We’re reached the sixth week of the NFL season and as we make our way through the month of October, we continue with our weekly previews of every game based on odds from a wide range of online sportsbooks. Most sites offer a huge range of options for every contest on the schedule, but we’re sticking to moneylines, spreads, and totals to make our Week 6 NFL predictions.
Week 6 NFL Betting Lines
NFL Week 6 matchups and predictions
Thursday, Oct. 14 (8:20 P.M. ET)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles ()
Just when some people thought the Bucs would slip up, Tampa Bay completely destroys in-state rival Miami and covers as double-digit favorites. As it turns out, the Dolphins and a backup quarterback weren’t able to take advantage of the Bucs’ depth issues in the defensive backfield. But on Thursday night against Philadelphia, it could be a different story.
Tampa Bay is traveling on a short week with a banged-up secondary against a dynamic quarterback in Jalen Hurts. All of the same question marks that people had about the Bucs going into Week 5 are the same, just against a better opponent. The Eagles are top-10 yards per play team with the kind of offense that matches up well against Tampa’s penchant for blitzing. If Philly can run the ball with even a modicum of success, it has a chance to win this game outright.
Tom Brady and the Bucs are a top-five DVOA offense and excel in the passing game. The Eagles are the lowest-blitzing team in the NFL but are also bottom-third in pressure rate, which doesn’t bode well. But it did just hold the Panthers’ offense to 5-for-15 on third down and 158 passing yards in Week 5.
At a touchdown or more, we’re hoping the Eagles can keep this relatively close in what could be another high-scoring prime-time game.
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles +7 (-110 or better), Over 52 (-110)
Sunday, Oct. 17 (9:30 A.M. ET)
Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars ()
After giving the good people of London the Jets and the Falcons, the NFL is giving them the Dolphins and the Jaguars this week. Glad to see we are really sending our best over there to showcase the game. In any event, the Jags (more specifically Urban Meyer) are happy to leave the continent for a little while.
The story of this week is Miami getting Tua Tagovailoa back to captain an offense that ranks 31st in yards per play. It should also help if DeVante Parker returns. If both can indeed play, the Dolphins at a field goal or less our pick across the pond.
This pick comes down to game planning and we simply trust Brian Flores more than Meyer. The Bengals committed to throwing and Joe Burrow went for about 350 yards. The Titans committed to the run and put up 184 yards on the ground. Miami’s offense may not be as strong as either of those examples, but the Jags’ defense is still 31st in total DVOA and doesn’t do anything well enough to overcome its lack of talent or its head coach.
Pick: Miami Dolphins -3 or less (-110 or better), Over 47 (-110)
Sunday, Oct. 17 (1 p.m. ET)
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Football Team ()
Patrick Mahomes turned the ball over three times (four times for the team) as Kansas City was completely outclassed at home by Buffalo in Week 5. Given the Chiefs’ 2-3 record and its inability to cover games with any consistency, expect the public to start turning on this team a little bit. But for us, this is the time to strike.
Washington’s defense is proving not to be the powerhouse we thought it was, and Kansas City’s offense is exactly what everyone expected. There’s no doubt that the WFT can put its own points on the board against a leaky Chiefs defense, but seeing Atlanta score 30 and the Giants score 29 has us thinking Kansas City is getting four touchdowns in this game. Taylor Heinicke may not be able to keep such a pace and the result is the Chiefs covering for a second straight time on the road.
Even after what we saw on Sunday night against Buffalo, the Chiefs probably have the best passing offense in football with Mahomes and his stable of weapons. This group ranks second in early down success rate and first in third-down conversion percentage, so there really is no weakness. Kansas City’s turnover woes will start to even out and this team will remain virtually unstoppable on offense.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 (-110 or better), Over 53.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants ()
On paper, this game is a mismatch. The Rams are the top-ranked offense in the NFL in yards per play and rank third in total DVOA while scoring over 28 points per content. The Giants’ defense is 24th in yards per play, struggles in key areas such as third down, and recently lost LB Blake Martinez. That doesn’t even factor in the Rams’ defense against the Big Blue offense.
New York lost starting QB Daniel Jones (concussion), RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), and WR Kenny Golladay (knee) in Week 5, which isn’t great timing to face the Rams. Even if Jones is able to suit up rather than Mike Glennon, New York can’t run the ball. When it does get down the field, it struggles in the red zone. Los Angeles’ defense hasn’t been the ’85 Bears or anything, but this is a bad matchup for Big Blue. It just depends on how many points you want to lay with the road team. We lean under first, and also with Los Angeles.
Pick: Under 47.5 (-110), Los Angeles Rams -7 (buy up to -125),
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts ()
The Houston Texans came into Week 5 with a creative game plan and completely surprised the New England Patriots on offense. It didn’t result in a win but Houston easily covered the number, and are getting a ton of points in Week 6 once again.
The Colts are a much better team than the record shows and sooner than later, the results will bear that out. Indy dominated for three quarters on the road against an elite opponent, and it returns home desperately needing a victory to start the climb out of the hole that has been dug.
