• Gary Porpora

NFL WEEK FIVE PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

If you asked me to bet before the season began on whether we would see a legitimate NFL season in 2020, I would have put my bankroll on “no.” I’ll still be surprised if the season isn’t altered in a major way because this virus is insidious and relentless.

Our leadership and 30% of this country politicize masks and social distancing as statements of independence and freedom.

How much independence and freedom do you have enclosed in a fancy box, buried six feet underground, with an etched, 500-pound stone sitting on top of you?

Let’s get to the picks before I get angry-er…

2020 NFL TALLY SHEET – WEEK FOUR

WEEK FOUR ATS 8 – 7 2020 Overall ATS 34 – 29

Weekly Totals 1 – 5 Cumulative Totals: 11 – 11– 1

Weekly Specials 3 – 2 Cumulative Specials: 12 - 5

GAME OF THE WEEK 3 – 0 – 1 LOCK OF THE WEEK 3 – 1

UPSET SPECIAL 2 – 2 O/U OF THE WEEK 4 – 1

PREMIUM PICKS 4 – 7 – 1 CUMULATIVE 23 – 18 – 1

GAME OF THE WEEK

PHILADEPHIA EAGLES @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS -7 44 GW [O]

Watching the Eagles these past four weeks exposed one of the most inconsistent NFL teams on both sides of the ball, and QB Carson Wentz is leading by example.

The easy analysis is that Wentz hasn’t performed well since returning from a bad December 2017 ACL tear—but the more correct take is the coaching, the teams, the schemes and the execution hasn’t been the same since the Eagles Philadelphia Specialed Darth Belichick and the Cheaters in the Super Bowl.

Going back to last season, Philly is a .500 football team—and none of their division foes has a winning record. The stat breakdown for this match-up finds nearly every important and and secondary arrow on both sides of the ball pointing to Pittsburgh.

Wentz’s 66.9 QB rating scrapes the bottom of the NFL barrel and the Steelers lead the league in sacks. The Eagles are a badly hobbled team; their injuries have decimated both lines and the entire defense. They beat another Mash Unit squad in San Fran last week and Eagles hung in there when a lesser team—travelling across country in a pandemic—would have folded.

Meanwhile, cross state rival Pittsburgh has had two weeks to prepare and heal from normal wear and tear. T.J. Watt is their only notable player who’s hurt; he’ll start anyway.

With the job Mike Tomlin has done in the face of Covid—keeping his guys focused—I can’t see this as anything but a landslide victory for the home team.

Steelers jump out early and cruise to an easy win—we’ll go with the Over.

Steelers 33 Eagles 16

LOCK OF THE WEEK

MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-7), 8:15 P.M [57.5] LW [O]

I’ve watched both these teams closely for four weeks and I can’t figure out why the public and so many of the Sharks are fading the Seahawks or banking on the Norsemen. I’m well aware Dalvin Cook is a hell of a rusher and the Vikes are 3rd best in rushing YPG. I also know Seattle third best in the league in Opponent’s YPR, (3.4).

The Seahawks stink in the secondary, inviting opponents to throw 50 passes for 401 YPG—but the Vikings aren’t much better allowing 292 PYPG and rank 24th in rushing yards allowed.

Kirk Cousins has made his great-great- grandkids rich in spite of being a very pedestrian performer. But give the Vikings credit; even with their QB throwing as many TDs as INTs, they have scored 26 PPG.

Thing is, Seattle averages 34 PPG.

Keep in mind, Minny hasn’t won in Seattle in their last six tries, and The Gulls are11-4 in their last 15 home games.

Basically, when two very-high powered offenses square off, we look at Turnover ratio, coaching, and QB excellence as the deciding factors. Seattle takes the advantage in all three categories.

Should be an Over bettors lock, and a very entertaining shootout.

Seahawks 37 Vikings 28

BONUS OVER/UNDER

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ NEW YORK JETS (+6.5), 1 P.M 47.5 [U]

I’ve been riding the Cards all year; their defense has surprised some people but Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray need to achieve the consistency and balance good teams are supposed to have. Their last two outings have been awful in light of their 2-0 start.

Newly acquired DeAndre Hopkins has been nursing an ankle and might be limited in this one. Hopkins is he key to this Arizona offense. Last weekend, against a young, hungry Panthers team He only caught seven balls for 41 yards. Hopkins success against an average New York pass defense will determine the outcome of this game.

I wonder if Jets fans are excited about the return of Joe Flacco. He’ll replace the injured Sam Darnold and along with LeVeon Bell’s return from a tweaked hammy, the Airplanes should finally play some competent offensive football.

If they don’t, Adam Gase could be the next Head Coach to take a hike. I don’ think he’ll be missed.

Arizona will be making a second consecutive “max-distance” cross country trip and need a better showing even against an awful Jets team playing for a bad coach, if the want to fly home as winners. We don’t love this pick, but we believe the Cards will Cover the Spread late.

We do love the Under, though and suggest you focus your bets on the Total.

Cardinals 30 Jets 13

UPSET SPECIAL

CINCINATTI BENGALS (-2.5) @ BALTIMORE RAVENS 4:25 p.m. 13.5 [52.5] [O]

I think the Bookies might be underestimating the Striped Cats in this one.

Well. I hope so anyway. Have they been watching Joe Burrow?

Baltimore should be able to run all over Cincy, and Harbaugh’s special teams are his weekly hole card that can turn a game around—but it’s handicapper’s trap to see these Bengals like we have for the last twenty years.

Baltimore is giving up 270 YPG through the air. That is not a stellar passing defense.

Against a rookie but supremely talented QB and team---divisional rivals don’t win buy huge spreads--with absolutely nothing to lose, let’s see how Burrow does against Jackson.

We like the Over in this one.

Ravens 33 Bengals 23

The rest of my winners are in bold italics:

Thursday, Oct. 8

Tampa Bay at Chicago +5.5 44.5 8:20 p.m. O/U

Sunday, Oct. 11

Carolina at Atlanta -3.5 55 1 p.m.

Cincinnati at Baltimore -13.5 52 1 p.m. US [O]

Jacksonville at Houston -6.5 54 1 p.m.

Las Vegas at Kansas City -13 56 1 p.m.

Arizona at New York Jets +6.5 47.5 1 p.m. B O/U

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh -7 46.5 1 p.m GW [O]

Los Angeles Rams at Washington +9 7.5 46 1 p.m.

Miami at San Francisco -3.5 46.5 4:05 p.m.

Indianapolis at Cleveland +2.5 47.5 4:25 p.m.

New York Giants at Dallas -9.5 47.5 4:25 p.m.

Minnesota at Seattle -7 57.5 8:20 p.m. (SNF) LW [U]

Monday, Oct. 12

Denver at New England* -8.5 48.5 5 p.m. [U]

Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans -7.5 52 8:15 p.m. [O] 49

Tuesday, Oct. 13

Buffalo at Tennessee* +8 49 7 p.m. [U]

Bye: Detroit, Green Bay

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