Beating the Spread: Week 6 Picks

Our Week 6 Beat the Spread column is ready to go for your consideration as you put in your weekly bets!

Week 5 was way more red than green for us but Erik was a bright spot with another 4-1 week.  There was rampant confidence throughout the picks this week, however, and we’re looking to turn things around starting this week.  For the first time this season, we have a pick all four of us agree on.  Do with that information what you will.

Justin is back on the under bandwagon but does like favorites in his other picks.  If you see a big favorite, you’ll probably see it on Brennan’s card as he’s back with more heavy favorites this week.  Erik has been on fire the past two weeks and is betting on potent offenses to carry him to another profitable week.  I see a couple of underdogs that I think will keep it close or win outright and some small home favorites to turn my season around.

Gamblers know that 60% is the magic number to come out ahead, so that’s the goal again this season.  We didn’t make it last year, which just motivates us, even more, this season.  Every week the four of us will pick five games against the spread or on the over/under.  We’ll track the picks every week and see where we end up.  Feel free to play along in the comments or find us on Twitter!

Let’s get to the lines and picks for Week 6!

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.

Week 6 Betting Lines
Away Home Line O/U
Dolphina Jaguars Dolphins -3.5 47
Packers Bears Packers -4.5 45
Texans Colts Colts -9.5 42.5
Chiefs Football Team Chiefs -7 55.5
Rams Giants Rams -10.5 47.5
Bengals Lions Bengals -3.5 47.5
Chargers Ravens Ravens -3 52
Vikings Panthers Vikings -1 46
Cardinals Browns Browns -2.5 49.5
Raiders Broncos Broncos -3.5 44
Cowboys Patriots Cowboys -4.5 51
Seahawks Steelers Steelers -5 42.5
Bills Titans Bills -6 54
Staff Picks

 

Analysis

 

Justin Dunbar: Justin puts together an article analyzing some of his picks in more detail.  Check out his Week 6 Betting Preview for more! Here are some snippets from his first two picks for this week.

I don’t have much to say about the Chiefs’ offense, but the game script here could lead to them slowing down the pace. Mainly, this comes down to the number, which is too high for a game without two top-notch offenses. The Chiefs may hold up their end of the bargain, but I’m quite skeptical Washington does the same. KC/WFT Under 55.5

If these two teams aren’t trying to take advantage of any edge they can get, they aren’t strong enough offenses to cover this total. One offense may come to play, but the chances that two below-average teams come together to each score 20+ points, especially Jacksonville against a competent Miami defense, are low. Hey, this is a London game too! Just cash that bet in before potentially waking up if you’re on the West Coast. MIA/JAX Under 47

I know that this is crossing a key number, but I can’t resist. I’ve been very impressed by the Bengals this season, who went toe-to-toe with the Packers, and rank above-average in yards/play and yards/play allowed. The Lions, on the other hand, rank 26th in yards/play and 31st in yards/play allowed. Need I say more? The Bengals have increased their pass frequency recently, which should continue to do wonders for their offense, while Joe Burrow is playing at an extremely high level- 85.4 PFF grade. Even with it crossing three points, I had to include this pick. CIN -3.5

I covered why I’m fading the Washington offense in my betting preview, but the quick summary is that they’re still a bottom-ten offense. The Chiefs, on the other hand, still have arguably the best offense in the NFL. Do we anticipate the Washington Football Team’s defense, which is tied for second-worst in PFF coverage grade, slowing down Kansas City? The Chiefs’ 2-3 record increases their urgency, which increases the blowout potential of this game, and Washington’s competitive perception mainly has come with them winning marginally against inferior teams, such as the Giants and Falcons. Washington’s offense, due to injuries, is concentrated around Terry McLaurin, and that limits their chances of exposing Kansas City’s defensive woes in the middle of the field. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have many more weapons. Trust the significantly superior offense here. KC -7

I love Justin Fields, I just don’t love what Matt Nagy has done this year. The Bears rank dead last in yards/play this season, and aren’t even trying to open up their offense at all (3rd in run%) this year. The Packers, meanwhile, averaged 7.4 yards/play last week and have shown great signs of getting their offense back on track after a slow start. The gap in offensive production is substantial, and I’d argue Green Bay isn’t at a disadvantage defensively either. 4.5 points is a weird number, but I’d be comfortable saying that the Packers win this game by at least a touchdown GB -4.5

 

