With any luck, would-be NFL bettors started Week 6 off right by rolling with the favored Philadelphia Eagles on the road over the New York Giants.
The Thursday game only had a three-point spread, yet the Eagles predictably came away with a 34-13 decision.
But the rest of the week won't be as simple. Some lines have already swung dramatically, such as when we advised earlier this week to gobble up Carolina over favored Washington (Carolina is now favored). Even Cleveland is closing the spread gap heading into a tough weekend.
These are the updated lines, with some exploitable matchups highlighted below.
Week 6 NFL Odds
Arizona at Minnesota (-10.5) | O/U 43
Carolina (-1) at Washington | O/U n/a
Chicago (-3.5) at Miami | O/U 42.5
Indianapolis at N.Y. Jets (-2.5) | O/U 45
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-2.5) | O/U 53
Seattle (-3) at Oakland | O/U 48
Buffalo at Houston (-10) | O/U n/a
L.A. Chargers (-1) at Cleveland | O/U 44
Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-3) | O/U 57.5
L.A. Rams (-7) at Denver | O/U 52.5
Baltimore (-3) at Tennessee | O/U 41
Jacksonville (-3.5) at Dallas | O/U 40.5
Kansas City at New England (-3) | O/U 59
San Francisco at Green Bay (-9.5) | O/U 46.5
Chicago (-3.5) at Miami
It doesn't seem often a line gets easier and easier as a week progresses.
Yet here we are with the Chicago Bears going against the Miami Dolphins, the latter a team that suddenly has a question mark under center.
Ryan Tannehill, who started the season red-hot, is now having shoulder issues on his throwing arm:
Tannehill has had a noticeable lack in velocity lately, which could partially explain his going from a guy who threw seven touchdowns against two interceptions over the first three games of the season to just one score and three picks over his last two. Those last two were also losses in 38-7 and 27-17 fashion against the stiffest competition to date.
And while a prediction shouldn't center only on one player, it is quite clear Miami's entire roster is hurting. And Khalil Mack is one of the lone exceptions to that rule anyway.
Mack has five sacks, an interception and four forced fumbles for the 3-1 Bears, which has helped to mask some growing pains for Mitchell Trubisky under center (take out a six-touchdown performance against the laughable Buccaneers and he has two scores and three picks).
Coming out of a bye week and either facing a backup quarterback or a starter with an injured roster around him and a questionable shoulder, the Bears shouldn't have any problems pulling ahead and sitting on the lead while Mack goes to work in an ideal environment.
Prediction: Bears 28, Dolphins 10
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-2.5)
After last year's flag-filled fiasco, it's no wonder the NFL didn't put the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals on prime time.
Still, it's a worthy game. The Steelers enter as the underdog at 2-2-1 looking up to the 4-1 Bengals in the AFC North standings. But the visitors are predictably rounding into form at the best possible time for a game against an opponent firing on all cylinders.
Those Steelers picked up a dominant-looking 41-17 win over Atlanta, though looks can be slightly deceiving because those Falcons are 1-4 after suffering a slew of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. Still, Pittsburgh's defense holding Matt Ryan's offense to less than 20 points has to be considered a good sign after a miserable start to the year.
Pittsburgh will need every bit of help it can get against a Bengals offense that looks like it is finally living up to its immense potential, which is no better exemplified than the team as a whole rattling off 27 unanswered second-half points to beat Miami in Week 5:
Andy Dalton has thrown 12 touchdowns against seven interceptions, many of the latter off tipped passes. Two of his targets have 26 or more catches and seven players have at least 10 targets. Out of the backfield, Joe Mixon has had his predicted breakout year so far with 272 yards on a 4.5 per-carry average despite battling a knee issue.
Unlike the Steelers, who have tied Cleveland and been blown out twice, including against Baltimore, the Bengals have won from behind in three games, won on primetime against Baltimore and only lost while down two starting linebackers, a running back and missing A.J. Green for a half on the road in Carolina.
On paper, Cincinnati is the better team and at home, which is what bettors should roll with even while knowing an unpredictable element usually pops up between these two.
Prediction: Bengals 27, Steelers 20
L.A. Rams (-7) at Denver
There's no reason to stop believing in the Los Angeles Rams right now.
The only thing that could have thrown this one for a loop was injuries, but the Rams appear to be all clear on that front:
And really, it's the Broncos that have the burden of proof at this point. They have lost three in a row after starting the year with two wins against easy opponents by only a combined four points. Since, they've been torched 27-14, 27-23 and 34-16, the last at the hands of the rookie-led New York Jets while Sam Darnold casually tossed three touchdowns.
The once-vaunted Denver defense is allowing 26.2 points per game (22nd) and 139.6 rushing yards (30th), though it doesn't help the offense consistently puts it in poor positions. The gamble on Case Keenum has been a robust failure, as he's sitting on more picks than touchdowns.
The narrative has been the complete opposite out in Los Angeles. Jared Goff continues to show last year wasn't a fluke—if anything based on some of the throws he's making, it was only the beginning. He's completing 72.3 percent of his passes with 1,727 yards and 12 touchdowns against four interceptions.
Behind him, Todd Gurley is once again a force and to date has 415 yards and seven scores, with another two scores as a receiver on 19 catches.
Gurley alone should be able to carry this game on the road for the Rams, though keep in mind his top-10 scoring defense (19.6 points allowed) gets to feast on a Keenum-led attack that can't seem to find its footing.
Prediction: Rams 23, Broncos 10
Odds via OddsShark