I look forward to this week every year. It’s when our Wife Hates SportsChump contest gets a helping hand from the “Queen of College Football”, Lisa Horne. While that’s not an officially coined nickname, Lisa’s College Football knowledge is second to none. The SportsChump and I met Lisa many years back in the FOX Sports Blogging community, and have kept in touch fairly regularly ever since. I’m very lucky to have her as a friend. Now let’s move to this week’s College Football picks and Week 5 NFL Bets, shall we?
But before we do, a few more things. By now, you know The Wife Hates Sports and the SportsChump. Go check out Lisa’s site, Pigskin Grind, where she regularly shares thoughts on the world of College Football.
Speaking of our beloved sport on Saturdays, Lisa has been through a lot this year. I’m certain that football is an outlet and a welcomed distraction. I’m giving her the floor for College Football and going with a full NFL slate of picks this week.
Here are our TOP FIVE Best Bets for the week (all against the spread), including our Week 5 NFL Bets and Week 6 College Football Best Bets. This includes picks from Lisa Horne and SportsChump.
Our lists are ranked in order of confidence, from 50 “points” down to 10. Please note that the lines for my picks are all taken from DraftKings Sportsbook (I use them a ton – maybe some day they’ll notice).
DraftKings Sportsbook: Week 5 NFL Lines | Week 6 College Football Lines
The Wife Hates SportsChump: Week 5 NFL Bets and College Picks w/ Lisa Horne
KP’s Picks: The Wife Hates Sports
50: San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) at Carolina Panthers
49ers: Playing on short rest, the Niners travel cross country to Charlotte. Maybe that’s why the line is what it is. When you check the stats, the Niners have a big advantage.
Panthers: A change of scenery sure didn’t help Baker Mayfield. One thing’s certain… he still brings the same attitude and snark to his press conferences.
The Game: The Panthers are dead last in total offense (262.3 ypg) and now face a San Francisco defense that ranks 2nd in total defense, 2nd against the run, and 2nd against the pass. Mayfield has failed to spark the offense and the Carolina defense (25th against the run) now faces a top ten rushing offense. Home field advantage is the only bonus for Carolina… that is, until the boo birds come out again. 49ers cover on the road.
40: Tennessee Titans (-2.5) at Washington Commanders
Titans: Tennessee has had its share of injuries, but they still have Derrick Henry.
Commanders: Washington has a -6 turnover differential (only the Saints are worse) and has allowed the most sacks in the NFL, with 17.
The Game: The Commanders continue to flounder, especially on defense. Statistically, Washington ranks respectably against the run, but have yet to face a back like Derrick Henry. The Titans have struggled in the pass game, but a heavy dose of Henry should be all Tennessee needs to trump the hapless Commanders. Titans cover on the road.
30: Miami Dolphins (-3) at New York Jets
Dolphins: The Dolphins will be without Tua, but Teddy Bridgewater proved to be quite capable last week in his absence. The talent in the pass game is there.
Jets: In his season debut, Zach Wilson had an up-and-down performance (18-36, 252 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INT). In the end, it was a big win for the Jets over the Steelers.
The Game: This series is a bit lopsided of late, with the Dolphins winning eight of the last nine. Surprisingly, this game features two of the league’s top five passing offenses. It comes down to the turnover battle, Tyreek Hill, and Teddy Bridgewater. Zach Wilson will need to build on last week’s performance. In the end, I trust the talent Miami has, coupled with the recent series results. Dolphins cover on the road.
20: Dallas Cowboys (+5.5) at Los Angeles Rams
Cowboys: Cooper Rush has performed well with Dak Prescott out. The Dallas run game has struggled, but Michael Gallup provided an additional boost to the passing game last week.
Rams: The Rams have yet to run the ball well. With Allen Robinson struggling to post big numbers, the Rams have yet to feature a clear #2 WR. Could Odell come back to LA and boost a struggling team?
