NFL Week 6 Previews

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The Dolphins continued to spiral in what was likely their last game for the time being without Tua Tagovailoa (ribs), getting pasted by the Buccaneers, 45-17, on Sunday. The Jaguars fought hard again before succumbing to the Titans, 37-19.

Miami Dolphins (-3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
in London, England – 9:30 a.m. ET

The Dolphins continued to spiral in what was likely their last game for the time being without Tua Tagovailoa (ribs), getting pasted by the Buccaneers, 45-17, on Sunday. The Jaguars fought hard again before succumbing to the Titans, 37-19.

In fairness, Tagovailoa was far from the only important missing piece for Miami, as Will Fuller (IR-finger) and DeVante Parker (shoulder/hamstring) were also sitting. Tagovailoa and Parker should be back for this London contest, which could certainly be a big boost against an ostensibly inferior opponent. However, Miami has some questions to answer on the back end of the defense after getting shredded by Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Mike Evans and friends on Sunday to the tune of five touchdowns and over 400 passing yards.

The Jags continued to see both Trevor Lawrence and James Robinson put together performances that were good enough for a victory Sunday, but the defense and some parts of the offense were still lacking. The Titans’ Derrick Henry ripped off yet another 100-yard performance, while Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones, who were expected to play expanded roles in Jacksonville’s first full game without D.J. Chark, brought in just two of eight combined targets. However, Dan Arnold, Tavon Austin and Jamal Agnew, three newcomers, did combine for 17 receptions, offering some hope the air attack could eventually be a factor if it ever starts hitting on all cylinders.

The neutral-site matchup shapes up as one of those hold-your-nose contests. Oddsmakers/betting public seem to believe Miami is only a little over a field goal better than a Jacksonville squad that’s lost 20 straight games according to NFL Week 6 odds.

Green Bay Packers (-4.5) at Chicago Bears – 1 p.m. ET

The Packers’ Mason Crosby got chance after chance at a game-winning kick until the fourth time proved the charm Sunday against the Bengals, allowing Green Bay to escape Cincinnati with a 25-22 win. The Bears went into Las Vegas and pulled the rug out from underneath the Raiders, notching a 20-9 win in which Justin Fields reportedly played with a hyperextended left knee from the second quarter on.

Crosby’s multiple misses were disconcerting, but Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Davante Adams certainly put smiles on the Packer Backers’ faces with their spectacular performances in the close win. Adams was responsible for a whopping 206 of Rodgers’ 344 yards, along with one of his touchdowns, while Jones’ was over the 100-yard mark for the first time on the campaign. With four straight wins, Green Bay seems to be picking up steam and firmly leaving their Week 1 debacle against the Saints behind as they approach this divisional matchup.

Fields also threw his first career TD pass in the Sunday’s win in the desert, although he totaled just 111 passing yards. The ground attack, without David Montgomery (knee) for the first time this season, was able to generate an encouraging performance from the unlikely Khalil Herbert-Damien Williams duo, who combined for 139 rushing yards and a TD. The matchup against the Packers should be a tougher one, however, as Green Bay is allowing the sixth-fewest total yards per game (322.6).

Despite the Bears’ host status and their back-to-back victories, the Packers’ first-look 4.5-point projected advantage survived Week 5 outcomes.

Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at Detroit Lions – 1 p.m. ET

The Bengals came tantalizingly close to victory against the visiting Packers in Week 5 after tying the game late, but they ended up succumbing by a 25-22 score in overtime. The Lions continued to corner the market on heartbreaking NFC losses, however, dropping a 19-17 decision to the Vikings after blowing a lead with 37 seconds remaining.

Cincy had plenty to be pleased with Sunday outside of the final score, as they took what appears to be one of the best teams in the opposite conference to the limit. Joe Burrow (281 yards, 2 TDs) and JaMarr Chase (6-159-1) continued to flash a prolific connection, while Samaje Perine did an excellent job taking some of the load off a gimpy Joe Mixon by compiling 83 total yards and a receiving TD. However, the secondary was generally a sieve when it came to defending Davante Adams, and they’ll have to make sure they don’t underestimate a Lions air attack that’s shown an ability to put together some surprising efforts thus far this season.

The Lions’ latest heartbreaking loss literally left head coach Dan Campbell in tears, but from the glass-half-full perspective, there’s no question his squad cannot be taken lightly by any team. Jared Goff seems to be developing a promising connection with rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown, while Jamal Williams and D’Andre Swift are developing into quite the 1-2 punch in the backfield. Cincy’s defense is still ranked in the top half of the league with 351.6 yards per game allowed despite its generosity against the Pack on Sunday, so it’s likely another dogfight on tap for the Lions.

