NFL poolies' cheat sheet: Week 5 betting notes
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (-6)
Why Raiders cover: They can run ball, which keeps Texans QB Matt Schaub off field. Even in a 31-19 home loss to Patriots, Oakland gained 160 yards on ground. Raiders lead league at 178.8 rushing ypg. Oakland has cashed five straight following a SU loss.
Why Texans cover: Well, it appears Arian Foster can once again run ball, after blowing up for 155 yards in win vs. Pittsburgh. Houston 5-1 ATS last six vs. Men in Black.
Total (48.5): Raiders like to play to over, with streaks of 6-2 overall and 12-4 inside AFC. But Texans on under run of 5-1 last six as a chalk.
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings (-1.5)
Why Cardinals cover: They cashed last year in 27-24 loss at Minnesota, with Derek Anderson at QB. Kevin Kolb a big upgrade, going against aging Donovan McNabb. Underdog the play in last five Cards-Vikes matchups.
Why Vikings cover: 8-3-1 ATS last dozen as home favorite. Cards 6-13 ATS last 19 overall.
Total (45.5): Over looks like right move, as it’s on stretches of 43-18 with Arizona as a road pup, 4-0 with Minny as home chalk and 4-1 in this NFC rivalry.
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
Why Titans cover: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (foot) at less than full strength, and Pittsburgh looking old and slow, despite status as defending AFC champs. Tennessee QB Matt Hasselbeck seems revived. Underdog 7-1 ATS in last eight Titans-Steelers tilts.
Why Steelers cover: Have covered spread in last four at Heinz Field and are good bounce-back bet, with runs of 5-0 ATS after SU loss and 5-1 ATS following pointspread setback.
Total (39): Over 6-1 in Steelers’ last seven AFC contests and 7-2 last nine Pittsburgh meetings in this rivalry.
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (-1.5)
Why Chiefs cover: Coming off victory over winless Minnesota. Todd Haley’s troops 9-4 ATS last 13 getting points. And winless Colts don’t have Peyton Manning, a gift that keeps on giving to opponents. Indy 2-6 ATS last eight at home.
Why Colts cover: Tyler Painter actually made some huge plays in Monday loss at Tampa Bay, with Indy cashing as double-digit dog for second straight week. Colts 8-2 ATS last 10 vs. K.C.
Total (39): Under 5-1 K.C.’s last six as pup and 11-1-1 Chiefs’ last 13 roadies as dog of three or less. Last four Chiefs-Colts contests in Indy went under.
Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5)
Why Bengals cover: Because Jags are favored despite averaging league-worst 9.8 ppg, combining for meager 23 points in last three outings (7.7 ppg). Cincy 6-1 ATS last seven overall and 5-0 ATS last five catching points. Jacksonville 1-6 ATS last seven overall.
Why Jaguars cover: Have hit five of last six ATS laying points at home.
Total (37): With two under-developed rookie QBs, game has all makings of an under. All four Jacksonville games this year have gone low.
Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants (-9.5)
Why Seahawks cover: The G-Men are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 laying points at home.
Why Giants cover: Seattle still starting Tarvaris Jackson at QB. And Seahawks rarely good making three time-zone trip to East Coast. Most recent case in point: 24-0 loss at Pittsburgh three weeks ago.
Total (43.5): Seahawks have paid over bettors 12 of last 15 overall and six of last seven on highway.
Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) at Buffalo Bills
Why Eagles cover: They are flat-out desperate. Sexy Super Bowl pick sitting at 1-3 SU and ATS, and could be three games out in NFC East if they stumble in this spot. Bills 3-10-1 ATS last 15 as home pup.
Why Bills cover: Previously unbeaten, but got dose of reality at Cincinnati and should be ready this week. In last home game, Ryan Fitzpatrick & Co. rallied from 21-0 deficit to shock Patriots. Philly on slew of negative pointspread streaks, including 1-6 overall and 1-7 giving points.
Total (49.5): Total has gone high every game this year for Buffalo and five straight overall. Over a scorching 10-1 in Philly’s last 11 roadies.
