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Free Week 5 NFL Predictions


It’s been a great start to the NFL season for our two Sportsbook.com writers. We keep handing them games to pick and they’ve been providing winners on a consistent basis.

Last week was another positive week, with Cras going 3-1 (10-6 this season) and Mike going 2-2 (9-7 this season).

Here’s how they break down four Week 5 games:

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

Mike: The spread for this game opened up at three points and has remained there despite the fact that 96% of Sportsbook.com members favor the Colts. Houston will be playing in its first home game due to Hurricane Ike and the fans will be extra pumped, but this spread still seems low.

The Colts have had trouble scoring points with Peyton Manning missing all of the preseason and the offense not being in sync. The defense also is missing safety Bob Sanders, and they are a couple notches worse without him. However, I can’t pass up Indy at this number.

Prediction: Indianapolis -3

Cras: The Colts bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. With Manning missing all the preseason and lacking mobility after surgery on his knee, the struggling Colts’ offense got an extra week to work out the kinks and find its game.

That’s bad news for a winless Texans team that is playing its first home game of the season. Houston actually beat Indianapolis at Reliant Stadium in 2006 but I’m not buying them to do it this year, even if the Colts’ defense is missing Sanders. The Colts starting 1-3? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Pick: Indianapolis -3

Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens

Mike: Tennessee is a perfect 4-0 straight up and ATS and veteran quarterback Kerry Collins may have Vince Young looking for a new line of work if he keeps up his steady play. This is a big statement game for Tennessee who has had an easy schedule so far.

Baltimore could be undefeated themselves if they didn’t blow the game at Pittsburgh on Monday night. Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco continues to surprise me with his poise and the defense will be murderous playing at home. Both Titans streaks end this week.

Prediction: Baltimore +3

Cras: The Titans are going to fall, it’s just a matter of when. I like Tennessee’s defense and their running game has been great but quarterback Kerry Collins is bound to make a few mistakes in a game one of these weekends.

I’m betting it’s this weekend as the Titans, who have benefited from some great defensive plays late in their games, are burned by the defense of the Ravens in this one. Baltimore is on a short week after a grueling game with Pittsburgh but I still like the re-energized Ravens ‘D’ to make plays to take the money in this game.

Pick: Baltimore +3

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

Mike: The big question for this game is whether Philly running back Brian Westbrook will miss another game due to his ankle injury. If he does or is limited, Washington has a chance at a second consecutive road upset after winning at Dallas last week.

The Redskins actually have their own injury problems with cornerback Shawn Springs and DE Jason Taylor both likely out. The Springs loss may not be that bad given how well Carlos Rogers has played and I think the play is the points considering Westbrook’s importance to the offense.

Prediction: Washington +6

Cras: Eagles’ running back Brian Westbrook has been limited in practice this week and all signs point to him missing his second game in-a-row. That’s not good for a Philadelphia offense that relies on him in both the running and passing game. Philly managed to perform decently in Chicago without him but missed his big-play ability in the close loss.

As a six-point underdog in this game, you have to like Washington and the points, don’t you? They are playing well on defense and quarterback Jason Campbell is coming around as a great passer, getting the ball to receiver Santana Moss. Clinton Portis is a great running back and all signs point to another close NFC East game.

Pick: Washington +6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos

Mike: Both teams are 3-1 and this is a great matchup for some early conference bragging rights. Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden has done a great job getting his offense to score even when the passing or running game is struggling.

Denver lost at Kansas City last week in an embarrassment to the franchise. That will give them motivation heading into this game but it won’t matter unless their defense starts playing with a pulse. Denver has won their two home games by three total points, but this one will be over a field goal.

Prediction: Denver -3

Cras: Denver got a reality check last week in Kansas City. Sure, the Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall passing combination is a deadly one, but they can be stopped and they can be beaten because their defense will give up as many points as the offense scores.

Tampa Bay may be the best defense the Broncos have played so far and they will be able to run the ball all day against the Broncos. I picked the Bucs last weekend against the Packers and I’m taking them again this week. The defense is too good to let the Broncos score at will and the offense is good enough to hold its own.

Pick: Tampa Bay +3



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