Week 6 NFL Betting Picks: Team and Game Totals
Last week did not go well. Looking back, I'm ok with the process that led me to each pick, and I'd likely make the same pick in the same spot if they were playing the games back this week.
The Panthers nearly topped their team total in the first half, then sputtered out in the second half, grinding out a win on the road.
I got the best of the number in the Colts/Browns game, and it was a +EV bet, being on the right side of two key numbers. A pick-six is a death knell for unders, and Cleveland's second-half pick-six sealed the deal here.
After a slow start, we saw a ton of second-half points in the Vikings/Seahawks game. The line dropped from the 56.5 that I wrote up, so I cashed a winning ticket at 54.5, but a failed two-point conversion in the last minute kept the final score under the 56.5 that I wrote up.
Let's move on to Week 6.
Jets @ Dolphins - Under 47.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
A professional Football Team is starting both Joe Flacco and Frank Gore, at the same time on the same team, in the year 2020. It's truly a wild time to be alive. Jets' quarterback, Sam Darnold, was upgraded from out to doubtful heading into the weekend, but let's not pretend that it really matters. This Jets team is completely devoid of playmakers. They're 31st in yards per drive, explosive play rate, drive success rate, and they're dead-last in points per drive. The Dolphins defense is a get-right spot for most teams, but the Jets just don't have the firepower to take advantage of Miami's porous defense.
I think the Dolphins offense can have a strong day, but these teams haven't topped this total in any of their past four matchups, and this iteration of New York's offense is worse than any offensive unit that these two clubs have rolled out in that time frame. I think a play on Jets Under 20.5 is a viable here too if you're a big believer in the Miami offense.
Kansas City Chiefs - Over 30.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
This number may look high, but I expect the Chiefs to bounce back in a big way this week against the Bills. The game total is appealing, but I'm more bullish on this number for Kansas City. The Raiders' defense isn't particularly strong, but they did pressure Patrick Mahomes a bit in the second half, forcing him to hold the ball longer than he wanted. The Bills defense, 27th in total defensive DVOA, has been torched all season, and their 31st ranked pass rush is a big problem moving forward. Tre White will be back for Buffalo, but Kansas City has too many weapons to slow down if Mahomes has a clean pocket.
Football Team @ Giants - Under 43.5 (BetMGM)
This game needs a pick-six, possibly two, to go over the total. The Football Team (31st) and the Giants (29th) are near the bottom of the league in explosive play rate this season. They're also both in the bottom-five in yards per drive, points per drive, and drive success rate on the season. There just isn't a lot of meat on this bone. The Terry McLaurin vs. James Bradberry matchup will be a fun one to watch, but McLaurin's ceiling is capped against Bradberry's elite shadow coverage.
Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings - Over 54 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
We haven't seen a lot of encouraging signs from the Falcons offense of late, but a coaching change can't hurt, and the return of Julio Jones will certainly help. Oh, and that Vikings defense. They were gold for 30 minutes on Sunday night, but Seattle eventually exposed them for the pyrite that they are. Only one team has allowed a higher rate of explosive pass plays on the season than Minnesota.
The team that's allowed the highest rate of explosive pass plays on the season is, of course, Atlanta. That's a bad fit against Minnesota. The Vikings are not throwing a lot, but when they do, they're going deep. Shockingly, Kirk Cousins is second in the league in aDOT per attempt, something that doesn't mesh with all of our priors. I think it's unlikely that he maintains this pace, but this matchup isn't the place to bet on it to end.