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2014 NFL Week 5 Picks and Predictions

2014 NFL Week 5 Picks and Predictions

After enjoying their bye last week, the NFL’s heavy hitters return to action this week with some mouth-watering matchups. The two remaining undefeated teams, the Cardinals and the Bengals, will have their perfect records very much in jeopardy when they go on the road against Peyton Manning’s Broncos and Tom Brady’s Patriots, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks, fresh off their Super Bowl rematch win over the Broncos, touch down in the nation’s capital to take on the reeling Redskins on Monday Night Football. Check out our preview of that game here, and read on for our complete Week 5 spread picks.

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Complete NFL Week 5 Picks

Thursday, October 2

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (8:25 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Packers -9.5

[sc:NFL240banner ]R-E-L-A-X. Aaron Rodgers (302 yards and 4 TDs vs. the Bears) and the Packers’ explosive offense are going to be alright. And if the Packers at home against Minnesota isn’t enough to sway you – Green Bay is 7-1-1 in its last nine against them at home – then consider that after Teddy Bridgewater’s ankle injury, Christian Ponder might by under center for the Vikes. Yikes.

Sunday, October 5

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Bears +2.5

That terrific Panthers defense which gave up just 21 total points in the first two weeks has now surrendered a whopping 75 points and over 900 total yards on offense in the last two. And as inconsistent as the Bears offense has looked, it still put up 55 total points on the road against the sturdy defenses of the Niners and the Jets.

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Browns

The Browns are 1-2 but they’ve lost both those games by just five points. And regardless of which Titans quarterback starts – a hobbled Jake Locker, an ineffective Charlie Whitehurst or an inexperienced Zach Mettenberger – it’s tough to see them pulling away from the Browns, who are coming off a bye.

St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Eagles -7

The Eagles’ running game concerns are getting more and more serious. They’ve rushed for just 76 yards on 37 carries in the last two games. The passing game didn’t look to hot against the Niners either, with Nick Foles (21 of 43 with two INTs) struggling considerably. But those aren’t compelling enough reasons to bet on Shaun Hill, who will be starting at quarterback for the Rams, to cover at Philadelphia.

Eli Manning

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Giants -4.5

The “elite” Eli Manning (300 yards, 4 TDs vs. the Redskins) is back! Granted, it was against a sorry Redskins secondary, but the Falcons aren’t much better. Moreover, the Giants’ rushing game, which has gained 150+ yards in the last two games, will be liable to do damage against a Falcons defense that gave up over 200 rushing yards and four TDs against the Minnesota Vikings.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Saints -10.5

Don’t get too worked up about the Saints’ tough road loss to the Cowboys. New Orleans is just fine at home, where it’s won nine games in a row, and has covered all but one of those games. And as Ben Roethlisberger (314 yards, three touchdowns) ably showed, the Buccaneers’ secondary can be lit up, which is good news for Drew Brees and his crew.

Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Cowboys -4

The Cowboys’ defense still has some major question marks, but Ryan Fitzpatrick on the road doesn’t inspire much confidence. And with the way the Cowboys offense has been playing (72 points in its last two games) they can probably even afford to spot a few points against the Texans, who are not a big threat to score many.

Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Lions -7

EJ Manuel’s completion percentage has dropped every single week, from Week 1’s 72.7 percent against the Bears all the way down to 47.7 percent against the Texans. Do you see any way Manuel keeps up with a Lions offense that’s won its two home games by over double-digits? Didn’t think so.

Andrew+Luck+Indianapolis+Colts+Shout

Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Ravens +3.5

It’s tough to bet against Andrew Luck, AKA the hottest quarterback in the NFL (68 percent completion,  912 yards, 13 touchdowns through four games), but the Ravens have both a well-rounded offense (327 passing yards and 127 rushing yards against the Panthers) as well as a formidable defense to cool Luck and the Colts off.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Jaguars +7

Sure, the Jags have an average margin of defeat of 24 points through four games this season, but the Buccaneers were comparably bad heading into Pittsburgh. Not only did the previously winless Bucs cover, they also came away with an upset win.

Blake Bortles (78 percent completion for 253 yards vs. the Chargers) looked competent last week, and could have a breakout game against a banged up Steeler secondary.

Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos (4:05 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Cardinals +7.5

The Broncos are 0-3 against the spread this season, having failed to cover as 8.5- and 13-points home favorites against the Colts and Chiefs, respectively. The Broncos offense (25 PPG) isn’t what it once was, and the Cardinal secondary led by Patrick Peterson has the ability to slow it down even further.

Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers (4:25 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: 49ers

Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles just picked the Pats apart on Monday Night, but the 49ers, despite their early season struggles, aren’t the Pats. The Niners can do the two things New England couldn’t do – establish the run and defend it well – which are exactly what a team needs to do to neutralize the Chiefs’ offense.

Philip+Rivers+San+Diego+Chargers+Focus

New York Jets at San Diego Chargers (4:25 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Chargers -7

Despite not being able to run the ball a lick in its last couple of games, the Chargers’ offense has still been machine-like in its efficiency so far this season. San Diego has won by nine-, 12- and 19-point margins in its current three-game winning streak, and will face Jets quarterback Geno Smith (five INTs in four games), who has been anything but efficient so far this season.

Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots (8:30 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Bengals

After two consecutive stinkers from Tom Brady and the Pats offense (19 points at home against Oakland and 14 points on the road against Kansas City), it’s incredibly difficult to see how the Pats a) keep up with studs Gio Bernard and AJ Green and b) score against a Bengals defense allowing just 11 points per game, tops in the NFL.

Monday, October 6

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins (8:30 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Seahawks -7.5

One game removed from his worst game yet as a pro, the last team – and defense – Kirk Cousins (4 INTs vs. the Giants) would’ve wanted to face was the Seahawks. But that’s just what he’ll do, in the bright lights of Monday Night Football, no less. Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch against a shaky Redskins defense might not end too well for Washington, either.

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Brad
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