Five weeks on NFL action are in the books, and Vegas just released their NFL Week 6 spreads. Let’s take a dive into each matchup, break down the games, and decide which side to bet on.
NFL Week 6 Spreads, Betting Lines, and Game Picks
New York Giants at New England Patriots (-16.5)
The undefeated New England Patriots face off against an underdog New York Giants squad on prime time television for the world to see. What could possibly go wrong? All jokes aside, this game should favor New England. Daniel Jones showed tons of promise through his first three starts, but he’s not ready to consistently move the ball on this defense. New England’s defense has only allowed two defensive touchdowns all season and is on pace to be one of the best units in recent history.
Asking any rookie to go up against that defense is asking a lot, but this talented unit is also coached by Bill Belichick. Belichick hasn’t lost to a rookie quarterback since Geno Smith pulled off an upset in 2013, and that probably won’t change this week. When factoring in New York’s atrocious pass defense, this should be something of a one-sided affair. Look for New England’s offense to bounce back and the defense to remain elite.
Pick: Patriots win, cover spread
Carolina Panthers (-1.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came back to Earth in Week 5. After destroying opposing defenses through the air for two weeks, Winston returned to his underwhelming self in Week 6 against the New Orleans Saints. At this point, we all know Jameis Winston is a highly-volatile quarterback who can look like the best and worst passer in the league on a throw-for-throw basis. This inconsistent style of play can work against some defenses, but the Panthers should be able to capitalize on Winston’s patented mistakes. The defense entered Week 5 ranked fifth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and should do enough to slow down this passing attack.
On the other side of the ball is Kyle Allen. Allen has yet to replicate his Week 3 success against the Arizona Cardinals, but he’s played solid football in Cam Newton’s absence. The Buccaneers just allowed Teddy Bridgewater to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns, so Allen shouldn’t struggle to move the ball through the air.
Pick: Panthers win, cover spread
Washington Redskins (-3.5) at Miami Dolphins
Someone has to win this game I suppose. The Redskins are bad, but the Dolphins are on a historically bad pace to begin the season. Jay Gruden is already gone while Brian Flores and company are intentionally executing a tank job to perfection. This one will be ugly, but the Redskins should make it out of Miami with the win.
Redskins win, cover spread
New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars (EVEN)
Teddy Bridgewater played his best football in quite some time during Week 5, but that won’t be enough to get the job done in Week 6. Gardner Minshew continues to get better on a week-by-week basis, and it’s no secret that the Saints aren’t as good when they have to leave the Super Dome. This one could go down to the wire, but the Jaguars should win assuming Bridgewater’s downfield aggressiveness regresses to the norm.
Pick: Jaguars win
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-10)
The Baltimore Ravens defense might not be as good as we all thought, and Lamar Jackson took a major step back following two elite games to start the season. However, despite the relative dip in play, this team is still good enough to push the Bengals around. Andy Dalton is only as good as his talent, and Dalton doesn’t have that much to work with. Lamar Jackson should bounce back against Cincinnati’s atrocious defense while Dalton won’t be able to keep up by throwing to Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate. That said, a 10-point spread is a little too large for my liking.
Pick: Ravens win, fail to cover spread
Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns (-2.5)
The Seattle Seahawks have the better quarterback, but everything else favors Cleveland in this matchup. Baker Mayfield played well in Week 4 and the offense as a whole looked vastly improved after coming out of the gate slow. The defense, meanwhile, has held up its’ end of the bargain in just about every matchup. Russell Wilson can make any defense look bad, but can he singlehandedly carry his team to victory in Week 6? This one’s going to go down to the wire, but Cleveland should have the edge.
Pick: Browns win, fail cover spread
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
The Minnesota Vikings played their best football in Week 5, but favoring them against the Philadelphia Eagles just doesn’t make sense. The Eagles secondary is bad, but the rest of the team is playing at an elite level. Carson Wentz is close to recapturing his 2017 form, the offensive line is still one of the best in the league, and the offense can score with anyone. The defense doesn’t need to be elite to slow down this run-heavy Minnesota Vikings offense. Beating the New York Giants isn’t enough for me to believe that all their problems are fixed.
Pick: Eagles win
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs (-8)
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs looked mortal on Monday Night Football, but that was probably a mere outlier performance. This offense should revert to being the most explosive unit in the league, especially with Tyreek Hill possibly making his return to action. On the other side of the field, Deshaun Watson proved he can keep up in any shootout by dropping 53 points on the Atlanta Falcons. Kansas City’s defense is bad, so Watson should have another big game. However, it’s hard for anyone to keep pace in a shootout with Mahomes. This one is going to be close, but Mahomes should get the last laugh.
Pick: Chiefs win, fail to cover spread
Atlanta Falcons (-1) at Arizona Cardinals
Remember when the Atlanta Falcons were a trendy pick to win the NFC South? Fast forward six weeks and now they’re barely favored to beat a bad Arizona Cardinals team. Atlanta isn’t a Super Bowl contender by any means, but they should be able to comfortably take down the Cardinals. Matt Ryan is still a top-10 quarterback and the Cardinals are still trying to figure things out on offense. This should be a high-scoring game but Atlanta should win by a comfortable margin.
Pick: Falcons win, cover spread
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-4)
Why are the Rams favored in this game? The San Francisco 49ers haven’t played their Monday Night matchup as of this posting, but it’s hard to imagine one game dramatically affecting their Week 6 outlook. Jimmy Garoppolo is improving each and every week and the defense (and team) is second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. Jared Goff still doesn’t look right and the Rams offense as a whole isn’t playing up to their 2018 form.
Pick: 49ers win
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos (-2.5)
The Denver Broncos look to make it two in a row after pulling off the upset against the Los Angeles Chargers. Despite their 1-4 record, the Broncos are actually a relatively ok team. Joe Flacco is playing better than he has in years, and this team is two last-second field goals away from being 3-2. The defense is rounding into form and should have no trouble stopping Marcus Mariota and the underwhelming Tennessee Titans offense.
Pick: Broncos win, cover spread
Dallas Cowboys (-7) at New York Jets
With or without Sam Darnold, the Cowboys are going to have the upper hand in this one. If Darnold plays, he’s going to be rusty and won’t be comfortable under center. If Luke Falk starts, the Cowboys should dominate the former sixth-round pick. Dallas is in the midst of a two-game losing streak, but they should bounce back against a bad Jets team with a giant question at quarterback.
Pick: Cowboys win, cover spread
Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5)
The Los Angeles Chargers are not playing up to the sum of their parts. Injuries decimated this roster, but they should still be better than their 2-3 record suggest. Philip Rivers hasn’t been himself, partially because he doesn’t have any healthy receivers outside of Keenan Allen. Mason Rudolph suffered a concussion in Week 5 and might not be ready to go in Week 6. If he’s sidelined, the Chargers defense should take advantage of an overmatched Devlin Hodges. Even if Rudolph does suit up, Pittsburgh probably won’t move the ball well in this one.
Pick: Chargers win, cover spread
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-6)
Aaron Rodgers finally has a defense, but the Detroit Lions look better than they have in years. Last we saw Detroit, they were in the midst of narrowly losing to the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs offense. While they didn’t come away with a victory, their ability to go blow for blow with one of the best teams in the league proved that they truly belong as one of the best teams in football. Given two weeks to prepare, Matthew Stafford and company have every chance to go into Lambeau and come out with a victory.
Pick: Lions win
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