NFL Picks Week 5: Following a legend

Let's give it up for Jacson people! - Brian Bahr

"Luke Wha... Weer... Weerhymer?" "Where the HELL is JACSON?!?"

You wanna talk about tough acts to follow guys? Let's talk about tough acts to follow.

Ernie Harwell broadcasted Tigers games in Detroit for over 30 years, becoming a legend in Detroit over that time. When the Tigers decided to let him go, the fans were outraged. Who came in to mop up all that outrage? If you guessed Rick Rizz, you're right.

He didn't make it long though... lasting only two years before public outcry and a new owner of the Tigers led to Rizz being ousted in favor of the returning Harwell.

In 1999 the Mariners (yes this is FieldGulls, you've not wandered over to Lookout Landing) traded away the biggest sports icon in the history of this city, and in came Mike Cameron. It took some ridiculous glove skills, and a few well placed home runs to win over the hearts of the many.

And once again in 2010, when one of our most cherished sports figures, Dave Niehaus passed away, Rick Rizz got his second shot at being the lead radio man for a major league team... And he's found himself embraced this time around, thankfully!

Jacson Bevens is the most notoriously infamous, fantastically talented picker of NFL contests in the United States, no world entire universe. He's retired from the game though, and while there will assuredly be talks of a comeback - like Jordan in '94 - I'm all you've got folks.

Will I be embraced like Mike Cameron? Or booed out of town until Danny is forced to drag ol' man Bevens back with a bounty of jewels and plastic bracelots?

"It'll be booing out of town if you keep writing 300 word intros to your picks man!"

Sorry, I just didn't know how to cleverly 'step in' on the heels of such a legend... so in classic Luke fashion, I went straight awkward bro... Everyone raise your glass in honor of the man, the myth (he's real though), the legend: Jacson Bevens

On with the picks!

Thursday

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns


Spread: Browns (-3.5)

You remember a couple of weeks ago when we were all screaming about the Browns most obvious attempt at tanking the season in at attempt at drafting Teddy Bridgewater? Well either we were all dead wrong, or Cleveland can't even tank a fucking season when they want to... either way, the Browns have won two straight, albeit against a couple "I'm not sure how I feel about these guys" teams.

The Bills come in looking like a grade A mediocre team. Aside from a blossoming relationship between rookie pass throwing/catching combo EJ Manuel and Robert woods, there's not much to talk about. They've been squeeking out victories over teams I wouldn't put my money on, and I think they do it again this week.

This Brian Hoyer guy was buried behind a crummy Brandon Weedon for a reason right? I think he shows us why this week, and heck man, maybe the Bills finally get CJ Spiller going.

The Pick: Bills
If I were a bettin' man: I'd put a nickle down on the Bills to beat the spread.

Sunday

Jacksonville Jaguars at St. Louis Rams

Spread: Rams (-11.5)

One bad team, and one terrible team. If this game were in Jacksonville I might feel there was something to talk about, but it's in St. Louis, where the 12th Ram runs wild.

I don't trust a Sam Bradford led offense farther than you can throw Honey Boo boo's mom, but this is a week where that level of trust is enough for me to keep it simple and go with the team that is not the Jaguars. The only real question is whether or not the Rams will cover a double digit spread, and that is something I don't think I can place any amount of faith in.

The Pick: Rams
If I were a bettin' man: I might bet a buddies money on the Rams to cover, but I don't think I've got the stones to put my own money down on it.

Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans

Spread: Chiefs (-3)

This game would have been a real ball buster for me if Jake Locker were playing. I love what the Titans have been doing this year. The season is young, but they've been competitive every week and Jake has looked a good bit better (what little I've watched) than he has in past stints as the starter.

He's out though, and Fitzpatrick is only good for four weeks of solid production every decade, and that ticket was punched a couple years back. This is all also ignoring how great the Chiefs have been.

Considering the lack of their starting quarterback, and the pass rush the Chiefs have been able to muster up so far this season, I'd guess the Titans might have their first lackluster performance of the year.

The Pick: Chiefs
If I was a bettin' man: I'd put some dough on the Chiefs to cover, with a decent bit of confidence.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Spread: Giants (-2)

I hate the NFC East. If I didn't love and respect Danny Kelly I'd accidentally leave this game out of the post this week...

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins

Spread: Miami (-3)

The day I chose Ray Rice to be on my fantasy football team is one of the worst of my life. I replay it over and over... Why? Seriously WHY?

Joe Flacco throws the football like 800 times a game... meanwhile Ray Rice is always just chillin in the backfield like "oh woopie a screen pass!"

That Ravens offense is a real piece of work man, I have no idea what's going on there.

/rant

The Pick: Dolphins
If I were a bettin' man: Go ahead and splurge! The Dolphins will cover at home, trust me.

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts

Spread: Seattle (-3)

We love our Seahawks. They sure required some chance happenings last week though... The Colts are a different animal though. No really, they are actually an animal. Like a baby horse, and Texans are not an animal at all. So go figure.

Andrew Luck is good, if you squint while watching him play he'll almost trick you into thinking he is Peyton Manning. His release is lightning quick, he has great footwork in the pocket and makes reads quickly. He is also very enthusiastic about calling audibles and protections.

All that being said, I don't know that the Colts are going to slow up the Seahawks run game much, and if Luck is on the sideline then Luck can't easily get into a rhythm.

The Pick: Seahawks
If I were a bettin' man: I usually avoid my hometown team when it comes to laying money down on the line. It's just bad juju unless they're a huge underdog.

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers

Spread: Green Bay (-7)

SEVEN POINTS?!? That seems like a lot to me. The Lions have been playing well, and the Packers defense has serious issues holding opposing teams under the 30 point mark.