Brennan Rampe: The Packers won on Sunday, but it wasn’t easy. They beat the Bengals in overtime after kicker Mason Crosby missed a field goal attempt in regulation that would have ended it.  He also missed several attempts in overtime before kicking the game-winning field goal. The Bears upset the Raiders on Sunday, but the Raiders seemed to have been distracted by former coach Jon Gruden’s email scandal. The Packers have just dominated this rivalry in recent years. Aaron Rodgers is 21-5 against the Bears in his career, and Matt LaFleur is 4-0 against the Bears as head coach. The Bears now have rookie quarterback Justin Fields under center for the first time in this rivalry. He’s won two games in a row, but the Packers will provide a significant challenge. The Bears’ defense hasn’t been good against the contenders like the Rams and Browns so far, while the offense is still rather average, which isn’t a surprise with Matt Nagy as the head coach. The Packers should beat up their divisional rival for seemingly the millionth time and cover the spread. Inside the Numbers: The Packers are 9-4 against the spread in divisional games under Matt LaFleur. GB -4.5

The Colts just experienced a heartbreaking loss, blowing a huge lead against the Ravens. The Texans, like their divisional rival, also blew a big lead against the Patriots. They both enter this game with a 1-4 record, but I think the Colts bounce back here. The Colts offense performed well for the most part, and Carson Wentz played his best game in recent memory, while the defense held the Ravens in check for most of the game  The Texans are considerably less talented than the Ravens are, and this is the first time this season that the Colts defense plays a rookie quarterback in Davis Mills. The Colts should get their second win of the season and their first win at home while covering. Inside the Numbers: The Texans are 10-14-1 against the spread after a loss since 2018. IND -9.5

The Giants kept it close with the Cowboys for about two quarters before Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Kenny Golladay all left the game with injuries. They immediately proceeded to get blown out. The Rams last played on Thursday when they beat their divisional rival Seahawks, so they are entering this game with a major rest advantage. Backup quarterback Mike Glennon could very well be the starter for the Giants this week, which would be trouble for the Giants and great for the Rams. I think the Rams will destroy the Giants regardless of who the quarterback is. Their defense should dominate, while the offense should score frequently. This is the biggest spread of the week, but I’m confident the Rams will cover it easily. Inside the Numbers: The Rams are 9-4-1 against the spread with a rest advantage under Sean McVay. LAR -10.5

The Bengals lost to the Packers in overtime, but they kept it close against a solid team. I think Cincinnati is a team on the rise. Their opponent, the Lions, suffered another brutal loss against the Vikings, losing the game on a last-second field goal by Vikings’ kicker Greg Joseph. The Lions lost to the Ravens in almost the same way. As if being one of two winless teams in the league wasn’t bad enough, injuries are starting to pile up for the Lions. Wide receiver Quintez Cephus will most likely miss the rest of the season with a collarbone injury, while center Frank Ragnow will miss the rest of the season as he is planning to undergo surgery for a toe injury. Despite being on the road, the Bengals should take care of business and make the Lions fall to 0-6 while covering. Inside the Numbers: The Bengals are 9-8 against the spread under Zac Taylor. CIN -3.5

The Patriots beat the Texans on Sunday, but it was very tough. The offense struggled through most of the game, while the defense struggled against rookie quarterback Davis Mills, something that usually doesn’t happen to a Belichick-coached team. The Cowboys, on the other hand, blew out their divisional rival Giants, dominating on offense and defense. The Cowboys are on the road for this matchup, but I don’t think it matters. The Patriots are winless at home, and this Cowboys defense should be a tough test for rookie QB Mac Jones. Jones has played the best out of any rookie quarterback so far, but the Patriots’ offense isn’t as explosive compared to the Cowboys’ offense. The Cowboys’ defense should create some turnovers, while the offense will score over 30. Inside the Numbers: Despite the fact that I couldn’t find any statistics to back up this pick, I’m still confident in the Cowboys. DAL -4.5

 

Erik Smith: The Chargers have come out of an early-season schedule that included the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Browns with a 4-1 record, and the offensive firepower for Los Angeles is among the NFL’s most impressive. The Ravens are extremely fortunate to be 4-1, and while certainly talented, they do have some holes in their roster due to injuries. The Chargers are playing excellent football and this has a good chance to shoot out, at which point I start to get excited about betting on Justin Herbert. Worst case we are hoping for a backdoor cover, but I think the Chargers win this one outright. LAC +3

