Week 6 Picks For NFL Pick'em Contests
This article was written by TeamRankings
Favorites rebounded last week, but there were still several upsets and unexpected results. The Colts shocked the Chiefs, while the Bears fell to the Raiders in London. The most impressive game might have been San Francisco completely dominating Cleveland on Monday Night Football. That result has led the public to jump off the Browns big time in Week 6, as we will discuss below.
Last week, we highlighted five favorites coming at value as the public reacted to the previous week filled with upsets. The Vikings and the aforementioned 49ers rolled to easy wins, but Tennessee lost in an ugly affair where they missed four field goals, Cincinnati lost to Arizona at home (as a favorite) in a game between winless teams and Dallas hurt themselves with early turnovers against Green Bay (yet finished with the most yards for any losing team so far this year).
You might say we ended with a good point differential but struggled in the close games. That result left us down versus the projected public results based on winner pick popularity in Week 5, with two wins to 2.7 wins for the public—a tough week.
Let's take a look at where the value lies in NFL Week 6 picks for pick'em contests and office pools. Just keep in mind that for our full pick recommendations, customized for your pool and using all the latest win odds and pick popularity data, check out our Football Pick'em Picks product. (New TeamRankings users can also get a free three-day premium trial if you want to look around and see what we have to offer.)
Week 6 Value Picks For NFL Pick'em Contests
Below are five teams that float to the top of the value board for 2019 NFL Week 6. As a reminder, we are primarily looking at two factors here: a team’s chance of winning and how popular it is nationally as a pick.
This week’s picks include two teams that are in coin flip games but the public is heavily on their opponent and three favorites coming in at relatively good value.
Keep in mind we are not blindly recommending you make all of the picks below—the upset picks especially. Factors like your specific pool's size, rules, and prize structure all impact how risky versus conservative you should be overall with your Week 6 picks. But you should certainly think twice about picking against the ones that are favorites, because much better upset opportunities lie elsewhere.
(Note: Win odds and estimated national pick popularity data below may change between publication time and kickoff time. If you want to see the latest numbers, our product updates multiple times per day.)
No. 1: Cleveland Browns (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
Win Odds: 46% (13th-lowest in Week 6)
Pick Popularity: 14% (7th-lowest in Week 6)
The public is very down on Cleveland after they got shellacked by San Francisco on Monday Night Football. The public is high on Seattle after they moved to 4-1 with a close, exciting win over the Los Angeles Rams in the Thursday primetime game.
One team playing poorly in primetime, while the other played well on national television, is a recipe for the public to react to extremes.
The early point spread has Seattle favored by 1.5 points, making it the second-smallest line of the week so far. But the public is going with the Seahawks 86% of the time, a number that has only climbed since early in the week. Our models give Cleveland a 49% chance of winning at home, and the implied win odds from the betting market money lines put it at 46% for the Browns.
Seattle has not been a powerhouse, so just looking at their record likely causes some public overconfidence here. Seattle beat the Bengals and Steelers by a combined three points, and just survived against the Rams on a late missed field goal. Our power ratings have Seattle at +1.1 points over average and Cleveland at -0.9 points below average, so factoring in home-field advantage, this one is close to a toss-up.
No. 2: Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. New Orleans Saints)
Win Odds: 52% (14th-best in Week 6)
Pick Popularity: 15% (8th -owest in Week 6)
The Jacksonville Jaguars are actually a slight 1-point favorite in the betting markets, and the implied win odds from early money lines put Jacksonville at 51.5% to win. Our models are a bit more pessimistic and give Jacksonville a 47.9% chance of winning. Either way, it's close to a toss-up, and the public is picking the Saints heavily here (85% pick popularity).
No. 3: Washington Redskins (at Miami Dolphins)
Win Odds: 62% (7th-best in Week 6)
Pick Popularity: 61% (11th-highest in Week 6)
In what looks like a battle for the top overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Washington travels to Miami in a game between winless teams. While Washington's season has started as a disaster, it has been less of one than how Miami has started. Of course, Washington just fired their head coach, and the public may also be reacting to Miami having a bye week, under some theory that the Dolphins have a slight advantage with extra rest and Washington changing coaches.
(For the record, teams with exactly one extra week of rest who are playing at home coming off a bye are 48-56-3 against the spread in the regular season over the last decade, and there does not appear to be any actionable trend).
Whatever the reason, the public is on Washington about 61% of the time. Washington is an early 3.5-point favorite. Our models give them a 64% chance of victory and the betting lines put their odds at 62%. It's not a huge difference, but there are much better upset picks from a risk/reward perspective than Miami this week.
No. 4: Minnesota Vikings (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Win Odds: 59% (9th-best in Week 6)
Pick Popularity: 59% (12th-highest in Week 6)
Minnesota is a 3-point favorite at home against Philadelphia. Our models give them a 59% chance of victory. That is in line with their 59% pick popularity to start the week. Minnesota also came at a reasonable price last week as a favorite and rolled to the win, but maybe the public is still harboring some ill will based on how the Vikings played against the Bears and Packers (both on the road) in their two losses.
The Eagles are certainly a solid team that can win this one on the road, but Minnesota does have home-field advantage, and enough people are picking the upset that staying with the favorite makes sense here from a value perspective. Other favorites are much more heavily picked by the public (see, for example, the Saints and Seahawks).
No. 5: Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
Win Odds: 72% (4th-best in Week 6)
Pick Popularity: 90% (5th-highest in Week 6)
The Chargers get to host the Pittsburgh Steelers, where Mason Rudolph is still in the concussion protocol and it’s possible that rookie Devlin Hodges starts the game at quarterback. The Chargers fell to 2-3 last week, so the public might be a little more willing to pick the upset here.
There are four other games where a team has similar pick popularity to the Chargers, yet also has lower win odds. Two are the Packers and Chiefs, who are more moderately sized favorites of 4.5-to-5 points, with win odds around 67% each. The other two are the Saints and Seahawks, who are extremely popular relative to their win odds.
Which Of These NFL Week 6 Picks Should You Make?
Once you know the best value opportunities of Week 6, you can often increase your odds to win your NFL pick'em pool by making some educated gambles on them.
Perhaps you bump up the number of confidence points you assign to a pick like Washington or Minnesota, or go with the Browns to shock the public against the Seahawks. But there are a lot of potential decisions to make, and not all of them will make sense for your specific pool.
We built technology to do all the number-crunching needed to make the smartest decisions. Our Football Pick'em Picks product recommends the best weekly picks for your pool based on all the strategic factors that matter, like your pool's size, rules, and prize structure. You answer a few questions about your pool, and it recommends the Week 6 picks that maximize your edge.
We invite you to give it (and all our other premium NFL tools) a try for free.
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