For the first four weeks of the 2008 NFL season, I made my predictions on a straight-up basis. Looking at each matchup, I just selected the team that I thought would come out on top. The first couple of weeks were a bit of challenge, but I’ve done quite well for myself in Week 3 and Week 4 in the National Football League. The main predictions that I got wrong in those weeks were surprises to most people, including the first loss suffered by the Dallas Cowboys.
Following a comment on my Week 4 Results post by Skitzzo, I’ve decided that my NFL Week 5 picks will go against the spread rather than just “straight up and down picks.” The Week 5 point spreads used below came from Vegas.com, derived from the current betting lines used by Caesars-Hilton.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Spread: Indy by 2.5
Thoughts: Peyton Manning still has something to prove and the Texans aren’t going to put up that much of a fight. I’m surprised the spread is so small.
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens
Spread: Titans by 2.5
Thoughts: Baltimore is solid, but I foresee Tennessee continuing its undefeated season. Forget about Vince Young; it’s all about veteran Kerry Collins
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
Spread: Chargers by 6.5
Thoughts: The Chargers are finally getting back to their old form, but the Dolphins really surprised the Pats last week. Too bad Miami’s success was just a freak of nature, never to replicated again.
Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers
Spread: Panthers by 9.5
Thoughts: Daylight come and me wan’ DELHOMME! Carolina is just too much for the
Chef Chiefs to handle. Winning by 10 points is a bit of a stretch, but I think Carolina will cover.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Spread: Eagles by 5.5
Thoughts: Donovan McNabb is doing quite well for himself, but Washington QB Jason Campbell, to my knowledge, has yet to have a turnover this year. The Redskins are on one killer streak, having only lost one game. Even if they lose, it’ll be close and Philly won’t cover the spread.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Spread: Bears by 3.5
Thoughts: The Lions have yet to win a game this season. Forget about winning this one too.
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers
Thoughts:Aaron Rodgers has shown that he has the potential to be a solid Brett Favre successor, but he may or may not play this game due to a shoulder injury. This is a tough one, but I’m going with Atlanta.
Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants
Spread: Giants by 6.5
Thoughts: The Seattle Seahawks are one of the most over-rated teams in the league. Aside from the one year where they made the Super Bowl (“We’ll take the ball, and we gonna score!” How’s that interception feeling, Hasselback?), they’ve shown little glimmer of promise. The Giants are defending Super Bowl champions and are undefeated this year. Easy pick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos
Spread: Broncos by 2.5
Thoughts: Although Brian Griese is doing some wonderful things in Tampa, his old team is going to stomp on him this week. Cutler is coming together and Shahahan’s got a gutsy playbook too.
New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers
Spread: Patriots by 3.5
Thoughts: The Pats of New England are a shadow of their former selves, but the Niners are a hopeless cause.
Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals
Spread: Cards by 0.5
Thoughts: Yeah, Kurt Warner’s nabbed a couple of wins in Arizona, but the surprise Buffalo Bills are undefeated. They’ve got the winning formula.
Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys
Spread: Cowboys by 16.5
Thoughts: Dallas may not be able to get a perfect season, but they’re still heavy favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. The Bengals have largely been a flop this year. Even so, covering 16.5 points is pretty tough against any team. It pains me to say this, but I don’t think the Cowboys will cover the spread.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Spread: Jacksonville by 3.5
Thoughts: I hear that Big Ben Roethlisberger is going to be a game day decision and that’s the factor that is tearing me apart for this prediction. If Ben plays, I think the Steelers will win. If he sits, the Jags will probably win. I hope he plays.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Spread: Saints by 3.5
Thoughts: Drew Brees and Reggie Bush are starting to mesh, whereas the Vikings are continuing to stink. I don’t think Monday Night Football will be a very exciting this week.