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NFL Week 5 Bettors Guide: Patriots should handle Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has had a tough time adjusting to the 49ers imploding around him. He will get the Giants this Sunday night.Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has had a tough time adjusting to the 49ers imploding around him. He will get the Giants this Sunday night.

From the best NFL games to bet, to the ones you should steer clear of, check out our guide to get you through the week a winner. Then check out how the rest of our crew of pigskin experts see this weekend’s action as they pick against the spread.

8:30 p.m., Sunday, Ch. 4, Giants by 7, 43

TASCH’S TONIC: Two weeks ago the sky was falling on the Giants and their season after two brutal losses. Now they’re tied for the NFC East lead, and they have a decent chance at being all alone atop the division after Sunday as they welcome the hapless 49ers to town. The Giants’ defense was mighty impressive against Rex Ryan’s undisciplined Bills, and the Niners put up another clunker as their offense continues to look completely inept. The Giants do have the league’s worst pass defense, but Colin Kaepernick has been so bad over the last two weeks that we can’t see him being able to take advantage. San Fran is averaging just 12 points per game through four weeks. Both teams should keep trending in the directions they’re headed.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Giants and the under

1 p.m., Sunday, Ch. 5, Bengals by 3, 43

TASCH’S TONIC: This will be the Bengals’ greatest test yet. Andy Dalton has done a tremendous job leading Cincinnati against less-than-stellar AFC foes, but now he’ll have his work cut out for him against a Seahawks defense rejuvenated over the last two weeks following the return of safety Kam Chancellor. Seattle lucked out on Monday night thanks to incompetent officiating and has seen its share of struggles away from home over the years. The Bengals are 4-0 in the standings and against the spread, and I’d take them giving three points at home almost always. Almost. It’s about time the Bengals get humbled, and Russell Wilson will make enough plays to give the Seahawks the win.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Seahawks and the under

4:25 p.m., Sunday, Ch. 2, Patriots by 8½, 49½

TASCH’S TONIC: This is just what the Cowboys need coming off an overtime loss to the Saints on Sunday night: Playing host to the Tom Brady roadshow. The Patriots are in complete juggernaut mode in the wake of DeflateGate and the brief HeadsetGate that dominated discussions after their Week 1 win over the Steelers. The Cowboys? The hits just keep on coming. Already without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, they lost their top pass-catching running back Lance Dunbar to a torn ACL last Sunday. They’re simply lacking the firepower to keep up with the Pats, who will turn Jerry’s Palace into their personal playground.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Patriots and the over

1 p.m., Sunday, Eagles by 5, 49

TASCH’S TONIC: We can say this much for the Eagles: They remain as compelling as any team in the NFL, just not for the reasons they expected. Many questioned all the moves Chip Kelly made during the offseason, and while he’s holding firm in his belief in the personnel, he admits he has “to do a better job play calling.” This comes after DeMarco Murray says he doesn’t think he’s getting the ball enough. Byron Maxwell, Mychal Kendricks and Lane Johnson are all banged up. Drew Brees looked just fine in his return on Sunday and though the Saints’ defense leaves a lot to be desired, there are few messes they’d rather face at the moment.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Saints and the under

1 p.m., Sunday, Packers by 9½, 46½

TASCH’S TONIC: Take a bow, Todd Gurley. The rookie running back rewarded the Rams for their patience by rushing for 146 yards in Sunday’s big win over the previously undefeated Cardinals. Amazingly, 106 of those yards came in the fourth quarter. If he turns out to be the real deal and Tavon Austin can produce consistently, the Rams suddenly have a formidable offense. St. Louis did sustain a blow to its defense with Alec Ogletree suffering a fractured fibula, and his absence is exacerbated by a matchup against Aaron Rodgers. The Packers won each of their first two home games by 10 points, but we think St. Louis keeps it within single digits here.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Rams and the over

