Picking against the spread can be difficult, but most of the teams that cover the betting line in Week 6 should win their games straight up, as well. Because so many top teams are headed on the road, the schedule features a lot of small point spreads.
Ten of the 14 point spreads in Week 6 are four points or less, according to vegasinsider.com. The favorites had the slight advantage in Week 5, going 7-6-1 against the spread, but only three underdogs won outright.
Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 6, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas casinos.
Atlanta Falcons (-3.5) at New Orleans Saints
Through five weeks, there’s enough evidence to conclude that the Saints are no longer the offensive juggernaut that they once were. The Saints haven’t scored more than 26 points in a game this season, and Drew Brees no longer looks like a top quarterback, especially with a lack of elite targets. After going 5-0, it’s clear that the Falcons are one of the NFC’s best teams. Atlanta is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 October games against the Saints, according to OddsShark.com, and that record should improve on Thursday night.
Prediction ATS: Atlanta
Denver Broncos (-4) at Cleveland Browns
The Browns had a big win over the Ravens last week, and they won’t be an easy team for the Broncos to beat. They’ve overachieved lately, going 5-1 against the spread in their last six games as underdogs. Denver will slow down Josh McCown, who has surprisingly thrown for 1,154 yards and six touchdowns in his last three games. But the Broncos have had difficulty scoring, and they needed a late pick six to cover the spread against Oakland. The Broncos haven’t lost yet, despite Peyton Manning’s drastic decline, and that could change in Cleveland.
Prediction ATS: Cleveland
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at Buffalo Bills
With EJ Manuel replacing Tyrod Taylor, the betting line has shifted in Cincinnati’s favor. Buffalo’s defense has a chance to keep this game close, and they could be getting both Sammy Watkins and Karlos Williams back, which will help their chances. Cincinnati was fortunate to stay undefeated last week, and their defense continues to be worse than advertised. They surrendered a 91.4 passer rating and allowed 200 rushing yards to Seattle, letting the opposition put together a strong running game for the third time in four weeks. The Bengals' luck could finally run out in Week 6.
Prediction ATS: Buffalo
Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) at Minnesota Vikings
The betting line indicates that the Vikings would barely be favored on a neutral field, which makes little sense considering both teams' starts this season. The Chiefs have lost four games in a row, and the loss of Jamaal Charles will make it difficult for them to put up points on Sunday. The Vikings rank sixth in points allowed per game, and they’ve won five consecutive home games by an average of 11 points. With two weeks to prepare for Alex Smith and Kansas City’s offense, Minnesota could win comfortably.
Prediction ATS: Minnesota
Houston Texans (-1.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Brian Hoyer gives the Texans a slight upgrade at quarterback over Ryan Mallett, but Houston remains one of the NFL’s worst teams. They shouldn’t be road favorites over any team, making Jacksonville an easy pick. Blake Bortles has put up decent numbers this season, throwing for 1,299 yards and 10 touchdown passes. The Jaguars won’t win a lot of games in 2015, but they could be victorious in Week 6.
Prediction ATS: Jacksonville
Chicago Bears (+3) at Detroit Lions
The Bears might not be a playoff team, but they are certainly better than the Lions, and getting three points is a steal. Detroit has lost seven games in a row, and they’ve got some real problems on offense. They haven’t scored more than 17 points in their last four games, and they were held to seven points in the final 38 minutes of the season opener. Chicago has been competitive with Jay Cutler healthy, losing to the Packers by one touchdown, and defeating the Raiders and Chiefs in their last two games.
Prediction ATS: Chicago
Washington Redskins (+6) at New York Jets
For as much criticism as the Redskins get, it might be time to admit that they aren’t a bad football team. They already have wins over the Rams and Eagles, and should have beaten the Dolphins. Jay Gruden's squad also took the undefeated Falcons to overtime. The Jets have a very good defense, but they won’t continue to have a top-12 scoring offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. New York is only 2-7 in their last nine home games, and even if they win on Sunday, it might only be by a field goal.
Prediction ATS: Washington
Arizona Cardinals (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s unknown whether or not Ben Roethlisberger will play, making this game especially hard to predict. Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell give Pittsburgh two of the best playmakers in the league, and they have a good chance to win if Roethlisberger returns. Pittsburgh has played two close games with Michael Vick at the helm, and they are 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five home games in October. Either way, the game could be decided by a field goal.
Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) at Tennessee Titans
The point spread indicates that the Dolphins would be favored over the Titans on a neutral field, but there’s little evidence to suggest that Miami is the better team. Miami was outgained by nearly 100 yards in their only win, and they’ve lost three consecutive games by 43 total points. Tennessee only has one victory, but they’ve lost two straight games to winning teams by a total of three points. Rookie Marcus Mariota has been impressive, posting a 99.7 passer rating in his first four games. A loss on Sunday would make the Dolphins 1-9 in their last 10 games against the spread.
Prediction ATS: Tennessee
Carolina Panthers (+7) at Seattle Seahawks
After a 2-3 start, it seems pretty clear that the Seahawks are not as good as they were in the last two seasons. Their offensive line struggled again last week, allowing Russell Wilson to be sacked four times. Carolina could have trouble scoring against Seattle’s defense, but the defending NFC champs have also allowed teams to move the ball on late fourth-quarter drives this season. The 4-0 Panthers will have a tough time winning at CenturyLink Field, but it should be a low-scoring affair that comes down to the wire.
Prediction ATS: Carolina
San Diego Chargers (+10) at Green Bay Packers
Ten points is a lot to give to a team that had a winning record last season, but it’s difficult to pick against the Packers these days. They are the only NFL team that is 5-0 against the spread, and it might be wise to ride them until they lose. Even with Aaron Rodgers uncharacteristically committing three turnovers in Week 5, the Packers still managed to beat the Rams by 14 points, extending their home win streak to 12 games. San Diego is just 1-7 against the spread in their last eight road games in October, and it’s hard to have any confidence in them after losing to Pittsburgh with Michael Vick at quarterback.
Prediction ATS: Green Bay
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at San Francisco 49ers
The betting public seems to be waiting for Baltimore to turn their season around, but there’s a good chance that never happens. Their only win came in overtime against the Steelers, who didn’t have Ben Roethlisberger and missed two field goals. Steve Smith and Justin Forsett, Baltimore’s only real offensive playmakers, are both banged up. The 49ers have shown some grit against first-place teams in the last two games, and they have a good chance to pull out the win on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: San Francisco
New England Patriots (-8) at Indianapolis Colts
The Patriots are clearly the NFL’s top team, and the Colts are the best team in a very bad division. Whether it’s Andrew Luck or Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, New England is going to win big in Indianapolis. Tom Brady and the Patriots own the Colts, having beaten them six straight times, including four consecutive wins by 21 points or more. Most importantly, New England wants to blow out Indianapolis because of their role in Deflategate, limiting the chance of a backdoor cover.
Prediction ATS: New England
New York Giants (+4) at Philadelphia Eagles
If Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin have taught the gambling public anything during their tenure with the Giants, it’s not to trust them when things are going good. New York is in sole possession of first place, but they could see their lead dissipate on Monday night. Philadelphia might not be as good as they were advertised in the preseason, but they are better than their 1-3 start and looked sharp in their win over the Saints. Sam Bradford is getting more comfortable in Chip Kelly’s system, helping the Eagles score 59 points in their last six quarters. Philadelphia is 11-3 in their last 14 games against New York, and the Giants have lost their last three appearances on “Monday Night Football.”
Prediction ATS: Philadelphia
Season Record: 46-29-2