For The Win: Week 6 - Footballguys

NFL Picks Against the Las Vegas Lines

Here we are again this year, back for more NFL picks. Just like last season, this article will still be picking all of the NFL games each week, but will also try and help some of you with some confidence and rankings of the selections - which also may assist those of you with Las Vegas trips. Games are rated based on preference for both the point spread and other angles (such as point totals, or Over/Unders) with 1-3 "Stars", which basically highlight the best bets for the week. Those games which have zero stars are not preferred one way or the other, but will still be covered, discussed and a winner will be predicted to help those trying to get some advice for their weekly office pools or other contests that they may be participating in either this week or this season.

Last week was very, very interesting. Overall it was a mediocre result (6-8-1 for the week) and the Picks of the Week went only 2-4, but the Best Bets had a spectacular result as all the teasers hit. That’s right – from the 3-teamer all the way to the 9-team teaser all connected, with just the final (ninth) pick pushing for a tie (that makes the teaser reduce to an 8-teamer win). Even with my For the Win Special Edition hedge bet of 6.5 stars on Washington’s Money Line, the results of 60.3-12.5 speak for themselves at an 80+% win rate. This is why focusing on a few key games truly matters, and intelligent wagering can pay off in the long run. All it takes is 1-2 weeks like this all season to make it a fantastic year. Of course, Week 6 is brand new and none of that matters, so just remain humble and plug away. Let’s get started.

Note that the lines and Over/Unders are taken from VegasInsider.com.

BYE WEEKS: Detroit, New Orleans

TEAMS RETURNING FROM A BYE: Chicago, Tampa Bay

(Thursday) PHILADELPHIA (-3) at NEW YORK GIANTS (Over/Under 44 to 44.5)
The Eagles may be 2-3, but they are “in the thick of it” for the NFC East – or, more accurately, the NFC Least with no team possessing a winning record. Philadelphia will be shorthanded on a short week as Jay Ajayi is now out for the year (ACL) so most of the work will rest on Carson Wentz’ shoulders. The Giants lost a heartbreaker in Carolina on a last-second 63-yard field goal by Graham Gano. This game will be a heated matchup between divisional rivals, but Philadelphia has the better defense and the better quarterback. PICK: Eagles

ATLANTA (-3 to 3.5) vs. TAMPA BAY (Over/Under 57.5)
The Falcons head home to take on the divisional rival Buccaneers with Tampa Bay coming off of their bye. Jameis Winston returns to action as the starter, while Atlanta heads home to a friendlier (turf) environment. Neither defense has stopped much of anyone this season, so expect a ton of points (and the Over/Under reflects that), but the home team at just 1-4 is far more desperate for a victory, plus the Buccaneers are likely to be rusty and also without O.J. Howard. Close game but Falcons by a touchdown, something like 34-27. PICK: Falcons

CINCINNATI (-2 to 2.5) vs. PITTSBURGH (Over/Under 53)
A big AFC North battle looms here in Ohio as the Bengals play host to the Steelers in Week 6. Pittsburgh is coming off of a big win over Atlanta at home, while Cincinnati has one of the quietest 4-1 starts in recent history. A Bengals home win here vaults Cincinnati way ahead in the division, at least one game ahead of Baltimore (who lost to Cincinnati in Week 2) and 2.5 games ahead of the Steelers. With the Bengals heading to Kansas City for Sunday Night Football next week, this game should be a statement that the Bengals could push for top spot in the AFC two weeks from now. PICK: Bengals

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-1) at CLEVELAND (Over/Under 44 to 45)
Last week it was mentioned that the Chargers were 2-2, but their two losses were to the Rams and Chiefs. In Week 5, they beat a team a good team should beat in the Raiders at Oakland, 26-10. Cleveland may have two wins and a tie, but aside from 45-42 shootout with Oakland (solid comparison game), the Browns have not scored over 21 points and are averaging 18 points per contest. Even on the road, the Chargers should beat the Browns by a similar score to their victory over Oakland last week. PICK: Chargers

SEATTLE (-2.5 to 3) “at” OAKLAND in London England (Over/Under 47.5 to 48)
So Oakland, a 1-4 team, is a 3-point favorite over the team that played the Rams to a 33-31 slugfest just last week? Take away the Raiders’ one win, a 45-42 overtime home victory over Cleveland, and Oakland is averaging 15.5 points scored over four contests, with no game over 20 points. The Seahawks are getting big plays out of the passing game while establishing a solid ground attack. That sounds like a recipe for a 27-17 Seattle victory. Also, do not forget that this is not a home game for the Raiders, so all home field advantage will be neutralized in England, as Seattle is one of the top draws for UK NFL fans this season. PICK: Seahawks

