Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for this Sunday to build your bankroll on Week 6, highlighted by the Sunday Night game between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.
Week 5 was our worst NFL week of the season so far, but we did cap the week on a winning note by nailing the Under on Monday night and we remain a solid 29-21, +8.26 YTD as documented in the Sportsbook Review Forum. We now look to improve on last week and to try and maintain that 58.0 percent win rate as we are back again with another of our customary Friday 5-Packs of NFL picks for Week 6.
This week began on Thursday night and it looked like it was going to be yet another in the string of Thursday blowouts this year when the Indianapolis Colts jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter alone, but they were held in check the rest of the game and the Houston Texans rallied to make a game of it, but the Colts still covered as 2½-point favorites in the 33-28 triumph that easily went ‘over’ the closing total of 46.
Moving on to Sunday, we have a little bit of everything this week with three sides divided between two underdogs and one small favorite, as well as two totals split between one ‘over’ and one ‘under’. As has become the norm for us, all NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, October 12th
Miami Dolphins +3 (-107) over Green Bay Packers (1:00 ET): We kick things off with our favorite play of the week, and there are quite a few off-the-field reasons to love the Dolphins in this spot. First of all, Miami Coach Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator at Green Bay and was in the Packer organization for nine years before taking the head coaching job with the Dolphins, so he should know Aaron Rodgers better than anyone and know how to attack him, especially with two weeks to prepare after Miami’s bye last week. Secondly, Green Bay comes off of two statement divisional wins over Chicago on the road and Minnesota at home, with the latter being a blowout win on Thursday Night Football last week. They may now be taking this non-conference opponent lightly on the road, while Miami would love nothing better than to knock off a marquee opponent in front of the home folks. And getting back to matters on the field, Rodgers may have to try and win this game on his own because the Dolphins have done a good job of stopping the run allowing 3.8 yards per carry, and if he Packers do indeed become one-dimensional, the great Miami defensive end Cameron Wake and the rest of the defensive line could start teeing off on Rodgers. And on the other side of the ball, the Green Bay defense is nowhere near as good as it looked vs. the inept Christian Ponder and the Vikings, as the Pack still rank 22nd in the NFL in total defense and dead last in rushing defense, which is good news for Dolphin running back Lamar Miller. And success by Miller could lead to success for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is no Rodgers but he is no Ponder either.
Minnesota Vikings -2 (-108) over Detroit Lions (1:00 ET): As mentioned the Vikings were demolished by the Packers 42-10 last Thursday night with the third string quarterback Ponder under center, as the original starter this season Matt Cassel is on injured reserve and prized first round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater was forced to miss the game with a sprained ankle suffered late in his first NFL start two weeks ago in a 41-28 win over Atlanta. But oh what a first NFL start it was as Bridgewater looked like a poised veteran while completing 19-of-30 passes for 317 yards without an interception and adding 27 rushing yards on five scampers including a touchdown run. Teddy validated what many had already believed, that he was already NFL-ready coming into the league after having great success in a pro-style offense at Louisville, and the best news of all is that Bridgewater is just about fully healed as he was not limited whatsoever after returning to practice this week, so expect to see that good offense from two weeks back and not the one that struggled with Ponder last Thursday. Speaking of offense, the Lions have struggled in that area in recent weeks, mainly because they have injuries to running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, as well as to all-world wide receiver Calvin Johnson. And after not being himself while trying to play through a painful ankle injury, Johnson will most likely sit this game out and miss his first game of the season. Bush is also likely to miss with an ankle injury of his own, and while Bell has been fully practicing, he has not yet completed league protocol for his concussion, although he may do so in time to be the feature back this week.
Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ‘over’ 43½ (-102) (1:00 ET): The Buccaneers have been a much better team offensively since Mike Glennon took over for the injured Josh McCown at quarterback while the defense continues to underperform, and that could make Tampa Bay a sneaky-good ‘over’ team for the immediate future. Glennon passed for 302 yards in his first start of the year, leading to the Buccaneers’ first and only win so far 27-24 on the road over the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago, and he then passed for 249 yards while the Bucs took the Saints to overtime in New Orleans last week, which is no easy feat, before falling 37-31 in a very game effort. Meanwhile the Ravens have quietly averaged 372.8 yards per game as their three-headed running back committee has worked with Baltimore ranking 125.6 rushing yards on an excellent 4.7 yards per carry, a vast improvement over a running attack that was dead last in the NFL last year. That improved running should set up Joe Flacco to have a nice day passing the ball vs. a 30th ranked Tampa Bay passing defense that is permitting a high 7.7 yards per pass attempt. Yes the ‘under’ is 5-0 in the last five head-to-head meetings but the last encounter took place in 2010, and these teams are totally different with the ability to open up the offense.
Oakland Raiders +7½ (-123) over San Diego Chargers (4:05 ET): The Chargers are a perfect 5-0 ATS so far this season, covering in a one-point loss at Arizona on opening week and winning four straight since, while the Raiders are an “imperfect” 0-4 straight up on the field (but 2-2 ATS). However, we actually think there is reason for optimism with Oakland at this number, getting over a touchdown in a home division game vs. a banged up favorite with the Raiders playing their first game under Tony Sparano. That’s right, the 0-4 start led to the ouster of former coach Dennis Allen following an embarrassing 38-14 loss to the Dolphins in England two weeks ago, and with the bye that followed, the former Dolphin coach Sparano has had two weeks to prepare for his first game as Raider coach. And he may have even improved the team via the waiver wire this week, addressing two areas of need by adding wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins from the Patriots and linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong from the Rams. Furthermore, the Chargers are one team that the Raiders have actually been competitive against going 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. The Chargers have continued to win while their list of injuries has continued to get longer, and frankly we are not sure how long that could continue. Yes all the injuries at running back have led to the emergence of a hidden gem in Branden Oliver, and Philip Rivers has escaped the injury bug while playing like an MVP candidate. But this is a horrible scheduling spot for a banged up San Diego team, as the Chargers can be overconfident despite being short-handed after an impressive shutout win over the Jets, now facing a winless team with seemingly more important games vs. Kansas City and the Broncos coming in the next two weeks.
New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles ‘under’ 50 (-107) (8:30 ET): While it is easy to understand why this total is at the half-century mark in a game involving the Chip Kelly coached Eagles, this is not the Philadelphia offense that we have become accustomed to seeing with so many key injuries on the offensive line. Center Jason Kelce and guard Evan Mathis remain out, and the Giants have the defensive line play in Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankin, who were both disruptive vs. Matt Ryan and the Falcons in a 30-20 New York win last week, to take advantage of those key Eagle absences. Philadelphia is averaging a disappointing 364.4 yards on just 3.8 yards per rush and 6.5 yards per pass attempt vs. average or worse defenses so far this year, and we do not expect improvement vs. this Giant unit. Granted the Giants suffered a key injury of their own in Rashad Jennings, who sprained his MCL last week, but they are fortunate to have a quality backup running back in Andre Williams. Williams is more of a conventional back this that is not a great receiver out of the backfield like Jennings is, and he does not have blazing speed, but that did not prevent him from leading the nation in rushing at Boston College last year and accumulating 170 yards so far in his rookie NFL season. Expect heavy doses of Williams here vs. a Philadelphia run defense ranked 16th in the league in yards per carry allowed at 4.2, which would also help the cause of the ‘under’.