With the 2019-20 NFL season underway, oddsmakers are constantly adjusting lines to account for the performance of players and teams in Weeks 1-5.
Injuries to star players such as Patrick Mahomes (ankle) and Davante Adams (toe) will play into the point spreads listed by US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook for Week 6 of the NFL season.
At PlayPicks, we feel confident with the information that we have to start making our picks against the spread.
In this weekly column, we will list three of our best bets against the spread with data to support our picks. Then, we will list the following games on the NFL slate in order of our confidence in analyzing the matchup. Keep in mind that lines can often shift due to weather or other unforeseen issues. Of course, injury news plays a huge role throughout the NFL season, and the status of specific players often bears monitoring until a couple of hours before kickoff.
NFL Week 6 Best Bets
Seattle Seahawks (-2) at Cleveland Browns
The Browns were absolutely steamrolled in San Francisco on Monday night and have a short week to turn around and face a hot Seahawks team that’s been off since last Thursday. Seattle is 15-9-1 this decade when playing with a rest advantage and Cleveland is a league-worst 4-16 with a rest disadvantage. Cleveland also owns the second-worst home record (5-11-1) ATS since 2017.
Russell Wilson is playing at an MVP level and the Browns could still be without starting CBs Damarious Randall and Greedy Williams due to their respective hamstring injuries. Cleveland ranks 23rd in DVOA rush defense and Seattle has developed a nice balance between its run-heavy tendencies and Wilson’s incredible playmaking ability. Note that the Seahawks lead the NFL in DVOA pass offense with the best red-zone efficiency in the league, averaging 5.76 points per red zone trip.
Dallas Cowboys (-7) at New York Jets
This line moved from 8.5 or 9 points on some books to 7 when it was announced that Sam Darnold would return from his five-week absence (including a bye) due to illness. That makes this is a prime spot to identify extra value and take the Cowboys in an obvious bounce-back spot.
While Darnold is certainly an upgrade over third-stringer Luke Falk, he’s bound to show some rust in a tough matchup. Dallas allows the ninth-fewest passing YPG (220.4) and ninth-fewest TDs per drive (.180) this season. The Cowboys impressive young corps of linebackers should be able to bottle up Le’Veon Bell, who is essentially the only reliable weapon for a Jets’ offense that averages the fewest YG (179.5) by far this season. The Jets are also 0-4-1 ATS over their last five when listed as home underdogs.
Defensively, the Jets are yielding 25.2 PPG and have coughed up 5 rushing TDs through four contests, as they’re allowing TDs on the second-highest percentage (.700) of opponent’s trips to the red zone. The Cowboys are hopeful that elite tackles Tyron Smith (ankle) and La’el Collins (knee) are able to return for this contest, but even a crew of backups should allow Ezekiel Elliot to get back on track and dominate time of possession.
San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) at Los Angeles Rams
This is a puzzling spread considering the 4-0 Niners should probably be favored to win what is essentially a neutral site divisional bout. There might even more Niners fans at L.A. Coliseum than Rams fans considering how the franchise only recently returned to the city.
Regardless of fan support, San Francisco ranks second in DVOA pass defense and has forced QBs into a 5:7 TD:INT ratio with a 62.8 passer rating through four games. San Francisco is yielding even fewers TDs per red zone trip (.200) than the mighty Patriots defense. Jared Goff and the Rams have piled up plenty of yardage through the air, but he’s rocking a 7:7 TD:INT ratio and ranks 23rd in QBR (44.3) per Football Outsiders.
The Niners offense is fourth in total YPG (427.2) and second in PPG (31.8), while the Rams defense has been shredded for 893 yards and 10 TDs over the past two weeks. Taking the Niners (+148 on DraftKings Sportsbook) on the Moneyline isn’t a bad proposition given their advantages in this matchup.
NFL Week 6 Picks Against The Spread
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) vs Houston Texans
This spread continues to shrink as recency bias forces more money onto the Texans. The Chiefs still have one of the best home field advantages in football and Houston has neither the personnel nor the coaching savvy to replicate Indy’s game plan and hold Pat Mahomes in check.
New Orleans Saints (+1) at Jacksonville Jaguars
As a side note, this game could easily exceed its low projected total of 44 points. Expect the Saints to find enough weaknesses in the Jags defense and pull out a road win, which has become less of an obstacle for this team in recent years.
Green Bay Packers (-4.5) vs Detroit Lions
The Packers are riding high after a road win at Dallas and fully capable of dominating in a Monday Night game at Lambeau Field. If Davante Adams (toe) is able to go, Detroit will be in trouble. But the Lions offense should struggle either way against the Packers surging defense.
Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5) at Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins got back on track against the weak Giants defense, but Eagles DC Jim Schwartz loves to dial up pressure and should be well aware of how Cousins struggles against the blitz. If Philly can contain Dalvin Cook on the ground, this could be an outright win for the Eagles (+148 on the moneyline).
Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona gets Patrick Peterson back from a suspension next week, leaving them quite vulnerable to a potential Julio Jones eruption. Atlanta is in a desperate situation and Dan Quinn is likely coaching for his job in this winnable road game.
Tampa Bay Bucs (+2.5) vs Carolina Panthers
London games bring an element of unpredictability that should make bettors wary. The Bucs did shut down Christian McCaffrey three weeks ago and CMC is reportedly dealing with back stiffness that could get worse with the intercontinental flight.
Miami Dolphins (+3.5) vs Washington Redskins
This is Miami’s best chance to earn a win this season and the Dolphins should at least push the Redskins to a close finish in a battle of winless teams. Miami is 3-1 since the start of last season when playing with a rest advantage.
Cincinnati Bengals (+11) at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens should have little trouble putting points on the board against a weak Bengals defense, but their struggling secondary will likely yield 15-20 points to Andy Dalton and his lackluster supporting cast, leading to a Bengals cover.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+6.5) at Los Angeles Chargers
Regardless of who starts at QB, the Steelers just find a way to compete. Their excellent pass rush should make life tough on Philip Rivers, while James Conner leads the ground attack against a Chargers team that’s yielding 119.8 rushing YPG. Expect a close game against a Chargers team that is just 2-7-1 ATS as home favorites since last season.
Tennessee Titans (+2) at Denver Broncos
Four missed field goals cost the Titans a chance of beating the Bills last week. Now they’ll face a Broncos team that’s in a let-down spot after rallying for a divisional road win. Tennessee’s defense should shut down Joe Flacco in the red zone to set up a victory.