NFL Week 6 is here which means bye weeks come into effect starting now. This week, we have the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, and San Francisco 49ers on bye, so adjust accordingly. This is a golden time of year in terms of betting as teams are starting to really take shape and we get a better idea of each team’s strengths and weaknesses. With plenty of exciting matchups on the slate in Week 6, let’s take a look at the betting lines for each upcoming game.
My Week 5 record: 14-2 SU, 11-5 ATS, 8-8 O/U
My record overall: 51-29 SU, 45-35 ATS, 41-39 O/U
Thursday, October 14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Coming off two challenging games on the road against the Rams and Patriots in which Tom Brady struggled to produce to his usual standards, Brady passed for 411 yards and five touchdowns against the Dolphins in a signature performance. Mike Evans was the preferred target with six catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns on the day, while Antonio Brown also had seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles’ secondary featuring Darius Slay held D.J. Moore to just five catches for 42 yards in Week 5, but the Buccaneers have too much pass-catching talent, and Philly should be overwhelmed on defense. Leonard Fournette has also been able to give Tampa a consistent rushing presence behind a high-level offensive line.
Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts is coming off a pretty poor game in which he played much worse than his final stat line indicated. He had thrown for just 1.75 yards per attempt on 20 pass attempts at one point in the game. If you’ve watched the Eagles this year, you know that Hurts just isn’t very capable of completing passes further than 15-20 yards downfield, and that has wholly hamstrung the Philadelphia offense. Hurts has been electric as a runner, but the Buccaneers have the best run defense in the NFL at the moment. However, the loss of Lavonte Davis is crucial against a dual-threat QB. If Hurts can complete passes downfield to Devonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, and Dallas Goedert, the Eagles can hang around in this game, particularly with the Bucs’ defensive injuries piling up at this point.
The Buccaneers are dealing with several defensive injuries, and I’m backing Jalen Hurts to do enough late to earn a backdoor cover. The Eagles may have picked off Sam Darnold three times last week, and Philly’s pass defense has been better than some think as Football Outsiders’ 10th-best pass defense in DVOA. Tom Brady’s thumb injury has limited him in practice this week and I’m expecting a sloppy game on TNF.
Matchup To Watch: Jordan Mailata (PHI OT) vs. Shaquill Barrett (TB DE)
My Pick: Buccaneers win 28-22, Eagles cover, under 53 points
Best Bet: under 53 points, Eagles ATS
NFL Week 6 Picks Video
Sunday, October 17
Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Dolphins looked frisky for a minute against the Buccaneers – they had a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Bucs outscored them 35-7 over the rest of the game. Miami’s defense was a force last year, but it hasn’t been the same this season, particularly against the run. They’ve allowed 30.8 points per game this year. This could finally be the game in which Jacksonville gets their offense rolling. Trevor Lawrence has been coming on stronger as of late, and James Robinson is turning into the every-down workhorse he was last year – he finished with 18 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown against the Titans last week.
Jacoby Brissett played admirably against a ferocious Tampa Bay pass rush last week and made plays through the air against a limited secondary. Myles Gaskin was used heavily through the passing game with ten catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Despite not having Will Fuller or DeVante Parker healthy, Brissett still had a good game under center. Jacksonville’s defense has been surrendering points to every opponent they’ve faced so far, so the Dolphins should have a decent offensive attack again this week. Myles Gaskin, Jaylen Waddle, and Mike Gesicki could all have big games.
It’s hard to have confidence in betting on either of these teams at the moment with how they have looked recently, but I’m bullish on what we’ve seen out of Trevor Lawrence recently. However, I don’t trust Urban Meyer to have the Jaguars ready to play this week on the road in London. Stay away from this game, as betting on London games is always risky, but I’ll take the Dolphins to push the Jaguars’ losing streak to 21 games.
Matchup To Watch: Liam Eichenberg (MIA OT) vs. Josh Allen (JAX DE)
My Pick: Dolphins win 27-23, Dolphins cover, over 45 points
Best Bet: none, don’t bet on the London games
Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Football Team
Well, if you bet on the Chiefs being 2-3 heading into Week 6, I applaud your intuition and would love for you to join our Lineups writing staff. Kansas City’s struggles have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2021 season, and it doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon with how they got shellacked by the Bills on Sunday night. At no point did it feel like the Chiefs had a foothold in that game, and they suffered from more turnover woes. After four turnovers on Sunday, the Chiefs are now tied with the Jaguars for the most in the NFL. They already have 11 turnovers this year after just 16 of last season and just 15 the year prior. Patrick Mahomes has been sloppy, to put it politely, and while he’s still clearly the most talented quarterback in the NFL, the Chiefs’ offense has been far too predictable.
