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NFL picks Week 5: Vegas Vic sees the Steelers bending just a bit against the Eagles

Our expert is high on Carson Wentz and wants to see more (of Ertz) and less (of Hurts)

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz needs to be more involved in the offense, Vegas Vic says.
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz needs to be more involved in the offense, Vegas Vic says.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

The Eagles travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday, and Vegas Vic says the trip should be worth the trouble. He’s also got some advise for coach Doug Pederson regarding Jalen Hurts and Zack Ertz.

Here is what VV and our staff say about Week 5 in the NFL:


STEELERS (7 ) Eagles (44.5), 1 p.m. (Fox29)

Been around the sports gambling game for a few decades, and have never seen numbers like this. Talking about 1-2-1, 1-3, 1-3 and 0-4. That’s the NFC East. Of course, the 1-2-1 belongs to the Igles, and proud to say, that’s first place, baby. A .375%, allowing 107 points and scoring 84. Of course, the Birds finally spread their wings last week in a sweet 25-20 win over the 49ers and need to keep the flow going. My man, Carson Wentz, was OK, hitting on 18-of-28 for 193 yards, with 1 TD and 1 INT. Two suggestions for Coach Pederson. Please, please, don’t give the ball to Jalen Hurts again. And let’s find a little more than four grabs and nine yards for Zach Ertz. His wife, Julie, could do at least five. Pittsburgh caught an unexpected week off, and comes in at 3-0. But if you look at the three teams the Steelers beat, NY Giants (0-4), Broncos (1-3) and Texans (0-4), that’s a basic so what. Not gonna bet the kid’s college fund, but will take a few pieces of silver out of the draw and drop some on the Green Machine. – Vegas Vic

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Steelers

Les Bowen: Eagles

Paul Domowitch: Eagles

Marcus Hayes: Steelers

Jeff McLane: Eagles

EJ Smith: Eagles

Vegas Vic: Eagles

FALCONS (2 ) Panthers (54), 1 p.m.

Coming in at 0-4, there’s no doubt that Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn must have a win to keep his job. And Carolina coming to town is exactly the team that should provide the best shot at a W. Why? History, baby. Last season, the Falcons (-3.5) smoked the Panthers down in the ATL, 40-20. They also smothered them in Charlotte, posting a yuge 29-3 victory as a +3.5-point underdog. We’re giving Matty Ice one more shot.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Falcons

Les Bowen: Panthers

Paul Domowitch: Panthers

Marcus Hayes: Panthers

Jeff McLane: Falcons

EJ Smith: Panthers (Best Bet)

Vegas Vic: Falcons

CHIEFS (13) Raiders (56.5), 1 p.m.

This is a no doubter for Kaycee but laying 13 with a Thursday Night outing just a few days away is an uh-uh.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Raiders

Les Bowen: Raiders

Paul Domowitch: Raiders

Marcus Hayes: Raiders

Jeff McLane: Raiders

EJ Smith: Chiefs

Vegas Vic: Raiders

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PATRIOTS NL Broncos, 4:25 p.m.

Because of the uncertainty of New England quarterback Cam Newton, this game was off the board Thursday when our staff had to make its selections.

Rams (7 ) WASHINGTON (45.5), 1 p.m.

Woulda rather had Dwayne Haskins at QB but still can’t see Kyle Allen making much of a difference.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Rams (Best Bet)

Les Bowen: Washington

Paul Domowitch: Washington

Marcus Hayes: Rams

Jeff McLane: Washington

EJ Smith: Rams

Vegas Vic: Rams

TEXANS (6) Jaguars (54.5), 1 p.m.

It’s been a tough slog for Houston with all the issues on and off the field, mostly off. We found out that J.J. Watt and coach Bill O’Brien had an ugly screaming match during practice. Watt still there, O’Brien gone! That brings Romeo Crennel to the main headset, and the kids seem to love him. And you think Deshaun Watson is happy to see the Jags? The last time out against Jax, he hit on 22-of-28 for 201 yards and 2 TDs for a gorgeous 120.4 rating.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Jaguars

Les Bowen: Texans

Paul Domowitch: Jaguars

Marcus Hayes: Texans

Jeff McLane: Texans (Best Bet)

EJ Smith: Jaguars

Vegas Vic: Texans

Bills NL TITANS, 1 p.m.

This game also was off the board Thursday because of a Covid-19 outbreak among Tennessee’s players and staff.

Cardinals (7) JETS (47), 1 p.m.

