NFL Spread & Total Picks: 10 Bets To Make For Sunday

Credit:

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo.

Chris Raybon, a senior NFL and fantasy football analyst, highlights his favorite Week 6 NFL picks below. He has a 287-229-17 (55.6%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action app.


NFL Spreads & Totals

Click on a pick to skip ahead to that analysis.

Pick
Kickoff
Bet Now
Buccaneers +2 vs. Packers
4:25 p.m. ET
DraftKings
49ers +3.5 vs. Rams
8:20 p.m. ET
DraftKings
Cardinals -2.5 at Cowboys
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
BetMGM

Buccaneers +1 vs. Packers

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday | More Game Info

Tom Brady-Bruce Arians is no Brady-Bill Belichick, but they make up another head coach-QB combo that has been lethal coming off a loss:

Despite an inferior record than the unbeaten Packers (4-0), the Bucs (3-2) rate better in overall DVOA, clocking in second, while the Packers are four spots back, at No. 6. Aaron Rodgers’ fast start deserves context, as it came against the inexperienced Vikings secondary in Week 1 and the banged-up Lions, Saints and Falcons in Weeks 2-4.

Even though the Packers are coming off a bye, they are on the road against a Bucs team also on long rest after playing on Thursday Night Football who may very well be a superior team, and yet the Packers are still favored at most books.

I make this line Bucs -1 and would bet them as long as they’re a dog.

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49ers +3 vs. Rams

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday | More Game Info

The 49ers have lost outright three times as favorites (Week 1 vs. Arizona, Week 4 vs. Philadelphia, Week 5 vs. Miami), setting them up for a great buy-low spot against the Rams this week. The Rams are 4-1 but haven’t truly been tested, with all of their wins coming against the worst division in football, the NFC East.

Kyle Shanahan is just 7-14-1 (33%) ATS as a favorite but 18-13 (58%) as an underdog, and he should be able to get his team up as it plays its third straight home game, which has historically been a favorable spot for underdogs:

While the 49ers will play in their third straight home game, the Rams have already logged three trips to the East Coast, and this is a big letdown spot versus their interstate rival that is getting healthier on both sides of the ball. Despite all of their injuries on defense, the 49ers still rank third in pressure rate (30.1%), which should give Rams quarterback Jared Goff fits, as his 48.5 passer rating under pressure ranks 25th of 34 qualifiers, per PFF.

I make this game a pick ‘em and would bet the 49ers down to +1.5.

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Cardinals -2.5 at Cowboys

Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday | More Game Info

Andy Dalton was a great signing for the Cowboys that is, unfortunately, going to get a chance to prove his worth.

That said, Dalton’s kryptonite is pressure — his 60.0 rating under pressure ranked 26th among quarterbacks last season, according to Pro Football Focus — and the Cowboys’ offensive line is all kinds of banged up. Left tackle Tyron Smith (neck) and right tackle La’El Collins (hip) are out for the season, while guard Cameron Erving (knee) and center Joe Looney (knee) are on IR. And all this comes after All-Pro center Travis Frederick retired in the offseason.

The Cardinals defense is by no means a juggernaut, but they are tied for seventh with 14 sacks, and they also blitz at the seventh-highest rate (30.6%). The Cowboys needed a trick play, fumble-six and a last-second field goal to stave off the Giants, and that was with Dak Prescott playing into the second half.

I bet the Cards at -2, but like them to -3.

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Earlier Sunday Games

Pick
Kickoff
Bet Now
Lions -3 at Jaguars
1 p.m. ET
DraftKings
Texans +3.5 at Titans
1 p.m. ET
BetMGM
Bears +2 at Panthers
1 p.m. ET
FanDuel
Steelers -3 vs. Browns
1 p.m. ET
PointsBet
Giants-Football Team Over 43
1 p.m. ET
BetMGM
Colts-Bengals Under 46.5
1 p.m. ET
DraftKings
Patriots-Broncos Under 46
1 p.m. ET
PointsBet

Lions -3 at Jaguars

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | More Game Info

This is a matchup of one-win teams, but the Lions (1-3) have faced a schedule of opponents that have gone 11-5 against every other team while the Jaguars’ opponents have gone 6-12-1 against other competition.

The Lions are also coming off a Week 5 bye, and since 2003, road favorites off a bye are 62-28-2 (69%) according to our BetLabs data.

