Breaking down the big games and finding the best bets is often a difficult task. Each and every week teams pull off stunning upsets and shock the NFL. By analyzing stats, trends and the betting line, handicappers try to find the top games to wager on.
For Week 6 in the NFL, I have uncovered five, including best bets, upsets and a lock.
Both of these teams have been surprising, but the edge goes to Miami.
The Rams looked great when they defeated Arizona on Thursday night, and although the Rams defense is impressive, it’s not that good. The Cardinals are just that bad. (More on that later.)
Sam Bradford is without his favorite target this week as Danny Amendola is out with a dislocated clavicle. This is bad news for the Rams, who will have nowhere to run against a Dolphins team that is No. 1 in the NFL against the run, only allowing 61 yards per game.
The Rams are 2-10 against the spread (ATS) in their last 12 road games and the Dolphins are 9-0 ATS when going up against a winning team. The Dolphins will win big at home against the banged-up Rams.
Best Bet: Miami Dolphins -3.5
The winless Cleveland Browns play host to the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North battle. The Browns have all of the ingredients to pull off the top upset of the week. Since the Bengals are playing much better, the NFL consensus from BangTheBook.com shows that 85 percent of the public is backing the road favorite. But that is a mistake.
Cornerback Joe Haden will be back on defense for the Browns, which should help contain Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green and stop this losing streak.
The Bengals are 1-8-2 ATS in their last 11 against AFC foes, 0-4-3 ATS in their last seven games following a loss and 3-8-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The Bengals will fall flat in this game as they look ahead to the game against the Steelers next week.
Upset: Cleveland Browns +1
The latest NFL odds from BangTheBook.com have the Jets listed as a three-point favorite.
The Colts had a come-from-behind win over the Packers last week in a game that was dedicated to head coach Chuck Pagano, who is battling leukemia. It will be difficult for this young team to follow that inspirational win with a similar effort against the Jets.
Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne is playing like a superstar again, but this week the Jets will make sure that Antonio Cromartie will cover him. Cromartie shut down Andre Johnson a week ago.
The Colts lost Donald Brown to an injury and will use rookie Vick Ballard out of the backfield on Sunday.
All signs point to the Jets, who qualify as one of BookieBlitz.com's top 10 trends of the week. They are 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 games when playing on Sunday following a Monday night game.
The Colts are 0-12 ATS when playing a team with a losing record, and they will get run over by a desperate Jets teams looking for a win.
Best Bet: Jets -3
The New England Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL. With a strong running game, they seem unstoppable. So as they head west to play Seattle, it would seem like another win for the Patriots, but guess again.
The Seahawks have an interesting system backing them in this game that has worked multiple times this year (via BookieBlitz.com).
The Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last six games after allowing fewer than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. And the Seahawks are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. A strong home-field advantage and tough defense will give the Seahawks the edge in this game.
Upset: Seattle +3.5
Picking a “lock” of the week in the NFL is hard enough, but it’s even more daunting to pick an upset as the lock. But that is exactly what I am doing in Week 6.
The Ravens' defense is overrated and abysmal against the run. This will allow the Cowboys to be balanced on offense and open up passing lanes for Tony Romo, who is looking for redemption after hyis poor outing in prime time.
Here is a great stat. The Cowboys are 20-9-1 ATS in their last 30 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game and will have a better outing against Joe Flacco. Both sides of the ball will execute as the Cowboys win as the NFL Lock of the Week.
Lock: Dallas +3.5
2012 NFL Pick Record: 15-10 ATS (14 Underdog Winners)