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Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NFL Football

Oct 16, 2020 · 1:00 PM PDT

Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts will look to rebound from an ugly Week 5 loss when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire.
  • Our Best Bets were 2-1 in Week 5 (8-7 overall, +0.27 units)
  • The Indianapolis Colts boast the number one defense by DVOA
  • Read below for analysis on the Week 6 NFL slate and our favorite ATS picks

Week 6 in the NFL is upon us, and with no Thursday Night Football game to sweat, the week won’t officially kickoff until Sunday. Week 5 was another step in the right direction for this column, as we banked our second straight winning week to get us back into the black.

While last week was a positive one for us, the same cannot be said for the Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie Joe Burrow and company were held to merely a field goal in an embarassing 24-point loss at the Baltimore Ravens, and now have to travel to Indianapolis to face the 3-2 Colts.

Week 6 Picks Against the Spread

Matchup Spread Pick Units Risked
Cincinnati Bengals vs Indianapolis Colts IND (-7.5) IND (-7.5) 1
Green Bay Packers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers GB (-1) GB (-1) 1
Detroit Lions vs Jacksonville Jaguars DET (-3.5) DET (-3.5) 1

Odds taken Oct. 15th at DraftKings. See bottom for rest of Week 5 Picks.

Indianapolis ran into a tough Cleveland Browns team on the road last week, dropping a 32-23 decision. The loss snapped Indy’s three-game winning streak, a stretch in which they pummelled their opponents by a total of 54 points.

Pick #1: Colts Cruise Past Bengals

Depending on which online sportsbook you use, Indianapolis is currently a 7.5-to-8-point favorite in the Bengals vs Colts odds. Indy has shown multiple times this season that they’re a frontrunner, excelling with the lead and struggling when playing from behind.

Take Phillip Rivers for example. When the game is tied or the Colts are in front, Rivers is playing at an above average rate according to DVOA. However, when Indy is trailing, their aging quarterback has been a disaster. His average net yards per attempt plummets to 6.24, and four of his five interceptions have been thrown while his team is losing.

The Colts want to impose their will running the ball as often as possible, and can only do so when playing from in front. They feature arguably the most talented offensive line in the league, and it just so happens that Cincy’s defensive line is in shambles.

Starting defensive end Sam Hubbard is the latest d-lineman to hit IR, joining four others including Mike Daniels and D.J Reader. The Bengals are allowing 5.26 yards per carry this season and were gashed by the Ravens in Week 5 for 161 yards. Advantage Colts.

On the other side of the ball, Indy’s number one ranked defense by DVOA should feast on a Cincy offense that committed three turnovers, and allowed seven sacks and 15 quarterback hits to Baltimore.

The Colts have surrendered just 18 points in two home games, and boast Pro Football Focus’ highest graded coverage unit.

Pick #2: Packers Beat-Up Bucs

The 4-0 Green Bay Packers will face their stiffest test this season when they travel to Tampa Bay to battle the Buccaneers. The Packers enter Week 6 averaging a league-best 38 points per game, and feature the league’s highest graded quarterback.

Aaron Rodgers’ crew actually opened as a small underdog in the Packers vs Buccaneers odds, but the line has since moved 2 points in their favor, making them the favorites.

Green Bay has hung at least 30 points on all four of its opponents, and are a perfect 4-0 ATS. Tampa Bay meanwhile, were awful in a prime time loss to Chicago last week, mustering just 19 points and looking completely lost in key moments.

Lost in the Packers perfect start, is how well they’ve played on defense when games have been close. Green Bay leads the NFL in forced three-and-out rate, and if you subtract garbage time they rank seventh in expected points allowed.

Tampa Bay’s offense is certainly no juggernaut, despite what experts might have you believe. They’ve failed to exceed 23 points versus either of the top-two defenses they’ve faced, and all three of their wins have come against teams ranked 19th or worse by DVOA.

Pick #3: Lions Maul Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars defense is a mess. They’ve surrendered 30 points in three straight weeks to Miami, Cincinnati and Houston, three teams with a combined record of 4-10-1. They rank 30th in yards allowed per game and rate out as the worst defense by DVOA. To make matters worse, they’ve been decimated by injuries.

They were without four key defensive pieces in Week 5’s loss to Houston, and those players are once again in doubt for Week 6. That’s music to Detroit’s ears, who’ll enter this matchup well rested off a bye, and a road favorite in the Lions vs Jaguars odds.

Detroit upset Arizona in Week 3 and built a 14-0 lead in Week 4 versus New Orleans, before falling to the Saints. Kenny Golladay, the Lions top receiver, should finally be at full strength after dealing with a hamstring injury, and Detroit has a plus matchup on the ground and in the air.

In five games, Jacksonville has allowed enemy QB’s to complete 75.6% of their passes for 1,421 yards and 11 TD. Opposing running backs meanwhile, have gashed them for 5.83 yards per carry and four scores.

Week 6 Quick Hitters

  • Ravens (-7.5) vs Eagles: Baltimore is 3-1-1 ATS this season, while Carson Wentz has a bottom-five starting QB grade from PFF
  • Browns (+3.5) vs Steelers: Pittsburgh’s perfect start looks impressive until you realize they haven’t beaten a single team with more than one win this season
  • Patriots (-9.5) vs Broncos: Cam Newton returns to lead New England to a big win over a Denver team ranked 31st by DVOA
  • Panthers (-1.5) vs Bears: Carolina is rolling, while Chicago has the second worst DVOA rating of any 4-1 team over the last 25 years
  • Titans (-3.5) vs Texans: Houston owns the league’s worst run defense which is a major concern against Derrick Henry and Tennessee
  • Vikings (-4) vs Falcons: Minnesota is a far better team than its record indicates, while Matt Ryan has failed to throw a touchdown pass in two straight outings
  • Washington (+2.5) vs Giants: Alex Smith is a massive upgrade over Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen, and will help Washington hand New York its sixth straight loss
  • Dolphins (-9.5) vs Jets: Gang Green is the worst team in football as evident by their 0-5 record both SU and ATS, while Miami has shown signs of life with two wins in its last three contests
  • Rams (-3) vs 49ers: LA ranks seventh in DVOA and is one questionable PI call away from being 5-0. San Francisco meanwhile, is still nursing too many injuries to overcome
  • Chiefs (-4) vs Bills: The defending champs won’t overlook Buffalo like they did Las Vegas. Expect KC to score early and often versus the Bills 21st ranked defense
  • Cowboys (-1.5) vs Cardinals: Most people don’t want to admit it, but Andy Dalton can play. The Red Rifle has the most weapons he’s ever had at his disposal, and will help Dallas get back to .500


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