I bet this at -2.5 but would only bet it up to -3 (-125) rather than taking it past the key number of -3 at standard juice.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

Texans +3.5 at Titans

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | More Game Info

The Titans have jumped out to a 4-0 record despite COVID-19 complications but are bound to come down to earth, and it could very well happen this week. The Titans have only lost three times since Ryan Tannehill took over at quarterback last season, and one of those losses came at home to the Texans, 24-21, last year in Week 15.

In terms of Football Outsiders’ DVOA, little separates these teams, as the Titans rank 10th overall while the Texans clock in at 12th, and effort-wise, Houston looked a lot better last week without former head coach Bill O’Brien on the sidelines.

This is another spot in which the Texans should have the advantage in that regard, as the Titans just played on Tuesday, and teams on short rest (5-6 days) have historically struggled against teams on normal rest:

I would bet the Texans down to the key number of +3.

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Bears +1.5 at Panthers

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | More Game Info

The Panthers have rattled off three straight wins, but this is a good place to sell high on them due to the defensive matchup. While the Panthers’ three victories have come against teams with an average rank of 20.3 in defensive DVOA, the Bears rank fifth overall.

The Bears have certainly benefited from luck this season, coming from behind to win a

This is a toss-up game where the Panthers’ home field is offset by the Bears playing on long rest after Thursday Night Football. I would bet this down to Bears +1.

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Steelers -3 vs. Browns

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | More Game Info

Baker Mayfield (chest), Odell Beckham Jr. (illness) and Jarvis Landry (ribs) all missed or were limited at practice this week, which is not ideal for Mayfield against a Steelers defense that ranks No. 1 in Pressure Rate (41.2%, per Pro Football Reference). Mayfield’s passer rating under pressure this season is 30.9, which ranks 33rd of 34 qualified passers, according to Pro Football Focus,

Making matters worse for Cleveland, guard Wyatt Teller (calf) has been ruled out. With a PFF grade of 94.4 this season, Teller was the No. 1 overall guard in football, and his 94.4 pass-blocking grade also ranked No. 1.

Pittsburgh rates ninth in overall DVOA while Cleveland clocks in at No. 17. The Steelers also have home-field advantage and the better injury situation heading into this game, which should enable them to cover the short spread. I make this game Pittsburgh -5 and like the Steelers up to -4.

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Giants-Football Team Over 43

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Monday | More Game Info

The average combined total for these two teams this season is 44.5, so this looks like an overreaction to Washington’s mind-boggling second half with Alex Smith, when it “gained” a grand total of negative-six yards on seven drives.

Kyle Allen got cleared to come back in last week, and Ron Rivera said he was just being cautious and that Allen will be the starter going forward, which increases Washington’s scoring potential.

It’s also been profitable to bet the over for winless home favorites, such as the Giants (0-5) early in the season: 40-22 (65%) since 2003.

I would bet this up to 44.

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Bengals-Colts Under 46.5

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | More Game Info

The Bengals scored at least 23 points versus each below-average defense they faced in terms of DVOA (Browns, Eagles, Jaguars), but have proven nearly incapable of putting up points versus higher-quality units, posting just 13 against the Chargers (13th) and 3 against the Ravens (third).

The Colts rank No. 1 in defensive DVOA, and their biggest liability on defense may be quarterback Philip Rivers, who gifted the Browns 8 points on a pick-six and a safety last week, which could lead to a conservative gameplan as a large home favorite against a subpar offense.

Regardless of how aggressive the Colts are on offense, this is a matchup between two above-average defenses, as the Colts rank first in DVOA and the Bengals rank 14th.

The average score of a Colts game is 42.8 with a median of 43, while the average score of a Bengals game is 45.6 with a median of 46. I make the total for this game the average of those two medians, 44.5, and would bet this down to 45.5.

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Broncos-Patriots Under 45

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | More Game Info

The Broncos hung 37 points on the Jets but averaged 15.7 in their other three games. In Drew Lock’s seven starts, they’ve averaged just 20.3 points per game.

According to Football Outsiders, the Broncos rank 22nd in pace while trailing by 7-plus points while the Patriots rank 30th in pace while leading by 7-plus, which should make this game a slog with the Pats 9-point favorites at home.

I have the total for this game projected at 43.5 and would bet the under down to 45.

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