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NFL picks, Week 5: Straight up, 49ers-Cardinals ATS, considering Survivor pool strategy

We’re back with more NFL picks, including Week 5 straight up picks, a Survivor pool, and a look at the 49ers on Thursday Night Football against the spread.

Welcome back for another week of football! And this time, it’s the San Francisco 49ers kicking things off on Thursday Night Football! The 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5, with both teams desperately looking for a win. More on that one shortly.

It’s time for more of my straight up picks for the is back later this evening, and that means it’s time for more straight up picks (ATS picks coming this weekend). I finished 9-6 straight up. Not great, but it’s an improvement over recent weeks. I’ve posted my Week 5 picks straight up down below.

The 49ers are a four point home underdog to the Cardinals. The line opened at Cardinals -2.5 amidst questions at the quarterback position, but the public is strongly supporting Arizona. While Arizona is struggling to do much of anything right at the moment, it’s all about perception. And the 49ers blowing a 14 point lead and losing NaVorro Bowman are not exactly high up in the public estimation. Even with Carson Palmer not playing Thursday evening.

Personally I will not be wagering on this game, but if I were to, it’s hard to bet on the 49ers right now. Thursday football usually offers some advantages to the home team, but the 49ers are struggling in a variety of ways. I would have probably jumped on the Cardinals at 2.5 points, but four points loses me that hook in a big way. My primary concern is that the 49ers come out flat and get dominated coming off a bad Week 4. I do think this is a winnable game, but it could go south in a hurry.

That being said, I will not be grabbing the Cardinals in my Survivor pool. With the Survivor pool, you can only pick a team once. You get one grace loss, so if I pick a team and they lose this week, I’m still alive. If I pick a team next week after that loss, and that latter team loses, then I’m done.

I won last week with Washington, and prior to that used the Dolphins, Raiders (loss), and Texans. This week, I’m leaning toward the Patriots at the Browns. Tom Brady is back, and coming off a bad home loss, I think the Patriots roll the Browns. The Panthers at home against the Bucs, and the Packers at home against the Giants are both intriguing as well. But for now, I’m inclined to go with the Patriots. We’ll see if I change my mind by Sunday.

Here are my straight up picks for the week.

Cardinals @ 49ers: Cardinals
Patriots @ Browns: Patriots
Eagles @ Lions: Eagles
Bears @ Colts: Colts
Titans @ Dolphins: Dolphins
Washington @ Ravens: Washington
Texans @ Vikings: Vikings
Jets @ Steelers: Steelers
Falcons @ Broncos: Broncos
Bengals @ Cowboys: Bengals
Bills @ Rams: Rams
Chargers @ Raiders: Raiders
Giants @ Packers: Packers
Buccaneers @ Panthers: Panthers