Well, it’s Week 6 in the NFL and thus obviously in our Survivor Pool picks, and for those of you who have followed this column for the past few years may remember this is the week I went out two years ago, which still leaves a bad taste in my mouth (stupid Redskins).
Anyways, this year my first five top choices really haven’t come close to losing. Last week was one of those where there wasn’t a clear-cut huge favorite so I went with the Indianapolis Colts at home against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs. And Indy did manage to win, albeit in a low-scoring style I don’t think many expected. I’m starting to believe in the Chiefs a bit.
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And I certainly hope you followed my top choice of the Colts, because my two other “have no fear” picks went belly up: Cincinnati lost a game it had no right losing, 24-21, at home to Tampa Bay. In this game the Bengals led by seven points and had the ball with just over two minutes remaining and somehow managed to fall in regulation. Also, the Saints continue to have a Super Bowl hangover in losing, 30-20, at Arizona despite the fact the Cards didn’t score an offensive touchdown. I haven’t used New Orleans as my top choice this year yet, and the way the champs are playing I don’t plan to anytime soon.
I only hit on one of my “steer clear” choices in Week 5, as San Diego’s 13-game winning streak over Oakland finally did end. I’m guessing that you lost a few of your competitors last week in your Survivor Pool with the Saints and Bengals losing and the Redskins upsetting Green Bay.
Week 6 definitely has some games that should be close to sure things, so there are a few more solid choices to pick from. Again, off my board are the Colts, Chargers, Packers, Ravens and Titans.
Have No Fear
Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland) – I hate to keep picking AFC teams and I wonder if the Steelers might be a tad rusty coming off the bye and integrating Ben Roethlisberger back into the offense as he returns from his four-game suspension. But Big Ben is 10-1 in his career against Cleveland, although that one loss came last December. Pittsburgh has won its last six home games in the series by an average of 15.2 points. Oh, and did I mention that the Browns will be starting rookie QB Colt McCoy against the NFL’s top-ranked scoring defense? This shouldn’t really be close.
New York Giants (vs. Detroit) – It’s not too often you can say the Lions enter with momentum, but they do off a 44-6 pounding of St. Louis at home last week. But Detroit also has lost 23 games in a row on the road. Backup QB Shaun Hill gets the start again, but he actually has been pretty good when he doesn’t throw interceptions. The Giants look great all of a sudden, having just dominated in Houston last week, and their defense is No. 1 in the league in average yards allowed per game. The only concern I have here is it’s a potential trap game with New York possibly looking ahead to a Monday night game with Dallas next week.
Chicago (vs. Seattle) – Really all you need to know here is that Bears QB Jay Cutler will play after missing last week’s loss to Carolina, a game in which former backup Todd Collins was epically bad with four picks and a 6.2 rating – yet the Bears won. And it was a very positive sign for Bears backers the way they ran the ball against the Panthers. One concern here is Seattle had two weeks to prepare and gets to debut former Bills running back Marshawn Lynch. But the Seahawks have lost their two road games thus far by a combined 51-17.
Green Bay (vs. Miami) – The Packers simply don’t look right offensively and no team is more battered. It does appear Aaron Rodgers might be able to play after suffering a concussion in last week’s loss to Washington, but the Pack are down to their third-string tight end and star linebacker Clay Matthews is among several other players that might be or will be held out this week. The Fins had the bye week to prepare and are 2-0 on the road.
San Diego (at St. Louis) – Is it fairly clear right now that the Chargers aren’t a good play on the road? Last week’s loss to Oakland dropped them to 0-3 away from home this year, and they are allowing an average of nearly 28 points per game on the road. The Rams are 2-1 at home this year and could well be 3-0.
New York Jets (at Denver) – Again, it’s probably too early in the season to be picking a road team, but the Jets bandwagon is filling up as they have won four in a row. But it’s a short week for New York, which might not have star cornerback Darrelle Revis against the NFL’s top-ranked passing offense.
So, to recap, take the Steelers this week. I’ve really got to take an NFC club in Week 7, assuming no Pittsburgh upset, as now off the yearly board along with Pittsburgh are the Colts, Chargers, Packers, Ravens and Titans.
Good luck in Week 6.
Jason Sharpe has been excellent for his expert football picks at Doc’s Sports, and he is on a 21-12 NFL picks run. He has become known by those bookies for his college football and NFL handicapping capabilities and he expects to beat the majority of NFL point spreads this season and he plans on dominating the college football betting landscape as well! Call us toll-free at 1-866-238-6696 to find out about a free one-week football package from Sharpe or any Advisory Board handicapper of your choice (new clients only).