NFL Week 6 Betting Guide: Odds, Props and Picks
The NFL slate is offering monster over/under totals yet again as the Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (59.5 points) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (57.5 points) lead the way for Week 6.
The Chiefs-Pats contest has a chance to hit 60 points, which would tie the all-time over/under record set by the 2004 Chiefs and Oakland Raiders on Christmas Day, per PJ Walsh of the Action Network.
The figures are symbolic of a wild offense-centric year as teams are averaging a league-record 24 points per game.
We'll take a look at those two aforementioned potential shootouts in addition to some spreads to bet, props and other items in the Week 6 betting guide.
Money-Line Picks and Picks Against the Spread
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: Giants (+1.5 and +115)
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans: Bills (+10 and +375)
Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins: Panthers (-1 and -119)
Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins: Bears (-3.5 and -190)
Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets: Colts (+2 and +105)
Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns: Browns (+1 and -120)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: Bengals (-1.5 and -120)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium in London: Raiders (+2.5 and +125)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons: Falcons (-3 and -160)
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans: Titans (+2.5 and +125)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys: Jaguars (-3 and -175)
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots: Chiefs (+3.5 and +160)
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers: Packers (-9.5 and -410)
ML Season Record: 47-30-2
ATS Season Record: 37-37-5
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5)
Can you get a good read on either of these teams?
The Steelers just crushed the Falcons 41-17 thanks to a strong ground game and a tough defensive performance, but Pittsburgh had allowed 29 points per game through four weeks prior to its Week 5 win. Is the defense we saw last Sunday for real?
The Bengals have enjoyed a fantastic 4-1 start, but are they among the league's elite teams? They fell behind the Dolphins and Colts by 17 and 13 points, respectively, before excellent comebacks, and they needed a last-minute touchdown against the Falcons to take down what is now a 1-4 team.
Still, Cincinnati can claim wins over two squads with winning records (the Dolphins and Ravens), so maybe this team is legitimate.
However, this seems like a coin-flip game between two teams that aren't particularly easy to judge right now.
Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns (+1)
The Chargers defense struggled through four weeks (30 points allowed per game), but it dominated the Raiders 26-10 last Sunday. Although the Bolts have been playing (and will continue to play) without star edge-rusher Joey Bosa, they have hung on and started the season 3-2.
The question is what defense will show up against a Browns offense that has been hit-or-miss all season. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield has shown tremendous potential, like when he led his team on a 14-point comeback against the Jets.
The offense is still a work in progress, though, as Football Outsiders ranks Cleveland just 30th in efficiency.
However, the Browns defense is for real and has held four of five opponents to 21 points or fewer. A quartet of defensive end Myles Garrett, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, linebacker Joe Schobert and cornerback Denzel Ward forms the core of a young and hungry unit that can hang with anyone.
The L.A. offense has a ton of talent of its own, but the Chargers are traveling across the country for a 1 p.m. ET game, which is never an easy task for a West Coast team.
Like the Steelers-Bengals matchup, this one is a bit hard to read, leaving it best to avoid entirely.
Prop Bets You Can Take to the Bank
Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr: Over 284 Passing Yards (-110)
Carr has eclipsed 287 passing yards four of five times. For the season, he's averaged 328.2 yards per game.
That's a good sign for him to surpass this over/under total of 284 yards against a Seahawks defense playing without its best player and leader, Earl Thomas. The three-time first-team All-Pro safety suffered a lower left leg fracture against the Cardinals and is out for the year.
Losing Thomas is a massive blow to the Seattle defense, which allowed 33 points and 468 yards to the Rams at home even though L.A. lost wideouts Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp midway through the game because of concussions.
Granted, the Rams are an offensive powerhouse. But Thomas was the rock of that defense, and Seattle's unit is due for regression. Couple that with Carr's high completion rate (71.3 percent), and the ex-Fresno State star could be in line for a big game.
Baldwin is off to a slow start due to multiple knee injuries. He's missed two games and has just six catches for 42 yards.
However, this seems like a good time to buy low on his production. Baldwin's not a player who's one step from falling off a talent cliff: He's just 30 years old and coming off a year in which he caught 75 passes for 991 yards and eight touchdowns.
His over/under for receiving yards is 50.5, and that seems surpassable against a Raiders defense that is statistically one of the worst. For the season, Oakland has allowed 6.8 yards per play, the second-worst mark in the league. The Silver and Black also rank 29th in defensive efficiency, per Football Outsiders.
Despite his lack of production last week, Baldwin played on 88 percent of offensive snaps. He only needs one long catch to beat 50.5 yards, so take the over.
Spreads to Bet
Tennessee Titans (+2.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Why are the Titans getting two-and-a-half points at home against the Ravens? Is Baltimore that much better?
Perhaps that will end up being the case, but at first glance, these teams look more even. The Titans defense has done well, allowing the third-fewest points per game in the league (17.2). They are also tied for seventh in fewest yards allowed per play.
Of note, defensive lineman Jurrell Casey has been impressive, amassing 24 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
The offense has not performed consistently (28th in efficiency, per Football Outsiders), but the defense should at least keep this one close against a Ravens offense that can't get anything going on the ground (3.4 yards per carry, 30th in the league).
