Yet another UPSET SPECIAL comes through for our fearless forecaster! Cardinals plus 4 ½ vs. Rams produced an outright 37-20 ‘Zona victory. Overall, Irascible Ira was 8-8 last week, so he’s turning to some pretty good ‘B’ teams to take charge this weekend – the Bengals and Browns, Bills and Bucs, and the Broncos (but no ‘da Bears).
By Ira Kaufman
If you forecast the Arizona Cardinals as the only unbeaten NFL team
through four weeks, raise your hand.
With Kyler Murray leading the way with his accurate right arm and fleet feet, the Cardinals are coming off a surprising rout of the Rams on the road. At 4-0, they are healthy favorites at home against the 49ers on Sunday and a victory, coupled with a loss by the Rams Thursday night at Seattle, would open a two-game lead atop the rugged NFC West.
The AFC West is also loaded with a combined 11-5 mark. The Chargers are rolling behind Justin Herbert, who faces a stout Cleveland defense led by Myles Garrett. The Browns have won three in a row, yielding only 13 points in the past two weeks, and Cleveland boasts the league’s No. 1 ground attack, led by the tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
The Giants and Jets were a combined 0-6 before posting OT victories. Rookie QB Zach Wilson got the job done for the Jets while the Giants spoiled the Saints’ return to the Superdome as Daniel Jones threw for 402 yards.
Both Big Apple teams are underdogs this week and so are the surging Bills, who face the Chiefs Sunday night in a rematch of the AFC championship game. Josh Allen should find plenty of success against KC’s soft defense, but Patrick Mahomes is coming off a five-TD performance at Philadelphia.
Here are the NFL picks and odds for Week 5 (odds from BUSR.ag)
L.A. rebounds after a drab effort as Matt Stafford wins a shootout against Russell Wilson and the defensively challenged Seahawks. Remember, road clubs are 33-31 this season. Rams, 30-27.
London’s calling and something has to give between these 1-3 teams. The Jets are last in points scored while Atlanta is last in points allowed. Falcons, 24-20.
The injury-ravaged Buc defense showed some signs of life in Foxborough, overcoming Tom Brady’s pedestrian evening. That trend should continue against Miami’s paucity of playmakers. Bucs, 33-17.
Carolina landed from the unbeaten ranks with a thud while the Eagles hung with the Chiefs. Jalen Hurts will prove too elusive for the Panthers. UPSET SPECIAL: Eagles, 21-17.
No team has been more unpredictable than New Orleans, so Sean Payton may finally decide to let Jameis Winston air it out. Washington’s offense found its stride against Atlanta, but Ron Rivera can’t be happy with his defense. Washington, 24-21.
The Jags are a hapless lot now with a coach on the ropes, Good luck tackling Derrick Henry. Titans, 31-13.
Minnesota needs to get Dalvin Cook untracked — and this looks like the perfect opportunity. Give it up for the Motor City faithful … they’re a hardy lot. Vikings, 27-16.
Mike Tomlin is approaching the moment of truth with Ben Roethlisberger as Von Miller gears up for mayhem. Broncos, 20-9.
Joe Burrow has won over his teammates and Green Bay is ripe for a letdown. Bengals, 27-23.
After preparing for Tom Brady, Bill Belichick should be on cruise control against the reeling Texans. Patriots, 27-7.
With David Montgomery sidelined by a knee sprain, Chicago lacks enough weapons to hang with Derek Carr and company. Raiders, 24-14.
The best news for Giant fans is the sight of Saquon Barkley making plays. He and Daniel Jones will make the home fans sweat a bit in Big D. Cowboys, 27-21.
One of the marquee games of Week 5, this is a showcase for two young teams on the rise. In the end, Cleveland’s physicality wins out. Browns, 24-21.
Ask the shell-shocked Rams if Arizona is for real. San Francisco’s QB issues are undermining a talented roster. Cardinals, 30-20.
Two of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks slug it out in KC. The difference? Buffalo has the better defense. Bills, 34-27.
Indy will stick with a potent ground game led by Jonathan Taylor to keep Lamar Jackson on the sidelines. Ravens, 23-20.
Last week: 8-8 ATS. 10-6 straight-up.
Season: 28-20 ATS. 32-16 straight-up.
Upset special: 3-0.