October isn’t the same without the Yankees in the postseason. Luckily this October I have Giants playoffs games to watch.
The Giants have officially reached must-win status on Sunday against the Eagles because they’re not coming back from an 0-5 start even if the Cowboys lose to the Broncos on Sunday (or should I say when the Cowboys lose to the Broncos on Sunday). It’s not necessarily must-win from here on out because the Giants aren’t going to go 12-0 and run the table the way Antrel Rolle suggested they would on WFAN, but losing a second game in the division and falling to 0-for-the season through Week 5 would mean it’s over.
And with the Yankees’ offseason already being filled with enough nonsense that will take us up to and through spring training I don’t need the Giants’ offseason starting on Oct. 7 and don’t want to have nearly three months of meaningless of football to watch.
As for the picks, Week 4 was the first .500 week of the season … progress! Or as Alain Vigneault says, “Pro-gress.”
Week 5 … let’s go!
(Home team in caps)
CLEVELAND -4.5 over Buffalo
In the battle of beaten-down football cities, it’s hard not to pull for a Cleveland team that doesn’t have Nick Swisher on the roster.
Kansas City -3 over TENNESSEE
It’s weird that I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Jake Locker isn’t starting for the Titans. And I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting for the Titans. But right now against the Chiefs, it doesn’t matter.
MIAMI -3 over Baltimore
The Dolphins are 3-1 with their only loss coming in the Superdome, which isn’t the same as any other loss since it’s an automatic loss for any team the day the schedule comes out. Eight months after winning the Super Bowl, the Ravens are a 3-point underdog in Miami and I’m picking the Dolphins.
Jacksonville +11.5 over ST. LOUIS
Last week I said, “I think the only way I wouldn’t pick against the Jaguars right now would be if they were playing the Giants,” but I lied because I never thought the Jaguars would be getting 11.5 points against the Rams.
This should be the game where I say, “Somewhere someone who isn’t a Buccaneers fan or a Cardinals fan is going to bet on this game and watch it in its entirety. Think about that.” But really it’s probably a good idea to bet on this game and bet for Jacksonville to cover. Yes, I just suggest that people wager ON Jacksonville. So far the Jaguars have lost by 26, 10, 28 and 34 and have failed to cover in all of their games. But this is the Rams we’re talking about. The Rams, who have given no offensive support to the career of Sam Bradford and who have no business being favored against any team by 11.5 points, even if that team is the Jaguars.
New England -1.5 over CINCINNATI
If it were 2012 and the Patriots had gotten to 3-0 against the Bills, Jets and Buccaneers and I called them out for not being a convincing undefeated team and then they beat the Falcons in Georgia, I would have to believe in them. But it’s 2013 and the Falcons aren’t the team that went to the NFC Championship Game and blew a 17-0 lead in that game and my 10-to-1 parlay with the Ravens to beat the Patriots. However, the Patriots are 4-0 and just doing what the Patriots do seemingly every year even with Tom Brady’s top receiver being Julian Edelman.
Seattle -3 over INDIANAPOLIS
The Seahawks are 4-0 despite being tied for 14th in the league in total yards and 26th in passing yards in a league, which revolves around throwing the ball. Once Russell Wilson’s passing game clicks, it’s going to be hard for anyone in the league to stop the Seahawks, considering no one has stopped them yet just from their rushing and defense.
GREEN BAY -7 over Detroit
The 1-2 Packers at Lambeau coming off a bye against a division rival who plays their home games in a dome? It’s not as easy picking the Packers as it was in the 2011 season.
CHICAGO +1.5 over New Orleans
The Saints are 3-0 at home and have outscored their opponents 92-41. They have only played one road game, but that was a two-point win over the 0-4 Buccaneers, who over the first four games have been the biggest mess in the league. The Bears aren’t the Buccaneers. Soldier Field isn’t Raymond James Stadium. And most importantly, the Saints outside the Superdome aren’t the Saints.
NEW YORK GIANTS -1.5 over Philadelphia
Last week I said, “Save the season or end it. If it’s the latter, I will probably have to pick against the Giants for the rest of the season.” Well, the Giants lost and their season didn’t end and I’m still picking them this week. But this is the final straw. I mean it.
Carolina -2.5 over ARIZONA
I know Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are,” and the Panthers are 1-2, but they are good. They nearly beat the undefeated NFC-favorite Seahawks in Week 1, had a terrible late-game letdown effort in Buffalo in Week 2 and then absolutely destroyed the Giants in Week 3 in the worst loss of the Tom Coughlin era.
Denver -9 over DALLAS
Once again, at some point the Broncos aren’t going to cover. If it’s this week, so be it. But I’m not going to be on the other side of another Broncos blowout.
SAN FRANCISCO -6 over Houston
The 49ers are coming off a much-needed win against the Rams at home and got to enjoy an extra long week off after playing on Thursday Night Football in Week 4. The Texans are coming off a devastating loss to the Seahawks that has called into question Matt Schaub’s abilities and future and has everyone jumping all over Gary Kubiak’s coaching abilities. It’s a recipe for disaster for the Texans in San Francisco.
OAKLAND +5 over San Diego
I have picked for the Chargers the last two weeks and they won for me and tied for me. In Weeks 1 and 2, I picked against the Chargers and they covered both times. So far this season the Chargers are 3-0-1 against the spread, which would make one think they should be all over them since they are staying in their time zone and division against the lowly Raiders whose lone win is against … you guessed it … the Jaguars! But I have learned over the last six years, mainly because of Norv Turner, that you can’t trust the Chargers and Philip Rivers and if you do, you can’t trust them for long. Trusting the Chargers for a third straight week and to continue their undefeated streak of covering is too long.
ATLANTA -10 over New York Jets
Geno Smith and the J-E-T-S on Monday Night Football in the Georgia Dome. The Giants won’t be the only New York football team with embarrassing blowouts on their 2013 resume.
Last week: 7-7-1