NFL Week 6 Picks Against the Spread: Packers, Raiders and Jets
Every week, I pick three NFL games against the spread (ATS) for entertainment purposes. As I sometimes joke (although it's true), winning is more "entertaining" than losing.
Last week was my least "entertaining" of the year.
After last week's 1-2 ATS performance, my overall record this season fell to 11-3-1 (78.6 percent) ATS.
Two of my three losses this year were by the Falcons in back-to-back weeks. As a six-point underdog and with a 14-0 lead against the Packers at home, the Falcons allowed the Packers to score 25 unanswered points. In the previous week, the Falcons nearly blew a 20-point second-half lead in Seattle but escaped with a two-point win and failed to cover.
The Falcons, who will be without rookie receiver Julio Jones, aren't one of our three picks in Week 6. Their opponent last week is, however.
Here are my three picks for Week 6:
If you're a Rams fan and a glass-half-full guy, here's a stat for you: St. Louis is tied for the NFL lead in fewest interceptions thrown (one) this season. OK, you should probably stop reading now.
For the rest of us, the Rams are bad. Really bad. Not only have they scored the fewest points (11.5 per game), they have allowed the second most (28.3) in the NFL. On a per-game basis, no quarterback has been sacked more than Sam Bradford.
I could go on, but you get the point.
On the other hand, the Packers' offense is firing on all cylinders. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers became only the fifth quarterback since 1970 to start the season with five consecutive games with a passer rating of 100 or more and no team has scored more than Green Bay (34.6 per game).
It's going to be a long day for Bradford and the Rams.
Playing with a heavy heart the day after the death of long-time owner Al Davis, the Raiders pulled off an "upset" on the road against the Texans last week. They will now play their first home game since his passing.
Both teams should be able to run the ball well. Oakland has the league's leading rusher in Darren McFadden, who is averaging 103.8 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry this season.
The Raiders passing game gets a boost from the absence of cornerback Joe Haden, who has been ruled out and is one of the league's top up-and-coming cornerbacks. That bodes well for Denarius Moore, who was held receptionless in last week's game facing the Texans' top cornerback in Jonathan Joseph.
The Browns are 1-6-1 in their last eight games against the spread while the Raiders are 5-1 ATS in their past six games.
For both of these teams, there is a ton of pressure.
The Fins have lost all four of their games this year and the Jets are on a three-game losing streak. Meanwhile, there are rifts from within the Jets' locker room that have gone public and no coach's hot seat is hotter than Tony Sparano's.
Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall has joked, I think, that his plan is to play so emotionally that he gets tossed from the game in the middle of the second quarter. For that quarter and a half that he's on the field, he says he will be a "monster."
Facing the league's top shutdown corner in Darrelle Revis, no wonder Marshall wants to leave Revis Island early.
The Jets will need to do a better job stopping the run, however, as the Dolphins will have rookie Daniel Thomas back in the lineup. Thomas, who has missed two games due to his hamstring, has 202 rushing yards in the two games he has played.
With both teams' backs against the proverbial wall, the Jets find themselves in virtually a must-win situation. A loss drops them to 2-4 and they would otherwise need an 8-2 or 9-1 run to make the postseason.
For more of our picks, check out The Weekly Blitz.
While I have had success in picking games against the spread this season, I have perhaps have had greater success with my fantasy football rankings.
Based on accuracy tracking of "fantasy football experts" at FantasyPros, I'm currently the sixth overall most-accurate ranker. Although I will continue to update my rankings through Sunday morning, you can find my Week 6 rankings here.
If interested, our free fantasy football contest for Week 6 is open to all and the deadline to enter is Sunday, October 16th at 12:59 p.m. ET.
Good luck in Week 6!
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