360 Picks: Week 5


    When the 360 picks computer spit out last week’s game selections, they should have come with a warning label that the games the various models did not agree an most of the games. It was an indicator to lay off as the week would be a bumpy one and it’s something we will watch for in the future as a talisman of doom. We continue to tread water on our straight picks, and the new Over/Under model improved to over .500, but the spread picks, out main focus, were a miserable 5-8. If that trend continues, we won’t feed the squirrel that powers the computer for a day to teach them both a lesson. And we might give the squirrel a turn picking the games.

    First let’s look at how we’ve done, then we’ll move on to this week’s selections.

    Straight up: 3-3 on High confidence picks, 4-3 on Low. 7-6 Overall
    Straight up season: 15-10 on High confidence picks, 17-19 on low. 32-29 Overall

    Spread: 1-2 on High confidence picks, 4-6 on Low. 5-8 Overall
    Spread season: 9-9 on High Confidence Picks, 22-19-2 on Low. 31-28-2 Overall

    OU: 0-0 on High confidence Picks, 7-6 on Low. 7-6 Overall
    Season OU: 1-4 on High confidence picks, 26-29-1 on Low. 27-33-1 Overall

    Parley Picks: Missed, 0-1. 0-4 Overall. Missed on the Saints and the Patriots.
    Suicide Selections: 2-2, 10-6 Overall. Missed on the Steelers and Patriots.

    360 Picks Week 5:

    Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers:

    Line: Panthers by 2.0
    Over/Under: 46.5

    Analysis: The Panthers defense took another blow when defense end Frank Alexander’s four game suspension was extended to ten games for another violation of the substance abuse policy. With the continued absence of defensive end Greg Hardy for domestic violence issues, the Panthers defense will have trouble slowing down an embarrassed Bears offense. I’d suggest Carolina run the ball, if they had any running backs left. Or throw it, if they had any receivers this season. Steve Smith is having another great year… for the Baltimore Ravens. Take the points.

    Straight Pick: Bears
    Spread Pick: Bears + 2.0
    OU Pick: Under 46.5

    Confidence: Low on all three picks

    Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans:

    Line: Titans by 1.5
    Over/Under: 44.0

    Analysis: The Titans were beaten up in Indianapolis, but return home to face the surprisingly competitive Cleveland Browns. Expect them to bounce back and run the ball down Cleveland’s throat using Bishop Sankey and his improved footwork. Tennessee has discovered what the rest of us knew about Shonn Greene years ago – he stinks. Lay the points.

    Straight Pick: Titans
    Spread Pick: Titans – 1.5
    OU Pick: Over 44.0

    Confidence:  Low on all three picks.

    St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles:

    Line: Eagles by 7.5
    Over/Under: 47.5

    Analysis: The Eagles didn’t score an offensive point in San Fransisco last week and return home to face newly anointed Rams starting quarterback Austin Davis at home. Who better to take out your frustration on than the hapless Rams. This one could get ugly and the Eagles might make the over without help from St. Louis.

    Straight Pick: Eagles
    Spread Pick: Eagles – 7.5
    OU Pick: Over 47.5

    Confidence: Low on all three picks

    Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants:

    Line: Giants by 4.5
    Over/Under: 51.5

    Analysis: The Falcons offensive line will be made up of guys that were working at a car wash last weekend. Meanwhile, every Giant practiced yesterday, even the mystical creature known as the Beckham. We should see the Giants first round draft pick, finally over his hamstring injury, make his debut in this game. The Giants should win easily, but being the Giants, they may come out flat. We hope not and are taking them anyway.

    Straight Pick: Giants
    Spread Pick: Giants – 4.5
    OU Pick: Over 51.5

    Confidence: High on the Spread and Straight; Low on the Over

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints:

    Line: Saints by 10.0
    Over/Under: 49.0

    Analysis: The Saints could have done the Giants, and the world a huge favor last Sunday night and beaten Dallas, instead, dormant Cowboys fans, whipped into submission by three straight 8-8 season capped off with final game losses to each of their NFC East opponents are back and talking loud. The Saints return to the dome to face the Buccaneers, fresh off their upset of the yellow fever ridden Pittsburgh Steelers, who are the second most penalized team in the NFL (San Francisco) through four weeks. New Orleans is virtually unbeatable at home, so lay the points.

    Straight Pick: Saints
    Spread Pick: Saints – 10.0
    OU Pick: Under 49.0

    Confidence: High on all three picks

    Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys:

    Line: Cowboys by 6.5
    Over/Under: 47.0

    Analysis: Everyone is talking about Dallas, and their run game is looking great this season. What’s most astonishing about their winning is the play of the Dallas defense, expected to be historically bad, but surrendering only 18 points per game. An unwritten rule in picking games. When everyone is jumping on to a team, it’s time to jump off. Dallas should win the game, but a 6 1/2 is a lot of points. Last Sunday night was a revenge game for the 2013 beat down the Saints put on Dallas. Houston, despite being an instate rival will be overlooked.

