Randall the Handle's NFL Week 5 selections

"Off the Mark" Sanchez of the New York Jets, as Randall the Handle calls him, has to deal with the New England Patriots defence this week. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP)

RANDALL THE HANDLE, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:51 PM ET

BEST BETS

Titans (3-1) at Steelers (2-2)
LINE: PITTSBURGH BY 3

This is a prime example of when to buy low and sell high. The Titans are an early surprise but we think it may be window dressing. While QB Matt Hasselbeck is being praised, we need look back to just last week where, in a 31-13 bashing of the Browns, the quarterback completed a mere 10 passes. Let’s not forget that Tennessee lost to the lowly Jaguars, beat the Ravens in a letdown spot and barely squeezed by the visiting Broncos. The Steelers won their lone home game by a 24-0 count and are now back here after two on the road. Yes, Pittsburgh is banged up, but not enough to be set in this price range against this meagre visitor.
TAKING: STEELERS -3
RISKING: $33 TO WIN $30

Buccaneers (3-1) at 49ers (3-1)
LINE: SAN FRANCISCO BY 2.5
While the 49ers appear to be better under the guidance of first-year coach Jim Harbaugh, there is still much to be desired. Defensively, San Francisco allowed more than 500 yards to both the Cowboys and the Eagles. Offensively, the team ranks 28th in the league and has had just one game where it exceeded 300 yards of total offence. Tampa Bay’s defensive front is a stout unit that can stifle the Niners’ anaemic running game, forcing the incapable passing game to overcome. Tampa is a competent road team with nine wins in last 11 away, including a 21-0 shutout last season on this very field.
TAKING: BUCCANEERS +2.5
RISKING: $33 TO WIN $30

Saints (3-1) at Panthers (1-3)
LINE:  NEW ORLEANS by 6.5
The Saints are a funny bunch as they often play to the level of their opponent. Just last week, they weren’t at their best but disposed of the unarmed Jaguars. A similar effort may produce a different outcome here. The Panthers have been rejuvenated with the arrival of Cam Newton. Carolina’s offence is averaging 346 yards per game and Newton’s energy has them fighting until the final gun. Saints have never had it easy against this pesky opponent, and with this being the middle game of a three-game road trip, with Tampa on deck, don’t be surprised if this one comes down to the wire.
TAKING: PANTHERS +6.5
RISKING: $33 TO WIN $30

(Last Week: -$77; Current bankroll: $994)


THE REST

Chiefs (1-3) at Colts (0-4)
LINE: INDIANAPOLIS BY 2.5
If an 0-4 team can have a letdown, this might be the spot. After competing in consecutive prime-time games, against superior opposition, the Colts suddenly are being asked to win and to do so by a margin. Chiefs getting incrementally better while Indy’s smallish, overworked defence is wearing down already.
TAKING: CHIEFS +2.5

Cardinals (1-3) at Vikings (0-4)
LINE: MINNESOTA BY 2.5

Hosting the Bucs and Lions is a tougher assignment than having these Cardinals stopping by for a visit. Arizona has just one win in past 11 away and its defence is leaky enough for Minnesota to take advantage. Vikings have been competitive in all their games and appear ready to win.
TAKING: VIKINGS -2.5

Eagles (1-3) at Bills (3-1)
LINE: PHILADELPHIA BY 2.5
The records shown above are not a typo. While most thought it would be the other way around, the Bills have proven to be worthy whereas the Eagles are more like a lame X Factor act. Buffalo is among the top rushing teams while Eagles are giving up a 30th-ranked 140 yards per game.
TAKING: BILLS +2.5

Raiders (2-2) at Texans (3-1)
LINE: HOUSTON BY 6

The Raiders are up to their old tricks, taking too many penalties and having to play catchup as a result. However, Oakland remains diligent and that may be enough against a Houston team whose mental makeup never has been great and now will be asked to perform without its best player. 
TAKING: RAIDERS +6

Bengals (2-2) at Jaguars (1-3)
LINE: JACKSONVILLE BY 2.5
The Bengals defensive line is more than capable of limiting Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. Then what? Cincinnati on a high after comeback win over previously unbeaten Bills and young, talented squad can carry that momentum into this contest against this lame host.
TAKING: BENGALS +2.5

Seahawks (1-3) at Giants (3-1)
LINE: NEW YORK BY 9.5
The Giants have been living a charmed life with unlikely wins in both Philadelphia and Arizona over past couple of weeks. G-men may suffer a mental break here against this woeful traveler and that could prove costly when spotting a big number. Seahawks feeling slightly better after 2nd half offensive output last week.
TAKING: SEAHAWKS +9.5

Jets (2-2) at Patriots (3-1)
LINE: NEW ENGLAND BY 9
Have the Jets fallen off this much? The answer is a resounding yes and then some. New York’s offensive line is a mess, resulting in a poor running game, resulting in “Off the Mark” Sanchez being forced to throw. The Patriots can score in bundles while the Jets lack the ability to counterattack.
TAKING: PATRIOTS -9

Chargers (3-1) at Broncos (1-3)
LINE: SAN DIEGO BY 4
While the Chargers are off to a better start than usual, the offence appears to be struggling somewhat. Perhaps the absence of sparkplug RB Darren Sproles and “go to” tight end Antonio Gates affecting production. Denver happy to be home after two away and a win here tightens division.
TAKING: BRONCOS +4

Packers (4-0) at Falcons (2-2)
LINE: GREEN BAY BY 6
If the Falcons have any coconuts at all, this is a chance to display them. Atlanta looking to regain some dignity and respect after being clobbered 48-21 to the Pack in last year’s post-season. Seems most have forgotten Dirty Bird’s strong home record and last season’s regular-season win over Packers on this field.
TAKING: FALCONS +6

Bears (2-2) at Lions (4-0)
LINE: DETROIT BY 5
When was the last time the Lions played a meaningful prime-timer? Motown should be jubilant but we can’t ignore Detroit’s slow starts, requiring unprecedented comeback wins in successive games. The Bears can be erratic but they’ve faced some stiff competition which should have them battled-tested for this divisional romp.
TAKING: BEARS +5

Last week’s record: 5-11
Season: 29-31-3

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