Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Underdogs That Will Cover Your Bet
Backing the underdog may not be the most popular course of action, but it’s a smart strategy when betting the NFL.
Week 6 promises to be no different, as a number of solid teams are actually getting points against overrated foes. Some daring bettors may decide to play these pups on the money line, but it’s safer to take the points and increase the odds of a payday.
Let’s take a look at the latest lines for the entire slate of games, check out my predictions for the winner off each contest and highlight a handful of can’t-miss contests that the underdog will cover the spread in.
|Away Team||Home Team||Line||Prediction (ATS)|
|New York Giants||Chicago Bears||CHI -8||Giants|
|Oakland Raiders||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Green Bay Packers||Baltimore Ravens||GB -3.5||Ravens|
|Detroit Lions||Cleveland Browns||DET -3||Browns|
|Carolina Panthers||Minnesota Vikings||MIN -2.5||Vikings|
|St. Louis Rams||Houston Texans||HOU -7||Texans|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||New York Jets||PIT -3||Jets|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Buffalo Bills||CIN -7||Bills|
|Tennessee Titans||Seattle Seahawks||SEA -13.5||Seahawks|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Denver Broncos||DEN -28||Broncos|
|Arizona Cardinals||San Francisco 49ers||SF -10.5||Cardinals|
|New Orleans Saints||New England Patriots||NE -1||Patriots|
|Washington Redskins||Dallas Cowboys||DAL -6||Cowboys|
|Indianapolis Colts||San Diego Chargers|
New York Giants (+8) at CHICAGO BEARS
This Thursday Night Football showdown features two teams that direly need a victory, as the G-Men travel to Chi-Town to take on the Bears.
New York remains winless after a close call against the Philadelphia Eagles, while the Bears dropped a disappointing one at home to the New Orleans Saints.
While it’s tough to project an outright winner in this one, getting eight points is a no-brainer. These two sides are even enough on paper, making a spread that falls over a full touchdown ridiculous.
Big Blue may not have a single mark in the win column, but the organization has been steadily improving since a 38-0 Week 3 meltdown against the Carolina Panthers.
Quarterback Eli Manning threw for over 330 yards and connected with Rueben Randle for two touchdown strikes in the third quarter. The pair is clearly building a rapport and that should only improve with more reps.
The Giants defense should also improve against the Bears, as the G-Men didn’t force a single takeaway in Week 5 and are now at a minus-13 turnover differential on the season. That is an atrocious number that almost certainly has to improve in the coming week. With the turnover-prone Bears on tap, New York’s luck should start changing immediately.
While we can’t be certain the Giants will win this one, they should be able to keep the final score close in Chicago and easily cover this eight-point spread.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (+3) vs. Detroit Lions
The upstart Browns have been steadily winning since Trent Richardson’s departure and are now going for four straight victories. They are hosting the Lions in Week 6 and should be able to claim this one outright after a long week of rest.
Cleveland is using a smart combination of short passes, calculated attacks deep into the secondary and just enough run power to keep defenses relatively honest.
The team isn’t turning the ball over too much, either—seven giveaways in 2013, compared to eight takeaways. That is the hallmark of a quality offense.
Even though quarterback Brian Hoyer—who rallied the squad to back-to-back wins in Week 3 and 4—is done for the season with a torn ACL, the Browns should be able to rally around whomever is under center, likely Brandon Weeden this week.
Factor in how vulnerable the Lions have looked on defense—conceding 124.6 yards per game on the ground and 268.2 yards per game via the air—and you have the recipe for a straight-up upset.
Which team will cover?
Detroit managed a meager nine points in Week 5—although that was without All-Universe receiver Calvin Johnson—and is one of the worst road teams in the NFL.
The Lions have won just a single game away from Ford Field, that being a 27-20 win against the lowly Washington Redskins back in Week 3.
Take the points here and guarantee yourself a win in what should be a close game, but don’t be surprised if Cleveland wins outright to move to 4-2 in 2013.
BUFFALO BILLS (+7) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo deserves your consideration as a full-touchdown ‘dog in Week 6.
The Bills are coming off a tough road loss to Cleveland on Thursday Night Football, but they have had plenty of rest and to prepare for another AFC North team—this time the Bengals—at home.
If you’ve been keeping score, the Bills are undefeated at home against the spread and winless on the road.
If you still aren’t certain about backing Buffalo, remember it nearly knocked off the AFC East rival New England Patriots in Week 1 and took care of business against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.
The second-year veteran started a game for the Browns last season, completing 22 of 32 passes for 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's a solid game manager and should be able to take care of the rock and bleed the clock.
Cincinnati may be the trendy pick after finally handing the Pats their first loss of the season, but the Bengals were largely aided by a home crowd and some of the worst rains ever seen on a football field.
The elements and fans won’t be in their favor come Sunday. The Bills are a great bet to win this one outright and are a great bet to cover this touchdown spread.
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