Week 6 NFL Picks: The Spreads & Totals To Bet Now

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Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller

With no Thursday Night Football matchup, Week 6 won’t kick off until Sunday — but that doesn’t impact the importance of locking in value early.

Our staff highlights five picks they made immediately, including four spread bets and one total angle.

Week 6 NFL Picks

Chris Raybon: 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 chase 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 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.

Raheem Palmer: Bears +2.5 at Panthers; Bears ML +132

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

What happens when the “hunted” becomes the “hunter”?

This week’s Carolina Panthers game is a swift role reversal for a team that oddsmakers projected to win only 5.5 games heading into the season and set as underdogs in each of their first five games.

After three consecutive wins against the Chargers, Cardinals and Falcons, the Panthers now take on the 4-1 Chicago Bears and have been installed as 2.5-point favorites for the first time all season. Before the season started, oddsmakers had listed the Bears as 2.5-point road favorites in this matchup. And, personally, I’m not seeing any justification for this move.

The Panthers still struggle to generate a pass rush as they have just five sacks and just a 13.5% pressure rate, ranking 31st in both categories. In addition, they are 19th in yards allowed (355.6), 16th in yards per play (5.7), 31st in rushing yards per attempt (5.4), are allowing a whopping 60% of runs to be successful, and rank 28th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA.

Although the Bears offense is their Achilles heel, they’re coming off two games against the Colts and Buccaneers, who are ranked first and second in defensive DVOA and are at the top of nearly every other defensive metric, particularly rushing success rate and rushing yards per play. Chicago rushed for just 1.6 yards per carry against Indianapolis and 2.5 yards per carry against Tampa Bay. To put this into perspective, the Bears have rushed for 4.9 yards per carry against their three other opponents.

Having the ability to run the ball should go a long way in opening up their offense, and I expect this to be a breakout game for Nick Foles against a defense that can’t rush the quarterback or stop the run.

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Khalil Mack.

The Bears still have an elite defense as they rank seventh in defensive DVOA, 10th in yards per play (5.2), first in passing success rate, are allowing just 41% of throws to be successful and are second in opponent third-down conversion percentage (33.3%).

My model makes this game a pick ’em, and if the Bears can get anything from their offense, they should win this game outright.

I like the Bears +2.5 and on the moneyline. This also makes a good Stanford Wong 6.5-point teaser leg to combine with the Colts (-8 down to -1.5) at -130. A 6.5-point teaser is a bit more juicy than your standard 6-point teaser, but we’re going with a 6.5-point teaser to cross out key numbers of 3, 6, 7 and 9. Should you find the Bears +3, you can lay -120 on a 6-point teaser instead.

Raybon: 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.

Brandon Anderson: Colts -7.5 vs. Bengals

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

Both the Colts and Bengals are coming off disappointing Sundays.

Expectations for the Bengals are pretty low to start with, so it wasn’t so crazy to see them get beat up by a very good Ravens team, 27-3. But the Colts were really building some momentum as an AFC sleeper before getting punched in the mouth by the Browns in a 32-23 loss that didn’t really feel that close. Indianapolis came into that game with the No. 1 defense in DVOA but did not look the part against Cleveland, allowing it to control the game flow going 10-of-17 on third down.

The Colts had a disappointing Week 1 loss to the Jaguars and were just earning everyone’s trust back before this one disappointed again. And I think it’s giving us a bit of an early discount on this line.

The Bengals are not good. Cincinnati’s offensive line has been particularly poor, with Joe Burrow under pressure darn near every snap. The Colts have dominated on the defensive line, but struggled against the Browns’ outstanding line. That shouldn’t be a problem against the Bengals, so expect DeForest Buckner and the rest of the Colts’ D to look much more like that No. 1 unit we saw before the Browns game.

Early in the week, I’m looking to grab lines that I expect to rise by kickoff, and I think this one gets to double digits by Sunday. I’m locking in the Colts while that Browns loss is still fresh in bettors’ minds.

Raybon: 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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