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Free Week 5 NFL Expert Picks

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By: Mike R. - Want the latest injury information for this week's NFL games? Then come to "The Edge". Want to know the hottest games coming up on the NBA schedule? Then come to "The Edge". All sports will be covered, and will include game previews, opinion pieces and even a prediction or two.

NFL Week 5 Picks - September 27, 2006

Caution! This column is in a woeful slump with just a 3-9 overall record. It is the equivalent of a baseball player who is hitting about .150, and just trying to get over the Mendoza Line. The only saving grace is that we are still in the first month.

Click here for all NFL odds

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With that off my chest, here are Week Four’s picks, which hopefully start reversing this awful trend.

Dallas (-9.5) at Tennessee

Dallas is 1-1 and coming off a bye-week. It has been a strange year to say the least for the Cowboys. With the Drew Bledsoe quarterback controversy, the Bill Parcells retirement rumors, and Terrell Owens just being Terrell Owens. Now, the Owens saga has reached a new level with the report that Owens recently tried to commit suicide.

Owens was already questionable to play because of his broken finger, but this puts his return highly in doubt. Look for Parcells to institute a conservative game plan, figuring that he can still win this game by pounding it on the ground with Julius Jones and Marion Barber.

Tennessee is 0-3 on the season, although they are coming off their best effort of the year in a 13-10 loss at Miami. This is Tennessee’s first home game since Week One, which resulted in a 23-16 loss to the Jets.

Quarterback, Kerry Collins will again get the start, but he could be replaced by rookie Vince Young for part of the game. Collins needs to avoid interceptions, and the best way to accomplish that is to get the running game going, at least somewhat. The defense needs to get pressure on Bledsoe, as he is good for a pick or two if under heavy duress.

Outlook: This is a big spread considering the Owens situation. I would prefer it to be 10 points, but you can’t have everything in life. NFL Free Pick: Tennessee

Miami (-3.5) at Houston

Miami is 1-2 on the year, and have been disastrous against the spread at 0-3. In fact, they have not really come close to covering the spread this year. The good news is that the team knows it can get back to .500 with a win, which could easily put them in a tie for first in the AFC East.

The Miami running game has been adequate with Ronnie Brown, and Miami is likely to give him plenty of work again this week. That is because quarterback, Daunte Culpepper has been just awful. Culpepper might actually feel more comfortable on the road this week away from the harsh Miami fans.

Houston is 0-3 on the year, and is also 0-3 against the spread. The Texans three games so far have been a 14 point loss to Philadelphia, a 19 point loss at Indianapolis, and a 16 point loss to Washington. This is their easiest game of the year so far, and the point spread reflects that.

The Texans' biggest problem is a defense that is giving up almost 500 yards per game. Offensively, the run game is struggling, and should continue to do so against the Miami run defense. Quarterback, David Carr is capable of making some big plays down the field with Andre Johnson and Eric Moulds, and that is really their only chance to win.

Outlook: Both teams have been bad offensively, but Miami’s defense is far better. They take advantage of an easy schedule to go 2-2. NFL Free Pick: Miami

San Diego (-2.5) at Baltimore

San Diego is 2-0 after wins over Oakland and Tennessee. Now, they will go up against a legitimate NFL team. Quarterback, Phillip Rivers has looked confident taking over for the departed Drew Brees, but this will be his first time under intense defensive pressure on the road.

To take the pressure off of Rivers, LaDanian Tomlinson is likely to get a big-time load. The Ravens’ defense is number one in the NFL in rush defense at just 34 yards per game. Of course, they haven’t faced a running back the caliber of Tomlinson, so this is the key match-up of the game.

The Ravens are 3-0 on the year, but really got fortunate last week in Cleveland. Baltimore allowed too many long pass plays to Browns’ quarterback Charlie Frye, and that must be addressed this week. The Chargers had one pass play over 30 yards in their first two games.

On offense, Baltimore is moving the ball and getting into scoring position. However, they are having trouble scoring touchdowns and have been settling for field goals. The San Diego defense is also one of the best in the league, so points will be at a premium.

The Over / Under is just 34 points, so expect a low scoring game.

Outlook: San Diego is a surprising favorite in my opinion. At best, this should be a pick with Baltimore at home. NFL Free Pick: Baltimore

New England (+6) at Cincinnati

The Patriots are 2-1 on the year. They are coming off a 17-7 home loss to Denver where they played with little, to no, emotion. Quarterback, Tom Brady is still searching for a go-to receiver with Deion Branch in Seattle. It could be newly acquired Doug Gabriel, but we have to see it on the field first.

The good news is that this is still a mentally tough team. They have not lost back to back games since 2002. Last season, they were 5-0 outright after a loss. On the injury front, running back Corey Dillon is questionable, and the team needs him to share carries with rookie Laurence Maroney.

Cincinnati is 3-0 after a 28-20 win at Pittsburgh. The Bengals were the beneficiaries of two key turnovers in the 4th quarter that turned the game around. Running back, Rudi Johnson was contained in that game, but he should have more success at home versus New England.

This game will be won or loss with the success of quarterback, Carson Palmer. The Bengals need to do a better job in pass protection, but if they do, the Bengals’ big receivers match up well with the Patriots’ smallish corners. The Patriots safeties, Rodney Harrison and Eugene Wilson are both banged up, and are needed in the line-up.

Outlook: The Patriots have a good chance of winning this game. In those cases, I always take the points. NFL Free Pick: New England

For all NFL betting picks, please visit

Posted by miker at September 27th, 2006 1:16 PM
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