My Week 6 NFL Picks

To put it nicely, I sucked at my picks last week. I only got six right against the spread, even though I did get 11 right just straight up. So, we are looking for a bounce-back week. Plenty of teams in the NFL do it, so why can’t I? We’ve got another fun week of NFL action ahead of us, with the only downside being that for the first time this year teams are getting their byes. That means the Texans, Lions, Raiders, and Titans won’t be gracing our screens this time around. But that’s alright. If you ever feel sad that there are fewer games to watch this week just throw some playoff baseball or NHL into the rotation and enjoy. Sports are back and in full swing baby! Because I’m feeling pumped up about all this I think my picks are all going to be spot-on this week.

Chicago Bears (+1) over Washington Commanders

The only way to make us forget the absolutely disgraceful game that occurred last Thursday is to have an even worse game this Thursday. And with these two teams taking the field that is very likely. I’m going with the Bears in what is essentially a pick ‘em mainly because they are at home. But also if you give me the choice of every unit in this game (Bears’ offense, defense, Commanders’ offense, defense) I think I would pick the Bears’ defense. I like some of the players they’ve got like Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn so I’m going to ride with them. Although I do need Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel to do good for my fantasy team. Also shoutout to Brian Robinson for getting back on the field, hopefully he can score. But yeah back to the game, just please be better than last week and we all promise we won’t make fun of either of these teams for the rest of the month.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers

I’ve written multiple times in my takeaways article about how I’m concerned about the Bucs’ offense. Luckily for them, that won’t matter in this game because the Steelers are so bad. It’s not their fault that T.J. Watt got injured so quickly, but it is their fault that the rest of the team is playing so horribly. This will be another unfortunate matchup for rookie Kenny Pickett, who already had to face the Bills last week. It’s probably going to be at least another week before he can notch his first NFL win. Tampa Bay should get through this one pretty easily but if they do somehow struggle, that will be cause for major concerns.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) over Indianapolis Colts

I just can’t quit the Jaguars man. No matter how many times they let me down, like they did last week by not scoring a touchdown against the Texans, I just keep coming right back to them. It does help that the Colts are also coming off a no-touchdown performance, just they were able to win theirs. Please, just let there be some non-field goal scores in this game (I think I just guaranteed a safety by saying that). But in all honesty, I feel like the Jaguars are the better team right now. The Colts’ offense just seems broken at the moment and if Jonathan Taylor doesn’t play then I really don’t think they stand a chance. Jacksonville had a bad game last week but I don’t think it is indicative of any major struggles. Give me Jaguars as the underdogs and look for Trevor Lawrence to redeem himself by having a much better game than last week.

Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) over New Orleans Saints

I still don’t feel confident taking the Saints on the spread even though they finally did notch a cover last week. But it took an insane performance from Taysom Hill last week and I’m not sure he can do that twice in a row, mainly just because the Bengals may actually defend his running plays unlike what the Seahawks did. The Bengals didn’t have their best performance last week in a loss to the Ravens but I still like their talent in this game. Ja’Marr Chase going up against Marshon Lattimore should be fun. But this should be a Joe Burrow game. We just saw Geno Smith carve up this Saints’ defense, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say Burrow is better than Smith. He also should easily be able to outplay Andy Dalton, who will probably be starting for the Saints. If Cincinnati does lose this matchup it will be quite embarrassing, so the Bengals better show up for this game.

Green Bay Packers (-7) over New York Jets

I predicted the Giants’ upset over the Packers last week with the main reasoning being that weird stuff happens when the NFL goes overseas. With Green Bay back in the U.S. everything should be normal again. That makes a Packers win over the Jets. New York has looked scrappy this year and is actually 2-0 with Zach Wilson as the starter. But those wins were against Pickett and Skylar Thompson, two quarterbacks that aren’t exactly Aaron Rodgers. This also seems like a classic game where Rodgers takes out all his frustrations from last week and leads his team to a massive victory. That means that Randall Cobb is probably going to have like 140 yards and two touchdowns or something because Rodgers finally gets fed up with the rookies dropping passes. I do think the Jets can hang around in this one but expecting them to pull off the upset, or even keep this within a score by the end, is a bit too much of a leap for me.

New England Patriots (+3) over Cleveland Browns

If there is one thing that I know about this Patriots team, it is that Bill Belichick knows how to confuse inferior quarterbacks and render them useless. He did it last week against Jared Goff and I’m expecting the same this week against Jacoby Brissett. The Browns don’t heavily rely on Brissett though, as Nick Chubb has been literally carrying them to victory. But the ground game may also be the Browns’ undoing. They got gashed on the ground last week against the Chargers and now face a very run-heavy Patriots team led by Rhamondre Stevenson. There probably won’t be too many points scored in this contest and when that is the case I tend to side with the better defense. That would be New England in this game, so I’m picking them to pull off the slight upset.

Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) over Miami Dolphins

Even if we knew who the Dolphins’ quarterback would be on Sunday I would still pick the Vikings. And the fact that Miami is going to have either Teddy Bridgewater or Skylar Thomspon also gives me confidence that Minnesota can handle them. The Vikings have certainly not been the team that many people, myself included, expected them to be this year, but they are still a solid team. The defense is still very much a work in progress but the firepower on offense is there. Kirk Cousins had an incredibly efficient game last week and Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook appear to be playing just as well as we anticipated. That gives me more faith in their offense even though the Dolphins have been extremely explosive this year with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. But if no one is able to get those two playmakers the ball then it might be a problem. I don’t feel particularly great about this pick but give me the team with less uncertainty heading into the game, which would be the Vikings.