The Game: The Cowboys defense averages nearly four sacks a game and now faces a Rams offensive line that has allowed 16 sacks this season. Add in an effective enough Dallas offense and this feels like a close game that will be decided in the fourth quarter. Give me the Cowboys and the points.
10: Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns
Chargers: Finally, the Chargers got Ekeler more involved in the offense, leading to a monster game. Keenan Allen remains questionable, but he could return, which would add another boost.
Browns: All I can think about is that stupid elf at midfield in Cleveland. That and a Browns offense that ranks in the bottom ten in passing offense.
The Game: This could be one of the more entertaining games of the weekend. Cleveland will need to have more balance on offense. Expect the Chargers to focus on shutting down the run game. In the end, I trust Herbert and Ekeler to find a way to lead a key drive late. That and a Cleveland pass game that will fail to keep up. Chargers cover on the road.
Lisa Horne’s Picks (Pigskin Grind)
50 – Oregon -12.5 @Arizona
Arizona is terrible. The Ducks should cover by first quarter.
40 – Washington State +12.5 @ USC
USC’s offense is incredible. Its defense looks like Swiss cheese. Trojans win in a nail biter.
30 – James Madison -10.5 @Arkansas State
My grandson is named James. Also, JMU is a solid team.
20 – Tennessee -2.5 @LSU
Tennessee is underrated. LSU is inconsistent and the Tigers’ “luck” finally runs out.
10 – Boston College +20.5 v Clemson
Clemson doesn’t impress me. Neither does BC but Clemson won’t win by 21. Upset alert?
$50 Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams (- 4 ½)
Dak Prescott is playing with balls again. In Week One, the Cowboys starting quarterback took successive hits to the thumb on his throwing hand and was knocked out of the game. He had successful surgery, but most wrote off the Cowboys’ season in his absence. That doom and gloom was premature for backup Cooper Rush won the next three games. Their opponent this week, by contrast, is struggling to live up to expectations. The defending Super Bowl champions are coming off a short week where another unappreciated quarterback, the Niners’ Jimmy Garoppolo, beat them for the seventh consecutive time. Something is amiss in Tinseltown.
The Lambs return to SoFi this Sunday just in time to host a hot Cowboys team. L.A. can ill afford another loss, especially in an NFC West where all four teams are tied in the standings at 2-2. I’m not sure which aspect of the Rams game has been more disappointing. They can’t score on one side of the ball and can’t stop a nosebleed on the other. The Super Bowl hangover is alive and well in Southern California. I like them to reverse that trend this week. The Cowboys are 3-1 but they haven’t really beaten anybody. Their last two wins came against the Giants and Commanders and although they beat the Bengals in Week Two, that was before Cincy started clicking.
Meanwhile, the Rams have played four potential playoff teams (that’s right, I just called the Falcons a playoff team.) The way I see it the Rams aren’t this bad, and the Cowboys aren’t this good. I figured this line would be closer to double digits. Instead, I’m only laying four-and-a-half. Had I told you a month ago that the Rams would be hosting Cooper Rush and laying less than a touchdown, you’d have bet your house on it. I’m not betting my house, but I am betting my $50 that the Rams cover the four-and-a-half.
$40 Tennessee Titans (-1) at Washington Commanders
A handful of teams can stake a claim as the worst team in football. Some think it’s the Panthers. Some think it’s the Colts. Trust me, a solid argument can be made for both, along with a few other teams that are really stinking up the joint (See: Denver). In my humble opinion, the Washington Commanders are the “trainwreckiest” of them all. They have the worst point differential in football and have so far lost games to the Jaguars, Lions and Dak-less Cowboys. What should we expect from a team that appointed Carson Wentz its savior. We knew this team would be bad, but we didn’t know they’d be this bad.
They might just cost Ron Rivera his job although not even the second coming of Joe Gibbs could make contenders out of this team. Meanwhile, the Titans keep plodding along, handing the ball off to Derrick Henry and doing what they do. Expect more of Henry grounding and pounding the Commanders into submission while Dan Snyder sits in his owner’s box, blissfully unaware of his surroundings while thumbing through the pages of his favorite copy of Football for Dummies. He’s not the only one reading Football for Dummies as bettors have moved this line down from three to one, so I will happily take the Titans to cover the point on the road.
