After a few good weeks in a row that got me to 10 games over .500, I slipped a bit last week. That is what trusting the Eagles, Giants, and Falcons will get you here in 2011. After my 5-7-1 showing last week, I am now 41-33-3, a win percentage of 53.2%.
I promise to do better this week. And I always keep my promises. (Just please don’t ask any past girlfriends to confirm this. I’m speaking only in the context of Bettor’s Guide promises.)
Which games stand out to me on the Week 6 schedule?
Carolina at Atlanta should be pretty fascinating. Surely the Falcons will be favored, but those tricky Panthers have been covering against everyone lately. Can they do it against a desperate Falcons team that, frankly, just isn’t very good?
How about the 49ers and Lions? The Lions are an offensive juggernaut right now, which is balanced by their superb defensive line. They are also at home, where they just might have the most intense fans in football right now. But San Francisco’s defense is tough, physical, and opportunistic, and Alex Smith is playing terrific football. Plus, San Fran has played well on the road and Detroit is coming off an emotional Monday night win. Ahhh! So many ways to look at this game.
Before I make myself crazy going around in circles about the highlight game of Week 6, let’s get to the spreads and schedule.
A couple of quick things to keep in mind:
- The following teams are on bye in Week 6: Cardinals, Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Seahawks, Titans
- All times are ET.
- All spread info as of Tuesday. If you want updated point spread info, or some expert advice as you make your weekly picks, below are a few helpful links.
- DocSports: Week 6 NFL Odds and Lines
Now here is your Week 6 Bettor’s Guide, complete with the point spreads for every game, analysis, and free picks against the spread.NFL Week 6 Bettor’s Guide Picks – Point Spreads – Over-Unders -Predictions Analysis – Free Picks Against the Spread (ATS)
———-Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
- Panthers-Falcons Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 1:00 ET on FOX
- Panthers-Falcons Point Spread: Falcons -4
- Panthers-Falcons Over-Under Odds: 50.5
- Panthers-Falcons Spread Pick: As mentioned above, the Panthers have been cover machines this year while the Falcons have consistently been obliterated not just by opponents but by, especially, the spread. The latter fact is not hugely surprising to me, because I was not high on the Falcons before the season, yet I have been trusting them for some reason so far this year. No more. Even the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome did not provide a respite from the Falcons’ poor play last week. And while Carolina is certainly no Green Bay, and Atlanta will probably win, the electric Cam Newton can probably at least engineer yet another backdoor cover for the Panthers. Panthers-Falcons free pick: Panthers +4 | Panthers-Falcons prediction straight up: Falcons
- Eagles-Redskins Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 1:00 ET on FOX
- Eagles-Redskins Point Spread: Eagles -1
- Eagles-Redskins Over-Under Odds: 47.5
- Eagles-Redskins Spread Pick: Like the Falcons, I was not buying the preseason hype on the Eagles – though I did think they would scrape together enough wins to make the playoffs. Well, they better start scraping, because time is running out. Washington has played pretty well this year and is 3-1 and rested, coming off its bye. After I took the Eagles -3 last week, you’d think I’d be staying as far away as possible, but I’m giving them one more chance. I do think they win this game, some way, somehow, and that 1-point spread seems to enticing to pass up when I think like I do. Plus, all I see in my mind when I think Eagles-Redskins is Michael Vick having one of the best days ever by a quarterback. If he just does half of that this week, Philly should be able to beat Sexy Rexy and the better-but-still-not-great Redskins. Eagles-Redskins free pick: Eagles -1 | Eagles-Redskins prediction straight up: Eagles
- Rams-Packers Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 1:00 ET on FOX
- Rams-Packers Point Spread: Packers -14.5
- Rams-Packers Over-Under Odds: 47.5
