The real referees have been back on the job for a full week now, not that it has stopped the complaints about the quality of the officiating. But as we look ahead to week 5 of NFL action here in the 2012 season, the league is continuing to offer its usual share of surprises, down to the wire finishes, and great excitement. Here’s a rundown at all of the week 5 NFL picks, predictions and odds.
Arizona -1.5 At St. Louis: The Cardinals are the biggest surprise of the year so far at 4-0. The magic continues here on the road against a scrappy Rams team.
Atlanta -3 At Washington: The Falcons are another of the undefeated teams, and they look ready to be a potential title contender. They handle business and win on the road here.
At Pittsburgh -3.5 Philadelphia: The Steelers return from their early bye with a home game against in-state rival Philadelphia. The defense gets to, and punishes, Vick, and the Steelers win the game.
Green Bay -7 At Indianapolis: The Packers are favored by a touchdown on the road against the Colts. Things haven’t been easy for Green Bay this season, but they win this game and cover the spread.
At NY Giants -10 Cleveland: The Giants will look to bounce back from a tough loss in Philadelphia. Cleveland has been able to hang tough in games though, despite losing. Giants to win, Cleveland to beat the spread.
At Minnesota -5.5 Tennessee: The Vikings suddenly look like a potential playoff contender. At home here, they’ll take advantage of a banged up Titans team and continue their winning ways.
At Cincinnati -4.5 Miami: The Bengals head back home and look to keep pace with the Ravens and Steelers in their own division. Cincinnati wins the game, but don’t be surprised to see the Dolphins keep it close.
Baltimore -4.5 At Kansas City: Kansas City has not looked good at all this season, and their offense is going to be up against that ferocious Baltimore D. Take the Ravens to romp, rock and roll in this game, winning the game and covering the spread.
At Carolina -3 Seattle: Panthers look to bounce back from a very tough last second loss against the Falcons. Cam Newton leads the way against an inconsistent Seahawks unit.
Chicago -4 At Jacksonville: If the Bears want to end their season in contention for the postseason, they have to take care of teams like Jacksonville on the road. Take Chicago to win and cover.
At New England -7 Denver: The Patriots offense is rolling once again, but so is Denver’s. Peyton is going to make a fight of it against his old rivals, that’s for sure. Take the Broncos to beat the spread here.
At San Francisco -9 Buffalo: San Francisco’s defense should make some big plays here, and the offense seems to be firing on all cylinders right now too. Take the 49ers to win and cover the spread.
At New Orleans -3.5 San Diego: Could Drew Brees and company really end up as 0-5? They’re a better team than that, and they’ll finally pull out a win here.
Houston -7.5 At NY Jets: The Texans are looking strong and deep on both sides of the football, the Jets are mired in chaos. They’ll offer more this weekend though, beating the spread in a loss to Houston.