NFL Betting Predictions: Week 6 Opening Line Report and Picks
Can't describe how much I despise Stephen A. Smith. Just his shtick - and it is a shtick because I've met him in private and it's nothing like what he does on the air. Hey, it's working for him and he's paid a ton of money by ESPN. The guy also does have his sources.
For example, he had Kevin Durant going to the Warriors before anyone else did. And, last week, he reported that the Redskins were going to fire Coach Jay Gruden this week if they were stomped as expected at home by the New England Patriots on Sunday. They were and Gruden is gone, fired on Monday. Amazingly, he lasted longer than any other coach has under owner Dan Snyder - whom Redskins fans want to fire himself. Alas, that's not happening. Assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan takes over, although I doubt he has much of a chance at getting the full-time job. Thing is, no big-name coach is going there unless Snyder vastly overpays because that franchise is such a mess.
Callahan may well start 1-0, though, as Washington is a 3.5-point favorite this Sunday at fellow winless Miami. If the Skins don't give rookie QB Dwayne Haskins his first start, I will be stunned. At this point, no reason not to, and he won't face a worse opponent than the Dolphins. Who, by the way, have yet to score a second-half point this season. Can't tell you how excited I am for this game as it might be the only victory that the winner gets all year - please, please end in a scoreless tie!
Here are some other Week 6 early lines that caught my eye. We won't touch on Thursday's game (Giants at Patriots) or Monday's (Lions at Packers) because we will be previewing them individually here at Doc's. The Bills, Bears, Colts and Raiders are on the bye.
Panthers vs. Bucs (-1.5, 48): A 9:30 a.m. ET start from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, with Tampa considered the home team (really only matters in uniform choice and coin toss). Thought maybe that Bruce Arians had "fixed" Jameis Winston, but the former Heisman winner regressed in Sunday's loss in New Orleans. Mike Evans didn't have a single catch. Starting cornerback Carlton Davis was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit and might be looking at a suspension. Once again, the Panthers will be without Cam Newton due to his foot injury - but they are 3-0 under Kyle Allen after Sunday's 34-27 win over Jacksonville. The last game Newton played was Thursday night in Week 2 when Carolina was knocked off 20-14 at home by Tampa Bay. Christian McCaffrey was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at the Bucs' 2-yard line with 1:28 left. Was a bit of a curious play call. If you watched that game, you could tell Newton wasn't right. Missed a lot of open receivers and wasn't a threat whatsoever with his feet. Pick: Bucs.
Texans at Chiefs (-8, 55): It's the first professional meeting between two first-round quarterbacks from the 2017 draft - and somehow both went after Chicago took Mitchell Trubisky - in Houston's Deshaun Watson and Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes. Both the Texans and Chiefs traded up to get their guy, and both worked out incredibly well. Mahomes is sublime, and about 28 other teams would start Watson over the guy they currently have. This could be the AFC's next great rivalry. These teams did play in 2017, but Alex Smith was still the Chiefs' starting QB then. That seems funny now. Watson threw for 426 yards and five scores in Sunday's 53-32 win over Atlanta. Kansas City was stunned at home by the Colts 19-13. Mahomes banged up his ankle but nothing major. The Chiefs may get Pro Bowl receiver Tyreek Hill back from injury. Pick: Texans.
Eagles at Vikings (-3, 44): Of course, these teams played in the NFC title game following the 2017 season and Philly won easily. That was Nick Foles for the Eagles and Case Keenum for the Vikings at quarterback. Foles is now on the bench with the Jaguars (due to injury, but he isn't getting that job back with rookie Gardner Minshew's performance) and Keenum riding the pine with the Redskins (because he's Case Keenum). Last year, the Eagles were upset at home by the Vikings 23-21. Both won on Sunday. Philly routed the Jets 31-6 behind two defensive scores. Minnesota won 28-10 at the Giants. Dalvin Cook had his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season and Adam Thielen had 130 yards and two scores. He not so subtly had ripped QB Kirk Cousins the previous week. Pick: Vikings.
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