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Handicappers Corner, Week 5

October 6, 2018

Here are PFW’s staff picks in Week 5

BALTIMORE (-3) at CLEVELAND

Bob LeGere: CLE

Eric Edholm: BAL

Arthur Arkush: BAL

Hub Arkush: BAL

JACKSONVILLE at KANSAS CITY (-3)

BL: JAX

EE: KC

AA: JAX

HA: JAX

TENNESSEE (-5) at BUFFALO

BL: TEN

EE: BUF*

AA: TEN

HA: TEN

N.Y. GIANTS at CAROLINA (-6)

BL: NYG*

EE: NYG*

AA: NYG*

HA: CAR

DENVER at N.Y. JETS (PK)

BL: NYJ

EE: NYJ

AA: NYJ

HA: DEN

ATLANTA at PITTSBURGH (-3)

BL: ATL

EE: PIT

AA: PIT

HA: PIT

GREEN BAY at DETROIT (PK)

BL: GB

EE: GB

AA: GB

HA: DET

MIAMI at CINCINNATI (-6)

BL: CIN

EE: CIN

AA: MIA*

HA: CIN

OAKLAND at L.A. CHARGERS (-5)

BL: LAC

EE: OAK*

AA: LAC

HA: LAC

ARIZONA at SAN FRANCISCO (-4)

BL: SF

EE: SF

AA: ARI

HA: ARI*

MINNESOTA at PHILADELPHIA (-3)

BL: PHI

EE: MIN

AA: PHI

HA: MIN

L.A. RAMS (-7) at SEATTLE

BL: LAR

EE: LAR

AA: LAR

HA: SEA*

DALLAS at HOUSTON (-3)

BL: HOU

EE: DAL

AA: HOU

HA: HOU

WASHINGTON at NEW ORLEANS (-6 ½)

BL: N.O.

EE: WAS*

AA: WAS*

HA: WAS*

BEST BETS

BL: GB

The Lions swept the Packers last season, something that hadn’t happened in 26 years. But that stunning historical note comes with an asterisk. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers missed both Lions games in 2017. A year earlier, he threw eight touchdowns and zero picks as the Packers swept the Lions, and Rodgers is 13-3 lifetime against Detroit.

The Lions have been a difficult team to figure this season. They’ve finally discovered a run game, thanks to rookie Kerryon Johnson, who’s averaging 5.7 yards per carry. And they shocked the Patriots 26-10 at Ford Field in Week Three. However, they’ve been beaten by the Jets and the 49ers, the only team those 1-3 clubs have defeated this year.

Rodgers was dissatisfied with last week’s offensive performance in a 22-0 victory over the Bills, even though Green Bay had 423 total yards. WR Randall Cobb has already been ruled out for Sunday, but Rodgers has proven in the past that he can win with a subpar supporting cast.

EE: LAR

The Rams are coming off a mini-bye following their win over the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday and appear to be in great shape heading up to Seattle, where they delivered a 42-7 thumping of the Seahawks late last season. That was the start of the baton passing in this division, and there’s no indication that the Rams aren’t a vastly more talented — and healthier — team right now. Expect Jared Goff and his great receivers to really attack S Tedric Thompson, Earl Thomas’ replacement. Seven is a huge number for a road favorite; there have been only 13 such games going back to the 2008 season, but road favorites of a touchdown or more are 10-3 in that span. We’re siding with the red-hot Rams here.

AA: BAL

The Browns spent a ton of energy during Sunday’s crushing overtime defeat in Oakland, particularly their defense, which was on the field for 90 plays. That’s over one-third more than the 59 plays Baltimore’s ‘D’ logged in a relatively comfortable victory in Pittsburgh on Sunday night. I remain high on the Browns’ talent, but a Ravens defense that’s getting healthier, paired with their superior coaching, gives me a ton of confidence. I’m really impressed with Joe Flacco and Baltimore’s vastly improved passing game, which will give Cleveland issues. But the biggest problem I foresee for the Browns on Sunday is Terrell Suggs, who’ll rudely welcome Baker Mayfield to the NFL in the rookie’s first start in Cleveland.

HA: BAL

Baltimore has to be my best bet because I am hard-pressed to find a scenario in which the Ravens are not more than three points better than the Browns. I love Baker Mayfield, and yes the Brownies have been very competitive, but in case you haven’t been paying attention the Ravens are playing some of the best football in the AFC and were super impressive handling the Steelers at Pittsburgh. I expect the Ravens defense to make life difficult for the rookie QB Sunday.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Overall / ATS / Best Bets

BL: 9-5 / 11-2-1 / 1-0

EE: 12-2 / 4-8-2 / 0-0-1

AA: 10-4 / 7-6-1 / 1-0

HA: 9-5 / 8-5-1 / 0-1

SEASON RESULTS

BL: 36-20-2 / 31-24-3 / 2-2

EE: 36-20-2 / 23-20-5 / 2-1-1

AA: 35-21-2 / 28-26-4 / 3-1

HA: 32-14-2 / 26-28-4 / 2-2

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