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  • Gary Porpora


Updated: Oct 22, 2022

Last week proved redemptive for your favorite NFL Handicapper.

We managed to wipeout the Week one debacle with a 12-3-1 performance overall. Even better we won all four Specials and hit six out of eight Totals.

Every year we compare ourselves against the guys at CBS We’re not as embarrassed as we thought we would be. Only two of eight “experts” are over .500 with another almost even—the rest of the CBS Crew is doing nearly as bad as yours truly.

Here’s our Tally sheet through week five…


WEEK FIVE = 12 – 3 – 1 WEEKLY CUMULATIVE = 33 – 46 – 1 = .413

WEEK FIVE 0/U 6 – 2 O/U CUMULATIVE 19 – 17 = .528





***Analysis will be brief this week. I have family visiting from Pittsburgh***


Buffalo Bills (-2.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs 53.5 GW [O]

Buffalo clearly has the better defense, Top Two in Opp. YPP, YPG, and. PPG—every important defensive category. Oh yeah, the Bills are also Top Two in the comparable offensive categories. They are the most supremely balanced team we’ve seen in the last ten years.

The question is: does any of Buffalo’s excellence matter against Patrick Houdini Holmes and a KC unit that seems unstoppable every time they have the ball?

Both clubs have top three rush defenses too. That says to me, we’re looking at an old-fashioned air show, and nobody knows who has an advantage.

Both quarterbacks are still pups in age and experience— extraordinarily talented, run like deer, and have cannons for arms—and both seem destined for the HOF.

I’m staying clear of this contest—there are too many in-game possibilities that could tip the scales in a bad way—i.e. injury to one of these QBs changes the dynamic drastically.

The entire slate for this Week Six features a lot of games that could go either way—more than the 2-3 contests that are tough to pick in a normal week.

Andy Reid is one of the great play designers and callers in the modern NFL. We’ll go with the home team Arrowheads; take the Points—and the Over.

Chiefs 36

Bills 33


Denver Broncos (+4.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers 45.5 LW [U]

Is it me or do the Broncos plain stink? Defensively, they are a legitimate Top Five club, best against the pass…

Offensively, the new owner, Rob Walton, agreed to pay QB, Russell Wilson 245M and let inherited GM, George Paton hire first time head coach, Nathaniel Hackett.

Hackett, the former Green Bay OC, with his young inexperienced staff, was supposed to be the breath of fresh air the Broncos needed----thus far, Hackett and his Broncos have been finding ways to choke.

The Wild Horses looked better on offense under Paxton Lynch or Brock Osweiler—and they never looked this bad:

  • 31st in PPG & PPP and TDs/game

  • 30th in 3rd Down conversion rate

  • Last in Red Zone scoring

  • 26th in Completion %

The Age of Incompetence

Could it be Russell Wilson has hit the age wall? He is 33 and hasn’t been as quick to adjust to pressure as he did a few years ago. His accuracy has been compromised by his injured thumb and a shoulder problem. Here’s a great article:

The Bolts are a polar opposite team; their defense is atrocious.

  • 30th in points given up per game and Opp./Points per play

  • Last in Opp. YPR at 5.8…

  • 24th in OPP. Completion %

Quarterback, Justin Herbert, is on a parallel trajectory as division rival, Holmes, and Buffalo’s Josh Allen. Herbert’s offense might lack the star power of his peers, but it’s still 2nd in passing yardage, the O–Line is the NFL’s best at protecting their QB and Herbert takes care of the ball

The most interesting twist in this one—the head coaches are as big of a question as any aspect of their teams. Last year, Brandon Staley went on 4th down deep in his own territory, and ultimately cost his Bolts a win.

In Week Two’s loss at Arrowhead he didn’t go for it three times when in Chiefs territory.

Nathaniel Hackett has brought in help to manage games and the HC may have to “voluntarily” give up play calling duties—if he hopes to make it through year one.

On TV, when I saw the Broncos faithful leaving their stadium in droves with their team trailing Indy by only a field goal, I knew it was bad in Denver. (I lived in the Mile High City as an undergrad at DU; their fans were just as obnoxious and spoiled as, well, Steelers fans.)

Jason LaCanfora picks up on that in this excellent article about the Broncos near term future:

This game comes down to wagering on which unit the bettor believes will dominate, the Denver defense or the Chargers offense.

We think Herbert has more than enough weapons and a more balanced attack to sustain long drives against a stubborn Denver defense. The Broncos don’t have nearly enough on offense to compliment a “D” that might be spent in the fourth quarter.

