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2018 SQ Insiders: Week 5

Austin Taliaferro

Our insiders pick the Week 5 games to help you beat Vegas and your pick’em league.

This week features another set of interesting matchups in the NFL. There are several games that have split our insiders down the middle, including the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs. While our writers are divided at 2-2, on aggregate they have the Chiefs winning 22-23, meaning you can expect Jacksonville to cover the +3.5 spread.

Another game that has our panel split is between the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers. On aggregate this game is too close to call with an average score of 33-33. If you can get points, take’em—Falcons +3.5 looks good here.

Matchup

Max V

Hunter B

Matt F

Adrian N

Indianapolis at New England
Tennessee at Buffalo
Miami at Cincinnati
Baltimore at Cleveland
Green Bay at Detroit
Jacksonville at Kansas City
Denver at NY Jets
Atlanta at Pittsburgh
NY Giants at Carolina
Oakland at LA Chargers
Minnesota at Philadelphia
Arizona at San Francisco
LA Rams at Seattle
Dallas at Houston
Washington at New Orleans
Total Record

33-2833-2838-2342-19



Matchup

Conglomerate Score

ATS Winner

Pick’em Winner

Why the home team will win

Why the away team will win

Indianapolis at New England20-28IND+10.5New England is 7-0 against Indy this decade and hasn’t lost to the Colts at home since 2006. The Colts’ pass offense is potent. They can score early and often against a mediocre Patriot pass defense with proper game planning and execution.
Tennessee at Buffalo19-12TEN-3.5After being shut out last week in Green Bay, the Bills return home to play one of the hottest teams in football. There’s nowhere to go but up for this offense, but against this Titans’ defense, it’s going to be tough to manufacture enough points to win this game. Tennessee has put together two of the most impressive wins of the season in back-to-back games in Jacksonville and then at home against the Eagles. The Titans’ offense behind Marcus Mariota finally found its footing last week, which could help put this team to another level if it can perform consistently.
Miami at Cincinnati22-29CIN-6.5Cincinnati looks to be in the driver’s seat in the AFC North through four games. Andy Dalton and the offense put up huge numbers against the Falcon’s defense last week and should be able to pick right up where they left off against a Dolphins defense that looked lost against New England. Miami went to New England looking to take a commanding lead in the AFC East but left looking like a team that is closer to 1-3 than 3-1. They should be able to bounce back and make this game competitive but will ultimately be overmatched by a superior team.
Baltimore at Cleveland24-19BAL-2.5Baker Mayfield is looking to get his first career win as a starter against the top-ranked defense in the NFL. In order to give their rookie any chance against this defense, the Browns must sustain the running game they got going last week in Oakland. Nick Chubb could see an expanded role after his breakout two-touchdown performance. Baltimore’s defense is going to throw everything they can at Mayfield to try to confuse him. The offense finally has the weapons around Flacco to make them a high-powered passing attack. John Brown has done an excellent job of stretching the field, and he should do it once again this week.
Green Bay at Detroit22-19GB-1.5Behind Kerryon Johnson, the Lions finally look like they have a running back that they can lean on. Because their defense has struggled to stop anyone, they are going to need to lean on their rushing attack to keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands. Aaron Rodgers expressed his disappointment in the offense’s performance last week despite the 22-0 victory over Buffalo. Going against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league should make for a breakout day for Aaron Jones and the Packers’ offense.
Jacksonville at Kansas City22-23JAC+3.5The Chiefs’ offense has as good of a chance as any to get the best of the Jaguars’ defense. QB Patrick Mahomes is having an MVP year, so far, and if he can keep his offense on the field, limit turnovers, and win the T.O.P. battle, the Chiefs should win this one. Jacksonville’s defense is scary. They have only allowed 20 points once this year (versus New England). They will put the pressure on an inexperienced quarterback and dial up complex coverages to force errors.
Denver at NY Jets21-18DEN+0.5Despite a sensational opening night, the Jets have sputtered as of late. That said, their defense has been fairly consistent. In their last matchup they pressured Tyrod Taylor a ton before Mayfield came in. If they can get to Keenum, then they can win at home.Denver played an exceptional defensive game against one of the league’s  best offenses in Kansas City. The Jets are nowhere near that caliber. If they can stop Darnold and run the football with their three-headed attack, they will be in control of the game.
