Week 5 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)
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Here are my Week 5 NFL picks against the spread:
New York Giants -1.5 (over Philadelphia Eagles)
One of two winless teams in the NFC, the Giants have had few bright spots early this season as they rank third-to-last in the NFL in scoring offense and last in scoring defense. They also rank last in the NFC in turnover differential (-9).
That has been a recipe for disaster, but the good news is they can only get better — since they can't be much worse. But the other good news is that they host the Eagles, who have not been much better this season.
As bad as the Giants have been, they are only two games out of first place and the Cowboys are nearly double-digit underdogs against Eli Manning's brother and the Broncos. With a Giants win and a Cowboys loss today, the Giants will be only one game out of first place in the division as pathetic as that may be.
The Giants have a talented group of wide receivers with Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle and the Eagles secondary leaves a lot to be desired. Provided they protect Manning and run the ball better, the Giants should be able to move the ball at will against the Eagles.
While the Giants won't run the table from here like Antrel Rolle predicted, they are certainly capable of going 1-0 against the Eagles this week.
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Green Bay Packers -7 (over Detroit Lions)
Like small home underdogs, I like picking (really good) teams coming off a bye.
For the Packers, the bye came at a good time as they will have a healthy Eddie Lacy against the Lions. Although the Packers have run the ball reasonably well without Lacy, he gives the Packers' high-powered passing offense a different element than the team's other backs do, especially considering the Lions have one of the league's best tandems at defensive tackle.
The Packers bread-and-butter is their passing attack, however, led by Aaron Rodgers, one of the most efficient and accurate passers ever. Rodgers is averaging 352.3 yards per game and as noted in my wide receiver rankings, the duo of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson are on pace for more than 1,500 yards each. Plus, James Jones is on pace for more than 1,000 yards after being held without a catch in Week 1.
With their backs against the wall and an extra week to prepare, I like the Packers to win by double-digit points this week.
Cincinnati Bengals +1 (over New England Patriots)
I strongly considered taking the Cowboys here as they are nine-point underdogs at home to Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Not only have the Broncos won 15 consecutive regular-season games, however, they have beaten all of their victims during that span by at least a touchdown.
While their streak will surely end at some point, it has looked too easy for them so I will go with a different home 'dog.
The Bengals are one of the better teams in the league and they have balance on both sides of the ball. Not only do they have one of the league's best wide receivers in A.J. Green, but they have a dynamic rookie back in Giovani Bernard to go along with The Law Firm.
On defense, they are strong up front, but they have some health concerns in the secondary. Even if he gets Danny Amendola back this week, Tom Brady will go another week without Rob Gronkowski and the Pats will be without Stevan Ridley as well. That said, the Bengals have not allowed a 300-yard passer in 19 consecutive games.
With the exception of last week's win over the Falcons, the Patriots have not looked impressive in their wins, but they have compiled a 4-0 record. This week, I expect the Bengals to get back on track after a tough loss to their in-state rivals.
Five of our contributors make three weekly picks ATS every week and they will be posted here.