NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: The Top Week 6 Spreads To Bet, Including Browns & Broncos
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Baker Mayfield
- After comparing Week 6 NFL odds to his own projections, our analyst identifies three spread and two over/under picks to bet.
- Find out why he likes the Browns and Broncos to cover in Week 6, plus the Chiefs vs. WFT matchup to go over its total on Sunday.
NFL betting analyst Raheem Palmer breaks down his favorite Week 6 bets below, featuring the Browns and Ravens.
NFL Odds & Picks
Browns -3 at DraftKings
The Cleveland Browns are in the perfect position to knock off the league’s last undefeated team.
The Cardinals have one of the NFL’s worst run defenses, ranking 27th in Rushing Success Rate, 31st in yards per carry (5.4) and 28th in rushing yards per game (139). They allowed 154 yards on 5.4 yards per carry to the 49ers just last week while getting out-gained in yardage (338-304) and yards per play (5.7-5.1).
They were fortunate to win that matchup thanks to the Niners going 1-of-5 on fourth down, but the Cardinals might not be so lucky against a Browns offense that leads the NFL with 187.6 rushing yards per game.
The Browns are first in rushing expected points added (EPA) per play and fourth in rushing success rate, so I expect Cleveland to gash Arizona on the ground just as Minnesota did in Week 2, when the Vikings rushed for 177 yards on 6.6 yards per carry with a 48% rushing success rate on early downs. Given the Browns’ use of play action with Baker Mayfield, that should also open up explosive plays through the air.
The Cardinals will also be missing head coach Kliff Kingsbury and star linebacker Chandler Jones, who tested positive for COVID-19. Jones has five sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, so this is a huge loss.
Finally, Kyler Murray is dealing with a right shoulder injury, and we saw how the second half of last season was derailed after he dealt with a similar injury. With there being a chance of 18 mph winds, we could see this explosive Cardinals offense suppressed by the weather.
Colts vs. Texans Over 42.5 at FanDuel
My model makes this total 47 points and I’m struggling to see how this line can be this low with the Colts laying 10 points.
The Colts are coming off one of their best offensive performances of the season in their 25-31 loss to the Ravens, and I expect the Colts to score at will in this matchup as they’re playing a Texans defense that is giving up 28.2 points per game and ranks 29th in Defensive Success Rate and 23rd in EPA/play.
On the other side of the ball, the Colts are dealing with cluster injuries in the secondary with Xavier Rhodes questionable and safety Andrew Sendejo ruled out. With cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and safety Khari Willis getting banged up in last Monday night’s loss against the Ravens, I expect the Texans to do their part in helping push this total over 42.5 points.
Broncos 1H (-2.5) at BetRivers
The Las Vegas Raiders have lost every single first half this season and now they’ll be taking on a divisional opponent desperate for a win in the Denver Broncos.
In addition, Jon Gruden was responsible for calling the plays in this offense, and I’m not sure Rich Bisaccia will be successful taking over on a short week.
I’ll back the Broncos in this spot.
Chiefs vs. WFT Over 54.5 at William Hill
My projections make this total 57.5, so at 54.5, there’s a ton of value.
While the Chiefs are just 2-3 on the season, Patrick Mahomes leads and offense that is first in offensive DVOA and Success Rate (55.2%), as well as second in expected points added (EPA) per play while scoring 30.8 points per game. While they struggled to score in the second half of last Sunday night’s game against the Bills, who are first in defensive DVOA, the Football Team presents an ideal matchup for this Chiefs team.
Although Washington was thought to have an elite defense coming into this season, it’s just 28th in defensive — including 29th against the pass and ninth against the run — allowing 31 points per game, second only to the Chiefs.
And while we know that the Chiefs will have no problems scoring, they’ll also give up a ton of points behind a defense that ranks dead-last in DVOA, EPA/play and Success Rate. In fact, this defense is historically bad, so I’m expecting Taylor Heinicke and this Washington offense to do their part to push this game over.
