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Blazing Five (Week 5)…
After four weeks I’m 10-9-1 in our group records (line updates after picks sometimes), 11-8-1 playing them for real early in the week on the games I selected to play by the Vegas lines at that time -- discovering the best lines to expose is key in this game. Either way, slightly ahead and starting to get in-tune with the NFL 2018 trends I think.
Another week of games, another week of data for The Computer and I see some nice plays this week. The first four games listed – I’m going to be heavier than any games this year…a basket of four games, hoping for a 3-1/4-0 run and a downside of 2-2 and not out much.
Here’s Week 5 Blazing Five for the group (as of Friday am lines):
Blazing Five Contest:
14-5-1 = Katz
11-7-2 = Savage
11-8-1 = Colin Cowherd
10-9-1 = Skolman
10-9-1 = RC
7-11-2 = Rabbitt
*6-1-0 = When 3 or more of the group agrees on a B5 pick (Arizona and Oakland this week...and Colin agrees as well).
TEN (-5.5) at BUF
The Computer Says: TEN by 18.1 (12.6 point spread differential)
The ‘FFM bump’ happened in this line…it’s going from 3.5 to 5.5 in the last 24-48 hours. Our big line differential plays this week have both been shifting against our wishes…that’s why we play them early before announcing to the public. Here’s one of those moments where I got +2pts more in reality, but B5 contest rules are Friday lines…still love it.
The Titans are a solid C+ team, and the Bills are an ‘F’. The Titans should be able to salt this one away by at least a TD.
ARI at SF (-4.0)
The Computer Says: ARI by 17.4 (13.4 point spread differential)
This was -4.5, now down to -4.0. I’ll bet it hits 3.5 and 3.0 before long. The Cardinals are going to win this game outright. I’m nearly saying the Titans and Cardinals are ‘bets of the year’ territory.
Arizona is better in every phase of the game than the 49ers, except TE…and who cares about that factoid. Rosen nearly had a huge game last week, and Beathard nearly had a much worse week. Arizona has Rosen, Kirk emerging, DJ about ready to pop, and a very underrated defense.
The 49ers have banged up Marquise Goodwin and possibly missing Richard Sherman.
GB (P) at DET
The Computer Says: DET by 7.8 (7.8 point spread differential)
I LOVE this bet. The Computer believes the Lions are one of the 10 best teams in football, and they really should/could be 3-1 right now. The Packers are built on quicksand that’s sinking slowly.
I would, The Computer would, almost guarantee this one…but you never guarantee against Aaron Rodgers. T.J. Lang out for DET stings a lot too.
LAR (-7.0) at SEA
The Computer Says: LAR by 14.4 (7.4 point spread differential)
This many be the best bet on the board and we don’t realize it because it seems too simple. How are the Rams not winning this by 7+? They beat Seattle at Seattle late last year in a very important/playoff-like game 42-7. This Rams team is better than last year’s, and Seattle’s is worse. Seattle has been scrappy…but playing scrappy against ad teams, bad offenses. They’re about to get a rude awakening.
If Chris Carson is back…this is a mortal lock for the Rams.
**The four games already listed, are the four best games I’ve seen all year. I’m playing them all strong as a basket hoping to go 3-1/4-0 but no worse than 2-2.**
OAK at LAC (-5.0)
The Computer Says: OAK by 1.2 (6.2 point spread differential)
Very close 5th game between KC, WAS, and OAK. The Computer thinks Oakland is the better team here, oddly. Seems counterintuitive considering LAC at home, etc. Oakland has been in every game this season/could be 3-1…they ever took it to the Rams for a half Week 1.
The Computer sees an upset, but will happily take the +5.0
*NOTE* There is a lot of agreement with the Handicapping group + Colin Cowherd this week on games. We’re either all getting in-sync or this is going to be an epic failure week for all. The NFL tends to do that…but I feel fantastic about my picks this week.
Steelers -3 (best bet) - I loved the Atlanta defense I saw in week 1 against the Eagles, but it's gotten to the point that they've sustained too many injuries to function on defense. The Steelers should be able to move the ball at will and use their run game to control time of possession. Atlanta's offense typically doesn't work as well outdoors and I can't imagine the Steelers losing two home games in two weeks.
Cardinals +4 - This is an extremely rare opportunity to get points with the team that has the better defense and (arguably) the better quarterback. The only thing that kept this from being my best bet is Mike McCoy's sad inability to get David Johnson involved in the passing game.
Jets pk - Classic trap game for Denver, coming off the big divisional game on Monday night and looking ahead to a home game against the Rams. I thought we'd see their best effort last week and, sadly, that might have been it. The Jets have the better coach, they probably have the better QB, their defense isn't too much worse than Denver's, and they're at home.
Texans -3 - Houston's offense has come alive in the last couple weeks and now gets to face Dallas without Sean Lee. If Houston can hit on a few deep balls and turn this into a shootout, I don't see Dallas being able to keep up.
Eagles -3 - I haven't seen Minnesota play a good game since 2017. Every week I see coverage breakdowns that lead to big plays for their opponent. The Eagles have been shaky this year too, but I think with Jeffery and Jordan Matthews now involved their offense will improve.
DET pk Best Bet This is legitimately one of my favorite bets in recent memory. The Packers have no chance of actually winning this game. While I ultimately think Davante Adams plays, he's less than 100% and without Cobb and Allison, Rodgers will be throwing to rookies when it's not Davante. I could not love the Lions more.
This is 1b to Detroit's 1a as the bet of the week. I would've liked this a little more had Denver beaten Kansas City last week, but the line is screaming Jets. West coast team playing the dreaded 1:00 east coast game. Case Keenum has been dreadful. The Jets will take care of business at home.
Why are the 49ers favored over anyone? Where are they better than the Cardinals? I know the Cardinals have been terrible, but Josh Rosen actually played quite well last week. The Cardinals should've won that game. Their defense is underrated. They have the superior QB and superior WRs. This is the DJ explosion game we've all been waiting for. Cardinals win outright.
I don't think the world truly grasps how bad the Giants are. Carolina is coming off a bye and has a defensive line that is going to wreck the Giants. Eli will be running for his life and then dumping it off to Saquon Barkley all day. The Panthers are going to look like a super bowl contender after this game.
I really wasn't sure where to go with the last game here so, when in doubt, just bet against the Chargers. They're doing it again. Just like the do every year. The Chargers just love to lose. They narrowly escaped San Francisco last week. #chargersthings are in full effect as one of the league's best offenses continues to find ways to not win games. The Raiders may very well win this game outright.