Week 6 NFL Picks: Predicting the Safest Bets of the Week

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 23, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Week 6 of the NFL season features a lot of unfamiliarity between teams. 

Besides Monday's game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos, there is only one more divisional matchup in the entire week. The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals also battle, but the Bengals are too inconsistent to trust.

The remainder of games are not easy to pick, but it is important to see what direction the teams are heading in as they compete in Week 6.

Note: All lines are courtesy of Vegas Insider.


Atlanta Falcons (-9) over Oakland Raiders

This is one of those situations where no point spread would be large enough to justify betting on the hapless Oakland Raiders. They cannot run, they cannot pass, they cannot defend. Taking this lack of ability on the road against one of the best teams in football is not a recipe for success.

The Falcons have not been dominant in every game, but they remain undefeated through five weeks and are likely to remain that way.

Matt Ryan has performed like an MVP so far this season with 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Based on what we have seen from the Raiders, it is unlikely they will be able to defend Roddy White, Julio Jones or Tony Gonzalez, let alone all three.

Nine points is usually a high line, but this game should be a blowout. 


Kansas City Chiefs (+4.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Chiefs and Buccaneers have each only won one game this season. The difference is that the Chiefs have reason to believe this week will be different.

Matt Cassel has been ruled out of the game with a concussion, leaving Brady Quinn to get the start. While it is rarely good to lose a starting quarterback, Cassel is second to last in the NFL in quarterback rating this season among qualified players. 

Quinn might have his faults, but all he needs to do is hold onto the football with the league's No. 2 rushing attack. Tampa Bay also likely did not spend much of its bye week preparing for the former Notre Dame star.

With an improving defense, Kansas City should be able to pull the upset.


Miami Dolphins (-3.5) over St. Louis Rams

At home, the St. Louis Rams are 3-0, but the team is much worse on the road. They have lost both of their contests this year and are 5-29 away from home since 2008. 

Miami, on the other hand, has gotten better each week behind rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins have only won two of their last four games, but both losses were in overtime. A few bounces the other way and this team is 4-1 with its only loss to the Houston Texans.

The Rams will struggle to score without injured top receiver Danny Amendola. They are also facing the No. 1 rushing defense in the NFL, so Steven Jackson will be under pressure all day long. 

If Tannehill can complete passes with accuracy, Miami should be able to run away with this game.


Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens (Under 44)

There are a number of different ways this game can play out, but regardless of who wins, it will very likely be low scoring.

Although the Ravens defense has allowed a lot of yards this year, they seem to get stops when it matters. The unit has only allowed the seventh-most points despite being the No. 4 overall defense. 

The Cowboys are the exact opposite offensively, as 11 team turnovers have caused them to score the third-fewest points per game in the NFL.

As for the other side of the football, Baltimore will continue to be inconsistent on offense until the staff realizes that Ray Rice is very good. Until he gets 30 touches per game, you cannot count a big scoring effort from this squad.

Baltimore should come out victorious, but it might only take 20 points to get the win.


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