NFL Odds this week seem to be a reaction to a wild set of results from the previous week’s slate. A number of dramatic comebacks and thrilling finishes shifted the fortunes of many bettors last weekend. Favorites finally covered more games than not against the spread, going 9-7 in Week 5. The Over hit in a big way too last week, finally besting the Under, going 10-6. The Buffalo/Kansas City game sported the highest total of the season thus far (57), and it hit the Over.
The Dallas Cowboys remain the league’s only team undefeated against the spread, sporting a 5-0 mark. Arizona, Buffalo, Green Bay, and the Los Angeles Chargers all hold 4-1 records against the spread. The Cardinals remain the lone undefeated team straight up, while the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars check in as winless. The Lions, though, are 3-2 against the spread.
NFL Bye Weeks begin in Week 6, with the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, and San Francisco 49ers all getting the week off. The Falcons and Jets get a leisurely return from London after their Week 5 game across the pond.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football to kick off the NFL Week 6 action. The Bucs followed up an underwhelming Week 4 showing with a dominant Week 5 beat down of their in-state rivals, the Miami Dolphins. The Buccaneers continue to hold the best odds to win the NFC. The Eagles, meanwhile, snapped a three-game losing streak with a come-from-behind win in Carolina.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1, 2-3 ATS) routed the Dolphins last Sunday, topping Miami 45-17. Tom Brady bounced back from his touchdown-less performance in New England by throwing five of them in this one. Brady completed 30-of-41 passes for 411 yards and the five scores. He found Antonio Brown seven times for 124 yards and two of the touchdowns. Mike Evans caught two touchdowns as well.
The Bucs offensive machine rolled up the Miami defense to the tune of 558 total yards in this one. Tampa Bay converted 8-of-11 third down attempts and only punted the ball once. The defense limited the Dolphins to 301 yards, with just 39 of those coming on the ground.
The Philadelphia Eagles (2-3, 2-3 ATS) entered the locker room down 15-6 at the half against Carolina, but responded on the road to pick up perhaps the most impressive win of Jalen Hurts’ young career. Hurts ran for two scores in the second half and finished with 198 yards on 22-of-37 passing. He ran for 30 yards and two TDs on nine carries. Hurts continued to flash chemistry with rookie wideout DeVonta Smith, who had seven catches for 77 yards and a 2-point conversion in this one.
The Eagles defense showed up in Week 5, keeping Sam Darnold and Carolina to just 21 points and 267 yards. This comes after the Philadelphia defense allowed 83 points and 851 yards in its previous two games. The Eagles sacked Darnold three times and came away with three interceptions.
Philly enters this ballgame with a better than average offense in terms of yardage, but ranks 17th in scoring (23.0). Their defense has been great against the pass, ranking third in passing yards per game (194.8). They’ve yet to allow a 300-yard passer this season, despite facing both the Chiefs and Cowboys so far. The Eagles defense has struggled against the run, though, allowing the third most rushing yards per game (142.0).
The Bucs, meanwhile, sport the top passing attack and rank second in total yards. They score the third most points per game (33.4), and have the league’s top run defense, allowing just 45.8 rushing yards per game. They’re the worst against the pass, however, surrendering 314.4 passing yards per game. The defense will be without Lavonte David, who’s ruled out with an ankle injury. Tom Brady injured his thumb, but is probable for Thursday Night’s game.
Tampa Bay’s won nine of their last 10 on the road, and face an Eagles team 0-2 both against the spread and straight up at home so far this season. The Bucs have struggled against the spread in primetime over the last season-plus, going 0-2 against the spread in 2021 and 0-3 in 2020. They’re 2-3 straight up in those games. Strangely, the Bucs haven’t covered in any of their last five games against NFC East opponents (0-4-1). Both of Philly’s wins this season have come as an underdog against NFC South teams.
The total has gone Over in four of Tampa Bay’s last five games, whereas the total has gone Under in 10 of Philadelphia’s last 15 games. The Eagles are 3-10 straight up in their last 13 games. Despite the Bucs struggles in primetime recently, they should be able to secure this victory, although Philly could make it interesting and maybe grab a backdoor cover.
The Miami Dolphins play the Jacksonville Jaguars in another of the NFL London Games. This will be Jacksonville’s league-leading eighth appearance in London. The Jags are 3-4 thus far, but they’ve lost their last two trips abroad. Sunday’s game marks the fifth such contest for the Dolphins, who enter with a 1-3 record in London. The Saints shut out Miami in Wembley Stadium in 2017, and the Dolphins were one of the clubs due to play in London in 2020 prior to those games being cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Miami Dolphins (1-4, 2-3 ATS) dropped their fourth game in a row and struggled mightily on defense during their 45-17 Week 5 loss. The Dolphins defense, which was among the top units last season, couldn’t stop Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay offense. The Bucs rolled up 558 total yards and converted 8-of-11 third down tries. Miami’s defense ranked first in third-down percentage last season, allowing just a 31.7 percent conversion rate, and fifth in scoring, surrendering 21.1 points per game.
