30 Team Parlay: Top Gambling Picks for Week 5

I’ve already hit the point in the season where I hate watching football. It happens, right? Nobody outside of the greater Indianapolis and Miami-Dade county area gave a damn about the Colts/Dolphins game. That is, unless you had Jonathon Taylor in your fantasy lineup, or worse, you had Carson Wentz or Jacoby Brissett in your fantasy lineup. Or you could be me, and at halftime, you bet on Mike Gesicki to score the first touchdown of the second half.

It takes a certain level of degenerate to be cursing the existence of Mo Allie-Cox because he did his job and caught a touchdown pass, killing your 7-1 bet.

I find myself doing this four to five times every week. I end up watching a game to which I have no allegiance nor do I even particularly care about personally. I just need someone to score a touchdown. So I sit around and watch. And watch. And watch. You find something very important about a number of offenses in the league when you really pay attention… a bunch of them are absolutely terrible. And not even terrible in a bad team just being bad sort of way. The Lions and Jaguars aren’t going to be contending for anything other than the first pick in the draft this season. But they both have offenses that can rack up yards and points, even in garbage time.

No, I’m referring to the Dolphins, Patriots, Broncos, Steelers, Saints, and Washington Football Team, along with several others on any given week. These are just plodding offenses that exist to keep punters employed. Teams like this make me think that the NFL schedule should be fluid throughout the season. Instead of taking up our Sunday viewing, the Dolphins and Patriots should be forced to play at 11 am on a Tuesday. The short week they will suffer from after that is punishment for their terrible offense hubris.

Broncos versus Steelers? Make them play in Kazakhstan. It would be a 2 am Eastern Time Zone start, but we would be bringing football to a part of the country that neither cares nor particularly wants football. It would be wonderful. They can play in some decrepit soccer stadium with barbed wire on the roof. The only people there will be curious locals who don’t know who to cheer for so they just kind of watch. John Elway can be brought out to tepid applause as an ambassador for the league.

You don’t like it? Then you probably shouldn’t have decided you should let Ben Roethlisberger come back for another season. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET, ROONEY FAMILY. KAZAKHSTAN. TWO AM! LET’S GO!

New York Giants (+7) at Dallas Cowboys

There is only one undefeated team left in the league. No, not the Cardinals. The Cowboys are the only team that is undefeated against the spread this season. In fact, so far this season, there are only eight teams with a record above .500. They also have the third-highest average score over the spread. So far, they are beating the spread by 8.4 points this season.

The Giants are 2-2 against the spread this season, but on the aggregate, they have beaten the spread by an average of 0.0 points per game. That’s right, they have lost as badly as they have won.

Where this match is going to be fought is on the ground. The Giants have given up the 11th most rushing yards so far this season. They have played against such top-end running backs as Alvin Kamara, Antonio Gibson, and…ahem…Cordarelle Patterson. They have played the teams with the 7th, 11th, 19th, and 25th most rushing yards in the league this year. Unfortunately for them, the Cowboys are second in the NFL in rushing this season.

Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are looking every bit like one of the best running back combos in the NFL while running behind a rejuvenated offensive line. As a team, they are averaging 5.4 yards per carry, also good for second in the NFL. The Cowboys, on defense, have given up with the sixth-fewest yards on the ground, meaning that for the Giants to win, they will need to beat Dallas through the air.

The Cowboys have given up the second-most yards through the air. Part of that is related to them being involved in blowouts the past two weeks, and in the two weeks before that, they played against Tom Brady and Justin Herbert.

It should go without saying that Daniel Jones is not those quarterbacks. While there is some talent at wide receiver, with Kenny Golladay playing into shape and Kadarius Toney showing he should get on the field more, there just isn’t enough horsepower on this Giants roster to keep up with a Cowboys team that looks like a legitimate contender.