Kansas City’s defense has been the real issue, however. The Chiefs are now allowing 32.6 points per game, the most in the NFL. Washington hasn’t been much better, though, is allowing 31.0 points per game, the second-most. Washington’s defense was billed as one of the best heading into the season, and it has so far been one of the league’s worst. That gives me hope for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense recovering this week. The real question will be whether or not Washington can keep up, and I think they can score enough to keep things interesting. Taylor Heinecke has threw two interceptions and no touchdowns on Sunday but he faced the Saints’ defense, one of the league’s best. With the help of Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin, Heinecke should lead Washington to a higher scoring output this week.
I expect this game to look very similar to the Chiefs’ road game against the Eagles from a couple of weeks ago, which was just the fifth punt-free game in NFL history. In this matchup between the two worst defenses in the NFL in terms of points per game allowed, I’m betting on the over first and foremost, and I’d also be willing to bet on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to cover the one-touchdown spread.
Matchup To Watch: Lucas Niang (KC OT) vs. Chase Young (WAS DE)
My Pick: Chiefs win 44-28, Chiefs cover, over 55.5 points
Best Bet: over 55.5 points
Los Angeles Rams @ New York Giants
This game would have been entertaining before this past week when Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Kenny Golladay, the Giants’ top quarterback, running back, and wide receiver, were all injured. New York was also without Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton on Sunday. Kadarius Toney played an excellent game with all of those players injured as he came down with 10 catches for a mind-blowing 189 yards as the top target for the team. NFL pundits who criticized the Giants for selecting Toney in the first round looked silly on Sunday. However, no matter how good Toney was, it’s very difficult to trust what is likely a Mike Glennon-Devontae Booker backfield against the Rams’ defense.
Matthew Stafford’s stats weren’t especially impressive on Thursday, and he’s slowed down after a torrid start to the year, but he’s looked very comfortable with his new team. After a slow start to the season, Robert Woods broke through with 12 catches for 150 yards while Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel are forming a potent two-headed monster at running back; both players scored a touchdown on Thursday. The Rams are likely to be willing to pass in all kinds of game scripts, but as heavy favorites in this game, they should be able to lean on Henderson and Michel to kill the clock in the second half.
Los Angeles hasn’t been the defensive force they were last season, but the Giants are so injured offensively that it’s borderline impossible to think they are capable of keeping this game close. The Rams do have to travel East for an early morning game which is sometimes a concern, but they will have had ten days of rest following their Thursday Night game in Week 5. The line in this game moved significantly following the Giants’ disastrous Week 5, and I still like the Rams to cover the enormous spread.
Matchup To Watch: Cooper Kupp (LAR WR) vs. James Bradberry (NYG CB)
My Pick: Rams win 31-13, Rams cover, under 47.5 points
Best Bet: Rams ATS teased down to -3.5 in a parlay
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
The Colts impressed me with how they handled the Ravens for an entire half of football on Monday night, but their defense fell apart late in the game and wound up being exposed by Lamar Jackson en route to a career day for the Baltimore quarterback. Carson Wentz played admirably against the Ravens’ stout defense as he threw for 402 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he ultimately couldn’t overcome the Colts’ defense falling apart. A matchup against the Texans should allow Wentz to continue getting into a groove with his new team, particularly how Michael Pittman Jr. has been improving in his sophomore season. He caught six passes for 89 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens and continues to emerge as the team’s top pass-catcher.
In a matchup against the Patriots’ vaunted defense, Davis Mills carried himself extremely well in finishing with a near-perfect passer rating. He completed 72% of his passes and threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns. I did not see that performance coming from him, and with how bad the Colts’ defense has looked at times this season, he should keep it rolling this week. Chris Moore came out of nowhere to grab five passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, while Chris Conley scored a touchdown. Brandin Cooks should have a decent game given this matchup after failing to produce against the Patriots. Houston still doesn’t have much of a running game, but Mills impressed me last week and could be the quarterback of the future for them.
