NFL Week 5 Report




Sure, it’s only early October but you could make a case that this is truly a “must-win weekend” for alleged NFL playoff hopefuls the New York Jets (at 7-point favorite Pittsburgh), the Detroit Lions (3-point home dog versus Philadelphia) and the Indianapolis Colts (4½ point betting favorite versus Chicago) – all of the above are 1-3 straight-up this year and badly need “W’s” here – and consider this:

NFL teams that start off a season 1-3 SU (straight-up) get into the post-season less than 15 percent of the time as that dates back to the 1990 season … yikes!

The Jets – beginning here – play four-of-five games on the road till early November; the Lions have back-to-back road games in Houston and Minnesota a few weeks down the line; and the Colts play three of their next four games away so you might say it is now-or-never time for these teams listed up above.

Meanwhile, it’s a terrific NFL Week 5 menu on tap and we’ll preview the three games involving “perfect” teams Minnesota, Philadelphia and Denver in just a moment’s time but first this key reminder:

Jim Hurley’s Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to torch Las Vegas and the off-shore books with gobs of Football Winners … get your NFL Week 5 started with the NFC West showdown tonight between Arizona at San Francisco and make sure you’re all aboard for another great College Football Weekend that rolls on this evening with Temple-Memphis (ESPN) and Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech on Thursday night (on CBS Sports Network) and then there’s a slew of other great Friday/Saturday games including the Saturday, October 8th clashes between #9 Tennessee at #8 Texas A&M, #1 Alabama at #16 Arkansas, LSU at #18 Florida and – course -- #23 Florida State at #10 Miami.

And don’t forget there’s wall-to-wall Major-League Baseball Playoff winners this week with the American League and National League Divisional Series revving up starting this afternoon/tonight.

Check with the Jim Hurley Network for all your Football Action.  Get Jim's Best Bet Hotline Picks at and his exclusive Blue Ribbon Picks right here online at or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Get all the weekday afternoon Baseball Winners at 12 noon ET.


HOUSTON (3-1) at MINNESOTA (4-0) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS

No doubt we’ve sung the praises of the here-and-now Minny Vikings who’ve allowed a grand total of 50 points in their first four outings this year but the $64,000 question is can QB Sam Bradford continue to play turnover-free ball against this Texans defense?

Spread Notes – Minnesota is a stupendous 28-9 ATS (against the spread) under third-year head coach Mike Zimmer and that includes a 14-5 spread mark at home. Houston’s covered three-of-four games this year but the Texans are 7-11-1 ATS as dogs the past two-plus seasons.

PHILADELPHIA (3-0) at DETROIT (1-3) – 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Yes sir, this is a “must-win weekend” for the Lions who started out the ’16 season with high hopes but, let’s face it, the headliners here are the Eagles and dynamic rookie QB Carson Wentz (769 yards passing with 5 TDs so far) and now we’ll see if the Birds’ momentum has been dulled by last week’s way-too-early-in-the-season bye. Wentz has shown he’s highly accurate when throwing on the run here and so “broken plays” may be the difference should the rook spot RB Darren Sproles getting open downfield … you have been warned, Lions!

Spread Notes – The Philly Eagles have charged out to a 3-0 ATS start for the first time since the 2008 season while the Lions are 7-12 spreadwise as underdogs the past three-plus seasons.

ATLANTA (3-1) at DENVER (4-0) – 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

Word is the Broncos will play QB Trevor Siemian (shoulder) who was bum-rushed to the ground in last week’s 27-7 win at Tampa Bay – hey, rookie QB Paxton Lynch was fine in reserve (14-of-24 passing for 170 yards versus the Bucs) but head coach Gary Kubiak favors Siemian here while the Falcons float into the Mile High City off that record-breaking 503-yard passing game by QB Matt Ryan and 300-yard receiving game by the great WR Julio Jones … if Ryan can get sacked less than a handful of times and Jones gets his hands on six-or-more passes here it’ll be considered a major success against this defense!

Spread Notes – Denver is a magnificent 6-0-1 versus the vig since the start of last year’s playoffs and that includes a 3-0-1 ATS home mark during this time. On the flip side, Atlanta enters this tilt on a three-game spread winning streak and the last time the Falcons covered four straight was at the very start of the 2015 campaign.


Let’s continue our Jim Sez look at the College Football teams that keep cashin’ in every week – in our last column space we dished on Colorado, Kansas State and Miami and their upcoming weekend games, now here’s more:

INDIANA (3-1, 1-0 Big 10) at #2 OHIO STATE (4-0, 1-0 Big 10) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Tell us you’re not surprised that the Ohio State Buckeyes are 4-0 versus the vig – heck, the ‘Eyes are averaging a whopping 57 ppg (third-best in the nation) and so you would think that scoring nearly a point a minute they would be rollin’ a perfecto in the spread column: Now this is a 29-point home favorite price tag we’re talking about here against an Indiana team that comes off an OT win against mighty Michigan State and the game plan for O-State is to keep the heat on a Hoosiers’ defense that lacks perimeter speed … beep, beep QB J.T. Barrett and your fancy-dan receiver corps.

TOLEDO (3-1, 0-0 Mid-American) at EASTERN MICHIGAN (4-1, 1-0 Mid-American) – 3 p.m. ET, ESP3

Toledo has been pure magic versus the Vegas board this year with covers against Arkansas State, Maine, Fresno State and BYU … okay, no Murderers Row, if you will, but that’s still 4-0 ATS and here Rockets’ QB Logan Woodside (505 yards passing and 5 TDs last week in 55-53 loss-but-cover at 3-point fav BYU) looks to put a dent into an Eastern Michigan defense that did allow 61 points to Missouri back on Sept. 10th. P.S. Toledo is a 17-point road favorite here.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (1-4, 1-0 Mid-American) at WESTERN MICHIGAN (5-0, 1-0 Mid-American) – 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

One more from the Mid-American Conference as better-than-you-think Western Michigan is 5-and-oh against the odds this year and that includes covers against Big 10 guys Northwestern and Illinois … now the Broncos are 3-TD betting favorites for this game but may we remind you that Western Michigan is just 1-6-2 ATS in its last nine head-to-head games against the NIU Huskies.


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