October 12, 2023
For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 6 NFL picks. To note, the team logos 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 at Chiefs (-10.5): The Broncos have allowed 181 points already, which puts them on pace for 615 points allowed on the season. That would shatter the NFL record of 533 points allowed by the 1981 Colts.
They have also allowed 2253 yards, which puts them on pace for 7660 yards allowed on the season, which, again, would be the worst ever in NFL history, breaking the Saints' record of 7042 yards allowed in 2012.
A look at each of their first five games defensively this season:
|Broncos opponent||Points allowed||Yards allowed|
It's incredible how bad the Denver defense has been, given that they have faced the following quarterbacks:
Not exactly a murderer's row! In games not played against the Broncos, those teams have a combined record of 7-13.
Now they'll face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who haven't exactly looked great offensively this season, but this should be a "get right" game for K.C.
Ravens (-4) at Titans: This game will be played in London, with a 9:30 a.m. EST kickoff. Neither of these teams are all that impressive, in my opinion, and are overrated based on past achievements. In Week 7, I'm looking forward to picking against the Ravens after they win this game and get to a misleading 4-2.
Commanders at Falcons (-2.5): Of the two first-year starters at quarterback in this matchup, give me Sam Howell over Desmond Ridder all day.
Vikings (-2.5) at Bears: After an atrocious start to the season, the Bears have come to life a bit these past two weeks. I like their chances at home against the Justin Jefferson-less Vikings.
Seahawks at Bengals (-3): The Bengals' offense had a breakout performance Week 5, but it came against Jonathan Gannon so I'm not sure how trustworthy that should be. Joe Burrow is still gimpy and in my opinion the Bengals' offense is not yet fixed based off one good performance against a bad coach.
This isn't 2021 or 2022. The Seahawks have been the decidedly better team this season, and they have been very good on the road, beating the Lions Week 2, and dominating the Giants Week 4. They're also rested and should be healthier coming off their bye week. Oh, and, sure, I'll take 3 points.
49ers (-6.5) at Browns: In Week 5 the 49ers embarrassed the Cowboys' heralded defense. I'm curious to see what they can do against a Browns defense led by the best defensive player in the NFL, Myles Garrett. But ultimately, the 49ers are a juggernaut until they're not.
Panthers at Dolphins (-13.5): Next.
Colts at Jaguars (-4): Gardner Minshew has actually played pretty well in relief of Anthony Richardson this season. He is 57 of 83 (68.7%) for 553 yards (6.7 YPA), 2 TDs, and 0 INTs. He'll start for the Colts for a while with Richardson on IR.
I'm going to trust what I saw from Minshew throughout training camp and his regular season appearances with the Eagles last season. Give me the Jags.
Saints (-1.5) at Texans: The Texans are better. And they're home. And I get points? OK...
Patriots at Raiders (-3): Trivia: Who has the worst point differential in the AFC? ("Jeopardy!" music playing)... It's the Patriots. They're at -76, after losing 38-3 to the Cowboys Week 4 and 34-0 to the Saints Week 5.
The Raiders have also been sort of a train wreck in their own way this season, mainly because of coaching gaffes by Josh McDaniels. Still, they have more talent, I suppose, so I'll take them with no confidence whatsoever.
Lions (-3) at Buccaneers: This is an interesting early season matchup between a pair of division leaders in the NFC. The Bucs have been one of the surprise teams so far at 3-1, and they should be well-rested and healthy coming off their bye. BUT... the Lions have won three consecutive games by at least two scores. They might be really good. I'm going to ride them until they play a close game.
Cardinals at Rams (-7): Opposing quarterbacks are completing 72.0 percent of their passes against Jonathan Gannon's defense this season, which should surprise precisely zero Philadelphians. The Rams live in the short to intermediate areas of the field, which Gannon refuses to cover. Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua should feast underneath all day.
Eagles (-7) at Jets: With Aaron Rodgers out, the Jets' offense has struggled putting points on the board, and in my opinion the Eagles are a bad matchup for them. The strength of the offense is Breece Hall, who should be neutralized by the Eagles' No. 1 ranked rush defense. And if indeed the Eagles can slow down the run, their pass rush should be able to eat against an injury-compromised Jets offensive line that will be missing their best lineman in Alijah Vera-Tucker and their Week 1 starter at LT, Duane Brown. The Eagles' weakness defensively has been at slot corner, but the Jets don't have the receivers to exploit that.
On the other side of the ball, the Jets have a very good defense, but the Eagles' offense is beginning to look more and more like the 2022 version each week, and they should at least be able to outscore this unthreatening Jets offense.
Giants at Bills (-14): This is now the fourth (!) time in six weeks that the Giants will be playing in primetime this season. As we noted in the Hierarchy this week, here's how their first three primetime games went:
• Cowboys: L, 40-0
• At 49ers: L, 30-12
• Seahawks: L, 24-3
And here were their offensive numbers in those games:
And now they have to face a very good Bills team that is coming off a loss. The Giants are already overmatched as it is, but Daniel Jones has a neck injury, Andrew Thomas has a hamstring injury, and Darren Waller has a groin injury. To be determined which of those guys will/won't play, but it'll probably be another embarrassment in front of a national audience.
Who thought that putting this team in primetime this much was a good idea? I get that they're a big market team, but the schedule makers couldn't see that they probably weren't going to be good? Like, that had to be some delusional Giants fan who led the charge on that, right?
Cowboys (-2) at Chargers: I'll say this for the Cowboys — they do tend to bounce back from losses. Since 2021:
|Cowboys loss||The next week|
|Week 1, 2021, 31-29 L to TB||20-17 W over LAC|
|Week 9, 30-16 L to DEN||43-3 W over ATL|
|Week 11, 19-9 L to KC||36-33 (OT) L to LV|
|Week 12, 36-33 L to LV||27-17 W over NO|
|Week 17, 25-22 L to ARZ||51-26 W over PHI|
|Week 1, 2022, 19-7 L to TB||20-17 W over CIN|
|Week 6, 2022, 26-17 L to PHI||24-6 W over DET|
|Week 10, 2022, 31-28 (OT) L to GB||40-3 W over MIN|
|Week 15, 2022 40-34 L to JAX||40-34 W over PHI|
|Week 18, 2022 26-6 L to WAS||31-14 W over TB|
|Week 3, 2023, 28-16 L to AZ||38-3 W over NE|
Since 2021, they're 10-1 after losses, with a point differential of +191. I'll lay the 2 points against the poorly coached Chargers.
BYE: Packers, Steelers
• Last 9 years, ATS: 358-304-16 (0.540)
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