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NFL week 6 picks, odds: Browns shock Steelers, Bears (!) Win, Titans / Texans engage in shooting

As noted in Friday’s Pick Six podcast, we saw a spike in call waiting, up to nearly a full flag hold per game from the previous week. It doesn’t seem like a large number, but it is very important: when you start calling more holding, you significantly reduce the score and drag the matches.

Will we see another hike this week? Or will the NFL keep stressing the score? At some point there will be a lowering of the fund from this excessive party, but I don’t think it will be this week (I could be wrong, my picks haven’t been perfect in the last few weeks). I think we see a lot of goals and a couple of upsets.

Without further ado, all my bets of the week:

Chicago (4-1
) to Carolina (3-2)

1 pm. ET (fox)
Diffusion point: Panthers, -2.5

I don’t really like this game from a betting standpoint, however, I’ve decided to take a new perspective with the Bears and their fans this season. Instead of picking them to lose 24-3 every week and hear their bullshit when they win, I’m going to do a three-tier troll move here and start picking them to win every week. Yes, I will sacrifice my personal ATS record in hopes that the Bears will lose every game moving forward. Let’s get hot!

The Pick: Bears 17, Panthers 16

Baltimore (4-1) to Philadelphia (1-2-1)

1 pm. ET (CBS)
Diffusion point: Ravens -7.5

For a hot minute, I leaned on my “Carson Wentz shocks the world with a backdoor cover” … and finally decided to do it. The Ravens are just a better team and they aren’t afraid to blow up a bad team. We haven’t seen a Lamar Jackson NOVA game yet and I think we’ll have one this week. He and Marquise Brown team up for a couple of scores on a porous Eagles defense and Lamar runs for another pair himself.

The choice: Ravens 41, Eagles 17

Atlanta (0-5) to Minnesota (1-4)

1 pm. ET (Fox)
Diffusion point: Vikings -4

Anyone who has read my columns of choices over the years knows I’m a huge Dead Cat Bounce fan. If you don’t know what that means, it’s basically a team that fires its manager and then plays well the next week. Players have recognized that this is one thing (Brady Quinn said that everyone raises the energy one level when the coach is in the box because you realize everyone’s work is at stake) and it shows pretty well in the stats and in the results. We saw the Texans do business against the Jags last week after Bill O’Brien was fired. I think the Falcons will do something similar and try to vent a porous Viking defense. Matt Ryan will be pissed off by Arthur Blank’s comments and will try to prove something. Great day for him, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

The Pick: Falcons 35, Vikings 28

Cleveland (4-1) to Pittsburgh (4-0)

1 pm. ET (CBS)
Diffusion point: Steelers -3.5

I really, really, really want to pick the Browns here. I think they are legitimate at 4-1 – the first time since 1994 – but the specific circumstances surrounding this game scared me a little. We don’t know if Odell Beckham will play, after the star wide receiver was sent home with an illness on Thursday. Baker Mayfield should be okay, but he’s slammed this week. The Steelers have never lost to Cleveland at home under Mike Tomlin. Ben Roethlisberger ILLUMINATES the Browns because they overtook him in 2004 and still has a chip on his shoulder. But you know what? I don’t care. I’m here to LIVE. Give me Cleveland. I also love the ending of this game.

The pick: Browns 31, Steelers 28

Houston (1-4) to Tennessee (4-0)

1 pm. ET (CBS)
Diffusion point: Titans -3

I never doubt Mike Vrabel’s team again. What an impressive effort against Buffalo without practice. He went Full Belichick and convinced his team to motivate themselves by ruining the COVID protocols. It worked and Tennessee was great against Buffalo. They used a formula – lowering zone coverage and forcing an impatient quarterback who likes to run to beat them by reading the entire field and being super aggressive in short windows – to take out Josh Allen. We saw the Vikings do the same thing against Deshaun Watson and it worked very well. I think we will see a repeat this week and the Titans can win this match. I also love the over 53s here, but if you go that route you need Watson to collect points late, which Allen and Buffalo didn’t.

The Pick: Titans 31, Texans 24

1 pm. ET (fox)
Diffusion point: Giants -2.5

I’m not going to overcomplicate things here – the Giants shouldn’t be favorites in any football match right now.