Atlanta at Pittsburgh33-33ATL+3.5TiedAlthough their offense was shut down against Baltimore, Atlanta is nowhere near the same quality. They’ve lost multiple defensive starters and will be hard-pressed to slow down Pittsburgh. The Steelers will just need some sort of a showing from their defense.Atlanta has proven that they remember how to put up points. Against a Steelers defense that has been shredded by Kansas City and Tampa Bay, Atlanta should have no problem scoring.
NY Giants at Carolina15-23CAR-6.5Carolina had a bye last week so it might be hard to remember, but this Panthers team looks legit. The run game is solid and the defense is playing well. They are a better overall team than the Giants.Eli Manning has played terribly for most of the season. However, the one game he played serviceably, the Giants won. Their fortune will come down to the 20% chance that they get a passable game from Manning.
Oakland at LA Chargers18-23OAK+5.5The Chargers have talent and experience on the offensive side of the ball and will take advantage of an Oakland defense that has given up an average of 31 points per game.The Chargers can’t catch a break. If you thought the 49ers fan base was strong in L.A., wait until you see Raider Nation come out. I predict that Raider gear will be worn by 90% of the fans at this game.
Minnesota at Philadelphia22-24MIN+3.5This NFC Championship rematch favors the home team. The Eagles have the advantage at quarterback and are going up against a Vikings defense that has yet to establish itself (27.5 points per game allowed). The Vikings are better than their 1-2-1 record. They have one of the most talented rosters in the league and will be out for revenge against Philly.
Arizona at San Francisco17-19ARZ+4.5In three games with Jimmy Garappolo at the helm, the Niners averaged a little over 24 points per game. In one week with CJ Beathard, the team put up 27 points. The Niners looked competent with Beathard under center, and a home game against the Cardinals’ terrible offense puts them in great position to get back on track.If this offense is ever going to score points, this is the week to do it. Through four weeks, the 49ers’ defense is allowing 29.5 points per game, good for 27th in the league. If the Cardinals lean heavily on David Johnson and the run game, there’s a good chance the Cardinals get their first win of the season.
LA Rams at Seattle33-19LAR-7.5CenturyLink Field has almost been a guaranteed win for the Seahawks the last five seasons, and a less talented team hasn’t changed that environment. Seattle is still one of the best homefield advantages in sports and that, coupled with Russell Wilson’s breakout game of the season, could spell success for a Seahawks upset.The Rams look unstoppable at the moment, with Jared Goff now on Mahomes’ heels for the MVP race. When the top three receivers all top 100 yards, it’s hard to take away that passing attack. Earl Thomas’ absence should make it even easier for the Rams to move the ball against this Seahawks team.
Dallas at Houston15-24HOU-3.5Deshaun Watson looks like the rookie-year version of himself, which should spell trouble for the league. Houston at home with the below-average Dallas defense in town is a recipe for 40 points. Start every Texans player you have on your fantasy team and watch the Texans’ offense continue where it left off against the Colts.Similar to Watson, Ezekial Elliott looked like his rookie year self, killing the Lions’ defense in every way imaginable. The Texans’ defense allowed 34 points and 464 yards to Andrew Luck and his one shoulder. Until that defense goes from good on paper to good on the field, expect teams to continue lighting them up.
Washington at New Orleans26-33NO-6.5New Orleans has one of the best homefield advantages in the league, and that offense can keep up with anyone. Whether it’s Brees, Kamara, or Thomas leading the charge, the offense shows up. And now they’ll add Mark Ingram into the fold, creating another element for Washington to concern itself with. The Saints will put up points at home.Coming off the bye, Washington is well rested and atop the NFC East thanks to an Eagles’ loss. Gruden and his staff have had two weeks to prepare for the Saints’ offense,  giving them an advantage other teams usually don’t have. Alex Smith has to take care of the ball and feed his two backs for Washington to escape New Orleans with a win. This will be the game where we really see what Washington is all about.


Edited by Emily Berman.

SQuiz
Where did Jacksonville rank in points given up per game in 2017?
Created 10/3/18
  1. 1st (best)
  2. 2nd
  3. 4th
  4. 7th

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