A few teams have gotten off to surprisingly good starts in the 2016 NFL season, and it might be time to realize that they are legitimate contenders. But some teams that have just one loss on the year are still not getting the respect they deserve in Week 6.
According to the latest Las Vegas betting odds, multiple 4-1 teams are not favored as they take on opponents that have a worse record. Three home teams are underdogs, though two of them have a combined 2-8 record.
There’s no such thing as a “sure thing” when it comes to gambling, but here are the five best bets for Week 6 of the 2016 NFL season:
Oakland Raiders (PK)
The trends point to a loss for Oakland in Week 6. Andy Reid is 15-2 after bye weeks, and the Kansas City Chiefs are 10-3 straight up and against the spread against in their last 13 games against the Raiders, via OddsShark. But recent history might not matter much since the Raiders have their best team in 14 years.
Oakland’s 4-1 start is no fluke. Their only loss has come to the Falcons, who’ve played like a Super Bowl contender, and they have three road wins in the Eastern Time Zone. The Raiders’ defense has been shaky, but they have one of the NFL’s best offenses. Kansas City’s defense has been exposed when facing teams that can score, and they’ll have a hard time keeping Oakland under 30 points on Sunday. The Raiders should be favored, making them a safe bet.
Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
A lot of fans might be unconvinced that the Eagles are a real threat in the NFC after their loss to the Detroit Lions, but Philadelphia should get back on track in Week 6. The Washington Redskins haven’t beaten any team as good as Philadelphia, and their three-game winning streak should come to an end on Sunday.
Philadelphia made key mistakes against Detroit that they aren’t likely to repeat in Washington. The Eagles committed 14 penalties—twice as many as their season average—bailing out the Lions and giving them key first downs. Philadelphia still ranks second in total defense, and they’ll cause a lot of problems for Kirk Cousins, who’s thrown two touchdowns and four interceptions in three games against teams with winning records. Carson Wentz still hasn’t had a bad game, and that shouldn’t change against the NFL’s No.27 ranked defense.
Dallas Cowboys (+4.5)
The Cowboys keep proving doubters wrong, winning as home underdogs in Week 5. Dallas has yet to lose against the spread in 2016, and they have a chance to pull off an upset on the road against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Not only is Dallas on a four-game winning streak, but they seem to be getting better each week. They are coming off a 14-point win over the Bengals that was more lopsided than the final score would indicate, and their two star rookies had arguably their best games of the season. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott won’t be intimidated playing at Lambeau Field, where the Packers are far from unbeatable. Green Bay has defeated three teams with losing records by no more than one score, and their offense still isn’t where it was a few years ago. It should be a close game that could be decided by a field goal either way.
Houston Texans (-3)
This is more of a pick against the Indianapolis Colts than it is a pick for the Texans. Either way, the Colts will have a very difficult time winning in Houston.
Indianapolis’ defense is about as bad as it gets, and only New Orleans has allowed more points. Even in their Week 5 win, the Colts let the Bears score a season-high 23 points, and DeAndre Hopkins could have a field day against Indianapolis’ secondary. As far as the Colts’ offense goes, Andrew Luck will be under constant pressure. He was sacked five times by a bad Chicago defense, and it could be even worse against Houston’s defensive front. The Texans’ two losses have come against the top teams in each conference, but they’re 3-0 at home against teams that don’t have winning records.
The New York Jets were expected to contend for a playoff spot in 2016, but it seems pretty clear that they are among the NFL’s worst teams. With a returning Carson Palmer back in the lineup, Arizona should cruise to victory at home.
It looked like the Jets hit rock bottom with their 24-3 loss at Kansas City in Week 3, but things haven’t gotten any better with two straight losses by at least 10 points. Their secondary looks to be the worst in football, and they’ve allowed at least 23 points in every game. New York’s only chance is to win in a shootout, but the Jets don’t seem capable of putting up a lot of points. Ryan Fitzpatrick has the NFL’s worst passer rating, and wide receiver Eric Decker is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Despite their 2-3 start, the Cardinals have maintained a good defense, ranking eighth in yards allowed. Keeping the Jets under 20 points shouldn’t be an issue.
Season Record: 14-11