How about those missed field goals in Week 5? What was that all about? Anyway, it’s safe to say that Week 5, with an overtime Monday night game, a Packers/Bengals field goal roulette, and a Browns/Chargers shootout, provided us with as much entertainment as we could have desired.
Today, let’s take a look at the Week 6 slate. Every week, I’ll be providing my projections on the outcome of each game, and then contextualizing what to do with that information: best bets, teasers, parlays, survivor picks, and much more!
These projections started with me using projected PFF grades to decipher the true talent of every team. From there, I utilized those projections to establish each team’s offense and defense rank, which allowed me to derive how talented each team is compared to the average team with a neutral field; as the season goes, I’ll be analyzing PFF data and other key metrics to continue to update each team’s offense and defense ranking. Adding in an adjustment for home field, and, what do you know, each game had a projection! The combination of the foundation of it starting objectively, and then the mixture of subjective analysis to make it less of a “blind” projection, will hopefully lead us to where we want to go. You can consider these, based on the subjective touch, predictions instead of pure projections, but, hey, it gets us in the same place!
Enough rambling; it’s time to get to the point of this article! Let’s completely preview Week 6 from a betting perspective! Right now, the Bengals are leading the AFC North. Should we stop the count? As we’ll get to, perhaps we should for Bengals fans!
All Stats via Pro Football Focus
Week 6 Personal Projections
KC at WSH (Under 55.5)
I’ve gotten burnt by picking an “under” with the Washington Football Team in the past, and it is always tough to go against the Chiefs, but it needs to be done here.
Currently, the Washington Football Team ranks 22 in yards/pass attempt and 18th in yards/play- below-average marks. Taylor Heinicke, meanwhile, has earned just a 54.2 PFF passing grade this year, while the offense completely relies on the contested-catch prowess of Terry McLaurin. When that isn’t clicking, the offense is in trouble, particularly with the injuries they are dealing with; receiver Curtis Samuel continues to be limited by injury while tight end Logan Thomas is currently on injured reserve. To top it off, per Dwain McFarland of PFF, they rank just 26th in pass rate when trailing, a game script they’ll likely deal with here.
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.
MIA at JAX (Under 47)
Two for two with the unders this week! When I can fade two below-average offenses, I’m going to do so, and that’s what I believe I am doing here.
The Dolphins will get quarterback Tua Tagovailoa back this week, which should improve their chances of winning this game and offensive efficiency. Yet, being ahead in this game will be a much different game script for them, which could greatly affect their pass tendencies and offensive pace. As much as I am optimistic about Tagovailoa, he’s only averaged 6.3 yards/attempt for his career, is an unproven player and also will have to fight off from rust coming back from injury. Would it be a surprise if the Dolphins decided to play it safe with him with a more run-heavy game plan, especially against the fifth-worst run defense in PFF run-defense grade? Absolutely not.
Jacksonville might rank 18th in yards/play, but that’s likely also skewed from late-game trailing game scripts. The Dolphins, as a 3.5-point favorite, are expected to be able to control, yet not enough for Jacksonville to air it out with the same reckless abandonment that they usually do. Instead, I envision a closer, conservative game between two coaches playing not to lose not to win; not trying to win within the margins by going for it on fourth down, and being aggressive overall. 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.
TB (-1) at PHI
KC (-1) at WSH
As you can see, I’m fading Washington this week against the Chiefs, who can be teased to essentially a pick-em here. Both them and the Bucs have an extremely high probability of winning, which is all you’re looking for here. Meanwhile, them being seven-point favorites could leave them vulnerable to a garbage-time touchdown, or them simply just winning by seven (a key number) and the bet not cashing out.
Parlay (Four Games and Eight Games)
KC at WSH (Under 55.5)
MIA at JAX (Under 47)
CIN (-3.5) at DET
KC (-7) at WSH
GB (-4.5) at CHI
GB at CHI (Over 45)
LV at DEN (Over 44.5)
ARI at CLE (Over 49.5)
For the rest of the season, I’m forcing myself to deliver an eight-game parlay, which is a worse option than the four-game parlay this week. Ironically, although I’m leaning with the “unders”, there are also plenty of opportunities to pick the “over” this week; two very low totals and some potential disrespect towards the Cardinals and Browns. Meanwhile, the Bengals would easily be a “best bet” had the number not be crossing three points, and the same goes for the Chiefs with their key number; 4.5 points is also a tough number with Green Bay. That being said, I anticipate those teams winning by much more than that, so I’d feel comfortable picking them in a parlay. I’d definitely side with the four-team parlay here, though.
IND at HOU
LAR at NYG
For me, the Colts are a great pick here. Yes, they’ll get the Texans again, and also face the Jets and Jaguars (twice). That being said, there aren’t a lot of “definite” winners this week, and they’re not going to be favored by nearly double digits many times. The Rams, meanwhile, face the Giants (potentially without Daniel Jones), Lions, and Texans over the next three weeks; it’s likely you’ll use them at some point here.
Parting Bold Predictions
Taylor Heinicke Throws Four Interceptions
Neither The Dolphins or Jaguars Eclipse 20 Points
The Bengals Lead The League In Points Scored
Remember, these are BOLD predictions! All of these align with my previous betting picks, but allow us to get a bit spicy here. Enjoy an exciting week of football, and please remember to bet responsibly!
Photos by Robin Alam & Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)