Season to Date: 12-8 ATS
Top Confidence Picks: 3-1 ATS
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NFL Picks Week 5: Friday Five Top Confidence Picks
#5. CLEVELAND BROWNS (+2.5) over TENNESSEE TITANS: To Marco and me, these guys don't look like your dad's Charlie Browns anymore. In fact, as they've been building towards success (for the past three decades), they've quietly gone 3-1-1 coming out of their bye weeks the past few years. The Titans, on the other hand, have lost their last three games as home favorites and are still uncertain about the status of starting quarterback Jake Locker. Even with Locker, Tennessee has struggled to put points on the board (1.3/drive), so we'll take our chances and the points and Cleveland's QB Brian Hoyer's 5-1 ATS record as a starter.
#4. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-6.5) over New York Jets: Philip Rivers has been nothing short of sensational this year, racking up 39 points last week for my fantasy team while carrying his reality team to a 3-1 SU/4-0 ATS start. Although the underdog has dominated the last six meetings going 5-1 ATS, recent history has the Jets going 2-4-2 ATS in their last eight road games, and 6-13-1 in last 20 games as underdogs of eight or fewer points. More importantly, recent history also has Geno Smith as their struggling quarterback. He has become the Geico of the NFL - he'll save you 15 points in 15 minutes or your money back. We'll give him six and a half and take the Chargers. And just for fun, I'm bringing back an old picture of my daughter interviewing him after a tough game.
#3. NEW YORK GIANTS (-4.5) over Atlanta Falcons: Who doesn't love Halloween? Free candy, cool costumes, the marked beginning of the holiday season? Eli Manning doesn't, that's who. In fact, if he could dress up as anyone - besides his brother Peyton - it would be Bill Murray in Ground Hog's Day so he could replay the month of October (a career 29-7) over and over and over. We never feel great picking the Giants, but at -4.5 this line looks way too Atlanta friendly for a team that has a terrible defense, a decimated O-line, and a 3-7 ATS record in their last 10 games. This one could get ugly.
#2. Cincinnati Bengals (-1) over NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Teams that win the running battle this season have covered games to the tune of 40-20-1 ATS. That's as money as Tom Brady used to be when he had protection, reliable receivers, the novelty of youth, and an AFC that rivaled basketball's Eastern Conference. Until this year, Marco and I never really thought the Bengals were legit, and every post-season they validated that belief. Not anymore. This Cincinnati team is not only going to run away with their division, they'll be accepting a first-round bye in the playoffs. Look for a stunning home loss as the Patriots fall below .500 in the AFC Least.
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May the Spreads Be With You all,
Vinny and Marco