NFL Week 5 Previews

Closed Circuit Club Goes 2-0 Sunday!
Giants (+3) Texans 34-10 BLOWOUT!
Redskins (+2.5) Packers 16-13 OUTRIGHT!
Caps off a 4-0 weekend for Hurley's top club!
All services combined go 10-4-1 for Sat/Sun!


By Jim Hurley:

Suffice to say, it's been tough to tell the "haves"from the "have-nots"this 2010 National Football League season:

After all, last year's Super Bowl teams - the champion New Orleans Saints and the runner-up Indianapolis Colts - have a combined SU (straightup) record of only 5-3 ... and last year they were a perfect 8-and-oh between 'em after four weeks of action.

And just when you thought you'd be able to christen some on-the-rise teams, they floundered badly:

The Miami Dolphins won their first two games this year on the road (at Buffalo and than at Minnesota) and subsequently lost their next two games at home while the Chicago Bears went from being 3-0 to being unable to protect their quarterbacks at all in last Sunday Night's ugly 17-3 loss at the New York Giants.

Go figure, right?

Well, in case you wanted to be kept up to snuff on some key pointspread news, there's only been one team that is perfect versus the vig so far - the Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) -- while there still is one team that's yet to cover a bet in the 2010 campaign and that's the aforementioned Saints (0-3-1).

Like we said ... go figure!

This week's NFL card is devoid of any monster matchup on Sunday - everyone's chatting about the Monday Night Football clash between WR Randy Moss and the Minnesota Vikings at the New York Jets - but there are some real important tilts on the Sunday menu including some key questions:

  • Can Baltimore follow up its mega-important win at Pittsburgh with a "W"against Denver?
  • Can Kansas City stay perfect through the first quarter of the season with a date this weekend in Indianapolis?
  • And will the winless San Francisco 49ers finally bust out of its season-starting slump in a Sunday Night game against the Philly Eagles?

The answers will be known soon enough - right now it's a quickie reminder and then onto Sunday's NFL Week #5 games:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you the NFL and all Major-League Baseball Playoff Winners when you either call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else when you simply log online right here online. Here's an important note: The check-in times are after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday afternoon Baseball Games; then anytime after 1 p.m. ET Monday thru Friday for all the NFL, NCAA Football and MLB weeknight games; and then anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays. Extra, Extra: The MLB Playoffs continue over the weekend and we'll have all the action - go ahead and win a bunch of greenbacks with America's #1 Handicapper!


Interconference games always represent a unique challenge to handicappers, even at the NFL level, as statistical production must be evaluated against a different set of competition. The Jim Hurley Network has always been up to the task, including last week when one of our top sources insisted that San Diego (-8) would blow out Arizona. They did just that, to the tune of 41-10. Now we won't say our game this week will cover the number by 23 points, but we can tell you this--it actually grades out stronger than the San Diego play did prior to the game. You can be perfectly comfortable betting your limit on this one. There's six AFC-NFC matchups on the sked, including good showdowns like NYG-Houston, Tennessee-Dallas, Cincinnati-Tampa and Atlanta-Cleveland. One of these is a betting blockbuster, so good that it's our InterConference Game of the Year! Click Here to Win it for just $50!

KANSAS CITY (3-0) at INDIANAPOLIS (2-2) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
It's been pretty much standard procedure for the Indy Colts to be undefeated at this stage of an NFL season - or even way deeper into the year, as you all know - but here's a case where the spike's on the other foot.

The Kansas City Chiefs - a franchise that won a grand total of 10 games the past three years - all of a sudden is "hot stuff"even if many die-hard NFL fans couldn't name a handful of players on Todd Haley's 2010 team.

The Chiefs have beaten the likes of San Diego, Cleveland and San Francisco thus far and every aspect of this club has chipped in with special teams getting an "A+"grade in the rainy opener against the Chargers, the defense getting a "thumbs-up"in the 16-14 win against Cleveland and the offense rollin' it just right in a 31-10 triumph against San Fran two weeks ago. Now, the Chiefs come off their bye week with mucho confidence and with the NFL's third-best rushing attack (averaging nearly 161 ground yards per game) and they'll be daring the Colts' soft defense to slow 'em down here. P.S. Indy ranks a lowly 29th in the league in rushing defense (149.5 ypg).

