NFL Picks: With Niners Showing Improvement Fade Ravens in Week 6

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 9:18 PM GMT

Two teams that can’t seem to buy a win collide in week 6. Somebody’s going to win this time though, but which side will it be: Ravens or Niners? Here’s our NFL Picks.

Baltimore Ravens (1-4 SU, 1-2 away)
The Ravens have mastered the art of losing this season like no other team, even from a winning position as they succumbed to a 33-30 loss to the Browns in overtime last weekend, after leading 27-22 with five minutes or so left on the clock and closing as the significant 7-point home chalk. Josh McCown simply outgunned Joe Flacco and rallied the Browns to the improbable win and cover. Who’d have thought that was on the cards?

In any event, the Ravens, ruffled feathers and all, trek out West in week 6 NFL betting as the road favourites with tenders of -160 SU and 2-points to the good against the spread opening on the NFL odds board.

Curiously, while the NFL odds to win straight up have decreased to -130 or -135 depending on your preferred sports betting shop, the spread has swelled by half-a-point. Ravens are now found trading as the 2.5-point road faves. Only a few sportsbooks have the spread diminishing to 1-point (5Dimes for instance).

Based on these contrasting movements from sportsbook to sportsbook, there’s good reason to assume the lines on this game will fluctuate before settling on the NFL betting floor. Public opinion is going to be split between these two teams for many reasons. More importantly, though, it’s hard to take any of these NFL odds at face value right now. Let’s face it, the Ravens leave much to be desired this season and the main (if not only) reason why they are being favoured here is the overwhelming perception of the Niners being worse. To put it simply, it’s a choice between a bad and worse.

San Francisco 49ers (1-4 SU, 1-1 home)
After a solid 20-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings in week 1, the wheels came undone in San Francisco’s camp. Back-to-back embarrassing road losses to the Steelers and Cardinals, respectively (both of which saw 40-plus points scored against Jim Tomsula’s side), took the shine off of the Niners at sports betting exchanges. It’s safe to assume, it’s going to be a while before the Niners will be trusted to enter a game as the favourites.

That said the Niners showed the a few positive signs over the last couple of weeks. Indeed, despite their four-game losing streak, they’ve climbed the NFL power rankings from 28-to-25 (current) since week 3 NFL betting. The reason for this as explained by ESPN commentators is the fact that they managed to hold Aaron Rodgers to just 17 points (nothing to sniff at) and they gave the Giants a run for their money last weekend, very nearly pulling off the road upset even.

NFL Betting Verdict: At face value, the Niners may appear to be winning the battle for the worst team in the NFL. We’d suggest that it might be the other way around with the Ravens being worse right now.

To be fair, the Niners have been outscored 75-to-140 for a minus 65-point differential, which is the worst in the league. They are also riding a four-game losing streak, another poor NFL run of form matched only by the Chiefs and outdone only by the hapless, winless Lions. None of that is any good.

That said, they showed a glimmer of hope on the offensive side of the ball in Meadowlands last weekend, after putting in a solid defensive account against the Packers at home in week 4. Those separate accounts on either side of the ball have us carefully considering the Niners might be on the verge of turning a corner in week 6. Well, at the expense of the 1-4 SU Ravens. We’re not looking ahead to week 7’s date with the Seahawks or week 8’s date with the Rams (road). No sense in getting too far ahead.

By contrast, the Ravens are free-falling down NFL power-rankings, falling four spots this week to 23rd overall. This negative trend is down to the fact that all five games featured a winning drive in the last minutes of the game – this includes the Ravens’ fortunate win over the Steelers. Had the Ravens not had some luck go their way in that game, they might actually be 0-5 SU going into week 6. Let’s not forget, they lost to the Oakland Raiders in week 2 NFL betting. Come on!

In more ways than one this game, which, incidentally, reprises Super Bowl 47, is a complete and utter tossup. But we’re going to take a chance on the Niners anyway to come through on our NFL picks. A small stake, of course. Don't go betting the farm on this one.

NFL Picks: Niners +1.0 (+105) and +115 to win straight up at 5Dimes