NFL Picks: Where the Sharps are Looking in Week 6

Jason Lake

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 12:34 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 12:34 PM UTC

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-0 ATS since putting Mike Glennon in at quarterback. And the sharps are on the scene, making Tampa Bay one of their early NFL picks in Sunday’s matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

Jason’s Record After Week 5: 19-16 ATS, 5-7-1 Totals

Profit: plus-0.1 units

Beating the Pittsburgh Steelers was one thing. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly made it two wins in a row, taking the New Orleans Saints (–11 at home) to the extreme before losing 37-31 in overtime. Not bad for a team that got blown out by six touchdowns on prime-time television in Week 3. Did we mention the Buccaneers were the best value on the NFL odds board?

There aren’t too many sharps left who aren’t on the Bucs bandwagon. As we go to press, our consensus reports show 58.67 percent of early bettors are on the Baltimore Ravens as 3-point road faves for Sunday’s contest (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS), but check out our expanded consensus numbers: Tampa Bay is pulling in 92.95 percent of the action. That is easily the biggest slice of the NFL betting pie for Week 6.

Before we continue, a mea culpa: Even as a wild guesstimate, it was silly to suggest that Tampa might have had a 56-percent chance of covering last week at +10.5 against the Saints, based on 56 percent of NFL games being decided by 10 points or fewer. That didn’t take into account that either team could have won by 11 or more. We didn’t get that updated in time for publication, and we feel properly embarrassed about it.

We’ll take the money anyway. Tampa Bay got the job done as expected, despite 113 yards in penalties – the Bucs defense made up for it by picking off Drew Brees three times and returning one of those for a touchdown. Glennon was solid in his second start, and Tampa Bay held a 31-20 lead early in the fourth quarter before losing control of the wheel.

Baltimore, meanwhile, lost its Week 5 matchup 20-13 to the Indianapolis Colts (–2.5 at home) to fall to 3-2 SU and 2-2-1 ATS on the season. And the Ravens defense just got a little less stout: RE Chris Canty (wrist) is expected to miss “a few weeks” recovering from surgery. Perhaps this is why the average bet size on Baltimore is just $37 at press time, compared to $692 for Tampa Bay.

It’s Pats
The Saints get Week 6 off to think about what they’ve done, but the New England Patriots are in action Sunday afternoon (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against the Buffalo Bills, and once again, there’s tension between sharps and squares in the football betting marketplace. The Patriots have 60.84 consensus, as well as a slight lead in monies wagered at 54.63 percent. But it’s the Bills who have the larger bet size, $40 to $31, and they’ve also registered two $1,000-plus bets to New England’s zero.

We come here to bury the Patriots, not to praise them. Yes, they beat the Cincinnati Bengals (–2.5 away) 43-17 last week, and they did take advantage of Cincy’s weak run defense, just like we coached them to. But don’t get too caught up in the hoopla. The Bengals lost all three of their fumbles, while the Pats recovered their lone drop. Stephen Gostkowski also connected on all five of his field-goal attempts; Mike Nugent was 1-for-2. It was a good win for New England, just not as dominant as it looks on paper. Also: Kyle Orton!

One team sharps and squares can agree on: the Denver Broncos. After dumping the Arizona Cardinals (+8 away) 41-20, Denver is getting 70.04 percent consensus and 78.90 percent of the action for Sunday’s matinee (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) against the faltering New York Jets. That’s with the Jets getting 10 points at home. It doesn’t look good for New York, but the Broncos are still just 1-3 ATS, and hey, maybe Geno Smith will have one of his better days after getting benched in Week 5. It could happen.

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