Week 6 was a wild one for NFL fans.
Adrian Peterson turned the clock back, the New York Jets got caught on the wrong end of the season’s most controversial ruling, Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, and it was all capped off by another Monday night miracle for gamblers.
Parity is now king in the NFL — in a world where the Dolphins can come back from a 17-0 deficit to beat the Falcons in Atlanta and the winless Giants can go into Mile High Stadium and take down the Broncos, anybody can truly beat anybody.
This means the “sure bets” for gamblers are few and far between. But if you look for trends you trust and bet accordingly, you can still make it through Sunday with your wallet intact.
After going 7-7 last week, our season record stands at 50-40-1 against the spread so far, a tidily profitable number. On to the Week 7 games, where we will attempt to improve on this already winning year.
All lines are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Oakland Raiders (Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Raiders +3
The logic: The Raiders are desperate for a win, at home, and underdogs in this spot. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are getting over 70% of the bets on this game according to SportsInsights. Weird things happen on short weeks — maybe Derek Carr finally starts showing the skill that carried the Raiders to so many late victories last season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NO LINE) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Buccaneers
The logic: Ryan Fitzpatrick revenge game! Or at least, possibly — there’s no line on this game right now because Jameis Winston still might play on Sunday and if he does, Tampa will also be in good hands. But if he can’t go and Fitzpatrick gets the start, be ready for him to pour some the points on his former team. There’s no fuel for football like a desire to destroy those that have wronged you in the past.
Carolina Panthers (-3) at Chicago Bears (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Bears +3
The logic: Two things I believe in: home underdogs, and Mitch Trubisky. This game features both!
Tennessee Titans (-6) at Cleveland Browns
The pick: Browns +6
The logic: Okay, this is it, I am drawing a line in the sand — if they don’t cover here, this is the last week I back the Browns. Even though they always look like the sharp side of the bet, the Browns haven’t been able to buy a cover this season, save for their first game of the season when they stifled the Steelers and tricked me into believing in them. This is your last chance Hue Jackson. Getting six points at home against what looks like a middling Titans team, you should step up and steal this win. At the very least, don’t put in Kevin Hogan again.
New Orleans Saints (-4) at Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Saints -4
The logic: The Saints’ offense is showing up again and the Packers just lost their entire offense in Aaron Rodgers. I don’t like taking road favorites often, but the Packers weren’t playing like world-beaters before Rodgers went down, and it’s just hard to imagine Brett Hundley stepping up in his stead.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) at Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Colts +3.5
The logic: This is another extremely one-sided game, with 70% of bettors taking the Jaguars. When the gambling world zigs, we zag.
Arizona Cardinals (+3.5) at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Rams -3.5
The logic: Adrian Peterson may have looked solid in his debut with the Cardinals last weekend, but the Rams are a better team and looking to keep their hold of sole possession of first place in the NFC West. No time for slip-ups against inferior opponents at home.
New York Jets (+3) at Miami Dolphins (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Jets +3
The logic: Somehow the Dolphins came back from down 17-0 to the Falcons to win 20-17 in Atlanta. I just don’t see it happening twice, and would much rather put money on Josh McCown than Jay Cutler.
Baltimore Ravens (+5.5) at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Vikings -5.5
The logic: At home and with a chance to pull away from the pack in the NFC North after Aaron Rodgers’ injury, expect the Vikings to pull out all stops to secure their win on Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys (-6) at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
The pick: Niners +6
The logic: Last week the Niners became the first team in NFL history to lose five consecutive games by three points or less. If they can do it again this week, it’ll be good enough to cover.
Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) at New York Giants (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Seahawks -4.5
The logic: The Giants looked like a brand new team against the Broncos, playing inspired football for the first time I can remember this season. But they are still a team without offensive weapons and with a less-than-stellar looking Eli Manning playing under center. Look for the Seahawks defense to make the Giants look silly, and maybe even generate a score or two.
Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Bengals +5.5
The logic: After losing their first three games and looking lost on the field, the Bengals have won two straight games and have finally found some offense. Meanwhile, the Steelers are coming off a win against the toughest team in the league, and might be due for a let down. If A.J. Green can match Antonio Brown for a few big catches, Cincinnati can keep this one close enough to cover.
Denver Broncos (PK) at Los Angeles Chargers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Broncos PK
The logic: Since November 2011, the Broncos are 11-2 straight up against the Chargers. With this game at a pick’em, I’m going to trust the trend and do my best to sweep the memory of Denver’s embarrassing performance against the Giants last weekend under the rug and carry on thinking the Broncos are a team to beat in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons (+3) at New England Patriots (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The pick: Falcons +3
The logic: Purely for karma’s sake, this is the side to bet on in this game. Even if it ends up being the wrong side, you’ll be getting good juju back in return for not supporting the evil empire’s efforts to kick an opponent they already beat in the most dramatic fashion imaginable.
Washington Redskins (+5) at Philadelphia Eagles (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The pick: Eagles -5
The logic: The Eagles are the best team in the NFC and Carson Wentz is my quarterback. As a Birds fan, this season is something of a dream so far, and while my lifetime of Philadelphia fandom has taught me to temper expectations, there was no way I was picking the Redskins in this spot.
LAST WEEK: 7-7
Now check out our power rankings heading into another week of NFL action
NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where all 32 teams stand going into Week 7