This season, the Dolphins defense ranks 30th in scoring (30.8) and 32nd in third-down percentage (57.1). The dramatic reversal of the team’s fortunes on the defensive side of the ball remains among Miami’s biggest concerns moving forward. But that’s not the only one. The Dolphins managed just 39 rushing yards against Tampa Bay and started a fifth different offensive line configuration in five games.
Tua Tagovailoa is due to return from his IR stint this week, and could provide the offense with a lift. Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett failed to consistently move the ball and didn’t seem willing to challenge defenses downfield despite having multiple weapons to do so.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5, 1-4 ATS) enter this game riding a 20-consectutive loss streak, following their 37-19 defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. Derrick Henry, from nearby Yulee, FL, ran all over the Jaguars defense, piling up 130 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He’s now scored 14 touchdowns against the Jags in his career.
Jacksonville now stands six losses shy of the all-time consecutive losses mark set by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers between 1977 and 1978. The hapless Jags continued to make mistakes, fumbling on the third play of the game, missing two more kicks, and dropping a potential pick-six. The Jaguars 20-straight losses are the most by a non-expansion club.
Jacksonville squandered a solid game from James Robinson, who ran for a career-high 149 yards and score. Trevor Lawrence completed 23-of-33 passes for 273 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also ran in a score, and saw another touchdown run erased when replay officials ruled him down short of the endzone.
During their 20-game losing streak, the Jags are 7-13 against the spread. However, five of those covers came away from Jacksonville. The Dolphins are 2-5 against the spread over their past seven. Miami’s prior 30 games saw them go 20-10 against the spread.
The Dolphins come to this one with one of the worst offenses in the league, ranking bottom three in all major statistical categories. And the defense, last year’s strength, has really struggled as well. Jacksonville should be able to find traction on the ground, considering the Jags rank sixth, averaging 129.4 rushing yards per game.
Despite the dismal offensive outputs, the Dolphins have seen the Over hit in each of their last three games. The Jaguars saw the Over hit last week after three straight Unders.
If Tagovailoa returns for Miami, the offense should be able to move the ball more efficiently, and the defense, which saw it’s league-leading 26-game takeaway streak end last week, could find a turnover or two against Trevor Lawrence.
Picks and Predictions
Miami 24, Jacksonville 23
ML: MIA -179 (FanDuel); Spread: JAX +3/+100 (WynnBet); O/U: Over 45.5/-108 (UniBet)
The Los Angeles Chargers play the Baltimore Ravens in one of the marquee matchups on the NFL Week 6 slate. The Chargers come to this one after a thrilling come-from-behind victory at home. Aggressive play-calling helped LA overcome the 14-point deficit. The Ravens, meanwhile, enter this one on a short week after their thrilling Monday Night Football matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Los Angeles Chargers (4-1, 4-1 ATS) played in what was one of the most exciting games of the year so far. LA nabbed the 47-42 victory over the Brown in a contest that saw the two teams combine for 41 points and 403 yards in the fourth quarter alone. The Chargers tried four fourth-down plays with their offense, and gained a first down on each of them. They converted three outright, and got another first down thanks to a defensive penalty.
Justin Herbert threw for more than 300 yards for the 11th time in his young career and tossed four touchdowns helping LA rally from 14-points down. He completed 26 of 43 passes for 398 yards and also ran in for a score. The defense, though, allowed Cleveland to gain 531 yards and score 42 points. The Browns ran up 230 yards on the ground alone.
Besides the defensive struggles, Los Angeles also saw their kicker miss a pair of extra points in this one. And rather than seal the victory with a seemingly chip-shot field goal late in the fourth quarter, the Chargers opted to run the ball instead. Cleveland actually pushed Austin Ekeler into the endzone and stopped the ensuing two-point conversion to get the ball back late.
The Baltimore Ravens (4-1, 2-3 ATS) rode Lamar Jackson to their latest thrilling victory, this one a 31-25 triumph over the Colts in overtime last Monday. Jackson threw for a career-high 442 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 62 yards. All told, Jackson accounted for 499 of Baltimore’s 523 total yards on offense.
Baltimore had to fight back from a 22-3 deficit to force overtime and eventually grab the win in the extra period. Mark Andrews caught 10 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Marquise Brown caught nine passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. The Colts limited Baltimore’s rushing attack to just 86 yards, with the vast majority of those coming from Jackson.
The Ravens sport the top offense in the league in terms of yardage (440.6) and rank ninth in points per game (27.2). Their defense remains stout against the run, ranked seventh allowing 93.2 yards per game, but leaky against the pass, ranked 28th surrendering 296.4 yards per game. The Ravens rank eighth in pressure percentage and QB knockdowns, though.
Los Angeles ranks third in passing yards per game (303.0) and seventh in scoring (28.4). But the defense ranks last against the run, allowing 157.6 rushing yards per game. Although none of the Ravens running backs strike fear in opposing defenses, Lamar Jackson remains the most prolific running QB in recent memory.