The Texans’ defense is decent against the pass but with its superior offensive line, Indianapolis will stuff the ball down Houston’s throat with Jonathan Taylor. Houston ranks 3oth in rush defense DVOA and Indy will move the ball down the field. We’re willing to bet the Colts’ struggles on third down and in the red zone start to level out, and we see a big win at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Picks: Indianapolis Colts -10 (-110), Over 42.5 (-110 or better)
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions ()
In Week 5, the Lions once again hung in a football game while it looks as though Detroit was ready to be blown out at any moment. The result was momentarily grabbing the lead in the final minute before giving up a field goal as time expired. Detroit backers wound up easily covering the number and may want to go back to this team in Week 6 as a home underdog.
On paper, the data shows Cincinnati as miles ahead of Detroit, particularly when Jared Goff is out there. The Bengals’ defense is 7th in total DVOA and 11th in yards per play. Detroit’s offense is 25th and 11th in those categories, respectively, and hasn’t scored more than 17 points in its past four games. And it’s just as ugly looking at the Cincinnati offense against the Lions’ defense.
When you’re picking every game, it’s hard to rely on data for all of them, and this is one game where we’re letting the eye test help with the picking. The Bengals’ offense starring Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase is a dangerous one that we could see carving up a bad Lions defense. But Cincinnati, based on its schedule, feels a bit like a paper tiger and Detroit manages to keep most games close whether they should or not.
Pick: Detroit Lions +4 (-110 or better), Over 46.5 or less (-110)
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears ()
After losing in embarrassing fashion to begin the season, the Packers have reeled off four straight wins going into a matchup with division rival Chicago in Week 6. Green Bay escaped Cincinnati by the skin of its teeth in overtime (after what felt like a hundred Mason Crosby missed kicks), but it’s the type of game that the good teams just manage to somehow win.
This is kind of a dead number at 4.5 but the lean is toward the Packers winning by a touchdown. The Bears’ defense has played well in spots but some of the underlying numbers suggest this isn’t an elite defense. Chicago has nobody who can contain Davante Adams (PFF’s top-ranked receiver) and once they sell out to stop him, Rodgers will find the rest of the supporting cast.
This Green Bay defense is susceptible due to some key injuries but it limited the Bengals when it mattered and even notched three sacks in Week 5. These teams tend to play grinding, low-scoring games compared to what Green Bay contests are capable of, so we’re sticking with something like a 24-17 win for the Packers.
Picks: Green Bay Packers -4.5 (-110 or better), Under 45 (-110 or better)
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens ()
Los Angeles is fresh off an exciting win over Cleveland and gets another big-time AFC North opponent in Week 6. The Chargers are in first place, just scored 47 points on Sunday, and are coming off an extra day of rest. You know what that means? The public is going to be all over this team, and Los Angeles may be a square pick this week.
The Ravens were three-point favorites on the lookahead line and after Sunday’s games (before Baltimore even played on Monday), the line shifted to -3.5. That’s after the Chargers put up 493 total yards and 47 points on Cleveland. To us, that’s fishy.
The answer to the ‘why’ here is like Los Angeles’ leaky run defense, which allowed 230 yards to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Chargers were able to score virtually every time down the field so it didn’t matter in the end, but on the road in Baltimore could be a different story.
It feels like nearly everyone the Chargers and the free field goal. Based on results so far this season, it makes perfect sense. But if we know one thing about the NFL, it’s that it rarely makes sense.
Pick: Baltimore Ravens -2.5 (-115 or better), Over 49.5 (-110)
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers ()
The Vikings’ 2-3 record is a bit misleading considering it needed a fumble in overtime to lose in Week 1 and a missed chip-shot field goal to lose in Week 2. I am by no means saying that this team is elite, or even good, but they could still very well be 4-1 all the same.
This Minnesota offense is still high-octane and the Panthers struggled mightily with Dallas, so it could be shades of that here. Carolina does have a strong defensive front and ranks second in yards per play allowed, but the schedule has been relatively weak and we’re not letting the past two weeks sour us on the Vikings’ offense.
It looks like Christian McCaffrey will be back, which is excellent news for the Panthers and Sam Darnold. That said, this has shifted greatly since the time we originally wrote this post and the Vikes have gone from underdogs to one-point favorites. We went with the Vikings originally, and the line move only makes us more confident
Pick: Minnesota Vikings +1.5 (-110 or better), Over 46 (-110 or better)
Sunday, Oct. 17 (4:05 p.m. ET)
Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns ()
Two Heisman Trophy-winning former Oklahoma Sooner quarterbacks will be going head to head when Kyler Murray and the Cardinals visit Baker Mayfield and the Browns. The last undefeated team in football is catching points, and we’re taking the oddsmakers’ hint and looking to play Cleveland.
The Cardinals’ offense is one of the best in football so far, scoring 30 points on a consistent basis and notching huge wins over Tennessee and the Rams early in the season. The defense has also exceeded expectations, ranking fourth in overall DVOA. Expect the public to be all over Arizona and the points, similar to the Chargers.
