Week 5 NFL Against the Spread picks: Coaching hot seat edition

Coaches on the hot seat are always a good topic to discuss. Eight NFL coaches were terminated on the day following the 2012 season. This year, franchises may not be so patient. We have seen two coaches already go down in the first month of the college season. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the pink slip virus reach the NFL level.

Mike TomlinEven Mike Tomlin is starting to feel the heat after the Steelers’ 0-4 start, and he didn’t even bother showering before his team departed London.

He should have skipped the flight home, by the time the Steelers are back from their bye week, three Premier League gigs will likely open up.

And we can’t forget about Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano who has suddenly jumped to near the head of the dead pool in the last few weeks. The Redskins are also on a bye, if they had lost in Oakland last week Mike Shanahan might have been fired at the airport like Lane Kiffin.

Coaches are hired to be fired, unless your name is Bill Belichick. With that in mind I deliver my Week 5 Against the Spread picks hot seat style.

WEEK 4:  11-4
SEASON:  34-27-2


WEEK 4:  1-2
SEASON:  4-8


Buffalo Bills (2-2) +3.5 at Cleveland Browns (2-2)

There are two first-year coaches in this game, and with both teams at 2-2 I cannot put either on the hot seat. In fact if either finishes 8-8, we would be referring to them as potential Coach of the Year candidates. We could do much worse for a Thursday Night game. ATS PICK: Browns

New Orleans Saints (4-0) PICK ‘EM at Chicago Bears (3-1)

The Saints are back and in the conversation as best team in the NFC, so Sean Peyton cannot possibly be in jeopardy. That is, unless he is offering $500 to any member of his defensive line who can make Jay Cutler cry. That would just be easy money. ATS PICK: Saints

New England Patriots (4-0) +1 at Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

The Bengals seem on track for their yearly first-round playoff loss, following the recent script of Cincinnati Reds postseasons. Is Marvin Lewis following the path of Dusty Baker? I don’t care how many receivers the Patriots are missing, I can’t pick against Tom Brady. ATS PICK: Patriots

Detroit Lions (3-1) +7 at Green Bay Packers (1-2)

A nice start for Jim Schwart in Detroit this year, but to be the best, you have to beat the best. Lovie Smith pinned his coaching tenure on beating the Packers, and you saw where that got him.

The Lions’ 22-year stretch of not winning “in the state of Wisconsin” is now the best-known streak in the NFL. I don’t know if the Lions will win, but this is their best shot in a while. ATS PICK: Lions

Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) -2.5 at Tennessee Titans (3-1)

Romeo Crennel and 2-14 seem so long ago now for the Chiefs. The Titans have had a strong start as well, but an injury to quarterback Jake Locker’s hip threatens to derail things. ATS PICK: Chiefs (LOCK)

Seattle Seahawks (4-0) -2.5 at Indianapolis Colts (3-1)

I don’t see either coach leaving in this possible Super Bowl preview. Well, Pete Carroll could consider heading back to Los Angeles now that the USC job just opened up – but I don’t think all of Snoop Dogg’s money could get him out of Seattle at this point. ATS PICK: Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) +11.5 at St. Louis Rams (1-3)

I’m getting ahead of myself here, but what is going to be the line when the Jags go out to Denver next week.  +24, +25?  Even 11.5 is not enough for me against a Rams team better than their 1-3 record.  ATS PICK: Rams

Baltimore Ravens (2-2) +3 at Miami Dolphins (3-1)

John Harbaugh’s Super Bowl ring gives him a free pass for quite a while in Baltimore. The Dolphins being favored by three speaks to how evenly matched the teams are at this point. I don’t see the Ravens going to 2-3. ATS PICK: Ravens

Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) +2 at New York Giants (0-4)

With these records, it almost feels like 1975 all over again. Chip Kelly said in last week’s presser that “90 percent of people don’t care about your problems, and the other 10 percent are glad you have them.” Actually, 100 percent of sportswriters love coaches problems, it sells papers.

Meanwhile, Tom Coughlin has lost nine of his last 12. Somebody needs to find Ray Handley at a Reno casino to get his thoughts on it. ATS PICK: Eagles

Carolina Panthers (1-2) -2 at Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

Ron Rivera’s seat is only lukewarm at this point, but could get hotter if the Panthers lose too many more.  I’m going to keep riding Arizona.  ATS PICK: Cardinals

Denver Broncos (4-0) -7.5 at Dallas Cowboys (2-2)

It is amazing the plug has not been pulled on Jason Garrett in Dallas yet. He has to be the Mike Scioscia of the NFL. Does he have naked pictures of Jerry Jones on his hard drive? ATS PICK: Cowboys

Houston Texans (2-2) +6.5 at San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

No coaches in danger here, but Matt Schaub’s jersey was burned in effigy last week. But if the 49ers tank at home again, the Candlestick crowd will get ugly fast. ATS PICK: 49ers

San Diego Chargers (2-2) -4.5 at Oakland Raiders (1-3)

This game is an 8:35 p.m. local start. Between the regularly scheduled Sunday night game and this one, Bay Area football fans are going to have way too much drinking time on their hands. This could be the ultimate cataclysmic cocktail.

The Raiders go through coaches like quarterbacks, getting more desperate each time. And yes, I could totally see Josh Freeman as the Raiders’ starter a month from now. ATS PICK: Chargers (LOCK)

New York Jets (2-2) +10 at Atlanta Falcons (1-3)

Rex Ryan remains a dead coach walking, but Mike Smith might join him in time for Halloween if Atlanta drops to 1-4. Geno Smith might be a turnover machine, but the Falcons are laying too many points in this one. ATS PICK: Jets (LOCK)


About the Author

Kurt Allen

Have written/blogged about sports since 2000, along with starting my popular Twitter feed in 2009. I also closely follow fantasy sports developments, along with events such as the NFL Draft.