Local

The Francis Forecast: NFL picks against the spread for week five

The Seahawks may have a bye, but we at the Forecast rarely take a gambling Sunday off. At this point why would we?

Four weeks in and we’re still in Plus Territory. Last week started well but ended with a slide at the one-yard line from Pat Mahomes, a defensive gem from the Seahawks and a Charger team that scored 24 points in the first half only to put up a big fat ZERO in the second half, costing us an easy team total.

All that said, 4-4 pushes the overall record to 15-11-1. Time for eight more picks:

Bills -5.5 over Jaguars: Buffalo is the 2nd highest-scoring offense in the league, averaging 34.8 ppg and I think they are just starting to hit their stride. Yes, they’re traveling overseas where the London Jaguars will play their 2nd straight game. But if jet lag doesn’t slow down the Bills, I can’t see Jacksonville’s defense doing it. Stopping the Falcons is one thing, this is a whole different Buffalo. Bills win by at least a touchdown.

Falcons -2 over Texans: Speaking of London, the Falcons took it on the chin at Wembley and looked terrible doing it. Therefore, they are only favored by 2 this week against a game Houston squad. The Falcons are 2-0 in the Benzo and the expectations are still not very high. It’s nice that the Texans seem to have a bright future with Stroud at QB but it’s not here yet. Dirty Birds bounce back and win by a FG.

Eagles/Rams under 50.5: Yes, the Eagles can score points, as I’ve chronicled here most weeks. In fact, a couple of their games have gone over 60. But this is more about the Rams facing a tough defense than anything else. Stafford and Puka have played well to get to 2-2 and the overtime win at Indy was an emotional boost. In fact, the Eagles run a scheme similar to Indy but it’s not about the X’s and O’s it’s about the Willies and Joes. This will be more like the Eagles/Bucs game which finished 25-11 than those 60-point track meets. Aaron Donald might make a play or two as well.

Lions TT over 27.5: The Lions offense is ranked 8th in the NFL at 26.5 ppg. To get to 28 and make this team total a winner at home they’ll just need a little more than their average. They should get it against a Carolina defense without their leader in Shaq Thompson or their top corner Jaycee Horn and several other starters on the back end questionable. Heck, the Seahawks lit them up for 37. Detroit can get four touchdowns on the winless Panthers.

Dolphins TT over 30.5: And while we’re on the team total kick, the Dolphins are due for a bounce back, and the team standing in the way this week is in complete disarray. The top-scoring offense in the league doesn’t need to get 70. Just less than half that against a Giants team that can’t stop explosive plays. New York’s defense is ranked 19th in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed at 30.5. How about that right on the number the Dolphins need. I see this going more like the Dallas and SF games for the GMen, fun for the dolphins.

Bengals -3 over Cardinals: Joe Burrow said after the loss to Tennessee that it was the best his injured calf has felt all year. I will take that as a sign that the Bengals who have just three offensive touchdowns this season are ready to get things in gear. That is not good timing for a Cardinal team that is coming off a beatdown at the hands of the Niners. No shame there but they are in the bottom third in all defensive rankings. The Bengals get their first road win, just in time to welcome the Seahawks.

LOCKS OF THE WEEK:

Niners/Cowboys over 45: I get it, this number is low because it will be a playoff-type game featuring two of the best defenses in the NFL. I’m betting one of those defenses actually scores on Sunday night. If not, a turnover is bound to give someone a short field. Offensively there are also playmakers all over the field, especially on the home team’s side. CMC, Kittle, Deebo, Aiyuk. I’m guessing they get 26-27, which means Dallas needs just 18 to get to the number. Lock it up, lots of highlights on Sunday night!

Packers TT over 22.5: And finally Monday Night football has the Packers in Vegas where they will score on the Raiders defense just like the Chargers did in one half of football. In fact, Josh McDaniel’s team is riding a three-game losing streak and all three teams have gone over this number of 22.5. In Love I Trust! He’ll have a good game under the bright lights.

Okay, here’s hoping my winning ways continue, enjoy week five!