The 2015 NFL season is entering Week 6, and a few teams have gotten off to surprisingly slow starts. Despite going under .500 through the first five weeks, some teams continue to be respected by Las Vegas oddsmakers.
The Philadelphia Eagles became a trendy Super Bowl pick in the preseason, but they've started out the year just 2-3. Still, they are four-point favorites over the visiting New York Giants on “Monday Night Football,” according to vegasinsider.com. The Seattle Seahawks are under .500 through five games, but they are still seven-point favorites over the undefeated Carolina Panthers.
There’s no such thing as a “sure thing” when it comes to gambling, but here are the three best bets for Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season.
New England Patriots (-8)
The Patriots have dominated all four of their games this season, and the result should be the same when they visit the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night. Eight points is a lot to give on the road against a first-place team, but the Patriots are too good and too motivated to win by less than double-digits.
New England has beaten their last two opponents by 58 total points, and the final scores of their first two games don’t indicate how dominant they were. They led Buffalo by 24 points before the Bills scored a few late touchdowns, and the Steelers needed a touchdown with two seconds left in the season opener to a avoid a 14-point loss. Bill Belichick and Co. are likely out to send a message to the Colts, who lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, which was the catalyst for Deflategate. New England dominated Indianapolis in that contest, beating Andrew Luck by at least 21 points for a fourth consecutive time.
Luck’s status is uncertain for Sunday’s game, but the Colts have little chance to be competitive, no matter who is under center.
Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
Both the Titans and Miami Dolphins have lost three of their first four games, but Tennessee has looked like the better team in 2015. Since the betting line indicates that Miami would be favored on a neutral field, taking Tennessee and laying less than a field goal is a steal.
The Titans could’ve easily won their last two games, blowing late fourth-quarter leads to the Colts and Bills. Even in their 14-point loss to Cleveland, the Titans outgained the Browns by 111 yards. Marcus Mariota has played very well as a rookie, and Tennessee has the NFL’s third-ranked defense. Miami has looked awful on both sides of the football, ranking 28th in both offense and defense. It’s the Dolphins’ first game since firing Joe Philbin, and teams are just 9-15 against the spread since 2000 in games after their head coach was fired or resigned, via OddsShark.com.
Miami was expected to be much better this season, and they remain overvalued by oddsmakers, having gone 1-8 against the spread in their last nine games.
Minnesota Vikings (-4)
The Vikings are favored by just four points at home against Kansas City, indicating that they are just one-point better than the Chiefs on a neutral field. Minnesota has proven to be better than Kansas City in the early part of the season, and without Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs could be in for a long day on Sunday.
Not only is Charles the team’s leading rusher, he’s also Kansas City’s No.3 receiver. The Chiefs will have trouble moving the ball against Minnesota, who has allowed just 30 total points in two home games. Kansas City can no longer be a winning team with Alex Smith simply managing games, since they rank 27th in total defense. With their fourth straight loss against the spread coming at home to Chicago, it’s clear that the Chiefs won’t be in the postseason. The Vikings have won five straight games in Minnesota, and they’ve had two weeks to prepare after having a bye. Minnesota is a potential playoff team, but they still seem to be undervalued by oddsmakers, having gone 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games.
Eight of the Vikings’ nine wins dating back to last season have come by four points or more, and that trend should continue in Week 6.
Season Record: 11-1