Our best bets for every NFL Week 6 game

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

October 16, 2022 06:51 AM

Welcome to Week 6 of the 2022 NFL season.

Throughout the season, our VSiN experts will combine to give their best bets on every game. Check back for more picks as we get closer to kickoff.

Odds are from DraftKings (unless noted) as of Thursday night.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8, 45) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: The Buccaneers aren’t quite on track yet, but they got a little closer last week. Leonard Fournette had a big game against the Falcons and Tom Brady was able to throw passes to both Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. While the offense tries to find its sea legs, the defense remains a constant. The Bucs are third in Total Defense DVOA and first in Pass Defense DVOA.

Against a Steelers team that cannot run the ball with any measure of effectiveness and has a rookie quarterback in Kenny Pickett making his second career start, the Bucs defense should be suffocating. Taking the Bucs at the full -8 probably isn’t a bad idea, but they also qualify as a really good teaser candidate to pair with a variety of teams, including the Jaguars.

Taking Tampa Bay down from -8 to -2 in a game they have no business losing creates a nice safety net and a solid complement to the Jaguars + 8 at Indianapolis, as we go through the 3 and 7 corridor with both sides.

Pick: Buccaneers -2/Jaguars + 8 Teaser

Femi Abebefe: I’ve been waiting for the Buccaneers offense, now that it’s healthy at wide receiver, to have that breakout performance that solidifies Tampa Bay as one of the best teams in the NFL. Whether it was the Sunday night game against Kansas City or last week against Atlanta, the Bucs have been underwhelming.

Tampa’s calling card has been their defense, which ranks among the best in the NFL. When the lines reopened Sunday night, I figured we’d see Tampa installed as a touchdown favorite, but now that’s it’s more than that, I have to look at the Steelers.

Pittsburgh is coming off an absolute thrashing by the Bills in Kenny Pickett’s first career start. Despite a score of 38-3, I thought Pickett fared well in what was as tough a spot as you’ll find for a rookie quarterback to make his NFL debut. I don’t like living on narrative street, but this could be one of those buy-low spots on a home underdog that was embarrassed the week prior.

And just to bring the narrative home, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is 14-3-3 against the spread as a home underdog. My guess is Tomlin gets the troops fired up and they make it competitive against Tom Brady and the Bucs.

Pick: Steelers + 8

Cincinnati Bengals (-2, 43) at New Orleans Saints

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: In my “Tuley’s Takes” column this week on the Week 6 card, the theme was all the short dogs and how I can’t quite make a case to bet them against the spread, but I can make a case to bet them in teasers as we can capture the key numbers of 3 and 7. In this game, it’s still unclear if Jameis Winston will return at QB for New Orleans or if Andy Dalton will start again, but either way it’s safe to assume QB/TE Taysom Hill (112 rushing yards, three rushing TDs, one passing TD and a fumble recovery on special teams versus the Seahawks) will continue to have an expanded role. The Bengals are in a fadeable spot as they continue to suffer from the “Super Bowl loser hangover,” so we’ll tease the Saints to + 8 and use them with our other preferred dog for teasers, the Seahawks + 8.5 versus the Cardinals.

Pick: Saints + 8/Seahawks + 8.5 Teaser 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-2, 42)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: Division rivals collide at Lucas Oil Stadium in a game that probably won’t garner a ton of betting interest. 

Jacksonville looked really promising for a hot minute after a shutout win against the Colts and a blowout win over the Chargers, but losses to the Eagles and Texans tempered expectations quickly.

The Colts are on some extra prep after kicking their way to a 12-9 win over the Broncos that saved their season last Thursday night. Falling to 1-3-1, even in the lowly AFC South, would have been a tough hole to get out of, but they have a chance now at 2-2-1.

This isn’t going to be a landmark handicap or anything. This is purely a math play. The Jaguars are + 2 in a game with a total of 42. Taking them up six points to + 8 gets the key numbers in the 3 through 7 corridor and also makes a lot of sense in a game projected to be lower-scoring. It’s even better that we get the better quarterback at the inflated spread.

Pick: Jaguars + 8/Buccaneers -2 Teaser

Femi Abebefe: Most of us were all a little too excited about the start for the Jaguars. I firmly believe they’re on an upward trajectory, but they’re still a young team that simply makes too many mistakes.

Jacksonville thoroughly outplayed the Texans but found a way to lose outright to a winless team as a 7-point favorite. You can make an argument the Jags are in a more comfortable role as underdogs this week, but in my opinion they’re not getting enough points.

This is purely a number play, but I have to back Indianapolis in this game. The Colts are fortunate to have two wins this season (over Kansas City and Denver), but with a mini-bye week, they should be healthier and, hopefully, their coaching staff comes up with a plan to fix the offensive line.

I think the perfect line for this game, between two average to below-average teams, should be Colts by 3, and the fact that it’s under a FG is an autoplay on Indianapolis.

Pick: Colts -2

New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns (-2.5, 43)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: It could be windy in Cleveland on Sunday, but that shouldn’t bother these two offenses all that much. Neither offense is set up for deep shots and both rely heavily on the running game. Cleveland enters with the No. 1 rushing attack by DVOA. New England is 11th, a mark that took a big leap after Rhamondre Stevenson’s huge game last week against the Lions. He rushed for 161 yards on 25 carries in the Patriots’ most complete game of the season.

