Our Experts’ Favorite Week 6 NFL Picks
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Vic Fangio
- Our experts reveal their favorite Week 6 NFL picks, featuring spread and over/under bets.
- Find out how they're betting Saints-Jaguars, Seahawks-Browns and more below.
The Browns host the Seahawks after getting trounced on Monday Night Football while the Jaguars host the Saints as very small home favorites. How are our experts betting both games?
They reveal their favorite bets of Week 6, featuring spread picks for the following games:
- Eagles at Vikings: 1 p.m. ET
- Saints at Jaguars: 1 p.m. ET
- Seahawks at Browns: 1 p.m. ET
- Titans at Broncos: 4:25 p.m. ET
Now let’s dig in!
Week 6 NFL Picks
Matthew Freedman: Vikings -3 vs. Eagles
Under head coach Mike Zimmer (since 2014), the Vikings have had all sorts of against the spread edges.
They have been a profitable regular-season team to back:
- At home: 29-12-1, 36.6% ROI
- As favorites: 32-15-1, 31.8% ROI
- Outside of division: 39-13-1, 45.1% ROI
These trends make sense within the context of who Zimmer is as a coach and what kind of team the Vikings are.
Zimmer is focused, no-nonsense and risk-adverse. His process-oriented, defense-directed management makes the Vikings a disciplined team that doesn’t often make big mistakes.
They don’t waste the natural advantage they have at home. They don’t play down to the level of their underdog opponents. They don’t present a known and easy challenge to teams that aren’t familiar with them.
As non-divisional home favorites, the Vikings are 18-2-1 against the spread (71.9% ROI).
Mike Randle: Jaguars -1 vs. Saints
This was a strange opening line.
The Saints are coming off impressive home wins over the previously undefeated Dallas and a Tampa Bay team that trounced the Rams 55-40 at home. The Jags, meanwhile, are 2-3 and still haven’t resolved their friction with Ramsey.
But the Jaguars should be able to generate more pressure on Teddy Bridgewater than either of the Saints’ past two home opponents. Jacksonville logged nine sacks in its last home game against Tennessee and added three more at Carolina last Sunday. Bridgewater struggles against defenses that pressure him, ranking only 20th at the position with a 35% pressured completion rate.
And I’m officially a believer in Gardner Minshew, who has thrown seven touchdown passes and no interceptions over his past four starts. D.J. Chark has shown promise with Minshew at the helm and Dede Westbrook has recovered from his slow start, with 26 targets and 17 receptions over his past three games.
This line feels low. If Jalen Ramsey returns, I like it even more. Even if he doesn’t, I would bet this line up to Jaguars -2.
Stuckey: Browns +1.5 vs. Seahawks
As a result of the Browns’ blowout loss to the 49ers on Monday Night Football, the consensus has now flipped to them being terrible again. But generally speaking, NFL teams are never as good or as bad as they appear in any individual week.
We’ve seen this story with the Browns a few times already this season. After getting smoked in their opener against the Titans, they bounced back with a convincing win over the Jets. Then after losing at home to the Rams in Week 3 with a shorthanded squad, they responded the following week with a win in Baltimore.
To me, these early-season results speak to the fact that Cleveland is a young, and not-so-well coached squad that will go through these ups and downs.
The Browns are still a decent AFC team in my book, and should be favored at home against the fraudulent Seahawks. Sure, they’re 4-1, which looks impressive on the surface, but look at Seattle’s wins:
- Week 1: 21-20 home win over a winless Cincinnati team in a game they were out-gained by just under 200 yards
- Week 2: 28-26 road win over the Steelers, who lost Ben Roethlisberger in the first half
- Week 3: Home loss to Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints
- Week 4: 17-point road win at Arizona, but only out-gained Cards by 20 yards
- Week 5: 30-29 home win over the Rams in which a missed field goal was the deciding factor
The one bad thing about this spot is Seattle will have extra rest/prep after a Thursday night game, while Cleveland is coming back from the west coast on a short week. But I can’t pass up the Browns as home dog here.
