NFL Odds: Games Too Risky To Bet Either Way In Week 6

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:38 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 8:38 PM UTC

In week 5, I said it was too risky to bet on Denver (-6) at home against Atlanta and Carolina (-7) vs. Tampa Bay and both the Broncos and Panthers lost outright. For this week I have three spreads I deem too risky for you NFL picks.


Baltimore Ravens vs N.Y. Giants

Can anyone really get a grip on what either of these teams are? The Ravens started 3-0 but played with fire in close wins over Buffalo, Cleveland and Jacksonville. All those close calls caught up to the team the past two weeks in a one-point loss to Oakland and 6-point defeat vs. Washington. So this team could be 5-0, 0-5 or anywhere in between (and it is at 3-2). QB Joe Flacco has thrown the most passes in the NFL this season, but he is averaging just 5.9 yards per attempt. Only Blaine Gabbert has a worse average and Gabbert was benched by the 49ers week. Giants coach John Harbaugh fired offensive coordinator Marc Trestman on Monday and replaced him with Marty Mornhinweg. The Giants, meanwhile, were my NFL pick to win the NFC East and they looked good at 2-0. But perhaps they were more lucky than good much like Baltimore. New York enters on a three-game losing streak, albeit to all to 2015 playoff teams in the Redskins, Vikings and Packers. Eli Manning is completing barely 55 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and three interceptions in that skid. New York is banged up in its secondary but might catch a break with top Ravens receiver Steve Smith likely out with an ankle injury. One team will end a losing streak Sunday. Just not sure which.  

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Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

The Super Bowl Loser's Curse continues! Barring a miracle turnaround, the 1-4 Panthers will be yet another Super Bowl loser to miss the playoffs the next season. Carolina's 17-14 home loss on Monday night to Tampa Bay was almost unwatchable. The Panthers turned the ball over four times, three of those by backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who was filling in for the concussed Cam Newton. Carolina  has 14 giveaways already this season after just 19 last regular season. Newton did return to practice on Wednesday but was limited. It seems like he will return, but would Carolina perhaps hold him out if there's any doubt and with the bye week up next? Newton had been struggling and beaten to a pulp in the first four games. Saints coach Sean Payton says his team is preparing as if Newton will play. New Orleans (1-3) could easily be 3-1 as it lost in the final seconds in the first two weeks against the Raiders and Giants. But then the Saints were very lucky to win Week 4 in San Diego as the Chargers blew a 34-21 late lead thanks to turnovers. New Orleans is off its bye week. The Saints were nowhere near as good as Carolina last year but lost the two meetings by only 8 points and probably should have won the one in the Superdome.

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Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay  Packers

Probably the marquee matchup of the week, although Atlanta-Seattle is the only one to feature division leaders. Do I think the Packers win this game and cover? It's my early lean. They have won the first two of a four-game homestand. Green Bay also  has won five straight over the Cowboys, including the last matchup, 28-7, in Week 14 last season. But top Packers running back Eddie Lacy might miss the game with an ankle injury and No. 1 cornerback Sam Shields could sit again with a concussion. Plus these Cowboys are hard to read because their two brilliant rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, are playing like veteran Pro Bowlers. Prescott has 1,239 passing yards and Elliott has 546 rushing yards. The Cowboys are the first team in league history to have a rookie QB with at least 1,000 passing yards and a rookie tailback with at least 500 rushing yards in the first five games of a season. Prescott, amazingly, still hasn't thrown an interception yet. He likely will be without top receiver Dez Bryant a third game in a row with a leg injury. And could this be Prescott's final start? Tony Romo has always targeted a return after next week's bye from his back injury. Then things will get interesting in Big D. 

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