Guys, I have some big news: For the first time in seven years, I got some sleep on a Thursday night during the NFL season.
Normally, during the season, I'm up until 2 a.m. every Thursday recording a postgame podcast, but since there was no game yesterday, I decided to go to bed at 8:30 p.m. Apparently, that's also what time Tom Brady goes to bed, and I have to say, he might be on to something. That's also what time my six-month-old daughter goes to bed. The irony here is that none of us can count to four, so maybe going to bed at 8:30 isn't such a great thing after all.
Even though there was no football on Thursday night, it's still been a crazy 24 hours in the NFL, which means we've got a lot of news to unpack here, so let's get to the roundup. As always, if you want to share the newsletter with 15 of your closest friends and then tell them to share it with 15 of their closest friends, you just need to click here and grab the link so you can shoot it their way. If you have more than 15 friends, congratulations, you're more popular than me.
1. Today's Show: NFL Week 6 best bets
Normally, we spend our Friday show recapping the Thursday night game, but since there was no Thursday game, we decided to do something just as entertaining for today's show: We unveiled our best bets for Week 6. And when I say "we," I don't actually mean me, because my invite to be on Friday's podcast apparently got lost in the mail. I'd blame USPS, but I feel like they're dealing with enough right now.
Even though I wasn't on the show, Will Brinson did bring out the big guns to help him him pick games with Pete Prisco, R.J. White and Kenny White all jumping on the podcast.
The guys spent nearly 60 minutes going over the best bets for every single game being played this week. Because I'm in a good mood, here's one best bet from each of them.
Will Brinson: Titans (-3) to cover in Houston against the Texans on Sunday.
Pete Prisco: Lions (-3) to win on the road in Jacksonville.
Kenny White: Broncos (+10) to cover on the road in New England.
R.J. White: Bengals (+8) to cover on the road against the Colts.
Based on those picks, I think it's pretty clear that R.J. is trying earn brownie points with me for some reason, because that's the only reason anyone ever picks the Bengals around these parts. Also, all four guys have decided to back road teams, which could pay off handsomely since road teams are a combined 42-34-1 against the spread this season.
The group also has a three-team parlay that involves betting the Over in the Falcons-Vikings game along with the Lions (-3) and Steelers (-3) to both cover. To hear what the rest of the best bets are for Week 6, be sure to click here so you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast.
Now that the NFL season is five weeks old, it's becoming a lot easier to tell which teams are good this year and which teams are bad, and because of that, it's a lot easier to tell how difficult or easy a team's schedule is going to be over the final 11 weeks of the season.
With that in mind, I have some good news for Raiders fans: Your team has the easiest remaining schedule! You can thank the 0-5 Jets and 0-5 Falcons for that fact as the Raiders still have games against both teams. The second-easiest remaining schedule belongs to the Cowboys, who will probably be happy to hear that, if only because they'll take any good news they can get at this point.
Here's a look at the five teams with the easiest remaining schedules
3. Patriots dealing with positive COVID-19 test; Odell, Colts and Falcons are all clean after scares
In what is starting to feel like an every day occurrence, an NFL team closed its practice facilities on Friday due to COVID-19. On Thursday, we saw the Falcons close their facilities. This time around, both the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots had to send everyone home.
On New England's end, the team is dealing with one confirmed positive test along with a second test that's still waiting to be confirmed. The new positive test comes on the heels of the Cam Newton's positive test last week that led to the postponement of the Patriots' game against the Broncos. If the game has to be moved again, that could force the NFL to add an extra week to the season as both teams have already used up their bye weeks.
As for Indy, the Colts had four members of the organization test positive for COVID on Friday (You can read more details by clicking here). After the rash of positive tests, which seemed odd for a team that hadn't had a single positive test all year, the Colts had everyone tested again and it turns out they had all been hit with false positives, according to team owner Jim Irsay.
So what does that mean? It means that Indy's game against the Bengals is going to be played as scheduled on Sunday.
As for Odell Beckham, he was sent home from practice on Thursday after coming down ill. Before leaving the facility, the Browns wide receiver was tested for COVID-19 and that result came back Friday with Odell testing negative. Basically, as long as Beckham's illness passes, the Browns receiver should be able to play on Sunday against the Steelers. Also, the Falcons reopened their facility following Thursday's COVID scare and their game against Minnesota on Sunday is expected to go on as scheduled.
