NFL week 6 is here, with all updated SU and ATS records, significant injuries, recent trends, opening NFL odds, and as always, some early NFL picks for the readers.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Atlanta Falcons -3 -120 vs. New Orleans Saints (CBS, NFL Network, Directv 212, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT): The Advanced Line had the Falcons as 2½-point favorites here, while the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened this game at (Saints minus) 3½ in its NFL Games of the Year released late this Spring, so, the -3 hanging everywhere this morning (Monday) is the perfect fit. On Sunday in Week 5 action, the New Orleans Saints (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS) and veteran QB Drew Brees (26/43, 325 yards, 2 TDs, Interception) were beaten up by the Eagles in Philadelphia, 39-17, and rumors of New Orleans Head Coach Sean Payton being sought after by the Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts have begun cropping up, although Payton still has 2 years left on his contract. And, the Atlanta Falcons (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) and QB Matt Ryan (32-28 ATS on Road) needed a Pick-6 in OT to beat the Redskins in Atlanta to stay unbeaten. Here at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Thursday night in this primetime Week 6 lidlifter, expect heavy doses of RB Devonta Freeman for Atlanta and much passing from Brees in a game the hosts need to win to avoid seeing the Regular Season go down the tubes. Last season in this NFC South series, the Falcons won outright and covered against the Saints at Home in Week 1 as 3-point underdogs, 37-34, while here at the Superdome in The Big Easy, Atlanta also won and covered as the underdog (+6) NFL odds, rolling over New Orleans, 30-14 in Week 16. The Falcons are 3-0 ATS the L3 meetings in this series but 1-3 ATS L4 at New Orleans, the lone ATS cover coming in that aforementioned meeting in Louisiana last year.
NFL Pick: Falcons -3 -120 at 5Dimes
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Denver Broncos -5½, 42½ vs. Cleveland Browns (CBS, Directv 706, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland is the site of this Week 6 AFC inter-divisional tilt between the host Cleveland Browns (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) and QB Peyton Manning (74-58-5 ATS on Road) and the Denver Broncos (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) in what’s suddenly a big game for Head Coach Mike Pettine and the Browns, now sitting at 2-3 after Sunday’s dramatic OT win over the Ravens in Baltimore and another impressive performance by QB Josh McCown. The Broncos also had some drama of their own, needing a Chris Harris 74-yard interception return for a TD to stifle a Raiders 4th Quarter drive in Oakland to turn a 9-7 game into a 16-7 score and an eventual 16-10 win to stay undefeated. Thirty-nine-year-old Denver QB Peyton Manning (104-62-5 ATS off Win) was pretty bad (again) though, going 22 for 35 for 266 yards, 0 TDs and 2 Interceptions and finishing with an anemic 35.4 QBR. And the Broncos Rushing game was also non-existent against the Raiders with CJ Anderson (11 rushes, 22 yards, 2.0 ypc) and Ronnie Hillman (7 rushes, 21 yards, 3.o ypc) being stuffed by the improved Oakland D. The last meeting between these two AFC teams was in 2012 in Denver where the Broncos won and covered as 10-point favorites, 34-12, while the last meeting here in Cleveland, Denver also won and (barely) covered, this time as 3-point favorites, 34-30 in 2008. The Broncos are 5-1 ATS the L6 against the Browns and Denver has one of the best D’s in the league right now (NFL-leading 22 sacks, #1 Total Yards, #2 Points Allowed). If you like Denver in this game on Sunday afternoon, you might wait as this one could be bet down to 4½ or 4 for your NFL pick.