If you don’t feel good about taking the Cowboys giving a full touchdown, you can run an alternate spread down to the Cowboys (-4.5) or tease them with a couple of other teams. Right now, I like running a 4.5 point tease on a parlay involving the Cowboys, Cardinals, Ravens, and that godforsaken Tennessee team.

Detroit Lions (+8.5) at Minnesota Vikings

For an 0-4 team, the Lions have looked downright mediocre on defense. They are 17th against the pass, which would lead you to believe they would have tripped and fallen into a victory at some point. On offense, they are 20th in rushing yards, and 15th in passing yards. These are not the numbers of a winless team. Merely a bad team.

The national media talks about the Vikings as if they are an offensive juggernaut that is on the cusp of contending for the NFC championship. Their only real weakness is their rushing defense. They have given up the eighth-most yards on the ground and their defense is 19th in the NFL in expected point value-added on defense. And to be honest, I just want to punch Kirk Cousins in the face, so I’ll keep betting against him until the last breath leaves my body. Or his body. More likely his body.

The Lions are (+315) to just up and win the game straight up.  I’m going to bet on the winless, hapless, directionless Lions to win their first game of the season on Sunday.

San Francisco 49ers (+5.5) at Arizona Cardinals

I’m just going to go ahead and not overthink this. One team is undefeated. The other team is switching over to a quarterback who played a few games at what I assume is some kind of MTV: The Challenge type show called North Dakota State. Interesting fact: Deebo Samuel currently leads the NFL in receiving yards. It won’t help the team win this week, but it is neat to think about.

I’m parlaying the Cardinals to win straight up and teasing them with a couple of other teams.  Now let’s all watch the 49ers go out and ruin everyone’s betting week.

Buffalo Bills (+3) at Kansas City Chiefs

Remember that Monday Night Football game a few years back between the Rams and Chiefs? It was supposed to be the greatest offensive game of all time and it got hyped to the point that it could never deliver? And then it did deliver and it was epic. There were nearly 100 points scored in the game and it looked more like a Gatti vs. Ward boxing match.

Anyway, I think this game has the potential to be an epic. One team is taking the regular season seriously, and the other has a quarterback who looks bored enough that he’s trying every ridiculous throwing motion possible to stay motivated during the season. I’m taking the Bills with the points.

Indianapolis Colts (+7) at Baltimore Ravens

In case you weren’t paying attention on Sunday, the Ravens pissed off Vic Fangio and the Broncos by running for five yards to keep a pointless record going at the end of their win last week. Until this “controversy” happened, nobody even knew this record existed. Apparently, it was held by the Steelers in the 1870s or something. When was the forward pass invented? This record has to be before that point, because who cares, otherwise?

This got me thinking, and I have come to the conclusion that I want every team to have an insanely dumb, pointless record that they should try to protect. For example:

  • The Jaguars should be really proud of their losing streak, and their goal should be to lose forever. And to be honest, after this past weekend, there is a very real chance the team doesn’t want to actually win for future USC coach Urban Meyer. Their goal should be to lose 100 consecutive games. It would happen on week four of 2026. That would be amazing.
  • The Bears should take immense pride in their inability to have a competent quarterback. They should go so far as to have an award for the most Bears-ready college quarterback every year, and call it the Stenstrom. It will exclusively be quarterbacks from Iowa and Rutgers.
  • The Bills should embrace their image to such a level that after each game, they attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for most fans jumping through tables. Just week after week. Thousands of drunks hucking themselves through folding tables.

Anyway, The Colts are injured and terrible. They can’t distinguish themselves as not terrible in the worst division in the history of mankind. The AFC South has a chance to truly ruin football in four separate towns. Just kidding. Nashville is nothing but midwestern bachelorette parties, Jacksonville is a godless swamp whose team will be based in London soon, people in Houston are too drunk off the Astros and alcohol to notice. Basketball season is about to start in Indy. Nobody cares about this spectacular zeppelin crash of a division.

I’m going to tease the Ravens down, but I can assure you, I’ll be betting on them and their stupid record for another week.

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