The Chargers have covered three in a row, and each of their past four road games. LA saw the Over hit for the first time this season last week. The Ravens have alternated wins and losses against the spread this season, and if the pattern holds, they’re due for a win here. Baltimore saw the Over hit after two straight games Under.
This could very well be the game of the week, but Baltimore, at home, seems to be built to withstand a rolling Chargers squad, though they might not be able to cover a spread wider than a field goal.
Picks and Predictions
Baltimore 27, Los Angeles Chargers 24
ML: BAL -149 (BetMGM); Spread: LAC +3/-104 (FanDuel); O/U: Over 50.5/-110 (Caesars)
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers Picks and Predictions
The Minnesota Vikings play the Carolina Panthers in this matchup of two NFC playoff hopefuls. The Vikings managed to hold off the Lions thanks to a 54-yard game-winning field goal from Greg Joseph. The offense underwhelmed for the second-straight week, but the Vikings finally came away with another win. The Panthers, meanwhile, took their second consecutive loss after opening the season with a three-game win streak.
The Minnesota Vikings (2-3, 2-3 ATS) rode Joseph’s leg to their second win of the season. In addition to the game-winner, Joseph netted three other field goals, including a career-long 55 yarder. The offense managed just one touchdown in this one, but did enough to win. Minnesota has not scored a second-half touchdown in now four straight games.
Alexander Mattison gained 154 total yards and scored one touchdown playing in place of the injured Dalvin Cook, but his fourth quarter fumble set up the closing dramatics.
The Carolina Panthers (3-2, 3-2 ATS) dropped their second game in a row, this time squandering a 12-point lead to the Eagles at home. Sam Darnold had his worst game as a Panther, throwing three interceptions in this one. During the season-opening three-game win streak, Darnold threw just two INTs. Over the last two weeks, Darnold’s thrown five. He’s been particularly affected by the absence of Christian McCaffery, as all six of his interceptions have come without the star running back behind him.
All of Darnold’s metrics are down without McCaffery in the lineup. In the back-to-back losses to the Cowboys and Eagles, he has been hit 19 times and sacked eight times. But Panthers head coach Matt Rhule remains hopeful McCaffery will play in Week 6.
Carolina’s defense played well in this one for the most part. The Panthers held Philadelphia to just 88 yards in the first half, and kept them to 273 for the game. They allowed just 4-of-13 third down conversions, and if not for the offensive melt down, they would’ve won this game.
The Vikings enter with a top-10 passing attack, and the rushing attack could see Dalvin Cook return, but they’re facing a top-flight defense in Carolina. The last time Minnesota saw a good defense, they managed just seven points against the Browns.
The Vikings enter this one 1-4 both against the spread and straight up in their last five road games. Minnesota’s 2-10 against the spread in their last 12 overall. The Vikings have seen the Under hit in three straight after a pair of Overs to start the season. The Panthers, meanwhile, check in 4-10-1 against the spread in their last 15 home games. Carolina’s seen the Under in seven of their last eight, including four of five so far this season.
If Sam Darnold can protect the ball against the Vikings, Carolina should be able to roll in this one. Especially if McCaffery makes his return to the lineup.
Picks and Predictions
Carolina 23, Minnesota 20
ML: CAR -115 (Borgata); Spread: CAR -1.5/-108 (FanDuel); O/U: Under 46/-105 (FoxBet)
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Picks and Predictions
The Green Bay Packers play the Chicago Bears in this Week 6 matchup of NFC North rivals. The Packers managed to survive kicking woes in their overtime victory last week. Despite uneven play over the last few weeks, the Packers have won four straight. Meanwhile, the Bears posted the biggest upset of the week, getting a straight up win despite being 5-point underdogs on the road.
The Green Bay Packers (4-1, 4-1 ATS) saw kicker Mason Crosby miss three straight potential game-winning field goals before finally knocking one through late in overtime to win 25-22 against the Bengals. Crosby entered this ballgame having netted 27 consecutive field goal attempts. In Cincinnati, he missed an extra point in the second quarter before missing kicks from 36, 40 and 51 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Aaron Rodgers completed 27-of-39 for 344 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He moved into fifth place all-time with the two TD passes. He found Davante Adams 11 times in this one. Adams gained a career-high 206 yards and scored a touchdown. The Packers have now won four in a row after starting the season with a loss to New Orleans.
The Chicago Bears (3-2, 3-2 ATS) scored the biggest upset win of Week 5 with their 20-9 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. Rookie Justin Fields threw his first career touchdown pass and showed some toughness in this one, returning to play after a potential leg injury. Fields completed 12-of-20 passes for 111 yards and the score.
Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams combined to rush for 139 yards and a score filling in for the injured David Montgomery. The offense didn’t do much, gaining just 252 yards, but the defense held Las Vegas to just three points through three quarters. Fields hasn’t been asked to do too much in his first few starts beyond protecting the ball. The ground game ranks top-10, while the passing game ranks 32nd.