CHICAGO (-3) at MIAMI (Over/Under 42 to 42.5)
The Bears are 3-1 and coming off of their bye week, while Miami has lost two in a row after a 3-0 start. Granted both losses were on the road against two strong teams (New England, Cincinnati), but now Chicago faces a similar test of their fast start. Are the Bears really that good, or is their record more of a reflection of a soft schedule? Looking deeper, Chicago is a Top 3 defense in points against and first downs against (even on a points per game metric), with an improving offense. Couple that with an extra week to prepare, and all signs point towards a Chicago road victory. PICK: Bears

MINNESOTA (-10.5) vs. ARIZONA (Over/Under 42.5 to 43)
Arizona may have won their first game of the 2018 season last week, but a victory over San Francisco without Jimmy Garoppolo and an injured Matt Breida is hardly a big accomplishment. The Vikings went on the road and beat the Super Bowl Champion Eagles, so the only reasonable way to expect Minnesota to not put up a double-digit victory in this spot would be a letdown similar to the loss to Buffalo. The Vikings know this, and this is their chance to show everyone that they learned their lesson and can take care of business, winning the games that they should as they try and get back to the postseason. PICK: Vikings

NEW YORK JETS (-2.5) vs. INDIANAPOLIS (Over/Under 45 to 45.5)
New York won for the first time since Week 1 with a strong 34-16 victory over Denver last Sunday. The Colts may have a few extra days of rest after their loss to New England last Thursday, but aside from three touchdowns to tight ends, they truly were never giving the Patriots any run for their money. Even if T.Y. Hilton can suit up on Sunday, the Jets are trending in the right direction and should be able to secure the victory here. PICK: Jets

CAROLINA (+1 to EVEN) at WASHINGTON (Over/Under 45 to 45.5)
Washington comes off of a short week after getting pummeled by the Saints on “Drew Brees Night”, while the Panthers barely escaped losing at home to the Giants thanks to an extremely long field goal by Graham Gano. Carolina has scored 24, 31 and 33 points across their last three games and is leading the league in team rushing. That, plus a Top 5 defense pushes this pick towards Carolina. PICK: Panthers

HOUSTON (-8) vs. BUFFALO (Over/Under OFF)
DeShaun Watson says that he will be playing in this game, and while the point spread looks daunting right now, expectations are that the number will come down with Watson and Lamar Miller now both likely to play. Buffalo’s defense is respectable, but the offense is going to continue to struggle against J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. PICK: Texans

LOS ANGELES RAMS (-7) at DENVER (Over/Under 52.5)
The best team in the NFC rolls out on the road again, this time to Mile High to take on a Denver team that fell to 2-3 last week at the New York Jets. Denver gave up huge play after huge play to New York last week, which does not bode well with Los Angeles’ top offense (#1 in yards per game, #3 in points per game) coming to Colorado. The vaunted Denver defense has given up 24 or more points to every team that they have faced this season aside from the Raiders, who still pushed Denver in a 20-19 narrow win for the Broncos. This should not be a close one at all. Rams by 10+ and possibly much more. PICK: Rams

BALTIMORE (-2.5 to -3) at TENNESSEE (Over/Under 41 to 41.5)
Strong defenses align here in Tennessee as two of the Top 10 teams in points against square off in Nashville in Week 6. The Ravens are facing their third road game in a row, while the Titans return home after a tough loss in Buffalo. Tennessee continues to struggle to score as they have yet to put up over 20 points in regulation all year, but have ended two games with under 14 points. Baltimore has been surprising on offense with 23+ points a game until last week’s bad loss in Cleveland. Both teams will be looking to bounce back, but the needle slightly points towards Baltimore due to a better offense. PICK: Ravens

JACKSONVILLE (-3) at DALLAS (Over/Under 40.5)
The Jaguars have suffered two losses in their last three games, but when you lose your top running back and also have to go to Kansas City, some missteps can be forgiven. Jacksonville is still figuring out how to move their offense against good teams like the Chiefs, but they recovered from an ugly loss to the Titans to pick up a win against an improving Jets team in Week 4. Now Jacksonville travels to Dallas to take on a very dysfunctional Cowboys franchise that has major issues on offense. That is not a good recipe when the offense is about to face the Jaguars on defense. This feels like a game where both teams may struggle on offense, but the Jaguars will struggle less and secure a road win in Texas. PICK: Jaguars

