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Two bad weeks in a row picking games for yours truly. I’m just staring four miles up the standings at my good friend Mr. Ryan Wilson, aka the sharpest football tout in the country right now. Wilson is now 54-23-3 against the spread on the season. 

Will this all come crashing back to earth on him? Probably! But I wanted to acknowledge it now and not in any way attempt to jinx him.

Anyway, before we get to the picks I just want to point out that this Jon Gruden stuff is messy and it is ugly. It is not cancel culture. You can’t write what he wrote in those emails. It doesn’t matter how old they are. 

To suggest otherwise ignores the most basic evidence for how bad the emails (and potential future emails are): Gruden walked away from $60 million within an hour of those emails surfacing. And the job he resigned from he basically ruled the roost. He ran the Raiders. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. He quit an essentially omnipotent gig running a football team with $60 million left on his contract. He wasn’t canceled. 

Arguing about it is pointless, so instead of arguing, take a minute and listen to Chargers coach Brandon Staley’s press conference discussing the situation. High-level leadership stuff here:

Onto the picks. 

All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook

NFL Week 6 Picks

Buccaneers at Eagles

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App

Latest Odds: Philadelphia Eagles +7

A war of attrition broke out on Thursday night between Tampa and Philly: Rob Gronkowski is ruled out, Dallas Goeddert is out because of COVID-19. Lane Johnson remains out with a personal matter. An already banged-up Bucs defense will be missing Antoine Winfield, Jr. and Lavonte David. Tom Brady is dealing with a right thumb injury but carries no injury designation and both Antonio Brown/Chris Godwin are clear as well. Ryan Jensen is questionable and worth watching given how good the interior of the Eagles defensive line has been. This game profiles of nothing short of a shootout — get in the way of this over at your own peril. The Bucs are a massive pass funnel, are even more banged up and the Eagles have given up 40+ points to the only two good offenses (KC, Dallas) they played this year. But there are lots of ways for 52.5 to come up short, whether it’s missed kicks, turnovers or red-zone woes. I think the Eagles are capable of hanging in this matchup. Yes, Brady and that offense can pull away at any moment, but the lack of help on the backend should keep the Eagles in this game late.

The pick: Bucs 35, Eagles 31

Props, Best Bets: Eagles +7, Tom Brady over 297.5 passing yards, Devonta Smith over 5.5 receptions

Dolphins at Jaguars

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET (London)
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)

Latest Odds: Jacksonville Jaguars +3

This matchup is a little bit like taking a giant platter of Chick-Fil-A nuggets, putting them on a ship to England with zero refrigeration and serving them up to the Brits while explaining how this is one of our country’s favorite foods. There does appear to be a good chance we’ll be showing off two top-tier young quarterbacks in Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence. The Jags remain winless but it might be Miami who is more desperate here. The chatter about the Dolphins giving up a potential top-five or top-10 to the Eagles — courtesy of the Jaylen Waddle pre-draft trade — is growing more loud with each passing week. The Jags have a better built-in fanbase overseas, but Miami is still the favorite on this neutral site game. Weird things happen in these London games, so I’m going to begrudgingly take the points with two terrible teams and back the Jags and Trevor Lawrence here.

The pick: Jaguars 21, Dolphins 18

Props, Best Bets: No chance

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Texans at Colts

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: Indianapolis Colts -10

The Colts took a very rough L against Baltimore on Monday night after squatting on a big lead late in that game. They’re 1-4 and in any other division, Indy would need to be thinking about ratcheting down Carson Wentz’s snaps to avoid giving up a really high draft pick. In the AFC South, they simply need to find a way to win this game. Get to 2-4 and hope the Bills take care of business against the Titans and the Colts would be one game back of first place. Laremy Tunsil is out for the Texans in this one, which is gonna make Houston a tough pill to swallow against the spread. The Texans are 30th against the run by DVOA, so we could be looking for yet another explosive game from Jonathan Taylor. We don’t have any props for this game yet but I would venture Taylor opens up in the 80-ish range and I’d like the over based on the matchup and how he’s run this season. 