Cincinnati Bengals -1, 45 vs. Buffalo Bills (CBS, Directv 705, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): RB LeSean McCoy is out for Buffalo in this game and WR Sammy Watkins was Inactive on Sunday in Buffalo’s narrow 14-13 win in Tennessee on Sunday, so probably everyone involved—Bills management, teammates, broadcasters, oddsmakers, sportsbook directors, fantasy players, sports gambler and casual fan—are all sick of hearing and reading their names as they scroll across the bottoms of our TVs. Snap out of it. What’s obvious here is that these two big-name players have done little for their team’s O, burdening others and making the Buffalo we all thought was so good in our heads this Summer probably not as good as we thought. Here, the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals (5-0 SU, 4-0-1 ATS) head north to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo to face those Bills (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS)and QB Tyrod Taylor on Sunday. The Advanced Line had Buffalo as 1½-point favorites here, but now (Monday), Cincinnati are 1-point favorites at the SuperBook and Pinnacle. The last time these two teams met here in Buffalo was in 2013 where the Bengals won outright, 27-24 as 5½-point chalks. Despite that result, Buffalo is 10-2 ATS the L12 against Cincinnati and 6-2 the L8 against the Bengals here at Home at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The spot on the schedule here favors Buffalo, but the Bengals have the edge in healthy Skill Position players with the improving QB Andy Dalton (30/44, 331 yards, 2 TDs, Interception vs. the Seahawks), RB Giovani Bernard (15 rushes, 80 yards, 5.3 ypc vs Seahawks), TE Tyler Eifert (8 receptions, 90 yards, 2 TDs, 11.2 ypc vs. Seahawks), WR AJ Green (6 receptions, 78 yards, 11.2 ypc vs Seahawks) and WR Mohamed Sanu (5 receptions, 69 yards, 13.8 ypc vs Seahawks).
NFL Pick: Bengals -1 at Bookmaker
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Minnesota Vikings -3½, 44½ (Pinnacle) (CBS, Directv 708, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): The Advanced Line here was (Vikings minus) 2½, so you can see how the Kansas City Chiefs (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) late 18-17 loss to the Bears in Chicago affected perceptions here of Head Coach Andy Reid (20-18 ATS) and his Chiefs squad. This weekend, QB Alex Smith and the Chiefs head to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis to face the host Minnesota Vikings (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) in this inter-conference affair which will definitely be more important to Kansas City, now sitting with a precarious 1-4 record. The last time these two teams met was in 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City where the Chiefs won and covered as 3-point favorites, 22-17, while the last meeting here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes was way back in 2003 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome where the Vikings easily covered and rolled to an easy 45-20 victory. The Under seems worth a look here although the Chiefs Overs are now 4-1, the lone Under coming yesterday (Sunday) at Soldier Field. However, Vikings Unders are 4-0. The Chiefs are 3-1-1 ATS the L5 in this series, but Kansas City will be without star RB Jamaal Charles (Torn ACL) who has been ruled Out for this one and may be gone for quite some time. Charcandrick West will fill in for him.
NFL Pick: Under 44½ at Bet365
Houston Texans PK, 42½ vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (CBS, Directv 707, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): The Houston Texans (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) were 2½-point favorites on the SuperBook Advanced Line last week for this game, showing how much the Loss to the Colts in Houston on Thursday Night Football affected everyone’s perceptions. Like the Ravens, some people are starting to think that the Texans stink, and with this shuffling QB thing (Brian Hoyer-Ryan Mallett), it’s not had to blame them. But the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS) and QB Blake Bortles (4-4-1 ATS vs. AFC South) are not a team to put much faith in, and even if the Texans and JJ Watt are down—or possibly suffering from the dreaded Hard Knocks curse—backing the Jaguars here at Home at Everbank Field in Jacksonville for this Week 6 AFC South clash doesn’t sound like a very good idea. Heading into Week 6 play, Jacksonville has allowed the most points in the AFC (145), so this is probably one of those games just passed over, although the situation seems conducive for an Under. Last season when these two got together, the Texans won and covered as 7-point favorites, 27-13 at Jacksonville, while in Week 17, Houston won again (23-17), but the Jaguars covered the 9-point spread in H-Town. Jacksonville is 4-1 ATs the L5 in this series although the Jaguars are 1-3 ATS the L4 here at Home and with QB Bortles (Grade 1 AC Joint Strain in Shoulder) hobbled and the Texans an enigma, there are few angles to grab onto in this one. Pass.
