PFW’s Week 5 picks — straight up, against the spread and best bets.
Hub Arkush: PIT
Arthur Arkush: BAL
CHICAGO (-6) at OAKLAND (LONDON)
ARIZONA at CINCINNATI (-3)
JACKSONVILLE at CAROLINA (-3 1/2)
MINNESOTA (-5 1/2) at N.Y. GIANTS
NEW ENGLAND (-13) at WASHINGTON
N.Y. JETS at PHILADELPHIA (-13)
TAMPA BAY at NEW ORLEANS (-3)
ATLANTA at HOUSTON (-4 1/2)
BUFFALO at TENNESSEE (-3)
DENVER at L.A. CHARGERS (-6 1/2)
GREEN BAY at DALLAS (-3 1/2)
INDIANAPOLIS at KANSAS CITY (-11)
CLEVELAND at SAN FRANCISCO (-4)
* — indicates team will cover spread but lose game
From the last man in the world on the Cleveland Browns bandwagon, I’m still more than comfortable making them my lock this week to beat the 49ers outright. I’m not at all convinced Cleveland is ready to play with playoff-caliber teams, but there is nothing about the 49ers — other than their 3-0 record — to suggest they are that. To me these are two .500-level teams, but the Browns have far superior talent and I think will struggle to win more than they lose due to character and coaching. The 49ers have a few nice pieces but a lot of work left to do, and I expect Cleveland to expose that this week.
WIth Sam Darnold, I probably pick the Jets to cover this big number. With Luke Falk, there’s zero compelling evidence to suggest they can hang with an Eagles club flying high after its massive win 10 days ago in Green Bay. And while the Eagles didn’t necessarily use their “mini-bye” to get healthier — DeSean Jackson and Tim Jernigan seem poised to miss another game — the Jets returned following an off week with C.J. Mosley still ailing and Kelechi Osemele dealing with a new shoulder injury that could jeopardize his status. That’s a problem against Philly’s recently revved run game and the great Fletcher Cox. Fly Eagles, fly.
LAST WEEK’s RESULTS (SU/ATS/BEST BET)
HA: 7-7 / 5-9 / 0-1
AA: 7-7 / 6-8 / 1-1
HA: 36-22-1 / 23-36 / 1-3
AA: 37-20-1 / 26-33 / 3-1