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August 29, 2014

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Football:

Week 5 NFL picks against the spread for the Sun’s handicapping contest

Opinions split on Philadelphia’s trip to Pittsburgh

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu (43) breaks up a play against San Diego in this file photo.

Sun's NFL betting game of Week 5

What side would you bet in the Eagles at Steelers game Sunday morning?
Steelers -3 — 66.1%
Eagles +3 — 33.9%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Sports bettors have something new to factor into their handicapping this weekend — teams coming off bye weeks.

Two of the NFL’s 32 teams received their annual time off during the season — the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts — while the rest of the league battled last week.

All three members of the sports staff in the Sun’s handicapping competition have a take on how the Steelers will fare in Week 5 as three-point favorites, according to William Hill sports books, at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Case Keefer, Ray Brewer and Taylor Bern each picked a side in the all-Pennsylvania showdown. It’s only the second game of the year that all three weighed in on for the contest, which requires Keefer, Brewer and Bern to pick six plays each week.

Two reporters chose the Steelers while one backed the Eagles. Despite a 3-1 overall record, Philadelphia has yet to cover a closing spread this season.

Pittsburgh isn’t much better at 1-2 against the spread, including a loss to the lowly Oakland Raiders as four-point favorites. The Steelers haven’t shown a tendency to perform better after a bye week, going 10-13 against the spread since 1990 in that situation, according to covers.com.

But two defensive staples, safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison, will return from injury in an attempt to slow Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick.

Vick had his best game of the season in a 19-17 victory against the New York Giants in Week 3, throwing for 241 yards and a touchdown on 19-for-30 passing with no turnovers.

Can Vick further leave the first three weeks, in which he registered nine turnovers, behind?

Find picks for the Eagles vs. Steelers and the rest of the selections below. Games are listed in order of kickoff time.

 

Case Keefer

Record: 14-10 (4-2 last week)

Packers -7 at Colts

Bengals -3 vs. Dolphins

Steelers -3 vs. Eagles

Dolphins vs. Bengals under 45

Titans +5.5 at Vikings

Seahawks +3 at Panthers

 

Ray Brewer

Record: 11-12-1 (4-1-1 last week)

Bengals -3 vs. Dolphins

Steelers -3 vs. Eagles

Packers vs. Colts over 47.5

Panthers -3 vs. Seahawks

Titans vs. Vikings over 43.5

Chargers +3.5 at Saints

 

Taylor Bern

Record: 7-16-1 (1-4-1 last week)

Eagles +3 at Steelers

Ravens -6 at Chiefs

Falcons -3 at Redskins

Vikings -5.5 vs. Titans

Bears -4.5 at Jaguars

Broncos +7 at Patriots

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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