The defense, meanwhile, has stepped up in their last two win. Against the Raiders, Chicago sacked Derek Carr three times and intercepted him once, holding him to 206 yards despite Carr averaging over 400 per game prior.
The total has gone UNDER in 4 straight for Chicago, after Over in Week 1. The Bears covered the spread in each of their three straight up wins this season, and failed to cover in their two outright losses. The Packers are 12-1 outright since the beginning of 2019 against the NFC North, going 9-3 against the spread in the process. They’ve won four in a row straight up against the Bears, and are 17-5 against the spread in their last 22 games in Chicago. The Packers saw the Under hit in their last two games in a row, and in three of five this season.
If the Bears had a more potent passing attack, this game would be far more interesting. Green Bay should be able to control this one, especially considering the stiff nature of their schedule in the second half of the season.
The Cincinnati Bengals play the Detroit Lions in a game that features a pair of teams coming off disappointing losses. The Bengals and the Lions each saw their Week 5 fortunes dashed thanks to late field goals. Both teams thought they had wins late in their games, but ultimately absorbed heartbreaking losses.
The Cincinnati Bengals (3-2, 2-3 ATS) thought they’d scored an upset victory in overtime before Evan McPherson’s kick drifted just wide of the upright. The rookie kicker missed a pair of potential game-winners in the 25-22 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Bengals couldn’t take advantage of three missed field goals from Packers kicker Mason Crosby.
Joe Burrow completed 26-of-38 passes for 281 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He found rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase six times for 159 yards and a score. Chase now has five touchdowns in five games. Burrow took a beating from the Packers in this one, absorbing three sacks and eight QB hits. Burrow went to a local medical facility after the game as a precaution.
The Detroit Lions (0-5, 3-2 ATS) scored the go-ahead touchdown against Minnesota with 41 second remaining. The Lions seemed poised for their first win of the season, but the Vikings maneuvered into field goal range and Greg Joseph nailed a 54-yard game winner. It’s the second time in three weeks Detroit takes a loss in the closing moments thanks to a long field goal. Ironically, the Lions lost by the same score, 19-17, to the Baltimore Ravens after Justin Tucker’s NFL-record 66-yard field goal.
Jared Goff played an inefficient game for Detriot. He completed 21-of-35 passes for just 203 yards and an interception. He also lost a fumble. Goff leads the league in both fumbles (six) and fumbles lost (four). The Lions converted just 3-of-11 third down attempts, and were 0-for-1 on fourth down in the loss.
The hard-luck Lions see a 3-2 record against the spread despite being winless outright this season. Detroit’s actually lost nine in a row dating back to last season, and six straight at home. But they’ve covered the spread in their two home losses this season. Seven of Detroit’s last 10 home games have seen the Over hit, but the Lions are just 1-9 straight up in those contests.
The Bengals come to this one with a better offense, averaging 23.3 points per game over their last three. The Lions haven’t scored more than 17 in any game since putting up 33 in Week 1 against San Francisco. Cincinnati defense ranks eighth in scoring defense, allowing 20 points per game. The Bengals have seen the Under hit in each of their last four after the Over came in in Week 1.
The Lions struggle to contain the run, which will not serve them well in this matchup against Joe Mixon. And as long as Burrow is under center, the Bengals should be able to bounce back from their tough loss.
The Houston Texans play the Indianapolis Colts in this Week 6 matchup of AFC South rivals. The Texans offense finally came alive with Davis Mills under center, but couldn’t hold a 13-point second half lead against the Patriots. The Colts looked great through the first half of their Monday Night Football matchup in Baltimore, but couldn’t come away with the victory despite holding an 18-point lead.
The Houston Texans (1-4, 3-2 ATS) entered their Week 5 game having scored just 16 points in their last 10 quarters of play. Heading into halftime of their game against the Patriots, Houston had 15 on the board, and would’ve had more if not for two missed point-after attempts. Mills threw four interceptions in his last start, but bounced back with a career-high 312 passing yards and three touchdowns.
The Texans didn’t have much going on the ground, gaining just 67 yards on 24 carries, good for a 2.8 yards per carry average. So they had to move the ball through the air. Mills found Chris Moore five times for 109 yards and a touchdown. He connected with Chris Conley on a 37-yard touchdown that started with a flea flicker. Houston’s defense struggled to stop the Patriots’ rushing attack, and they might have escaped with a win had Maliek Collins not been flagged for roughing the passer on third-and-18 during New England’s game-winning drive.
The Indianapolis Colts (1-4, 3-2 ATS) lost a heartbreaker in Week 5, dropping a 31-25 contest in overtime to the Baltimore Ravens. After going up 22-3, the Colts bogged down and couldn’t keep pace with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Indy allowed 16 fourth quarter points and saw Rodrigo Blankenship miss the potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation.
Caron Wentz continued his renaissance this season, throwing for a career-high 402 yards and two touchdowns. The defense limited the vaunted Ravens running game to just 86 rushing yards, snapping Baltimore’s streak of 43 straight games with at least 100 rushing yards.