- Rams-Packers Spread Pick: The Rams were a team I was high on before the season, as were many, but those hopes have come crashing down in a stunning display of ineptitude and Sam Bradford knockdowns. Did the bye week provide Bradford, Josh McDaniels, and the Rams’ rag-tag bunch of receivers the opportunity to get on the same page? Surely it did at least a little bit. With the defending Super Bowl champion Packers struggling a bit with injuries on the line and on defense, I can see this being a “coast” game for them. They’ll win, but I bet the Rams prove plucky enough to get at least relatively close. 14.5 points is a lot. Rams-Packers free pick: Rams +14.5 | Rams-Packers prediction straight up: Packers
- Jaguars-Steelers Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 1:00 ET on CBS
- Jaguars-Steelers Point Spread: Steelers -12
- Jaguars-Steelers Over-Under Odds: 40.5
- Jaguars-Steelers Spread Pick: Pittsburgh reminded us what Steeler is football is all about last weekend and also reorganized our thoughts about them and the early-season surprise Titans. I look for more of the same in this game, especially since the Jaguars have the over-matched Blaine Gabbert (Andy Dalton he is not!) under center and only one true playmaker on offense. Plus, the Jaguars have dead-man-walking Jack Del Rio as their coach while the Steelers have the Hell unleasher on their sidelines. Add it all up, and Pittsburgh rolls again. Jaguars-Steelers free pick: Steelers -12 | Jaguars-Steelers prediction straight up: Steelers
- Bills-Giants Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 1:00 ET on CBS
- Bills-Giants Point Spread: Giants -3
- Bills-Giants Over-Under Odds: 50.5
- Bills-Giants Spread Pick: So disappointing Giants. Just when you think you can trust what a Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning team is going to do – positively or negatively – they go out and do the exact opposite. So what the hell are we supposed to expect this week when they face the Bills? Yes, Buffalo is 4-1. but like the 49ers I don’t think any of us know if we should really trust it yet. Well, I don’t. Not yet. Especially not on the road against an angry bunch of Giants. If Buffalo can force the fluky INTs against Eli that they did against Tom Brady and Michael Vick, they can win. If not, Eli is probably going to have some fun with Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham en route to a nice W. Bills-Giants free pick: Giants -3 | Bills-Giants prediction straight up: Giants
- 49ers-Lions Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 1:00 ET on FOX
- 49ers-Lions Point Spread: Lions -5
- 49ers-Lions Over-Under Odds: 46.5
- 49ers-Lions Spread Pick: I broke this game down pretty well in the intro above. I’ll come right out and say this: I think Detroit wins this game. They have two of the three best players in this game – Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, Patrick Willis – and their QB makes more big plays than the 49ers QB (though I think the latter protects the ball better). Detroit will have to win this game through the air, because I don’t think Jahvid Best will have fun running against that Niners’ front, but with Megatron the Lions can win pretty much any game through the air. Frankly, I just don’t think the 49ers can match the Lions big play for big play. San Fran will fight and make it competitive, but Matthew Stafford will be able to get a few big plays against a 49ers defense that, like Buffalo’s, has almost been too opportunistic in the secondary (meaning that it’s hard to expect it to continue). 49ers-Lions free pick: Lions -5 | 49ers-Lions prediction straight up: Lions
- Colts-Bengals Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 1:00 ET on CBS
- Colts-Bengals Point Spread: Bengals -7
- Colts-Bengals Over-Under Odds: 40.5
- Colts-Bengals Spread Pick: Poor Indy. They got up huge against the Chiefs and couldn’t hold the lead. Who the hell are they supposed to beat? And where the hell did this sudden competitiveness from the Bengals come from? Sure, Cincinnati isn’t beating anyone great, and they looked absolutely putrid in the one game of theirs I did watch (49ers-Bengals), but at this point shouldn’t be trust Andy Dalton more than Curtis Painter to pull out a big game late? Yes, of course we should. Still, I don’t think Cincy is nearly good enough to trust them with a touchdown’s worth of points. Colts-Bengals free pick: Colts +7 | Colts-Bengals prediction straight up: Bengals
