We finally did it. Our first winning week occurred in week 4, with a 4-3 run taking us to 11-14 on the season. Even crazier, the newly named Fade of the Week actually hit! I never thought I'd live to see the day. If that pick gets hot now, I may have to revert the name of it back to the Lock of the Week. But that is a long way off at this point. For now, let's just focus on stringing together some winning weeks. I'll be giving you seven picks again for week 5 to attempt to continue our better fortune this weekend. Here we go.
Carolina Panthers -3.0 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Panthers lost their first game of the season last week against the Cowboys, and I expect a bounce back game from them against the struggling Eagles. If you take out last game, Carolina is allowing just 10 points per game, and I think Philadelphia's offense is more congruent with with those first three opponents than with the fourth. Furthermore, there's a good chance that Christian McCaffrey is going to return after missing just one game. I think the Eagles are going to struggle against a stingy Panther defense and Carolina's offensive big three (Sam Darnold, McCaffrey, and D.J. Moore) will have them rolling at home.
Tennessee Titans -4.0 at Jacksonville Jaguars
I got burned by the Titans last week when I picked them to cover 6 points on the road against the Jets. And not only did Tennessee fail to cover, but they lost outright. I think that outcome has caused this spread to tighten more than it should be, and the Titans desperately need to get things right and win against the woeful Jaguars. A.J. Brown will be back in the offense which will definitely help in the passing game even if Julio Jones isn't able to suit up yet. With the off-field antics going on in Jacksonville surrounding Urban Meyer, it seems like it'll be hard for the Jags to seriously compete in this game regardless of who they are playing. I definitely think the Titans win by multiple scores.
âDetroit Lions +10.0 at Minnesota Vikings
It's always a sketchy decision to bet on the Lions, but I just think 10 points is too much here. The Vikings haven't been very impressive so far this season, as they've only won once in their first four contests. They're coming off a game in which they could only muster 7 points against the Browns, and I don't think Dalvin Cook would make too significant of an impact if he's able to play. Detroit has managed to keep their games relatively close against superior opponents to the Vikings, so my gut is telling me they'll do the same this Sunday. These teams are very comparable statistically, and while I think the Vikings will win, I expect the margin to stay in the single digits.
Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers Under 47.0
This has got to be one of the best games of the weekend, as both franchises are led by young quarterbacks and have legitimate chances to compete for the first time in quite some time. While I generally like both of these offenses, they seem to struggle to score points at times. Cleveland's defense is for real and will certainly test Justin Herbert and L.A.'s offense, but the Charger defense is nothing to scoff at either. Both squads are allowing fewer than 20 points per game and most of their respective games have been rather low scoring. Due to the significance of this matchup and the hype to likely surround it, I'm expecting a hard fought battle ending something like 23-20 in either team's favor.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Over 52.5
Dak Prescott and the Cowboy offense are playing lights out right now, posting 41 and 36 points in their last two games. They've actually had to perform that way in order to win, as their defense has been mediocre, to put it nicely. But the reason I'm confident that there will be a lot of points scored in this one is actually due to the Giants' offense. Daniel Jones has been sneaky efficient so far, and after last week's victory in New Orleans, it appears as if Saquon Barkley is back to his former self. I'm expecting a shootout here in which Dallas will prevail, but where the over will hit with ease.
Indianapolis Colts +7.0 at Baltimore Ravens
Even though the Colts are just 1-3 this season, this number seems too high to me. Baltimore has managed to win games, but if you take out last week's 23-7 win over Denver, in which Teddy Bridgewater got hurt forcing Drew Lock to play a significant portion of the game, their only two other victories have been by 1 and 2 points. The Ravens aren't really a team that's going to win in blowout fashion very often, as they like to try to dominate on the ground. Indianapolis has been dealing with a lot of injuries so far, but they've certainly had their chances to win every game they've played. What has hurt them the most has been their red zone efficiency, failing to put up any points in the red zone far too often. Carson Wentz looked really good last week against the Dolphins in Indy's first win of the season, and I expect the Colts to ride that victory to at least a solid performance in a close game on Monday night.
Fade of the Week: New England Patriots at Houston Texans Under 39.5
âI realize this point total is super low, but I would bet the under this game no matter what the number was. Bill Belichick is known for ravaging rookie quarterbacks, and that's going to be no different in this matchup. Since Tyrod Taylor went down in week 2, rookie Davis Mills has managed only 9 points in two starts. I seriously think New England could very easily pitch a shutout here. Either way, the Patriots aren't going to put up a ton of points regardless, as they've only topped 20 once so far, and that was against the Jets in a game where they had FOUR interceptions. The under in this game is a guaranteed hit barring multiple defensive or special teams touchdowns from the Pats.
Written by Nick Swatson