NFL Week 6: 4 Best Underdogs to Pick
As we are only into Week 6 of the early 2012 NFL season, not all teams with winning records are legitimate contenders. Many are favored by too many points simply because they have more wins than their opponent, but the wise will see through this.
The four best upset picks this week are all on the road, but don't let that fool you anymore than a fraudulent winning record.
4. Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers (-2.5)
Harry How/Getty Images
NFL fans should know not to expect much of San Diego, especially when much is expected of Norv Turner's team. After watching the Chargers blow a 10-point lead to the Saints last week in prime time, it's at least alright to be skeptical of Philip Rivers and company when they're given points against the immortal Peyton Manning.
San Diego is ranked 20th in passing yards surrendered per game and 18th in sacks. This doesn't mix well against Manning, who is averaging 287.2 passing yards per game.
San Diego might be the fifth best team stopping the run as far as rushing yards per game allowed, but the Broncos don't have to live on the ground without Tim Tebow.
Denver will win the game by a touchdown as Manning stays on the field too long for Turner's offense to do enough damage.
3. Buffalo Bills vs. Arizona Cardinals (-4.5)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Arizona shouldn't be favored by more than three against any team after their loss last week against St. Louis.
The Cardinals do only have one loss while the Bills own three, but Arizona hasn't had the same level of competition Buffalo has seen.
Chan Gailey's squad is just 29th in penalty yards, so don't expect crowd noise to affect his run-first offense too much. The Bills also are fifth in the league in rushing yards, whereas the Cardinals are in the middle of the pack defensively against ground attacks, allowing over 100 yards on the ground per game.
Mario Williams will come alive against a subpar Cardinals offensive line as the Bills pull off a much-needed win by a field goal.
2. New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers (-5.5)
Al Bello/Getty Images
This NFC Championship Game rematch features two of the biggest NFC heavyweights, even though the recent history of NFC Championship Game losers doesn't look good.
San Francisco is second in total defense and New York is second in total offense, so it'll be strength against strength. The deciding factor will be Alex Smith against the Giants' secondary, even though Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul will need to speed up Smith's thought process in progressing through his reads.
The 49ers do possess the best running game in the league thus far, but the Giants will make sure Smith's play decides the contest, not Frank Gore's.
Smith simply isn't worth six points, especially against the defending Super Bowl champions.
1. Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans (-3.5)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Green Bay hasn't provided its fans much to be optimistic about thus far, but that changes Sunday night when the Pack travel to Houston to take on arguably the best team in the AFC.
Mike McCarthy will be looking to exploit Houston's linebackers in coverage with Jermichael Finley, as there is no more Brian Cushing for the Texans.
While the Packers were terrible against the Colts last week, Houston didn't cover against the Jets on Monday Night Football. The only concern for placing faith in Green Bay is Aaron Rodgers and the offense are first in penalties.
The Packers need to win this game and McCarthy and Rodgers are hard to bet against, especially when Rodgers could have the ball in the game's final minutes.