that stuff simmers under the surface if not addressed. Plus, this:


Both teams are evenly matched on both sides of the ball. Top 10 defenses – both allowing under 5 yards/play – and middle of the pack offenses.

Jacksonville is 3-2 at Heinz Field, with an average score of 20.6-21.0. They play the Steelers tough, and 8.5 is too many points. Yes, it’s a MeUndies Backdoor Cover of the Week.

Pick: Jacksonville +8.5

PHILADELPHIA (3-1)  -6.5 vs Arizona (2-2) 

Philly defense is tied with New Orleans for second worst yards per play in the league. They snuck away with home victories over the Chargers (in LA) and Giants (in Philly). Now they face another offense that has weapons but problems. They need to get hits – not just pressure, but hits – on Palmer or Larry Fitzgerald will continue to destroy their secondary. Palmer has been sacked 17 times this year, most in the league, but if Fletcher Cox can't go again, they’re going to have to find another way.

On the other side of the ball, Wentz hasn't faced a secondary like this one, so they’re going to have to play ball control and push it down the field with Blount and a variety of short passes to Ertz and out of the backfield. It’s too close to call.

Pick: Cardinals +6.5

DETROIT (3-1)  -2.5 vs Carolina (3-1) 

So it’s going to be the 4-1 Detroit Lions or the 4-1 Carolina Panthers. Weird.

Still trying to figure out how the Lions are 3-1 and an inch from 4-0. They’re #28 in yards per play on offense, they’re in the middle of the pack on defense. We think its because they’ve played 3 of the biggest basket case teams in the league (Minnesota, Giants, Cardinals) and almost caught the Falcons on the road after a big win the previous Sunday night.

Carolina is dangerous. They shit the bet against the Saints (who may not be terrible) but will get it done again on the offensive end.

Pick: Carolina +2.5

INDIANAPOLIS (1-3)  -1.5 vs San Francisco (0-4) 

Good news for Indy: Andrew Luck looks like he's coming back soon.

Bad news for Indy: He doesn't play defense or O-line.

You know who hates this news? Jacoby Brissett, that’s who. He’s about to pick up a clipboard for the next 4 years of his career. He’ll spend those 4 years wondering if it’s OK to hope that another human gets hurt so you get a better job. (Editor note: It’s not OK. Ow! Who threw that stapler at me?)

Indy is struggling on both sides of the ball. San Francisco is only struggling on offense. It will matter.

Our advice: Dust off those eclipse glasses. You may not want to look directly at this game.

Pick: San Francisco +1.5

CINCINNATI (1-3)  -2.5 vs Buffalo (3-1) 

You can't count on Buffalo to play consistently. That’s always been the rap on them. But oh boy, they’ve beaten the Broncos and Falcons in consecutive weeks, and looked good doing it. The Bengals stomped the Browns, but looks like everyone’s going to do that.

Dalton will have to pass them to the win here. Cincy is bad on the ground (3.3 ypa) and we don't think it’s going to be easy against the Bills.

Pick: Bills +2.5

Tennessee (2-2)  -2.5 at MIAMI (1-2) 

Miami finally gets a game at home against a Tennessee team that got spanked on the road last week. Cutler may not care but it’s going to matter. Tennessee is giving up 31ppg, and the Miami offense has too many weapons to stay at an average of under 10 points per game. We think they find the end zone a few times on a hot and humid day. Take this short home dog.

Pick: Miami +2.5