Homefield and a fighting spirit can take you far in the eyes of the betting public. The winless Lions are just a field-goal underdog while glancing at NFL Week 6 odds as the week after opening at +3.5 in the pre-Week-5 line.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) – 1 p.m. ET

The Texans gave the Patriots quite a scare behind a superb out-of-nowhere effort from Davis Mills before falling by a 25-22 score. The Colts will look to garner a second straight win when they take on the Ravens in Baltimore on Monday night.
Mills came into the Week 5 contest as the lowest-rated quarterback in the NFL and then exploded for a 312-yard, three-touchdown effort that certainly must have left some courageous prop bettors very happy. The surprise performances weren’t just limited to the rookie signal-caller, either, as Ravens cast-off Chris Moore also stood out with a 5-109 line as Mills’ top target. The duo and their teammates will look to replicate the performance against what has been an inconsistent Colts team, while the defense will try to continue showing the encouraging signs it displayed while limiting the Pats to a respectable 5.8 yards per play.

The Colts were robust double-digit home favorites as the week began.

Los Angeles Rams (-10.5) at New York Giants – 1 p.m. ET

The Rams were able to go into Seattle and notch a big 26-17 win over Seattle on Thursday night, a game that saw them knock Russell Wilson out of action for what now looks like a multi-week injury. The Giants suffered an almost unbelievable avalanche of key injuries after already coming into their Week 5 divisional clash against the Cowboys missing two receivers, and they predictably were steamrolled by a 44-20 score in Big D.

After Cooper Kupp was the main linchpin of the air attack over the first several games of the season, it was Robert Woods’ turn versus the Seahawks. The veteran had his first breakout effort of the season with a 12-catch, 150-yard tally, while Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel continued to work together well in the backfield. L.A.’s defense once again mostly had Wilson’s number while he was in there, and given Daniel Jones is now in concussion protocol, the Rams could get a crack at a backup quarterback for the second straight week.

That backup would be the well-traveled Mike Glennon, who actually was serviceable Sunday after being pressed into emergency duty. The veteran was already working at a significant disadvantage considering the Giants went into the contest without Darius Slayton (hamstring) and Sterling Shepard (hamstring) before losing Kenny Golladay (knee) and Saquon Barkley (ankle). The status of each will likely be murky to varying degree over the course of the week, but the latter two are rumored to be very likely Week 6 absentees, at minimum.

Despite their road status, the Rams are unsurprisingly massive favorites, with that number only likely to grow as some New York injuries inevitably evolve into confirmed Week 6 absences.

Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Washington Football Team – 1 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are in the unfamiliar position of having to answer some uncomfortable questions after dropping a 38-20 decision to the Bills on Sunday night at home, which dropped them to 2-3. The Football Team fought hard against the Saints for the first quarter-plus, but they essentially sealed their fate by facilitating 13-point tallies in the second and fourth quarters to New Orleans in a 33-22 loss.

There are multiple places the Chiefs can point fingers for their surprisingly lackluster start to the season, and even Patrick Mahomes isn’t exempt. He threw two interceptions Sunday night against a very tough Bills secondary, ironically struggling on a night in which Mecole Hardman finally made an impact as a No. 2 receiver (nine receptions, 76 yards).

To make matters worse, KC also lost Clyde Edwards-Helaire to an MCL sprain that is expected to keep him out multiple games.

Fortunately for the sluggish Chiefs, Washington doesn’t exactly present as a formidable opponent, and KC has played better on the road this season anyhow. The Football Team did get another statistically solid performance from Taylor Heinicke, but in addition to the 280 total yards the young QB contributed against the Saints, he also threw two picks.

Heinicke particularly struggled connecting with Terry McLaurin (four receptions on 11 targets) after the two shared a prolific connection Week 4, but a matchup against a Chiefs defense now allowing an AFC-high 437.4 total yards per game might be a recipe for getting back on track.

The defending AFC champs continue to get a solid amount of respect from the betting public. The Chiefs remain nearly a touchdown favorite when looking at NFL Week 6 odds, even after the Sunday night loss.

Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers (+1) – 1 p.m. ET

The Vikings left plenty to be desired with a lackluster Week 6 effort against the Lions before prevailing by a 19-17 score as time expired. The Panthers were involved in a tight contest as well but came out on the wrong end, dropping a 21-18 decision to the Eagles.