The Texans aren’t as bad as people make them out to be, and a 10-point spread is too many points against a struggling Colts squad, particularly in a divisional affair. Indianapolis isn’t quite the team we expected them to be, particularly with all of their injuries. While Jonathan Taylor should have another excellent game, they aren’t built to blow anyone out at the moment.
Matchup To Watch: Brandin Cooks (HOU WR) vs. Xavier Rhodes (IND CB)
My Pick: Colts win 26-20, Texans cover, over 43.5 points
Best Bet: Texans ATS
Cincinnati Bengals @ Detroit Lions
There are a ton of exciting narratives in this game between two of the worst teams in the NFL from a season ago. The Lions capitalized on the Bengals passing on Penei Sewell as they scooped up the future Pro Bowl left tackle, but Cincinnati’s Ja’Marr Chase has been electric this season. He already has 23 catches for 456 yards and five touchdowns through five games and has shown no signs of slowing down. The Lions don’t have anyone capable of covering him downfield. Detroit also can’t consistently pressure Joe Burrow despite the Bengals’ offensive line allowing him to bet hit several times this season – he was hit eight times against Green Bay last week. However, with Romeo Okwara out for the year, the Lions have struggled to generate a pass rush. Joe Mixon should also be able to expose a weak Detroit run defense.
Dan Campbell’s postgame press conference tears highlighted what has been another depressing season for Lions fans as they lost on a game-winning 50+ yard field goal as time expired. Jared Goff has been serviceable in his first season with the team and looks capable of being a decent starter for them moving forward. Still, the Lions haven’t received consistent production out of any of their wide receivers this year. D’Andre Swift has been excellent with 442 yards from scrimmage, and T.J. Hockenson has had some great games, but the offensive production has been too inconsistent this year. Detroit has missed Taylor Decker, and this week’s potential return would be huge against Cincinnati’s Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard.
The Lions have shown a lot of resolve, and they are going to win a game at some point soon thanks to their grit and determination, but this isn’t going to be it. The Bengals impressed me with how they handled themselves against Green Bay, and I like how Zac Taylor has been coaching up his team. Joe Burrow should lead the Bengals to plenty of points against a weak Lions defense.
Matchup To Watch: Penei Sewell (DET OT) vs. Trey Hendrickson (CIN DE)
My Pick: Bengals win 28-24, Bengals cover, over 49 points
Best Bet: Bengals ML, Lions ATS teased down
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
The Packers narrowly escaped with a win in a game they probably should have lost against the Bengals. They continue to deal with injuries to several key players, including star cornerback Jaire Alexander and five-time All-Pro offensive tackle David Bakhtiari. Aaron Rodgers had a decent if unspectacular game and didn’t deliver the knockout punch like I expected him to. He’s going to have a tough time against a stout Chicago front seven in this matchup, with Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, and Josh Myers still on the injury report on the offensive line. Davante Adams caught 11 passes for 206 yards last week and will provide a tough test for cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who is having a solid sophomore season.
Justin Fields finally delivered the Bears a signature win as they knocked off the Raiders in a decisive fashion. Fields threw the first touchdown pass of his career and was efficient enough to allow the team’s run game and defense to lead them to a win. Despite not having David Montgomery in the lineup, the Bears ran for 143 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries as a team, with Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams providing a formidable backfield punch. Fields continues to be limited as a passer in his first season, partially due to a poor offensive line in front of him, and that’s unlikely to change against a decent Packers defense. While Za’Darius Smith has been out for the Packers, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary have provided an excellent pass rush presence that will be difficult for the Bears’ offensive line to compete with.
With an injury-riddled offensive line in front of him, Aaron Rodgers will be under fire against the likes of Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and Robert Quinn. However, it’s hard to imagine Justin Fields putting up enough offense to keep up with Rodgers and the Packers. The Bears have won just one of their last ten games against the Packers, and while I’d love to back Fields to get the upset win at Soldier Field, I’m not betting against Rodgers in this matchup.
Matchup To Watch: Davante Adams (GB WR) vs. Jaylon Johnson (CHI CB)
My Pick: Packers win 23-17, Packers cover, under 46 points
Best Bet: Packers ML in parlays or under 46 points
Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens
When we look back on the Ravens-Colts game from Week 5, we’ll see the high-scoring action and Lamar Jackson’s game-winning touchdown throw to Marquise Brown in overtime. However, we can’t forget that the Ravens’ offense registered just 3 points in the entire first half and struggled to move the ball throughout the game until a late fourth-quarter surge, including two Mark Andrews touchdowns. Lamar Jackson’s final stat line of 86% passing for 442 yards and four touchdowns shouldn’t be overlooked, however, as it’s his career-high in passing yards and the franchise record. This week, Jackson has to play the Chargers, who have been very good against opposing quarterbacks and have allowed just the seventh-fewest passing yards so far.
