NFL Week 6 Lookahead Picks: Bet the Dolphins & Ravens Right Now

NFL Week 6 Lookahead Picks: Bet the Dolphins & Ravens Right Now article feature image

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson.

Welcome back to The Lookahead.

While everyone else is busy betting on this weekend's games, we're getting ahead of things with a pair of picks for next Sunday. It's all about locking in that sweet closing line value (CLV) now and gobbling up easy line value before this week's results move next week's lines.

We continue to smash the CLV. We got the best of the line on each of our first five picks, three times by a full field goal. We finally moved the wrong direction on the Chargers in Week 4 thanks to injuries, but only by half a point — and we covered that one anyway. We're 4-2 ATS, and twice our picks have covered on the Lookahead but not the closing line after the Vikings hit Sunday morning.

If we keep getting positive CLV ahead of the line moves, this should keep going our way over the long run. I've already got your Sunday picks covered, so let's look ahead and get some more CLV for those Week 6 games before the weekend.

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Ravens (-5.5) at Giants

The Giants are 3-1, but they're not fooling anyone. New York is good at running the ball and… not much else? Those three wins came against the Titans, Panthers, and Bears, each by one score and none particularly impressive.

The Giants should be 3-2 by the time this game rolls around. New York is a big underdog against the Packers, in part because the Giants don't even have a quarterback right now. Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor both picked up injuries last Sunday, and the team is trying out Jake Fromm and other options these days. Who knows who will quarterback New York in this game?

Even worse, the Giants will be jet-lagged and tired. That Packers game, you recall, is in London. Most teams take a bye week after playing overseas, and my study on the teams that don't shows that they tend to underperform on both offense and defense, playing like a tired team in need of a break.

Suffice to say that playing the Ravens doesn't exactly count as a break. Baltimore leads the league in offensive and passing DVOA, and Lamar Jackson might be the MVP so far. Here he'll face a very familiar defense since former Ravens DC Wink Martindale leads the Giants defense now.

Both sides know exactly how to attack the other, but New York doesn't have the personnel to contain Jackson or defend this passing game and Baltimore has the blocking to offset Martindale's trademark pressure. The Giants also don't have the downfield passing game — or a quarterback — to hurt this vulnerable Ravens secondary.

This is a great matchup for the Ravens. If they beat the AFC champion Bengals Sunday night after the Giants get blown out in London, this line will rise past -6 and maybe even -7, passing two key numbers. Lock in Baltimore right now.

Vikings at Dolphins (-1)

It feels like the market has way over-corrected itself on the Dolphins.

A week ago, Miami was 3-0 and flying high. The Dolphins were the talk of the league after beating the Bills and were the last unbeaten team in the AFC. Then Miami lost Thursday night in a terrible situational spot everyone knew was bad going in, and suddenly Miami is all but forgotten.

The Dolphins are just a field goal favorite against Zach Wilson and the subpar Jets this week, and this lookahead line implies the Vikings would be favored on a neutral field. Minnesota is 3-1 but has underwhelmed in narrow victories over the 1-3 Lions and Saints after getting blown out by the Eagles.

Don't be surprised if the Vikings also struggle a bit against the Bears this Sunday. Minnesota is another of those teams coming off a London trip, so the Vikes could be a bit sluggish in a tough spot against a division rival that usually plays them close. If Minnesota struggles or loses and Miami wins comfortably, this line probably rises back to a field goal or past, where it should be.

Of course, part of the reason these lines have moved against Miami is the Tua Tagovailoa injury, but doesn't that feel like an overreaction too? A month ago, many wondered if Tagovailoa was even the answer for this team. Now he's so valuable that his absence moves the line by a field goal? I don't buy it.

Teddy Bridgewater is the best backup in the league, and he may barely even be a downgrade at QB. Our Sean Koerner has it as a 1.5-point downgrade. Miami got off to that blistering 3-0 start because of elite team speed all over the field, because opponents couldn't contain Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and because new coach Mike McDaniel schemed everything up so well.

If your takeaway from that 3-0 start was that Tagovailoa had taken a superstar leap and changed everything for this team, we were watching different games. Tua was just a cog in the McDaniel machine, and those speedsters were the pistons and spark plug. Bridgewater should be just fine putting those weapons to work, and he's 42-21 ATS (67%) lifetime.

The Dolphins lead the league in explosive pass play percentage with all that speed, and Minnesota has allowed the second highest explosive pass play rate in the league. Add in some extended jet lag for a team just trying to get through the Miami heat and get to its bye week, and this spot sets up really well for the Dolphins.

I'm grabbing this Miami line now before the weekend comes and it rises to the key number or further, where it belongs.

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