Minnesota played without Dalvin Cook for the second time in three weeks Sunday and prevailed again, with Alexander Mattison stepping in admirably to furnish 153 total yards and a receiving TD. Justin Jefferson also eclipsed the century mark through the air, but the defensive matchup gets tougher for Minnesota with or without Cook in Week 6. Carolina is allowing an NFC-low 255.8 yards per game, including a miserly 217.7 per home contest.

Sam Darnold began to show some Jets-like warts in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia, throwing three interceptions. The ongoing absence of Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) certainly didn’t help Carolina, but rookie Chuba Hubbard did turn in a strong performance with 134 total yards on 29 touches. Darnold could have another challenge on his hands in this matchup as well, considering the Vikings secondary has played much better over the last couple of games.

Given the similarities in talent level and inconsistency between the clubs, the Panthers are unsurprisingly only narrow home favorites.

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3) – 1 p.m. ET

The Chargers continued to look like one of the elite teams in the AFC in Week 5 notching a wild 47-42 win over the Browns at home. The Ravens notched their fourth win of the season in a tight game against Indy.

The Justin Herbert-Mike Williams connection continued to look like a legitimate rival to that of Mahomes-Hill or Allen-Diggs as far as prolific AFC duos are concerned. Herbert found Williams for 165 of his 398 yards and two of his four touchdown passes in the five-point victory, while Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler combined for 11 more catches. L.A. does have concerns on the other side of the ball, however, one that the run-heavy Ravens could well exploit – after giving up 230 rushing yards to the Browns, the Bolts are allowing an NFL-high 157.6 rushing yards per game.

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (-2.5) – 4:05 p.m. ET

The Cardinals extended their record to 5-0 with an ugly 17-10 win over the Trey Lance-led 49ers in Week 5. The Browns were engaged in the most entertaining game of the day before falling just short against the Chargers by a 47-42 score.

Kyler Murray still managed to put together some solid numbers against a feisty 49ers defense that sacked him on a couple of occasions, and rookie Rondale Moore put together an impressive two-way performance that included 97 total yards. However, the matchup against Cleveland shapes up as another very difficult one through both the ground and air – the Browns are still allowing just 298.8 total yards per game after the Week 5 loss.

Baker Mayfield bounced back from a couple of sub-par efforts to throw for 305 yards and two touchdowns without an interception Sunday, while Nick Chubb (161 yards, one TD) and Kareem Hunt (61 yards, two TDs) were masterful on the ground. The emergence of David Njoku (7-149-1) was certainly a pleasant surprise as well, especially because Odell Beckham (2-20 on three targets) continues to struggle to build any kind of consistent connection with Mayfield.

The Browns opened as standard three-point home favorites by the NFL Week 6 odds, and that number has already started to narrow for what could be one of the week’s marquee matchups.

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3.5) – 4:25 p.m. ET

Who knows what to expect from the Raiders after head coach Jon Gruden resigned. Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia will take over as interim head coach. Bisaccia has been in the NFL for nearly two decades but has never been an HC before. There is something to be said about how the Las Vegas braintrust chose Bisaccia over former NFL head coaches that were already on staff (Rod Marinelli, Gus Bradley, Tom Cable).

The Raiders dropped their second game in six days when they fell to the Bears by a 20-9 score at home in Week 5. The Broncos also lost their second consecutive contest, as the Steelers edged them by a 27-19 score in Pittsburgh.

The Raiders looked listless as a whole playing on the short week Sunday after a Monday night Week 4 loss to the Chargers. Derek Carr now has two pedestrian performances in a row, while Josh Jacobs has yet to top 15 carries in any contest. Las Vegas did prevail in both games against Denver last season, but the Broncos, despite some stumbles against the Steelers, are still allowing the third-fewest total yards per game (292.4).

Teddy Bridgewater actually put together an admirable performance against a tough Steelers defense with 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while rookie Javonte Williams (86 total yards) and the current top wideout duo of Courtland Sutton (7-120-1) and Tim Patrick (7-89) both stepped up with big games themselves. Denver does have a balanced offense despite being short-handed at receiver, making this an interesting matchup against a Raiders defense that’s been very stingy against the pass all season (205.4 passing yards per game allowed).

In game between two long-time rivals that figures to go down to the wire, the Raiders were unsurprisingly getting no more than a default projected advantage from oddsmakers on Monday morning. But that was before the Gruden news broke.