The Colts offense moved into the top half of the league in terms of passing and rushing yardage per game with their performance last week, but they still rank just 21st in scoring (21.6). Their defense remains in the bottom half of the league in most metrics, including ranked 23rd in scoring defense (25.6)
The Texans managed a passable offense en route to their first against the spread win without Tyrod Taylor last week. The Colts, meanwhile, take little solace in their 3-2 mark against the spread because their season sits on the brink at 1-4 outright. Indy needs a win in this ballgame if they’re going to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. That said, at nearly 10 points, this spread seems far too wide for an inconsistent Colts team to cover, even at home.
Picks and Predictions
Indianapolis 26, Houston 20
ML: IND -455 (DraftKings); Spread: HOU +9.5/-108 (FanDuel); O/U: Over 43.5/-108 (UniBet)
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants Picks and Predictions
The Los Angeles Rams play the New York Giants in this matchup of NFC teams from opposite coasts. The Rams bullied their way to a Thursday Night Football win on the road last week, and look to keep their momentum going away from home once again. The Giants couldn’t keep pace with their division rivals from Dallas amid a flurry of injuries.
The Los Angeles Rams (4-1, 3-2 ATS) offense came to life in the second half despite Matthew Stafford dislocating a finger. Stafford seemed fine, though, completing 25-of-37 passes for 365 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He connected with Robert Woods 12 times for 150 of those yards. The running game held up their end of the bargain as well, gaining 118 yards on the night.
LA’s offense registered 476 yards of offense, while the defense held on against Russell Wilson, then Geno Smith after Wilson exited with a finger injury. The Rams D held Seattle to under 6.0 yards per play and to 354 yards overall. Aaron Donald broke the Rams franchise record for sacks when he picked up sack No. 88.5.
The New York Giants (1-4, 2-3 ATS) couldn’t make it through their Week 5 game in Dallas healthy. Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, and Kenny Golladay all exited due to injury. The Giants were already without Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton heading into the game, so that explains why rookie Kadarius Toney had a career day. Toney set career highs with 10 catches for 189 yards, before being ejected for throwing a punch at Dallas safety Damontae Kazee after his last catch.
New York’s defense couldn’t hold against the potent Cowboys attack. Dallas put up 515 yards of offense, including 201 rushing yards. After tying the game 10-10 in the second quarter, the Giants were outscored 34-10 the rest of the way.
Mike Glennon completed 16-of-25 passes for 196 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, including a pick-six. Considering Jones exited with a concussion, Glennon might be in line to start this ballgame for the Giants. And without Barkley, plus missing top wideout targets, it’s hard to envision New York keeping this one competitive against one of the top offenses in the league.
The Rams sport a top-10 offense, including the second-best passing attack in the league, averaging 310.2 passing yards per game. New York’s defense checks in among the bottom third in each major statistical category.
The Giants have seen two straight Overs hit, and have alternated losses and wins against the spread this season. New York’s 4-12 both outright and against the spread in its last 16 home games. The Rams saw the Under hit for the first time this season in Week 5 after four straight Overs to start 2021. LA’s 1-1 against the spread in their two road games this season, but won both outright.
With an improved (and healthy) Daniel Jones, the Giants might have made this one passably interesting, but without him and the others on the injury report, it’s no surprise this line’s at double digits.
Picks and Predictions
Los Angeles Rams 31, New York Giants 13
ML: LAR -476 (DraftKings); Spread: LAR -10.5/-110 (BetMGM); O/U: Under 47.5/-109 (UniBet)
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Football Team Picks and Predictions
The Kansas City Chiefs play the Washington Football Team in this non-conference matchup of playoff teams from a year ago. Neither team has lived up to expectations thus far, though. The Chiefs offense continues to be mistake prone, while Washington’s defense can’t seem to stop anyone. Kansas City’s lost three of four in somewhat shocking fashion, while the WFT has alternated losses and wins this season.
The Kansas City Chiefs (2-3, 1-4 ATS) lost in what was easily the game-of-the-year so far, but sloppy play kept them from keeping it even interesting. The Chiefs handled Buffalo relatively easily in their two matchups last season, but the Bills dominated in the AFC title game rematch to the point where Buffalo’s overtaken the Chiefs as favorites to win the conference.
Kansas City’s offense couldn’t seem to find traction against the Bills defense, and turned the ball over four times. Patrick Mahomes was responsible for three of the turnovers, throwing two interceptions and fumbling the ball away once. Mahomes finished with 272 passing yards and two touchdowns in addition to the turnovers. He led the Chiefs in rushing, too, with 61 yards.
But it wasn’t all on the offense in this one. KC’s defense continued its 2021 struggles as well. The Chiefs defense now ranks 32nd in scoring (32.6) and 31st in total yards (437.4). The Chiefs are now 3-13 in their last 16 games against the spread, including postseason.
The Washington Football Team (2-3, 1-4 ATS) failed to maintain momentum following an exciting win in Week 4. Washington squandered a pair of turnovers from Jameis Winston and allowed the Saints QB to complete a Hail Mary touchdown pass to close the first half. From there, things went south for Washington.
