I won’t go as far to say that Week 5 was a bounce-back week, but it was at least a hop in the right direction after posting a solid 9-4-1 record against the number. Following a week where ten games were decided by eight points or fewer, Vegas is predicting a lot more blowouts in Week 6, with some monster spreads bettors will be tempted to tease.
Consult my picks below to see which way you should be leaning. Then, to place some big teaser bets, check out our reviews of the top-five sportsbooks, where you’ll find everything you need to know to choose the right site for your wagering needs.
Week 6 ATS Picks
Thursday, October 12
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers (-3)
Top spot in the NFC is on the line when these two 4-1 squads meet in what might actually be a good Thursday Night Football game (although I’ve surely jinxed it now). Carson Wentz and Cam Newton each had their best outings of the season in Week 5, with Newton’s coming on the heels of his outrageous remarks made about a female reporter. If the Panthers offense was able to focus with all the negative buzz around Newton, surely they can prepare for a vulnerable Eagles secondary on a short week. Stopping Philly’s offense will be a bigger challenge, now that the unit has found a rhythm with its ground game. The Eagles scored touchdowns on their first three drives against Arizona, and are first in the league in time of possession. Add on Carolina’s unimpressive 3-7 ATS record at home since 2016, and I’ll be chanting #FlyEaglesFly from the stands. (That’s right, I’m going to this game. I really wish I hadn’t jinxed it now.)
Pick: Eagles (+3)
Sunday, October 15
Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens (-7)
Baltimore’s D gets to match wits with yet another underwhelming offense this week. Mitch Trubisky brought a new element to the Bears offense, with the ability to actually move in the pocket. Unfortunately his presence couldn’t stop Chicago from its usual modus operandi of dropping passes and taking stupid penalties. Meanwhile the Bears D has almost no linebackers left in the middle, meaning the Ravens can get back to running the ball and asking little of Joe Flacco.
Pick: Ravens (-7)
San Francisco 49ers at Washington (-9)
The Niners act of playing tight and falling short has led to some entertaining games, but that run will end in Washington. We saw how rough the west coast-to-east coast trip was on San Fran’s Bay Area counterparts, and that was an evening kickoff. In the early slot, a well-rested Washington team should continue to boost its reputation as a stout defense.
Pick: Washington (-9)
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-4)
After failing to complete another comeback against Carolina, the Lions are back in the underdog role they thrive in. Over the last year-and-a-half, their setbacks have tended to be tight and they’re a logical choice to cover against the Saints. The Big Easy has been just that on visiting teams, as the Saints have gone just 10-14-1 ATS in the Superdome since 2014. But this week is different, as New Orleans is among the first batch of teams coming off a mid-season bye. And, of all the teams to play in this spot, Drew Brees and Sean Payton lead the most potent attack. The Saints have covered in eight of their last nine games following a bye week.
Pick: Saints (-4)
Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons (-11)
The bye week came at a great time for a banged up Falcons offense as the team should get one of, if not both, Julio Jones and Mohamad Sanu back in the lineup for Sunday. After losing to the Bills at home, this game represents a perfect bounce-back opportunity for Atlanta. Despite winning last week, Miami remains one of the most uninspiring teams in the NFL. Yet to crack 20 points on the season, and with an offensive line coach who went off the rails, this Miami mess won’t be able to keep pace in a track meet.
Pick: Falcons (-11)
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Minnesota Vikings
After bookies spent the last few weeks pretending there’s a big difference between Sam Bradford and Case Keenum, the former got hooked for the latter in Monday’s win. Without Dalvin Cook, the Vikings offense is pretty toothless no matter who runs it, thus the Packers are favored here. Minnesota’s D has been known to give Aaron Rodgers trouble, but with the offense getting healthier, the Pack should keep rolling.
Pick: Packers (-3.5)
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (-10)
The Texans were dealt some terrible injuries on the defensive side of the ball, losing JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus for the season. At least for this week though, those absences won’t matter, as it doesn’t take a ton of pressure to halt the Browns. Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson continues to show a deep-strike ability that this Houston offense has lacked for, basically, its entire existence. With both Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins making plays downfield, the Texans offense can carry the team to a convincing win over hapless Cleveland.