- Browns-Raiders Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 4:05 ET on CBS
- Browns-Raiders Point Spread: Raiders -5.5
- Browns-Raiders Over-Under Odds: 44.5
- Browns-Raiders Spread Pick: Oakland is coming off a hugely emotional win against Houston just a day after the passing of Al Davis. That win as not at all surprising considering the emotion they played with. What will be interesting to see is if there is a emotional letdown this week. Making matters tougher for Oakland will be that Cleveland is well rested after their bye, and at 2-2 this is a fork-in-the-road type game for the Browns’ season. I just wonder if Oakland’s focus, which was so sharp last week, might not quite the same this week as they come down from the emotion of Al Davis passing and are forced to deal with it all both logistically and mentally. I like them long-term, but I think this week could be tricky. Browns-Raiders free pick: Browns +5.5 | Browns-Raiders prediction straight up: Browns
- Texans-Ravens Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 4:05 ET on CBS
- Texans-Ravens Point Spread: Ravens -8
- Texans-Ravens Over-Under Odds: 45
- Texans-Ravens Spread Pick: Wow, 8 points. When I saw this spread, I was really surprised. I know that Houston lost a home game you’d think they would win last week, but they certainly were not aided at all by the timing of Al Davis’ passing. And yes, those kinds of things make a difference in a game as emotional and day-by-day as the NFL. I know that Baltimore is coming off of their bye, but Houston too is at a crossroads this season. Are they a contender or a pretender? This game will help to define that, and even without Andre Johnson and Mario Williams I think they’ll be ready to compete. Texans-Ravens free pick: Texans +8 | Texans-Ravens prediction straight up: Ravens
- Saints-Buccaneers Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 4:05 ET on FOX
- Saints-Buccaneers Point Spread: Saints -4
- Saints-Buccaneers Over-Under Odds: 49
- Saints-Buccaneers Spread Pick: Tampa Bay looked awful last week. I mean really, really, really terrible. Yes, San Francisco played well, but it helped that Tampa Bay didn’t even get off the plane, as their coach admitted. So what are we to expect from the Bucs this week? I don’t know, but I cannot in good faith trust them against the Saints after what I witnessed last week. I know that I tend to like home teams getting points that are coming off of terrible performances (thinking they’re due for a refocused bounceback) but I just can’t bring myself to do it this week. Tampa Bay is firmly in the “Prove It” sandbox until further notice. Saints-Buccaneers free pick: Saints -4 | Saints-Buccaneers prediction straight up: Saints
- Vikings-Bears Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, October 16th at 8:20 ET on NBC
- Vikings-Bears Point Spread: Bears -3
- Vikings-Bears Over-Under Odds: 42.5
- Vikings-Bears Spread Pick: Minnesota is coming off their first win of the season in which Adrian Peterson went total beast mode on the Cardinals. Seeing as how the Bears cannot really stop anyone on defense – just ask Jahvid Best – and cannot really block anyone on offense (Jared Allen is licking his chops), I don’t see how anyone can pick against the Vikings in this one. Oh yeah…Donovan McNabb. Well, let’s just ignore that fact. As long as Minnesota runs the ball 25 times, something I’ll assume as a given unless Leslie Frazier is braindead, they are going to win this game. Vikings-Bears free pick: Vikings +3 | Vikings-Bears prediction straight up: Vikings
- Dolphins-Jets Date, Time, and TV: Monday, October 17th at 8:30 ET on ESPN
- Dolphins-Jets Point Spread: Jets -7
- Dolphins-Jets Over-Under Odds: 42.5
- Dolphins-Jets Spread Pick: The Jets are another team at a crossroads and have had their pride severely flattened the last few weeks. The Dolphins’ season is already over, with 11 games to go, and now the Matt Moore Era begins. There really isn’t anything to like here for the Dolphins, who do nothing very well and have to go into New York on Monday night against a team desperate to save its season. Yawn. Dolphins-Jets free pick: Jets -7 | Dolphins-Jets prediction straight up: Jets
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