Baltimore's offense has gotten some big plays in the passing game thanks to John Brown (20.8 yards per reception), but this looks like an ugly defensive battle in which neither team will generate much offense. Taking the home underdog seems like a good bet.
Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) at New England Patriots
Perhaps I am a sucker for the half-point hook, but it's enticing to get three-and-a-half points off the bat for the Chiefs' potentially all-time great offense.
Yes, K.C. is on the road and will be playing in a tough environment against a 3-2 Patriots team that has turned the corner and outscored its last two opponents 76-31. However, how can the New England defense, which just allowed 24 points to a Colts team missing arguably its two best skill-position players (wideout T.Y. Hilton and tight end Jack Doyle), stop the Chiefs?
The answer is it probably can't. And if the Chiefs defense plays anything like how it did Sunday, when it forced the Jaguars into five turnovers en route to a 30-14 victory, then Kansas City could easily win outright.
As is, the Chiefs cover the spread even if they lose by a field goal, so take the points.
Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins: CHI -1.5 to -3.5 and 44.5 O/U to 41.5 O/U
Sharp bettors seem to have no faith in the Dolphins, or perhaps this line movement is an indicator of confidence in edge-rusher Khalil Mack and a phenomenal Bears defense that has allowed the second-fewest points per game.
Or maybe it's both. The Dolphins are reeling after losing two straight contests. They fell 38-7 to the Patriots before blowing a 17-0 lead to the Bengals in a 27-17 defeat. The offense hasn't gained more than 300 yards in three of five contests.
Meanwhile, the Bears are coming off a dominant 48-10 win over the Buccaneers in which everything seemed to click and their bye week. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who had thrown for two touchdowns over his first three games, tossed six in that one.
We'll see if that performance is a future sign for better offensive play (Chicago only scored 49 points on offense through three weeks). That's too hard to judge right now, but the Bears giving two extra points on the road despite playing a 3-2 team is noteworthy.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys: JAX -1.5 to -3 and 41.5 O/U to 40.5 O/U
The Jaguars have been bet hard against the Cowboys despite their rough 30-14 loss to the Chiefs last Sunday.
Then again, the Dallas offense has been dormant for most of the season. No pass-catcher is averaging 40 or more yards per game, and the team has scored more than 20 points just once.
The defense has performed admirably thanks to a strong front seven led by edge-rusher Demarcus Lawrence (5.5 sacks), but Dallas is still without linebacker Sean Lee as he battles a hamstring injury. The secondary has also gotten beat for big gains recently. Of note, Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins and Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate had 151 and 132 yards, respectively, over the last two weeks.
This line movement makes sense and could foreshadow a strong road win for the Jags, whose defense (third-fewest points allowed per game) should take control.
Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos: Over 51.5 Points
The Rams offense has been unstoppable, as the team hasn't scored fewer than 33 points in a game.
Meanwhile, the Broncos defense has disappointed and just allowed 323 rushing yards and 34 points to a Jets team that had scored only 41 points combined in its last three games.
The Rams should have no problems putting up points on Denver, especially considering that Cooks and Kupp may be active Sunday after both left Week 5's game with the Seahawks because of concussions. Each practiced in limited fashion Thursday.
However, the Broncos offense could get something going thanks to its potent rushing attack. Rookies Phillip Lindsay (5.8 yards per carry) and Royce Freeman (5.1) have been excellent, and they face a Rams team allowing the fourth-most rushing yards per carry (5.0).
The Broncos would do well to take a page out of the Seahawks' playbook in their close 33-31 loss last Sunday and run well over 50 percent of the time. Also, the Rams aren't getting to the passer this year (just two sacks per game), which could help quarterback Case Keenum get comfortable in the pocket.
This has the makings of a shootout, and the guess is this develops into a high-scoring Rams win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons: Over 57.5 Points
Which defense will be able to put up stops?
The Buccaneers just allowed 48 points to the Bears, who had been largely dormant on offense prior to Week 4.
The Falcons haven't allowed fewer than 37 points in the past three weeks. Safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal are out for the season with injuries, and linebacker Deion Jones is on injured reserve. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who missed last Sunday's game with the Steelers, is out for Week 6.
The Falcons offense will be without running back Devonta Freeman. However, the team still has superstar receiver Julio Jones in an impossible matchup for the Bucs, and wideouts Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu and running back Tevin Coleman will present problems as well.
Tampa Bay hasn't been able to run the ball (league-worst 3.1 yards per carry), but a strong wideout trio (Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin) might be overwhelming for the short-handed Atlanta defense.
Indianapolis Colts (+105) at New York Jets
The Colts have suffered a tremendous amount of injuries through five weeks, but they may get back some key players for Sunday. Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star listed a group of players he believed would be good to go, including linebacker Darius Leonard, left tackle Anthony Castonzo and center Ryan Kelly.
Keefer noted that wideout T.Y. Hilton, tight end Jack Doyle and breakout defensive lineman Margus Hunt would likely sit out, but for the most part, the team is trending in the right direction health-wise.
