GLS Picks: Week 5

GLS has the Lions moving to 5-0 on Monday night.

I’ve concluded that I’m overthinking. I’ve watched enough of all of these teams that I should be listening to my gut on more of these games, so I’m going to use a different strategy this week in an attempt to bust out of a terrible slump. I’m going to disregard a lot of the stats and just think about what I’ve seen from each team. I don’t bet on the games, but I’ll ask myself where I’d put my money if it were on the line. No more getting cute.

Oh and speaking of not being cute, click here for more picks in the Red Heat podcast, hosted by the world-famous Cam Stewart.

My record, which is serving as a digital dunce cap…

Last week: 9-7 (6-9-1 against the spread)
2011 season: 38-26 (28-33-3 against the spread)
2010 season: 155-101 (117-119-20 against the spread)
2009 season: 175-81 (122-101-33 against the spread)
2008 season: 161-94-1 (114-112-30 against the spread)
2007 season: 174-82 (118-105-33 against the spread)

HIGH CONFIDENCE

Everyone in the world’s survivor pick: New York Giants. The Seahawks have lost 17 of their last 18 road games against non-divisional opponents. The Giants are rolling right now, and the pass rush has been strong. Seattle is not rolling right now, and the offensive line isn’t very good at protecting the quarterback. Travelling across the country for what will feel like a 10 a.m. kickoff, the Seahawks will get crushed in Jersey. Giants 35, Seahawks 13

Um, 5-0? The Lions are excited to make a statement in their first Monday Night Football game in 10 years. They were swept by the Bears in last year’s season series, but they probably deserved to win the first game in Chicago and they didn’t have Matthew Stafford in a close loss later in the year. This year, they’re better, and there’s something off with the Bears. Expect Detroit’s front seven to hit Jay Cutler often in an easy Lions victory. Lions 34, Bears 20

Jacksonville runs into the league’s top-rated defense … the Bengals? Yes, Cincinnati is ranked No. 1 defensively. Sure, the Bengals haven’t had a challenge, but after Week 5 they still¬†won’t have had a challenge. The Jags have scored just 39 points in four games — Blaine Gabbert isn’t ready to be an NFL starter and there’s only so much Maurice Jones-Drew can do. Andy Dalton and the offense performed well on the road in Cleveland and Denver, so there’s no reason to fear a letdown away from home. Bengals 23, Jaguars 10

MEDIUM CONFIDENCE

The Saints get to face another rookie quarterback. But they might not be able to ruin Cam Newton’s day in the same way they abused Blaine Gabbert last week. The confident Newton should hang in against an average Saints defense that has struggled to force turnovers. That’s why this won’t be a blowout, but I don’t imagine Carolina will be able to slow the New Orleans offense. The Panthers don’t have the personnel to keep Drew Brees in check while having to deal with Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas down under. Saints 30, Panthers 26

The Eagles can’t possibly drop to 1-4, they just can’t. Their pass rush will take advantage of a Buffalo offensive line missing left tackle Demetrius Bell and Philly will get it rolling against an overrated Bills defense (never thought I’d write that). At home and with Fred Jackson able to run all over the place, Buffalo will keep it tight, but I still think Philadelphia gets its act together and prevails in a close game. Eagles 27, Bills 24

Super Bowl Curse? The Steelers have followed up their last two Super Bowl appearances with disappointing seasons. It’s beginning to look as though they’ll maintain that trend in 2011. Pittsburgh has struggled on both sides of the ball thus far, and things will only get worse with James Harrison, Aaron Smith and Rashard Mendenhall likely out of the lineup and Ben Roethlisberger far from 100 percent. Big Ben won’t have his trademark mobility against Tennessee’s top-ranked scoring defense, and the healthier Titans will prevail. Titans 23, Steelers 20

The Chargers are banged up, while the Broncos are getting healthier. That’s probably why the Broncos are only a four-point underdog at home against a division rival they know well. Denver hung with the Chargers at home in last year’s season finale, and I expect them to do so again with Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil finally healthy and Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates hurting and/or out for the Bolts. San Diego has once again been sloppy to start the season — they’ll survive a scare in Denver. Chargers 24, Broncos 21

LOW CONFIDENCE

Everyone seems to hate the Jets. But they’re better than what we’ve seen thus far, and if they’re going to break out, Rex Ryan’s team just might do it against New England. Tom Brady has lost three of his five starts against the Jets in the Ryan era and the Pats are dealing with more injuries than New York is. Aaron Hernandez is still ailing and Jerod Mayo and Danny Woodhead are now out as well, while the Jets might get Nick Mangold back Sunday. I still think the Pats prevail at home in a revenge game, but the 9-point spread is a gift to bettors. Patriots 27, Jets 24

Houston has survived without Andre Johnson in the past. In fact, they beat Oakland without Johnson’s services last year, and the Raiders are even more vulnerable without Nnamdi Asomugha this season. Houston’s still a better team than the Raiders, and they should hammer Oakland’s 29th-ranked run defense. The Raiders should keep it close, mainly because Houston is still down its best player and the Texans run defense isn’t exactly killing it either. Texans 28, Raiders 27

Tampa Bay travelling across the country on a short week: dangerous. The Buccaneers are a better team than San Francisco, but the Niners are playing with extreme confidence under Jim Harbaugh. San Fran’s front seven hasn’t missed a beat without Aubrayo Franklin — they should limit LeGarrette Blount and force Josh Freeman to win the game. I think Freeman has it in him, but my gut tells me the Bucs fall short on the west coast. 49ers 17, Buccaneers 14

Green Bay is giving up six points in Atlanta? Quite jarring, considering how good Atlanta’s been at home in the Matt Ryan era. I realize that the Packers crushed the Falcons in the Georgia Dome in January, but aren’t the odds stacked against that happening twice? The Falcons are desperate to save their reputation after a slow start and a near-loss in Seattle. Don’t forget that Atlanta beat Green Bay in the regular season last year. I don’t have the guts to take the Falcons against a red-hot Packers team, but I believe it’ll be a very close game. Packers 34, Falcons 33

CLUELESS

Please don’t watch Chiefs-Colts. Even if you bet largely on the game or are a Colts or Chiefs fan, just don’t do it. And I’d recommend not throwing your life savings down on this one, because matchups between two bad teams are pretty much unpredictable. I want to go with the more talented Colts at home, but I don’t know how Curtis Painter is going to hold up against Tamba Hali with Jeff Linkenbach and Michael Toudouze as his starting tackles. Chiefs 20, Colts 13

Impossible decision in Minnesota. On the one hand, I think Kevin Kolb and his weak offensive line will run into trouble against the red-hot Jared Allen in Minnesota, and I’m not convinced Beanie Wells will keep his hot streak going against a good Vikings run defense. But on the other hand, Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald will be facing a weak secondary that could be without Antoine Winfield, and a decent Arizona run defense may force Donovan McNabb to win the game for the Vikes. Kind of a mess. I’ll take the home team by a field goal. Vikings 17, Cardinals 14