KANSAS CITY (+3 to +3.5) at NEW ENGLAND (Over/Under 59 to 59.5)
The best game of the week falls on Sunday Night Football – just like it should. If you have things to do on Sunday, get them done before this one which will be a second potential playoff matchup in a row for the Chiefs. New England has to view this game as a must win, as a loss drops the Patriots to 3-3, more than three games behind a 6-0 Kansas City team that would hold the tiebreaker. A New England win moves the teams to just one game apart with the Patriots then holding that likely top seed deciding factor. It is not often you can get a 5-0 team getting points, but here we are. The Chiefs have stepped up their defense of late, especially on third downs, which is a huge factor. New England does have more rest, but that defense just yielded three touchdowns – all to tight ends – against a mediocre Colts offense. Look for Travis Kelce to have a field day where Andy Reid can make a huge statement as the top team in the AFC. PICK: Chiefs

(Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (+9.5 to 10) at GREEN BAY (Over/Under 46.5)
The 2018 version of the Green Bay Packers are not the same perpetual playoff contender that Aaron Rodgers has been leading for most of his career as a starter. R-E-L-A-X is hardly the right motto for a 2-2-1 team that needed to rally to beat Chicago at home and were lucky to tie the Vikings at Lambeau Field. The only convincing victory was over the mediocre at best Buffalo Bills, so the 2-0-1 home record is hardly as strong as it appears on paper. San Francisco heads to Green Bay on Monday with C.J. Beathard at quarterback once again, but the real story is the defense of the Packers that has given up 23, 29, 31 and 31 points in their four non-Bills matchups this season. Expecting Green Bay to win at home may be accurate, but odds are rather favorable for George Kittle and company to put up 20+ points and make it a close contest either way. PICK: 49ers

BEST BETS

Once again this year this article will give out not only the "Best Bets" but also a rating of each one on a 1-3 "Star" scale. The more stars, the bigger the emphasis on that side of the game.

Week 6 has some tougher lines, but as proven last week, not every game needs to be played. With a focus on just a few games, here are the Best Bets this week:

* ONE STAR GAMES *

  • KANSAS CITY (“FOR THE WIN” +160) at NEW ENGLAND
  • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (“FOR THE WIN” +350) at GREEN BAY
  • LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-1) at CLEVELAND
  • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO at GREEN BAY (Over 46.5)
  • 5-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (4.1-1 ODDS):
    • HOUSTON (-2) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-1) at DENVER
    • CAROLINA (+7) at WASHINGTON
    • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (+16) at GREEN BAY
    • CAROLINA at WASHINGTON (Over 39)
  • 6-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (6.1-1 ODDS):
    • HOUSTON (-2) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-1) at DENVER
    • CAROLINA (+7) at WASHINGTON
    • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (+16) at GREEN BAY
    • CAROLINA at WASHINGTON (Over 39)
    • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO at GREEN BAY (Over 40.5)
  • 7-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (8.9-1 ODDS):
    • HOUSTON (-2) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-1) at DENVER
    • CAROLINA (+7) at WASHINGTON
    • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (+16) at GREEN BAY
    • CAROLINA at WASHINGTON (Over 39)
    • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO at GREEN BAY (Over 40.5)
    • KANSAS CITY (+9.5) at NEW ENGLAND
  • 8-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (12.75-1 ODDS):
    • HOUSTON (-2) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-1) at DENVER
    • CAROLINA (+7) at WASHINGTON
    • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (+16) at GREEN BAY
    • CAROLINA at WASHINGTON (Over 39)
    • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO at GREEN BAY (Over 40.5)
    • KANSAS CITY (+9.5) at NEW ENGLAND
    • KANSAS CITY at NEW ENGLAND (Under 65.5)

** TWO STAR GAMES **

  • CAROLINA (+1) at WASHINGTON
  • KANSAS CITY (+3.5) at NEW ENGLAND
  • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (+10) at GREEN BAY
  • 6-POINT TEASER: CAROLINA (+7) at WASHINGTON (Over 39)
  • 6-POINT TEASER: (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (+16) at GREEN BAY (Over 40.5)
  • 6-POINT TEASER: KANSAS CITY (+9.5) at NEW ENGLAND (Under 65.5)
  • 4-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (2.65-1 ODDS):
    • HOUSTON (-2) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-1) at DENVER
    • CAROLINA (+7) at WASHINGTON
    • (Monday) SAN FRANCISCO (+16) at GREEN BAY

*** THREE STAR GAMES ***

  • 3-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (9-5 ODDS):
    • HOUSTON (-2) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-1) at DENVER
    • CAROLINA (+7) at WASHINGTON

PICK(S) OF THE WEEK: Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Houston, Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City, San Francisco

RESULTS

Last Week

  • OVERALL: 6-8-1 (42.9%)
  • BEST BETS (STARS): 60.3-12.5 (82.8%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 2-4 (33.3%)

Season

  • OVERALL: 30-43-5 (41.1%)
  • BEST BETS (STARS): 103.4-55.5 (65.1%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 14-16-2 (46.7%)

Good luck this weekend!

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