Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season has a lot of intriguing games that could have some big implications down the line. The Dallas Cowboys are the only team from the NFC East that is favored to win and, if the favorites all win, Dallas could be three games up on everyone else in the division just six weeks in. Minnesota (2-3) is a road favorite at Carolina (3-2), which speaks to the oddsmakers view of both teams as playoff contenders.
Arizona is the last unbeaten team in the league, but is a 3.5 road underdog at Cleveland (3-2). The Kansas City Chiefs remain in sole possession of last place in the AFC West at 2-3 – matching their loss total for all of 2020 – but have a chance to change that as the 3-2 Raiders in the first game in the post-Jon Gruden era to the road to play 3-2 Denver with somebody having to drop. The week ends with a pair of clear-cut division, as Buffalo (4-1) travels to Tennessee (3-2) in hopes of avoiding another Music City Miracle.
As bye week season gets underway, here are the game bets we’re liking to take you to the pay window in Week 6.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-290) at Philadelphia Eagles (+225)
The Bucs are expected to roll over the Eagles, but veteran-laden teams tend to struggle on short weeks during the season. While I don’t anticipate the Eagles winning, I could see them making it a game by putting up 20 or more points along the way. The Over/Under is 52.5 points (Over -115, Under -105) is hittable if the game remains close or the Bucs get on a roll to make a statement before having a mini-bye week. Take the Over (-115).
Miami Dolphins (-180) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (+145)
I don’t care for either of these teams, so I wouldn’t advise betting on this one at all, because you never know what you’re going to get. The NFL is dealing in bad faith with London by giving them this game a week after the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets. Since Week 2, Miami is allowing 34.5 points a game. The Jags are allowing more than 30 points a game this season. The Over/Under is 46.5 points (Over -117, Under -103). I’m not a fan of either offense, but these defenses will struggle to keep the score under that number. Take the Over (-117).
Minnesota Vikings (-120) at Carolina Panthers (+100)
Minnesota is heading into its bye week following this one and, after sleepwalking against Detroit, they’re a shocking favorite by 1.5 points (Minnesota -110, Carolina -110). The Panthers have lost two straight after starting 3-0 and are struggling on offense. If Christian McCaffrey makes it back, it could tilt the line, but the Vikings defense and offense are both capable of winning a game. This has the looks to be one of those games. Take the Vikings and lay the 1.5 points (-110).
Los Angeles Rams (-500) at New York Giants (+360)
There is always the line of thinking that West Coast teams struggle playing in the early window of games on the East Coast because of the time change and internal body clocks. However, the Rams are rested after playing Thursday night, and the Giants saw just about their entire offense carted off the field last Sunday. The Rams are a prohibitive 9.5-point favorite (Rams -117, Giants -103), and it’s for a reason. The Rams should dominate both sides of the ball and, if they don’t shoot themselves in the foot, they should win by 17. Take the Rams and lay the 9.5 points.
Los Angeles Chargers (+125) at Baltimore Ravens (-155)
Both teams are coming off huge wins and are looking to make a statement that they’re legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The Chargers are coming off a Big 12-style win over Cleveland and Lamar Jackson led an improbable comeback to win in overtime on Monday night. The Over/Under on this one is 52.5 points (Over -110, Under -108). If we’ve learned anything about the 2021 Chargers, they aren’t afraid to air things out early and often, and no lead is safe against the Ravens. When you have one team passing almost every down, it tends to lead to points for both teams. Take the Over (-110).
Green Bay Packers (-210) at Chicago Bears (+170)
Since 2010, Aaron Rodgers has played the Bears 21 times. He has a record of 19-2 in those games. They call this a venerable rivalry, but, in the Rodgers era, it is more akin to the rivalry between a hammer and a nail. The Packers are 4.5-point favorites (Green Bay -105, Chicago -115). The fact the Bears have the stiffer number speaks to the potential for a letdown game for the Packers, who have won four straight. I’m not buying it. Take the Packers and lay the 4.5 points (-105).
Cincinnati Bengals (-190) at Detroit Lions (+155)
Two big factors come into play here in my opinion. I’ve been bullish on the Bengals since before the start of the season, and you could make a case that they should be 5-0 at this point. The Lions, on the other hand, have been snake-bitten all season – including two losses as time expired on field goals of 66 and 54 yards. At this point, I want everything to do with the Bengals and nothing to do with the Lions. The Bengals are favored by 3.5 points (Cincinnati -110, Detroit -110). I’ll take that every time this season with those two teams. Take the Bengals and lay the points.
