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For The Win: Week 5

NFL Picks Against the Las Vegas Lines

Here I am again this year, back for more NFL picks. Just like last season, I will still be picking all of the NFL games each week, but I will try and help some of you with some confidence and rankings of the selections - which also may assist those of you with Las Vegas trips. I tend to rate games that I like (and some extras like Over/Unders) with 1-3 "Stars", which basically highlight my best bets for the week. Those games which have zero stars I don't truly like one way or the other, but will select to help those trying to get some advice for their weekly office pools or other contests that they may be participating in either this week or this season.

I have been doing this for a while, and I am sure I have had a bad stretch like this before, but this feels way out of the norm – so I looked at how this season has started, and if you think that it has been an unusual start to this season with all of the upsets, well, you are right.  Through 63 games on the season (just less than 25%) not only have 13 teams covered the point spread, but 20 underdogs have won outright.  That’s right – only 30 favorites – less than half – have won and covered the number.  While picking underdogs can be rewarding, relying on outright upsets on the money line for over 30% of the contests is far outside the normal way that things tend to go in the NFL.  So while I did go 8-8, I continue to have a bad start of the year, but at least I can take a little solace that this has not been a typical start to the season.  So the plan is to stay the course and work my normal process, and hopefully, it all evens out by January.   On to Week 5, where we have our first scheduled bye weeks for four teams.

One last thing before I begin – this is not a pretty week.  I dare say it is ugly, with lots of bad teams facing one another, four teams on a bye, and few really good matchups.  No team is favored by more than a touchdown aside from the Steelers, so in a nutshell, I am basically saying that if you have had a rough start to the season, this may not be the week to try and make up for it.

Note that the lines and Over/Unders are taken from VegasInsider.com.

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