Pudge’s Picks – Thursday Night Week 5 2014

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater might look like a rookie this week

It wasn’t great for me last week picking games, but it’s one I can live with. As long as I keep my head above .500, I can sleep comfortably at night. Although my inability to pick straight winners this year still continues to confound me, as I finished 7-6 last week. I fared better against the spread with an 8-5 record, bringing my season total there to 35-26, which is just one win better than my record picking straight up.

Being able to pick 57 percent of winners versus the spread is great in my book, but that straight win percentage should be somewhere north of 65 or 70. It’d be easy for me to pass it off as an oddball NFL season, but that would be my meager attempt at padding my ego.

Last week was a week of “boat races,” where several teams got beat by big margins. Eight of the 13 Week 4 games were decided by 19 or more points, with the average margin of victory being about 17.6 points. I’ll have to keep that in mind when picking this weekend’s games as that is unlikely to occur two weeks in a row.

Minnesota Vikings (2-2) at Green Bay Packers (2-2)
Thursday, October 2 at 8:25 pm ET on CBS/NFL Network

*Line: Packers (-9.5)

The Packers are starting to play up their usual standard with an impressive win over the Chicago Bears last week. I think getting Bryan Bulaga back at right tackle has helped matters certainly, as history tells us that a team that can get pressure on Aaron Rodgers can really slow down their offense. Eddie Lacy didn’t quite have the breakout performance I was expecting last week, so that is concerning.

But the Packers get the Vikings on a short week with their new savior, Teddy Bridgewater, nursing an ankle injury. While Bridgewater might still play, I don’t expect him to be playing at full capacity and show the sort of mobility he had a week ago against the Falcons. And unlike the Falcons, the Packers sport legitimate edge-rushers in Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews, that could be very problematic particularly with how poorly the Vikings offensive line has been this season (excluding last week of course).

But nonetheless, I do think this could be a relatively even contest, which will fly in the face of every Thursday Night game played thus far this season. Every game has been decided by at least 20 points, with the average margin of victory being 28.3 points. So that means if the Packers win, they should win big. But I think Minnesota’s defense can do enough to keep things relatively close, and given the fact that Green Bay’s defense isn’t exactly a world-beater, I think we might get our first Thursday Night game where the winner only wins by a single score. Based off this season thus far, that is a very bold prediction and likely one I’ll live to regret.

Spread Pick: Vikings
Straight Pick: Packers

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
Founder of FalcFans.com