Despite the fact that the Jets have won three games in a row and now have the same record as the Patriots (3-2), New England opened as a 9.5-point favorite for the Week 6 showdown at MetLife Stadium. Of course, when you think about the fact that a team quarterbacked by Tom Brady is going up against a team quarterbacked by Josh McCown, a 9.5-point spread actually doesn't seem that big.
Although the Patriots regularly beat up on the Jets, you might want to think twice before you bet money on the Pats to cover the spread. Sure, the Patriots are an impressive 6-2 straight-up against the Jets since the beginning of the 2013 season, however, they're just 1-6-1 against the spread.
The Patriots are one of five teams in Week 6 -- along with the Redskins, Texans, Falcons and Broncos --that are favored to win by nine or more points. Two of the teams favored big this week, the Broncos and Falcons, are both coming off a Week 5 bye. Although we regularly see point spreads hit the nine-point mark, it's rare to have five of them in one week. The last time we had five or more point spreads shoot up to nine or higher in the same week came in Week 17 of the 2015 season.
So who else is favored to win big in Week 6?
Let's get to the odds and find out.
NFL Week 6 early odds
Opening line: Panthers, -3 points
Could we be looking at a preview of the NFC Championship with this game? There's only three 4-1 teams left in the NFC and two of them will be playing in this Thursday night game. The Panthers have owned the NFC East over the past four years, going 6-1 straight-up against the division since 2013. This game will feature two of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL with Cam Newton (league-high 355 passing yards in Week 5) and Carson Wentz (NFC-high four TD passes in Week 5). Although Wentz has been good in his short career, one thing the Eagles haven't done well with him under center is cover the spread as a road underdog. Since Wentz's rookie year in 2016, the Eagles have gone 3-5 ATS as a road underdog, which ranks an ugly 27th in the NFL over that span. Both teams are 3-2 ATS in 2017.
Dolphins (2-2) at Falcons (3-1)
Opening line: Falcons, -9.5 points
If there's one thing the Falcons haven't done well under Dan Quinn, it's cover large point spreads. Since Quinn was hired in 2015, the Falcons have been favored by five or more points a total of 11 times and they're an ugly 2-9 ATS in those games (6-5 straight up). Of course, if the Falcons offense goes on a roll in this game, it's hard to imagine the Dolphins keeping up. Miami is averaging an NFL-worst 10.25 points per game. Also, the Dolphins haven't won in Atlanta since 1980.
Opening line: NO LINE
For the fourth straight week, oddsmakers have decided not to give the Vikings an opening line, and that's mainly because no one seems to have any idea if Sam Bradford's going to play. If Bradford plays on Monday night against the Bears (and makes it out of the game in one piece) that almost certainly means he'll be starting against the Packers. With Bradford under center, the Vikings went 1-1 against the Packers in 2016.
Opening line: Saints, -3.5 points
This is the third season in a row that the Lions have been an underdog heading into New Orleans, and if this game goes anything like the first two, then the Lions are going to walk away with a win. In 2015, the Lions went on the road and beat the Saints 35-27 in a game where New Orleans was favored by 2.5. In 2016, the Lions easily covered as a 6.5-point underdog when they beat the Saints 28-13. Including those two losses to the Lions, the Saints are just 4-7-1 ATS as a home favorite since 2015, which is one of the worst marks in the NFL over that span. On the other hand, if you're looking for a reason to bet against the Lions, they're just 6-11 ATS after a loss since 2015.
Patriots (3-2) at Jets (3-2)
Opening line: Patriots, -9.5 points
In what has suddenly turned into the most unexpected showdown of Week 5, we're getting a battle for first place in the AFC East that somehow involves the Jets. One thing to watch out for in this game is the health of Rob Gronkowski, and not for the reason you think. Betting the Patriots might actually make more sense if Gronk is out. Since the beginning of last season, the Patriots are 12-0 straight-up in games where Gronk doesn't play.
49ers (0-5) at Redskins (2-2)
Opening line: Redskins, -9 points
One of the safest bets in football over the past two years has been betting against the 49ers when they play in the Eastern Time Zone. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the 49ers have gone 0-9 straight-up in Eastern time and 1-8 ATS, including Sunday's loss to Indy. The nine losses have come by an average of 15.9 points per game. Of course, if the 49ers are going to finally come through with a win out east, the Redskins would be the team to beat. The 49ers have won four in a row against the Redskins. By the way, although the 49ers are an ugly 0-5 on the season, they haven't been a bad team to bet on, going 3-2 ATS.
