New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears
There's no question what the Saints have been able to do this season has been special. They're still unbeaten on the year, with home wins over Atlanta, Arizona, and Miami, and a road victory over Tampa Bay.
The Saints rank #4 in total offense and #6 in total defense, but even so, we think they're going to have a lot of trouble with the balance of the Bears today.
Chicago has looked good under first-year head coach Marc Trestman, and he has familiarity with Sean Payton after working with the Saints coach as a consultant. Plus, offensive line coach Aaron Kromer used to work with Payton as well.
The Bears' offense has been excellent thus far, scoring at least 24 points in all four of their games. They weren't able to keep up with the Lions last week (40-32), but it's hard to complain about a 3-1 start, especially in the NFC North.
Matt Forte has been reborn in this offense. He has 480 all-purpose yards through four games along with three touchdowns and is averaging a solid 4.6 yards per carry thus far. Forte should be featured heavily again versus a Saints team that ranks #19 against the run (112.2 YPG allowed).
Credit Drew Brees and the Saints for their terrific start, but we think the undefeated run comes to an end in Week 5. Soldier Field is never an easy place to play, and it's a far cry from the comfortable nature of the Superdome.
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We will therefore be picking the Bears to win and move to 4-1 on the season, while covering the NFL betting lines in the process.
NFL Pick: Chicago Bears +1.5
Not many would have predicted the Giants and Eagles would be a combined 1-7 heading into this Week 5 battle at Metlife Stadium.
As of now, the NFL odds have New York barely favored, with the line either at 1.5 or 2. The total has moved down from an opening number of 55.5 to 53.5 or so at the sportsbooks.
No matter how you spin it, it's been a disastrous season for the Giants so far. Sure they've had to play three difficult road games, as well as Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Week 2, but you still would have imagined New York would have a win to their name by now. Last weekend the Giants were smashed 31-7 by the Chiefs at Arrowhead.
This is the week we believe Tom Couglin's team finally gets that much-needed win.
The Eagles may be doing great offensively, but they're dead last in the NFL in total defense, having allowed 121.8 rushing YPG and 325.0 passing YPG through the first month of the season.
And, despite the Giants' struggles, they do have plenty of talent at the offensive skill positions, and that sets up nicely for them here at home. Eli Manning should have a bounce-back game and it'll be tough for Philadelphia to slow down both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
So, for our second NFL pick of this Week 5 slate, we believe the best value lies with New York to finally get on track. Fortunately for them, the NFC East is still wide open, so the season is far from lost despite their horrendous start. Back the Giants.
NFL Pick: New York Giants -1.5[gameodds]16/226937/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]