No question the numbers from the sportsbooks are tightening up, which means as football handicappers we have to spends extra time to find the right choices for Week 5 NFL picks.
Last week suffered out first losing week for the season, leaving me 8-4 against the NFL odds on the season. I will seek to get back on the winning track this week.
The present listed betting odds are courtesy of Heritage.
False Favorite - Kansas City has Too Big Number
Most wagering outlets have Kansas City at -10 or -9.5, which certainly seems bloated for a team on a 0-3 SU and ATS spin-out. Granted, the competition was elite in Denver, Green Bay and Cincinnati, who are a combined 12-0.
Kansas City's main defensive weakness which is regularly being exploited is a wounded secondary, ranked 28th in passing yards allowed and given time like last week, Jay Cutler for all his flaws, can still throw the ball, just not always to the right team.
The Chiefs offensive line has more holes than Dunkin Donuts, with Alex Smith the most sacked quarterback in the NFL at 19 and you can almost double that figure if you include hurries. Chicago is far from perfect, but if Forte can have a good game and Cutler doesn't kill the Bears with turnovers, anything over seven points on K.C. makes them a false favorite.
False Favorite - Philadelphia Simply Not Good Enough
I have backed the Eagles all season, believing in Chip Kelly and that his team was talented enough to turn season around. Well, there is an empty seat on the Philadelphia bandwagon for NFL picks, as I'm through with them until further notice.
The Eagles offensive line reminds me of Scott Wieland, formerly of the Stone Temple Pilots (Google latest video), with both him and Philly O-line unwatchable these days. The Philadelphia offense ranks 29th with no help in sight.
The Philadelphia defense is also below average and is listed 21st in total defense and while numbers do not always tell the story, twice Philly came from behind to take leads in the fourth quarter and on both occasions they gave up scores to lose games.
Though New Orleans is nothing special, I prefer the points against this false favorite.
Top Dog - Pittsburgh Has Shot at Road Upset
With a kicker and a little better game management, Pittsburgh could be heading to San Diego 3-1 instead of .500. But the record is the record and by this week with extra time to prepare, the Steelers coaches should have a better understanding of what Mike Vick does well and build game plan around his strengths.
San Diego is also .500 and has yet to play a complete game, or just maybe they are not very good. They needed huge comeback to defeat winless Detroit, survived Cleveland at home and were pushed around by both Cincinnati and Minnesota in defeat.
Once again the Chargers offense is basically one dimensional, with Philip Rivers throwing because of a meager running game. This is something Pittsburgh can exploit and they are 21-7 ATS versus passing teams averaging 7.5 or more yards per attempt. With a solid 70-48 ATS record as an underdog and 4-1 ATS when in SoCal, the Steelers steal one from the Chargers as outright winners.