Free NFL Picks: What the Bookies Missed for Week 6

Nikki Adams

Friday, October 10, 2014 6:18 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 10, 2014 6:18 PM GMT

Without any preamble, let’s dive into week 6’s NFL odds board, analyse a couple of matchups and spotlight the line movements in order to determine where the value NFL picks are.

Broncos -9.0 (-105) vs. Jets +9.0 (+105)
When we first looked at this line in our early, game-by-game ATS betting analysis, the Broncos we’re installed as the 6-point favourites. At the time, we thought it was way too low given Peyton Manning’s top quality and the Bronco’s ability to score points in a hurry. Hence, they were the steal NFL pick of week 6 NFL betting.

That the line has moved against the home dogs late in the week doesn’t change much. We’re still of the same opinion: the points are too low when you consider it’s the Peyton-Manning-inspired-Broncos against QB-less Jets. (With Geno Smith and Michael Vicks as options, they might as well be QB-less). This line really should be in the double-digit range. That it isn’t makes the Broncos still a value NFL pick.

The Broncos only pulled off their first cover last week at the expense of the Cardinals – they are 1-3 ATS on the season. They failed to cover against the Colts and Kansas City Chiefs as the home-chalk (against the latter they were double-digit faves), as well, they failed to cover as the nominal road pups in Seattle. But last week, the Broncos offense really lit up. Peyton Manning scored four touchdowns en route to a blowout 41-20 win over the Cardinals. Broncos put up 568 yards in total offense while Manning alone accounted for 479 yards in passing offense as he went for 31-of-47 passes. In fairness, the Broncos underwent several changes in the offseason. It was bound to take some time before they found their rhythm. Their outing in week 5 NFL betting was a promising sign.

After the Jets were blown out by the Chargers in San Diego 31-0, marking their fourth straight loss of the season, there is a notion they’ve got something to prove this week. True as that might be, it blatantly overlooks the lack of a viable centre and the conspicuously diminishing confidence of the team as a whole. They are riding a four-game losing streak after all, not to mention their season teeters on the brink of extinction. Expecting pride alone to somehow allow them to keep it a close contest, never mind win outright is wildly optimistic. Not to keep harping on the matter but Geno Smith and Michael Vick are as limp as dishcloths, the Broncos should face little resistance as they wipe them off the field. Word is Rex is going with Geno Smith on Sunday. Unless Geno Smith somehow taps into previously unseen form, there’s no way the Jets could keep up with the Broncos.

NFL Picks: Broncos -9.0 (-105) at Bodog

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Panthers +6.5 vs. Bengals -6.5
When we previewed this game earlier in the week, it was ostentatiously placed on a 7-point spread. Now, it’s down by half-a-point, to 6.5-points. The sight of A.J. Green wheeled off the practice field on Wednesday apparently prompted this minor drop according to sportsbook analysts. Had the Bengals been faced with the prospect of a good team or a good defense such as the Broncos, Seattle or San Francisco, the drop would have been more significant. As it stands, bookies aren’t impressed with this year’s instalment of the Panthers. Hence, they’ve rendered the potential absence of A.J. Green on Sunday a teeny weenie, oh-so-minor of a setback against a weak team that it’s not worth a full-point or more. Are the bookies simply overconfident or do they actually have it right.

Since the start of the week we’ve been of the opinion odds makers were arbitrarily writing off the Panthers out of hand. They are a tough read this season, several shades lighter than the side that won the division title last year. We’ll give them that. And they’ve wobbled in a few games already. But just when they looked down and out against the Bears and you’d thought they’d tap out in week 5 NFL betting, they stormed back to win in gutsy style. Good news for the Panthers is the return of RB Jonathan Stewart, who could combine with Greg Olson to keep the Panthers close in this game.

The horrific collapse of the Bengals in New England was nationally televised for all to see. Like a deer in the headlights they froze and did absolutely nothing to stop the Patriots’ pounding them into oblivion. Granted the Bengals are at home in Week 6 NFL betting where they have proven to be a safe bet in recent memory, winning 11 franchise games in a row. They are going for a 12th successive win at home at the expense of the Panthers. But you have to agree their gruesome defeat in New England takes the shine off their NFL odds somewhat. Law of averages makes it virtually inevitable that winning streaks should end. So while everybody is going on about the Bengals having to bounce back against the Panthers and the favourable conditions they have for it, they are blithely ignoring the potential repercussions of the defeat to the Patriots. Shattered confidence can beget losing streaks.

Whichever way you slice it there is too much ambiguity about both teams right now to warrant such a hefty NFL betting line in our opinion. And if A.J. Green doesn’t play this weekend, his absence could be felt more than the bookies are giving credit. That’s why we’re leaning towards the Panthers on our NFL picks despite the half-point drop.

NFL Picks: Panthers +6.5

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