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions -3, 43 (Pinnacle) (FOX, Directv 710, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): The Advanced Line here was (Lions minus) 6½, so you can see what the Cardinals thrashing (42-17) of the Lions in Detroit on Sunday combined with the Bears late win over Chiefs in Kansas City did for perceptions. The Bears (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) have Jay Cutler back and slinging and here at Ford Field on Sunday against the Lions (0-5 SU, 1-4 ATS) against a hobbled Matthew Stafford (17-22-1 ATS at Home), this is an NFC North game the visitors can definitely win, although recent history hasn’t been kind to Da Bears in Motown. Last season, the Lions rolled to a 34-17 win in this game at Home, easily covering as 7-point favorites while in the return leg in Chicago, Detroit also won, 20-14, but failed to cover as massive 10-point Road Chalks in the Windy City. The Lions are 5-1 ATS the L6 against the Bears and a perfect 5-0 ATS the L5 here in the Motor City, but those were a little bit stronger Lions teams back then and anything can happen here in this one, especially with the mercurial Cutler (23-27-1 ATS on Road) back for Chicago, but the Bears may still frustratingly be without WRs Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal who both missed Sunday’s win in Kansas City. Again, Chicago can win this one.
Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets -5, 40½ (FOX, Directv 711, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): Back from London, well rested and off of an Open Date, the upstart New York Jets (3-1 SU; 3-1 ATS) host the Washington Redskins (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Sunday afternoon in this inter-conference affair which looks like it will be much more important to the visitors from the NFC who actually have a pulse this season and can get to .500 with a Win. The last time these two played, the Jets smashed the Redskins in Landover, 34-19, covering easily as 3-point favorites in 2011, while the last meeting here in New Jersey was in 2007, where the then Joe Gibbs coached Redskins won 23-20, but failed to cover as 3-point favorites, getting nipped by ½ point. The Jets have allowed an NFL-low 55 points, although they did have a Bye Week and have only played 4 games. But still. The Advanced Line here was -6, so you can the Oddsmakers have some respect for the Redskins. But kudos to Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who has probably won the starting job over Geno Smith who still remains sidelined after getting punched in the face by a former teammate he owed money to. There is some twisted lesson here. This one should be tight, low-scoring and actually pretty entertaining and both of these teams should be proud of where they are and how they are playing this Regular Season. RG III and Geno Smith are not the types of QBs to build winning NFL teams around and Washington’s move to Kirk Cousins and Smith’s injury have made it clear who should be quarterbacking these respective teams.
Arizona Cardinals -4, 45½ vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (FOX, Directv 712, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): A Michael Vick-influenced Point Spread here, with the visiting Arizona Cardinals (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS) and QB Carson Palmer (37-32-3 ATS on Road) installed as solid favorites against the Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2 SU, 2-0-2 ATS; at Chargers on Monday Night Football) here at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh a Week 6 inter-conference game next Sunday afternoon from the Steel City. The last time these time played was in 2011 in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale—and site of this season’s Super Bowl 50—where the Steelers won and covered, 32-20, as 4-point favorites while the last meeting here in Pittsburgh was back in 2003 when we had more hair and less distractions where Pittsburgh won 28-15. Six of the L7 meetings in this series have been played outside of Pittsburgh—five in Arizona (3 at Sun Devil Stadium, 2 at Univerity of Phoenix Stadium) and one at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in Super Bowl XLIII, won by the Steelers, 27-23 (Steelers -7). This could end up being a very entertaining game and the Advanced Line released last week had Arizona as only 2½-point chalks, so you can see what the Cardinals pounding of the Lions in Detroit did to perceptions. But winning in Pittsburgh will be much tougher and this could be a low-scoring, chess match-type, field position game in the Steel City. Another tough call.
Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans -2½, 43½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) (CBS, Directv 709, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): After an off week, the Miami Dolphins (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS; Open Date) return from the United Kingdom and London and their loss to the Jets, and the Fish should be well-rested and start anew here with a new Head Coach (Dan Campbell) against the Tennessee Titans (1-3 SU,2-2 ATS) and Rookie QB Marcus Mariota at LP Field in Nashville on Sunday. The last time these two teams met was in 2012 in Miami (Gardens) where the Titans won and covered as 6½-point underdogs, while the last meeting here in Opryland in 2009, Tennessee won, 27-24, but failed to cover the 5-point spread as favorites in 2009. The Titans are 3-1 ATS the L4 vs the Dolphins here at Home at LP Field in Nashville. On Sunday, the Titans almost beat the Bills in Nashville, but they didn’t, losing 14-13 to fall to 1-3 overall—a record which is a poor reflection of how much this Tennessee Titans football team has really improved. The Advanced Line had Tennessee as 1½-point favorites and this also seems like it could be low-scoring...and boring.
Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks -7, 41 (Pinnacle) (FOX, Directv 713, NFL RedZone, 4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT): Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) welcome Cam Newton (18-15 ATS on Road) and the Carolina Panthers (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) to CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Sunday afternoon in this great NFC matchup between two teams who have ended up playing each other an awful lot over these last several years. One potential problem for Seattle here (again) could be the health and availability of RB Marshawn Lynch (Hamstring), who missed the Seahawks game against the Bengals on Sunday, and who needs to return to the Seahawks fold ASAP. His replacement, Rookie (Central Michigan University) Thomas Rawls (23 rushes, 169 yards, TD vs. Bengals on Sunday) has been outstanding, but with SS Kam Chancellor holding out to start the season, an OL made up of three former collegiate DL and QB Russell Wilson (8-12 ATS on Road) scrambling for his life, getting Lynch back now is essential to start creating some flow and having some depth at the RB spot. The last time these two sides met was in the second round of the NFC Playoffs last season here in the Emerald City where the Seahawks won and eliminated the Panthers, 31-17, narrowly covering (½ point) as big, double-digit 13½-point chalks. The Seahawks are 4-1 ATS the L5 vs. Carolina but with Head Coach Ron Rivera (39-31-1 ATS), Carolina is exactly the type of team that can beat the Seahawks in the Emerald City. The Panthers will be losing three Body Clock Hours traveling westward from EDT to PDT, but Carolina will have the marked advantage of coming off a Bye Week and having a whopping 13 Days of Rest and all of that precious Time to scheme for Seattle and this one game. And the Cats are still undefeated brother. But this could end up being a low-scoring affair, so getting that 7—the scarce 7½’s that were out last week have all been scooped up—after the Seahawks OT loss to the Bengals on Sunday seems crucial. The Panthers can definitely pull off the upset here, and with Seattle already having three Losses now (Rams, Packers, Bengals) and having traveled so much, the slight lean here is with the feisty and unbeaten visitors from the Tar Heel State and the points. This one could be fun.
San Diego Chargers vs. Green Bay Packers -9½, 49 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) (CBS, Directv 714, NFL RedZone, 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT): Lambeau Field in Green Bay is the site of this Week 6 meeting between the host Green Bay Packers (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS) and superstar QB Aaron Rodgers (36-18-3 ATS at Home) and Philip Rivers (38-38-2 ATS on Road) and his San Diego Chargers, (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS; vs. Steelers on Monday Night Football) in what should be an interesting inter-conference matchup from America’s Dairyland next Sunday afternoon. The last meeting between these two teams was back in 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego where the Packers won and just covered, 45-38, as 5½-point favorites, while the last meeting here in Brown County in Wisconsin was in 2007 where Green Bay also won and also covered, beating San Diego, 31-21 as 6-point favorites. The Packers are a perfect 6-0 ATS the L6 in this series and always an automatic go-on here at Home at Lambeau even though star WR Jordy Nelson is out for the season, a victim of an injury in a Preseason game due to the crappy playing surface at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh where a punt on MNF once stuck in the mud like God putting a cherry on top of some gooey Gridiron Sundae. The Advanced Line was -9 and the NFL Games of the Year (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) opened this game at (Packers minus) 7. The Cheeseheads should win this baby by 15 or so and this Point Spread will likely hit double-digits quickly.