Considering the player’s, and nearly everyone else’s recent frustrations with the coaching staff, Denver is a hot steamy mess, ripe for a blow out.

Hackett will be out of a job come Tuesday morning.

Chargers 27

Broncos 16


New England Patriots (+3) @ Cleveland Browns 42.5 US [O]

I was tempted to go with the Jets up in Green Bay for my Upset Special, but I don’t trust them yet in such a tough spot.

2022 is fast becoming the year of the Underdog and Unders. Here are some trends that apply to the Pats in Cleveland, courtesy of VSIN:

  • Road dogs are 28-18 ATS (61%) this season.

  • Short road dogs 3 or less are 79-60 ATS (57%) since 2019.

The Browns like the Pats are a relatively young inconsistent team that has lost much of the defensive mojo each has enjoyed the last few years. Age and attrition cost New England on “D” and injuries have just killed Cleveland. Their two DL stars, Jadaveon Clowney and Myles Garrett, have been nursing various injuries all year. Last week, returning Austin Eckler and a fairly awful Chargers running game ran all over the Browns for almost 240 yards.

Yet again, Cleveland is looking for a QB, although Jacoby Brisset has committed a few late game errors, he’s been more dependable than a Cleveland defense that was projected to be Top Ten.

Bill Belichick is a three-time convicted Cheater, but no coaches in the modern era—except Chuck Noll and Tom Landry –have been as good or better at drafting players to fit their unique systems, or creating a culture of consistent excellence.

Last week, Belichick’s defense shutout the league’s highest scoring team in Detroit 29-0—starting a 3rd string rookie at quarterback.

Here’s a revealing little factoid from the AP:

The Patriots improved to 5-0 under Belichick with quarterbacks drafted outside the first round making their debut start. The rest of the NFL is 30-80 in such games since Belichick became New England's coach in 2000.

New England will stuff the vaunted Cleveland ground game and make Jacoby Brisset beat them.

He won’t. We’re betting the Over.

Patriots 26

Browns 20


Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) @ Indianapolis Colts 41.5 O/U

There’s not a lot of mystery to this pick; we have two very pedestrian to outright bad offenses against two Top Ten defenses that give up below 19 points a game.

I think the Jags and Trevor Lawrence are starting to find themselves and Matt Ryan plays like he’s three years older since signing in Indy this year. Ryan and the Colts bad offensive line won’t allow for such a discovery this year.

Look for Jax to pull away late—The Under is our premium call.

Jaguars 30

Colts 11

As usual, my picks are below in bold italic with Specials and Totals annotated:

NFL Week 6 Point Spreads & Totals

Washington Commanders (-1) @ Chicago Bears 38.5 [O]

San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) @ Atlanta Falcons 43.5

New England Patriots (+3) @ Cleveland Browns 42.5 US [O]

New York Jets (+7.5) @ Green Bay Packers 46.5

Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) @ Indianapolis Colts 41.5 O/U

Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) @ Miami Dolphins 45.5

Cincinnati Bengals (-3) @ New Orleans Saints 44.5

Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) @ New York Giants 44.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10) @ Pittsburgh Steelers 43.5 [O]

Carolina Panthers (+10.5) @ Los Angeles Rams 41.5

Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) @ Seattle Seahawks 51.5

Buffalo Bills (-2.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs 53.5 GW [O]

Dallas Cowboys (+4.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles 41.5 [O]

Denver Broncos (+4.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers 45.5 LW [U]

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NFL 2023 – CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF WEEKEND REG. SEASON WEEKLY OVERALL =  134 – 132 - 6   .504 CHAMPIONSHIP  TALLY =  0 - 2    PLAYOFFS = 3 - 9 =  .250 2023 OVERALL  = 137 - 141 - 6  =  .493 0/U  =  0 -2 


REG. SEASON WEEKLY OVERALL =  134 – 132 - 6   .504 DIVISIONAL TALLY =  0 - 4    PLAYOFFS = 3 - 7  OVERALL  = 137 - 139 - 6 0/U  =  1 - 2  - 1          O/U CUMULATIVE 77 - 61 - 1   .558 SPECIALS  0 - 4


NFL 2023 – SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND REG. SEASON WEEKLY OVERALL =  134 – 132 - 6   .504 PLAYOFF TALLY =  3 - 3  OVERALL  137 - 135 - 6  .504 0/U  =  5 - 1          O/U CUMULATIVE 76 - 59   .563 SPECIALS


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