Week 5 Record: 2-2-1
We saw five moneyline victories on Sunday by virtue of that game-winning 63-yard field goal by Graham Gano, late game heroics from the Rams, and an OT win for Houston. Went 2-2-1 ATS since the Panthers and Rams didn’t cover, and the Texans pushed after we bought the -3.5 line down to -3.
All eight home teams that played at 1pm ET on Sunday won, and three of the four road teams that played in the 4pm ET slot won. Weird vibes, Mercury must have been in retrograde or something (but this is Week 6 NFL Predictions, not your horoscope).
Season Record: 17-31-1
Clawed our way to a .500 record last week and look to maintain our 55% hit rate. Hopefully picking 4 road teams, and 3 to beat the spread, doesn’t come back to bite me.
Week 6 Picks
Bengals -2.5 vs Steelers
The Bengals are averaging over 30 points per game and their only loss came on the road at Carolina with Joe Mixon hurt and Vontaze Burfinct suspended. Mixon are Burfinct are both suiting up Sunday, and the Bengals are looking like the team to beat in the AFC North. The Steelers, by comparison, have not looked like the Steelers of the “Killer B’s” era. Without Le’Veon in the backfield, Pittsburgh can’t control the clock as effectively which puts pressure on their defense and keeps them on the field longer than they can handle. I like the Bengals at the -2.5 price but would pass at -3.
Chargers -1 at Browns
We don’t know a lot about the Chargers. They lost to the Rams and Chiefs, two of the best teams in the league right now; and beat the Bills, 49ers, and Raiders, three of the bottom eight or so teams in the league. Some of their struggles have been the result of historic kicking woes, and I fall on the side of the Chargers being good – theoretically they would be better than their current +/- since kicking should regress [upwards] towards the league-wide average in the long term. Additionally, Hue Jackson is one of the worst HCs in the league – he will definitely not go right to another NFL head coaching gig after the Browns inevitably fire him – and is incapable of getting out of his own way. Advantage Chargers.
Bears -3 at Dolphins
The Dolphins are coming off a deflating loss in which they allowed the Bengals to score 24 fourth quarter points to win 27-17. Adam Gase has to answer to management and the media, and it’s going to be tough to rally the troops against an aggressive Bears team coming off a bye. Vic Fangio has had two weeks to prep for an undermanned Dolphins offense, and should be able to easily handle the fish before hosting the Patriots in Week 7.
Rams -7 at Broncos
Pending Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks injuries, I like the Rams high-flying offense against a Broncos defense that will be on the field for 32-35 minutes. Sean McVay strikes me as the kind of guy who wants to win by double digits every week and will leverage strategic capital to do so. Denver is a bad team when Case Keenum has to throw 50+ times and the Rams will certainly be putting up points.
49ers +9.5 at Packers
538’s Nate Silver ranks the Packers as the 20th best team in the NFL right now. If you were to take away each team’s QB and reevaluate the rest of the roster, Silver is essentially saying the Packers have a bottom five team buoyed by Aaron Rodgers. The 49ers, on the other hand, have a good running game and offensive line, and a great coach. The Packers simply don’t have the firepower to blow anyone out so the Niners will keep it close and have a solid puncher’s chance to win outright.