Big Ben To Strike In Time At Heinz Field
Bassett is back with his best bets for week 5 on the NFL season and fancies this 13/2 treble to strike.
Week 4 will be the one that got away with two of three selections playing out precisely as anticipated. The Cowboys and Patriots games unfolded exactly as predicted. Unfortunately, the confident unders choice in the Falcons and Washington was nuked in no uncertain terms in an unruly first half, where both sides forgot what to do when out of possession.
The Washington defense in particular looks so far off the pace. Head Coach Ron Rivera would have been thrilled to leave with a win in a helter-skelter encounter. Followers of this column less so, but the beauty of sports is that we always have next week.
Broncos @ Steelers
This segway’s nicely into my first pick on the week 5 slate. I think the Pittsburgh Steelers respond to the negativity and beat the Denver Broncos in front of a raucous home crowd. Lets get to the crux of this pick. The Steelers have been diabolical on offense and they got going too late against the Green Bay Packers last week.
Due to this incompetence they are in a toss up (11/10) against a Broncos side who themselves were on the end of a comprehensive reversal last week at home to the Ravens. For the Steelers there were shoots of recovery on offense with Najee Harris starting to produce something like the form a number 1 pick running back should. On top of that Roethlisberger himself showed he could still get it down the field with some big throws. Unfortunately they were too big and could not be hauled in.
The Steelers do have weapons on offense. Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson are sure to get on the end of some chunk plays provided Big Ben provides the ammunition. On the other side of the ball the Steelers defense is still performing and will give their offence every chance of clicking to claim the victory.
The Broncos are not without issues themselves with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater unlikely to pass concussion protocol leaving back up Drew Lock at the wheel in a daunting Heinz Field. Overall I’m confident the Steelers can grind this out and alleviate some of the pressure after some uninspiring performances to date.
49ers @ Cardinals
Next up is the NFC West Divisional clash as the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals take on the San Francisco 49ers. The Cardinals have been in scintillating form with Kyler Murray in the shake up for MVP, but I’m going to take the 49ers and the +5.5 points (10/11) in this. The 49ers will be pumped and looking to bounce back from a tough defeat against the Seattle Seahawks last time out.
Trey Lance is set for his first NFL start and the mobile quarterback should get a lot of joy against this defensive line. Considering this match was considered a pick ’em at the start of the season, the 5.5 point spread seems like a slight overreaction to both teams start to the campaign.
The Cardinals may scrape home but I believe this will go right to the wire and that the 49ers rookie quarterback can offer different looks to the underwhelming Jimmy Garoppolo.
Patriots @ Texans
Next up is the New England Patriots as they travel to Texas to take on the Houston Texans. Mac Jones is looking more and more comfortable in his role and they really pushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers close last week. A last gap field goal missing by the finest of margins.
The Texans are nowhere near the same calibre of opposition and New England should find the -8.5 points (10/11) spread well within their compass. As always Bill Belichick will have numerous looks for quarterback Davis Mills. The Patriots will most likely pack the box to eliminate the run, and make the novice Mills try and make some plays. The maestro coach has an incredible record against Rookie quarterbacks and this is a trend I expect to continue. If that happens the Patriots defense should hold the Texans to a meagre points tally. Given that prospect I like the under in this game, along with the Patriots producing a comprehensive win to get their season back on track.
There are plenty of other match ups that grabbed my attention this week. The Vikings should bounce back with a comprehensive victory against the Lions. Detroit are fighting hard with a limited squad but considerable injuries will not do their chances of staying within 8 points much good.
The overs in the Bengals v Packers matchup looks attractive, while the Jets Falcons game in London could well produce a minor upset with the Jets making it back to back wins.
Pittsburgh Steelers Moneyline, San Francisco 49ers +5.5 points & New England Patriots -8.5 points. A treble pays 13/2