Week 6 of the NFL moves to the forefront of NFL betting markets, serving up scintillating divisional clashes and pivotal matches between potential Super Bowl contenders this season. So let’s dive into the NFL odds board and serve up some early predictions and NFL picks against the spread.
Week 5: How Did We Do?
We enjoyed a successful turnout with our week 5 NFL ATS Picks, going 11-4 ATS overall. Rather than reflecting on spilt milk: backing the Ravens as the 3.5-point pups (Colts won 20-13), backing the Lions as the 7-point favourites (Bills shocked the Lions 17-14), backing the Eagles as the 7-point chalk (Eagles won 34-28) and, perhaps somewhat ambitiously, backing the Saints as the 10.5-point chalk (Saints won 37-31). Let’s just celebrate our 11 correct picks and hope to carry the momentum into coming week’s round of NFL betting.
Indianapolis Colts 3.0 (-115) vs. Houston Texans +3.0 (-105)
Houston’s’ defense ranks 21st against the pass and 25th against the rush, but they allow the fourth least points against in the league, a paltry 17.4 through five games. That correlates to what is quite a respectable spread in this game, set to the tune of just 3-points. Although the Colts are the road chalk, the Texans can run rampant over Indianapolis. If the nigh-upset in Dallas last weekend were any indication: after erasing a 10-point lead for the Cowboys to tie the game 17-17 and force overtime, the Cowboys were forced to win the game a second time essentially.
The Texans rallied behind Arian Foster, who rushed for 157 yards and had the game tying score (his second of the day) with 41 seconds left in regulation time. Needless to say, losing the game 20-17 courtesy of Dan Bailey’s kick, which split the posts (he’d missed a 53-yard attempt on the final play) in overtime, was deflating. Lack of viable offense, inconsistent play behind Ryan Fitzpatrick has a lot to do with their shortcomings. That doesn’t bode well for their date with the high-flying Colts and their league leading offense that is topping 321.8 yards per game.
Home underdogs typically warrant serious consideration because of the value NFL betting opportunity inherent. Divisional implications of this game can’t be ignored either – both are tied 3-2 atop the AFC South. A win here equals to bragging rights. Consider Colts are technically the better team, anything less than a field goal on the Colts amounts to a steal NFL pick. As the NFL betting line currently sits at 3-points (Houston are 4-1 ATS this season, 2-0 ATS home), we’re edging towards the Texans.
NFL Picks: Texans +3.0 (-105)
Baltimore Ravens -3.0 (-125) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.0 (+105)
Since Mike Glennon took over at centre, the Bucs have more dimension on offense. In week 5 NFL betting, they were oh-so-close to beating the New Orleans Saints on their stomping ground. Midway through the third quarter they’d built an 11-point lead (24-13) and carried that edge through to the start of the fourth quarter (31-20), only for the wheels to come undone. The Saints levelled the game to send it into overtime and capped their plucky effort with a 37-31 win, thanks to Khiry Robinson’s 18-yard touchdown. On the flipside, the game marked the second straight cover by the Bucs, not to mention they were one of the biggest underdogs to cash in last week as the 10.5-point pups.
Despite enjoying two solid performances in a row, the Bucs are deemed the home underdogs, and that begs a second look especially when a dubiously low spread is in question. Widely acknowledged the better team, the Ravens are after a 20-13 defeat to the Colts as the 3.5-point underdogs, marking the end of their three-game winning streak. (Ravens 2-2-1 ATS this season while the Bucs are 2-3 ATS). However, road form has been a bane in their side for several seasons now – they are 3-6-1 ATS as the away team since 2013 and 0-2-1 ATS as the road favourites.
NFL Picks: Buccaneers +3.0 (+105)
Carolina Panthers +7.0 (-110) vs. Cincinnati Bengals -7.0 (-110)
Cincinnati Bengals were found wanting in a 43-17 defeat to the New England Patriots as the 1-point chalk last week. It’s easy to overreact to that result. The Panthers trailed the Bears 21-7 only to come back and win 31-24 as the 3-point chalk. It’s easy to put a lot of stock in that gutsy effort by Cam Newton and company.
Stats say the Bengals are the sharp NFL pick here – they are 10-1-0 ATS at home and 8-1-0 ATS as home favourite since 2013. They are unbeaten at home this season and a perfect 2-0 ATS, albeit against suspect sides on the defensive side of the ball – Atlanta and Tennessee. The question is whether the 7-point spread is too much to be giving the Panthers. Panthers are 3-2 ATS since 2013 as the road underdogs with a margin of minus-2.8-points (negative in losses). This season, they are 1-1 ATS as the road underdogs with a hefty -11-point margin, albeit largely down to the 38-10 defeat to the Ravens. This is by far the biggest spread the Panthers have been involved in this season, which is a result of overrating the Bengals perhaps.
NFL Picks: Panthers +7.0 (-110)
Denver Broncos -8.0 (-105) vs. New York Jets +8.0 (+115)
The prolific Peyton Manning is finding his stride after scoring four touchdowns last weekend to reach the 503rd milestone. That’s not good news for a Jets side that was held pointless in San Diego last week. The Jets are a mess this season, falling well short of expectations. Broncos covered for the first time this season with a 41-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals as the 7-point chalk. Back the Broncos to cover on your NFL picks against the Jets.
NFL Picks: Broncos -8 (-105)
Detroit Lions -3.0 (-110) vs. Minnesota Vikings +3.0 (-110)
Teddy Bridgewater could be slated to make his return to the starting line-up when the Vikings host the Lions on Sunday. After dismantling the Falcons a fortnight ago, it’s understandable why NFL bettors may be tempted to take the points with the home underdogs. Bridgewater certainly gave the Vikings offense much needed energy and momentum. But the Lions present a much tougher ask than the meek Falcons did on the defense-side of the ball.
