(0-5) @ MIN (1-4) / MIN -3.5
- The Falcons are absolutely spiraling right now, still winless and now having moved on from Quinn the rest of the season seems like an even bigger question mark all of a sudden. For the Vikings they will likely be without Dalvin Cook in this game, but Mattison is a more than capable backup and the rushing attack should be fine. The real question here will be can Kirk Cousins play well enough vs a defense that can't stop anybody. If Cousins doesn't have a meltdown then the Vikings should be favorites as is the case here. We say this assuming that Julio Jones will likely not play again for Atlanta which definitely affects Matt Ryan, who has also struggled as of late. However, if Jones does end up playing we can see the Falcons pulling off the upset as the Vikings are a team with similar weaknesses to Atlanta. This is a game with very high scoring potential and our best advice is to tentatively take the Vikings currently but if Jones plays to hammer the Falcons who could find some short term magic in the post Dan Quinn era.
CHI (4-1) @ CAR (3-2) / CAR -2.5
- Credit to the Bears, they pulled off one of the biggest upsets of Week 5 by defeating the Bucs. No it wasn't pretty and it was inconsistent but that's the Chicago brand of football currently. On the other side the Panthers are on a 3-game winning streak but we tend to think it ends here. The fact of the matter is that the Panthers have benefited from fairly easy defensive matchups or facing young/inexperienced QB's. Don't get us wrong Foles is definitely not a threat at QB, but he likely doesn't have to be as the game plan for the Bears will presumably be to run Montgomery vs the atrocious Carolina rush defense (even more so with standout DT, Short going on IR). On the other side of the ball, this is by far the best defense the Panthers have faced all year and we don't see them being able to score too many points here. We believe that this will be one of the lower scoring games of the week and give the advantage to the Bears and their superior defense which should get them another ugly victory.
CIN (1-3-1) @ IND (3-2) / IND -7.5
- No sugar coating it, the Bengals got absolutely waxed by the Ravens and for the Colts we again saw the shortcoming of an aging Philip Rivers. The Bengals have struggled to protect Joe Burrow so far and with Joe Mixon coming back down to earth last week we saw it all fall on the shoulders of Burrow yet again. And we admit, the Bengals have many more weapons than the Colts at this point, but their defense is also a liability. The Colts on the other hand have a steady defense and should be able to run vs this Bengals team thus liming potential Rivers mistakes. It likely won't be pretty as teams tend to go the way their QB does BUT the Colts despite Rivers are the more complete team and should get the victory. However, knowing that Rivers is likely good for a mistake or two and the spread over a TD we believe the Bengals can keep this close.
CLE (4-1) @ PIT (4-0) / PIT -3.5
- Unbelievably so, the Browns are 4-1 and could be in first place in the division if they beat the Steelers on Sunday. However, this Steelers team will be the toughest test they have faced so far and the best defense as well. While this divisional clash could turn into a dog fight we ultimately have more trust in Roethlisberger and his defense than Mayfield and his. Mayfield might also be at less than 100% as he was a bit banged up after Week 5 and now reports are that OBJ is dealing with an illness. The Browns can not afford to be at less than 100% when facing the Steelers and unfortunately that's the way this is trending. On the other side even with Diontae Johnson hurt we have seen Chase Claypool step in and the Steelers offense has not missed a beat. For what it's worth we do think this game will be closer than maybe some expect but at the end of the day we still like the Steelers and if you can tease that spread down by a point or two then that might be the best way to approach this contest.
DEN (1-3) @ NE (2-2) / NE -8.5
- This was a game that was supposed to happen in Week 5, but due to COVID is now being played in Week 6 and it's probably a BIG WIN for the Patriots as they project to get Cam Newton and maybe even Gilmore back. If that's the case, even with Drew Lock set to also return we have to give the advantage to the Patriots. Simply put, Newton is the X-factor and even with average weapons at best around him he should be able to cause enough headaches for this Broncos defense on his own. There is no guarantee that Lock is back at 100% and if he is still banged up similar to what we saw with Garoppolo and the 49ers last week then the Broncos might still be a week or two away from being able to gel properly. But honestly, we expect a big day from this Patriots defense regardless as they are a very well coached group and should be able to force Lock to have to beat them with his arm. The spread is a bit high admittedly and we would tease it down a few points but if not we still tend to lean Patriots.
