NFL Week 6 PicksPosted: October 16, 2015
We are not gamblers. That doesn’t mean we can’t pretend. Some of these choices have actual thought put into them. More of these choices were made with gut, intuition, and a little thing called grit.
Employ these recommendations at your own peril. Gambling is ungentlemanly.
[Home team in caps. All lines per VegasInsider.com consensus. Bye: Dallas, Oakland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay]
Denver (-4) vs. CLEVELAND
Derek: For those who enjoy DVOA oddities, the Broncos have the best defense in the league, the fourth best special teams, and the worst offense. Yes, Peyton Manning’s offense is the worst in the league. That’s some kind of wacky. And while the Bronco offense has looked bad all year, they’ve looked especially bad on the road. And it’s not like they’ve gone against incredible defenses. That’s why I don’t trust the Broncos to go off on the Browns, even though the Ravens just dropped 30 on them with Kamar Aiken as their top receiving option. Call me crazy, but I say the Browns keep it close.
Will: Maybe this is finally the year when Peyton loses it? And DeMarcus Ware is out? I’ll take it. Browns by 40.
Cincinnati (-3) vs. BUFFALO
Derek: I picked the Titans to upset the Bills last week, and that pick looked great until the fourth quarter. Now the Bills are facing a much better team, possibly without Tyrod Taylor. LeSean McCoy should be back, which is good news for the Bills, as the Seahawks showed that the Bengals can be run on. But we may have to actually take the Bengals seriously now. It pains me to say it, since this will probably be the Dalton Game we keep predicting, but we have to give the Bengals RESPECK until they implode. Bengals it is.
Will: …I still don’t respect the Bengals. They could go undefeated and win the Super Bowl, and I still wouldn’t. Miller High Life could rebrand itself as a craft beer; my perception of it wouldn’t change. Bills at home.
MINNESOTA (-3.5) vs. Kansas City
Derek: I think this is too much respect for the Chiefs without Jamaal Charles. I think they could get smacked around most games. I might take Minnesota -7, so I’ll definitely take the Vikes here.
Will: My immediate reaction was to take the Chiefs, and I have no idea why. They’ve played a pretty tough schedule thus far, having played Denver, at Green Bay, at Cincy, and last week’s stinker against the Bears. The Vikings have played a pretty soft slate, and Kansas City has a decent run defense. I say Chiefs.
JACKSONVILLE (-1) vs. Houston
Derek: These are both bad teams, but one of them looks like its trying, and the other one doesn’t. I’ll take the one that’s trying: the Jags.
Will: Texans. No idea why.
DETROIT (-3) vs. Chicago
Derek: I had to double check this one. The Lions are favored? They looked like they completely quit last week. The Bears are no prize, but they haven’t taken on their coach’s apathetic zombie personality like the Lions have. I’ll take the points.
Will: I could absolutely see the Bears coming to town and putting another whooping on the Lions, but I think/hope they’ll play with a shred of pride at home. Do it for Ford Motor Company, Detroit.
NEW YORK JETS (-6) vs. Washington
Derek: The Jets have had two weeks to prepare for Kirk Cousins. Yes, this Jets secondary had 14 full days to decide all of the different ways they could take an ill-advised Cousins pass to the house. I’d be tempted to take the Jets even if their offense wasn’t allowed to take the field. As it happens, the Skins will have to find a way to cover Brandon Marshall. I don’t see it. Jets.
Will: I was ready to talk myself into Washington mucking it up enough to keep it close, but some spreads have moved to Jets by 7.5 already. That’s not a hill I want to die on. Jets it is.
Arizona (-3.5) vs. PITTSBURGH
Derek: After last week, the Steelers have now covered nine weeks in a row. Also, if you consult the aforementioned DVOA rankings, the best team the Cardinals have played is the 18th ranked Rams. They lost at home. Their four wins came against teams ranked 26th (New Orleans), 28th (Detroit), 30th (Chicago), and 32nd (San Francisco). Now they face the fifth ranked Steelers. The public is all over the Bruce Arians Revenge Game storyline, as 84% of public money is on the Cardinals, per ESPN PickCenter. Plus, the Cardinals are a west coast team playing at 10 a.m. PT. Ideally, I’d wait until the spread went up a little bit, but all signs point to the Steelers.
Will: I would love the Steelers if Ben Roethlisberger were playing. He’s not, and Michael Vick has been candlestick-on-a-coffee-table-during-an-earthquake-level shaky. Still, Heinz Field will be rocking for a big game. I like the Steelers to at least cover.
TENNESSEE (-1.5) vs. Miami
Derek: I may hate myself for this later, but I like Miami. Teams are figuring out Marcus Mariota, and the Dolphins could show some life under their interim coach, as teams often do. I’m not saying Miami will make a run to the playoffs, but I think they win here.
Will: I think the Titans are decent, and I have fully bought into the idea that Ndamukong Suh single-handedly sinks franchises. Titans at home.
SEATTLE (-7) vs. Carolina
Derek: Quarterbacks the Panthers have faced this year: Blake Bortles, Ryan Mallett, Luke McCown, and Jameis Winston. Match the defenses with those teams, and they’re not particularly frightening either. The Panthers have played the Seahawks close in the last few years, but they haven’t won. And, Carolina’s best offensive weapon in their playoff game last year was Kelvin Benjamin. He won’t be playing. Then there’s this:
I wouldn’t want to be opposing Kam Chancellor this week. Seahawks cover.
Will: Good enough for me! Seattle wins handily.
GREEN BAY (-10.5) vs. San Diego
Derek: Yeah, I think the Packers win big. The Chargers have a revolving door of offensive lineman, and Aaron Rodgers will be out for blood after two straight poor (for him) performances. Plus, the Packers have now covered five straight and the Chargers have failed to cover four straight.
Will: I’m picking the Packers until it goes wrong. Hasn’t happened yet; they’re 5-0 against the spread.
Baltimore (-2) vs. SAN FRANCISCO
Derek: The University of Michigan has a big game against Michigan State this weekend, but I’d wager the Harbaugh brothers have spent some time on the phone this week. The 49ers are bad enough, but now Carlos Hyde is hobbled and might not play. I also think there’s a decent chance the 49ers will be looking ahead to the Seattle game on Thursday night, since that game could very well be their Super Bowl. I like the Ravens.
Will: This game is stupid, and I think the Ravens might really suck. Niners at home.
New England (-9) vs. INDIANAPOLIS
Derek: The overwhelming love for the Patriots almost makes me want to pick the Colts as a contrarian play. But I’m going to feel pretty dumb if I pick the Colts and the Patriots end up winning by 70, as the narrative suggests. Despite the suggestions of my dog, I’ll take New England.
Will: Heh, yeah, I’ll be taking the Pats as well. It could get ugly out there.
PHILADELPHIA (-4.5) vs. New York Giants
Derek: I’d like to see if Odell Beckham plays before making this pick, but no such luck. He’s not practicing, so I’m leaning against him not playing. Without him, the Giants’ chances of scoring drop considerably. I’m taking the Eagles for now, but I may swoop in and change that if Beckham plays. I’d love the Giants if they were at full strength. I’m just hesitant to back them without their best offensive player.
Will: I really like the Giants this year. Not to actually be that good or contend for the Super Bowl or anything, but to bang out a bunch of sloppy covers and maybe win the NFC East. They’re 2-0 as underdogs and 2-0 at home. G-Men in Philly.