NFL Week 5 Picks: Time For The Underdogs To Take Over

JJ Watt

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-1)

It’s the numbers. It’s always the numbers. It may appear to be stubbornness or an unwillingness to admit defeat, but it is actually neither.

We continue to pick the Titans because the trends continue to point in their favor. After a while, the trends are irrelevant when compared to the results, but Tennessee is simply one team that helps balance the scales, as nothing has a 100 percent success rate. Evidence of this can be found in Indianapolis’ mauling of the Titans, the only incorrect confidence pick from last week.

Alas, the same reasoning needs to be applied, yet again. A 1-3 Titans team, losers of their last three games by a combined score of 100-34, have no business being listed as the favorite, especially against a team coming off a bye who has not lost a game by more than a field goal. Whenever the spread cannot be explained by the value of recent play, an immediate red flag comes up.

While Cleveland gets credit for losing two games by a combined score of five points, there is something to be said about the inability to finish close games with a win. The Browns are 1-2 for a reason, and rookie head coach Mike Pettine has shown nothing to indicate that an extra week of preparation will lead to better on-field performance. In fact, the Browns’ worst half of football came in their opening game against the Steelers. If Cleveland was ill-prepared with months leading up to their first game, two weeks of game planning is relatively moot.

The Titans hand the Browns their third close loss of the season, beating Cleveland by a field goal and covering the favorably small spread.

author avatar
Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola