Despite Dak Prescott 's gruesome injury, the Cowboys were able to hold off the Giants and make my choice a successful one for Week 5.  The multiple Covid positive tests have thrown the NFL schedule in a cement mixer.  Planning your survivor pool picks ahead of time, based on bye weeks, has become a crapshoot. I think it’s time to not look too far ahead and go week to week as we don’t know what’s going to happen on a weekly basis.

Based on our criteria of home favorites of 7+ points we have three games to look at.  Point spreads are from the Westgate Superbook as of Thursday morning.

The Colts are favored by 7 ½ over the Bengals. This line opened at 9 ½ and I’d speculate that the struggles of Philip Rivers have something to do with it. The Colts have been used by many this year (we all remember the loss in Week 1 to the Jaguars that knocked many out of their pools) so they may not be available to pick from. The Bengals struggled against the Ravens last week and the Colts’ defense struggled without Darius Leonard against the Browns. Leonard is expected to miss another week with his groin injury. 

In Miami, the Dolphins are facing the Jets in a game that was part of the NFL shuffled schedule. The Jets are a mess with Sam Darnold expected to miss another game, the release of Lev Bell, and the constant rumblings by fans and press that Adam Gase should be fired. I grew up in NY and followed the Jets my entire life and don’t think I’ve seen the team in more disarray. The fan I once saw banging his head against the Shea Stadium upper deck railing in 1980 when they lost to the winless Saints would probably think that was a good time compared to now. Miami is an 8 ½ point favorite and will be the chalk of the week. The Dolphins have very little value for the rest of the season, so this is the week to pick them as 40-50% of your fellow pool participants will.

We move to New England and the 10-point favorite Patriots over the Broncos. The Broncos are expecting to get Drew Lock back, but the Patriots are also expected to get back Cam Newton . Noah Fant is questionable with a sprained ankle but did get in a limited practice on Wednesday. Despite the layoff, I expect Coach Belichick to have the Patriots ready to go and don’t see the Broncos mustering up enough offense to win.

The only road favorite by over seven points are the Ravens over the Eagles in Philadelphia. As we have said each week, the Ravens have a lot of future value. The Eagles were a missed 57 yd Jake Elliot field goal away from possibly taking the game from the Steelers last week. The one strength the Eagles have is stopping the run and they can force Lamar Jackson into a passing game that he’s less adept at.  The Ravens should come out on top, but I think there are better options.

For the record the teams that I have taken so far this year: Buffalo, Arizona, Chargers, Rams, and Dallas.  I won’t officially take one of these teams again but will recommend one if they are a good option for those that haven’t done so.

Pick of the Week: Miami

I’m taking Miami this week as I just don’t see a way that the Jets can pull anything together. Miami has very little value for the rest of the season and this is the spot to take them. Yes, you will be with the masses, but it does save you the Patriots and Ravens for later in the season.  If you haven’t taken the Colts, they will be low owned and may offer an edge if the Dolphins fail to beat the Jets and knock out half of your pool. If you can take teams more than once, the Patriots would be the way to go.