ATLANTA — Break out the pink. October is upon us. And only two things join NFL football on the world stage in October. We may end the month with Halloween. But we celebrate the entire month by tackling breast cancer, starting with NFL 2019 Week 5. So man up, and put on that Pink Ribbon in October.
True, professional football is a game played by men. But many NFL fans are women. And in recent years, the league has hired its first female NFL official and its first female assistant coach. Breast cancer mostly affects women. But every man is of woman born.
Breast Cancer Month allows NFL players some measure freedom when it comes to their appearance on the gridiron. The league normally regulates tightly the colors players are allowed to wear on the field. But in October, they can wear pink anywhere on their bodies and faces. And they often do. Meaning that those who think NFL players are too macho to wear pink are completely wrong. In fact, players outdo one another to gain recognition as the most creative pink-clad players on the field.
Football is a violent game. But no player, by the grace of God, has ever died during an NFL game. Breast cancer, however, has killed millions of women over many decades. The NFL once again deserves to be commended for playing a lead role every October by helping raise money and awareness to combat breast cancer, the silent killer of so many women each year.
Now let us get down to football. After getting through a rollicking Week 4, here is our CDN NFL 2019 Week 5 Pink Ribbon Preview and Bettor’s Guide. Point spreads are provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, October 3, 2019, 8:20 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-1.5) —
Launching this Pink Ribbon month are two very good football teams that in recent weeks suffered embarrassing home losses. Michelin Man Wade Phillips saw his defense gashed for 55 points by a weak Tampa Bay team. Sean McVay knows offense and Pete Carroll knows defense. Go with the 12th man and the home field. Seahawks cover.
Sunday, October 6, 1:00 p.m.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers —
Baltimore’s normally good defense suffered an embarrassing home loss to a Cleveland team that may not be a fraud after all. But despite surrendering 40 points recently, we know that Baltimore always gears up to play Pittsburgh. Home field means nothing in this series between a pair of bitter enemies. Expect a physical, close game as always. On this big Pink Ribbon Sunday, Ravens win, but fail to cover.
Chicago Bears (-5) at Oakland Raiders in London —
Khalil Mack will get his revenge. Derek Carr may wish to hand the ball off on every play. Unless the Raiders can successfully run the ball at the teeth of Chicago’s defense, expect the Chicago pass rushers to tee off. Bears cover.
Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) —
This game between a pair of bad teams will be overshadowed by the death of 88-year-old Cardinals patriarch Bill Bidwill. While it would be a great story if they won this game for him, it would go against the mostly-failed history of this franchise, born bck in 1899. Bengals cover.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers (-3.5) —
Nearly 100 years after the dawn of the Cardinals, these teams were born on the same day in 1995. And in 1996, both reached their conference title game. Jacksonville’s defense has been revitalized this year. But they almost blew it at home to lowly Denver. Carolina is experiencing their own renaissance under backup quarterback Kyle Allen. Panthers win but fail to cover.
Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) at New York Giants —
The Giants have finally found their quarterback in Daniel Jones. But seem to have holes everywhere else. The Vikings have a solid defense and running game. But they also have a weak link in quarterback Kirk Cousins. Luckily for Cousins, his defense will overwhelm the overmatched Giants offense. Vikings win but fail to cover.
New England Patriots (-15.5) at Washington Redskins —
As Pink Ribbon Month begins, we find the Patriots are playing even better than usual. That is scary. The Redskins are much worse than usual. That is scary. The only thing uniting Democrats and Republicans in the Beltway is that impeachment proceedings must begin immediately against Daniel Snyder and Jay Gruden. The spread is sky high, but New England’s defense has been suffocating. Patriots cover.
New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles (-13.5) —
Like the Redskins, the Jets are also awful as we enter NFL 2019 Week 5. At the same time, the Eagles are finally getting their act together after a sluggish start. The Eagles have the talent, but the high spread is begging for a late garbage touchdown. Eagles win but fail to cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5) —
The Saints’ defense rallied around Teddy Bridgewater as they gutted out a 12-10 win at home over Dallas. Tampa Bay went on the road and stunned the Rams by putting up 55 points. The Buccaneers will soon start believing their own press. But it was only one game. Reality will return, and the Saints will handle business with a screaming home crowd cheering them on. Saints cover.
Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans (-5) —
Atlanta may be the most maddeningly underachieving team in the NFC this season. For that reason alone, give the Texans the benefit of the doubt at home. They just grind out wins. Texans win but fail to cover.
Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans (-3) —
Buffalo harassed Tom Brady all game last week and made him look pedestrian in a near-upset at home. Buffalo has a defense. Tennessee is not a tough team, and Marcus Mariota has never broken out into super stardom. 20 years ago, Tennessee needed the Music City Adelphia Miracle to win. This time nothing will save them. Upset special, Bills win outright.
Sunday, October 6, 4:00 p.m.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5) —
Both of these teams find ways to lose, even though the Chargers have a prolific offense and Denver has some stars on defense. Denver just lost Bradley Chubb for the year. The Chargers have far more talent, but this is the exact type of game they lose. Chargers win but fail to cover.
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) —
Dallas ran into a buzzsaw defense in New Orleans. Both of these teams expect to mount a deep playoff run. Aaron Rodgers has out-dueled Dan Prescott in recent years. Green Bay’s vastly improved defense looked unimpressive at home against Philadelphia. Green Bay’s reluctance to run the ball in short yardage situations has to change. With the game is on the line, Rodgers has proven himself. Prescott has not. Upset special, Packers win outright.
Sunday, October 6, 8:00 p.m.
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (-11) —
The Colts looked horrendous in a home loss to the Raiders. Indianapolis has a suspect defense. The Chiefs’ offense is led by a superhuman intergalactic wonderland who may be a threat to world civilization. The spread is high and the Chiefs have started all of their last three games poorly. Then they won all of them. Patrick Mahomes has been unstoppable. Chiefs cover.
Monday, October 7, 8:00 p.m.
Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) —
NFL 2019 Week 5 concludes with this Monday night contest. This game will be waged between two teams that were supposed to have left behind their losing ways. One of them will be exposed in a big way Monday. Home field will not be an issue. Both teams can run the ball. The Browns’ defense is good. Yet after a big emotional road win over hated Baltimore, expect a letdown from the Browns. 49ers win but fail to cover.
— Headline image: NFL 2019 Week 5: League Pink Ribbon pin honoring October as Breast Cancer Month. On sale while supplies last via NFLShop.com.