NFL Week 6 Computer Picks
There are game simulators and complex formulas that spit out football picks every week, but not all of them succeed in actually picking NFL winners.
One prediction computer is forced to the sidelines for the first month of the season until there is enough current data, enough line moves and box score information to generate meaningful numbers. Then in Week 6 every year, it gets the call—get in there and make some winning picks!
It's the OddsShark.com supercomputer with so many rankings and weightings and comparisons and formulas that it would make anybody's head spin. But all anybody needs to know is the predicted score that comes out of the other side of the magic black box.
Check out the NFL computer picks for all 14 games, along with the opinion of our expert human handicappers. Good luck with your Vegas wagers or office pool picks.
Titans Will Cover Spread vs. Steelers
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Tennessee will get a bounce game from Chris Johnson and the team will rally around embattled coach Mike Munchak—who made the top five most likely coaches to get fired odds list Thursday.
Pittsburgh remains riddled with injuries and facing another game minus Troy Polamalu. They also bring a lame 2-10 ATS mark in 12 recent road games to this game.
The line has been bet from -5 to -7 for the Steelers, partially on Tennessee's reputation for giving up 30 points or more in every game—they just set a new NFL mark in Week 5. But Tennessee has a knack with Pittsburgh, beating them eight of 10 at home over the years.
Computer Prediction: 26-6 Pitt | Cover: Steelers | Total: UNDER
Mike Pickett: Titans +7
Jets Will Defeat Colts in Classic Letdown Spot
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But here's the deal. They only lay three points against a mediocre Colts team that is primed for a letdown after an emotional home win over Green Bay. They had no business winning that game and they will have no business winning here either.
The computer gives Indy more credit than the humans do.
Computer Prediction: 19-17 Indy | Cover: Colts | Total: UNDER
Mike Pickett: Jets -3.5
Blowout for Falcons over Raiders
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The computer calls this game 35-10, and if you look strictly at some recent bye-week trends, it might make sense.
Oakland is tough as an underdog and a threat for a back-door cover here. But Atlanta is keen to hit the bye week at 6-0, and that is major motivation—enough to cover a double-digit spread.
Computer Prediction: 35-10 Falcons | Cover: Falcons | Total: UNDER
Mike Pickett: Falcons -10
Lions Will Continue Losing Ways on Road at Philly
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Many think the computer was being cheeky in predicting a 21-19 win for the Eagles, since all their games are decided in the last minute by a few points.
If accurate, the Lions would cover the 4-point spread and do something they have failed to do the past seven times in this situation. The last seven times Detroit came out of its bye week on the road, they lost against the spread.
And their losing ways against the Eagles—six in a row—makes it tough to back the Lions. The front seven of Detroit will get to Vick, but we see them finally unloading for some scores this week.
Computer Prediction: 21-19 Eagles | Cover: Lions | Total: UNDER
Mike Pickett: Eagles -4
Ravens Picked to Rout Cowboys: Pickett Disagrees
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The computer is giving too much weight to all those Tony Romo interceptions and predicting a Baltimore rout.
The humans don't see it that way and a lot of Vegas action is coming in on Dallas at +3.5. The Cowboys come off a bye week, which is important because they are 11-3 ATS the past 14 seasons with an extra week to prepare.
The Ravens continue to win, but they also continue to fail to cover spreads, especially at home.
Computer Prediction: 29-15 Ravens | Cover: Ravens | Total OVER
Mike Pickett: Dallas +3.5
Bucs Picked to Beat Chiefs Easily
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OK, stop yawning, there's money to be made here!
The computer says 21-13 for Tampa over Kansas City, and that seems like the type of low-scoring, non-exciting result that is logical.
Tampa comes off a bye week, a spot where they have been a profitable bet—5-1 ATS in the past six seasons—so they learn from the extra week of rest. This is actually one of the top picks of the week, and it could be a Buc rout.
Computer Prediction: 21-13 Tampa Bay | Cover: Bucs | Total: UNDER
Mike Pickett: Bucs -4
Browns Finally Win? Nope, Sorry About That
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The problem with that scenario is that the Browns are not very good and never win as an underdog, losing 14 straight. Mind you, the betting has moved the spread to a PK, so the Browns are technically not an underdog, but they will feel like one.
