Week 5 of the NFL season is here. Time to place your bets. Which games should you pick and which should you avoid? Jimmy Traina and Tom Mantzouranis break down everything you need to know entering this weekend’s NFL action.
Jimmy Traina: Dolphins -3 vs. Ravens. If you watched New Orleans crush Miami on Monday night, don't let that sway you when picking this game. That matchup was more about the Saints' dominance at home and juggernaut offense. The Dolphins are not ready to win a road game like that. However, the Dolphins will bounce back on Sunday when they host the offensively challenged Ravens. Ray Rice has been a complete non-factor in 2013 (30 carries for 89 yards FOR THE SEASON), but coach John Harbaugh has said the running back will start to become a much bigger part of the offense. We have to see it to believe it, especially since he's been slowed down by a hip injury. As for Miami, we believe its more like the team we saw the first three weeks than last week, so covering a field goal should not be a problem here.
Tom Mantzouranis: Patriots +1 at Bengals. I'm not exactly sure why this line is so low. Because Vince Wilfork is injured? That's a blow, to be sure, but all you need to know about this game is that it's Tom Brady vs. Andy Dalton. It doesn't matter that the Bengals might be better 1-53 than the Pats, because Dalton has proven he's not even up to the task of game managing. The chic Super Bowl pick is one late comeback away from being 1-3, with that one win coming against the lowly Steelers. Meanwhile, Tom Brady is beginning to find a rapport with his young receivers, and Danny Amendola should be back to make Brady's life even easier.
NFL Week 5 Betting Odds
|(Odds courtesy of COVERS.COM)|
Stay Away From
Traina: Giants -1.5 vs. Eagles. Good luck trying to figure this one out. The only team that has played worse than New York this season is Jacksonville. Eli Manning has been brutal and starting running back David Wilson has been buried. The Eagles' offense has really slowed down the past couple of weeks while their defense can't stop anyone. I don't know how you can pick a winner here, although the over is probably not a bad play.
Mantzouranis: Rams -11.5 vs. Jaguars. OK, so I said last week that I was instituting a new rule, that the Jaguars would never ever cover the spread in 2013. But I had no idea that the Rams would be favored by such an ungodly amount. I mean, have you SEEN the Rams this season? Their defense can't stop anyone and they have no running game. I barely have faith in them to score 11.5 points, let alone beat someone by that amount. I'm not saying the Jaguars are going to win or even cover, they may not, I'm just saying this is a game you should avoid at all costs because you've worked too hard on your money to put it in the hands of these two terrible teams.
Best Of The Rest
Traina: Falcons -9.5 vs Jets. Basic facts: Matt Ryan and the Falcons don't lose at home too often. They're coming off a home loss to the Patriots. They will not lose two in a row at home. So this comes down to how many points will Atlanta win by. The Jets defense is strong, but it's still a bad, undisciplined football team. Geno Smith is a turnover machine and there is no talent on offense except for Bilal Powell. It’s hard to imagine New York topping 13 points in this game. We're more than confident the Falcons will put up 24-plus.
Jaguars +11.5 at Rams. I'm sorry, I know Jacksonville is the worst club in the league, but the Rams have no business giving 11.5 to any team. The bottom line is this: St. Louis is not any good, Sam Bradford is not a good quarterback and they have no proven running backs. It’s not like the Rams are going to put up 30-plus points here. I'm going to bank on the return of Justin Blackmon this week to give Jacksonville the slightest of sparks and help the Jags only lose by 10 points.
Mantzouranis: Packers -7 vs. Lions. The Lions are looking better than a lot of people (including me) predicted, but they're not world-beaters; there are still evident flaws (the secondary, any receiver not named Calvin Johnson) that point to a regression from their 3-1 start. The Packers, meanwhile, have been slow out of the gate, but they started last season 1-2 and then 2-3 before eventually righting the ship, and that's going to happen again this year. They, too, have flaws (the run game, the secondary), and each team will put up points, but the Packers will begin resembling the dominant team we all expect them to be. Plus they have history on their side -- the Lions have lost 22 straight times in Lambeau, and Mike McCarthy is 6-1 following the bye as Packers coach.
Giants -1.5 vs. Eagles. I was looking smart for a little while last week, after saying the Giants were a better team than their record and were bound to break through at some point. And then a Dexter McCluster return touchdown happened, and everything fell apart in a big way. But I'm sticking with the G-Men. They HAVE to win at some point, and Eli Manning is eventually going to come through. What better time than at home, against a horrid Eagles defense that just gave up 52 points to Eli's big brother?
49ers -6.5 vs. Houston. The 49ers are back on track. Vernon Davis is getting healthier. And Matt Schaub has proven he's just good enough to get the Texans beat. San Francisco's resurgence will continue.MORE COVERAGE: 1st-quarter surprises | 1st-quarter disappointments |Power Rankings