Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NFL Week 5 Review - NFL Betting Tips & Picks

Looking at the updated NFL power rankings from ESPN.com, CBSSports.com and various other NFL focused sports sites, the top four teams are all the same across the board and the teams in that group, who played in Week 5, reinforced their standing at the top.

Week 5 in the NFL featured a number of games that had online sportsbooks serving up double-digit favorites. Advice from sports betting handicapping veterans will often tell you to avoid NFL betting big favorites, but this season in the NFL, parity doesn’t seem to be ruling the league, as when you look at the bottom of the standings, there are truly some of the worst teams in recent NFL memory.

The BetRepublic.com sports betting TV program on Thursday and Sunday looked at all the games, giving out their top NFL Betting Picks of the week, and breaking down each of the big games, including these big favorites.

The New York Giants were favored by 16 ½ points, even with Eli Manning nursing plantar fasciitis, but had no problem covering against the Raiders. The online sports betting public didn’t blink laying the big points, as the Giants were one of the most wagered on teams of the week.

NFL Betting Picks - Teams

The team who were the biggest public favorites was the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikes went into St. Louis as 10 ½ point favorites and they easily covered the spread as well. Not to be outdone, the Eagles were listed as 14 ½ point favorites at home to Tampa Bay, a game that produced yet another cover for the heavy chalk. That left the Pittsburgh Steelers as the only double-digit favorite that didn’t cover the number, as they beat the Detroit Lions by eight points (28-20) laying 10 ½.

The Giants are as good as any team in the league and should have been limited to ten guys on the field against Oakland. If the NFL followed the lead of the English Premier League and promoted and relegated teams in and out of the league to different divisions based on team success, then the Raiders would start next season in the CFL West division trying to man up against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Giants outgained the Raiders 483-123 total yards. In their previous games, the Raiders have only accumulated 165 total yards against Houston, 137 against the Broncos, and even in their win against the Chiefs they were outgained 409-166. The Raiders need a makeover like no other team has ever before gone under the knife.

The Lions started to make their climb out of the basement by firing the coaching staff and ridding themselves of GM Matt Millen. The Raiders have the challenge of needing to get rid of its owner or at least his meddling influence. Al Davis is one of the great NFL owners of all time, but maybe it’s time he headed off to the lawn bowling courts and left his team up to some savvy football minds.

There was some concern that the Vikings might have a letdown after getting two big wins against the Packers and 49ers. Letdowns are common in the NFL after big games, and teams that by all accounts would usually spank an inferior opponent, do well to squeak by with a win in this kind of matchup. The Vikings have covered in every game this season and were well prepared to play up to their talent and not the Rams.

The Rams have scored only one offensive touchdown this season and have given up at least 35 points in three straight games. The Vikings jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and cruised to a 38-10 win to easily cover the 10 ½. A bright spot for the Rams was Marc Bulger getting into the game in the fourth quarter after being out with an injury for the last few weeks and going 7-7 for 88 yards and a TD. Bulger will probably play next week in Jacksonville in a scintillating matchup.

The Vikings host the Ravens next week presenting their toughest test to date. The Bengals in Baltimore surprised the Ravens in a game to decide first place in the division. The Ravens were almost double-digit favorites with the line as high as 9 1/2.

The last second TD from Carson Palmer to Andre Caldwell could well have been a statement moment for Palmer. He is still trying to reclaim his status as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. He has now guided the Bengals to four wins in a ‘cardiac kids fashion.’ The Bengals have won their last three games by three points and have a penchant for last minute heroics. A bigger surprise than their defense or Palmer’s re-emergence is that running back Cedric Benson leads the league in rushing. The Bengals are for real having dispatched the Steelers and the Ravens and Pack on the road.

The Eagles got Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook back from the infirmary in time to torch the Buccaneers 33-14. McNabb finished 16 of 21 and his QB rating of 157.2 was the second highest in his career and also led the team with 30 yards rushing. If McNabb stays healthy, the Eagles will start to put up some big numbers in coming weeks. Philadelphia travels to Oakland next week in a game that you might want to keep the children out of the room.

All four teams that had a bye the previous week won their games in Week Five with the Panthers downing the Redskins 20-17, the Falcons throttling the 49ers 45-10 and the Cardinals hanging on to beat Houston 28-21. The Panthers were the only team that didn’t cover the line as they were posted as 3 ½ favorites. The Saints, Bears, Packers and Chargers had a bye this week and should be considered as good opportunities to win in Week Six.

The Denver Broncos still continue to stun the NFL after its last minute and overtime heroics against the Patriots. Josh McDaniels might not get a sniff at coaching in a lot of high school programs because of his age and relative lack of experience and yet he and his Broncos are the leagues biggest surprise and will be a force to be reckoned with before all is said and done. The Broncos should have had to play with leather helmets to match the pre-WWII uniforms. No matter what they’re wearing, McDaniels schooled his mentor and has surged to the front for Coach of the Year honors.

Jacksonville and the 49ers were both exposed this week suffering blowout losses. All is good in Seattle with the return of underrated QB Matt Hasselbeck. He threw four TD’s and looked in complete control against the Jaguars. The embarrassing loss by the 49ers to Atlanta allows both the Seahawks and Arizona back in the race in the West. As long as Seattle can dress Hasselbeck they have a shot at the division title.

The Colts and Peyton Manning finished off the Sunday card, putting on a clinic in their win over the Titanics. The only good news for the rest of the league is that Manning tweaked his knee. The bad news is that it isn’t serious and he has a bye week to fully recover. The Colts will get some starters back after the bye including Bob Sanders, just in time to face off against the Rams. Any bets on Manning getting his 6th straight 300-yard game?

The season is rounding into form and it’s starting to shape up like a Manning versus Manning Super Bowl. Let the hype begin.

1 comment:

peter said...

The favorite teams were not able to stand tall on the sports handicapper expectation level.