The computer projects a margin of a touchdown. It will probably be more. Cincy has won seven of eight against their AFC North pals. Of concern for Bengals bettors is their 0-5-2 ATS run within the division and Cleveland's 5-1 ATS run against division foes.
Computer Prediction: 24-17 Bengals | Cover: Cincy | Total: UNDER
Mike Pickett: Bengals PK
Rams Best Bet to Pull Upset in Miami
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Our top pick of the week and we will bet the moneyline on this one.
As an underdog, the Rams have packed a nasty bite lately with 5-1 ATS in the past six, and they win outright here, despite what the computer says. Even if you trust the computer, you bet on the Rams at +4.
Computer Prediction: 22-20 Miami | Cover: Rams | Total: OVER
Mike Pickett: Rams +4
Bills Lose Again, Gailey Gets Fired
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Chan Gailey was on top of a list this week, but not because of his 2-3 Bills, who have been demolished in consecutive weeks.
Nope, he was the 2/3 favorite to be the first NFL coach fired in 2012, according to Bovada. And Sunday could be the day unless the Bills win in Arizona.
They are dogs of 4.5 points, a small amount if you ask us—or the computer. The computer sees a 26-12 final—the humans see something like 45-28 but still plenty of room to cover the spread.
And given all of Buffalo's trends toward the over with 13 of 15 as an underdog, many Vegas bettors are putting their cash on the total.
Computer Prediction: 26-12 Arizona | Cover: Cardinals | Total: UNDER
Mike Pickett: Cardinals -4.5 and OVER 43
Patriots Favored to Bust Seattle Home, Underdog Trends
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Seattle is dominant at home and dominant as an underdog. The computer doesn't seem to care.
Seattle is 12-2-1 ATS in its past 15 games as a dog and 10-2 ATS in a dozen recent home games. But the Patriots are also road warriors and tough as road chalk.
Laying just 3.5 points on the road, where the Pats are 6-0-1 ATS in their past seven, seems like a good deal. Neither the humans nor the computer are convinced that the Seahawks are all that great.
Computer Prediction: 32-25 Patriots | Cover: Patriots | Total: OVER
Mike Pickett: Patriots -3.5
49ers Picked in Rout over Giants
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And despite New York's success as an underdog, the computer calls for a San Francisco cover as well. The line has been bet from -5 to -7 by Thursday, and we expect it may fall back with some late Giants money over the weekend.
Both teams own significant positive recent trends—with Giants on the road and as a dog, and with the 49ers at home and as chalk.
Computer Prediction: 40-32 San Francisco | Cover: 49ers | Total: OVER
Mike Pickett: 49ers -7
Vikings vs. Redskins Remains off the Board in Vegas
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Robert Griffin III remains questionable and this game remains off the board with no point spread posted for betting purposes.
The computer seems to have more faith in the resurgent Vikings than most humans do, so we'll watch to see where the line opens. The computer made a prediction anyway.
Computer Prediction: 32-23 Vikings
Packers Will Beat Texans: So Says the Human, Not the Computer
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The computer is in love with the Texans, but didn't seem to click in to how important Brian Cushing is to the Houston defense.
Their MLB is gone for the year and so are their Super Bowl plans.
Still, the computer predicts a Houston rout on Sunday night, while the humans are picking the Packers in an upset that really isn't an upset.
Green Bay has been a wrecking machine in the role of underdog, going 11-2-1 ATS in 14 games since 2008. True, the Packers are 0-4 ATS in four recent road games, and the Texans are 10-2 ATS in 12 at home.
Still, the computer is wrong on this one. The line moved from +5 to +3 and will keep sinking.
Computer Prediction: 37-22 Texans | Cover: Houston | Total: OVER
Mike Pickett: Packers +3
Chargers Picked to Win Monday Nighter vs. Broncos
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Here's the deal with the Broncos and why they won't cover the spread on Monday Night.
They have losing trends against the Chargers, losing trends on the road and losing trends as an underdog. Call it the hat trick of losing trends and call the computer correct on this one.
It should be close, but with the point spread at -1 or PK, San Diego is good value.
Computer Prediction: 30-28 Chargers | Cover: San Diego | Total: OVER
Mike Pickett: Chargers -1