    Straight Pick: Cowboys
    Spread Pick: Texans + 6.5
    OU Pick: Over 47.0

    Confidence: Low on all three picks

    Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions:

    Line: Lions by 7.0
    Over/Under: 43.5

    Analysis: Don’t look now, but the Detroit Lions are playing actual NFL caliber football one quarter of the way through the season. This gives us hope for Thanksgiving Day, but doesn’t bode well for the Buffalo Bills, who despite starting 2-0, have reverted back into, the Buffalo Bills. Kyle Orton, last seen backup up Tony Romo in Dallas, before forcing his way out with a wheelbarrow full of Jerry Jones money, has been named starting quarterback over first round bust E.J. Manuel. He’s not much of an upgrade.

    Straight Pick: Lions
    Spread Pick: Lions – 7.0
    OU Pick: Under 43.5

    Confidence: Low on all three picks

    Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts:

    Line: Colts by 3.5
    Over/Under: 50.0

    Analysis: Indianapolis plays well at home and the Ravens aren’t the same team on the road. Both defenses can be had, but Andrew Luck is a better quarterback than Joe Flacco. For that reason, lay the points.

    Straight Pick: Colts
    Spread Pick: Colts – 3.5
    OU Pick: Over 50.0

    Confidence: High on the Spread and Straight; Low on the Over

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars:

    Line: Steelers by 7.0
    Over/Under: 47.0

    Analysis: Jacksonville is a horrible team again. But Blake Bortles didn’t look half bad in his starting debut out in San Diego. The Jaguars host an angry Steelers team that will be out for blood, their vengeful hearts may draw several personal foul penalties. The game will be closer than expected. Pittsburgh wins, but doesn’t cover.

    Straight Pick: Steelers
    Spread Pick: Jaguars + 7.0
    OU Pick: Over 47.0

    Confidence: Low on all three picks

    Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos:

    Line: Broncos by 7.0
    Over/Under: 47.5

    Analysis: Denver plays well at home, but Arizona’s defense is among the best in the NFL. Drew Stanton gets his third consecutive start for the injured Carson Palmer and that’s the difference. Denver will win, Arizona will keep it close, probably with a garbage time touchdown.

    Straight Pick: Broncos
    Spread Pick: Cardinals + 7.5
    OU Pick: Under 47.5

    Confidence: High on the Spread and Straight; Low on the Over

    Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco Forty-Niners:

    Line: Forty-Niners by 5.5
    Over/Under: 44.0

    Analysis: Fresh off their beat down of the Patriots, Kansas City travels west to face a Forty-Niners team that shut down the Eagles potent offense. Their focus this week will be stopping Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis. They succeed. Alex Smith, master of the check down, won’t beat them in his return home.

    Straight Pick: Forty-Niners
    Spread Pick: Forty-Niners – 5.5
    OU Pick: Over 44.0

    Confidence: Low on all three picks

    New York Jets at San Diego Chargers:

    Line: Chargers by 7.5
    Over/Under: 44.5

    Analysis: Is this the game there Michael Vick replaces Geno Smith? If he does, will it matter? He was a turnover machine in his last season as Philadelphia starter, and doesn’t have the wheels he used to have to make plays when protection breaks down. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers will be the latest quarterback to have his way with the Jets secondary. The Chargers lack of a running game won’t matter – you can’t run against the Jets anyway.

    Straight Pick: Chargers
    Spread Pick: Chargers – 7.5
    OU Pick: Under 44.5

    Confidence: Low on all three picks

    Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots:

    Line: Bengals by 2.5
    Over/Under: 46.0

    Analysis: It used to be that you bet the mortgage on Bill Belichick after a loss. But the Patriots aren’t the Patriots this season and Cincinnati is a very good team. The Bengals will run the ball on New England, control the clock and their defensive line will take advantage of the Patriots woeful offensive line. The AFC East is up for grabs.

    Straight Pick: Bengals
    Spread Pick: Bengals – 2.5
    OU Pick: Under 46.0

    Confidence: Low on the Spread and the Straight, High on the Under

    Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins:

    Line: Seahawks by 8.0
    Over/Under: 45.0

    Analysis: Seattle travels across the country to take on the battered Redskins who may still be in shock from the whipping the took on national television from the Giants. They draw a worse opponent to try to bounce back against than Seattle, who will pick apart their secondary and wear down their front seven just like the Giants did. And if Kirk Cousins thought the Giants secondary was tough, wait until the Legion of Boom says hello.

    Straight Pick: Seahawks
    Spread Pick: Seahawks – 8.0
    OU Pick: Under 45.0

    Confidence: Low on all three picks


    If you want to play a parley: The best of the high confidence picks… Eagles – 7.0, Giants – 4.0, Saints – 10.0, and Colts – 3.5

    If you’re in a suicide pool: In order… Saints, Giants, Eagles,  and Colts


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