DET (1-3) @ JAX (1-4) / JAX +3.5
- Not too many wins between these two teams but this could actually be a very entertaining and high scoring game. While we like what Minshew has shown us and appreciate the breakout of James Robinson we have to give the edge to the Lions and Stafford in a potential shootout. The fact of the matter is that both of these defense are subpar and if we call them a wash and pit the two offenses against each other, Stafford gets the nod over Minshew every single time, especially with Golladay back in the lineup. We predict that this will be a game that won't feature all that much defense and could be close to begin but as it progresses the more experienced QB should be able to lead his team to a victory of close to a TD. Translation: we love the Lions.
HOU (1-4) @ TEN (4-0) / TEN -5.5
- After firing Bill O'Brien the Texans are coming off their first win of the season and even more impressively the Titans remain undefeated after they just trounced the Bills. Equally as important the Titans are finally starting to get players back from the COVID/IR list and with A.J. Brown healthy things are trending in the right direction. The efficient play of Ryan Tannehill has been key for the Titans up until now and we expect it to continue vs this Houston defense. And while Watson might be the more talented QB he will shoulder a bigger load in this game compared to Tannehill. The emergence of Brandin Cooks was key last week and will likely once again be a factor in how competitive the Texans are. In truth though, we think that there are just too many inconsistent offensive players around Watson like David Johnson, Brandin Cooks, and Randall Cobb for us to trust them in this matchup. For that reason we are picking the Titans in a close game.
WAS (1-4) @ NYG (0-5) / NYG -2.5
- The key question for this game will be the availability of Kyle Allen after he took a hit to the head in Week 5 that lead to Alex Smith making an appearance. If Allen does play, we actually believe that this is a prime candidate for an upset in the making. Prior to his injury Allen was actually looking good for Washington and in a positive defensive matchup we think that Washington can have a very successful offensive performance. On the other side tough you've got a turnover prone Daniel Jones who will be facing a much stiffer challenge than what he saw last week in the Dallas defense. Additionally, Jones will not have the luxury of relying on Devonta Freeman to take pressure off him via the rushing attack as this Washington front is very tough. Honestly we see Kyle Allen and Daniel Jones as similar type of QB's at this point in their careers however Allen has the much easier matchup so we are taking Washington here to pull off the upset.
BAL (4-1) @ PHI (1-3-1) / PHI +7.5
- While the Eagles had a valiant effort vs the Steelers last week they still came up short and things look to remain difficult in a matchup vs Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Baltimore obliterated the Bengals as Jackson had a good day through the air and the defense did its part. Looking at this matchup we expect Jackson to be able to do something very similar and with a stout defense we don't see the Eagles being able to keep pace with the Ravens. On the bright side, Carson Wentz did have some really nice moments last week in maybe his most impressive game of the year vs a great Steelers defense and slowly but surely the Eagles are getting some of their WR's back. In the end though this Philadelphia offensive line is a little bit too banged up and after seeing how the Ravens front got after Burrow last week we think that Wentz might be in for a long day as well where he is running for his life. Defensively we don't see the Eagles slowing down Jackson so we're taking the Ravens who are the better team from top to bottom.
