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Weekend Football Picks and Fantasy Football 2020 (February 8-17)

The English Winter Break is in play for the first time this season and I think it has not gone as well as the Premier League and the top clu...

Sunday, 6 October 2019

NFL Week 5 Picks 2019 (October 3-7)

For many teams a quarter of the regular season has been played and that means we are into the Bye Weeks with a couple more out of action in Week 5.

It is good news for Miami Dolphins fans as this is the first week we can enjoy knowing the team won't be losing, but the hope is that a few teams can earn their first wins of the season to just clear up what looks to be a real battle for the Number 1 Pick in the Draft.

This has been something of a busy week which means I am going to focus on the Week 5 Picks in this thread. Week 4 was a bad one for the public and I didn't have a much better week for the NFL Picks which means a disappointing first quarter of the season that has resulted in three losing weeks from four.

I expect much better than to be perfectly frank and that will have to begin this week. The totals could have been a lot worse considering there have been three losing weeks in four played, and that is about the only positive I can think of right now.

I didn't have a selection from a difficult looking Thursday Night Football game so the first selections will come from the Sunday offerings.

New England Patriots @ Washington Redskins Pick: The Week 4 win over the Buffalo Bills saw the New England Patriots Offensive unit struggle to get to grips with the Defense they faced, but at the end of the day they moved to 4-0 and 3-0 in the AFC East. Tom Brady admitted he was still frustrated with the lack of success the Patriots had with the ball in their hands, but they should have a much better day when heading to the nation's capital to take on a struggling Washington Redskins team.

Washington have a perfect record, but the kind of perfect record that no team wants as they were dropped to 0-4 with a heavy road defeat at the New York Giants. Case Keenum struggled and injury looks to have gotten the better of him which means Colt McCoy is going to be given the keys to the Offensive unit with Dwayne Haskins simply not ready.

McCoy is very comfortable in the system run by Jay Gruden, but you do have to wonder how much time the Head Coach is going to get. The Bye Week is some time away which is the time when the change is most likely going to be made, but there have been times when Gruden has looked almost lost on the sidelines.

In Week 6 the Redskins will be going into a game with the Miami Dolphins that can begin to separate those teams chasing the Number 1 overall Pick in the next NFL Draft, but the focus has to be on the Super Bowl Champions. Despite having Colt McCoy at Quarter Back, this looks a very difficult day for the Redskins to have a lot of success on the Offensive side of the ball especially when you consider how well the New England Patriots have been playing Defensively.

It all begins up front for the Patriots who have been able to shut down the run and that does not bode well for an unhappy Adrian Peterson. The Running Back has not been happy with the amount of touches he is being given, but the Offensive Line have been unable to open anything up front and Colt McCoy may find himself in third and long situations far too much on the day.

Chris Thompson could help as a pass catching safety blanket coming out of the backfield, but it looks a tough day to move the chains. The Patriots Secondary have been making it a 'no fly zone' for Quarter Backs and the Offensive Line concerns for the Redskins will be highlighted by a strong New England pass rush who made the difference in the win over Buffalo last week.

With the Redskins likely to be struggling when they have the ball, New England should win the field position battle and I do think Brady and company are going to want to show a lot better than they did Offensively in the win over Buffalo. It should be an overall more comfortable game for the Patriots and I do think they are going to be able to move the chains through Sony Michel and Brady's arm.

One area the Patriots will want to improve is running the ball and they should have joy establishing the run against this Washington Defensive Line which has been worn down in games. It will just make things a little more straight-forward for Tom Brady who will have an added weapon in Benjamin Watson returning this week having been suspended for four games to open the 2019 season.

I don't think Watson will have a big impact in this game, but the Tight End will have to be respected by Washington and the only thing that is potentially going to slow down the Patriots is any complacency which comes with playing a non-Conference opponent.

Backing a double digit road favourite is not ideal, but New England are the far superior team and I do think Washington are being Coached by a 'lame duck' Head Coach. The Redskins have suffered three straight double digit defeats and have progressively got worse in each passing week.

Colt McCoy is a steady Quarter Back, but I am not sure he is going to have a very productive day against this New England Defensive unit and a couple of turnovers in favour of the visitors should just see them pull away for a big win.

Oakland Raiders v Chicago Bears Pick: For the second season in a row the Oakland Raiders will be playing a regular season game in London and they arrived in the United Kingdom a few days early to get used to the new time zone. The Raiders head into Week 5 with a 2-2 record having upset the Indianapolis Colts on the road, but they are going to be faced with a fierce Chicago Bears Defensive unit led by Khalil Mack and his thirst to remind the Raiders what they traded away ahead of the 2018 season.

