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Billsfans Bets: NFL Week 5 Picks

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© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports



Week 5 could be quite interesting for a multitude of reasons. The Giants currently have no quarterback. They are currently working out the likes of Jake Fromm to step right off the bus and onto the field. What could possibly go wrong? Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been officially ruled out of Miami's game against the Jets with a concussion, while Week 4s two highest scoring franchises, Detroit and Seattle, look to build upon their 45-point+ performances in Week 5. 


The Eagles venture into Week 5 as the league's only undefeated team following their win against Jacksonville and Miami's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Zach Wilson is back, the Kenny Pickett era has begun in Pittsburgh, the entire NFC West is 2-2, and Patrick Mahomes continues to defy all science with the things he does with a football. It's NFL Week 5, and these are my favorite picks. 




© Green Bay Press-Gazette Film / USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers (kind of, it's in London)

Betting lines:

Spread: Giants +8, Packers -8

Total: Over/Under 41

Moneyline: Giants +295, Packers -360


The Giants will travel to London with their starting quarterback Daniel Jones facing an ankle injury, and their back-up quarterback Tyrod Taylor also now out. The Giants had to finish their weekend match-up against the Bears without a quarterback after both Jones and Taylor were knocked out of the game with separate injuries. So now, if Jones is unable to go, a replacement will come in off the streets to replace the pair and face the Green Bay Packers in London. 


The Giants are eight-point underdogs, with good reason considering the above circumstances. Injuries have hit them hard in the last couple of weeks, losing Sterling Shepard to a torn ACL on a very routine play last week before the quarterbacks both hit the injury list on Sunday. So it could be the Saquon Barkley show in the capital of England, with the Giants star finally looking to be back at his best, two years removed from a torn ACL. 


Barkley has seen a high volume of work so far this season, including 31 rushing attempts against the Bears on Sunday. His 84 carries for 463 yards and two touchdowns have been the ignition the Giants' offense needed, propelling them to a 3-1 record in the NFC East. 


The Packers have bounced back from a shaky start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, winning three on the bounce. The return of a healthy Allen Lazard showed its value on Sunday, with Aaron Rodgers' most trusted target catching six passes for 116 yards against the New England Patriots. While Green Bay spent a first-round pick on wide receiver Christian Watson, it's been fourth-rounder Romeo Doubs who's stepped up as one of Rodgers' preferred options in a new-look receiver room this season.


Doubs has 184 yards and two touchdowns so far this season, with eight targets for 73 yards and a touchdown last weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being one of the key factors in the Packers winning the game. Christian Watson is seeing fewer targets but scored his first touchdown for the Packers against the Patriots on Sunday with his only rushing attempt of the game. 


It's hard not to pick the Packers to win this one considering the Giants' potential makeshift quarterback situation. Brian Daboll has got the offense working pretty well in New York, and while it might not always be pretty, they're winning games and not getting blown out or turning the ball over. That said, this feels like a little too high of a mountain to climb, and with Saquon Barkley being the only genuine threat with a very questionable passing situation, I'll take the Packers -8 and the under in the game. 




© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills

Betting lines:

Spread: Steelers +14, Bills -14

Total: Over/Under 47

Moneyline: Steelers +650, Bills -950


There's a lot to be said for carefully timing your rookie quarterback's first start, so he feels as comfortable as possible in an already daunting situation. While I believe Kenny Pickett to be a tough young quarterback who is obviously not going to back down from a challenge, throwing him in on the road against the Buffalo Bills, in one of the most hostile road game situations the NFL has to offer, doesn't exactly scream 'easing him in.' I get why they're doing it. The offense is struggling with Mitchell Trubisky, which, let's be honest, isn't surprising. He's a good dude, but his vision down the field is holding back a very strong group of wide receivers. 


So, Kenny Pickett comes in, throws an interception deep down the field with his very first NFL throw, and then proceeds to throw two more as the Steelers set him free to launch the football all over the field. He was 10/13 in the game for 120 passing yards, but the three incomplete passes were all interceptions. While that's not ideal, I like the approach to put him out there and let him let it rip. 


While we all understand that rookie quarterbacks are going to throw interceptions, and it doesn't define their career or longevity in the NFL (insert the standard Peyton Manning rookie record quote, etc., etc.), you can't afford to turn the ball over numerous times against the Buffalo Bills in their own back yard. 


This Bills' team is as tough as they come. They're going to give Kenny Pickett quite the welcome, and so are the fans. If you turn the ball over a couple of times and give Buffalo short-field situations, plus additional drives for Josh Allen, Stefan Diggs, and co, the game is going to get ugly. The Bills haven't really handed it to anybody yet (Rams and Titans aside). While I like the Steeler's defense, and they're capable of forcing a turnover or two of their own, I can see this being a statement game for Buffalo and Josh Allen. 


I'm backing the Bills here despite the hefty spread. In a game I could easily see hitting the 35-40 point range for the home team against a quarterback who's barely had time to take the training wheels off. Pickett is going to be a fun QB for the Steelers' faithful. I don't doubt that, but this game is a little too steep of a mountain to climb, too soon. Bills against the spread and the over in the game. 




© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys @ LA Rams

Betting lines: 

Spread: Cowboys +4.5, Rams -4.5

Total: Over/Under 43.5

Moneyline: Cowboys +180, Rams -210


This Rams team needs to convince me they're ready for a repeat season in 2022. Matt Stafford is currently looking way too questionable throwing the football and looks totally lost when Cooper Kupp isn't an obvious option. He's staring him down for too long, making things far too easy on opposition defenses, and ultimately giving away his reads.


Allen Robinson is not panning out to be what the Rams needed him to be, which was an injection of life for the offense when Cooper Kupp is double covered or otherwise taken out of the game. So far this season, Robinson has a total of 9 receptions and one touchdown, which came against the Atlanta Falcons. The Rams have scored more than 20 points just once in their opening four games, again in the game against Atlanta in Week 2. Since then, the offense has been sputtering, to say the least, and I think Sean McVay is struggling with the group he has at his disposal. The Rams don't have a current WR2 option. Ben Skowronek is as good as it gets behind Kupp and tightend Tyler Higbee. Allen Robinson got a good deal to go and play in LA, and so far, he either isn't fitting the offense or just isn't the guy he was a couple of years ago. 


The run game is woeful. Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers combined for 40 yards on 15 carries on Sunday night against San Francisco. Neither is a clear option, with the two chopping and changing as the highest performer week to week, and those numbers are far from inspirational. Stafford was under a lot of pressure on Sunday too, and that's not going to fare well against Dan Quinn's Dallas Cowboys defense.


While Stafford appears to be struggling, the Cowboys must be impressed with what they've seen from Cooper Rush. He's stepped in for the injured Dak Prescott, and the Cowboys have won three on the bounce. He's taking care of the football, making some high-level throws, and doing exactly what the team needs him to do to win football games. Cooper Rush is earning himself some money during Dak's absence, no doubt about it.


Dak Prescott is currently hoping to play with his thumb injury on the mend, but Jerry Jones spoke this week of how Dak is still not quite able to grip the football properly. 


I like this Cowboys defense to really cause a stir for Stafford and the Rams. Dallas has got some game changers within their defensive 11. I think the Cowboys could win this game with a couple of turnovers on predictable targets to Cooper Kupp or heavy pressure from the likes of Micah Parsons. I'm going to back Dallas on the Moneyline. I like what they've put on tape far more than I like where the Rams are right now. 




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