The Browns have been a mess at times as a result of their offensive line (among other issues), but I’m not as concerned about that group this season — their line ranks 26th in adjusted sack rate, but Seattle’s defensive line ranks 25th in that same category and 21st in adjusted line yards (a measure of run defense effectiveness, per Football Outsiders).
Mayfield should have time in the pocket (assuming he doesn’t bail) to find his receivers downfield against a suspect Seahawks secondary. Just take a look at each respective team’s net yards despite a tougher schedule so far:
Browns: +0.3 (6.2 for vs. 5.9 against) | 12-11 opponent record
Seahawks: +0.2 (6.3 for vs. 6.1 against) | 9-15-1 opponent record
Give me the Browns at anything plus money.
Sonny Banks: Browns +1.5 vs. Seahawks
We all saw Cleveland get dismantled in primetime, and I do feel that Seattle’s extra rest has already been factored into the line.
One area I’ve focused in on for this game is in the trenches. The Browns’ offensive line has been a problem this season, but they’ve also faced a difficult schedule vs. opposing defensive lines. Four out of five teams they’ve faced are ranked inside the top eight in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate. This matchup against the Seahawks, who rank middle of the pack in both categories, is actually a step down in competition for the Browns.
I do expect a better showing from the Browns’ offensive line giving Baker Mayfield more time and the opportunity to take advantage of the Seahawks through the air, where they rank as average but have only faced passing offenses with an average rank of 21st in the league.
I make this game Cleveland -1 and would bet the Browns at pick’em or better.
Chris Raybon: Broncos -1.5 vs. Titans
I’ve been critical of John Elway’s decision-making since the Broncos’ Super Bowl win, but I give him credit for the hire of Vic Fangio, who demonstrated the ability to adjust his defense on the fly and pull off an upset over the Chargers.
After watching his defense hemorrhage 269 rushing yards to the Jaguars in Week 4, Fangio bulked up his front by benching 287-pound Adam Gotsis, whose 56.2 Pro Football Focus grade ranked 66th among interior defenders, as well as 236-pound Josey Jewell (60.1; 39th among linebackers). Fangio inserted 328-pound Mike Purcell on the interior and 255-pound Alexander Johnson at linebacker. Purcell rewarded the decision by earning the 10th-best grade of the week among interior defenders (83.5), and Johnson was even better, finishing No. 1 overall among linebackers (91.9, min. 10 snaps). The end result was the Chargers being stymied for 35 yards rushing.
The Titans run the ball at the third-highest clip on first/second down (53%) despite ranking 21st in success rate, but they’re essentially forced to because their Marcus Mariota-led pass game ranks 31st in pass success rate on early downs.
Denver’s defense is ranked sixth in early-down pass success rate despite a slow start to the year in regards to pressuring the QB, and even without star edge rusher Bradley Chubb, they should have the advantage against the Titans.
With Fangio also moving Kareem Jackson back to safety, this unit features two safeties ranked in the top eight in Jackson (fifth) and Justin Simmons (eighth). With the defensive front fortified, they can focus on not getting beat for a big play, which is the scheme-reliant Mariota’s best bet to manufacture offense through the air. The Broncos figure to force the Titans to drive the length of the field, which is a problem, as their offense has converted just 32.3% of the time (27th) while the Broncos have the 13th-best third-down defense (27.7% conversion rate allowed). And if the Titans can’t get a lead, watch out: Mariota has thrown only one of his seven TD passes while trailing while averaging just 6.8 yards per attempt and taking 13 sacks on 96 dropbacks.
Sure, the Broncos have gotten in their own way a few times this season, but the Titans are just as liable to do so now given their kicker situation and the questionable decision-making of Mike Vrabel as of late.
When two teams this unpopular face off, it’s not surprising that recent favorable results — in this case, for the Broncos — can go overlooked: At the time of this writing, 67% of bets have come in on Tennessee.
But history tell us this is exactly when we should be fading the Titans.
According to our Bet Labs data, the Titans are just 2-6 against the spread under Vrabel when getting more than 50% of bets compared to 8-5 ATS when more than half the public is on the other side. I like this up to Broncos -2.5.