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NFL Picks Against the Spread 2018: Week 5 Games Before the fifth Sunday of the 2018 NFL regular season kicks off Authentic Alshon Jeffery Jersey , let’s have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for today’s games. (Click here for NFL Week 5 picks without regard to the spread.) You can find all of today’s NFL betting lines and more via SB Nation. My season record so far is 22-40-1. Not good! I’m still BGN’s leader in straight up picks, though.NFL Week 5 GamesJacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs (-3): Hm, do I go with Pat “The Truth” Mahomes or Blake Bortles? Really tough call here. Not. The Jags defense might be able to slow KC’s offense more than other teams can but it won’t be enough. Besides, the Chiefs have one of the best home fields in the league for a reason. PICK: Chiefs -2.5Tennessee Titans (-5.5) at Buffalo Bills: This 3-1 Titans team hasn’t been flat out dominant but they also haven’t looked straight up bad. The Bills, meanwhile, HAVE looked terrible outside of their surprising Week 3 upset effort in Minnesota. Maybe the Bills manage to catch the Titans off guard after Tennessee’s emotional overtime win but I can’t simply count on Josh Allen to come through. PICK: Titans -5.5Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3): The Steelers have some real issues both on and off the field. I don’t like the way they’ve been trending. I also think the Falcons aren’t as bad as their 1-3 record indicates. Atlanta is really banged up, which doesn’t help their chances, and it’s hard to imagine the Steelers dropping three games in a row at Heinz Field. But screw it, I’ll take the points. PICK: Falcons +3Denver Broncos (-1.5) at New York Jets: 21-year-old Sam Darnold is going through some growing pains as the Jets have failed to win since Week 1. Case Keemun is going through some predictable struggles as he’s failed to complete a touchdown pass since Week 1. In the battle of these two strugglers, I’m going to take the home team. Denver is playing on a short week and they’re traveling east. PICK: Jets +1.5Green Bay Packers (-1) at Detroit Lions: This line hasn’t changed since it opened. I think this will be close. The Lions have shown good fight lately. But I’m not about to bet against Aaron Rodgers in a game that’s essentially a pick’ em. PICK: Packers -1Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Cleveland Browns: John Harbaugh’s Ravens rank fifth overall in DVOA through four weeks. Joe Flacco is looking better than he has in what feels like a long time. I like the way the Browns have battled so far but it seems like they find a new way to lose each week. They’re just not there yet. PICK: Ravens -3New York Giants at Carolina Panthers (-6.5): The Panthers should be well-rested coming off a Week 4 bye. The Giants should be well-ineffective as ever with a washed-up quarterback under center. Also completely unsurprising to see Odell Beckham Jr. talking about this New York team having motivational issues with Pat Shurmur as their leader. PICK: Panthers -6.5Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals: This Bengals squad isn’t getting a lot of hype but they’re good. Cincy ranks seventh in DVOA. Miami, meanwhile, got exposed on the road last week. Hard to count on them. PICK: Bengals -6Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-5): The Bolts almost found a way to lose to C.J. Beathard last Sunday. Not encouraging. LAC will have to deal with another stadium takeover this weekend as Raider fans show up in droves to root on the Silver and Black. At the very least, I think this will be close. I don’t have a lot of trust in Jon Gruden but is Anthony Lynn really any better? PICK: Raiders +5Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-3): C.J. Beathard played better than expected last week. I’m not just going to count on it happening again. The Cards are very bad but there’s at least a little bit of hope for them now with Josh Rosen under center instead of Sam Bradford. I’ll say the rookie quarterback impresses this week. PICK: Cardinals +3Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) at Seattle Seahawks: Damn. I know the Rams’ offense is really good and the 2018 Seahawks are far from the 2013 Seahawks but it’s still kinda crazy to see Seattle big home underdogs like this. It’s tempting to take the points but how can I go with Brian Schottenheimer over LA’s offense? PICK: Rams -7.5Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (-3): Big game. The battle of two early season disappointments. Both sides have legitimate reasons for concern. One big thing working in the Eagles’ favor is their home field advantage. Philly is 17-2 in their last 19 meaningful games at Lincoln Financial Field, as we know. The Vikings’ passing attack figures to challenge the Eagles’ leaky secondary but Minnesota’s offensive line should struggle to hold up against the pass rush. The Eagles are winning this one. PICK: Eagles -3Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Houston Texans: Interestingly enough, the Texans rank 13th in DVOA despite being 1-3 and their one win coming by three points in overtime. Maybe Houston is due for some progression to the mean. I was originally going to take Dallas but I’m going to go with the analytics here. Don’t let me down , nerds. PICK: Texans +3Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints (-6): I’d stay away from this game because this Washington team seems kind of unpredictable. I could just as easily see them getting beat comfortably by the Saints as I could see them getting an upset coming off their bye. I’ll tentatively lean with the home side here because I think they’re hitting their stride after some early season hiccups. PICK: Saints -6Eagles News: Tom Brady reacts to Philadelphia borrowing the play where he dropped the ball Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ... Tom Brady on Eagles’ Philly Philly play: Good execution wins games - PFTBrady was asked Friday about quarterback Nick Foles‘ 15-yard catch from receiver Nelson Agholor to set up Philadelphia’s first touchdown in the Eagles’ victory over the Falcons. “Good execution wins games,” Brady said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “I think that’s ultimately what we have to do. When you have to make the plays, you either make them or you don’t. [BLG Note: Against the Eagles, Brady did not make the play.]Eagles’ opener plagued by offensive inefficiency - BGNThe Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles sputtered out of the gate in their first defense of their title. Before dissecting the film of their sloppy 18-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons, there are stories to be told in the numbers that point to problem areas to be examined further.More Roster Moves - Iggles BlitzMiller was a 3rd round pick of the Texans in 2016. He’s been disappointing so far in the NFL. He has 34 catches, but only 261 career yards. The former Ohio State QB has not developed into the athletic weapon that anyone expected. He still has potential and that’s why the Eagles must be taking a look at him. Assuming he passes the physical, think of Miller as a long term prospect. He doesn’t know the Eagles offense. He’ll need time to learn the playbook and also to adjust to how the Eagles do things.Eagle Eye: A Total Team Effort On Defense - PE.comThe defense was downright dominant against the Atlanta Falcons for a vast majority of Thursday night’s matchup. The numbers speak for themselves. The defense held Atlanta to just 4-of-15 on third down (26.7 percent) while also keeping the Falcons out of the end zone on four out of five trips inside the 20-yard line (20 percent). Matt Ryan completed less than 50 percent of his passes. The Eagles combined for four sacks and would have had more if it had not been for some ill-timed penalties. They created turnovers, held up when the team needed it most, and - perhaps most importantly - played with the same passion and intensity that proved to be the hallmark of the unit in 2017. When analyzing this group, it’s hard to start with anyone not named Fletcher Cox. No. 91 looked like his usual freak-show self against Atlanta, disrupting things in the Falcons’ backfield from the opening drive up until the final whistle. Whether it was against the run or the pass, you can bet No. 91 was involved and limiting Atlanta’s offensive attack.Eagles’ red zone defense will make them very difficult to beat - NBCSPThis is why Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz doesn’t care how many yards the Eagles give up. If it’s this hard for teams to get into the end zone, the yards just don’t matter. During the 2017 championship season, the Eagles ranked ninth in the NFL in points allowed per red zone possession at 4.75 and fifth in total red-zone points allowed Authentic Nate Gerry Jersey , with two takeaways. That number went down to 2.70 in the postseason, with two more takeaways. The Eagles were back at it Thursday night.Will Eagles’ Jay ‘Train’ Ajayi get to toot his horn enough? - InquirerBut Ajayi is unlikely to get as many touches as Elliott and Barkley, even if Pederson deemed him “kind of the workhorse” of the Eagles. He will be the “between the tackles 鈥?tough, physical” runner that LeGarrette Blount and Ryan Mathews were in Pederson’s first two seasons. But Sproles and Clement are effective as a change of pace, and with variety a premium in the Eagles offense, Pederson is unlikely to rely on one running back for an extended period. The coach did note that he has to account for Clement’s special-teams responsibilities when doling out snaps. The second-year running back is a four-core guy. And Sproles still returns