Dallas Cowboys (-4) at New England Patriots – 4:25 p.m. ET

The Cowboys continued to look like one of the NFC’s juggernauts against the Giants in a 44-20 win Sunday, even as that victory came against an extremely short-handed squad. Meanwhile, the Patriots seemingly did something a Bill Belichick squad rarely does – they took an inferior opponent a bit too lightly and nearly fell to the Texans before escaping Houston with a 25-22 win.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard and CeeDee Lamb were the primary stars of Dallas’ latest breakout effort, with Amari Cooper and Dalton Schultz offering strong complementary performances. New York was really only short-handed on the offensive side of the ball, so the Cowboys’ strong offensive numbers were certainly well-earned. Dallas does now have to meet the challenge of facing an unfamiliar opponent on the road, with New England’s veteran defense likely to get as up for this contest as they did when facing Tom Brady and his Bucs in Week 4.

Mac Jones surprisingly struggled against Houston’s secondary, throwing for a relatively modest 231 yards and accompanying his one TD pass with an interception. The rookie did flash an improving connection with tight end Hunter Henry, who posted a 6-75-1 line that counted as his best of his short Patriots tenure so far. The Cowboys defense, and Travon Diggs specifically, has proven to be quite the ball-hawking bunch, however, so Jones will have to be particularly mindful about ball security.

In what shapes up as a particularly intriguing matchup, the Cowboys have seen major movement in their direction since they opened as -1.5-point favorites late last week. The rapidly rising number will certainly be one to keep an eye on as kickoff approaches.

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5) – 8:20 p.m. ET

The Seahawks didn’t just lose their Thursday night Week 5 game to the Rams by a 26-17 margin, they also appear to now be without the services of Russell Wilson for multiple contests due to the ruptured tendon in his middle finger that he suffered during the game. The Steelers had a much more pleasant Week 5 experience, getting a much-needed win over the Broncos at Heinz Field by a 27-19 score.

Geno Smith did a solid job in emergency duty against Los Angeles, spearheading a 10-play, 98-yard scoring drive on his first possession. He’ll also go into his start with plenty of extra time to prepare, but there’s another side of the coin to Smith being the clear-cut starter ahead of the contest. It means the aggressive Steelers defense will also have the opportunity to hone in on him in its preparation, which could naturally spell plenty of trouble for Seattle’s offense as a whole.

Not all is well in Steel Town despite the win Sunday, with there still being some questions about Ben Roethlisberger’s play and mobility. However, the combined production of Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson (7-202-2) certainly was reason for encouragement, as was the career-best day for Najee Harris on the ground (23-122-1). The prospects of all three players could remain very bright in this matchup, as the Seahawks defense seemingly can’t stop the pass nor the run and is allowing an NFL-high 450.8 total yards per game.

Given Wilson’s expected absence and Seattle’s poor defensive play, this line has completely been flipped on its head since an opening figure of Seahawks -2.5. Monitor NFL Week 6 odds as it could continue to be bet up further in the Steelers’ direction as kickoff approaches.


Buffalo Bills (-5) at Tennessee Titans – 8:15 p.m. ET

The Bills continued to make a case for odds-on favorite in the AFC by going into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night and walloping the Chiefs, 38-20. The Titans took care of their business down in Jacksonville earlier in the day, handing the Jags their 20th straight loss via 37-19 thumping.

The main concern for Sean McDermott and his staff at this point may simply be overconfidence on the part of their players. Buffalo has plenty of reason to think highly of itself on both sides of the ball after accumulating 436 total yards on offense and forcing four turnovers from KC on its home field. Josh Allen and his talented offensive group could be primed for a second straight momentous primetime showing versus a Tennessee defense that’s been suspect all season and is allowing 377.4 total yards per game overall.

Ryan Tannehill has now had to play with a short-handed receiving corps for two consecutive games, as Julio Jones was still sidelined with a hamstring injury on Sunday. A.J. Brown did return to action and could be joined by Jones with the extra day to prepare for this game, but Derrick Henry continues to carry Tennessee’s offense on his shoulders for the most part. The bulldozing back has four straight 100-yard efforts and seven touchdowns through five games, although he could meet his match in the form of a Buffalo defense that’s yielding the third-fewest rushing yards per game (78.4) and 3.7 yards per carry.

Despite both teams notching Week 5 wins, the public is enthralled with the Bills, already betting the early line of -3.5 up a couple points in some sportsbooks as we look at NFL Week 6 odds.

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