After a hot start on the morning slate last Sunday where I covered my first three games, I whiffed on the last two, settling in on the familiar 3-2 week that has defined my betting column this year. I’m not complaining – 60% is a-okay in my book, but I thought I had a shot at a Bingo.
As we sit here in Week 6, the league has taken shape, defenses are adapting to what offenses have put on tape, offenses are adapting or getting exposed – in other words, the fun has really started. It’s also tempting to start looking back on some of those season-long bets and applying that simple math to see if you’re going to cash your over/under bets. I put in five of each and right now, I’m feeling good about all but two. The Broncos over 7.5 wins is dead in the water while the Rams under 8.5 is toast. I got seduced by the Broncos hype – it happens, but I simply missed on the Rams. They’re a much better team than I gave them credit for at the beginning of the year.
As always, good luck, and may you cash your bets.
The following lines were captured on Tuesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.
|Analyst||Jeff Berckes||Erik Smith||Bryan Sweet|
|Pick #1||TEN -3||TEN -3||PHI +7|
|Pick #2||MIA -8.5||CIN-IND U46.5||DET-JAX O54.5|
|Pick #3||BUF +3.5||DAL +2.5||KC -3.5|
|Pick #4||ARI-DAL O54.5||KC -3.5||MIA -8.5|
|Pick #5||NE -9||CAR -2.5||DAL +2.5|
Jeff Berckes: The Titans looked good on Tuesday night, didn’t they? I know, it was a weird, having football on a Tuesday. It’s honestly messed up my whole week and that’s the only thing I’m a little worried about this weekend with the Titans – are they a little worn out by the weird schedule and can they come out and play another complete game against a division rival? I think the answer is yes and honestly, this was the one line that felt off to me. The Titans have shown that they’re mentally tough and that last season’s success was not a fluke. TEN -3
Last week, the Dolphins managed to steamroll the 49ers as 8.5 point underdogs in this very column. I was on the favorites last week in the column but as we got to Sunday, it stuck out like a sore thumb and I put in a bet for the Dolphins to hang tight. This week, the script is flipped as they’re now 8.5 point favorites and while they’re not consistent enough to probably deserve a number so high, their opponent is the New York Jets. Let’s keep riding the hot hand. MIA -8.5
I might regret this one because betting against Patrick Mahomes is not something you want to do in the long term. Both teams are coming off a loss, but the Bills seem to be in a better position to replicate the Raiders’ strategy on the Chiefs than vice versa. I’ve been impressed with the Bills overall this season while the Chiefs have looked a little out of sorts. I’ll take the points. BUF +3.5
I think my favorite games to bet are when two good offenses meet up in a game where neither side has stopped anybody all season. That’s pretty much what we’re getting with Cardinals-Cowboys this weekend. Don’t get tricked into thinking that Andy Dalton is going to require some kind of training wheels. This is the best group of weapons he’s ever had and I expect him to be serviceable. Oh, and Kyler Murray, Texas native, returns to the stadium that he’s an undefeated 5-0 in high school and college. ARI-DAL O54.5
I mentioned the Broncos in the preamble and it looks like they’ll probably get Drew Lock back this week, but with the Melvin Gordon news and how everything has just crumbled around them, I’m not expecting a competitive game in New England. Neither are the oddsmakers as the return of Cam Newton has the line at a robust 9. That’s a big number, but I believe in Cam. NE -9
Erik Smith: I’m often wary of betting divisional games, but this Titans team looks awfully good right now. They have a trio of physical playmakers in Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Jonnu Smith that can bully opposing defenses on a weekly basis, and Houston won’t have an answer for them. I also believe that the Texans bounce back last week was more about the Jacksonville defense than the change at head coach. TEN -3
Despite the Bengals’ awful rush defense, they have held their own against opposing passing games. They will dedicate everything they have to stop the run, as Philip Rivers has looked toast most weeks. On the other side of the ball, Joe Burrow was under constant pressure last week against the Ravens, and it doesn’t get much better this week against a Colts’ defense that battered Baker Mayfield in Week 5. I expect lots of running, a fast-moving clock, and a low score. CIN-IND U46.5
This is less a bet on the Cowboys as it is a bet against the Cardinals, as they have lost to some subpar competition so far. I’m not a big Andy Dalton fan, but he will keep the offense moving and Dallas has way more weapons than Arizona. At home, the Cowboys will hang around and maybe even win this one. DAL +2.5
With both teams coming off of a loss, this will be a closely fought battle in Buffalo. I love both of these offenses, but at the end of the day, it is simple as siding with Patrick Mahomes over Josh Allen in a shootout. Kansas City had some huge plays called back due to penalty last week, with Mahomes playing just about as good a game as a quarterback could play in a loss. I don’t see it happening again. KC -3.5
Finally, I just really like the way this Panthers team is playing, and I don’t see Chicago as an insurmountable challenge here. Teddy Bridgewater should be able to manage the game against a tough defense, and I love his supporting cast. The Bears offense doesn’t impress me, and while this line makes me think Vegas is setting a trap, I feel that it is half a point too low. CAR -2.5
Bryan Sweet: Let’s see if we can get back on the plus side after three consecutive losing weeks. We’re going to start in Philadelphia as the Ravens come to the City of Brotherly Love looking much more beatable than they did at almost any point in 2019. Arguably Baltimore’s most impressive win was their Week 1 dismantling of Cleveland, handing that team its only loss of the season. Philadelphia tends to play up or down to their opponents and I think they keep this a one-score affair, so getting the “hook” makes this a worthwhile pick. PHI +7.5
Two of the worst defenses are going to square off against each other in Florida this week as the Lions travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars. Neither team has been able to slow down the opposing offense as Jacksonville sits at 24th in the NFL allowing 29.4 points per game and Detroit is even worse at 31.8 points per game, coming in 29th in the NFL. This looks to be a back and forth game with the winner potentially being whoever has the ball last. I expect a ton of points and a close game, but I’m not sure who comes away with the victory. That makes the over the play. OVER 54.5
Show of hands, who saw Las Vegas dropping 40 points on the Chiefs last week? I know I didn’t and I suspect Andy Reid and his coaching staff lit into those defensive players during practice this week. The unfortunate soul about to feel the wrath of an angry defense? The Buffalo Bills who just got shellacked by the Titans on Tuesday. Yeah, Tuesday. That means a short week before a date with the defending Super Bowl champs. Buffalo has been impressive this season but these factors will compound on them and I see a second consecutive loss coming for Josh Allen and crew. KC -3.5
The Dolphins are 2-3 on this season but their losses have come at the hands of Buffalo, New England, and Seattle; three likely playoff teams. Oh, and they just dismantled the reigning NFC champions, the 49ers, 43-17. Next up? The hapless New York Jets who just cut Le’Veon Bell and look to be in full “Tanking for Trevor” mode. Sam Darnold has already been ruled out, which means Joe Flacco is going to try and right the ship against a sneaky good Miami defense. I don’t think Miami has any trouble getting to an early lead and just pounding the Jets into submission with Miles Gaskin and crew. MIA -8.5
First, our thoughts and prayers go out to Dak Prescott following his gruesome injury suffered last week. That being said, paying Andy Dalton to be a relatively high-priced backup seems prudent now. I think Vegas might be overreacting to the change at quarterback and has made Dallas a home favorite. Arizona has a high-powered offense, but Dallas has the horses to keep up and keep it close, plus Arizona just lost a key cog on defense with the season-ending injury to Chandler Jones. I’ll take the points again in this one. DAL +2.5
What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)