4. How Le'Veon Bell can help the Chiefs
In a span of less than 48 hours, Le'Veon Bell managed to go from playing for the worst team in the NFL (the Jets) to one of the best teams in the NFL (the Chiefs), which was good news for everyone except for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Although the Chiefs rookie running back is having an impressive season, the addition of Bell is definitely going to impact his production going forward and Cody Benjamin took a look at how things might play out in Kansas City's suddenly crowded backfield.
From Benjamin: "Edwards-Helaire might give you big-play ability as both a runner and receiver, but Bell is more polished in both areas. With three different 75-catch seasons under his belt, the latter shouldn't need much time to become a favorite outlet for Mahomes. Bell's size (6-1, 225) also gives the Chiefs a much more imposing short-yardage option than Edwards-Helaire (5-7, 207)."
Basically, Bell seems like the perfect player to come in for short-yardage and pass-catching situations. However, no one knows if Bell is going to be good, because he definitely wasn't with the Jets, but going from the Jets offense to the Chiefs offense is like going from a tricycle to a Ferrari. If Bell struggles out of the gate, then Edwards-Helaire likely won't see a huge impact to the amount of touches he gets. On the other hand, if Mahomes and Bell click right away, that could mean more playing time for the former Steelers running back and less for Edwards-Helaire. If's definitely going to be an interesting situation to watch.
For more on Bell's move to Kansas City, be sure to click here.
5. NFL Week 6 picks
In case you haven't noticed, we love to make picks here at CBS Sports, and since this is the final newsletter you'll be reading before Week 6 kicks off, we've decided to load it up with even more picks.
Today, you'll be getting picks from NFL Insiders Jason La Canfora and Jonathan Jones, along with picks from Will Brinson. Here's how things are going to work: I'm going to give you one pick from each guy and then direct you to the rest of their picks.
This pick is a surprise, if only because Brinson has been calling the Bears fraudulent all season (He's basically one of the three most hated people in Chicago right now). For the rest of Brinson's Week 6 picks, be sure to click here.
Now, let's get to the picks from JLC and JJ
Jason La Canfora: Chiefs (-3.5) win and cover against the Bills
Jonathan Jones: Bengals over Colts.
I did not pay Jones to pick the Bengals, he did that on his own and you can read the rest of his picks by clicking here. As for La Canfora, he has two more Week 6 best bets and you can check those out by clicking here.
6. What Dak's injury could mean for him financially
With Dak Prescott now done for the season, all eyes will be turning to his future. Unless he gets hit with the franchise tag again, the Cowboys quarterback will be a free agent in March. If he does get tagged, the Cowboys would have to him $37.7 million for the 2021 season, which is a lot of money to give to someone who's coming off a season-ending injury.
So how is all of this going to play out? Former NFL agent Joel Corry took a stab at predicting what he thinks will happen between Prescott and the Cowboys this offseason.
From Corry: "I suspect that Dallas won't be able to get a [long-term] deal done with Prescott early in offseason, making the second franchise tag almost inevitable."
Corry's prediction is that the Cowboys will have to tag Dak, because if they don't, there will be at least one team out there -- possibly the Colts -- who would be more than happy to sign him away from Dallas. To check out the whole story from Corry, be sure to click here.
After ignoring punters for nearly two weeks here in the special teams section, punters are now taking over and that's because I'm focusing on a punter for the second straight day. For today, I'm talking about Jack Fox, who is arguably Detroit's MVP through its first four games, which tells you all you need to know about how 2020 is going for the Lions.
If for some reason you find yourself watching a Lions game on Sunday, don't change the channel when they punt, and that's because it's actually EXCITING to watch Fox kick. The man has a booming leg. Through four games, he's averaging 53.4 yards per punt, which is TWO YARDS more than the next closest punter. He also has a net average of 49.9, which is THREE YARDS more than the next closest punter. Also, the NFL single-season record for net punting yardage if 46, just in case you're wondering how absurd Fox's net punting average really is.
I really hope they're playing "What does the Fox say" before each of his punts in Detroit.
Speaking of Foxes, I'll be going fox hunting this weekend. Just kidding, my wife and I have a baby, the only free time I have is spent writing this newsletter. See you guys Monday!