Taylor Heinicke struggled in this one, throwing two interceptions and completing just 20 of his 41 pass attempts. Although Antonio Gibson scored twice, he managed just 60 yards on 20 carries. The offense couldn’t outpace another subpar performance from the defense.
Washington’s defense surrendered 369 yards and had scoring drives of 75, 60 and 75 yards to go along with the one-play Hail Mary possession. This unit ranks 31st in the NFL in scoring, allowing 31 points per game. Now, they face a potent passing attack that’s desperate for a win.
The Chiefs have seen the Over hit in four of their five games this season. But they’ve covered the spread only once, that coming in their 42-30 win in Philadelphia in Week 4. Kansas City laid seven points in that game, similar to this line in Week 6. Washington’s seen the Over hit in each of their last four games, and have failed to cover the spread in their three home games this season.
The Arizona Cardinals play the Cleveland Browns in a game that pits a pair of teams coming off important conference contests. The Cardinals kept their undefeated season alive, besting San Francisco at home despite an underwhelming offensive output. Arizona continued to see their futures fortunes improve. The Browns, meanwhile, couldn’t keep pace in their shootout loss on the road in Los Angeles.
The Arizona Cardinals (5-0, 4-1 ATS) entered their Week 5 contest with the league’s top scoring offense, but rode a dominant defensive performance to the 17-10 win. Kyler Murray completed 22-of-31 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown. He connected with DeAndre Hopkins six times for 87 yards and the fourth quarter score that provided the necessary cushion. The offense was actually outgained by the 49ers in this one, 338 to 304.
But it was Arizona’s defense that gets most the credit for this victory. The Cardinals defense limited rookie quarterback Trey Lance to 192 passing yards and picked him off twice. Arizona stuffed four of the 49ers’ five fourth down conversion attempts.
The Cardinals scoring average fell from 35 points per game to 31.4 after the 17-point performance. This dropped their ranking to fourth in that category, but the team remains a top-10 offense across the board. The defense now ranks top 10 in passing yards and sixth in scoring (19.0).
The Cleveland Browns (3-2, 3-2 ATS) lost a heart-breaker in Los Angeles in Week 5. The Browns held a 14-point advantage against a high-powered Chargers squad, but couldn’t get enough first downs late to salt away the game. The Browns ran up 230 yards on the ground, including 161 and a score from Nick Chubb, but ultimately fell 47-42 in what might be an AFC playoff preview.
Strangely, Cleveland seemed to look better in its two losses this season than in two of its wins. What’s worrisome moving forward though, the Browns have definitely been bitten by the injury bug. Jadeveon Clowney, Jedrick Wills Jr, and Greg Newsome all missed Sunday’s game in LA, and Jarvis Landry’s already on the IR. Baker Mayfield’s playing with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Denzel Ward managed just nine snaps against the Chargers before leaving with an injury. And he wasn’t the only one. Injuries along the offensive line certainly affected the play calling late in their loss to Los Angeles.
The Browns still boast the league’s top rushing attack, averaging 187.6 yards per game, but the passing attack lags behind at 230 per game, ranking 25th overall. Cleveland’s sixth in scoring (28.4). The defense ranks second against the run, allowing just 75.6 yards per game, and 11th in scoring (22.8).
Cleveland saw the Over hit after two straight weeks where the Under hit. The Browns are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven home games, but 5-2 straight up in those contests. Arizona’s 4-2 against the spread in the last six meetings between these two clubs. The Cardinals have seen the Under hit in five of their last seven. They’re 4-1 both against the spread and straight up in their last five road games.
While it’s surprising to see an undefeated team as the underdog, Arizona’s coming east with one of the worst run defenses in the league. The Cardinals rank 28th against the run, allowing 139 yard per game, which is a weakness this Cleveland club is built to exploit.
Much of how this contest will unfold will depend largely upon the availability of key players for the Browns. If they’re reasonably healthy, their stout defense and top-end rushing attack might be enough to beat the previously unbeaten Cardinals.
The Las Vegas Raiders play the Denver Broncos in this matchup of AFC West rivals. Both teams enter this contest losers of consecutive games. Incidentally, both teams started the season 3-0 before their recent skids. The Raiders absorbed the worst straight up loss against the spread this week, while the Broncos fell flat in Pittsburgh despite having Teddy Bridgewater under center. Following the Week 5 loss, Jon Gruden resigned as Las Vegas Raiders head coach after report of anti-gay, misogynistic language used in emails.
The Las Vegas Raiders (3-2, 2-3 ATS) took their second loss in a row with a disappointing 20-9 loss to the Chicago Bears. The Raiders entered their Week 5 contest 5-point favorites at home, but the offense couldn’t muster much against Chicago’s defense. Las Vegas managed just three points through the first three quarters and scored their only touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The Raiders ultimately couldn’t beat an opposing offense that registered just 252 total yards.
