Just like how every inch counts on a football field, every half-point matters in NFL betting. Sascha and I took a tough loss with the Patriots last week, and watched our Bears pick push. But the reliable Chiefs came through for us again, pushing our record to 1-1-1. It’s time to get back to our over.500 winning ways in Week 6.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation on why you should be betting these teams, tune into our ATS Checkdown podcast that goes up every Thursday morning. If you trust us implicitly and brief, to-the-point picks are all you need, carry on.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+3)
Yes, the Minnesota defense is strong at home, allowing just 16.7 PPG in 2017. But the key matchup here is very simple: Aaron Rodgers vs. Case Keenum. And having Keenum under center is the best option for the Vikings right now, as Sam Bradford is far from the pivot we saw in Week 1.
Rodgers has the support of a decent rushing attack (4.2 YPC) and a pretty good pass defense. The two-time NFL MVP will get the Packers up early, and Keenum won’t be able to sling the Vikings back in it with a hobbled Stefon Diggs.
Pick: PACKERS (-3)
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5)
Before we get too excited over the shellacking the Jaguars gave the Steelers last week, let’s remember a few things: (1) the Steelers committed five awful turnovers, (2) the Jaguars lost to the Jets in Week 4, and (3) Blake Bortles is still under center for Jacksonville.
The Rams also committed five turnovers last week, but still had a chance to beat the Seahawks — who many see as top NFC contenders. If Todd Gurley doesn’t fumble the ball at the goalline on LA’s first drive of the game, the outcome would have been much different.
This game comes down to whether Jacksonville can run the ball. The Rams are currently allowing 4.5 YPC (24th), but they actually rank 18th in DVOA against the run. If you take away Leonard Fournette’s 90-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter, the Jags only rushed for 141 yards on 36 carries (3.9 YPC) in Week 5. Wade Phillips’ defense will hold its ground.
Pick: RAMS (+2.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)
Ben Roethlisberger is clearly not the QB we all remember him to be. The 35-year-old has tossed six TDs to seven INTs this season, and is starting to lose the confidence of his teammates. Antonio Brown is clearly frustrated, and even Le’Veon Bell is having a hard time getting his wheels churning, averaging just 3.6 YPC. It’s a mess in Pittsburgh right now.
The worst news for Pittsburgh, though, is that they are allowing 5.1 YPC (31st) and are about to face the NFL’s current rushing leader, Kareem Hunt. The Steelers do not have the speed on defense to keep up with Hunt and Tyreek Hill, and Big Ben cannot be trusted if the game turns into a shootout.
Pick: CHIEFS (-4.5)