The Pick: Washington 17, Giants 14

Cincinnati (1-3-1) to Indianapolis (3-2)

1 pm. ET (CBS)
Diffusion point: Indianapolis -8

He made a big mistake by assuming that Joe Burrow could break through the back door against the Ravens and their defense. I think Indy will be different – their defense is good, but they are willing to let the teams hang around by not locking themselves in the red zone and playing to prevent / break the clock in the second half. That should be enough for Joe Burrow to sneak into the backdoor and get more than one touchdown. If Darius Leonard doesn’t play, I love Joe Mixon’s props and use it in DFS. I love Jonathan Taylor’s props either way. Breakout game coming up for him.

The Pick: Colts 21, Bengals 14

Denver (1-3) to New England (2-2)

1 pm. ET (CBS)
Diffusion point: Steelers -9.5

There are only about 20 quarterbacks under the age of 25 who have ever won a soccer match – at home or away – against Bill Belichick in the past 20 years. It’s not much. The Pats aren’t the same as their peak, but they managed to crack down on Patrick Mahomes the other day. I think they can handle Drew Lock and / or Brett Rypien. With the return of Cam Newton and the emergence of Damien Harris, we could definitely see this game ending up being a low-scoring slogan with a late defensive scoring from New England.

The Pick: Patriots 28, Broncos 14

Detroit (1-3) to Jacksonville (1-4)

1 pm. ET (fox)
Diffusion point: Lions -3

Lions are better than 1-3, they are leaving the scene, they have a great offensive pass and are playing against the worst defense in football. Jaguars can’t stop anyone and don’t have much efficiency when it comes to their red zone performance and / or their kicking game. Gardner Minshew should be able to pass in this game – even the Lions aren’t good at defense – but I’m going to take the best quarterback and the best team here to score points. If Matt Patricia loses another double-digit lead, he may be looking for a job.

The Pick: Lions 35, Jaguars 31

4:05 PM ET (CBS)
Diffusion point: Dolphins -8

Again, I’m not going to complicate things here: I’ll never bet on the combination of the Jets and Adam Gase again, especially as long as Joe Flacco and Frank Gore are trotting.

The Pick: Dolphins 24, Jets 13

Green Bay (4-0) to Tampa Bay (3-2)

4:25 PM ET (fox)
Diffusion point: Packers -1

Exceptional end game between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. The Packers are probably the best team here, but this is kind of a desperate match for the Buccaneers, who would fall 3-3 after losing to the Bears last week. The Packers are out of their minds, but the Bucs also have 10 days off. I’m very interested to see how the Tampa race defense responds to the Vita Vea loss. One of the best defenders in the NFL just a few years into his career, losing him could unlock Aaron Jones in a big way. I will regret this choice if it is so problematic, but I tend to think that Brady – who received a backhand slur from Jamaal Williams this week – will get his guns out for this bout and take care of business back home.

The Pick: Buccaneers 28, Packers 24

8:20 PM ET (NBC)
Diffusion point: 49ers +3.5

Kind of like the Philly game, I’ll buy as low as possible on a dog here. The 49ers are a team that nobody wants to have anything to do with. They just lost to the dolphins in a horrible way at home. The Rams are playing well and everyone will be on them. Give me Jimmy Garoppolo in a rebound / buy-low position, along with the 49ers rushing to attack and a big stage for George Kittle. Kyle Shanahan won’t just lie back and head home, especially in a massive division match against a rival with the 49ers who desperately need to win with looming key division games. They will either stay tight or win outright.

The Pick: 49ers 24, Rams 21

Kansas City (4-1) to Buffalo (4-1)

5:00 PM ET (NFLN)
Diffusion point: Heads -3.5

Like the Titans, the Chiefs have demonstrated the ability to play with plenty of zone coverage and limit an explosive attack in passing with a fiery quarterback. They should be able to do it against the Bills here – I’m a little worried they might give up on twists and turns to Stefon Diggs like they did with Henry Ruggs and Nelson Agholar for Las Vegas last week, but I think Steve Spagnuolo can cook a defense to slow buffalo. I don’t think Buffalo can stop the Chiefs offense right now. Oddly, this might be the place for Patrick Mahomes and Co.

The Pick: Chiefs 35, Bills 28

Cardinals (3-2) to Dallas (2-3)

8:20 pm ET (ESPN)
Diffusion point: Cardinals -1.5

Andy Dalton in prime time? Yes, I’ll turn it off. I actually think Dalton will play well in this place, with Chandler Jones out for the Cardinals and the weapons he has at his disposal. But the Cowboys are dealing with major offensive line problems and Dalton without protection is a problem. Cowboys defense is incredibly bad and Kyler Murray / DeAndre Hopkins should be able to attack them in the air.

The Pick: Cardinals 28, Cowboys 21

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