Justin Herbert is having an excellent season and could be an early MVP contender. He has thrown for 13 touchdowns to 3 interceptions and has the Chargers in the driver’s seat in the AFC West for now. Herbert threw for 398 yards and four touchdowns on Sunday and added another rushing touchdown. Mike Williams was excellent with eight catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns, and while Keenan Allen took more of a backseat, Austin Ekeler scored three total touchdowns. The Chargers arguably have the best trifecta of skill position players in the NFL at the moment, and that is going to be problematic for a Ravens’ defense that hasn’t played very well lately. Mike Williams missed practice all week, however, and may not be able to play in this game.
Baltimore’s pass rush will meet stiff opposition in the Chargers’ offensive line, particularly if Bryan Bulaga is able to return this week. Herbert is playing excellent football and will take advantage of a Ravens’ secondary that is clearly missing Marcus Peters. Lamar Jackson will have a tough time throwing against the Chargers this week, and while the Baltimore run game should be productive. However, the Chargers are 8-8 on fourth down this season and that’s bound to regress at some point. Lamar Jackson is the best dual-threat quarterback in the NFL and he’s going to expose the worst run defense in the NFL this season. That, combined with the fact that the Chargers are playing an early-morning road trip game on the East Coast, is enough for me to back the Ravens.
Matchup To Watch: Mike Williams (LAC WR) vs. Marlon Humphery (BAL CB)
My Pick: Ravens win 26-23, Ravens cover, under 50.5 points
Best Bet: Ravens ATS
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers
The Panthers looked the worst they have all season on Sunday as Sam Darnold threw three interceptions in a terrible loss to the Eagles. The final score wasn’t particularly jarring, but during the entire game, Philadelphia fans were all over Twitter complaining about the game plan, and Jalen Hurts’s play – and they still won. With just five catches for 42 yards, D.J. Moore was very quiet. Carolina struggled to move the ball without Christian McCaffrey and converted on just 33% of their third downs. Matt Rhule is reportedly “hopeful” that CMC will play in Week 6, but even if he doesn’t, better days should be on the horizon for offensive coordinator Joe Brady and his group.
Minnesota has been a painful team to watch this season, and Vikings fans were furious at how Mike Zimmer handled the game against the Lions. With a 13-6 halftime lead, Minnesota went into the second half playing not to lose, and they almost did anyway. When you have an efficient Kirk Cousins and elite receivers in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, it’s inexcusable only to score 6 points in a half against the Lions. Greg Joseph’s 54-yard game-winning field goal as time expired took some heat off Zimmer for now, but the Vikings are on the cusp of heading into their Week 7 bye with a below .500 record.
This game opened with the Panthers as 3-point favorites before the season, and that has come down to Panthers -1.5. I was disappointed by their loss to the Eagles. The Panthers rank second in the NFL in defensive DVOA, but they have faced the third-easiest schedule so far as well, and the Vikings are capable of presenting some matchup issues. I’ll take the Vikings to win given Kirk Cousins’s very efficient play to start the season compared to Sam Darnold’s struggles as of late.
Matchup To Watch: D.J. Moore (CAR WR) vs. Patrick Peterson (MIN CB)
My Pick: Vikings win 24-20, Vikings cover, under 47.5 points
Best Bet: Vikings ML
Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns
It’s unclear why the NFL declined to flex this game into the Sunday Night Football slot, but it should be an incredibly entertaining game between two of the league’s best teams so far. Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield were the #1 overall pick in back-to-back years, and both played college ball at Oklahoma under Lincoln Riley. The Cardinals didn’t need Murray to be his most explosive self on Sunday as they beat the 49ers in a low-scoring divisional affair, but Kyler is still one of the favorites for the NFL MVP award. DeAndre Hopkins led the way with six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, but the Cardinals have tons of excellent pass-catching talent in Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, and Rondale Moore. Maxx Williams took a nasty shot to the knee on Sunday and may miss the rest of the season, leaving Arizona with a need for a new tight end. Still, this Cardinals offense is one of the best in the NFL and should give the Browns all it can handle.
