Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2019

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Week 5 NFL picks and best bets for the Sun’s handicapping contest

Niners

ASSOCIATED PRESS

San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (99) celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

A month into our revamped handicapping contest, we’re still looking for the first week where all four competing sports writers hit their best bets.

Four-for-four on four different teams is at least possible this week, as no one picked conflicting sides on the same game. Like all four picks? A moneyline parlay on the four games — typically a wiser way to parlay sides — would pay out 13-to-1.

Then again, our picks haven’t inspired much confidence so far with the majority of the competitors holding a record of below .500 in the contest that requires six picks per week, including a two-point best bet, from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook’s Supercontest lines.

Read below for all our week 5 picks.

Case Keefer

Points: 15 (13-11)

Panthers minus-3.5 vs. Jaguars

Vikings minus-5.5 at Giants

Buccaneers plus-3.5 at Saints

Falcons plus-5 at Texans

Packers plus-3.5 at Cowboys

Two-point best bet: 49ers minus-3.5 vs. Browns. The market is still showing some hesitance with the 49ers. It shouldn’t. This is one of the best-coached teams in the NFL with above-average talent. They’re coming off of a bye here against a team in a bad situational spot, traveling East to West. All factors point towards San Francisco on Monday Night Football.

Ray Brewer

Points: 14 (11-13)

Steelers plus-3 vs. Ravens

Panthers minus-3.5 vs. Jaguars

Giants plus-5.5 vs. Vikings

Bills plus-3 at Titans

Cowboys minus-3.5 vs. Packers

Two-point best bet: Saints minus-3.5 vs. Buccaneers. Let’s not overvalue Tampa Bay for its win on the road last week at the Los Angeles Rams. The Bucs still have a quarterback prone to making bad decisions in Jamies Winston. The Saints are a better defensive team than the Rams. More important, the Saints haven’t been terrible with Teddy Bridgewater starting for the injured Drew Brees. He’s completed 68 percent on his passes, has thrown just one interception and has led the Saints to two wins.

Justin Emerson

Points: 12 (9-15)

Jets plus-13.5 at Eagles

Saints minus-3.5 vs. Buccaneers

Cardinals plus-3 at Bengals

Chargers minus-6.5 vs. Broncos

Browns plus-3.5 at 49ers

Two-point best bet: Bills plus-3 at Titans. When I saw this line, I thought it was a mistake. The Bills have been terrific through four games, and flustered the Patriots defense last week. Granted, Buffalo’s offense has left a lot to be desired, but it’s not exactly like Tennessee has announced itself as a Super Bowl contender. Bills should win a low-scoring game, or at least cover three points on the road.

Mike Grimala

Points: 8 (6-18)

Ravens minus-3 at Steelers

Patriots minus-15.5 at Redskins

Texans minus-5 vs. Falcons

Packers plus-3.5 at Cowboys

49ers minus-3.5 vs. Browns

Two-point best bet: Jaguars plus-3.5 at Panthers. Both of the young backup quarterbacks in this game have looked good since taking over, but Gardner Minshew has the better defense behind him.

Past Winners: 2012 — Case Keefer; 2013 — Case Keefer, Ray Brewer (tie); 2014 — Case Keefer; 2015 — Case Keefer; 2016 — Ray Brewer; 2017 — Case Keefer, Jesse Granger (tie); 2018 — Case Keefer

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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