NFL Picks Week 5: Game-by-game predictions against the spread

Jesse was flipping like this Falcons' cheerleader after going 10-3 last week. - Kevin C. Cox

Game-by-predictions from Jesse Bartolis for Week 5.

Week 4 was my sweet spot and probably about time. I should quit while I'm ahead! After a brutal 16-31-1 start to the season I went 10-3 on the week, although to be fair my "best bets" -- the five games I felt most comfortable about -- were only 3-2 and my "lock of the week" -- the Steelers beating the Vikings -- was also a miss. But I'll take the 10-3 any week, so let's see what we can do this week.

Best Bets

San Diego Chargers (-3) at Oakland Raiders

The Chargers might be the team this year that they were expected to be the past few years until they got Norv Turner-ed. Philip Rivers looks rejuvenated, and the Raiders have a long way to go still. I think the Chargers win this game and here we're only laying a field goal. Pick: San Diego

Carolina Panthers (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals

This is the game that sticks out for me the most this week and one I'm still trying to figure out. The Panthers are 1-2 (though their defense has been terrific this year and not just against the Giants), and they are favored on the road against a decent team. I'm not convinced the Panthers are that much better than the Cardinals that I would have to give points to pick them going across country. I'll take the Cardinals at home +2.5 points. Pick: Arizona

Denver Broncos (-3) at Dallas Cowboys

Peyton Manning is one of, if not the greatest quarterback this league has ever seen. Whether or not he rests on his ability in the playoffs, but his regular season success is very well documented. The entire NFC East, including the Cowboys, has looked inferior this year. This could be the week the Broncos offense slows down, but if they do win it will be by more than three points. Pick: Denver

New Orleans Saints (pick 'em) at Chicago Bears

Drew Brees hasn't always been able to dominate on the road as he does at home, but this Saints team relies on offense and defense. I think they go into Chicago and win. Pick: New Orleans

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns (-3)

The Bills beat on the Ravens pretty good last week, but I think a short week after a big victory like that is a bad recipe. I think the Browns win this game by more than 3 points. Pick: Cleveland

The Rest of the Games

New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals (-1)
Pick: Bengals

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-7)
Pick: Lions

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (-3.5)
Pick: Ravens

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-4)
Pick: Eagles

Jacksonville Jaguars at St. Louis Rams (-7.5)
Pick: Jaguars

Kansas City (-2.5) at Tennessee Titans
Pick: Chiefs

Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (-4.5)
Pick: Texans

New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons (-9)
Pick: Jets

The Record

Overall: 26-34-1

Last week: 10-3

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