Overall, this is a matchup between two bad defenses and one elite offense, so we should see a ton of fireworks.
6-Point Teaser: Chiefs -0.5 & Packers PK (-120)
Kansas City Chiefs
As I’ve broken down previously, this Chiefs offense is historically great. Although their defense can’t stop anyone, their offense should more than overcome this against the Washington Football Team with a defense that is equally as bad without a dominant offense.
Look for the Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to move onto 3-3.
Green Bay Packers
This line has moved from Packers -4.5 to -6, which allows us to tease this without crossing through the zero — a valuable proposition when betting NFL teasers.
When you consider the success the Packers have had against the Bears during Matt LaFleur’s and Aaron Rodgers’ tenures, it’s tough to not back the Packers in this spot. Since joining the Packers as head coach, LaFleur is 4-0 against the spread (ATS) versus the Bears, and Aaron Rodgers is 21-4 straight-up (SU).
Trends aside, I’m not seeing how the Bears keep up in this matchup. Justin Fields hasn’t been asked to do much for a Bears offense that ranks 31st in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, 30th in EPA/play, 27th in Success Rate and 21st in Early Down Success Rate. Fields was just 12-of-20 for 111 yards in last week’s 20-9 win against the Raiders.
Although 4.2 yards per play is enough to defeat the Raiders, who probably were ill-prepared in light of the controversy surrounding Jon Gruden, it won’t be enough here against Rodgers and a Packers team that is 10th in DVOA and third in EPA/play and 10th in Success Rate if you remove their 38-3 loss in Week 1 to the Saints.
I’ll back the Packers on a teaser to win this game.
Ravens -2.5 (-105) at PointsBet
I faded the Chargers last week as I thought the Browns had major advantages with their ability to run the ball — the Chargers’ defense is dead-last in rushing yards per game (157.6) and yards per rush (5.6) while allowing a 50% Rushing Success Rate on the ground. Sure enough, the Browns ran for 230 yards on 6.6 yards per rush and were equally effective through the air with Baker Mayfield throwing for 305 yards and two touchdowns on 9.1 yards per pass.
While it didn’t work out for us backing the Browns, that was a game in which they held a 14-point lead in the second half before Justin Herbert and the Chargers were able to mount a comeback.
After three straight games against the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns, the Chargers now fly east to deal with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Jackson is playing like an MVP candidate, and given his dual-threat ability, I have trouble believing this struggling Chargers defense has any chance of slowing him down.
The Chargers are making their living on third and fourth downs, ranking 22nd in early down success rate, while converting third downs 10.9% over expectation. Eventually, this will regress to the mean.
Even more incredible is how historically great the Chargers are on fourth downs this season, going 8-for-8 with seven of those drives ending with a touchdown. At some point, regression has to kick in, and I’m betting it starts here.
Vikings -2.5 at PointsBet
There’s a reason we saw this number cross zero to have the Vikings become the favorite after the Panthers initially opened as -1.
The great Jay-Z once rapped, “It’s only so long fake thugs can pretend.” And there’s no better lyric to describe Sam Darnold, who is starting to resemble the quarterback we all knew he was during his tenure with the Jets. He has thrown five interceptions in the last two games after just one in his first two in 2021.
The biggest issue for the Panthers is their offensive line, which is struggling to protect Darnold. He was pressured on 43% of his drop backs against the Eagles last week. The Panthers are 31st in ESPN’s pass block win rate and 29th in run block win rate, so if this team can’t protect Darnold and he’s inaccurate while giving the ball away, this offense is in trouble.
Christian McCaffrey was ruled out, so it’s tough to see how this Panthers offense gets better.
As we saw the last two weeks, this defense has come back to earth, as well. After playing the two rookie quarterbacks in Davis Mills and Zach Wilson, as well as a Saints team dealing with COVID-19 issues, the Panthers have been carved up by the Cowboys and Eagles over the past two weeks. I’m expecting the same from Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and the Vikings.
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