NYJ (0-5) @ MIA (2-3) / MIA -8.5
- Somewhat surprisingly the Dolphins are coming off a dismantling of the 49ers whereas the Jets predictably continue to lose and remain winless. To add insult to injury the Jets also made news this week by releasing Le'Veon Bell as this offense becomes even more void of talent. And speaking of being void of talent, this will be the 2nd start in a row for Joe Flacco. But in all honesty the way the Jets are trending regardless if it's Darnold or Flacco we would be going with the Dolphins here. Ryan Fitzpatrick is in one of his "playing great streaks" and with how big of a mess the Jets are we expect a classic Fitzmagic performance on Sunday. We say it every week and this week is no different, expect the defense going up vs the Jets to have a great performance as well. We wouldn't be shocked if this is one of the biggest blowouts of the week, give us Miami.
GB (4-0) @ TB (3-2) / TB +1.5
- All you need to know here is that we get to see Rodgers vs Brady! The football nerd in me is very excited about this game, however I fear the Packers could end up dominating the Bucs when it's all said and done. GB has looked great so far and now they are slated to get Davante Adams back whereas the Bucs are dealing with injuries to both Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. The early expectation is they both play but if they are limited or less than 100%, Brady might be in for a long day. Defensively both teams have some talent but we expect this game to be decided on the offensive side of things. With that being the case we give the edge to Aaron Rodgers who has been more efficient and has done more with less compared to Tom Brady in 2020. We also give a slight edge to the offensive line and rushing attack of the Packers compared to the Bucs. And when you factor in how well Rodgers protects the football we tend to believe that GB can win and maybe even pull away late in this game.
LAR (4-1) @ SF (2-3) / SF +3.5
- What could have been a great divisional clash might trend more so towards a blowout win for the Rams with it all depending on the health of Jimmy Garoppolo. Last week we saw Garoppolo return in a blowout loss before getting benched which raised the question, "How healthy was he really?". Right now we just don't have any confidence in the QB position for the 49ers and with their injuries on defense we give the edge to the Rams overall. All things considered the most shocking thing here might be the fact that the spread is only +3.5 for SF. Whoever the 49ers put at QB we expect the LAR defensive line to get after and force into several sacks or turnovers. The game might start off being close due to the divisional element but we predict the Rams pull away as the game continues.
KC (4-1) @ BUF (4-1) / BUF +3.5
- Shockingly both these AFC favorites are coming off losses but that has not changed our long term faith in either squad. The BIG story here however is the signing of Le'Veon Bell by the Chiefs! There is no guarantee that Bell will be able to play on Monday but this is obviously a big win for the Chiefs long term moving forward. Assuming Bell doesn't play vs the Bills this will still be a great battle between two possible MVP candidates in Mahomes vs Allen. Both QB's are spoiled with a plethora of weapons around them so this game has all the makings of a shootout. However, we still give the edge offensively to the Chiefs as they have the better rushing attack but maybe more importantly John Brown is banged up for the Bills. And ultimately even if you want to call everything a wash in this game let's say it's just Mahomes vs Allen, the advantage goes to Mahomes. Yes, Allen might be closing the gap but he still isn't on the level of Mahomes and until then we ride with the Chiefs.
ARI (3-2) @ DAL (2-3) / DAL +2.5
- A game that could have featured two Top 10 NFL QB's will now instead be Murray vs Andy Dalton following the gruesome season ending injury to Dak Prescott. Obviously this is a downgrade at the QB position for Dallas, but the silver lining is that Andy Dalton is probably the best backup QB in the NFL and is more than capable of leading the Cowboys to the playoffs. As far as this matchup is concerned many people might be brushing aside the Cowboys but we advise against that. These two teams are fairly similar in terms of strengths and weaknesses and when you factor in the inconsistencies of Murray the Cowboys could very well steal one. Think about it, Dalton is a savvy, experienced QB who still possesses some of the best weapons in the NFL. Yes, the ceiling offensively isn't as high but we think the Cardinals have their own consistency issues and with the loss of Chandler Jones will be giving up even more points defensively. The safest bet here would probably be to take the over on the total points but we are going out on a limb and saying the Cowboys win this game as Dalton has a better supporting cast around him.
- NE, BAL, MIA