2015 NFL Week 5

16-13 YTD
2014: 83-51 (62%)
5-1 on big plays

Classes were cancelled, so I’ve got some time today. Feel free to discuss!

Kansas City Chiefs -8.75
-110 BIG PLAY

-8.75 because I locked it in at -9 and -8.5. This is a terrible spot for the Bears and a phenomenal spot for the Chiefs. The Bears got shut out by the Seahawks and then redeemed themselves with a last-minute FG at home against the Raiders who were in a look-ahead spot before playing the division kings at home. The Bears are in a major letdown spot here. Road underdogs of more than a TD (implicating it’s a bad team) after a win off a shutout loss (21+) are 0-8 SU and 1-7 ATS, losing by an average of 20.14 PPG since 1989. The Chiefs have lost three consecutive games against teams who have a combined record of 12-0. Andy Reid is 6-0 SU and 6-0 ATS after three consecutive losses. This exact same spot – Bears in that letdown/redeemed spot and the Chiefs off three losses occured in 2014 as well. The Chiefs played the Raiders at home after three consecutive losses when the Raiders were off a win at San Fran after a shutout loss to St. Louis. The Chiefs steamrolled the Raiders 31-13 and if not for a garbage time TD, the Chiefs would have won 31-6.

The Bears team is not in a good shape. They are banged up with injuries and the club is thinking about trading key players to build up for the future. Alshon Jeffery is still limited, he just got two full practices since the beginning of the season. “Hopeful to return soon” doesn’t sound like he will lineup this week. Eddie Royal did not practice this week. Offensive linemen Kyle Long and Jermon Bushrod are banged up, Bushrod didnt practice and Long is limited. Jay Cutler said he is not 100% ready for this week but wants to play. Do you know what the Chiefs defense will do with that offense at home? It’s gonna be a long long day for Jay Cutler and friends. Don’t measure the Chiefs defense for their numbers which got highly deflated by road games at Green Bay and Cincinnati. They played phenomenal against Peyton Manning but the Packers at home and the Bengals will make a lot of defenses look sloppy this year, especially at home.

The Bears defense is terrible and banged up. Antrel Rolle is 99% not playing, so the Bears will probably let two rookies start at safety along with the poor Kyle Fuller and either the banged up Alan Ball or the banged up nickle Sherrick McManis? Their front seven is the better unit of that defense but even they are a little banged up with Will Sutton, Shea McClellin and Pernell McPhee limited in practice. They are not going to prevent the Chiefs from scoring. The Chiefs OL looks below-average in pass-blocking but has been excelling in run-blocking which leads the way to their offensive style. The Bengals safeties were struggling defending some crossing routes last week against the speed of Jeremy Maclin and those rookie safeties of Chicago will struggle as well. The Chiefs have been averaging 23.25 offensive PPG against teams with a combined record of 13-3 so it’s not far from reality to expect a peak here on Sunday in a phenomenal spot at home. Jay Cutler will get pressured a lot and 1 or 2 INTs won’t surprise me. The Bears have that kind of games in which you just want to head back home to get healthy and prepare for a weaker opponent(Lions). Chiefs are rolling here.

Cincinnati Bengals -3 -104

4-0 SU and 4-0 ATS. There is the dreamcase scenario in which you just ride a team all season long and make a shitload of money. This dream rarely becomes reality but unless the oddsmakers don’t set the lines for this team higher, I have to bite. I’ve said it in my Futures thread and every week again: this is one of the best, at this point the best overall Football team in the league. I will look stupid if they lose this game but I believe this line is a joke and should be closer to -7. There is a crazy stat surrounding us this week: with Chancellor, the Seahawks have not allowed a TD in 18 consecutive quarters. WOW!!! How was that possible against Colin Crapernick, Ryan Lindley, Shaun Hill, Jimmy Clausen and Matthew Stafford without an OL and the bat rule? They are magicians.

The Bengals are the Cowboys of 2014 with a better defense. They will score their 21-35 points in every game so you need to keep their offense sidelined and try to put points on the board. How are the Seahawks going to do that with this OL? This is the worst offensive line of the NFL and I still can’t believe what they thought by not improving this unit. They gave up Max Unger and a first rounder for Jimmy Graham. Porcelainfist and I said it back in June: that trade was genius by the Saints and laughable for the Seahawks. You gave away one of the best centers in the league plus a first rounder to get a $10M TE you cannot target behind a collapsing OL and who also cannot block. Michael Johnson is on a mission, and he, Dunlap and Atkins will make the life of Wilson very difficult this Sunday.Their pass rush is just starting to gel. Lynch won’t be playing this week. But it doesn’t matter because a running game only matters when you are able to run effectively and that’s what the Seahawks can’t do behind this OL. Lynch was held to somewhat like 3.2 YPC this season. The Bengals have allowed just one red zone target and no reception for opposing TEs this season, so I wouldn’t touch Jimmy Graham this week in Fantasy lineups.