Derek Carr completed 22-of-35 passes for just 206 yards and an interception. The Raiders couldn’t get the ground game going, gaining just 71 yards on 22 carries. Las Vegas converted just 5-of-14 third down attempts and 1-of-3 fourth down tries. The Raiders lost despite outgaining Chicago on the day.
But Sunday’s loss was immediately dwarfed by news of Gruden’s resignation. The team installed Rich Bisaccia as interim head coach and he’ll need to sort things out quickly in order to stop this team’s sudden freefall in the standings.
The Denver Broncos (3-2, 3-2 ATS) squandered an opportunity to solidify their spot near the top of the conference by falling flat in Pittsburgh. Playing against an inconsistent Steelers offense, Denver surrendered 17 first half points and trailed by 18 in the fourth quarter before a pair of late touchdowns narrowed the gap.
Teddy Bridgewater navigated the concussion protocol to play in this one, finishing 24-of-38 with two touchdowns and an interception. It was Bridgewater’s first turnover of the season. The Broncos missed opportunities throughout the game, including three dropped interceptions and a costly penalty following a 49-yard run that ultimately forced a field goal instead of a touchdown. The sloppy play makes Denver’s 3-0 start to the season even more suspect. Self-inflicted wounds won’t help a team thinned out by injuries.
Las Vegas sports a 5-2 outright record in the past seven games in this series. They’ve covered the spread in six of those seven contests. That said, the home team is 8-2 against the spread in the last 10 matchups between these clubs. The Under has hit in eight of the last nine in this series and nine of the last 12 Denver home games overall. The Broncos are 10-3 against the spread following an against the spread loss in their previous game.
It’s hard to envision how the Raiders will look following the resignation of their head coach. Couple that uncertainty with a Broncos team that’s getting healthier and playing at home should provide Denver with the leverage it needs in this one.
Picks and Predictions
Denver 24, Las Vegas 20
ML: DEN -175 (BetMGM); Spread: DEN -3.5/-106 (FanDuel); O/U: Under 44.5/-110 (BetMGM)
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots Picks and Predictions
The Dallas Cowboys play the New England Patriots in this interconference matchup of marquee NFL franchises. The Cowboys are rolling, winners of four straight often in dominant fashion. Dallas sports one of the league’s most potent offenses, and looks to keep it going against the Patriots. New England won on the road with their rookie quarterback authoring a game-winning drive late, but the defense looked suspect against a subpar Houston Texans club.
The Dallas Cowboys (4-1, 5-0 ATS) maintained their undefeated record against the spread in their 44-20 drubbing of the New York Giants. The Cowboys easily covered the 7-point spread at home, helped somewhat by New York’s injury issues. Dallas overcame a slow start to pull away from the Giants after a long touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb.
Although he had a pair of turnovers on the day, Prescott continued his impressive play this season with three more touchdown passes and 302 passing yards. Ezekiel Elliott put up 110 rushing yards and a score on 21 carries. This marked the first time since 2019 that Elliott has consecutive 100-yard games. All told, the Cowboys put up 515 yards total offense, including 201 on the ground.
Trevon Diggs picked off his league-leading six pass on Sunday. He has at least one interception in each game so far this season. Although the defense has been susceptible to the pass, Diggs’ ability to create turnovers has kept the overall scoring average down (23.4). The Dallas defense has been stout against the run, ranking fifth allowing just 79.4 yards per game.
The New England Patriots (2-3, 2-3 ATS) took home a three-point victory over the Houston Texans, despite falling behind by 11 points in the second half. The team sung the praises of rookie quarterback Mac Jones after the game. Jones completed 23-of-30 passes for 231 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. His touchdown pass tied the game in the fourth quarter, then he authored an 85-yard drive to get into field goal range to win it.
What was concerning for the Patriots in this one was the play of its defense. Favored by 9.5 points heading into the contest against a team that had scored just 16 points over its last 10 quarters, New England allowed rookie quarterback Davis Mills to carve them up early. If Mills threw for a career-high 312 yards and three touchdowns, imagine what Prescott might do.
The defensive struggled led to the Over hitting for the first time in a Patriots game. The Under has hit in seven of New England’s last nine home games. The Patriots have struggled to win at home though, going 1-4 straight up in their last five at home. They are 0-3 at home this season, and 1-2 against the spread in those games.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, have seen three straight Overs hit, with an average of 63.3 points in those games. The Over has hit in four of their five games this season. The Cowboys are 4-8 against the spread in their last 12 road games, though. They continue to see their odds for the NFC title improve.
New England’s defense has been good this season, but it needed a rain-soaked setting to slow down the high-powered Bucs two weeks ago. The Cowboys enter this one with a balanced attack and an aggressive defense that will force Mac Jones to win another one.
Picks and Predictions
Dallas 28, New England 20
ML: DAL -189 (BetMGM); Spread: DAL -4/-108 (UniBet); O/U: Under 49.5/-105 (DraftKings)
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers Picks and Predictions
The Seattle Seahawks play the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that pits playoff hopefuls with questions at quarterback. The Seahawks saw their star QB Russell Wilson exit last week’s game with a serious finger injury that will keep him out for the foreseeable future after surgery. The Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger, meanwhile, silenced critics for the time being after their 27-19 victory over the Denver Broncos.