The Pick: Colts 21, Texans 13

Bets: Jonathan Taylor over rush yards TBD

Chiefs at Football Team

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: Washington Football Team +6.5

Sneaky shootout potential in this matchup. As Establish the Run’s Pat Thorman notes in his fantastic weekly Snaps/Pace article (subscription article, but well worth the price), the Chiefs are still passing a lot and moving quickly. WFT has one of the worst secondaries in the league, ranking 29th in pass DVOA. The Chiefs are actually worse, checking in at 31st in pass defense. And Washington moves quick, with a top-10 pace across the league. All of that sets up for a ton of points scored here. Taylor Heinicke has played three top-11 pass defenses: Buffalo (first), New Orleans (fifth) and the Chargers (11th). In those games he hasn’t topped 250 passing yards and has three picks and three touchdown passes. Against two bad defenses (Giants, Falcons), Heinicke averaged 313 passing yards, completed about 70 (!) percent of his passes and threw for five touchdowns and just one pick. This could be a Terry McLaurin blowup spot against KC’s secondary. Obviously the Chiefs will be able to answer any points scored. 

The Pick: Chiefs 38, WFT 35

Bets: Over 55.5, Over Heinicke pass yards TBD, Over McLaurin receiving yards TBD

Bengals at Lions

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Detroit Lions +3.5

If you aren’t already feeling bad for the Lions you don’t have a heart, you Tin Man. Dan Campbell’s team lost in Week 4 to a record-breaking kick from Justin Tucker — one which bounced off the crossbar and flipped in no less — and then managed to steal the ball from the Vikings, score a touchdown, convert a super-aggressive two-point conversion … only to see the Vikings bang home a long field goal too. The Bengals are a good defense and should limit Detroit. But I refuse to believe Campbell’s team will give up, at least not yet. The Lions check out as a below-average team on both sides of the ball. The Bengals might very well be an elite defense (top 10 in DVOA!) but offensively they haven’t quite gotten things rolling yet. I’m going to bat with the Lions at home ATS here, knowing the Bengals keep things close and Detroit just refuses to give up.

The Pick: Bengals 21, Lions 20

Bets: Nope

Chargers at Ravens

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: Baltimore Ravens -2.5

Week 6 is too early for full-blown MVP talk, but there’s no question this particular matchup could/should have an impact on the MVP race, with two fringy candidates in Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson squaring off. Lamar set the all-time record for completion percentage in a game with 40+ pass attempts during Monday’s exhilarating comeback win over the Colts. Justin Herbert’s win might have been MORE exciting, the insane finish over the Browns just didn’t happen on a standalone prime-time slate. There’s no way to really find a best bet in this spot, because it’s such a close game I think it probably comes down to late in the fourth quarter. Brandon Staley is a massive improvement over Anthony Lynn in terms of game management and I’m not sure I picture the Ravens completely slowing down Justin Herbert and this loaded Chargers offense. This could end up turning into a similar blowup like the Browns game last week. Again, I’ll take the points in a crazy shootout.

The Pick: Chargers 31, Ravens 28

Bets: Lean over

Packers at Bears

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Chicago Bears +5.5

There is nothing more terrifying than trying to talk yourself into betting the Bears against the Packers and then looking up Aaron Rodgers splits against Chicago, all while knowing how ugly things get for Chicago when they play Rodgers. Rodgers has played the Bears 25 times and in those games he is 20-5, has completed 67 percent of his passes and has 55 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. GULP. I would not make this a best bet by any means, especially with injuries piling up for the Bears on offense and Justin Fields not being utilized in the way he should but maybe the Bears having a pair of big leads the last two weeks has minimized the number of times they’ve needed to run their young quarterback. Chicago still has a top-five defense. The offense … not so much. Rodgers will get his in Soldier Field but I’m going to back the Bears to keep it close or storm through the back door.

The Pick: Packers 24, Bears 21

Bets: Pass

Rams at Giants

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here

Latest Odds: New York Giants +9.5

ANOTHER HOME DOG? This is getting a bit awkward. The Giants got mashed with a rash of injuries against the Cowboys Sunday. Saquon Barkley is likely out for this game and Kenny Golladay is out for a while. Kadarius Toney — quietly exploding onto the scene the last few weeks and a must-add in fantasy, he said on Thursday in completely unhelpful fashion — should be good for this one, but the Giants will still be short-handed. Daniel Jones sounds good to go as of this writing, although credit to Mike Glennon for the effort after DJ got rocked on a third-and-goal situation. The Rams will move the ball down the field against this defense the same way the Cowboys did. Aaron Donald will cause problems. But the number is big enough for the Giants at home they’ll find a way to sneak in the back door.

