Friday Picks: Week 5 (2015-16)

Make no mistake, these Bengals are good. Just how good will be revealed in their matchup with the Seahawks. Photo credit: ESPN.com

Make no mistake, these Bengals are good. Just how good will be revealed in their matchup with the Seahawks. Photo credit: ESPN.com

Through four weeks, six teams remain unbeaten. Five of those teams are in action this week and those are the games I’ll be keeping an eye on. Both the Falcons and Packers are poised to continue their hot streaks at home against teams with 2+ losses. The Pats originally had what appeared to be a fantastic matchup in Dallas, but are now heavy favorites over the injury-riddled Cowboys. Denver faces division-rival Oakland, a team that is 2-2 but has looked much better than last year. Can Denver’s suffocating defense carry them to their fifth straight win? Finally, in my Game of the Week, the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals will host the Seattle Seahawks. More about that and the other games in the segments below. Can all of these teams remain perfect? In Week 5, I’ll be watching the unbeaten five.

My picks are below (HOME team in CAPS):

Last week: 11-4       Overall: 43-20

Cold Hard Lock: 3-1       Upset pick: 3-1

Colts over TEXANS (TNF)

CHIEFS over Bears

Seahawks over BENGALS

FALCONS over Redskins

Jaguars over BUCS

EAGLES over Saints

RAVENS over Browns

PACKERS over Browns

Bills over TITANS

Cardinals over LIONS

Patriots over COWBOYS

Broncos over RAIDERS

GIANTS over Niners (SNF)

Steelers over CHARGERS (MNF)

Cold Hard Lock: Cardinals over LIONS; It may seem obvious to lock the 0-4 Lions losing to an elite NFC team, but Arizona is only a 3-point favorite in this one. To me, this has the potential to be an ugly blowout. I could go on and on with stats showing how the Cardinals look better in every phase of the game, but just watching these two teams play has shown me enough to know that Arizona can handle this one. Other than the Rams last week, the Cards have been trouncing every opponent. I’m taking Arizona to blow that 3-point betting line out of the water and pick up their fourth win over the Lions.

With Big Ben out, the pressure now lies on Le'Veon Bell's legs to deliver wins. Photo credit: ESPN.com

With Big Ben out, the pressure now lies on Le’Veon Bell’s legs to deliver wins. Photo credit: ESPN.com

Upset Pick: STEELERS over Chargers; Everyone loved this Steelers team just a couple weeks ago. Now, after Big Ben gets taken out and they lose one close game with Vick, everyone is ready to bail? Pittsburgh still has solid players than can win. Since his return, Le’Veon Bell has rushed for nearly 200 yards. Guess who’s bad at stopping the run? I’ll spare you the time and tell you it’s the San Diego Chargers. They’ve allowed 100+ rushing yards in three straight games and you better believe Bell is poised for another huge night. At home, with a fantastic running back and a QB that completed 73% of his passes in his 2015 debut, I’ll take Pittsburgh in the upset.

Game of the Week: Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals; Choosing this matchup as Game of the Week was a no-brainer. Cincinnati is 4-0 and everybody loves them. This is a team with no apparent weaknesses through four weeks. Andy Dalton, largely thought to be Cincy’s trouble spot, has been playing better than ever. His 123 passer rating is 2nd in the league behind Aaron Rodgers. They have two punishing running backs in Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill. And don’t forget about the defense that is allowing an average of under 20 points. This team appears to have it all. Now, they get their first real test as one of the best defenses in the NFL will be coming to town. Seattle hasn’t lived up to expectations, dropping their first two and barely surviving Detroit at home, but everyone knows just how good Seattle can be in a huge spot. Cincinnati has been picked on a lot for not showing up in big games (primetime, playoffs, etc.) and a matchup with the Super Bowl runner-ups has all the makings of a big one. Can Cincy handle the pressure? I can’t wait to see how they stack up against Seattle.

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