Bears (1-3) at Ravens (3-2)
Opening line: Ravens, -7 points
The Ravens have been absolutely dreadful going up against NFC opponents over the past two seasons. Since the start of 2015, the Ravens are 2-6 straight-up against the NFC and just 1-6-1 ATS, which ranks 29th in the NFL over that span. Basically, betting against Baltimore in a non-conference game has been the closest thing to a lock that you can get when betting on the Ravens. The Bears have been the exact opposite, going 6-3 ATS in non-conference games, which ranks seventh in the NFL since 2015. Of course, maybe you shouldn't bet against the Ravens and that's because the Bears have never beaten them in Baltimore. This game will mark only the third time in franchise history that the Ravens have hosted the Bears in Baltimore, with the Ravens winning each of the first two games.
Browns (0-5) at Texans (2-3)
Opening line: Texans, -10.5 points
Although the Browns are currently a double-digit underdog in this game, this line could take a jump in their direction over the next several days due in large part to the fact that Texans suffered some ugly injuries in Week 5. Whitney Mercilus (chest), who was injured in the Texans' loss to the Chiefs. As for the Browns, they could be starting a new quarterback in this game. DeShone Kizer was pulled for Kevin Hogan in Week 5 and there's a chance that coach Hue Jackson could decide to stick with Hogan. Of course, it might not matter who the Browns start: Cleveland is 1-4 ATS this year, which is the worst mark in the AFC. Also, the Browns haven't beaten the Texans since 2007.(leg) in Week 6, but they'll also be missing linebacker
Buccaneers (2-2) at Cardinals (2-3)
Opening line: Pick'em
The Cardinals are the only team in the NFL this year that hasn't covered the spread in a single game (0-5 ATS). Of course, that doesn't mean the Buccaneers are a lock in this game, because they've also struggled against the spread. The Bucs are 1-3 ATS, which is the fourth-worst mark in the NFL this year. The Bucs are also bad at covering when they're coming off a loss. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, they're just 2-6 ATS following a loss, which is the third-worst mark in the NFL over the span. These two teams played last season in Arizona in a game where the Cardinals crushed the Bucs 40-7, easily allowing them to cover as a 7.5 point favorite.
Opening line: Jaguars, -2.5 points
When the NFL schedule came out back in April, this was definitely the game you circled so you could skip watching it and do yard work instead. However, these two teams are actually good now, which means Rams-Jaguars has suddenly turned into must-see TV. The Jaguars aren't a home favorite often, which is probably a good thing because they rarely cover. Since 2012, the Jags are 3-6 ATS as home favorites, which is the worst mark in the AFC over that span. Somehow, they're actually even worse against NFC teams, going 4-16 ATS since 2012, which is the worst ATS mark of any team in the NFL in non-conference games over that span (The Rams are 11-9-1 ATS against AFC teams in that span). Also, the Jags are just 2-18 straight-up against NFC teams during that same span.
Opening line: Chiefs, -2.5 points
After struggling through the first five weeks of the season, maybe all the Steelers need to get things turned around is a game against the Chiefs. These two teams met twice last year with the Steelers winning both games, including an 18-16 playoff win at Arrowhead Stadium. The Steelers seem to thrive against the spread after a loss: Since 2014, they're 11-6 ATS after a loss, which is the sixth-best mark in the NFL over that span. Of course, betting against the Chiefs this year has basically been the same thing as setting your money on fire. Kansas City is the only team in the NFL that still's unbeaten against the spread (5-0).
Opening line: NO LINE
It looks like oddsmakers are going to wait to see if Derek Carr gets a clean bill of health before setting a line in this game. Although Carr (back) was injured in Week 5, he recovered so quickly that he was actually listed as questionable in Week 6 before coach Jack Del Rio decided that it was best to bench him and let him heal for a week. If Carr does start, that's not good news for the Chargers, who have lost four in a row to the Raiders. One thing to keep in mind with the Chargers: Since 2015, they're 2-7 ATS after a win, which is the worst mark in the NFL over that span. Maybe beating the Giants wasn't a great idea after all.
Giants (0-5) at Broncos (3-1)
Opening line: Broncos, -9 points
If you're thinking about betting the Broncos in this game, you might want to do it now because this line will likely only grow as we move through the week. Not only do the Broncos have the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL, but they get to go against a Giants offense that will be missing Odell Beckham, and likely missing at least two other receivers on top of Beckham (Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard). Although this spread might seem large, the Broncos are 5-2-1 ATS as a home favorite since the beginning of the 2016 season, which is the best mark in the NFL over that span. The Broncos are also 4-1 ATS against NFC teams in that same span. Oh, and the Giants haven't won in Denver since 1989.
Opening line: NO LINE
Will Marcus Mariota play? Will Andrew Luck be on the field? Since one really knows the answer to those questions right now, oddsmakers have decided not to set an opening line for this game. Although Luck likely won't play -- CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora -- there's a good chance Mariota will play after sitting out Tennessee's Week 5 loss to the Dolphins. No matter who plays, one thing is clear: The Colts have dominated this series recently. Indy has won 11 in a row in this series dating back to 2011. The Colts are also 19-9-2 ATS against AFC South teams over the past five years, which is the best divisional ATS record of any team in the NFL over that span.