It's week six in the NFL and already we've got teams in desperation mode. In the NFC South, the preseason favorite Falcons have only two wins and have seen the Saints rip off four straight. They desperately need a win to stay alive in the division. In the NFC East, we all know the Eagles struggles at 1-4, but have we noticed that the Redskins are 3-1? They matchup this week in a game where if the Eagles win they can actually keep themselves in the hunt in a mediocre NFC East.
We've also got some huge lines this week, which are always rough to pick. The Pats, Steelers and even Ravens are all big favorites this week. While we expect them all to win... can they cover? Onto our week 6 NFL picks.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-4) - It's hard to trust Atlanta this year, but they'll be in a bit of a desperate mode this weekend. So that combined with being at home against an inferior opponent should be enough for Atlanta to win and cover. I'm taking them, but be aware that the similar games models favor the Panthers. Pick: Falcons
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-7) -This just looks like a mess of a game. Cincy is the better team, but the trends, the simulator and the historical games models all favor the Colts to cover. Pick: Colts
San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions (-4.5) - Who could have predicted this would be the premier matchup of the week? Problem is, the 49ers get way too much respect here. I don't buy them for a second and all the trends agree. The similar games models heavily favor the Lions here. Pick: Detroit
St Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers (-14.5) -These are always scary games when you get more than two TD lines. Of course the Packers will win, but do they take their foot off the gas at some point and let the Rams get a backdoor cover? Also, the trends are hard to trust with these games because they always favor the underdog with a big line like this. This could be a chance to get some value, but it's not a great game to bet. Pick: Rams
Buffalo Bills at New York Giants (-3) - I didn't really have a great feeling either way about this game, so I checked the trends and simulators and they all say to go for the Bills. Pick: Bills
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (-12.5) - All that stuff I said about the Rams v Packers game, pretty much applies here. Huge line where the trends favor the underdog, but I really like the Steelers here. I think they give Blaine Gabbert such a nightmare afternoon that they cover. Pick: Steelers
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+1) - For the second week in a row I have no answer for why the Eagles are road favorites against a team with a much better record. It seems that Vegas feels that the country just doesn't buy the Eagles as this bad or the Redskins as this good. My initial gut reaction was to take Washington, but the trends, similar games and simulators pretty much all favor Philly. Although they did last week as well... Pick: Eagles
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders (-5.5) - We want to trust the Raiders don't we? I'd love to see some consistency and have them rip off a few wins in a row here. I see a win and cover at home here. Pick: Raiders
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-9) - This is a line that seems to be trending up this week and for good reason. The Texans are now without both Andre Johnson and Mario Williams, while Baltimore is a home after their bye. That means the trends are all for the Ravens here. Pick: Ravens
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (-7) - Interesting game where the indicators are split. The similar games models all favor Dallas to cover. However, more than one simulator has the Pats covering. This could go either way, but I think Brady picks apart the Dallas secondary. Pick: Patriots
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4.5) - I'm actually surprised the line is this low. The Bucs are helped by being at home, but they looked awful last week in San Fran and they face a New Orleans team that is humming right now. Pick: Saints
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-3) - I love the Bears in this spot. They've had a rough schedule and played some really tough games on the road so far this year and things haven't gone great. They have to be dying to really lay into a team and the Vikings could be in for a long night. So while I'm taking the Bears to win and cover, I do want to warn that the similar games model actually favors the Vikes uniformly. Pick: Bears
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-7) - This is a desperation game for the Jets and they'll be at home on national TV facing Matt Moore at QB. If they can't win big here, they're done. Pick: Jets