Week 6 NFL odds, picks: Jets win again, Steelers top Bengals and more of Jason La Canfora's picks
La Canfora shares his top picks for Week 6, including the Jets covering in an ugly game with the Colts
I guess there are a few ways to look at this. I am by no means happy to be just 6-5-1 with my best bets this late in the season. But then when you compare it to my horrid 33-43-3 record overall picking games this season, I guess it doesn't look so bad!
Okay, that's grading on a curve, but after another 1-1 record in Week 5 (thanks for showing up, Titans!) that's where I sit. I'm going to branch out a little more this week and opine on a few more games to try to get this thing turned around. Here goes:
Pittsburgh finally realized it is okay to run the ball last week. Like, it's actually a normal course of action and you can do it more than, like, twice a quarter. The Steelers can almost smell that bye and realize that this is their shot to atone for some earlier sins and get right back into the AFC North race. And, well, the Bengals realize all of this as well and this is the very spot when most Bengals teams would lay an egg, is it not? The Steelers have had their number and Pittsburgh has ramped up its pass rush and that defense is taking some incremental steps in the right direction. I could see the Bengals struggling to cover their tight ends and running backs (Conner will see plenty of the ball in all facets of the offense). I do have concerns about Chris Boswell's ability to convert field goals and extra points, but I am going with the Steelers anyway.
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The Colts have hit a rough patch, their depth is getting compromised and the road is not often kind to them. If they can't get a running game going in this one they will be cooked, and the Jets have the ability to control the clock on the ground on the other side of the ball and protect Sam Darnold. Indy does generally keep things relatively close and it has had its share of moral victories, but the Jets having Todd Bowles call that defense gives them an advantage, to me, and I don't see the Colts being able to do much in the quick-strike capacity given the current limitations of their offense. It may be an ugly game, and I like the Jets to out-ugly their opponent.
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Titans (+2.5) vs. Ravens
I really don't know what to make of the Titans or the Ravens. Both are flawed teams … but a few flawed teams are going to be playing postseason football in the AFC, it's just a matter of which ones. However, Tennessee has found a way to win at home, in general, and the Ravens are usually fairly putrid against solid defensive teams on the road. Titans coordinator Dean Pees knows Joe Flacco inside out, Baltimore has yet to establish a run game – which is the best way to beat the Titans – and the Ravens may be a little ragged, playing a third-straight game on the road. I expect it to be close and it could go either way, but the Titans seem to understand the limitations of what they can actually accomplish on offense more than the Ravens, and I'm jumping on getting points at home here.
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