NFL Football Predictions: Week 6 Opening Line Report and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 10/7/2014
I don't think the remaining living members of the perfect Miami Dolphins were too worried about a team going unbeaten this season. Not with Denver having to play Seattle and San Francisco and the Seahawks facing both the Broncos and 49ers. Really the Broncos and Seahawks were the only teams with a slimmer of hope for doing it. Already in Week 6 we have no unbeatens left after Arizona lost in Denver and Cincinnati got crushed in New England in Week 5. Thus, those Dolphins can officially pop the champagne. I will pat myself on the back for a moment and say I recommended both those results. So now the interesting thing to try and determine is whether Oakland or Jacksonville wins a game first. Or, you know, actually scores 20 points in a loss. Here are a few games and interesting opening WagerWeb Week 6 lines.
Broncos at Jets (+8, 47.5): Some people don't believe in trap games in the NFL. I very much do, and this possibly smells like one. Yes, I know the Jets have been terrible offensively -- especially at quarterback -- in their four-game losing streak. However, the players love playing under Rex Ryan. The Jets' late-season surge in 2013 saved his job. Maybe they rally to do it again because Ryan's seat is scorching hot at the moment. The Broncos are coming off a big win over the previously-unbeaten Cardinals where Peyton Manning not only had his 500th career touchdown but also a career-high 479 yards passing. Denver won't have starting running back Montee Ball. If this were seven or lower, I'd go Denver. But I like that extra point and think the Jets show up. The pick: Jets.
Chargers at Raiders (+7, 43): Trap game No. 2. San Diego is riding high right now. With Cincinnati being punked last week, now you could argue the Chargers have been the AFC's best team so far. Philip Rivers is in the MVP conversation with Andrew Luck and Manning, and the San Diego defense has been surprisingly good. But I just don't know. After this game, the Bolts have tough ones at home vs. the Chiefs, a short week at Denver and then at Miami. Hard not to look ahead to those and past the awful Raiders. Oakland beat visiting San Diego 27-17 last year. The Raiders are coming off a bye and might be energized by new interim head coach Tony Sparano (or more so to be rid of Dennis Allen). The pick: Shop around here. You can get 7.5 at some books and perhaps at WagerWeb eventually. There I like Oakland.
Steelers at Browns (-2, 47): Is Cleveland actually pretty good? Last week behind Brian Hoyer, who actually is pretty darn good, the Browns rallied from a 28-3 deficit to win 29-28 in Tennessee. It was the biggest road comeback win in NFL history. Cleveland could very easily be 4-0, but then again could be 0-4. All four games have been decided by a field goal or less. That includes Week 1 in Pittsburgh when the Steelers won 30-27 on Shaun Suisham's 41-yard field goal at the gun. Pittsburgh hasn't put together back-to-back good games yet this year, but Ben Roethlisberger absolutely owns the Browns, who are due a major letdown after last week's miracle. The pick: Pittsburgh and the "under."
Bears at Falcons (-3, 53.5): This is easily the game with the highest total, and I think it's a playoff elimination matchup between 2-3 clubs. Good luck getting in after starting 2-4. The Bears have won time of possession and outgained Green Bay and Carolina the past two weeks but lost both games because Jay Cutler simply isn't an elite quarterback. He had five total turnovers in those two games. The Chicago defense isn't anywhere near good enough to stop teams on a short field. The Falcons are the Saints Lite: totally different team at home in the dome. Atlanta is 0-3 on the road, losing every game by double digits, but has totaled 93 points in two home wins. The pick: Atlanta and the "over".
Cowboys at Seahawks (-8, 47): Now we find out what Dallas is all about in the marquee matchup of Week 6. I'm still not buying. Wins over Tennessee and St. Louis mean nothing. Neither does beating New Orleans on the road or needing overtime to beat Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Texans last week. Cowboys tailback DeMarco Murray has been a monster so far with 130 carries for 670 yards and five scores. He would tie an NFL record with a sixth straight 100-yard game to open a season. Jim Brown with the 1958 Browns holds that. Murray is on pace to tie Larry Johnson's single-season NFL record for carries in a season with 416. Clearly the Cowboys have to cut back or he's going to wear down. I will never guarantee any bet because if I could, I'd make it myself. However, I see no way that Murray approaches 100 yards in Seattle. The Seahawks are No. 1 against the rush at 62.3 yards per game. Washington had just 32 yards in Monday night's home loss. The pick: Seahawks, even on a short week, and under.
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