Pick: Texans (-10)
New England Patriots (-9) at New York Jets
I keep waiting for the Patriots to wow me, and they keep falling short of expectations. Last week, Tom Brady had two uncharacteristic turnovers, and Bill Belichick was oddly conservative late in a close win over Tampa. Now they head to their least favorite stadium in the NFL, Metlife. Not only is it home to Brady’s one foil, the Giants, but it’s also where the co-tenant Jets have been very feisty in recent years, going 2-2 SU against New England with each game decided by a single score. I never thought I would be saying this a few weeks ago, but I have to take New York in this spot.
Pick: Jets (+9)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2) at Arizona Cardinals
The Buccaneers are infuriatingly inconsistent. They blew a golden opportunity to beat New England thanks to their continued kicker woes. However, you have to take Tampa this week, just because their opponents are so consistent … consistently bad. The Cardinals are 0-5 against the spread this season, and their kicking game is nearly as unreliable as the Bucs.
Pick: Buccaneers (-2)
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5)
The best game of the Sunday afternoon slate pits the surprisingly dominant Rams offense against an equally dominant Jaguars defense. Turnovers cost Los Angeles a chance to take control of the NFC West last week, scoring just three points on five red-zone trips against Seattle. After taking the ball out of Todd Gurley’s hands in Week 5, the Rams would be wise to learn from Pittsburgh’s mistakes and keep the ball on the ground against a lock-down Jacksonville secondary. As for the Jaguars, expect their usual offensive approach: limit Blake Bortles’ chances to screw things up by running the ball 50 times. While it’s normally an effective plan, against a Rams team that can build a lead quickly, it may not work here.
Pick: Rams (+2.5)
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders (-4)
This line is unavailable in most books, but a few bold places have the Raiders favored by four. It might seem like an odd line if Derek Carr isn’t ready to go, but right now, Oakland’s lack of offensive production isn’t tied to its QB as much as its supporting cast. EJ Manuel was perfectly adequate last week, but one of the best offensive lines in football last season didn’t do him any favors, allowing three sacks and creating few holes in a stagnant run game. When Manuel could throw, he only had one receiver worth targeting, a 30-year-old, just-back-from-injury Michael Crabtree. (RIP Amari Cooper’s fantasy relevance.) Oakland’s last three wins over the Chargers came by three points, and L.A’s pass rush should be enough to keep it close again, regardless of the Raiders’ QB situation.
Pick: Chargers (+4)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-3)
The Chiefs look to avenge last year’s crushing playoff loss, in which the Steelers were held without a touchdown, but still eked out an 18-16 win. Pittsburgh’s offense could be in for a similarly challenging day if they keep expecting Ben Roethlisberger to carry the load. Against a league-worst Jacksonville run D, Roethlisberger dropped back to pass 57 times, resulting in five interceptions. The 35-year-old looks done, and if the Steelers don’t start leaning on Le’Veon Bell more, it’ll be a long final season for Big Ben. Despite injuries mounting along the KC offense, they remain dominant thanks to Alex Smith’s mobility and Kareem Hunt’s ability to wear down a defense. Kansas City should have no trouble racking up points this time around.
Pick: Chiefs (-3)
New York Giants at Denver Broncos (-12)
Why NBC didn’t flex this game out of primetime, I’ll never know. The network execs must be a big fan of three and outs. The Giants offense was unbearable to watch even before Odell Beckham went down; now I’d rather they run that terrible Aaron Rodgers ad non-stop every time New York has the ball. The problem with picking this game is my lack of confidence in the Broncos offense covering such a big spread. Trevor Siemian has come back to earth after starting the season on fire, and it’s not like the Giants offense will give Denver a ton of short fields. Eli Manning would rather spike the ball in a third-and-long than take a big hit from Von Miller and company. So if all the Giants do is punt all night, can the Broncos put up the 13 points required to cover? For those of you saps who watch this game, I sure hope so.
Pick: Giants (+12)
Monday, October 16
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (no line)
The Titans were pegged as a team ready to make the leap; the Colts, without Andrew Luck, were left for dead. Yet somehow, both teams enter a crucial Monday night showdown with identical 2-3 records. Both Luck and Marcus Mariota could play in this game, or it could be Matt Cassel versus Jacoby Brissett. If it’s a battle of backups, it’s hard not to like the Colts. Yet I’m going to give the Titans the benefit of the doubt here. Their offensive line has been much more dominant at home, rolling up 290 rushing yards in two games at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee has also covered in five of its last six home games.