NFL Lines Week 6: Risky Spreads to Steer Clear of at All Costs
Some NFL lines are simply not worth it.
Try as they might, the efforts of oddsmakers to make a game attractive in order for fans to throw down cash simply doesn't work in some cases.
To a certain degree, the NFL has made itself known this season. Parity exists, perennial strugglers like Cleveland are competitive and dominant franchises in recent years such as Houston and Pittsburgh are miserable.
In other words—good luck. The majority of games are impossible to nail down properly, but a few are so risky it defies logic to actually pick one way or another.
Here are a few such examples from this week's action.
Oakland at Kansas City (-9)
|New York Giants at Chicago Bears||CHI -7.5|
|Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks||SEA -13.5|
|Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills||CIN -9|
|Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns||DET -2.5|
|Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs||KC -9|
|Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings||MIN -2.5|
|Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets||NYJ -2.5|
|Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||PHI -1|
|Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens||GB -3|
|St. Louis Rams at Houston Texans||HOU -7.5|
|Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos||DEN -26.5|
|New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots||NE -2.5|
|Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers||SF -10.5|
|Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys||DAL -5.5|
|Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers||IND -1.5|
Odds courtesy of Vegas Insider
Apparently the oddsmakers went to bed early and missed the second edition of Sunday Night Football in which the Oakland Raiders dominated the San Diego Chargers behind the dual-threat attack of quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his 252 total yards and two scores.
It's also apparent the oddsmakers looked at Kansas City's 5-0 mark at face value, but smart fans will understand the Chiefs have beat only one team with a winning record and needed a fourth-quarter comeback to down Tennessee.
In other words, this is a game primed to disappoint.
Kansas City may emerge victorious, but it won't be by nine or more points. The Chiefs struggle to stop the run (ranked No. 21 in that category) and the Raiders tout the No. 9 rushing attack with 130 yards per game.
As long as Pryor remains healthy, Oakland not only has a shot to keep it within a field goal, it also has a chance to pull off the upset. Yes, Kansas City is a different team this year, but keep in mind Oakland swept the series last year and anything can happen in a divisional matchup.
Detroit (-2.5) at Cleveland
No Calvin Johnson, no elite Detroit Lions offense.
It's truly as simple as that.
Last week Detroit mustered just nine points without Megatron—against a Green Bay defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in pass defense.
Johnson missed practice Wednesday, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, and while that does not necessarily mean he'll miss the game, Johnson is unlikely to find profound success against Cleveland's elite corner Joe Haden.
Cleveland boasts the No. 7 pass defense in the NFL on what is an overall elite unit. The Browns have scored over 30 consecutive points in two of their last three games with different quarterbacks, so against a shaky Detroit defense it should not be an issue to reach that threshold again.
It may sound strange, but Detroit may not be able to keep up with Cleveland in the scoring department.
Carolina at Minnesota (-2.5)
It's unbelievable to think the Minnesota Vikings are favored over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, but perhaps the recent signing of quarterback Josh Freeman has something to do with the odds.
One problem—Freeman is not getting the start Sunday versus Carolina, per Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
That makes sense considering Freeman needs time to learn the playbook (although 89 percent of it is simple—hand off to Adrian Peterson) and adapt to his new teammates.
Freeman should be thankful he doesn't have to give it a whirl against Carolina, a team that fields a top-10 unit against the run and pass thanks to linebacker Luke Kuechly and others.
Carolina has only notched one victory this year, but a horrific Minnesota defense versus the pass will allow Cam Newton and Co. to win their second game of the season.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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