The Colts, meanwhile, may have needed a few days to digest that painful last-second 31-28 loss at Jacksonville last Sunday - you know Jaguars PK Josh Scobee (59-yarder) was getting cursed in every household in "Nap City"- but expect QB Peyton Manning (1,365 yards passing with 11 TDs and 1 INT) to be all business here even if his array of pass-catchers has dwindled because of injuries.

Last weekend WR Reggie Wayne (team single-game record 15 receptions for 196 yards against the Jags) was Manning's top target but the other WRs were quiet.

Spread Notes - Kansas City actually has covered its last five games in a row while tracing back to late last year and the Chiefs are a collective 10-4 versus the vig as underdog sides since early in the 2009 season. Indianapolis has covered five of its last six games when in the role of the home favorite and the Colts are a rock-solid 10-5 ATS (against the spread) in non-AFC South affairs since the start of last season.

DENVER (2-2) at BALTIMORE (3-1) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
No doubt about it: The Ravens had to exorcise the ghosts of Heinz Field sooner or later and so last week's hard-fought 17-14 win in Pittsburgh might be one of those true signature moments a team looks back at after a championship season.

Baltimore QB Joe Flacco completed all four of his passes on that game-winning touchdown drive late - his 18-yard scoring strike to wide-out T.J. Houshmandzedah with 32 seconds left was a laser-beam strike - and now head coach John Harbaugh is hoping his third-year slinger will be able to rattle a Broncos bunch that still isn't getting a great pass rush these days without the injured Elvis Dumervil.

Meanwhile, the Broncos have made a habit of getting nothing - or next to nothing - from a slew of recent trips into the enemy's red zone but last week things finally panned out as QB Kyle Orton found RB Correll Buckhalter on a red-zone scoring strike that pushed Denver over the top in its 26-20 win at 6 ½-point fav Tennessee. Orton needs to keep clicking here with top target WR Brandon Lloyd (11 catches for 115 yards last week in Nashville) if the Broncos plan on stringing together back-to-back road wins.

Spread Notes - Baltimore has covered 11 of its last 17 home games overall while dating back to the start of the 2008 season and the Ravens enter this clash with a spiffy 5-1 ATS mark in head-to-head tilts with Denver since 2001. Meanwhile, the Broncos are a rotten 11-19 versus the vig away since the middle of 2007.

GREEN BAY (3-1) at WASHINGTON (2-2) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Let's just say that the Washington Redskins have had one of the most eventful 2-2 starts in recent NFL memory:

Not only did the 'Skins beat Dallas in Week #1 behind new head coach Mike Shanahan and new QB Donovan McNabb but they lost an epic OT battle against Houston the next weekend, gave spunky St. Louis life while losing in the arch city in Week #3 and then last Sunday the hullabaloo surrounding McNabb's return to Philly and then his post-game locker room comments about the Eagles "making a mistake"by trading him away last spring.

Nothing's ever boring in D.C., you know!

On the flip side, Green Bay doesn't exactly come off its sharpest showing of the year as last weekend's 28-26 non-cover home win against 14 ½-point underdog Detroit included a pair of INTs by QB Aaron Rodgers (just 12-of-17 passing for 181 yards). The Packers just played a pair of NFC North games that went down to the wire (don't forget that 20-17 loss to Chicago on MNF back in Week #3) and so there's some thought that Mike McCarthy's club could be a flat road favorite for this clash in Landover but Rodgers is peeved that GB chucked it fewer than 20 times last week and so there could be some long-ball action here - can Washington's secondary stay with TE Jermichael Finley and WR Donald Driver (21 receptions apiece this year) for a full 60 minutes here?

