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Jim Poore is back with his Week 5 picks against the spread. It's no surprise what the Game of the Week is. Take a look and let him know what you think.

We are one quarter of the way through the NFL season, and the San Francisco 49ers are 3-1. And Alex Smith is still their quarterback. The biggest reason for their success is that they play in unarguably the worst division in professional football. The NFC West is abysmal, with three of the four teams sitting at 1-3. The 49ers already have a two game lead, and possibly have the division already wrapped up. I don't see any reason to believe that the three other teams will make any sort of run at all. Yes, it is still very early and anything can happen, but I don't see much from the other three teams in the division to make me change my mind.

   The Tennesee Titans are also surprisingly 3-1, and it looks like new Head Coach Mike Munchak is allowing people to forget about Jeff Fisher. Matt Hasslebeck is actually playing pretty decent, but there is still a long way to go. I don't think the Titans can keep this up, but it looks like they aren't going to lie down for anybody.

  I went 7-9 against the numbers last week, dropping me to one game below .500 for the year. There are some big games this weekend, so let's get right to it.
As always, home team in CAPS.
New York Giants  10  Seattle
It looks like the Giants could now be the team to beat in the NFC East. The Seahawks will continue to be doormats for the rest of the league. I don't know why the spread is only 10, but I like the number.
Giants 31-13
SAN FRANCISCO  2 1/2  Tampa Bay
This was a contender for Game of the Week, and it should be a pretty good game. I am still not sure how good San Francisco is, but I know Tampa is pretty good. If the 49ers can win this game, perhaps they are for real. But I don't think they will. I like the Buccaneers here.
Buccaneers 26-17
Houston  6  Oakland
The Texans are playing well, but with Andre Johnson out other players will need to step it up, including Matt Schaub. The Raiders really aren't very good, especially if Darren McFadden is contained. I think Houston will be fine here even without Johnson, but it's a good thing Oakland is the opponent this weekend.
Texans  28-20
San Diego  4  Denver
The Chargers have actually slipped under the radar a bit, but that's because they play in the AFC West. And Denver is in the AFC West. I don't see any problems here for the Chargers, who likely will cruise through their division.
Chargers  27-13
New Orleans  6 1/2  CAROLINA
Cam Newton is on pace to break Dan Marino's record for most yards in a season. I think he will get a lot of yards this week too. Expect a shootout with the Saints, who can score like crazy. I actually think the Panthers will keep this game pretty close. They have been playing decent even though their record doesn't show it. I think they will cover here.
Saints  37-31
Minnesota  3  Arizona
The Vikings remain winless, and Arizona isn't much better. This was a serious candidate for Stinker this week. The Vikings have to win sometime. It might as well be this week.
Vikings 23-17
Green Bay  5 1/2  ATLANTA
I am not sure what is going on in Atlanta, but they have not looked that good. I can't say that for the Packers, who are one of only two teams that are still undefeated. It is hard to trust the Falcons right now, and Green Bay is rolling. Even in Atlanta, I like the Packers here.
Packers  27-20
JACKSONVILLE  1 1/2  Cincinnati
There might be 1,000 people watching this game, and I will not be one of them. But it must be played, and I must pick a winner. I'll go with the Jaguars.
Jaguars  27-24
Philadelphia 3  Buffalo
Oh pity the poor Eagles. The NFL's Dream Team has been more of a nightmare. And the Bills have been living out a fantasy. I think losing last week will bring Buffalo back to earth a bit. The Eagles are better than they have been playing, and they better get their act together if they want to contend for the post season. I think this is their chance. Buffalo has been a surprise but they aren't that good. This is almost a must win for the Eagles.
Eagles 30-23
Pittsburgh  3 1/2  Tennessee

The Steelers are struggling a bit, and Ben Roethlisberger is getting killed with his offensive line. Their injuries are killing them. I know Tennessee is 3-1, but I don't think they offer much. The Steelers need this win very badly. I think they get it.
Steelers  31-26
DETROIT  5 1/2  Chicago
The Lions are still undefeated after their miraculous come from behind win last week. They are in fact for real. The Bears are a real team, but not for real. I don't see Chicago stopping the Lions this week. If Calvin Johnson isn't the best receiver in the NFL than I am not paying attention.
Lions  30-21

NEW ENGLAND   9 1/2  New York Jets
Not sure how or why this game has such a big spread. The Patriots have the 32nd ranked defense in the league ( that's last by the way ) and the Jets can likely contain Tom Brady and Wes Welker. Mark Sanchez is struggling a bit, but I don't see how the Jets do not cover here. In fact, I think they win outright.
Jets  23-20

INDIANAPOLIS  1 1/2  Kansas City

The Colts are off to a horrendous start, but they are playing hard and their defense is still pretty decent. The Chiefs have problems all over the place. Even without Peyton Manning, the Colts are not this bad. They have to win sometime. This might be their best chance.
Colts  26-21
Record For Week Four: 7-9 ( 11-5 without the spread )
Record Through Week Four: 30-31-3 ( 42-22 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 4-0
Stinker of Week Record: 1-3

Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:

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