punts. But both have proved themselves on offense, especially Sproles in third-down passing situations. “Pretty much everybody has to get in,” Clement said. “Whoever has the hot hand is rolling. We’re not a selfish group at all.”Malcolm Jenkins: ‘Kaepernick will be looked at as somebody who not only changed the direction this sport but the dynamic of athletes in general’ - PhillyVoiceMalcolm Jenkins protested with a raised fist during the preseason and also stayed in the locker room during the National Anthem. It’s obvious that one of the civic leaders in modern sports is being thoughtful about how best to proceed, as was made even more clear as he stood at attention and did not demonstrate prior to kickoff in the Eagles season opener against the Falcons Thursday. “At this point, I think it’s important for us as a movement to continue to change and adapt to the context of the situation and I think there’s a huge need for us to turn the attention to the issues and what players are doing in their communities to effect change,” Jenkins said after the 18-12 win. “We are focused on the systemic issues in our communities.The NFL elite have already revealed themselves - ESPNNow, as Eagles fans will be quick to point out, the Patriots won two of their last three -- but not last season. Yes, the trophy currently resides in Philly, not Foxborough. And you could absolutely pick the Eagles to win it all this year , except that the NFC looks loaded, and teams almost never repeat. Generally, championship teams can’t count on the same kinds of breaks and injury luck two years in a row. Which, now that we think about it, could be good news for the Eagles, who had horrendous injury luck last year and still won the whole thing. You can excuse them for believing that they’re set up to be the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots did it 14 years ago.Doug Pederson Relieved To Be Back in a Familiar Place After Eagles’ Win vs. Falcons - SI“The relief is getting past this first game, with all the hype pregame, getting past the Super Bowl and all that,” Pederson told me. “Now that it’s behind us, we can focus on the rest of season and, really, next week, heading to Tampa.” Thursday wasn’t perfect for anyone. The Eagles stumbled on offense. The Falcons certainly didn’t get the best of QB Matt Ryan and the Atlanta defense crumbled late, giving up a touchdown with 2:19 left to play, after three-plus solid quarters. The refs threw almost as many flags (26) as there were points scored (30). And save for the drama at the end—a scenario eerily similar to last year’s divisional playoff—the league’s showcase opener looked sideways.PFF’s 2018 NFL Week 1 spread picks - PFFIt is easy to forget all that Jimmy Garoppolo has dealt with before entering his first season as a starting quarterback. Garoppolo was outstanding regardless of record , he earned the third-best grade from a clean pocket which we know to be very consistent season to season, while new Vikings QB Kirk Cousins wound up 27th (of 41). Garoppolo ranked third in accurate throw location rate and avoiding uncatchable throws, while Cousins, who the Vikings paid a hefty price for in free agency, came in at 17th and 13th, respectively.The better quarterback is getting 6.5 points. The Vikings defense is certainly superior to the 49ers but expecting that to repeat is not a great bet. Coverage, in particular, is unstable season to season and being as it is the second most important predictor of point spread, we would be wise to expect regression to the mean for each squad, meaning the 49ers abysmal coverage unit from 2017 and the elite Vikings secondary should be closer together on Sunday.Tarps can’t ease all the paranoia for football coaches - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette“This is interesting times, drones and so forth,” is how coach Mike Tomlin explained the reason for the tarp. The tarp certainly won’t prevent a drone from looking in, or from someone erecting a camera in a tree above such as that spying on the bald eagles nest in Hays, just around the bend. Don’t think some football people would not go to such lengths. We have examples that go way back. An assistant coach under Chuck Noll told outlandish stories about his days as a college coach and the efforts he would make to spy on an opponent’s practice. He once hid in a manhole to do so.The situation between Le’Veon Bell and his Steelers teammates is more complicated than it seems - SB NationRetired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz explains why it’s a unique ordeal that can’t be boiled down to simple conclusions on Twitter....Social Media Information:BGN Facebook Page: Click here to like our pageBGN Twitter: Follow @BleedingGreenBGN Manager: Brandon Lee Gowton: Follow @BrandonGowtonBGN Radio Twitter: Follow @BGN_Radio

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