October 7, 2016

Politics and football don’t mix + Week 5 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

This week a story came out about how the Buffalo Bills locker room was divided because of head coach Rex Ryan’s outspoken support of Donald Trump.

Shouldn’t Ryan know better than to do this?

Politics will always be a hot topic, wherever you go and can obviously create a lot of tension. Why Ryan would jump headlong into this and talk about his support for Trump – probably the most divisive candidate for U.S. President in history – is a question that needs to be asked.

While it’s always great for the candidate to have celebrity supporters that trumpet their campaign, it’s not like a voter was sitting back wondering “Hey, I wonder who the coach of the 2-2 Bills is voting for?” before making their decision.

And when you consider that those who hate Trump, REALLY hate Trump. It’s easy to see why this team could be divide.

I’d say that for once, Rex Ryan should’ve kept his mouth shut, but we know this won’t be the first or last time his yap gets him in hot water.

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPs.

SAN FRANCISCO +3.5 over Arizona

So maybe it’s Carson Palmer that’s the problem for the Cardinals. Or maybe it’s just that Arizona needs to face an inept team like the Niners every week to look good.

MINNESOTA -6.5 over Houston

This does seem like maybe a few too many points to spot with the Vikes, but the AFC South is a tire fire and Brock Osweiler will be eaten alive by Minnesota’s defence.

MIAMI -3.5 over Tennessee

The Dolphins have quietly gotten their offensive line healthy and could surprise a few people this week. The Titans will run the ball, but Miami should be prepared for the DeMarco Murray resurgence.

New England -10.5 CLEVELAND

I’m pretty tempted to take the points with the Browns, who have been playing well in spite of everything, but Tom Brady’s return is too much for the Pats.

PITTSBURGH -7.5 over New York Jets

The magic is clearly over for Ryan Fitzpatrick and with Eric Decker, the Jets offence is clearly struggling. Their pass defence is below average as well, which will spell trouble against Big Ben and Antonio Brown.

Washington +3.5 over BALTIMORE

I’ll take the points in this one, since neither team has impressed me so far.

Philadelphia -3 over DETROIT

The Eagles will be rested after their bye with plenty of time to prepare for this floundering Lions team. Without a running game, the Lions will be hard-pressed to move the ball on Philly’s surprising defence.

Chicago +4.5 over INDIANAPOLIS

While it’s hard to trust the Bears with Brian Hoyer likely to start, the Colts had to fly back from London this week and have looked just as bad this season.

Atlanta +5.5 over DENVER

The Falcons certainly won’t put up 500 passing yards on the Broncos, but they could do enough to possibly eke out a win. The Denver defence is an elite group, but it has to have an off week eventually, right?

LOS ANGELES -2 over Buffalo

The Bills basically won their Super Bowl by shutting out the Patriots last week. Playing across the country without their top receiver against a pretty good defence should be a letdown for Rex Ryan’s crew.

Chargers +3.5 over RAIDERS

San Diego has collapsed repeatedly this season, but at least their losses have been close. The Raiders are improving by the week, but we’re not buying them as favourites yet.

Cincinnati -1 over DALLAS

No offence to the Cowboys’ opponents so far this season, but Dak Prescott hasn’t exactly faced any premium competition yet. The Bengals have key linebacker Vontaze Burfict back and he’ll certainly be looking to shutdown Ezekiel Elliott.

New York Giants +7.5 over GREEN BAY

Even with all the hoopla surrounding Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants offence, you can’t forget that their defence is improved and the Packers aren’t exactly looking great so far. Green Bay comes off a bye, but their passing offence and defence haven’t gotten going yet.

CAROLINA (NL) over Tampa Bay

Two teams in tough spots right here. Dropping to 1-4 could be a death sentence for either side and the fact that we don’t know if Cam Newton will play only hurts the Panthers.

Last week: 7-7

This season: 34-27

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