I'd be bullshitting you if I said my reasoning went that far beyond a general impression that the Packers are prima donnas, and I'm not here to bullshit you. Don't get me wrong, the Packers will probably win this, but I'll bet it's by the hair of their chinny chin chin.

The Pick: Packers
If I were a bettin' man: I'd bet the Lions bring it to within seven.

New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals

Spread: Cincinnati (-1)

The Bengals are a tough team to figure. They pull of amazing stunts like that late touchdown to take the victory over the Packers, then they blow it against Cleveland. It's getting late... I'm missing something because I'm not sure why anyone would take the Bengals in this game unless they're spending their entire morning listening to Cincy sports radio.

The Pick: Patriots
If I were a bettin' man: I think I've got enough confidence in the Patriots here to lay some money down.

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

Spread: Pick 'Em

There is nothing I hate picking more than a game like this. The Saints offense has been mojo madness all year, Jimmy Graham is all of the things and more. They're in Chicago though, and the Bears are no slouch. As a matter of fact, I'd go as far as to say that they're as complete a team as they've been in a few years, and are more capable of possessing the ball and creating turnovers than the Saints too.

Don't like that logic? Let's go straight caveman then.

Saints good. Bears good. Saints no lost yet, Bears already lost. Saints due for loss soon. Why not now? Ugga Ugga.

The Pick: Bears
If I were a bettin' man: I would avoid this one.

Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals

Spread: Carolina (-2)

The Panthers going into Arizona as only two point favorites seems like a bit of disrespect to me. It's totally possible I'm misreading the Panthers, but I really feel like they're a better team than they're getting credit for. The Cardinals on the other hand, I don't know how to feel about them either.

Was all that ambiguous enough for you? I want to believe in the Cardinals, but there's just something in me that can't buy in to Carson Palmer. He compiles, he doesn't win.

The Pick: Panthers
If I were a bettin' man: Not touching it, every once in a while Palmer finishes... even if it is against Tampa Bay

Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys

Spread: Denver (-7.5)

Peyton Manning is playing like we're all watching a game of John Madden Football on the Xbox and some kid who gets picked on all day comes home to take it out on whatever simulated defense is on his plate this afternoon...

Dude's on fire, but if there's a team in their immediate future that can keep it to single digits it's the Cowboys. Dez Bryant could only be better if he was catching passes from Manning (the good one), and Tony Romo has only thrown one pick so far this year... which is pretty much crap your pants amazing. I'm going with the Broncos though, because my brain just can't wrap itself around the idea of Manning getting sacked or throwing a pick, and Dallas needs both of those to happen to win.

The Pick: Broncos
If I were a bettin' man: This is a very well set spread, I wouldn't mess with it. Though part of me is tempted to place my money on that big blue star.

Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers

Spread: San Fran (-6.5)

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Just a few short days ago the Texans looked to be taking down one of the best two or three teams in the NFL, now they're six and a half point dogs to the lowly 49ers.

"Bro the 49ers aren't lowly! They just stomped the Rams and they're not the worst!" - No Seattle fan, ever

A part of me, really deep down, is anticipating a Singletary like spiral into the depths of coaching oblivion for Harbough this year. A guy takes an awful team over for a coach gone rogue, and brings immediate success, only to lose his cool at the first rough patch in the road, and pants himself in the locker room. Sound familiar?

The Pick: JJ Watt
If I were a bettin' man: Texans beat the spread.

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders

Spread: San Diego (-4)

Phillip Rivers is spinning it like back when quarterbacks still went in the first round of fantasy drafts, and Antonio Gates is catching and running with it like back when... uh, quarterbacks still went in the first round of fantasy drafts. The Chargers offense seems to be hitting it's stride, and the Raiders just helped the entire District of Columbia regain faith in a quarterback who probably shouldn't even be back on the field yet. Yeah, I'm being hard on the Redskins, but they're on a bye and I just really wanted an RGIII mention in here.

Something in me likes the Raiders, and I just read that Pryer will be back at the helm, which ups their chances in my book, but they're just, not good.

Since halftime of the game in Philly, the Chargers offense has looked like something worth fearing.

The Pick: Chargers
If I were a bettin' man: Go ahead mamma, lay it down on the Chargers to cover

New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons

Spread: Atlanta (-9.5)

The Falcons have been dicking around all year man, I tell ya. Getting edged out by Miami and New England in back to back weeks has got to leave a real nasty taste in their mouths. This team is far too talented to listlessly wander through the year flirting with a .500 record. I think the ascent starts this week, and they make it a statement win.

The Pick: Falcons
If I were a bettin' man: I think it's a double digit smackdown, Falcons by ten or more... let the bookie have it.

Hah, You thought I wasn't going to pick the Eagles game didn't you? I was just messing with you man, I'm going with the Eagles. They're both terrible teams, but one of them has a run game that won't quit, and that's Philly.

The Pick: Eagles
If I were a bettin' man: I'd leave this one alone, unless I had a bit of gambling addict in me, then I'd go with the Eagles to beat the spread.

Boy it sure has been a daring first week eh! I've had a pretty good year picking games so far. I'm in two "against the spread" groups, one with 21 members and another with 12. I'm first in both with a 12-7-1 record, which puts me in the top 4% of the Las Vegas Hotel Supercontest... But I've never made picks knowing more than 20 people will see them. Here's to hoping I don't choke!

Oh and by the way, I know Jacson didn't pick against the spread but I kind of wanted to try it out and see where it went. I will only pick spreads in games I'd put my own money on, as I believe that to be the truest indicator as to how you feel about a matchup.

I pulled the spreads from this site. I go with the "Consensus" line. You can find a simple break down of point spreads if you're not familiar here.

#GoHawks

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