Joe Flacco gets the start for Sam Darnold in New York, and Arizona is positively giddy. The only reason we’re not pushing this game up toward best bet territory is the injury to DeAndre Hopkins. Check his status before you buy 'Zona.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Jets

Les Bowen: Cardinals

Paul Domowitch: Jets

Marcus Hayes: Jets

Jeff McLane: Cardinals

EJ Smith: Cardinals

Vegas Vic: Cardinals

RAVENS (13) Bengals (51.5), 1 p.m. (CBS3)

Forget about his Tiger King nickname because we have another one for Joe Burrow. Mr. ATM! Burreaux, for all my fans down in the Bayou, is still pitching a perfecto in his first NFL season, with a 3-0-1 spread record. And that put him at 12-3-2 the last year and change. How you gonna argue with an 80% cover rate? You can’t. We were gonna roll with Burrow in any case, then just got a little hit from the NFL that said Lamar Jackson did not participate in Baltimore’s Wednesday practice due to a knee injury. The Ravens said it was a ‘minor injury,’ but you know how these guys like to be all stealthy and shade the truth. Just imagine taking 13 points and seeing Robert Griffin III or Sam Koch under center. Might not happen, but ya never know. We have seen Griffin, but third-stringer Sam Koch. What? He played at Nebraska, that school known for producing great QBs, wink, wink. As long as Mr. ATM is on the field, there’s only one thing left to say. This is my best bet, baby!!

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Ravens

Les Bowen: Bengals

Paul Domowitch: Bengals

Marcus Hayes: Ravens

Jeff McLane: Bengals

EJ Smith: Ravens

Vegas Vic: Bengals (Best Bet)

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49ERS (8) Dolphins (47), 4:05 p.m.

Too many injury issues on the San Francisco side, which should allow the Fish to swim away with a back-door cover.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Dolphins

Les Bowen: Dolphins

Paul Domowitch: Dolphins

Marcus Hayes: Dolphins

Jeff McLane: 49ers

EJ Smith: 49ers

Vegas Vic: Dolphins

COWBOYS (9.5) Giants (54.5), 4:25 p.m. (CBS3)

Dallas is ready to explode, and New York has no answers. The Boys have averaged 31.5 points per game with Zak Prescott putting up Madden 2020 numbers, while the NYG are averaging just over 11 points per game. This rodeo is all Dallas.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Cowboys

Les Bowen: Giants

Paul Domowitch: Cowboys

Marcus Hayes: Giants

Jeff McLane: Giants

EJ Smith: Cowboys

Vegas Vic: Cowboys

Colts (1.5) BROWNS (46.5), 4:25 p.m.

A little nervous about the spread here. Not sure why Indy is the favorite at Cleveland but totally sure about some other stuff. Like the fact that everyone is puffing up the Colts defense. Yeah, they’ve allowed only 29 points in their last three games, but that was against pathetic offensive teams (Vikings, Jets, Bears) who couldn’t find the end zone with the WAZE app inside their helmets. Gimme some Baker and OBJ for the money.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Browns

Les Bowen: Colts

Paul Domowitch: Browns (Best Bet)

Marcus Hayes: Colts

Jeff McLane: Colts

EJ Smith: Browns

Vegas Vic: Browns

SEAHAWKS (7) Vikings (57.5), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Russell Wilson is out of his mind, hitting on 103-137 for 1,285, 16 TDs and only 2 INTs. Game over!

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Vikings

Les Bowen: Seahawks (Best Bet)

Paul Domowitch: Seahawks

Marcus Hayes: Seahawks

Jeff McLane: Vikings

EJ Smith: Vikings

Vegas Vic: Seahawks


SAINTS (7.5) Chargers (50.5), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Justin Herbert will be a dynamic NFL QB but not this week facing Drew Brees. Keeping it real light because of too many N.O. injuries.

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Chargers

Les Bowen: Chargers

Paul Domowitch: Chargers

Marcus Hayes: Saints

Jeff McLane: Saints

EJ Smith: Chargers

Vegas Vic: Saints


Buccaneers (5) BEARS (44.5)

Bears 20, Bucs 19

Staff picks:

Ed Barkowitz: Buccaneers

Les Bowen: Buccaneers

Paul Domowitch: Buccaneers

Marcus Hayes: Bears (Best Bet)

Jeff McLane: Bears

EJ Smith: Buccaneers

Vegas Vic: Bears


Entering Week 5/Best bets in parentheses

1. EJ Smith (1-3), 36-25-1, .589

2. Vegas Vic (1-3), 33-28-1, .540

3. Jeff McLane (3-1), 32-29-1, .524

4. Les Bowen (3-1), 31-30-1, .508

5. Marcus Hayes (2-2), 30-31-1, .492

6. Paul Domowitch (3-1), 29-32-1, .476

7. Ed Barkowitz (2-2), 28-33-1, .460

Last week

Jeff McLane 8-5-1, 0-1 Best Bet

Vegas Vic 7-6-1, 1-0

EJ Smith 7-6-1, 0-1

Ed Barkowitz 6-7-1, 1-0

Les Bowen 5-8-1, 1-0

Paul Domowitch 5-8-1, 1-0

Marcus Hayes 5-8-1, 0-1

Note: The New England-Kansas City game was taken off the board after Cam Newton was declared out after testing positive for Covid-19.

Picking Eagles’ games

Ed Barkowitz 3-1, Marcus Hayes 3-1, Les Bowen 2-2, EJ Smith 2-2, Vegas Vic 2-2, Paul Domowitch 1-3, Jeff McLane 0-4.