The 1-4 Colts haven't lost a game by more than two scores and nearly picked off the Texans and Eagles, losing by a combined seven points to those squads. They don't go down without a fight.
Their opponent Sunday has been feast-or-famine all year. The Jets crushed the Lions and Broncos by a combined 82 points but scored just 41 points in their three losses.
It's hard to guess how New York will fare Sunday given the team's inconsistent performance, but with the Colts getting nice value on the money line ($100 nets $105), they're worth taking a shot on, especially considering that numerous players (e.g., tight end Eric Ebron, running back Nyheim Hines and wideout Chester Rogers) have filled in admirably in Hilton's and Doyle's places.
Buffalo Bills (+375) at Houston Texans
The Bills allowed 75 points through their first six halves of play. Since then, the team has given up just 40 points in three-and-a-half games.
The defense has been sensational. Of note, rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has been as good as advertised and leads the team with 38 tackles, five passes defended and two forced fumbles. Ball-hawking linebacker Matt Milano has recovered three fumbles and picked off a pass.
Buffalo is now facing a Texans offense that has failed to get much going. Houston struggled against the Sean Lee-less Cowboys en route to a sluggish 19-16 overtime win in Week 5. The offensive line is having trouble protecting quarterback Deshaun Watson and has played a part in allowing 18 sacks (tied for fourth-worst in the NFL).
The Bills offense has been dormant and must find a way to stop edge-rusher J.J. Watt, who is enjoying a phenomenal year (six sacks, four forced fumbles).
However, if Buffalo does well on the ground thanks to running back LeSean McCoy and rookie quarterback Josh Allen, the team can perhaps find some offensive success. It may not need much if the defense continues its excellent form.
This could be another ugly game that the Bills win despite failing to eclipse 20 points, much like last Sunday's 13-12 victory over another AFC South team (the Titans). The value ($100 bet nets $375) is hard to ignore and could be worth a shot.
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings (-460)
The Cardinals look improved under rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, as the offense has scored 38 points in the last two weeks. An average of 19 points per game doesn't seem like much, but it's a step in the right direction after Arizona put up just 20 points through its first three weeks.
Furthermore, running back David Johnson is getting more touches of late, with 45 in his last two games. That's a good sign moving forward, as the Cardinals superstar didn't have more than 16 in a game in any of the first three weeks.
Also, the defense is getting better. It allowed just 18 points on the road against the 49ers last Sunday (and had a touchdown) following a respectable 20-17 loss to the Seahawks the week before.
Could Arizona pull off the upset against Minnesota? It's unlikely. But the Vikings have been inconsistent all year—the low being a 27-6 home loss to the Buffalo Bills and the high being a 23-21 win at the defending champion Eagles. A Cardinals upset doesn't seem implausible.
Given that bettors need to pay $460 for the opportunity to win $100, avoid the Vikings money line.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-410)
The Packers have just one victory in their past four games and needed a miracle from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to win in Week 1 against the Bears.
Green Bay always seems to overcome regular-season struggles to make the playoffs, but right now, the team's outlook is a bit bleak.
The run defense has not fared well, ranking 27th in efficiency, per Football Outsiders. Kicker Mason Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point last Sunday. The offense has been hit-or-miss, with the high being a strong performance against the Vikings (29 points) and the low a rough 31-17 loss to Washington.
The good news is the Packers offense looks like it may get back some reinforcements. Wideouts Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb, who each missed Sunday's 31-23 loss at the Lions, practiced on a limited basis Friday.
However, bettors only get $100 off a $410 wager if they back Green Bay to win Sunday against the 49ers, who have suffered numerous serious injuries and are off to a 1-4 start.
However, San Francisco fights hard and hasn't lost by more than 11 points (an average of 7.75 points per contest).
A win seems unlikely against Rodgers in Lambeau Field, but the Packers have been so inconsistent that it's hard to trust them in this spot.
Lock of the Week: Carolina Panthers (-1) over Washington Redskins
The Panthers return linebacker Thomas Davis to the mix Sunday after the veteran served a four-game suspension. The 35-year-old is about to embark on the last year of his career, but he was effective last season thanks to 76 tackles. He should provide a boost.
Carolina may also get back another key contributor in tight end Greg Olsen, who has missed nearly all of this season with a broken foot. Olsen, who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in each of his past three full years, is questionable for Sunday but practiced in full Thursday and Friday. Head coach Ron Rivera said Olsen would be listed as "probable" if that injury label were still active.
Both players are huge boosts to a team that has started 3-1 and given the 4-1 Bengals their only loss.
Meanwhile, their Week 6 opponent is reeling after losing 43-19 to the New Orleans Saints on Monday. The 'Skins looked completely overwhelmed against the Saints. They started well with wins in two of their first three games, but it's hard to back them after the rough loss.
In addition, Carolina gave more opportunities to young wide receivers DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel in Sunday's victory over the Giants, and those two can add a new dimension to the offense. Moore, 21, had four catches for 49 yards, while the 22-year-old Samuel had a 25-yard catch-and-run for a score.
That duo combined with Olsen, quarterback Cam Newton and running back Christian McCaffrey will be hard for teams to stop. Look for them to overwhelm the Washington defense en route to a strong win.