It's been a while since I sat in front of a computer or microphone -- to that end, I'll have more news to share regarding the future of 'The Hive Unfiltered' within the next week. In the meantime, think of this article as a teaser for what to expect in the future. Today, I'll be giving all of you degenerates some NFL picks to make this weekend. I'll also include some other dark horse picks as well as some traps as we head into what should be a fun Week 6 ahead.
Picks to Make NOW Before the Weekend
*All odds courtesy of The Action Network*
Miami vs. Jacksonville - Under 47 Points
When will we actually get a decent game in London between good teams? Ehh, probably never. Anyway, players absolutely hate playing these overseas games. The flight takes a toll on them and the food isn't the same as they would normally get on game day. Take that as you will, along with the Jaguars still being winless and only scoring 18.6 PPG. Miami's defense hasn't been great, but it should rebound nicely against this Jags offense. On the other side of things, Tua Tagovailoa is on track to play Sunday and will definitely have some rust when he takes the field. Miami ranks 31st in points, 32nd in rushing yards and 30th in first downs while Jacksonville ranks 29th in points, 32nd in turnovers and 30th in yards per play. This should be a slow-paced, low scoring game and I think the points total is too high here.
Carolina (+105) vs. Minnesota
I love taking short dogs at home and Carolina is a great play against Minnesota this week. Minnesota barely beat the Detroit Lions a week ago and Carolina is coming off a frustrating loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Panthers look to be getting Christian McCaffrey back this week from his hamstring injury. If that's the case, we will see reverse line movement and Carolina will likely be a 1.5 or 2 point favorite. Minnesota has yet to cover a spread this season when they're favorites. Both teams are pretty much the same: average QBs with solid weapons and tough defenses. I'll take a guess that McCaffrey plays Sunday, as he practiced on Wednesday. Get the value on Carolina at + money while you still can!
Pittsburgh (-5) vs. Seattle
I wouldn't advise putting my hard earned money on Big Ben's retirement home style of play this season, but I'll make an exemption this week. This isn't the same Seattle team we're used to seeing every year. They'll be without Russell Wilson, who is out for the next 6 weeks with a broken middle finger that required surgery. Geno Smith will get the start on the road against one of the best defenses in football. When you factor in the travel from Seattle to Pittsburgh and Seattle's defense being a giant mess, I don't think it matters how well Big Ben plays. This may reach -6 by Sunday night. Take it now before it rises.
Kansas City (-6.5) vs. Washington
Neither Kansas City nor Washington have been as advertised so far this season. First, Kansas City's defense is the worst in football at the moment. Second, Washington was supposed to have a top 5 defense this year, but can't stop a nosebleed. Taylor Heinicke hasn't been terrible, but he hasn’t gotten much help from his defense, either. Washington gave up 33 points to Jameis Winston and the Saints last week, 30 to Atlanta the week before and 43 to Buffalo prior to that. I know Kansas City's defense is even worse, trust me -- but Patrick Mahomes and company should have no problem hanging 35 on Washington. I think this is a great spot for the Chiefs to rebound and get back on track after a disappointing start to the season. Grab the line at -6.5 while you still can.
Picks to Wait on Until Sunday
Dallas (-3.5) @ New England
Dallas has been a popular pick to cover the spread this weekend and for good reason. They have a lethal offense and have been blowing teams out; they also scored a big win over the high-powered Los Angeles Chargers earlier this season. Now this is going to sound biased because I'm a Patriots fan, but I can't bet against Belichick at home as a dog. Yes, I know the Patriots offense won't keep up with Dallas'...but their defense certainly can. This game will come down to how healthy the Patriots are on Sunday. I was hoping this line would be bigger, but it's giving me bad vibes. I lean towards Dallas, but eventually they have to come back down to Earth, right? See where the line ends up on Sunday morning before betting it.
Green Bay (-4.5) @ Chicago
I don't really like Green Bay this year -- not because of Aaron Rodgers, but because of how massively overrated they are as a team. Green Bay is the only 4-1 team to have a negative point differential so far this season (-0.4). They aren't necessarily blowing teams away and Rodgers has bailed them out just as much as Lamar Jackson has Baltimore. Chicago is having an up and down season, but Justin Fields is their starter now and looked good against Las Vegas last week. Of course, I will never bring myself to bet against Rodgers in a divisional game against Chicago. I am curious, though, to see where the line closes on Sunday before I make a final decision.
Lines To ABSOLUTELY Avoid
Tampa Bay (-6.5) vs. Philadelphia
Los Angeles (+3) vs. Baltimore
Arizona (+3) vs. Cleveland
I think all 3 of these lines are traps. Tampa Bay should smoke Philly on Thursday night, but the Thursday night games are weird to handicap consistently. Teams don't usually play their best on 3 days notice. Tom Brady dealing with an injured hand doesn't necessarily concern me, but I'm still not sold on Tampa's defense yet, especially given how thin they are in the secondary. I also don't trust Jalen Hurts to get the job done against Brady in a primetime game, but +6.5 at home is always tempting. Too many question marks for me to handicap.
Arizona being the only undefeated team left and being listed as 3 point underdogs is a trap to me. Yes, Cleveland is really good but they are peppered with injuries on the offensive line and on defense. This line doesn't make a lot of sense to me, nor does the Chargers being underdogs against Baltimore. Lamar Jackson has been sensational, but he's bailed that team out back to back weeks, against Detroit in Week 4 and against Indy Monday night. Herbert has been on fire and the Chargers defense has been quietly good (besides last week against Cleveland). I just get really sketchy vibes from all 3 lines and think they could ruin your parlays.
More news about 'The Hive Unfiltered' coming later this week. Stay tuned!
Best of luck everyone!
- Corey @celticshive
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