Mack and the Bears Defense are going to have to step up for Chicago as they look to move to 4-1 ahead of their Bye Week having recovered from a surprising Week 1 defeat to the Green Bay Packers. It was the Defense which stepped up and dominated the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 after Mitchell Trubisky was knocked out of the game and the Quarter Back is going to be missing this week too.

Chase Daniels might not be a player that is going to ever be a full time starter at Quarter Back, but he is a very competent backup and showed he can come and perform in relief when starting two games in 2018. Last week Daniels did enough to keep the chains moving against a very tough Vikings Defensive unit, and this week he should be involved in a more comfortable match up against the Raiders Defense who lost leader Vontaze Burfict for the season after yet another late hit on a defenceless opponent.

For all the qualities Burfict has, he is a dirty player and the suspension is nothing but deserved. However it has gutted some of the leadership the Raiders have on this side of the ball and I do think it will give the Bears a chance to move the chains with some consistency even with a backup Quarter Back.

David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen have yet to impress from the Running Back position for the Bears, but both could have an impact with a big piece missing for Oakland at Linebacker. They will be looking to put Chase Daniels in third and manageable spots and I also think both could have an impact coming out of the backfield as pass catchers, which should give Chicago the chance to exploit the struggling Oakland Secondary.

In saying that, the biggest factor for the Chicago Bears on the day will be the play of the Defense which will be looking to shut down the Raiders and also allow Khalil Mack to pin his ears back and disrupt this game. I do think it is a difficult match up for the Oakland Raiders who can't expect to have a lot of joy running the ball which means Derek Carr having to step back and make throws from third and long spots.

Derek Carr is capable of getting the ball out of his hands quickly, but even then he has been under pressure behind this Offensive Line. The Chicago pass rush has been on fire through the first quarter of the season and I do think they are going to make it very difficult for Oakland to move the chains in this one which will give the Bears the chance to head back to the United States with a win and a cover.

The Raiders have been blown out in their last couple of international games in 2017 and 2018 and I do think they will find it difficult to see them scoring enough points to stay with the Chicago Bears. Chase Daniels instead of Mitchell Trubisky may not be the kind of downgrade you may expect, especially not with the way Trubisky started 2019, and I will look for the Bears to make the plays to cover the spread.

New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles Pick: Coming out of the Bye Week with a 0-3 record is not what the New York Jets would have expected considering the kind of investment they made in the off-season. It has been an issue compounded by the injury to not only Sam Darnold, but also his backup Quarter Back Trevor Siemian and this is another week in which it looks like Luke Falk will be starting.

The big signing of Le'Veon Bell has not worked out for the Jets as planned and moving the ball at 3 yards per carry on the ground is only putting more pressure on whoever is going to Quarter Back the team. The Jets and Bell can't expect to have a lot of room up front against the Philadelphia Eagles who remain stout on the Defensive Line and will be trying to force Falk, the most likely starting Quarter Back, to earn his stripes through the air.

There is an opportunity for Falk because there are a number of injuries in the Philadelphia Secondary, but exploiting those won't be easy for a Quarter Back who is not ready for this level. The Jets have averaged just 130 passing yards per game and the Offensive Line have struggled to protect whichever Quarter Back has started.

It may be a cleaner pocket for Falk on Sunday because the Eagles have struggled to get to the Quarter Back, which is a real surprise considering the obvious talent they have on the Defensive Line. However, keeping the Jets in third and long and then pinning the ears back to get after Luke Falk should be a productive play for the Eagles and one that can set them up for a big win against an Offensively challenged opponent.

After a big win at the Green Bay Packers to get back to 2-2, the Philadelphia Eagles can't afford to drop the momentum they picked up. CJ Moseley's absence for the New York Jets has to be music to the ears of Carson Wentz and the entire Offensive unit as the Jets Defensive unit have struggled without him and I do think the Eagles can continue putting a strong showing together on the Offensive side of the ball.

There is still some room for improvement for the Eagles who would love to find a way to run the ball more effectively than they have done. That improvement is unlikely to be seen this week as clamping down on Running Backs is something the Jets have been good at doing, but Carson Wentz will be confident he can make the plays through the air that helps his team pull away for a comfortable win.

Carson Wentz was very good in the win over the Green Bay Packers and he is throwing in a Secondary that has been struggling. Having a few extra days of rest from Week 4 to Week 5 should be key for the Wide Receivers to make sure they are a little healthier and having those weapons back will be huge for Wentz and the passing game in this one.

