NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 5

Welcome to the fifth week of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series as we reach the quarter way mark into the season. Last week we continued our streak of success with a closer than preferred Broncos victory over the Vikings, bringing our streak to four. Unfortunately, our secondary picks weren’t so lucky as we went 1-1 due the Bills deciding not to show up for their game against the Giants. Let’s go for five!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

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Three games went into overtime last week, and surprise, surprise, two of them were division matchups. Not only did we see the Ravens/Steelers and Jaguars/Colts go into extra innings so to speak, but we also saw St. Louis give the Cardinals their first loss of the season, as well as the Redskins surprisingly overcame the struggling Eagles. The surprises keep on coming, and that’s why I keep avoiding. Follow my number one rule: avoid the below division games:

  • Indianapolis at Houston
  • Cleveland at Baltimore
  • Denver at Oakland

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Similar to the above, two of the three overtime games last weekend were the Thursday night and Sunday night prime time matchups. Even the Monday night game came down to the wire, where Detroit was a bad call away from upsetting the Seahawks in Seattle. As unpredictable as divisional games are, these matchups aren’t any better. Unless you want to take a chance I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Indianapolis at Houston
  • San Francisco at NY Giants
  • Pittsburgh at San Diego

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Nine of fourteen games (not counting London) were won by the home team this past weekend, and not only that, the home team’s only won by an average margin of one touchdown. Six of these games were decided by a field goal or less. This is where home field advantage really comes into play, when the home team is down by one score with the crowd on their side, anything can happen. Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • New England at Dallas
  • Arizona at Detroit
  • Buffalo at Tennessee

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

Atlanta over Washington

This is a tough week to pick from since there are so many mediocre to bad teams playing each other. Believe it or not, but four of the week’s fourteen games (29%) feature matchups of teams with 1-3 records playing each other. It’s almost as hard to believe as the fact that Philly and New Orleans are both 1-3 at this point in the season. That all being said I’m going with Atlanta this week since they are the team with the hot hand, and playing in front of their home crowd I expect them to be victorious over the very inconsistent Washington Redskins.

Other options I like this week:

Kansas City over Chicago

My gut tells me that this is not the pick to make, since it is possible Cutler, Jeffery, and Forte could all be playing this Sunday, but based on my 1-3 conundrum mentioned above, this is a safer pick than some of the other games out there. The one thing that makes me feel better about this pick is it gets very loud in Kansas City and we all know Cutler is a quarterback who can be easily rattled.

Green Bay over St. Louis

Green Bay is playing some of the best football in the NFL right now, and everything points to the fact that they should win this game. However, St. Louis is one of the biggest mystery’s this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Green Bay wins by 30, or if St. Louis wins by 3. That being said, odds are favoring the first outcome, so if you need another pick, go with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Thanks for reading!


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