Week 6 of the NFL season is here. Time to place your bets. Which games should you pick and which should you avoid? Jimmy Traina and Tom Mantzouranis break down everything you need to know entering this weekend’s NFL action.
Jimmy Traina: Raiders +8.5 at Chiefs. In a rivalry game where there isn't a massive gap between the teams, this line is just too high. Running back Darren McFadden could be back for the Raiders, who play hard every single week. That would only help quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who, if you haven't' noticed yet, is a player! His completion percentage (68.3) is only behind Peyton Manning's (75.8), Phillip Rivers' (73.7), Tony Romo's (71.8), Drew Brees' (69.7) and Matt Ryan's (69.3). Lastly, I'm not a big trend guy, but here's an interesting stat: The Raiders have won their last six games against the Chiefs in Kansas City. Oakland doesn't have to win. It just has to lose by eight points or fewer.
Tom Mantzouranis: Browns +2.5 vs. Detroit. I'd like this line even if Calvin Johnson were a lock to play; the Browns' defense is very good, and Joe Haden is the type of corner who can keep Megatron relatively in check. But with the league's best receiver nursing an injury and trending toward a game-time decision, I'm all about the Browns. We saw last week what the Lions' offense does without Megatron (just 286 total yards and an 89.8 rating for Matthew Stafford against the Packers), and the rest of the receiving depth chart in Detroit is dreadful; Stafford completed just nine passes to wideouts compared to 16 to running backs and tight ends. Even with the end of Hoyer-mania, the Browns have enough on offense to keep up with a Megatron-less Lions team.
NFL Week 6 Betting Odds
|(Odds courtesy of COVERS.com)|
Stay Away From
Traina: Broncos -26.5. vs Jaguars. This would obviously be the most fun game of the week to bet but probably not the wisest. It's the biggest spread in NFL history.
Mantzouranis: Broncos -26.5 vs. Jaguars. With the line tying all-time mark, it's way too high for me to be confident in. I know all the reasons the Broncos should cover; I won't repeat them because surely you know them too. And in a vacuum, do I think the Broncos are 27 points better than the Jaguars? Sure. But only two of the prior 10 biggest spreads in history have been covered. Why? Football is an inexact science. They may not always resemble it, but the Jaguars are a professional football team, too, with guys playing for their livelihoods. And there's always the chance that the Broncos race out to a 21-0 or 28-0 lead in the first quarter, pull Peyton and Co. and rely heavily on the ground game to wear the clock down and spare the Jaguars' some embarrassment. The point is, there are too many variables to feel good about putting your money down on a team to win by 27.
Best Of The Rest
Traina: Seahawks -13.5 vs. Titans. I'm not saying this as a joke. I will be shocked if Ryan Fitzpatrick, playing again for the injured Jake Locker, doesn't throw at least three interceptions in this game. I watched a lot of Tennessee's game against Kansas City last week and I'll say this as kindly as possible: Fitzpatrick is terrible. The Seattle defense and the Seattle crowd will make this a very ugly game for the Titans' offense.
49ers -10.5 vs. Cardinals. I should just cut and paste the entry above and use it for this game, because if you replace "Ryan Fitzpatrick" with "Carson Palmer," the analysis is the same. San Francisco's defense has really picked things up the last couple of weeks, so they'll be more than happy to see Carson Palmer, an interception machine, come to town.
Eagles +1.5 at Buccaneers. I'm sorry, but until I see him perform like an NFL quarterback, I'd recommend betting against Mike Glennon often. Greg Schiano's tenure in Tampa Bay has been a disaster and it's getting worse each week. This is the perfect team for Philadelphia to build some momentum against after getting a road win against the Giants last week.
Mantzouranis: Cowboys -5.5 vs. Redskins. Repeat after me: Dez Bryant against that secondary. Dez Bryant against that secondary. Dez Bryant against that secondary. Dez Bryant against that secondary.
Colts -1.5 at Chargers. Repeat after me: T.Y. Hilton against that secondary. T.Y. Hilton against that secondary. T.Y. Hilton against that secondary. The Chargers are giving up 289 yards a game through the air (27th in the league) and, even more embarrassingly, are like the only team on earth to play Matt Schaub and not pick-6 him. That 289-yard figure is even more embarrassing when you consider the QBs the Chargers have faced: Schaub, Michael Vick, Jake Locker, Tony Romo, Terrelle Pryor. None of those quarterbacks is awful, but there's only one true top-10 passer in there, and none of those guys have the acumen of Andrew Luck. And this may finally be the week Trent Richardson plays like a No. 3 overall pick; he's had enough time to learn the Colts' playbook, and the Chargers have been gashed on the ground. BURKE AND FARRAR: The Playbook: Previewing Saints-Pats, Packers-Ravens, more Week 6 games