Spread Notes - Green Bay is 23-12 ATS away since the start of the '06 season and that includes last year's 51-45 overtime playoff loss in Arizona. Note that Washington's 6-11-1 ATS at home the past two-plus seasons and the 'Skins are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four head-to-head showdowns with Green Bay.

TENNESSEE (2-2) at DALLAS (1-2) - 4:15 p.m. ET, CBS
When we last left the Dallas Cowboys they were busy winning a critical Week #3 clash in Houston - and thus resurrecting a season that could have been summarily junked after only three regular-season games.

Now, the 'Boys are back in town with renewed hopes of winning the sub-par NFC East (no, the Giants, Eagles and Redskins have yet to remind anyone of the 1985 Chicago Bears!) but now here's one of those tricky games for Wade Phillips' crew:

They've just spent the past two weeks patting themselves on the back for that 27-13 win in Houston and there's a major high-profile revenge game at Minnesota on deck (and take note that Dallas has not exactly performed at a high level when playing AFC foes in recent years - see our Spread Notes below for proof).

Meanwhile, Tennessee's won 10 in a row SU and 15 of its last 16 versus NFC competition and the Titans bop into town an angry bunch after getting beaten at home for the second time last Sunday (see aforementioned loss to Denver). Look for Tennessee to get RB Chris Johnson the ball close to 20 times alone in the opening half while trying to set the tone here - if Johnson (just 354 yards rushing in four games) doesn't bust a couple of big ones than Jeff Fisher's guys will be in deep trouble.

Spread Notes - Dallas has notched spread wins in 10 of its last 15 home games dating back to the middle of 2008. The Cowboys, however, have failed to cover six of their last eight games played against AFC competition. Note that Tennessee is 21-13 ATS away the past four-plus seasons.

On Sunday Nite, it's ...

PHILADELPHIA (2-2) at SAN FRANCISCO (0-4) - 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Forget about Fox studio analyst/former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson on "Survivor"(is he still in it?) - this whole Philly Eagles quarterback thing is much better reality TV these days.

As you know, it's back to Square One with Kevin Kolb again the Eagles' starting signal-caller after Michael Vick went down last week with chest/rib injuries in that dreary 17-12 home loss against Washington - and no doubt that Kolb (225 yards passing in parts of two games this year) better shake off some early-season rust here or else this NFC East club will be in a heap of trouble against a desperate/ornery SF 49ers team.

Spread Notes - Philadelphia has failed to cover three of its first four pointspread verdicts this year and six of their last seven overall ATS decisions since late '09. However, the Eagles have covered their last four consecutive games against San Francisco. Note that the 49ers are 6-2-1 ATS as hosts since the start of last year and that includes the 25-22 loss-but-cover against 5-point fav New Orleans back in the Week #2 Monday Night Football game.


Here are more around-the-league pointpsread facts/figures pertaining to other NFL Week #5 games:

  • The Arizona Cardinals are 4-8-1 in their last 13 spread verdicts;
  • The Atlanta Falcons are 15-9 when squaring off with non-NFC South teams since the start of 2008;
  • The Buffalo Bills are 5-12 at home the past two-plus seasons;
  • The Cincinnati Bengals are 5-18 as betting favorites the past three-plus seasons;
  • The Cleveland Browns are 9-1-2 in their last dozen spread verdicts overall;
  • The Houston Texans are 3-6-1 as hosts since the start of last year;
  • The New Orleans Saints are an electric 16-7-2 against non-divisional opponents;
  • The New York Giants have covered 13 of their last 20 games when in the point-grabbing role;
  • The Oakland Raiders are 6-14 in their last 20 spread verdicts against rival San Diego;
  • The St. Louis Rams this week are shooting for their first four-game spread winning streak since 2003;
  • And the San Diego Chargers are 25-11-4 in AFC West games dating back to the start of 2004.
NOTE: Get our NFL Monday Night Football Preview - that's the Minnesota Vikings at the New York Jets - plus all the weekend NCAA Football and NFL Week #5 roundups in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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