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You can't really get a good handle on NFL teams until a month of the season is completed.

We are there.

That means it's my time to get it going with these picks. Week 4 wasn't so great. I went 10-6 straight up, but 6-9-1 against the spread.

That's vulgar.

The season records are now 39-25-0 straight up and 29-33-2 against the spread. The second number has to be better. It will. 

It's October. It's time to surge. 

Chicago Bears at Washington Commanders (-6.5)

Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET (Amazon Prime Video)

This isn't a pretty game for a Thursday night. But both teams showed well last week in losses, which is progress for the Bears. The Commanders got Sam Howell back on track against the Eagles. This is a bad Bears defense, so it will continue. The Washington defense will limit Justin Fields. Commanders take it. 

Pick: Commanders 30, Bears 17 (Result: Bears win 40-20)

Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills (London) (-5.5)

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET (NFLN, fubo)

This is Buffalo's home game, but the Jaguars will have been in London for over a week by the time this kicks off. That's an edge. Buffalo was dominant last week against Miami, and Josh Allen is playing at a high level. The Jaguars looked better last week, but they won't be able to slow Allen. It will be high scoring. Bills win it. 

Pick: Bills 30, Jaguars 20

Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-2)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

The Texans are one of the surprises so far this season. C.J. Stroud has been outstanding. Desmond Ridder has not. The Texans are the better team right now, but this will be a tough challenge against a Falcons team coming off a loss. Atlanta will get back on track. The Falcons take it. 

Pick: Falcons 27, Texans 21

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions (-9)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

The Panthers are 0-4 and Bryce Young is struggling. Now they face a Lions team that will be rested having played last Thursday. Detroit impressed in blowing out Green Bay on the road, with the defense coming up big. It will stay that way as the Lions go to 4-1 behind the defense. 

Pick: Lions 30, Panthers 14

I only make straight-up and against-the-spread picks, but the Sportsline Projection Model closely examines the totals for each game. See which side to bet right here.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

In a division where everybody has the same 2-2 record, this is an important early-season game. The Titans impressed in beating the Bengals last week, with the defense playing well. That will carry over here. The Titans will slow down Anthony Richardson and the Colts, while Derrick Henry has a big day. Titans take it. 

Pick: Titans 24, Colts 20

New York Giants at Miami Dolphins (-11)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

The Giants are a mess. The offensive line is a major issue. The Dolphins have some line issues as well, but after a so-so game last week Tua Tagovailoa will get it back going right again. Dolphins big. The offense explodes again. 

Pick: Dolphins 35, Giants 20

New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots (-1.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

These two are both coming off losses where the offenses were horrible. Mac Jones is really struggling for the Patriots, while Derek Carr looked hurt last week. This will be a game dominated by the defenses. At home, give me the Patriots -- even with the bad offense. 

Pick: Patriots 21, Saints 17

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

It's consecutive road games for the Ravens, but they played well at Cleveland. They faced a backup quarterback, and might do so here. Lamar Jackson and the offense seem to be getting it going in Todd Monken's system. But something says the Steelers regroup in this one, no matter who plays quarterback for them.

Pick: Steelers 20, Ravens 17

Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals (+3)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

At 1-3, the Bengals are in survival mode. This is a consecutive road game, which makes it tough. Arizona has been feisty so far in going 1-3, but I think this is the week Joe Burrow and the offense get it going for the Bengals. If not, they are done. Burrow has a good day. 

Pick: Bengals 27, Cardinals 23

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams (+4)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

This is a long trip for an Eagles team that is undefeated, but certainly not playing like it did late last season. The Rams are 2-2 and overachieving. The Rams have shown they will be competitive against good teams. I think that shows up in this one. It's close. 

Pick: Eagles 26, Rams 24

New York Jets at Denver Broncos (-2)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

This is the Nathanial Hackett Bowl, given that name because Broncos coach Sean Payton lit up Hackett for his coaching job in Denver last season. Hackett is now the Jets offensive coordinator. Payton is 1-3 and his team hasn't looked good. The Jets played well in losing to the Chiefs last Sunday night. That will carry over here. Zach Wilson plays better again and the Jets defense smothers Russell Wilson

Pick: Jets 21, Broncos 18

Kansas City Chiefs at Minnesota Vikings (+5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

The Vikings won last week for the first time and now get a Chiefs team playing on the road in successive weeks. The Chiefs haven't looked great on offense this season, but the Vikings defense is the perfect tonic. Look for Patrick Mahomes to light up the aggressive Brian Flores defense.

Pick: Chiefs 34, Vikings 23

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (-4)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, fubo)

This is the game of the week, a rematch of San Francisco's playoff victory last week. The 49ers are rolling right now and the Cowboys are coming off a beatdown of the Patriots. But this is a tough task on the road. Look for the 49ers to get the best of it again as Christian McCaffrey continues his MVP play. 

Pick: 49ers 26, Cowboys 20

Green Bay Packers at Las Vegas Raiders (+2)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN, fubo)

The Packers are coming off a terrible home loss last Thursday, but they've had time to stew and get some guys back healthy. The Raiders looked bad in losing to the Chargers. Jimmy Garoppolo might be back here, but it won't matter. The Packers take it. 

Pick: Packers 28, Raiders 21