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Another winning week for the Blazing Five...4-1. I have to go back and check, but I think The Computer had 0 or 1 losing weeks in the B5 this season. It's been quite a run, now 45-15 (75.0%). Have never felt better about a week than this one...which means -- here comes the 0-5. Seriously, Oakland is such a great bet this week. Our actual Blazing Five for the week will post Saturday after the injury reports are combed over.
For now, here's The Computer's picks on all games ATS listed by the biggest discrepancy from the Vegas line Wednesday.
NYG at OAK -8.0 (point spread differential 9.3)
The Computer says Raiders by 17.3
This may be the bet of the year. I was listening to Plaxico Burress talk on Wednesday about how pissed everyone on the team is that the NYG staff did Eli like this. You have a team that is terrible (NYG), with a coach they hate, missing so many key players due to injury it’s too many to list, and they are starting hideous Geno Smith…going TO the west coast to face a Raiders team that has everything to play for. The Giants want to lose for draft position -- and they’ll get their wish.
RC: I mean, is this line not 10+ because Crabtree/Cooper are out? Who cares? They haven’t been that good this year anyway.
IND at JAX -9.5 (point spread differential 5.6)
The Computer says Jags by 15.1
Lucky Jags…they catch the Colts after they lose their two best players – Center Ryan Kelly and CB Rashaan Melvin. This is going to be an ugly beatdown by the Jags, even if Telvin Smith is out.
RC: How can you not go Jags here? At least one defensive TD, again, right?
CLE at LAC -14.0 (point spread differential 5.1)
The Computer says Chargers by 19.1
Obviously, everything favors the Chargers here. I don’t even know the case for the Browns.
RC: I don’t even know the case for the Browns either…which means they’ll probably win.
DET at BAL -2.5 (point spread differential 4.7)
The Computers says Lions by 2.2
I was a little shocked to see the road favorite Lions as a 2+ point favorite for The Computer when Vegas says they are the dogs. The Ravens are a tale of two teams – beat up bad teams/bad QBs, and get beat up by good teams/good QBs. The Ravens are 0-4 against teams with a winning record. The Lions have a similar issue, 1-4 vs. teams with a winning record but they play those teams within 3-7 points where the Ravens tend to get whacked. Two not-so-good teams that The Computer likes the QB edge and the getting healthy Lions O-Line.
RC: I never predict the way the wind blows on the Ravens. They are so bad…and yet have a 6-5 record. I can’t do it. I’m taking the Lions, at least I get points.
CAR at NO -4.0 (point spread differential 4.1)
The Computer says Panthers by 0.1
Our confidence level ebbs and flows with the status of the Saints CBs. But it looks like the Computer will want 4 points with a very good Panthers team regardless.
RC: At this stage, I go with Carolina until I see Lattimore and Crawley are full practice/back.
MIN at ATL -3.0 (point spread differential 4.1)
The Computer says Vikings by 1.1
I’m surprised, I thought The Computer liked the Falcons a bunch…they do, but they like the Vikings more. Atlanta could be without two key DBs – Trufant and Poole…that’s a killer. Devonta Freeman’s back, which means big plays taken off the board with less Tevin. Everything trending for MIN.
RC: I was going to go ATL, but seeing the reports on Trufant and Poole are scaring me, I get points and the better team…I’ll take it.
NE at BUF +9.0 (point spread differential 3.6)
The Computer says Patriots by 12.6
Buffalo is a team that people think is ‘sneaky good’ and might give the Patriots a run for their money. The Bills are going to get crushed here.
RC: Never bet against Brady.
DEN at MIA +2.5 (point spread differential 3.6)
The Computer says Broncos by 1.1
What a nightmare game to pick. The Computer likes Denver with Siemian a touch, and likes it more with Osweiler. However, the shrewd thing to do is take the points when cold weather, out of it teams visit party town Miami in the winter.