New York's Secondary have given up almost 300 passing yards per game and I do think the Eagles will see their Quarter Back have a very good day to help them pull clear of a big spread. The spot is not ideal in the schedule with this being the easiest game during a five game stretch, but the Eagles are on the road for the other four and playing at home should see them motivated enough.

The Eagles have not been a good team to back against the spread at home, but this looks an ideal chance for them to cover the number. The public money seems to be with the New York Jets which is a bonus and I am going to look for Philadelphia to produce a big win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints Pick: Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints are heading into Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season off upset wins. The Saints at least get the chance to stay at home in Week 5, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to travel for the second of back to back road games after upsetting the Los Angeles Rams in California last time out.

Things could have looked all the more smoother for the Buccaneers if they had not seen their Kicker miss a game winning Field Goal against the New York Giants in Week 3. Even then they are only a game behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South and a win on the road in the SuperDome will really put the cat amongst the pigeons for the Buccaneers.

That would mean Tampa Bay are 2-0 within the Division and the underdog must feel they have a big opportunity with the Saints continuing to have to do without Drew Brees at Quarter Back. It is not easy to back Jameis Winston to follow up a big performance with another, but Bruce Arians seems to be working for the Quarter Back and he won't want to put him on a leash in this one.

Ronald Jones and the Running Back committee being used by the Buccaneers have yet to really find some consistency which would bring balance to this Tampa Bay Offensive unit. Jones has showed flashes of talent, but he won't have an easy day running against the New Orleans Defensive Line which has just doubled down on their strength up front in recent games and who clamped down on Ezekiel Elliot in Week 4.

Every single member of the New Orleans Defensive unit had a huge showing in the Week 4 win over Dallas, but they are going to be challenged again in this one. Replicating that effort on Sunday Night Football will be difficult and the Saints Secondary has not been playing anywhere near that level in the opening weeks of the season to make me think it is an exception rather than the rule for them at the moment.

Jameis Winston is likely going to have to be careful about the Saints pass rush with little support expected on the ground, but he has Receivers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin who can have very big games for them. As long as Winston can buy himself some time, I do think the Buccaneers can have success moving the chains through the air and Godwin in particularly could be huge playing in the slot where he destroyed the Los Angeles Rams.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be able to keep the points ticking over and that is going to put pressure on Teddy Bridgewater to offer more than he has in his first two weeks starting in place of Drew Brees. Last week four Field Goals were enough for the Saints to win the game, and in Seattle Bridgewater was helped by the Special Teams plays, but even the Quarter Back himself has admitted he needs to do more if New Orleans are going to be successful.

There is going to be some pressure on Bridgewater because he can't really expect the Saints to establish much of a run in support of him. Alvin Kamara might be one of the best Running Backs in the NFL, but the Saints are averaging 4.5 yards per carry and now face a Buccaneers Defensive Line that put the clamps on Todd Gurley last week and have been very strong up front throughout 2019.

If Drew Brees was playing you might not worry about a lack of a rushing Offense, but that is not the case in Week 5. Teddy Bridgewater needs to find a way to find some consistency through the air, but the Saints are not a team with a host of Receiving talent outside of Michael Thomas and Kamara coming out of the backfield. Bridgewater is taking on a Tampa Bay Secondary which has seen massive holes open up, but I am not sure this Quarter Bak can exploit those.

He should be able to make enough plays to keep the chains moving, but I am not sure it is enough to have Bridgewater favoured by a Field Goal to win this game. The intimidation of playing in the SuperDome is not an excuse for Tampa Bay who won here last season with Drew Brees Quarter Backing the home team, and the Saints are just 1-5 against the spread in their last six at home.

Tampa Bay have shown some fight on the road and I do think having the full 3 points in this one is key. Backing the underdog who have every chance of winning outright is my play.

MY PICKS: New England Patriots - 16.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Chicago Bears - 6 Points @ 1.95 Bet365 (2 Units)
Philadelphia Eagles - 14 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers + 3.5 Points @ 1.86 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Houston Texans - 4 Points @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Baltimore Ravens - 3.5 Points @ 2.00 William Hill (2 Units)
Los Angeles Chargers - 5.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Green Bay Packers + 3.5 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Kansas City Chiefs - 10.5 Points @ 2.00 Sky Bet (2 Units)

Week 4: 3-6, - 6.54 Units (18 Units Staked, - 36.33% Yield)
Week 35-2, + 3.28 Units (12 Units Staked, + 27.33% Yield)
Week 23-4, - 2.70 Units (14 Units Staked, - 19.29% Yield)
Week 14-4, + 0.16 Units (15 Units Staked, + 1.07% Yield)

Season 201915-106, - 5.80 Units (59 Units Staked, - 9.83% Yield)

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