The Seattle Seahawks (2-3, 2-3 ATS) held Los Angeles to just three points in the first half of their Thursday Night contest, but couldn’t contain the Rams in the second half. Wilson exited the game midway through the third quarter after injuring his hand on a pass follow through. Geno Smith took over and kept the Seahawks in the game, but Seattle ultimately fell for the third time this season.
Smith went 10-of-17 for 131 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Thursday’s game proved to be Smith’s longest outing since joining the Seahawks in 2019. He connected with DK Metcalf for his lone score. Smith’s isn’t as mobile as Wilson, but he does have starting experience in his career.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3, 2-3 ATS) quieted their critics for the time being after a solid 27-19 win over the Broncos last week. Rookie running back Najee Harris ran for a career-best 122 yards and a touchdown before a cramping issue forced him to the sideline. Roethlisberger and company built an 18-point fourth quarter lead before a pair of late Broncos’ touchdowns narrowed the gap.
Roethlisberger’s struggles through the early part of the season seemed forgotten in Week 5. He completed 15-of-25 passes 253 yards and two touchdowns in this one. Roethlisberger connected with Chase Claypool five times for 130 yards and a score. But the Steelers did lose JuJu Smith-Schuster to a serious shoulder injury, though.
Pittsburgh’s defense catches a break following Wilson’s injury for the Seahawks. Seattle’s offense will be far less formidable with Geno Smith under center that Wilson. Pittsburgh’s D ranks top-10 against the run, which the Seahawks will likely try to establish without their regular starting quarterback. The Steelers rank 10th in scoring defense, allowing 22.4 points per game.
Seattle is 2-7 against the spread in its last nine road games, and 5-1 straight up in their last six away from home. But each of those games was played with Wilson at QB. The Steelers saw the Over hit for the first time this season, after four straight Unders to start 2021. Pittsburgh is 2-5 against the spread in its last seven games at home.
Pittsburgh’s been gifted with a far more winnable game ahead of their important divisional matchup against the Browns in Week 7. If the Steelers are going to make a postseason run, this game is a must win. Seattle’s defense is suspect against the run, too, so there should be plenty of yards for Harris on the ground.
The Buffalo Bills play the Tennessee Titans in an important matchup of AFC title contenders. The Bills come to this one after winning perhaps the game of the year, dominating the Chiefs in Kansas City. Buffalo avenged a pair of losses to the Chiefs from last season, and look to avenge another 2020 loss by besting the Titans. Tennessee topped the Jaguars in their Week 5 game to set up this Monday Night Football matchup.
The Buffalo Bills (4-1, 4-1 ATS) dominated their primetime Week 5 contest in Kansas City. The Bills smothered Kansas City’s offense and ran up 38 points along the way. Josh Allen and the offense continually hit big plays. Allen completed just seven first half passes, but those went for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Allen finished 15-of-26 for 315 yards and three scores, with another 59 rushing yards and a rushing TD as well. Allen now sports the best odds to be NFL MVP this season. He leads an offensive attack ranked in the top-10 in yardage, and ranked first in points per game (34.4). Buffalo’s defense has been similarly dominant, ranking first in yards per game (251.8) and scoring (12.8). The Bills have outscored their opponents 156-41 in their four wins this season.
The Tennessee Titans (3-2, 3-2 ATS) rebounded from their shocking Week 4 loss to the New York Jets by dominating the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5. Derrick Henry led the way for Tennessee, gaining 130 rushing yards and scoring three touchdowns in the 37-19 rout of his hometown team. Henry’s up to a league-leading 640 rushing yards and eclipsed the 60-touchdown plateau for his career. 14 of his 62 career rushing TDs have come against Jacksonville.
The running game carried the team in this one, but the Titans come away with some concerns on defense ahead of their Monday Night matchup against the Bills. Tennessee allowed an inconsistent Jaguars offense to gain 454 yards on the day. The Titans D forced just two punts, although they did come away with two turnovers. If they’re going to have a chance against Buffalo, the defense needs to be way better.
Although Derrick Henry remains one of the most potent weapons in football, he won’t be enough to overcome Tennessee’s defensive deficiencies. If Josh Allen is accurate, there are plenty of yards to be gained down field against the Titans’ secondary.
Buffalo comes to this one 5-1 both against the spread and straight up over its last six road games. The total has hit the Over in eight of the Bills last 11 road games, and once so far this season. The Titans sport a 2-4 record both against the spread and straight up over their last six home games. They’ve seen the Over hit in two in a row and three of five so far this season. 15 of Tennessee’s last 23 home games have hit the Over. Although the Bills are favored in this one, Tennessee holds a 9-4 straight up record in the last 13 games between these two clubs.
Buffalo could be primed for a letdown game here, and if the Titans can grab a lead early, they might be able to control this game with Henry. But the Bills are rolling, and there’s no real reason to count them out against a highly suspect Tennessee defense.