I’m salty about the NFL right now. No, it has nothing to do with the fact that my fantasy football teams (all 9 of them) are generally underperforming. It’s the fact that the parity in the league might actually be too much!
I can’t remember the last time I had back-to-back sub-.500 weeks picking games. But when double digit favorites like the Rams (-10.5 in Week 4) lose to the Bucs and the Chiefs (-11 in Week 5) lose to the Colts, both at home, the unpredictability of the league continues to grow.
Thus far, road teams are 48-29-1 against the spread…that’s an absurd statistic…especially for those of us who believe strongly in home field advantage. Home favorites are now 17-34-1 ATS…covering at a ridiculously low 33% clip.
So the moral of the story here folks is be extra careful when making your picks…and be even more careful when trusting mine…
Last Week: 7-8 Straight Up (SU), 7-8 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 43-34-1 SU, 38-40 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; HOME TEAMS IN CAPS)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 34, New York Giants 19 (ATS: Giants +16.5)
The winner of this game isn’t in question. However underdogs are now 5-0 ATS on Thursday nights this season…and while this pick makes little sense, I can’t buck the trend.
Carolina Panthers 26, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 21 (in London) (ATS: Panthers -2.5)
The Panthers lost outright at home in Week 2…so I’ll go with the revenge angle and the fact that Kyle Allen is now 3-0 as a starter this season. I’ll also admit that I can’t pick a Bucs game correctly to save my life!
BALTIMORE RAVENS 33, Cincinnati Bengals 16 (ATS: Ravens -11.5)
Baltimore hasn’t played well in weeks…and there’s no better cure this season than to face the Bengals (oh wait, I forgot about Miami).
CLEVELAND BROWNS 27, Seattle Seahawks 23 (ATS: Browns -2.5)
Not sure this pick makes a lot of sense. Then again, nor do the Browns, who like Tampa, I can’t pick a game correctly to save my life. Going with the home team without a ton of confidence right now in Baker Mayfield and company.
New Orleans Saints 24, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 20 (ATS: Saints +1.5)
I haven’t done well picking Saints games since Week 2…but give me the better overall team on the road despite the fact that Jacksonville may actually have an advantage at QB with Gardner Minshew over Teddy Bridgewater.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 34, Houston Texans 26 (ATS: Chiefs -5.5)
Is Patrick Mahomes healthy? Because if he’s fine, no matter how bad the rest of the team is nicked up, KC isn’t losing back-to-back weeks at home. The Colts orchestrated a perfect game plan by running the ball effectively and controlling the clock. I don’t believe the Texans have similar personnel to keep Mahomes and company off the field nearly as much.
Washington Redskins 20, MIAMI DOLPHINS 13 (ATS: Redskins -3.5)
Seriously how can anyone pick this game correctly? New coach in DC…and yes, the Dolphins are far worse than any other team in the league. A winless season is definitely in play…don’t kid yourselves.
Philadelphia Eagles 27, MINNESOTA VIKINGS 24 (ATS: Eagles +2.5)
Coin flip game here. I’m bullish on the Eagles who I believe have found their way after a couple of one possession losses in Weeks 2 and 3. But if they can’t slow down Dalvin Cook, who has been among the best players in the league this year, Minnesota wins. To me, it’s as simple as that.
Atlanta Falcons 30, ARIZONA CARDINALS 24 (ATS: Falcons -1.5)
If you read this column regularly or listen to me on the radio, you know I believe in the desperate teams theory. And I also believe that Falcons coach Dan Quinn won’t keep his job with a loss this week. So give me Atlanta, who has been a massive disappointment thus far in an entertaining back-and-forth affair.
LOS ANGELES RAMS 26, San Francisco 49ers 20 (ATS: Rams -4.5)
Desperate team #2 this week. Rams can’t lose their third in a row and fall 2.5 games behind the 49ers…just CAN’T happen, right? A key to this game is LA establishing Todd Gurley early and often. Take the pressure of Goff and the dynamic SF pass rush.
DENVER BRONCOS 21, Tennessee Titans 17 (ATS: Broncos -2.5)
These are two teams I also can’t figure out picks-wise. Denver easily could be 3-2 if not for two late field goals by the Bears and Jaguars. At home, riding the momentum off a win is all I need to pick a Broncos W correctly for the first time this season.
Dallas Cowboys 27, NEW YORK JETS 20 (ATS: Jets +8.5)
Sam Darnold’s return makes this game more interesting than it should be but it’s still apparent to me that the Adam Gase experiment might not be more than a one year deal. Dallas wins but I’m not confident in the larger road spread.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 16 (ATS: Chargers -6.5)
The Steelers’ season is lost and not even undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges can save it! All kidding aside, LA isn’t performing up to their standards either so I’m guessing NBC wishes they could’ve flexed out of this Sunday night stinker.
GREEN BAY PACKERS 30, Detroit Lions 24 (ATS: Packers -4.5)
The Packers and Lions have overachieved this season thus far…I get it. Green Bay also hasn’t beaten Detroit in more than 1,000 days. I guess what I’m trying to say is something has to give on Monday. Which team is legit and which one is more of a pretender? Coming off a bye gives me, the Packers fan, reason for concern…but I trust the Matt LaFleur-Aaron Rodgers duo to formulate and execute a winning gameplan.
Week 6 Betting Locks
(Last Week’s Result, Season Record in Parentheses)
Favorite (LOSS, 2-3): Falcons -1.5 at Cardinals
Underdog (WIN, 2-3): Saints +1.5 at Jaguars
Bet the Over (LOSS, 1-3-1): Cowboys / Jets Over 43
Bet the Under (LOSS, 1-4): 49ers / Rams Under 51
Week 6 Fantasy Football Guidance
(15+ PPR fantasy points from a non top-10 player)
Last Week: 2-1
QB: Baker Mayfield (Browns)
RB: Todd Gurley (Rams)
WR: Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals)
(12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 1-2
QB: Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers)
RB: Chris Carson (Seahawks)
WR: Tyler Boyd (Bengals)