The Browns leaned heavily on their two-headed monster of a backfield on Sunday as Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 32 carries for 222 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Cardinals have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards in the NFL so far, so Chubb and Hunt should be very productive in this game. David Njoku had a monstrous game with seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown while Donovan Peoples-Jones led the team’s wide receivers. This season, Odell Beckham Jr. has not been productive, and his lack of chemistry with Baker Mayfield continues to hold back the Cleveland offense. It’s also very concerning that the Browns have been unable to convert late drives into game-winning scores as Mayfield has been unable to lead his team down the field to score at the end of the contest. Arizona’s defense will be raring to go and should put a lot of pressure on an offensive line dealing with injuries to Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills.
Update: The injury report is piling up in this game now as Rodney Hudson, Maxx Williams, and Chandler Jones are expected to miss this week while Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Kelvin Beachum, Jordan Hicks, Chase Edmonds, and Byron Murphy are all dealing with injuries or illnesses of their own. Cleveland, meanwhile, will be without Nick Chubb while Myles Garrett is dealing with an injury. The combination of heavy wind and heavy injuries are enough for me to bet on the under in this game and I’ll switch my pick to the home team which is the healthier of the two groups.
Matchup To Watch: Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills (CLE OTs) vs. Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt (ARI DEs)
My Pick: Browns win 20-17, Browns cover, under 53 points
Best Bet: under 53 points
Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos
The Raiders went from being without a loss to being without a coach seemingly overnight as they had about the worst week imaginable. The Chargers ran away from them on Monday night, and they struggled to move the ball at all against the Bears in Week 5. Then, Jon Gruden’s fall from grace came quickly after he was exposed for past indiscretions. It’s hard to know where the Raiders will be mentally this week. Will they be fired up to show they can win without Gruden, or will the recent events be defeating? Either way, Derek Carr will need to get the offense rejuvenated in another tough matchup against the Broncos’ defense. Denver has lost Ronald Darby, Bradley Chubb, and Josey Jewell to injuries lately, all key defensive players, but they still have plenty of talent to match up with the Raiders’ offense. The Broncos have allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL so far.
Teddy Bridgewater performed admirably in a tough road matchup against a brutal Pittsburgh defense and has been impressive overall this year – it was the right move to go with him over Drew Lock. Las Vegas has been middle-of-the-pack in most defensive metrics, but it’s been a massive improvement with Gus Bradley as the new defensive coordinator over last season. Their pass-rush has been excellent with Maxx Crosby, Yannick Ngakoue, and Carl Nassib, while Casey Hayward has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Hayward will see a lot of Courtland Sutton this week, while Garrett Bolles and Bobby Massie will be tasked with keeping the Raiders’ pass rush at bay. Bridgewater has played very well under pressure, though.
Both of these teams started 3-0, and both are coming off two straight losses, leaving them in a precarious position heading into Week 6. They are also better defensively than they are offensively at the moment, but I have more faith in the Broncos to play a clean, turnover-free game this week. Bridgewater gets his team to 4-2.
Matchup To Watch: Courtland Sutton (DEN WR) vs. Casey Hayward Jr. (LV CB)
My Pick: Broncos win 23-17, Broncos cover, under 45 points
Best Bet: Broncos ATS
Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots
Before the season, the Patriots were listed as 3-point favorites in this game. However, the Patriots are an unconvincing 2-3 and nearly lost to the Davis Mills-led Texans on Sunday. That would have been an especially shocking loss considering Bill Belichick was 21-6 against rookie QBs entering the game. However, the Patriots have continued to struggle to develop an identity this season, and their inability to generate explosive plays is very problematic for the offense moving forward. The Patriots have an uncharacteristic -3 turnover differential, the sixth-worst in the NFL, and Mac Jones hasn’t progressed the way New England fans have hoped. Trevon Diggs already has six interceptions so far this season, and Jones will be wary of throwing his way, particularly without much in the way of consistent receivers.