The Pick: Rams 28, Giants 21

Bets: Gonna look at Kadarius overs depending on the number

Vikings at Panthers 

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Carolina Panthers +2

And yet another home dog! This is getting ridiculous. What a pair of tales between these two teams. The Vikings and Panthers both dominated at minimum 75 percent of their respective games in Week 5. The Vikings nearly blew theirs by coughing up a fumble and letting the Lions score and hit a two-point conversion before finding a miracle field goal. The Panthers had the Eagles in a headlock for roughly 55 minutes but Sam Darnold and the offense couldn’t do enough/not do enough dumb stuff to generate a two-score lead. This game basically boils down to whether or not the Vikes can generate enough pressure on Darnold. But the possible return of Christian McCaffrey lingers because he makes the Carolina offense substantially better by virtue of how they set him up in Darnold’s progressions. If he’s back Carolina wins this game. 

The Pick: Panthers 24, Vikings 17

Bets: Panthers pk

Cowboys at Patriots

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: New England Patriots +3.5

Did I mention there might be home dogs on this slate? Dallas looks AWESOME. Dak Prescott is as comfortable as he’s been in his career. He looks like he’s in complete command and on the same page as Kellen Moore. The Patriots aren’t quite as hot, as they just managed to squeak by the Texans for their second win of the year, both of which came against rookie quarterbacks. But it’s still Bill Belichick, and the Cowboys are going into a spot they haven’t exactly flourished in over the last few years. It’s a gem of a game on CBS, it’s Nantz and Romo without even looking. Dallas’ defense is even top 10 five weeks into the season without DeMarcus Lawrence. Everything here screams Cowboys. Which feels like the time Bill Belichick finds a win. Total gut play.

The Pick: Patriots 24, Cowboys 21

Bets: Under 51

Raiders at Broncos

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: Denver Broncos -3.5

How the Raiders respond to Jon Gruden’s resignation is anyone’s guess. This is literally an unprecedented coaching departure. Do the Raiders rally together and battle on the road? Or are they left still sorting through the shock of the week? Derek Carr openly admitted to being worried about “drifting” in terms of his thoughts and trying to really focus in on football. Early season-ish in Denver isn’t ideal against a Vic Fangio defense without the guy who was calling the plays. It feels too obvious taking the Broncos here — maybe the Raiders come out with a crazy late win and give “we rallied together as a team” interviews after — but the circumstances surrounding Las Vegas are just too much to not take the Broncos here. Tight ends have had a few decent games against Vegas this year. Noah Fant over props on receptions and yards make sense here given his usage.

The Pick: Broncos 24, Raiders 17

Bets: Broncos -3.5, Noah Fant over receptions/yards TB

Cardinals at Browns

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Cleveland Browns -3.5

The game has seen the total plummet in the last few days, thanks to potentially crazy weather in Cleveland. Last year we saw — and this is pretty standard for Cleveland in general — a two/three-week stretch of weird fall weather with tons of wind. 39 points scored in two weeks in October and 78 points in three weeks. If we get 20+ mph wind this coming weekend these two teams won’t put up a ton of points. The Browns will be able to gain traction running the ball and while the Cards short-hitting passing game can work, it will be really tough for Kyler Murray to generate big plays through the air when he’s scrambling. Too much variance on a completed pass in these spots with that much wind. If the weather flips and it’s sunny with no wind, take the over on Sunday. 

The Pick: Browns 21, Cardinals 17

Bets: Under 49.5 (if wind holds)

Seahawks at Steelers

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: 
NBC | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers -5

What are we doing here with this line? No one’s been more anti-Steelers the last two years than me, but there is no world in which this Pittsburgh defense playing at home in prime time should be slightly less than a touchdown dog to Geno Smith. The Steelers offense is suboptimal for sure, but the Seahawks defense ranks 25th in DVOA coming into this game. The Seahawks offense was top five thanks to Russell Wilson’s efficiency and incredible deep ball. Geno replicated a good portion of it last Thursday — “90 percent Russ”??? — and had 10 days to prepare for this, but good defensive pressure from the Steelers won’t result in the same endgame it would if Russ was starting. The Steelers shouldn’t be less than a touchdown favorite here imo. 

The Pick: Steelers 24, Seahawks 9

Bets: Steelers -4.5

Bills at Titans

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: 
ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Tennessee Titans +5.5

And we close the week with … yup, you guessed it. Road chalk. This is a road favorite I’m scared to fade. The Titans defense has not been good and the Bills profile as the best team in football. Josh Allen just isn’t someone we should be betting against in prime time right now. We want to be early on that trend and not late.

The Pick: Bills 35, Titans 28

Bets: Diggs yards over, Allen rush yards over, Allen TD anytime

Which picks can you make with confidence, and which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $7,900 since its inception, and find out.