$30 on Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals (+ 5 ½)
I’ll be the first to admit what the Eagles are doing is rather impressive. They’re the only undefeated team left in the league and are second to only the Buffalo Bills in point differential. I’ll also be the first to admit I bet way too much money on the Arizona Cardinals. That’s because Las Vegas continues to make them underdogs. Vegas is not the only one to have little faith in Arizona. My bookie cringes every time I bet them money line, that is, until I cash a ticket. This weekend, the Cardinals host the Eagles and are getting five-and-a-half. This game features two of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks not named Mahomes and Allen.
Jalen Hurts has found his comfort zone and Murray is a quarterback you can never count out. Sure, it takes Arizona a while to get the ball rolling. They have yet to score a point in the first quarter this season… but their fourth quarters are dynamic. The Cardinals have scored more points in the fourth quarter than they have in all other quarters combined. All they need is a little balance and they can still contend for a playoff spot. Their only losses have come to two of the last three Super Bowl winners. I like them to keep this one close at home, especially when the Eagles fall for the banana in the tailpipe and assume they’ve wrapped things up by the fourth quarter. They won’t. Murray saves the day once again as the Cards cover the five-and-a-half.
$20 on Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8 ½)
I attended the Chiefs-Bucs game last Sunday only to see the hometown team chase a quarterback around the yard that they could not catch. The Buccaneers were never in that game. They remain home this week and have probably caught an earful from the coaching staff about last week’s performance. This week, they welcome their division rival: the Atlanta Falcons. I like the Falcons this year. They are feisty for sure but they’re most dynamic weapon, Cordarelle Patterson, has been placed on injured reserve.
Averaging nearly six yards a carry, Patterson is the foundation of Atlanta’s offense meaning Marcus Mariota will be forced to pass the ball to his young receiving core comprised of Drake London and Kyle Pitts. This is a Buccaneers defense that looked horrible against Mahomes and the Chiefs, but Mariota and company are a far cry from that. I like the Bucs D to rebound and remind us that they are not as bad as we saw Sunday night. Bucs are laying eight-and-a-half at home. They cover in a bounce back game against a Falcons team that will have trouble moving the football consistently.
$10 on Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-14)
Man, I hate laying two touchdowns in the NFL. Teams from top to bottom are so evenly matched that in a year, and a league, where parity reigns, it’s rare that we see blowouts. That’s not going to be the case this week when the Pittsburgh Steelers waltz into Buffalo, where they’ll likely limp out. Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin has decided to bench Mitch Trubisky and start his rookie Kenny (Don’t call me Wilson) Pickett. Heading into Buffalo to face one of the best (if not the best) teams in football might not be the ideal time to go young but who am I to question one of the greatest coaching minds of this era. Maybe he wants to throw the kid into the fire.
There’s no better way to do that then by giving him his first ever NFL start against the Super Bowl favorites. Mike Tomlin’s first ever sub-.500 season is breathing down his neck, but this shit factory of a Steelers team isn’t entirely his fault, unless he wasn’t openly protesting the signing of Mitch Trubisky when talk of it first emerged. It really won’t matter who the Steelers start at quarterback this Sunday.
Without TJ Watt, they’ll be unable to stop the Bills offense. Last week, the Chiefs punted only once against the Bucs. I see a similar offensive performance from the Bills against Pittsburgh. On the opposite side of the ball, I’m not sure Pittsburgh can control enough clock to keep this within reach. The Bills might not have much game film on Pickett, but they won’t need it. This has all the makings of a blowout, so I’ll veer from the norm and lay two the touchdowns as the Bills roll and the Steelers contemplate going back to Trubisky.
Chime in with top picks and Week 5 NFL Bets. Also, if you have interest in being a guest picker, please let us know via the comments below. Thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
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I’m still within striking distance. Watch out.
Good luck, boys and girls.