October 12, 2016

Week 6 NFL picks

Eagles NFL
101216JoshNorman Kathy Willens/AP

(Fart Noise).

For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 6 NFL picks. To note, the helmets indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.

Broncos (-3.5) at Chargers: As the Chargers proved once again last week against the Raiders when they botched their field goal operation, they're losers.

49ers at Bills (-8): The Bills were sort of an embarrassment two weeks into the season, when they were 0-2. After scoring 31 points in a loss, they fired their offensive coordinator. Three weeks later, they're 3-2, and have looked impressive.

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The 49ers, meanwhile, are turning to Colin Kaepernick to pull them out of their Blaine Gabbert-led four-game losing streak, which won't go well, as Kaepernick is not a good quarterback either.

Gambling-wise, I wouldn't touch this game with a 10-foot pole, as you never know what kind of spark Kaepernick's mere presence on the field could generate with his teammates.

Eagles (-2.5) at Redskins: The Redskins have some injury issues.

• They will be without both starting safeties, DeAngelo Hall and David Bruton, who are both on injured reserve.  

• CB Bashaud Breeland, who has been out since Week 2 with a sprained ankle, could return this week, but may not be 100 percent even if he does.

• CB Josh Norman injured his wrist last Sunday against the Ravens, and called himself the 'one-hand bandit' after the game, because he could not use one of his hands. 

• LB/S hybrid Su'a Cravens missed last week with a concussion, and he is still in the concussion protocol, as of Tuesday evening.

So to recap, the Redskins' starting secondary has two banged-up corners, two missing safeties, and they could be missing their best cover linebacker. 

A week ago in Detroit, the Eagles faced a Lions team that was similarly devastated by injuries, but could not capitalize. They will not squander a similar opportunity for the second straight week. Eagles, 27-23.

Browns at Titans (-7): Over their next three games, the 2-3 Titans have the Browns, Colts and Jaguars, all at home. Wait until they build up a record that is not nearly as impressive as it looks, and then capitalize on favorable spreads the other way.

Ravens at Giants (-3): The Overrated Bowl.

Panthers (-3) at Saints: Anyone see the Panthers starting 1-4? Whoever loses this game is probably done from playoff contention. With Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart returning this week, the Panthers can finally get their stagnant offense going. 

Jaguars at Bears (-2.5): In their last 43 road games, the Jaguars are 6-37.

Rams at Lions (-3): The Lions had some weird things go their way a week ago. They can't count on that every week.

Steelers (-7.5) at Dolphins: The Dolphins are one Cody Parkey missed field goal away from being 0-5. The Cleveland Browns are viewed as the consensus worst team in the NFL. I'm not sure the Dolphins are that far off.

Bengals at Patri*ts (-8.5): Defletey McGee took out his (absolutely, 100% justified) suspension on the Browns on the road last week. This week, Defletey will come home and continue his "I'm mad because the NFL caught me cheating" tour in front of the hometown apologists. ;)

Bengals headsets are sure to fail.

Chiefs at Raiders (-1): Big Red built a reputation for coming out swinging after a bye during his tenure in Philadelphia. As the head coach in Kansas City, he is 2-1 after the bye, all three of which were road games. Last year, the Chiefs stomped the eventual Super Bowl Champion Broncos after their bye, 29-13. 

Andy's history after the bye:

 Andy Reid after byeOpponent Result 
 1999Rams W, 38-31 
 2000Bengals W, 16-7 
 2001At Giants W, 10-9 
 2002Buccaneers W, 20-10 
 2003At Bills W, 23-13 
 2004Panthers W, 30-8 
 2005Chargers W, 20-17 
 2006Redskins W, 27-3 
 2007At Jets W, 16-9 
 2008Falcons W, 27-14 
 2009Buccaneers W, 33-14 
 2010Colts W, 26-24 
 2011Cowboys W, 34-7 
 2012Falcons L, 17-30 
 2013At Broncos L, 17-27 
 2014 At ChargersW, 23-20 
 2015At Broncos W, 29-13 
 TOTAL 15 wins, 2 losses 

Just take the Chiefs.

Falcons at Seahawks (-6): Six points seems like a very high spread, although the Falcons have the difficult task of traveling to Denver last Saturday, then back to Atlanta, followed by another trip out to the Pacific Northwest in a short amount of time. I know what that kind of travel schedule can do to your week simply as a writer, much less an entire football team.

Cowboys at Packers (-4): If you're holding out hope that the Cowboys aren't legit, you can probably let go. They're winning without Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith. Heading into the season, one might identify those three guys as the Cowboys' three most important players. The Packers, meanwhile, are 3-1, but have not passed the eye test so far in terms of being an upper-echelon team.

Colts at Texans (-3): I'm not going to overthink this one. The Texans are 3-0 at home, while the Colts are 0-2 on the road.

Jets at Cardinals (-7.5): Of 31 quarterbacks with enough qualifying pass attempts, here is where Ryan Fitzpatrick compares with the rest of the NFL's signal callers:

Ryan Fitzpatrick Stat Rank 
 QB Rating64.7 Last 
 Completion percentage57.8% 30 
 Yards per attempt6.6 21 
 TD passesT-22 
 INT10 Last 

My conclusion: He's bad.

Byes: Vikings, Buccaneers. 

• Picks against the spread: Steelers (-7.5), Chiefs (+1), Cowboys (+4)

• 2016 season, straight up: 44-33 (.571)

• 2016 season, ATS: 14-10 (.583)

• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)

• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)

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