All the Browns did last week was run for 213 yards on the Chargers, but they still lost because Austin Ekeler ran for 173 and the Chargers moved the ball at will on a beleaguered Browns defense. Imagine rushing for 213 yards and 6.9 yards per carry as a team and finishing behind your opponent in both categories. That’s what Cleveland managed to do last week.

The Browns have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Even without Tom Brady, Bill Belichick can expose defensive weaknesses and he has plenty of them at his disposal against Cleveland. However, Belichick’s defense has a lot of holes against the run, ranking 28th in Rush Defense DVOA.

The potential windy conditions may scare some people off of this total or bring it a little lower, but these two offenses run the ball at high rates of effectiveness and neither defense stops the run.

Pick: Over 43

New York Jets at Green Bay Packers (-7.5, 45)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: I don’t know if the Jets are good, but I know the Packers aren’t very good right now. Asking Green Bay to cover 7 points on what is essentially a short week after playing in London is a tall order, especially for a team that didn’t win by margin often last season and has an offensively-challenged group this season.

Green Bay has only scored on 30.9% of its offensive possessions. The Jets have scored on 35.6% of theirs, as OC Mike LaFleur has been calling some excellent games. The Jets are finding more creative ways to use Breece Hall and have been able to get Garrett Wilson open a lot. I’m still not sold on Zach Wilson, but the organization is going in a positive direction and that should mean good things for him as well.

The Jets have a top-10 defense by yards per play and seem to be improved this season under defensive guru Robert Saleh. A lot of the advanced metrics still like Green Bay’s offense, but it’s a pretty slow and methodical group, which is a big reason why the Packers weren’t able to open up a lot of sizable leads last season.

With this line still over a touchdown across most of the market, grab that hook and don’t look back.

Pick: Jets + 7.5

Baltimore Ravens (-5.5, 45) at New York Giants

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Femi Abebefe: Call me a skeptic or a hater, but I’m simply not buying this Giants turnaround. I’m all in on general manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll for the future, but right now this team is smoke and mirrors. You can probably say this about most NFL teams, but if a couple of bounces go the other way, the Giants are 2-3 instead of 4-1. Such is life in the NFL.

After facing a relatively soft schedule to start the season, the Giants will be taking a step up in competition when they welcome the Ravens to town. I feel pretty confident when I say the Ravens will be the highest-rated team the Giants have faced so far, and it’s not particularly close.

The one thing the G-Men have working in their favor is that defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale has a lot of familiarity with the Ravens after serving as their DC the last four seasons. However, I don’t think that will be enough to bridge the gap.

I think we’re getting a really good Ravens team at a cheap price due to the Giants’ inflated record. Anything under 6 is a bet on Baltimore.

Pick: Ravens -5.5

San Francisco 49ers (-5, 44.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: I gave this out on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night as one of my favorite plays of this week, plus I bet it at Falcons + 6 at William Hill. The 6s are now gone, but frankly we like it at anything more than a field goal. Granted, the 49ers are starting to look like one of the NFC’s top teams with Jimmy Garoppolo taking over again for Trey Lance, but the Falcons have been surprisingly competitive and are the league’s lone 5-0 ATS team (despite a 2-3 SU record). And they should have had a chance at a third straight victory versus the Bucs on Sunday except for the egregious roughing-the-passer penalty for touching Tom Brady, though they did still cover in the 21-15 loss. I expect another close game here.

Pick: Falcons + 5.5 (widely available)

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams (-10, 41.5)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: The Panthers just fired Matt Ruhle and I usually like teams that get a new coach during the middle of the season as the players are motivated to prove it wasn’t their fault (and to make a good impression on the new regime). The Panthers are also going with a new QB, P.J. Walker, as Baker Mayfield is out with a high ankle sprain and was on his way to losing the starting job anyway. This is a “plug your nose” game, but I’m not going to be able to resist taking the double-digit dog as the defending champion Rams aren’t looking like world-beaters at 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS. They’re coming off losses to the 49ers and Cowboys in which they scored a combined 19 points.

Pick: Panthers + 10

Arizona Cardinals (-2.5, 50.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: As mentioned in the Saints writeup, I love the Seahawks teased up to + 8.5. What makes this play so appealing is that Geno Smith is doing a better impression of Russell Wilson than Wilson is doing these days. In addition, Kyler Murray is one of the most dynamic QBs in the league, but the Cardinals are in that group of teams who just can’t get the winning culture right and pull out close games (Browns, Chargers, etc.). If you’re looking for a later game to pair with the Seahawks + 8.5, my preference would be to use the Chiefs + 8.5 versus the Bills in what should be another game that goes down to the wire.

Pick: Seahawks + 8.5/Chiefs + 8.5 Teaser

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5, 42)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

Dave Tuley: Despite a scare against the Cardinals, the Eagles are still the league’s last undefeated team at 5-0, though they’re only 3-2 ATS (they failed to cover in a 38-35 win versus the Lions in Week 1 and a 20-17 win versus the Cardinals on Sunday). So, they’re hardly “Invincible” (great movie, by the way). The Cowboys are arguably off to an even better start considering they’ve been doing it with Cooper Rush in place of Dak Prescott and a stellar defense that could prove the difference against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense. Even if the Cowboys don’t pull the outright upset (which they’ve already done against the Bengals, Giants and Rams), they should be able to keep this close.

Pick: Cowboys + 6.5

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