Let’s review how accurate Vinnie has been against the spread, five weeks in:
On to Week 6!
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4.5): Tampa Bay’s defensive struggles have had at least as much to do with the team’s disappointing start as those of quarterback Josh Freeman. Things appeared to be getting a little better, especially in regard to the defensive line, but you just about have to throw stats out the window when this year’s Colts are the opponent. We’re talking about a run defense that yielded over 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns in San Francisco, a week ago. Look for the Saints’ offense to achieve some balance, Sunday, on the way to putting 30+ on the scoreboard. Freeman has played some really good football versus New Orleans recently, by the way, but so has Drew Brees (versus Tampa Bay). It doesn’t help matters that LeGarrette Blount will likely be inactive.
Gimme the Saints minus the points.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins (Even): Sounds like Philly is a popular road team to pick this week, based on how the talking heads are assessing this NFC East match up and based on the line. Guess we’re to believe Washington’s win/loss record through four games is a fluke? Guess we’re to believe Michael Vick and the Eagles will reverse their slump, on the road and against a team coming out of its bye week, a team that plays ’em at least twice a year? Yeah, well Vinnie doesn’t think so. LeSean McCoy runs into the brick wall that is Washington’s run defense this week, while Vick fails to get much going in the passing game. Count on whomever runs the ball for Washington to put up some numbers while looking good in the process. The nay sayers aren’t going away, Andy Reid.
Gimme the Redskins.
Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders (-5.5): Going strictly by the numbers, Colt McCoy and his supporting cast are in for a big game. Oakland’s is not a quality pass defense by any stretch. The Raiders’ run defense has been stout in some games but very, very generous in others. Jason Campbell is connecting with at least one of his wide receivers for a score on a weekly basis, but has his work cut out for him against a respectable Browns secondary. Call it a gut feeling, if you will, but Vinnie isn’t focused so much on any of that as he is that this represents Oakland’s first home game since the passing of Al Davis. Cleveland is going to lose by plenty in the Black Hole, Sunday.
Gimme the Raiders minus the points.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears (-2.5): This game features one of the oldest rivalries in the history of the NFL, as well as two of the better running backs playing today. Adrian Peterson will cash in big-time versus a Bears’ run defense that gives up 135.6 yards per game. Matt Forte, on the other hand, may be limited somewhat – on account of a Vikings’ run defense that gives up only 76.4 yards per game, but also on account of concerns with Chicago’s pass blocking coupled with the pressure Vikings defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison generate on virtually every passing down. This one does not bode well for Chicago, even coming back to Soldier Field after getting slapped around by the Lions in front of a national television audience.
Gimme the Vikings plus the points.
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens (-8): The outlook here is fairly simple. In Baltimore and Houston, you have two darn good football teams that will have a say in the AFC Playoff picture. But the losses of wide receiver Andre Johnson and outside linebacker Mario Williams have really left the Texans in a lurch, while the Ravens emerge from their bye week with a defense poised to hold Arian Foster in check and … well let’s face it, Ray Rice counts for a lot. This has the makings of a rather lopsided game, as Vinnie sees it.
Gimme the Ravens minus the points.