RC: Hate this game, so I’ll take the home team + points.
LAR at ARI +7.0 (point spread differential 3.5)
The Computer says Rams by 10.5
Should be a comfortable win for the Rams, but with Philly on the schedule next week and Arizona pushing younger, enthusiastic players…it’s not a given for the Rams lay a TD on the road.
RC: I’m come this far racking wagers with the Rams, I’ll take another week with them. They’re clearly the better team and will put up 30+ points…will the Cardinals hit 20+? I don’t think so.
TB at GB +2.0 (point spread differential 2.7)
The Computer says Packers by 0.7
How Tampa is favored by 2.0 when they just lost their two top O-Linemen and are heading to the cold, frozen tundra is beyond me. I think Jameis Winston coming back has people elated…but the Bucs were better without him. Green Bay showed they aren’t terrible on SNF…and they are still in the playoff race with a win and getting closer to Aaron Rodgers.
RC: Can’t go TB with Winston back and OLs gone.
SF at CHI -3.0 (point spread differential 2.5)
The Computer says Bears by 0.5
The Computer is trying to estimate the impact of Jimmy Garoppolo, which is somewhat a shot in the dark but there’s enough momentum of the 49ers playing hard of late and then having a debut of their future QB…versus a team mailing it in with their dead coach. The Computer just cops out and takes the points because the data favors Garoppolo in this offense enough to see a full upset.
RC: This is like asking which of my kids I love more…trick question, I don’t like any of my kids – they cost too much. I’m kidding. They’re OK. But you can’t turn off the bathroom light when you’re done? How long a shower does one need, anyway? Where was I? Oh, Trubisky v. Garoppolo. I’ll go with Fox v. Shanahan…gimme Shanny and James Franchise.
HOU at TEN -6.5 (point spread differential 1.4)
The Computer says Titans by 7.9
Houston has a bad O-Line and they just lost their starting tackle to IR. They can’t run the ball or protect the QB. Everything points to Tennessee here.
RC: I want to take the points but the Texans are done for playoff hopes and Tennessee has everything to play for. When this dipped from -7.0 to -6.5, I was a buyer.
KC at NYJ +3.0 (point spread differential 1.4)
The Computer says Chiefs by 1.6
The Computer has been on this for a few weeks now – the Chiefs are really a .500 team or worse, once masquerading as the best team in football. They’ve been exposed. Where are the Chiefs so much better than the Jets…what part of the field? Not defense. Not that much better on offense. McCown has been rolling, and Alex Smith stumbling. Tyreek Hill is good…if he gets the ball. Two bad teams and the home team is getting points.
RC: I want to dance on KC’s grave but they need this game the Jets false playoff hopes died, so I’ll try to time a market-turn on KC with them getting a nice win here to try to right their ship.
WAS at DAL +2.0 (point spread differential 0.7)
The Computer says Redskins by 1.3
The Computer thinks Dallas can hang in this game in a battle of two beaten up teams, but it cant figure out Dallas at all the past three weeks so it would avoid altogether. Having to make a pick, go with the points here.
RC: I'll stick with the reality of the last 3-4 weeks… Under duress, the Redskins have player harder while Dallas has quit. I go Redskins.
PHI at SEA +6.0 (point spread differential 0.6)
The Computer says Eagles by 6.6
Clear advantages for the Eagles, a potential blowout but The Computer will only get so far out because Russell Wilson is a magician.
RC: I have thought the Seahawks were frauds all season…this game might put a bullet in them. I take Philly.
PIT at CIN +5.5 (point spread differential 0.3)
The Computer says Steelers -5.2
Too many things favor the Steelers here, but it’s a lot to lay in this ‘bitter rivalry’…so, The Computer takes the points.
RC: I’m going to take the Steelers because I don’t trust the Bengals can hang in a tough spot. Most all of their wins this season have come against the worst teams in the NFL – CLE 2x, DEN, IND, BUF