NFL Picks

NFL Best Bets: Week 6

Lamar Jackson

Last week was a push for my best bets, going 2-2 and bringing my season record to 9-6-1, 59.4%. That’s not where we want to be, but it’s still profitable. I was correct on the Chiefs and Jets, but missed on the Cowboys and Packers. One note on games I pick: if an injury keeps out a key player after this article is published, I would pivot to another game. The last two weeks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Aaron Jones were ruled out after I posted my picks, so keep an eye on the injury reports and make adjustments if you see that happening.

Betting Model

My betting model continues to perform well and had another profitable week. I track the model’s picks for every game against the spread, over/under, moneyline, and straight up. You can view all of the model’s picks for free on X. I post them Sunday mornings so it will have the latest injury news. Here’s the record through five weeks with one unit placed on each pick.

  • Straight Up: 52-20, 72.2%,
  • Spread: 44-30-3, 59.1%, ROI: 12.3%
  • Over/Under: 41-32-1, 56.1%, ROI: 4.5%
  • Moneyline: 41-36, 53.2%, ROI: -.5%

Week 6 Best Bets

After five weeks, away favorites have the best record against the spread, going 17-12-2, 58.6% Incidentally, if you’re betting the over/unders, the “unders” are winning at a 57% rate.  I have three models I use when making my picks; my simulation (betting) model, my power rankings model, and my “raw data” model. It’s not often when all agree on a pick, but when it does happen, I generally go with it. But not this week. With these three picks, all road favorites, there was no consensus. But I’m a firm believer that models are great for finding value in a bet, but you have to trust your eyes and gut when making picks and they don’t always line up with what the model is telling you.

Ravens -4 over Titans

The Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans are set for a showdown in London. Both teams are coming off tough losses last week. But the Ravens are the clear better team and have a distinct advantage on a neutral field. Offensively, Baltimore is averaging 40 more yards and 4 more points per game than the Titans. Defensively, the Ravens also have the advantage, with the league’s second-ranked defense.

Tennessee has had trouble scoring the last three weeks, ranking 25th in points per play and 29th in yards in the same time frame. Baltimore has the best red zone defense in the league, so I’m not optimistic Tennessee will get their offense on track this week. I have the Titans projected for the fewest yards this week.

The Ravens could have difficulty running on the Titans, so it will up to Lamar Jackson to extend drives through the air. They’ve been very good on third downs this year and that could be the difference in the game. If the Ravens can keep Tennessee off the field, they will win easily. I believe Baltimore will control time of possession and limit the Titans offensive snaps. There’s a very low total on this game, so points will be at a premium and I don’t think Tennessee is efficient enough to keep pace on the scoreboard. I’ll take the Ravens at -4.

Seahawks +2.5 at Bengals

Are the Bengals back? They sure were last week, but that was against the Cardinals. Can they put a repeat performance against an underrated Seattle team? I’m not so sure they can. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Cincinnati is definitely better than they have played this year, but I’m not ready to discount the Seahawks, either. I know Joe Burrow has played through an injury, which has definitely affected the Bengals offense, but I can’t just ignore the way they’ve played. Their offense is 31st in yards and they’re averaging 16.6 points per game. The lack of offensive production is hurting their defensive numbers, too. If Cincinnati can’t stay on the field against Seattle, a team that is loaded with offensive weapons, they will be in for a long day.

I think this line should be Even, or Bengals -1, at most. The Seahawks have played well, even on defense. They’ve certainly outperformed Cincinnati on both sides of the ball, so the lack of respect among oddsmakers is puzzling. I think we all believe the Bengals will turn it around and be a force in the playoffs again this year, but until they show it against a quality team, I’m hesitant to bet on it.

Cowboys -2.5 at Chargers

The Cowboys got spanked last week by the 49ers and now have to travel to the west coast to face the Chargers, who have won two in a row after a slow start. Dallas comes into this game at road favorite, which has performed very well this year, as I mentioned earlier. But I’m not picking the Cowboys based solely on that fact. The truth is, Dallas got beat by a better team last week. Now, the way they got beat was not good. I expected a close game and was surprised at the offensive playcalling from Mike McCarthy. San Francisco’s defense is stellar, so maybe he believed a conservative approach was the way to move the ball against them. In any case, the Cowboys have an opportunity to open up the offense against LA. The Chargers are giving up 400 yards per game, so if McCarthy doesn’t let the offense fly in this game, then he never will.

Kellen Moore was the OC for Dallas last year and gets his first chance to show them why they made a mistake letting him go. Los Angeles has a top five offense under Moore, but their defense is giving games away. Moore will have his work cut out going against his old team’s defense, but if the Chargers are to have any chance at beating the Cowboys, they will need to score a lot of points. That’s not likely to happen, though. Before last week’s loss to SF, Dallas was only giving up 10.3 points per game. I don’t think this game will be a shootout, but it needs to be if you’re LA. I’m expecting the Cowboys to get back on track and win this game handily.

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