It’s still the Legion of Boom, so why should Andy Dalton be successful again? I believe if you have an elite OL, a good QB and a great receiving/running core, you can hardly be hold below 21 PPG. The Seahawks most of the time only rush four men to force the opposite QB to beat them deep. If they are doing this once again, Andy Dalton will beat them deep, medium and short.

Arizona Cardinals -3 +104

I won’t overthink this one. The Lions defense isn’t good. Of their 4 games, they saw three bottom-10 offenses and only one good passing offense at San Diego. Rivers threw two picks (one in the red zone) and they still dropped 33 points on the Lions very easily without a good running game to support. Ziggy Ansah played only 26 snaps last week and he is once again limited in practice. Tyrunn Walker is done for the season and Haloti Ngata is out, so the Lions have no interior rush and also two good run defenders missing against an offensive line that is getting better each week since Mike Iupati is back. Their strong side is the left one with Veldheer and Iupati and that’s where the Lions could need an 100% Ansah badly. I don’t see how they get pressure on Carson Palmer who has been gunning it around when heaving a clean pocket. Ellington is back and Chris Johnson was terrific – their running game is able to take a lot of pressure off Palmer.

The Cards lost at the right time and they lost against a very good team. They will be focused this week, knowing this is a must-win because they have a tough schedule during the second half of the season. The Lions offense is terrible, their young OL plays poorly and they can’t pick up blitzes – not good against the Cardinals. They will pressure the heck out of Stafford, dropping back in dime formations. Remember they held the Lions to 6 points last season and there are no signs that tell me the Lions have improved. Even though he was dropping a few balls, Eric Ebron was a reliable target during the first three games before he got injured, catching 13 passes in those games. He was important because teams were successfully containing Calvin Johnson and the Cardinals have the tools to be very effective against teams who miss two dimensions on offense. The Lions’ running game is non-existent and the Cardinals defense is stout against the run – more pressure on Stafford throwing into dime formations while the blitzes of Arizona cover the throwing lanes of Stafford. Give me Cardinals here.

Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 -108

Classic bounceback vs. letdown angle here. Eagles lost last-minute against the Redskins after coming back from a 0-16 deficit while the Saints won in overtime against Dallas. Road teams off a home win before a TNF at home are 11-25 SU and 11-21 ATS, losing by an average of 6 points. Underdogs are 4-20 SU and 7-15 ATS, losing by an average of 10 PPG. The Eagles are 1-3 and will have to go all in here.

The Saints still have a young defense with a terrible passing defense, the worst in the league. The fast no-huddle offense of Philly is ideally built to expose those young guys and Sam Bradford has finally shown flashes of being capable to throw the deep ball. There have been some very nice throws, also some drops by his receivers last week. I think this is the week we will finally see some action of the Philly offense we have seen during the pre-season.

While the Eagles offense has been struggling so far, their defense has been playing MUCH better than I expected before the season started. Their front seven plays incredible despite injuries and get Cedric Thornton back. They are very good at defending what the Saints do best: screen passes. The Saints have three starting offensive linemen hurt (Lelito, Armstead and Evans) and from what I’ve heard it doesn’t look too good. The Eagles will win the battle at the line of scrimmage. Keenan Lewis and Jairus Byrd have been limited. It seems like they want to get their team healthy for the TNF clash against the Falcons.

The Eagles will come out firing and will outscore a banged up Saints team in a bad spot by a decent clip at home.

 

I was leaning Dallas all week long but my principle of not taking a replacement QB against an elite QB combined with the fact that Randy Gregory won’t line up and Hardy talked trash about Gisele held me back at the end.

Teams who won by 30+ before more > 10 days rest have gone 15-14 SU, 10-17 ATS. Road teams are 1-9 SU and 1-9 ATS during the reg season since 1989. The Patriots still have a porous defense and Brandon Weeden has put up 7.72 NYPPA. They will try to run to keep Tom Brady as much sidelined as they can and I’ve got no doubt that Weeden is able to expose this secondary at times. On the other side the Cowboys get Greg Hardy and McClain back, Sean Lee is also ready to go. They have a pretty good front seven that should cause some troubles against the young Patriots OL and those short passes. The Patriots are in the best position when they have a lead, but if the Cowboys try to attack them early they have a good chance to wear them down in the second half.

Also I’ve seen a lot comments about the Cowboys having a bad matchup with their secondary against the Patriots. Since when does it matter whether you have a good secondary or not against Tom Brady?? This offense is built to not be dependent on the opposite secondary, like we have seen against Denver, Seattle and Buffalo. You have to keep TB sidelined and try to set up a pass rush combined with good coverage around the line of scrimmage.

Sunday:

Kansas City Chiefs -8.75 -110 BIG PLAY
Cincinnati Bengals -3 -104
Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 -108
Atlanta Falcons -7 -104

Arizona Cardinals -3 +104

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