Mike Ivcic’s Week 5 NFL Preview and Free Picks

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Mike Ivcic’s Week 5 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>


By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer

I’m back on the positive side for straight up picks, posting an 11-4 record last week – and that’s with missing both the Sunday and Monday night games. Still went 6-9 against the spread because of things like the Patriots ridiculous second half, Arizona’s terrible first half, Oakland’s terrible defense, and Kansas City’s terrible team. But we’re clearly on the upswing, so let’s keep a good thing going here. Short, sweet, and hopefully right!


Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams
Thu, 8:20pm, NFLN
Line: Cardinals by 2
Home teams are 2-1 on the short-week Thursday games, and I like the Rams as a home underdog here, especially coming off the big win against the Seahawks. San Fran hasn’t played a division yet, so a Rams win here would really make things interesting in the suddenly competitive NFC West.
Pick: St. Louis 20, Arizona 17

Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Redskins
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Falcons by 3
RGIII has looked pretty good in his four starts, but Matty Ice has looked even better, and the Redskins defense is quite porous. Expect some points in a Falcons win.
Pick: Atlanta 31, Washington 21

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Ravens by 6
I’m officially out on Kansas City. They’re just not a good team, so I’m taking the Ravens and the larger spread on the road.
Pick: Baltimore 27, Kansas City 13

Cleveland Browns @ New York Giants
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Giants by 9
The Giants always seem to play close games at home against teams they should probably pound, but Brandon Wheedon and the Browns offense is bad. It’s a big number, but I’m taking it.
Pick: New York 30, Cleveland 14

Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Packers by 7
I’ll say this about the Packers – their defense is nowhere near what it was during their Super Bowl season two years ago. Yes, they stymied the Bears on that Thursday night, but San Francisco, Seattle, and New Orleans all scored on drives where the Packers desperately needed a big stop. That gives me pause for the 7 point line, but not the win.
Pick: Green Bay 24, Indianapolis 20


Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Bengals by 4
Still not buying into the Dolphins. Yes, they’ve now lost back-to-back overtime games by a field goal, but on the road against a good Bengals offense is a different story.
Pick: Cincinnati 28, Miami 17

Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Steelers by 3.5
Best matchup of the day, and I like the Steelers off a bye much more than I like the Eagles off an emotional Sunday night divisional victory. That extra half-point is driving me crazy, but not enough to take me off the home team.
Pick: Pittsburgh 24, Philadelphia 20

Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Sun, 4:05pm, FOX
Line: Bears by 6
I have no confidence in the Bears consistency from week to week, but this week that’s overridden by Jacksonville’s complete ineptness on both sides of the ball.
Pick: Chicago 30, Jacksonville 13

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers
Sun, 4:05pm, FOX
Line: Panthers by 3
Seattle gave away a winnable game to the Rams, as did the Panthers to the Falcons. It still might be too early to call this a “must-win” game for Seattle, but if Russell Wilson doesn’t win his homecoming, the playoffs might become a pipe dream for this group.
Pick: Seattle 20, Carolina 17

Buffalo Bills @ San Francisco 49’ers
Sun, 4:25pm, CBS
Line: 49’ers by 10
After that dominating performance by the 49’ers defense and the miserable second half from the Bills defense, I’m a little surprised the line is still this low.
Pick: San Francisco 24, Buffalo 7


Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
Sun, 4:25pm, CBS
Line: Patriots by 7
Denver’s offense finally woke up, but so did New England’s. This won’t be like the mid-0’s showdowns between Brady and Manning, but points will be scored – more for the Pats than the Broncos – and a push on this touchdown spread wouldn’t shock me.
Pick: New England 36, Denver 28

Tennessee Titans @ Minnesota Vikings
Sun, 4:25pm, CBS
Line: Vikings by 6
I haven’t bought into Minnesota yet, because they’ve played one good team in the 49’ers and also lost to the Colts, but they are winning, which is more than can be said for the Titans.
Pick: Minnesota 24, Tennessee 17

San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Saints by 4
They may be on the road, but the Chargers giving 4 to a winless team seems a bit much to me. I think San Diego wins this one outright.
Pick: San Diego 27, New Orleans 23

Houston Texans @ New York Jets
Mon, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: Texans by 9
No Holmes, no Revis, and no legitimate quarterback? The Jets can’t send me packing on the season fast enough. Houston wins this game.
Pick: Houston 30, New York 10

Straight-Up: 34-29
Against Spread: 19-42-2


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