I’ve been riding the Cowboys lately as I’ve pushed back above .500 with my picks for the year, and I don’t plan to stop now. I know the Patriots played Tampa Bay tough at home recently, but that might have been their Super Bowl, and the rain certainly helped muck up the game as well. Dallas is arguably just as complete of a team as the Buccaneers, and I expect Mac Jones to struggle if he has to trade scores with Dak Prescott. I like Dallas handily in this one. DAL -4.5
I don’t think the Steelers are all that good of a team despite a nice win against Denver last week, but I’m taking the shot to bet against Geno Smith here. Sure, he looked good in relief duty last week, but we see quarterbacks come off the bench and look competent all the time, then with a week to prepare the opposing defense shuts them down the following game. Seattle also has a banged-up running back in Chris Carson, a subpar defense lacking playmakers, and a passing game built on the deep ball. A few turnovers from Smith should seal this one late. PIT -5
I generally try to avoid divisional games when I can, but this one feels like a “welcome to the rivalry” game from Aaron Rodgers to Justin Fields. I know the Packers just struggled to finish off the Bengals on the road, but Cincinnati is better built to participate in a shootout than Chicago is. Unless Chicago’s defense brings its A-game, I expect some rookie mistakes from Fields as he attempts to match blows with Rodgers. GB -4.5
Tennessee has struggled against inferior opponents but needs a win badly. Buffalo is in the driver’s seat after a huge win against the Chiefs, but they are certainly in line for a letdown game. I don’t care, as the talent gap right now between these two teams is enormous, and Buffalo looks set to handle any game script they find themselves in with their good defense and explosive passing game. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one gets out of hand, and Tennessee is going to need a good game from A.J. Brown and Julio Jones to keep up. BUF -6

Bryan Sweet: Somewhat surprisingly, the Patriots are 0-3 at home this season and now welcome the potent offense and suddenly good defense of the Cowboys this week.  Dallas is second in the NFL in points per game at 34, in rushing yards per game with 172, and turnover differential at +7.  New England has been very good at keeping points off the board but is on the other end of the spectrum in rushing yards allowed (80 per game, 27th in the NFL) and turnover differential (-3, 25th)  Dallas should be able to control the game on offense and frustrated Mac Jones on defense while cruising to victory. DAL -4.5

There is just one remaining unbeaten team in the NFL…and they’re getting points this week.  The Cardinals have the MVP frontrunner in Kyler Murray and have added veteran leadership in A.J. Green and J.J. Watt to push this team to their 5-0 start.  Cleveland might have the most complete roster from top to bottom, but their most glaring weakness is at QB.  Baker Mayfield is very good when playing with the lead or in a game in which he can lean on the nest backfield duo in the NFL, but the defense has been unable to contain the elite QBs they’ve faced this season.  I’ll take the team with the five-game winning streak and get a couple of points to boot.  ARI +2.5

This division rivalry has been decidedly one-sided for the past decade as the Packers hold a 19-3 record since 2011.  Green Bay’s Week 1 blowout loss to the Saints had many pointing fingers at the relationship between Aaron Rodgers and the organization and wrote off the Packers as a team heading for a future with Jordan Love at QB.  Four consecutive wins later and the Packers are back on top of the NFC North.  The Bears have looked like a different team since Bill Lazor took over the offensive playcalling duties, but Justin Fields is still a rookie and still has some growing to do as an NFL QB.  Look for the Packers to earn a fifth-straight win this season and against the Bears this week.   GB -4.5

It will be interesting to see how new Raiders HC Rich Bisaccia does in his first game which just happens to be a divisional matchup in a place where the home team has a decided advantage because of the altitude.  The Raiders have controlled this series over the last five games, going 4-1, but will the distractions and an away game be too much to overcome?  Denver is playing defense like everyone expected under Vic Fangio and should be able to force Derek Carr and his offense into turnovers.  The half-point is concerning, but I like Denver to hold on and cover.  DEN -3.5

This pick is at the bottom of my list because it’s the one I’m least confident in, but it’s based on the fact that Daniel Jones, Kenny Golladay, and Sterling Shepherd are going to play.  I don’t think the Giants win this game but I think they can keep it closer than double digits.  The Rams have a potent offense but have been susceptible to the passing game which is what the Giants will likely lean on with Saquon Barkley not playing.  Keeping the ball out of Stafford’s hands is going to be paramount for Joe Judge and his offense, and I think the explosiveness of Kadarius Toney on short passes might be trouble for LA’s secondary.  NYG +10.5

 


 

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)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.