Let’s examine the curious case of the Atlanta Falcons. Somehow a team that was projected by some to go 12-4 has those four losses in only five games with a defense that’s among the NFL’s worst. QB Matt Ryan has averaged more than 300 yards passing per game with 11 TDs and only 2 INTs…and has rushed for 2 more scores on the ground. Of those 11 TD passes from Ryan, it’s stunning that NONE of them have gone to superstar WR Julio Jones.
Ready for a bold prediction? Despite the slow start, Atlanta will crawl back into contention for a playoff spot over the next 6 weeks – mark it down! On to the Week 6 picks below…
Week 6 NFL Picks
Last Week: 10-5 Straight Up (SU), 7-8 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 51-25-2 SU, 38-40 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)
Philadelphia 27, NEW YORK GIANTS 23 (ATS: Eagles -3.5)
Even though it’s on the road, this is a good spot for Carson Wentz to finally find some rhythm with the Philly offense. If the Eagles somehow lose though, there will be larger problems to address…
Los Angeles Chargers 26, CLEVELAND 16 (ATS: Chargers -1.5)
Like most casual observers, I’m impressed with how far the Browns have come this season. But the Chargers appear to be the far superior team talent-wise and I expect Philip Rivers and company to do some damage against the inexperienced Browns D.
HOUSTON 23, Buffalo 10 (ATS: Texans -7.5)
I think this is the week we finally see the dominant Texans defense we’ve been waiting for all season. Good luck Josh Allen and the Bills offense.
Carolina 24, WASHINGTON 23 (ATS: Panthers +1.5)
This is the first of a few picks I’m not too confident in this week. With a win, the Panthers can equal the Saints at 4-1. Cam Newton is going to have to play better than last week to beat Washington on the road. And I’m not sure the Redskins can play much worse than they did on Monday night in New Orleans…
Chicago 23, MIAMI 17 (ATS: Bears -3.5)
The Bears defense is so good…Miami’s offense doesn’t impress me much. In what should be a sleepy game, Chicago wins and covers to stay in first place in the NFC North.
Pittsburgh 27, CINCINNATI 24 (ATS: Steelers +2.5)
Ben Roethlisberger has generally been pretty bad on the road in recent years. But Pittsburgh needs this game SO badly to regain some traction in the AFC North. I’m not confident at all in this pick though.
Seattle 23, Oakland 20 (in London) (ATS: Raiders +3.5)
The Marshawn Lynch Bowl. Flip a coin on this one. Two mediocre west coast teams flying to London to play a 10AM PST time game.
NEW YORK JETS 24, Indianapolis 19 (ATS: Jets -2.5)
I wanted to pick Indy here but the Colts have too many injuries to stop the suddenly potent Jets ground game.
MINNESOTA 30, Arizona 10 (ATS: Vikings -10.5)
Someone please tell me and how and why this game will be close because I just don’t see it. The line should be at least another touchdown in Minnesota’s favor!
ATLANTA 34, Tampa Bay 24 (ATS: Falcons -3.5)
The Falcons are due to get rolling here soon or coach Dan Quinn will go from Super Bowl HC to unemployed in less than two years. I think Tampa overachieved for two weeks and now have fallen back to earth.
Los Angeles Rams 27, Denver 21 (ATS: Broncos +7.5)
A letdown spot for the Rams after a hard-fought close win in Seattle last Sunday. Just like when they played Kansas City tough at home two weeks ago, look for the Broncos to cover the heavy spread as a home dog.
TENNESSEE 23, Baltimore 20 (ATS: Titans +2.5)
Not confident in picking the home upset here because both teams are so hot and cold offensively. Since I had high hopes for the Titans this year, I’ll stick with them in this spot.
Jacksonville 20, DALLAS 13 (ATS: Jaguars -3.5)
I don’t trust the Cowboys very much without any semblance of a receiving core. Jacksonville still has the best defense in the league. Give me the best defense over a lousy offense any day.
NEW ENGLAND 34, Kansas City 27 (ATS: Patriots -3.5)
One of the early games of the year. If any defense will find a way to slow down the incredible Patrick Mahomes, it’s a Bill Belichick-coached one. Fun Sunday night game.
GREEN BAY 26, San Francisco 17 (ATS: 49ers +9.5)
This is a game Green Bay should win handily…unfortunately I’m not sure how good my Packers really are. So SF beats the spread just barely though GB improves to 3-2-1 in 2018.
Week 6 Fantasy Football Guidance
‘Boom & Crush’ Record (15+ PPR fantasy points from a non-must start player)
Last Week: 2-1
‘Be Careful’ Record (12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 2-1
Boom & Crush:
QB: Philip Rivers (LAC at CLE)
RB: Jordan Howard (CHI at MIA)
WR/TE: Julian Edelman (NE vs. KC)
QB: Andrew Luck (IND at NYJ)
RB: Carlos Hyde (CLE vs. LAC)
WR/TE: Tyler Boyd (CIN vs. PIT)