New Orleans Saints (-6.5) at Carolina Panthers
Why Saints cover: Big advantage at QB, with veteran and former Super Bowl winner Drew Brees vs. Panthers rookie and top draft pick Cam Newton. In this rivalry, Saints 7-2 ATS last nine in Carolina and road team 20-8 ATS last 28.
Why Panthers cover: Newton coming along far better than expected, helping Carolina cover three of four so far. In fact, he’s passing for 374 ypg, third in league, one spot ahead of Brees (351 ypg). New Orleans 4-9 ATS last 13 NFC South games.
Total (51.5): With all the yards these two QBs rack up, over could come in, even as high as it is. But in this division rivalry, under has hit four straight overall and eight straight at Carolina. Under also 10-1 in Saints’ last 11 division tilts.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers (-2.5)
Why Buccaneers cover: At betting window, Bucs dig underdog role (6-1 ATS last seven) and road trips (15-5-1 ATS last 21).
Why 49ers cover: Confident coming off big, come-from-behind upset at Philly. Perhaps new coach Jim Harbaugh figured out how to unlock talent in QB Alex Smith. Niners 4-0-1 ATS last five.
Total (41): Over 3-1 for both teams this year and 4-0 in San Fran’s last four at Candlestick. But under 4-1 Bucs’ last five on highway.
San Diego Chargers (-4) at Denver Broncos
Why Chargers cover: Because that’s what they generally do in this AFC West rivalry, going 7-1-2 ATS last 10. Philip Rivers is a very good QB for San Diego. Kyle Orton is not – after winning his first six starts for Broncos, he’s gone 6-20. Denver 11-27-2 ATS last 40 at Mile High.
Why Broncos cover: This is like a traffic cop at an accident, telling bystanders, “Nothing to see here.” But if we must: Chargers on ATS skids of 1-4-1 overall and 2-6-1 on the road.
Total (46): With Denver involved, over constantly in play, like in last week’s 49-23 loss at Green Bay. Over on runs for Broncos of 7-1 overall, 10-1 against winning teams and 4-1 in Denver vs. Chargers.
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-9.5)
Why Jets cover: That’s a lot of points for a team that reached past two AFC title games. And road team 18-7-1 ATS last 26 in this rivalry.
Why Patriots cover: Jets are a mess. Mark Sanchez not a franchise quarterback, playing behind sieve-like offensive line.
Total (49.5): Both teams play to over a lot. For Jets, over on surges of 9-1 in underdog role and 17-4-1 on road. QB Tom Brady and prolific Pats offense putting up 33.8 ppg this year, and over has gone 16-5-1 last 22 in Foxborough.
Green Bay Packers (-5.5) at Atlanta Falcons
Why Packers cover: They play like Super Bowl champs that they are. Packers have won 10 in a row SU and gone 8-2 ATS in that stretch. One of those wins was 48-21 shellacking of Atlanta in playoffs at Georgia Dome last season.
Why Falcons cover: Revenge and desperation. Matt Ryan & Co. embarrassed in playoff beatdown, and Atlanta needs win to avoid falling below .500, especially with NFC South rivals New Orleans and Tampa playing well.
Total (53.5): Despite Packers’ penchant for scoring, under 10-3 in last 13 on highway and 7-1 in last eight as road chalk.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-5.5)
Why Bears cover: They seem to shine under Monday night spotlight, at 5-1 ATS in last six appearances. And Detroit lacks that experience, playing first MNF game in 10 years.
Why Lions cover: If they were due for letdown, it was last week at Dallas. And they did let down for a half, before huge comeback win. Detroit favored for first time in years in this NFC North rivalry, and Jim Schwartz’s troops want whole nation to see they’re no fluke. Lions among best bets in league, with ATS streaks of 16-5-2 overall, 9-1-1 after SU win and 12-2-2 after spread-cover.
Total (47.5): Bears tend to play to under, while Lions play to over. But when these rivals meet, over 4-1 last five overall and 4-1 last five at Ford Field. Detroit’s QB-wideout connection of Matt Stafford-Calvin Johnson looks unstoppable.