4:05 p.m., Sunday, Cardinals by 3, 44

TASCH’S TONIC: The Lions just can’t catch a break. They’re 0-4 but haven’t been blown out in any game, and they got shafted by a missed batted ball call on Monday as they were mounting a potential game-winning drive. They seem due, and the Cardinals may be ripe for the picking after suffering their first loss, but we just see this Detroit season continuing in that fashion: Cruel loss after cruel loss. DeAndre Levy returns but Detroit is dealing with injuries on its defensive front and they can’t run the ball. If Arizona can keep Levy and the pass rush at bay, Carson Palmer will continue his strong start and get the Cards back in the win column.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Cardinals and the under

4:25 p.m., Sunday, Broncos by 5, 43½

TASCH’S TONIC: Though it was another successful week for me in Week 4, I whiffed on my best bet yet again. That’s what I get for showing confidence in the Raiders. After failing to defeat the hapless Bears, Oakland has to face Denver’s stout defense which has allowed just 275.5 yards passing per game. The Raiders have the second-worst pass defense at 403.8 yards per, and the Broncos have simply had their way with the Silver and Black since Peyton Manning’s arrival in 2012, winning all six matchups by a combined score of 222-85. The closest Oakland final Oakland had during that stretch was losing by 13.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Denver and the over

1 p.m., Sunday, Ravens by 7, 43½

TASCH’S TONIC: The Ravens kept their season from going off the rails by winning a game against the Steelers they had no business being in. They’ll be sending Josh Scobee a Christmas card. Cleveland has had a flair for the dramatic the last two weeks, losing to the Raiders on a late fourth-quarter interception thrown by Josh McCown — a week after Johnny Manziel led the Browns to victory — and dropping last week’s game after an offside on a missed field goal allowed the Chargers a second chance at a winning kick. Expect more drama on Sunday.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Browns and the over

1 p.m., Chiefs by 9, 45½

TASCH’S TONIC: What a brutal three-week stretch it was for the Chiefs, having to face the Broncos at home, where they completely blew the game at the end, and then the Packers and Bengals on the road. The perfect remedy for their autumn blues is a home tilt against the Bears. Expect a big game from Jamaal Charles against Chicago’s weak run defense. One thing that has killed the Chiefs is their inability to convert on third down (26.1%, worst in the NFL). But opponents have converted on third down 45.8% of the time, third-worst rate in the league for the Chicago defense. KC rights the ship at home.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Chiefs and the over

1 p.m., Sunday, Falcons by 7, 48

TASCH’S TONIC: Washington’s defense has somewhat quietly been very good thus far, sixth best in total yardage and second-best against the run. It has yet to face an inspiring rushing attack, however, and they’re gonna have a tough assignment against the emerging Devonta Freeman, who had three more touchdowns last week. Washington also has a banged up secondary that doesn’t seem capable of handling the nightmare that is Julio Jones. It might have a chance if it can get RBs Alfred Morris and Matt Jones going, but we don’t trust that team enough to keep up with Atlanta’s offense in the Georgia Dome.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Falcons and the over

1 p.m., Sunday, Ch. 2, Bills by 2½, 42½

PICK: Bills and the under

1 p.m., Sunday, Buccaneers by 3, 42½

Philip Rivers and the Chargers are tough to figure out this season.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Philip Rivers and the Chargers are tough to figure out this season.

PICK: Jaguars and the over



8:30 p.m., Monday, ESPN, Chargers by 3, 45½

Maybe it’s just me, but Philip Rivers and the Chargers are one of the toughest teams to get a read on thus far. A couple of nail-biting wins at home, a five-points loss at Cincinnati and a very underwhelming effort at Minnesota. The return of Antonio Gates should help some. Mike Vick is too far past his prime to be counted on for four quarters, and Todd Haley inexplicably kept the ball out of Le’Veon Bell’s hands during crucial plays down the stretch against Baltimore. We think (hope) he’s learned his lesson.

CAN’T HELP YOURSELF? Steelers and the over


Patriots: When in doubt, bet on Brady.

LAST WEEK: 9-5-1

OVERALL: 37-24-2



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