We have some fun—albeit eye-popping—trends in the NFL heading into Week 6. Good teams with winning records straight-up (SU) also have winning records Against The Spread (ATS), but a handful of bad teams with losing SU records are covering.
The Cardinals remain the only unbeaten team. They are 4-1 ATS, as are the Bills, Cowboys, Packers and Chargers. While the Lions and Jaguars are the only two teams without a win, the Lions actually are 3-2 ATS. Then, there’s that next batch of poor performers with just one win on the year: Dolphins, Giants, Jets, Texans and Colts.
Houston and Indianapolis join Detroit as losing teams SU but with winning records ATS. Not a surprise but worth noting: Only one of our analysts picked a team from the “loser group,” with Casey Olson taking the 10 points on the Texans.
As a staff, we got back on track in Week 5 after a disastrous Week 4. There’s something to be said about being aligned with the group.
We noted the differing opinions across the picks in Week 4—there were six matchups with two of our analysts on opposing sides, which resulted in only one of us having a winning weekend (Jen Piacenti). Compare that with Week 5 when at least three of us were aligned on four games, which resulted in our best weekend yet with four of our five writers having winning records.
For Week 6, three of us are on the Packers and Cowboys laying the points and four are on the Bills giving the Titans 5.5. The only game where we seem to be misaligned is Browns-Cardinals, as three of us side with Arizona while two are taking Cleveland.
Cheers to another weekend of profitable picks!
Week 6 Best Bets
Here's our criteria for picking games:
- All odds from SI Sportsbook
- Each analyst must pick five games
- Three of the bets must be against the spread or over/under
- The remaining two picks (if all five aren't ATS or O/U) can be on the moneyline (but at least one of those picks must be on an underdog)
- We believe transparency is paramount in the world of sports betting, which is why we entrust Sharp Rank to keep track of all our picks/performance
Jen Piacenti’s Best Bet: Chiefs -6.5
I picked the Bills last week, noting the Chiefs had trouble covering the spread. This week, I’m taking the Chiefs -6.5 vs. the Washington Football Team.
The Chiefs have beaten Washington nine out of the last 10 times and, quite simply, can’t lose this game. They can’t even let it get close. As terrible as the Chiefs' defense may be, WFT’s defense is also bad. Patrick Mahomes and company will put on a clinic.
I’m picking the last-place AFC West team.
Jen's Season Record: 66%
Casey Olson's Best Bet: Panthers +115
The Vikings were the uber-popular survivor pick last week, and escaped pool bereavements with a 54-yard field goal as time expired. They head to Carolina this week, and Kirk Cousins will have a tough test as the Panthers only allow 161 passing yards per game.
Dalvin Cook isn't on the injury report, yet he isn't near 100%. He may get pulled if things get ugly with Minnesota's bye week coming in Week 7.
Christian McCaffrey has been ruled out, though Chuba Hubbard has proven himself as a capable stunt double at running back, going for 101 yards on 24 carries against the Eagles.
The Panthers at home as a dog against a beaten-down Vikings squad looks like a great spot to me. Here are some trends that support this pick:
- Vikings are 2-13 (last 15) on the road against shutdown pass defenses allowing less than 5.75 PYPA (passing yards per attempt)
- Vikings are 0-4 ATS (last 4) after a win.
- Vikings are 0-7 (last 7) as a favorite.
- Panthers are 8-2 (last 10) as a home underdog vs. an opponent with an upcoming bye.
- The underdog is 6-1 in their last 7 matchups.
Casey's Season Record: 58%
Richard Johnson’s Best Bet: Cowboys -3.5
The 'Boys are rolling and they've failed to score more than 28 points just once this season. The hoodie will for sure have a little something for Dak & Co., but they just don't have enough offensive firepower to stick with Dallas.
Richard's Season Record: 21%
Bill Enright’s Best Bet: Steelers/Seahawks OVER 42.5 points
Considering Russell Wilson is not playing, the game total seems optically correct. But Geno Smith had an impressive performance last week against the Rams and, dare I suggest, the Steelers are showing improvement?
Seattle and Pittsburgh games are 1-4 on hitting the over, but Seattle and their opponents have gone over 42 points in five games and the Steelers have done it three times. Add in that Seattle and Pittsburgh’s defenses allow a combined 47 points per game, five more than the total for their Sunday night matchup, and I’ll confidently punch a bet slip on the OVER 42.5.
Bill's Season Record: 46%
David Scipione's Best Bet: Chargers/Ravens UNDER 51 points
I know this matchup screams touchdowns galore, but it has all the makings of a 24-21 trap game where bettors are sweating a late TD to hit over 51 total points.
Both Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson are dynamic quarterbacks with differing styles, so you would expect the gameplans to focus on neutralizing each quarterback's strength. Herbert is amazing, but he's going to come back to earth a bit in Week 6. He'll be on the road against a Ravens team looking to stake its dominance in the AFC with a convincing win. Convincing doesn't always mean crushing your opponent on the scoreboard.
Expect the Ravens to dominate time of possession—or attempt to—causing this game to stall and go under 51.
*First week of Dave providing picks
Frank Taddeo's Best Bet: Browns -3
It's always scary fading streaks in betting. The Cardinals (5-0) are the ONLY undefeated team, to go along with 4-1 ATS. When this line opened in Vegas over the summer, the Cardinals were 4.5-point road underdogs and now the line stands at only a field goal.
For as much love as this Arizona team gets for its offensive prowess thanks to Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, making the trip East will be tough against a solid Browns defense. The 'Dawg Pound,' combined with Cleveland's dominant run game, will ensure there will not be any undefeated teams in the NFL after Week 6. Lay the three with Cleveland.
Frank's Season Record: 38%
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