NFL Picks: Lions -3.0 (-110)
Green Bay Packers -3.0 (-125) vs. Miami Dolphins +3.0 (+105)
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak in which they outscored the opposition 80-27. Dolphins are riding the momentum of a 38-14 win over the hapless Oakland Raiders a fortnight ago, and hoping to ride out the storm of the latest public indiscretion caused by DE Shelby. With Aaron Rodgers and the Packers firing at all cylinders and showing some improvements on defense, they present a threat we’re not convinced the Dolphins can answer convincingly. Therefore, the Packers as the 3-point chalk is our choice NFL pick.
NFL Picks: Packers -3 (-125)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
Two of the worst outfits against the spread collide in week 6 NFL betting. It goes without saying something is going to have to give. Jaguars are 0-5 ATS while the Titans are marginally better 1-3-1 ATS but 0-1-1 ATS at home.
New England Patriots -3.0 (-110) vs. Buffalo Bills +3.0 (-110)
Bills were frankly very lucky to get away with a 17-14 win in Detroit. The Bills are 3-2 ATS this season, which includes a 1-1 ATS at home. This is the first time they enter the NFL odds page as the home pups, but at just 3-points it would seem the odds makers are being wildly optimistic. Tom Brady enjoyed a renaissance last week at the expense of the Cincinnati Bengals. He looked as prolific as ever, putting paid to the notion that he’s a ‘has-been’. With Patriots finally clicking, the NFL odds do seem disingenuous.
NFL Picks: Patriots -3 (-110)
Pittsburgh Steelers +2.0 (-110) vs. Cleveland Browns -2.0 (-110)
In the second meeting between these two AFC North rivals the Browns should be confident. They really took it to the Steelers in opening week, losing a highly contentious game on the road rather narrowly 30-27. They are after a huge upset in week 5 NFL betting, coming through as the +115 road underdogs to beat the Titans 29-28, all while erasing a 25-point deficit – the biggest road deficit erased in the history of the game. The Cleveland Browns have a lot of upside – they really should be in the green this season, not merely 2-2SU. With home advantage and a suspect Steelers (2-3 ATS this season) coming to town, the Browns appear to be the smart NFL pick to cover the paltry 2-points.
NFL Picks: Browns -2.0 (-110)
San Diego Chargers -7.0 (-110) vs. Oakland Raiders +7.0 (-110)
The Chargers are riding a verve and swagger since upending the defending champions at home 30-20. They are a perfect 5-0 ATS this season, with the margin of victory only swelling by each and every game. At the moment, their average margin of victory sits at 14 points. As such, seven points against AFC West divisional rivals, who are mired in management and leadership turmoil over and above the problems on the field, seems a steal for your NFL picks.
NFL Picks: Chargers -7.0 (-110)
Chicago Bears +3.0 (+105) vs. Atlanta Falcons -3.0 (-125)
Both Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons are 2-3 ATS this season, riding two-game losing streaks ahead of week 6 NFL betting. Something is going to have to give, naturally. There are defensive issues in both camps, which leads many in NFL betting circles to weigh the merits on offense. The scale tips towards the Falcons offense in our opinion, which has been more consistent than the Bears’ up-and-down offense, largely down to Cutler’s unpredictability.
NFL Picks: Falcons -3.0 (-125)
Dallas Cowboys +8.0 (-110) vs. Seattle Seahawks -8.0 (-110)
Seattle Seahawks are quietly going about the business of their defense campaign; not exactly blowing the competition off the field but doing enough to produce reliable results. The defeat to the Chargers seems but a hiccup now that they’ve bounced back with two straight wins – 26-20 over the Broncos in overtime and 27-17 over the Redskins on Monday night football betting. Seahawks are 3-1 ATS this season and 2-0 ATS at home this season, 8-4 ATS as home favourite since last year. Despite the Cowboys offense looking all of a sudden competent, defense is still a problem.
NFL Picks: Seahawks -8.0 (-110)
Washington Redskins vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Redskins have a great opportunity to bounce back in this game, given that Carson Palmer is still out with a nerve issue and Drew Stanton suffered a concussion in week 5. Kirk Cousins’ confidence has been shaken somewhat but he’s face off against three heavyweights in a row.
NFL Picks: Redskins
New York Giants +3.0 (-125) vs. Philadelphia Eagles -3.0 (+105)
Giants are making significant gains on offensive while Eagles are giving up way too much to opposing offenses. Both take a 3-2 ATS record into week 6, which makes for an interesting prospect in this game that sits at 3-points on the NFL odds page right now. There’s value on both sides of the coin: Eagles proved lethal on offense in the first few games but their last couple showed special teams and defense making big plays. Eagles’ offense is still potent and that could force Eli Manning to take risks, which usually don’t pay off where he’s concerned. Three points for the Eagles at home seems a value NFL pick.
NFL Picks: Eagles -3.0 (+105)
San Francisco 49ers -3.0 (-125) vs. St. Louis Rams +3.0 (+105)
San Francisco 49ers have been winning games by the skin of their teeth lately (3-2 ATS); their last two were won by mere five points – 26-21 over Eagles and 22-17 over Kansas City. Rams meanwhile are behind a two-game losing streak and a 1-3 ATS mark. Tempting though home puppies can be, there’s no question the 49ers are the better team. San Francisco to silence doubters on your NFL picks is the way to go here.
NFL Picks: Niners -3.0 (-125)