Houston Texans (+370) at Indianapolis Colts (-520)
The Colts are 1-4, but it should be noted that their losses have been to the Seattle Seahawks, Rams, Titans and Ravens. I still contend the Texans are the worst team in the league and can’t be counted on to score more than 14 points in any game. The Over/Under is only 43.5 points (Over -108, Under -112) and is the second-lowest O/U of the week. But, for a team that has averaged just 10 points a game over the last three and a Colts offense that dinks-and-dunks its way down the field, points will be a premium, barring a defensive or special teams touchdown. Take the Under (-112).
Kansas City Chiefs (-290) at Washington Football Team (+225)
The Chiefs are struggling badly after a humbling home loss to Buffalo but are coming up against a team they should be able to handle. Kansas City’s defense is awful, and with Clyde Edwards-Helaire out, the Chiefs offense is likely to throw more – which historically has been bad for opponents. But 55.5 points is a little too rich for my blood, because I don’t believe Washington can do its part to make that happen. Kansas City is favored by 6.5 points (Chiefs -115, WFT -105). Personally, I would take a big point boost and roll the dice at 16.5. Take the Chiefs and lay the 6.5 points (-115).
Arizona Cardinals (+135) at Cleveland Browns (-170)
To be honest, I was a little surprised by this one and wouldn’t blame anyone for taking the Cardinals on the Moneyline. If Arizona plays its game on offense, the Browns won’t be able to do their strength – run more times than they pass. The Chargers forced Cleveland into that kind of game, and the Cardinals are better at that. The Browns are favored by 3.5 points (Cardinals -120, Browns +100). I’m more than willing to take Arizona and 3-and-a-hook than bet on Kyler Murray having four or five three-and-outs. I’m not sure the Cards will be 6-0 coming out this one, but I’m more than willing to take Arizona and the 3.5 points (-120).
Las Vegas Raiders (+155) at Denver Broncos (-190)
With the Gruden debacle hanging over this one – trust me, when teams talk about “locker room distractions,” they are real – there’s no telling what Raiders team now being coached by the special teams guy will bring to the table. Of all the betting options, the 44.5-point Over/Under (Over -105, Under -115) seems to give the expectation a 23-16 “battle of field position and field goals” game. I don’t see it that way. I believe the Raiders are going to come out throwing with nothing to lose. Denver will have to respond. Take the Over (-105).
Dallas Cowboys (-190) at New England Patriots (+155)
The “Belichick Magic” would appear to be magical in large part because of Tom Brady. Keep in mind their two wins are against the Jets and Texans – two teams I will never project to win until the play the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Then I will predict a tie. Dallas is overhyped as a legitimate Super Bowl contender, but they beat the stiffs on their schedule – and there are plenty of them this year. The Over/Under is 51.5 points (Over -108, Under -112), and I don’t believe the Cowboys will score the four touchdowns required to make that work. Dallas should continue to build their hype with a win, but take the Under (-112).
Seattle Seahawks (+180) at Pittsburgh Steelers (-230)
If Russell Wilson was healthy, I would take the Seahawks and run with it. But, Geno Smith is the QB, and he’s no Russell Wilson. There are times when placing a bet on the Over/Under you hit the point of historical no return. For the Over, that is about 58 points. Too many things have to happen. On the low end is 42 points – too many things can’t happen. The Over/Under on this one is 42.5 points (Over -108, Under -112). The Seahawks have too many weapons to get shut out, and the Steelers are easily capable of scoring 27 on their own – Wilson or no Wilson. Take the Over (-108).
Buffalo Bills (-240) at Tennessee Titans (+190)
The Bills are on a roll, and I don’t believe the Titans have the horses on defense to shut them down and win the game. However, I am convinced Tennessee will try to shorten the game by rushing Derrick Henry 35 times. Over the last four games, Henry has rushed the ball 125 times – every carry taking as much time off the 40-second play clock as Tennessee wants to see gone. The Over/Under is 54.5 points (-105 Over, -115 Under). I don’t think it’s a winning strategy to try to beat Buffalo with a steady diet of grinding run plays that get you to third down too often, but it will work long enough that the point will be difficult to hit. Take the Under (-115).
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