Dak Prescott’s progression from his devastating ankle injury last season has been very inspiring, and he has the Cowboys rolling this season at 4-1. The Cowboys’ fantastic defensive improvement has allowed Dallas to be more of a run-heavy team, though, and the duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined for 35 carries for 185 yards on Sunday. Of course, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper give the team an awesome receiving duo while Dalton Schultz has continued to emerge as a go-to target – he had six catches for 79 yards against the Giants. The Patriots’ supposedly vaunted defense hasn’t performed well this season, and last week, Davis Mills completed 72% of his passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cowboys are developing the ability to win in different ways, and it’s going to make them a Super Bowl contender this season. Dak Prescott is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL with plenty of pass-catching at his disposal, but the defense is quickly improving under Dan Quinn, and that helps the run game be arguably the best in the NFL. New England isn’t nearly as difficult of a road trip as it has been in recent years, and this could be a runaway Cowboys win.
Matchup To Watch: Tyron Smith (DAL OT) vs. Matthew Judon (NE DE)
My Pick: Cowboys win 28-17, Cowboys cover, under 48 points
Best Bet: Cowboys ATS, Cowboys ML in parlays
Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers
I’ve often lamented that I didn’t get into sports betting in time to bet against Geno Smith, but now I get the opportunity to do precisely that. To Smith’s credit, he did play a decent game against the Rams and even led the Seahawks on a long drive that ended in a D.K. Metcalf touchdown. However, he also threw an inexplicable game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter and completed just 58.8% of his passes. This week, Smith faces one of the best front sevens in the NFL in Pittsburgh with T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, and Stephon Tuitt raring to take on a weak Seattle offensive line. It’s hard to imagine Smith being the starter not limiting the upside of Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and it’s hard to envision this offense being productive on Sunday night.
On the other side, Ben Roethlisberger has been pretty terrible this season and is clearly on the verge of being done as a starter in the NFL. However, he threw two touchdowns and played well enough to lead his team to a win last week. This season, Seattle’s defense has allowed the most yards in the NFL, which bodes well for Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, and Chase Claypool. JuJu Smith-Schuster will likely miss the rest of the season, but Claypool is coming off his best game of the year with five catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. Pittsburgh will lean on the run heavily again this week after Najee Harris registered 23 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown last week.
You don’t have to have confidence in Ben Roethlisberger to back the Steelers in this matchup, and Geno Smith is in for a brutal time against Pittsburgh’s front seven. The Steelers’ defense has been excellent this year despite their struggles as of late, and it will lead them to a decisive victory on Sunday night.
Matchup To Watch: Brandon Shell (SEA OT) vs. T.J. Watt (PIT OLB)
My Pick: Steelers win 27-20, Steelers cover, over 43 points
Best Bet: Steelers ATS, over 43 points
Monday, October 18
Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans
The Bills are coming off the most impressive win of the season in a 38-20 rout of the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Josh Allen took advantage of an awful Kansas City defense as he threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 completions and added another 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He gets another delightful matchup this week against the Titans. Whether it’s been Dawson Knox, who has five touchdowns through five games, Emmanuel Sanders, who has four touchdowns in the last three games, or Stefon Diggs, who remains one of the best receivers in the NFL, the Bills just have too many weapons to throw at opponents and make it impossible to slow them down. Tennessee’s Jackrabbit Jenkins and Kristian Fulton will be in for a headache on Monday. The Bills have even found a bit of a run game as Devin Singletary and Zack Moss have been more productive this season, leaving opponents with even fewer answers to how to slow down their offense.
The Buffalo defense has also been excellent, with the most takeaways, fewest points, and fewest yards allowed, making them the clear favorite for the best defense in the NFL. Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier deserve a ton of credit for creating this monstrous unit. The secondary is stacked with Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace, Taron Johnson, Micah Hyde, and Jordan Poyer. A.J. Brown and Julio Jones will find it very difficult to break loose against this team. The pass rush has been improved with veteran Star Loutoulelei and young up-and-comers Gregory Rousseau, Ed Oliver, A.J. Epenesa, and Boogie Basham. Tennessee’s offensive line has struggled in many of their games this season, and it’s likely to have a tough time against this Bills front. Derrick Henry may lead the NFL in rushing yards by a considerable margin, but he won’t be enough against this elite Bills defense.
Trending towards being the best team in the NFL, the Bills look poised for a run to the Super Bowl in the AFC. After dominating a poor Chiefs’ defense, Josh Allen gets another treat against the Titans and should produce elite numbers once again. With the Titans’ offense banged up and Ryan Tannehill not playing his best football, this game should be a rout.
Matchup To Watch: A.J. Brown (TEN WR) vs. Tre’Davious White (BUF CB)
My Pick: Bills win 38-24, Bills cover, under 53.5 points
Best Bet: Bills ATS