Despite the loss last week, the Browns reinforced the fact that it has a great offensive line and can run the ball at will with Kareem Hunt, even if Nick Chubb is out. It also has to run the ball effectively to make the offense work with Baker Mayfield. Arizona ranks 28th in rushing yards allowed per game and that is where Cleveland will do its damage to lengthen drives and score points.
The Cardinals’ dynamic offense presents a huge challenge, but the Browns have faced several of the best offenses in the NFL already and still rank in the top 10 against the pass and rush, according to Pro Football Focus.
Pick: Cleveland Browns -2.5 (-105, buy to -115), Under 53.5 (-110)
Sunday, Oct. 17 (4:25 p.m. ET)
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos ()
The Raiders’ 3-0 start may as well be ancient history after scoring single-digits against the Bears at home and Jon Gruden resigning immediately after the release of some old communications he made while an employee of ESPN. The former coach said he didn’t want to be a distraction, but the fact of the matter remains that it’s a massive elephant in the room.
In terms of undefeated starts perishing quickly, the same can be said for the Broncos, which also won its first three before losing two straight games. In Week 6, we are picking the side best equipped to rebound from recent adversity, and that’s not Las Vegas.
The Raiders’ offense, though talented, is hugely flawed. It can’t run the ball, it has little success on early downs, and it’s not good in the red zone. Las Vegas passes the ball as often as anyone, mostly out of necessity, and they’ll do it again in Week 6. But being one-dimensional against Denver’s defense is a recipe for disaster and we can’t see Las Vegas getting to 20 points.
Assuming Teddy Bridgewater is healthy, this matchup is an easier one for a struggling Broncos offense. We think somewhere between 17 and 20 points can win this game so after winding up at 19 in Pittsburgh, we feel Denver’s offense can do enough.
Pick: Denver Broncos -3 (-110 or better), Under 44.5 (-110)
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots ()
Most people are now coming to the realization in their head that the Cowboys are actually a very good football team and aren’t just fooling us over the first month. We can’t blame anyone for their caution when it comes to Dallas, but it’s now quite obvious that a healthy Cowboys team is one of the very best in football.
The Cowboys are nothing short of a juggernaut on offense. Dallas ranks second in rushing yards per game with its two-headed monster in Elliott and Pollard behind one of football’s best offensive lines. Dak Prescott’s offense is second in yards per play and puts up the second-most points of any team in the league.
You can’t help but feel like Davis Mills and the Texans’ offense exposed the Patriots just a little bit on defense. Yes, there was some trickery and digging into the back of the playbook for some of those big-gainers, but it looked like Houston was just a little more prepared than New England was. Or the Patriots took them lightly. Or both. In the end, New England found a way to win, but Week 6 could be a different result.
The Patriots will look to stop the run but that can only happen to some degree. Belichick likely will have to step out of his comfort zone and blitz a bit more, which just leads to Prescott finding one of his many weapons.
Pick: Cowboys -3.5 (-110 or better), Over 48.5 (-110)
Sunday, Oct. 17 (8:20 p.m. ET)
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers ()
Between the Steelers’ strong performance in Week 5, the injury to Russell Wilson, and the fact that Seattle is traveling across the country, Pittsburgh is going to be a wildly popular bet in Week 6. Especially as Sunday rolls on and bettors decide to get some action on the night game. While neither side makes us particularly comfortable, we’re still rolling with the Seahawks on the road despite all that occurred last Thursday night.
Russell Wilson will miss several weeks after having surgery on his finger, which means Geno Smith will take the snaps for Seattle. The Seahawks could also be without starting RB Chris Carson (neck). The Steelers are also dealing with injured stars including the possibility of JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) being done for the season. But due to depth at the position, Pittsburgh is equipped to deal with the loss.
This week more than most, the extra three days of preparation for a solid Steelers defense is incredibly important, and we’d actually roll with the backup to keep things close because of that extra time to get ready. Smith showed flashes last week and I’d imagine we see parts of the Seahawks’ playbook that we haven’t seen much of. Against such a stout defense, that’s probably the Seahawks’ only chance.
We aren’t falling for the Steelers just yet. This matchup suits them but with five or more points, we can’t back an offensive line and a passing game that looks like Pittsburgh’s has for most of this early season.
Pick: Seattle Seahawks +5 (-110 or better), Under 43 (-110)
Monday, Oct. 18 (8:15 p.m. ET)
Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans ()
We usually look for reasons to take home favorites around here, but that’s not going to be the case on Monday night. Buffalo once again proved its might with a dominant 38-20 win at Kansas City in Week 5 and while this number is still hovering somewhere close to a field goal, you need to jump on it before things get out of hand.
The Chiefs have what could be the worst defense in football but fortunately for Buffalo, Tennessee is another completely fraudulent defense. The Bills should have no problem scoring 30 points once again, which means the Titans will be forced to catch up. Even if Julio Jones returns in Week 6, Buffalo’s defense ranks first in opponent yards per play, and its defense actually ranked first in total DVOA before limiting Kansas City to 20 points.