NFL Week 6 odds, picks: Steelers stomp Bengals, Titans topple Ravens and more best bets
Plus more of Will Brinson's best bets for Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season
BIG week last week for me against the spread, going a ridiculous 10-4-1 on the full slate of games. Somehow I managed to shoehorn two of those losses and the push into my best bets. I'm not even mad, I'm just amazed. I'm also in need of a big week in the SuperContest to make a push up the standings and to try and chase Kelly (streaking) and Kostos (moving).
This week reeks of chaos; there are a lot of home underdogs in play and a lot of short lines to deal with. Just when we think we know everything, that's when things start to change.
If you want a full breakdown of all Week 6 NFL picks against the spread, check out myself, Pete Prisco and R.J. White making a full slate of picks on the Pick Six Podcast.
To the best bets.
Hard to blame Vegas for making Tennessee a dog here: the Ravens are a very good team (despite losing to Cleveland last week) and the Titans are coming off a very ugly loss to the Bills on the road. But Tennessee is also a very good team, they just can't get the offense to start clicking the way it did in the second half against the Eagles for a full game. I'm not sure this is the week it happens, because the Ravens defense should be able to limit the Titans both through the air and the ground. But I trust the Tennessee defense to do the same to the Ravens offense (hint: take the under) and figure out a way to steal a win at home. The Titans are 2-0 straight up as a home underdog this season and the Ravens are headed out for their second-straight road game.
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The Bengals are the better team here, probably. And my son is better at basketball than me, probably. But that doesn't mean I'm going to just let him beat me all of a sudden (he's 4 so this analogy might not apply and certainly doesn't shine a positive light on my basketball skills). And the Steelers aren't going to magically just cede the division to the Bengals. Pittsburgh isn't great, I don't think, and typically plays much better at home, especially Ben Roethlisberger. But Roethlisberger's record in Cincy against the Bengals since he was drafted is pristine -- he's 11-3 against the spread. Ben has lost one road game against the Bengals since 2011. He's been especially good lately, throwing six touchdowns and just two interceptions in his last four games in Cincy, all four of which are wins. Winning this game would inject new life into the Steelers season.
Pretty simple here: the Patriots are at home as less than a touchdown favorite in prime time and most people are betting AGAINST THEM. That's how far this has swung -- the Chiefs have been a huge public team since Patrick Mahomes exploded on the scene this season (the Rams are right there with them). Betting on Bill Belichick is a pretty good way to make money if you're dabbling in the NFL, and betting on Belichick and the Patriots as a short favorite is a HIGHLY profitable enterprise. According to the OddsShark.com NFL Betting Database, in their last 30 games as a home favorite of less than a touchdown, the Patriots are a stunning 25-5 straight up and 22-7-1 against the spread. New England should be able to score at will against a Chiefs defense that has been porous this season and could be missing important pieces (Justin Houston). I like the massive over (59) as well but I'm getting more and more nervous about it because the Patriots might try and use James White and Sony Michel to melt clock and hold the ball.
Packers (-9.5) vs. 49ers
This is a lot of points to lay for any team, but this situation reminds me a lot of the Packers hosting the Bills a few weeks ago, minus the part about the 49ers coming off a stunning win (Buffalo had just beaten the Vikings on the road). San Francisco also doesn't have as good a defense as the Bills, checking in at 21st in Football Outsiders defensive DVOA metrics (Buffalo is seventh). The Packers have actually been fairly reliable as a large favorite at home too, registering an 11-7-2 record against the spread as a favorite of 7-10 points at home since 2014 per the OddsShark database. Aaron Rodgers should put up some stats in this game as well. Not only is he coming off a vengeance-inspiring loss to the Lions in Detroit, but Rodgers has absolutely stunning Monday Night Football numbers at home. He's only played in three home games on Monday night since 2011, but in those games he combined to complete 70 percent of his passes for 910 yards (303 per game, math majors), 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions. His teams won those games 38-28 (as a six-point favorite), 43-37 (as a 13.5-point favorite) and 45-7 (as a 13-point favorite). The Packers defense could use a statement game here as well.
Obvious bounce-back situation here for Washington, with the Redskins getting their faces stomped by the Saints on Monday night in New Orleans. One of the key concerns is the injury report and how many Redskins are on it, particularly when it comes to the offensive weapons. Chris Thompson was unnecessarily injured on a pointless two-point conversion play and Josh Doctson doesn't sound like he's playing any time soon. Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson both missed practice Wednesday. Adrian Peterson is listed with "ankle/shoulder/knee" on the injury report. Yikes. If they're completely ravaged on Friday night, I might swing in a different direction, but as of now I'm leaning towards the Redskins. The other thing that has me a little worried is the return of Thomas Davis and the status of Ryan Kalil. Davis will inject this defense with life, while Kalil is a Jenga piece (copyright Dave Dameshek) for the offense. When he's hurt, things fall off quickly.
BONUS UNDERDOG OF THE WEEK OF THE YEAR
Buccaneers (+3.5) at Falcons
Either the Browns or the Bucs were going to be the bonus dog here, but I'm starting to get scared of the Chargers just steamrolling Cleveland. Atlanta could blast Tampa too. Let's not forget the Buccaneers are a bad football team. But this is a statement game for Jameis Winston coming out of the bye. Go into Atlanta and win, or even just keep things close, and Bucs fans will start to turn back to him a little bit. Go in there and get shellacked and everyone might get fired pretty soon. Winston also needs to get paid. No doubt the Falcons are desperate too, but I don't think desperation is going to be able to lock down all the Tampa weapons, with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin and Cameron Brate all presenting serious coverage problems for the depleted Atlanta defense. There are going to be points galore scored in this game, and the Bucs should be able to get 30+ of them on the board. I'm thinking that's enough to cover here if not win outright.
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