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Pay Homage To Gamblor: Week 5

by Jeff Briggs

I cannot be held responsible for what happened with my picks last week. Both Carson Palmer and Brian Westbrook sat out – there’s no way I bet on the Bengals or Ealges without them. Also, the NFL was supposed to start making sense, but things just got more confusing. Somehow the Chiefs, who had been nothing but embarrassing, beat the undefeated Broncos? The lesson is let nothing surprise you this NFL season from week to week. Most unfortunately, I missed my lock for a second straight week, thanks to Kurt Warner and his fabulous six turnover performance.

Last week: 7-6
Season: 28-31-1
Lock of the week: 2-2
Home team in CAPS

Picks after the jump.

Colts (-3) over TEXANS
I expect the Texans to make this a game, and if you can find this line at the 4.5 to 5 points range, I’d switch my pick. The Colts need to win this game to avoid going 1-3 and now that they finally have a healthy O-line they should be able to make that happen.

Titans (-3) over RAVENS
The Titans allow 11.5 ppg, the Ravens 14.3, ranking 1st and tied for 2nd in the league, respectively. Tennessee has a rush offense to at least challenge the Ravens D, but I don’t think Baltimore has anything to challenge the Titans.

Chargers (-7) over DOLPHINS
Don’t expect 5 TDs from Ronnie Brown again this game.

PANTHERS (-9.5) over Chiefs
Away from home I expect the Chiefs to resemble the team from the first three weeks of the season. They got lucky and faced a non-existent Denver run defense; don’t expect the Panthers to let LJ run all over them.

Redskins (+6) over EAGLES
This line is too high against a team that is playing as well as the Redskins. The Eagles are banged up and when Brian Westbrook doesn’t play (his brother says he won't be able to go), they are not the same team.

LIONS (+3.5) over Bears
Because the NFL is crazy, somehow I think the Lions will win this game, if only to confuse everyone who suspects they have a grasp on the 2008 NFL season. If the Lions do lose, and let up over 30 points again, will they fire Rod Marinelli and promote defensive coordinator Joe Barry to head coach? Seriously, why did the Rams think promoting Jim Haslett was the answer? Was it the impressive 36.75 points per game the Rams were holding teams to, or his impressive record with the Saints (45-51) that earned him the job? Must have been a heated debate picking between Haslett and Art Shell.

PACKERS over Falcons
This game has no posted line yet, because Aaron Rodgers status is up in the air. But I still think the Packers will win.

GIANTS (-7) over Seahawks
I almost got suckered into taking the Seahawks here, because they have two wide receivers back and healthy, giving them a grand total of two NFL wide receivers. Then I remembered: Seattle always plays poorly on the road, regardless of their number of available wide outs. I would really love for the Giants to get challenged before they go 6-0, however.

BRONCOS (-3) over Buccaneers
Things don’t look good for former Broncos RB Travis Henry. The Denver Post breaks it all down. The actual police report is accessible here.

Patriots (-3.5) over 49ERS
The Patriots have had two weeks to prepare for Mike Martz and J.T. O’Sullivan. Something tells me that’s enough time for them to learn how to completely disrupt the 49ers offense. I know I probably should stay away of making road teams my lock after the past two weeks, but the Patriots have to be better than they were against the Dolphins, a lot better. LOCK OF THE WEEK.

CARDINALS (-1) over Bills
The Bills have a ridiculously easy schedule. I’m not saying they aren’t any good, but I see them coming back down to earth by losing their next two games before winning eight of their final 10. It’s good to see that Anquan Boldin will be okay, but did that hit he took remind anyone else of the hit on Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire? A star receiver playing on a bad contract for the Cardinals takes a monster hit by two guys in the end zone. Only Boldin didn’t get up and dance (and didn’t hold onto the ball). That’s the difference between movies and real life.

Bengals (+17) over COWBOYS
This is the kind of line the Patriots were getting last year, and the Cowboys haven’t done enough to deserve it (yet), especially if Carson Palmer plays (he insists he will after practicing Thursday). However, if Ryan Fitzpatrick starts, then the Cowboys might win by 32 points.

Chris Henry might also play, but then again, if Chad Johnson has his way, Henry might get into legal trouble between now and Sunday. Chad Johnson said that the Bengals were better in ’05 when they were getting in trouble, and thought maybe they should try the same this year. Good thing they just picked up Cedric Benson. “Alright Cedric, Bengal initiation time. Try and get the charges to stick this time.”

JAGUARS (-4) over Steelers
It’s a battle of injured offensive lines. Unfortunately for the Steelers, they are also missing their top-two running backs and didn’t have a great line to start with.

SAINTS (-3.5) over Vikings
The loser of this game, between two popular picks to make a run at the NFC Championship, will have a lot of work ahead of them just to try and make the playoffs.