Baltimore Ravens over New York Giants (+5.5)

I’m trying to figure out just how much to believe in the Giants this year. I think picking them to cover but not beat the Ravens is the sweet spot. New York has been very surprising this season and looks like they may not be the incompetent team that they used to be. But at some point, the players on the field are going to matter and when you’re running out Richie James and David Sills at wide receiver, that is concerning. Now, Baltimore isn’t much better with some of its position groups, but it does have Lamar Jackson, and that counts for a lot. Jackson hasn’t had one of his huge blow-up, fantasy week-winning performances in a couple of weeks so maybe this is the time. I think this game ends up looking a lot like the Ravens’ win last week, where it was close before they ultimately ended up with the win. And who wouldn’t mind another Justin Tucker game-winning field goal?

San Francisco 49ers (-5.5) over Atlanta Falcons

At some point, the Falcons’ undefeated stretch against the spread has to come to an end, and I think this week is the perfect time for it to do so. The 49ers are better than the Falcons. Like a lot better. And that should play out on the field. Atlanta isn’t going to get away with the gimmicky, never-pass-the-ball stuff that they have used against other teams. The Niners’ defense is legit and they are going to impose their will against poor Marcus Mariota and the Falcons. San Francisco is perfectly built to get out to a lead and sit on it with its run game all while shutting an opponent down with stifling defense. Now, it’s possible for the 49ers to go out there and have a dud performance, we have seen it before. And In that case, Atlanta obviously would be able to keep that game close and probably get the cover. But I don’t see that happening. San Francisco is just a much better team and better teams usually are the ones that get the win.

Los Angeles Rams over Carolina Panthers (+10.5)

Neither of these teams like to cover in their games. The Panthers usually don’t because they are just bad and tend to lose by a lot but the Rams’ inability to get a cover has been more mystifying. But I’m kind of buying the idea of an interim coach boost for Carolina this week after they fired Matt Rhule. It has worked in college football, especially last week when all four teams with interim coaches that played won their games. I also just don’t believe that Los Angeles can beat another NFL team by double-digit points with the way they are playing. The Rams have covered once this season, and it was by eight against a Cardinals team that didn’t even score a touchdown. The way they do get the cover is their defense just shutting out the Panthers while the offense scores like 13 points. I find that highly unlikely to happen so I’m predicting a win in the six-to-nine point range, and one that hopefully gets the Rams back on track.

Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) over Arizona Cardinals

There will be plenty of points in this game, that I’m sure about. Both of these teams have high-powered offenses and below-average defenses, which should lead to a ton of scoring. What I’m not sure about is who is going to actually score the most points. Both teams are incredibly unpredictable. The Cardinals are because they have one of the most unpredictable quarterbacks, Kyler Murray, and head coaches, Kliff Kingsbury, in the game. The Seahawks are because they are led by Geno Smith who looks like Brett Favre one week and, I guess, Geno Smith the next. I’m mainly picking the Seahawks because they are getting the points and that is usually what I tend to do in these situations. But they are also at home and might actually have the better offense. And when a game is probably going to come down to who scores last, give me the team that is better at scoring.

Kansas City Chiefs (+2.5) over Buffalo Bills

The last time these two teams played it was a pretty good game, I think. Something about like 13 seconds or whatever (sorry for triggering you, Bills fan). While I’m definitely not expecting another legendary performance out of these two squads, there should be plenty of fireworks when they square off. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are turning into the Tom Brady and Peyton Manning of this generation (although I guess technically Brady is still in this generation). I’m picking the Chiefs because they get to play this game at home, which is a huge advantage in Arrowhead, and because I think they have more to prove in this game. Kansas City was the team that people were writing off this offseason, not Buffalo, who was almost unanimously picked to win the Super Bowl. And although we have all come back around on the Chiefs and realize they are once again a contender, there is no better way for them to solidify that than to beat the Bills. This should be a highly entertaining game but when the Chiefs are underdogs you pick them, that’s just kind of a rule.

Dallas Cowboys (+6) over Philadelphia Eagles

I can’t believe I’m actually picking a team led by Cooper freaking Rush to give the Eagles their first loss but here I am. Now Dak Prescott may be able to return this week, and the addition of a legitimate passing attack would make this Dallas team very scary. But the Eagles proved that they are vulnerable last week. They barely scraped by the Cardinals and if it wasn’t for poor clock management and a missed field goal, that game would have gone to overtime and who knows what could have happened in the extra period. Philadelphia is good but it is not the 2007 Patriots. There is not a real chance they run the table, and they probably will end up with a couple of losses. One of those losses will surely be to the Cowboys, whether it is this week or when they meet next. Dallas has disruptive players on defense, such as Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs, to slow down Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense. And the Cowboys’ offense, no matter who is at quarterback, will be able to lean on the run game and move the ball. Even if Philly does win this game, I don’t see it being by more than six points so Dallas as the underdog sounds good to me.

Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5) over Denver Broncos

Everybody who picks games develops some rules over the course of the season. One of mine this year is don’t trust the Broncos. Just don’t do it. Until I see them string together multiple weeks of looking like a competent football team, I’m not going to put any faith in them. Especially not against a Chargers team that I actually really like despite their uneven start. The Denver defense is really good, I will give them that. And they deserve a ton of credit for getting them the few wins they do have, but it isn’t going to matter against the Chargers. Justin Herbert is too good to completely shut down like the Broncos have done to Davis Mills and Jimmy Garoppolo. He is going to put points on the board, and when your offense can’t match that, you’re screwed. Maybe this is the game when the Broncos finally figure it out and look like the team we expected them to be. But I’m fine being on the wrong side of that if it does happen. The Chargers are leagues ahead of the Broncos right now and I don’t see that changing as quickly as this Monday.