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With the Lions on a bye this week, I'm putting all of my focus on Game 2 of the ALDS between the Tigers and A's, but I'll still go ahead and make some Week 5 picks.
The Detroit Lions' bye week could not have come at a better time. No, not for the Lions -- they're 1-3 and really could've benefitted from getting back on the field right away rather than dwelling on last week's disappointing home loss to the Vikings. I'm talking about fans like me here. Fans of both the Lions and Tigers, oh my.
On Friday, MLB announced that the first pitch of Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A's will be at 12:07 p.m. ET on Sunday, roughly 53 minutes before the Lions would've kicked off (and an hour before any west coast A's fans wake up) -- the Mark Sanchez of start times.
Luckily, the Lions are on a bye this week (and I don't care about A's fans), so it's not so bad after all. A solid twist of fate that will leave me paying no care but in a fantasy world to the early NFL games as I focus on the Tigers hopefully going up 2-0 in the ALDS.
RAMS (+2) over Cardinals
I don't bet often, but when I do, it's for pocket change and I'll probably only show you my winning tickets.
Falcons (-3) over REDSKINS
There was a moment of unclarity when I could see the Redskins covering and winning, but the Falcons are just too talented and were able to prepare for RGIII in consecutive weeks by playing (and beating) Cam Newton in Week 4. Plus, while us Detroiters were blessed with a Lions bye so we could be in full-blown Tigers mode on Sunday, 'skins fans will have to compete their energy with the Nats' first playoff game in over three decades beginning sometime in the third quarter. Compromising interests, and I bet DC fans would happily take a Nats playoff win if it meant a Redskins regular season loss, like it makes a difference whatsoever who you're rooting for.
Browns (+7.5) over GIANTS
It seems the entire Giants secondary is on the injured list this week and it's almost tradition for them to start slow against inferior teams. The Browns may be 0-4, but Trent Richardson and a semi-competent passing attack could exploit the Giants this week.
BENGALS (-3.5) over Dolphins
Andy Dalton to A.J. Green, potential record breaker, all day long. Catches always look easy--and cool--being Green. I just can't wait for Green to DENNIS system the Bengals. Oh, and good run, Hartline, but the jig's up.
STEELERS (-3.5) over Eagles
At 1-2 after losing to the Raiders, the Steelers have their backs against the proverbial wall following their bye week. The Eagles just beat the defending Super Bowl champs and are a fortunate 3-1 despite being the only team in the NFL above .500 with a negative point differential. This is the annual Vick/Eagles slide, which hopefully carries over into next week against the Lions.
PANTHERS (-3.5) over Seahawks
PATRIOTS (-7.5) over Broncos
A couple elite quarterbacks going back and forth ... on Facebook. Totally real and not fake at all.
49ERS (-9.5) over Bills
28 unanswered points and a pair of 100-yard games to a non-running team last week followed by a depressing flight across the country to play arguably the best team in the NFC? Yeah, this can't end well for the Bills.
CHIEFS (+5) over Ravens
Arrowhead? It's going to be wild, even if the Chiefs are a mostly miserable bunch. In the NFL, these Chiefs find a way to cover.
Texans (-7.5) over JETS
I love making fun of Rex Ryan and the Jets:
Packers (+7.5) over COLTS
Mike McCarthy was asked this week to compare Aaron Rodgers with Andrew Luck. He said both were born to play quarterback. I'd agree, but the difference is that Rodgers was born with a mustache, screaming "Green 19." He's also in commercials:
Titans (+19.5) over Vikings
The Vikings lost to the Lions last week, but a pair of special team touchdowns ruined that gooey dream. I refuse to believe the Vikings will be 4-1, even if they're playing at home against a team that has an NFL-worst minus-70 point differential. Bring on the Gator truck!
JAGUARS (+20) over Bears
SAINTS (+10.5) over Chargers
Drew Brees will break the consecutive games with a TD pass record set by Johnny Unitas in 1960. The Chargers gave up on him and that will be brought up at least 4800 times during the game.
Last week : 11-4