NFL Pick: Packers -9½ at Heritage
Baltimore Ravens -2½, 44 vs. San Francisco 49ers (CBS, NFL RedZone, 4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT): The Baltimore Ravens (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) head west, and ahead three Time Zones (EDT to PDT) to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara next Sunday afternoon to face Colin Kaepernick and the scuffling San Francisco 49ers (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS) in Week 8 play in this inter-conference affair from The City By The Bay which looked much better on the Preseason schedule. The last time these two franchises met, the Ravens won, 16-6 in Baltimore in 2011 as 3-point favorites, while in the last meeting in the Bay Area (Candlestick Park), the Ravens won 9-7, but failed to cover the 3½-point spread in 2007. So, just 38 total points in the L2 meetings—and two easy Unders—although these two teams seldom play. Baltimore will be traveling and playing in the Pacific Time Zone for the third time already this season with this contest (Oakland, Denver, San Francisco), so some cumulative travel fatigue could be involved and San Francisco has scored the least points in the NFC (75) and the 49ers Defense looks shell of its former self—a byproduct of losing so many talented players in the Offseason and having to be on the field so much because of the Niners inept Offense. Baltimore is 3-1 ATS L4 vs. the 49ers but just 1-3 ATS L4 here in San Francisco and the Ravens have to be washed out emotionally from this treacherous schedule and the tough OT Loss at Home to the Browns on Sunday (33-30). These two teams should just hug at the 50-yard line before the game as if to say, “I know how you’re feeling, man.” Misery loves company. Even in shoulder pads.
New England Patriots -7, 55 vs. Indianapolis Colts (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT): The Advanced Line had the Patriots -5 while the NFL Games of the Year actually had the Colts as 2½-point chalks way back in June, so with this Opener of Patriots -7 today (Monday), you can see an actual 9½-point change on perceptions on this high-profile football game and a serious switching of the game’s favorite. Even with the injured Andrew Luck—who could possibly play here this weekend in such a crucial game—New England would be the favorites by this point in this Regular Season. The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS) have scored the most points in the AFC (149), and New England and QB Tom Brady (64-44-1 ATS on Road) have actually played one less game (4) than many of the other teams in the conference (5). Here at Lucas Oil Stadium in primetime on Sunday, the Colts (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) will be looking to get to .500, but with the unbeaten Patriots Deflategate Mad, in the midst of Dynasty and outscoring opponents with relative ease, Indianapolis could be in real trouble. The last time these two played was that famous Deflategate AFC Championship Game in New England last season, where the Patriots corralled the Colts, 45-7, easily covering the 7-point spread. The Patriots are 3-0 ATS the L3 overall in this series and New England is 3-0 ATS the L3 meetings here in Indianapolis, dating back to the days when Peyton Manning was still Colts QB.
NFL Pick: Patriots -7 at Pinnacle
Monday, October 19, 2015
New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles -3½, 50 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) (ESPN, Directv 206, 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PDT): The Philadelphia Eagles (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) welcome the New York Giants (3-2 SU; 3-2 ATS) to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia to face Sam Bradford (11-14 ATS at Home) and the disappointing Eagles in this Week 6 Monday Night Football game from the City of Brotherly Love and greasy Cheesesteaks. The Eagles shut out the Giants in this meeting last season in Philadelphia (27-0)—also in Week 6—while Philadelphia also won and covered in Week 17 in East Rutherford, 34-26 in a Pick (‘Em) situation. The Eagles are 3-1 ATS in the L4 meetings in this series against New York and QB Eli Manning (51-40-2 on Road), but the G-Men are now feeling pretty good about themselves after stifling the Bills in Buffalo in Week 4 and rallying to top the 49ers on Sunday Night Football. The Giants can certainly win this game and both Bradford and RB DeMarco Murray (29 rushes, 47 yards, TD, 1.6 ypc) have been somewhat disappointing, although both played better on Sunday in the romp over the Saints (39-14). The Advanced Line last week had the Eagles installed as 3-point favorites, but the romp over New Orleans combined with the Giants struggle vs san Francisco has moved this off that Key Number and up to 3½. But the Giants and electric WR Odell Beckham Jr. can definitely win this one, so if you have the stones to back them on the Money Line, this seems like the ideal spot and it would surprise nobody if this one evolved into a shootout.
NFL Pick: Giants +3½
NFL Week 6 Byes: Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL Week 6 Opening Picks: Falcons -3 -120 over Saints (bet365); Bengals PK over Bills; Patriots -7 over Colts; Chiefs-Vikings Under 44½ (Pinnacle); Packers -9½ over Chargers; Giants +3½ over Eagles (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)