Week 6 action in the NFL has a few standout games many are looking at as potential ways to determine the best in 2021. Highlights include two of the best in the AFC facing off in Baltimore, and Arizona putting their undefeated record on the line in Cleveland. This is a look at the Week 6 games with picks against the spread.
Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, London
Miami Dolphins -3.5
The two bad Florida NFL teams head across the pond to play in front of the London fans to kick off the Sunday slate of action. While this might not intrigue the casual watcher, there is a little bit of hype surrounding the possibility of Tua Tagovailoa returning for the Dolphins. He’s been out for the last three games after fracturing his ribs earlier in the season.
Jacksonville has been a mess, and it goes beyond being winless. Their defense has really struggled against the pass, meaning Miami could ease their second-year quarterback into play. In fact, Trevor Lawrence will also have a chance to succeed against a Miami defense that is less than stellar. Still, it seems like an impossible task to ask Jacksonville to win a game this year. In fact, they might not even be trying at this point.
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Pick: Miami Dolphins -3.5
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens -3
This is the ultimate matchup heading into Sunday, as the Ravens host a very solid Chargers team. Both look like they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders early on this year, and this is essentially the battle for the best team in the AFC currently. The line says that this is a toss-up game, with the Ravens having a slight advantage because of the whole crowd.
It’s simple to say that the matchup will come down to the two quarterbacks, but Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson are off to great starts. They have nearly identical passing yard totals this year, and the steadiness of their play has them potentially leading their sides to a Super Bowl by the end of the season.
As great as the two teams are, the Chargers look a little bit stronger on defense right now. Brandon Staley should have a coaching plan put in place to stop Jackson and running back Ty’son Williams. It’s enough to take the Chargers as the underdog.
Pick: San Diego Chargers +3
Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns -2.5
Another anticipated game for Sunday has the undefeated Arizona Cardinals traveling across the country to play the Cleveland Browns. Even though Cleveland is just 3-2 on the year, their two losses have come to superior teams. Now it’s time for them to see if they can pull off a signature victory in front of the home crowd.
Points were coming in crazy last week when the Browns lost to the Chargers, 47-42. Arizona will be looking to put up a lot of points as well, but Cleveland’s defense is better than what it showed last week. As long as the offense keeps going as it has in the past, Cleveland should be able to give Arizona their very first loss.
Pick: Cleveland Browns -2.5
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Minnesota Vikings -1
Both teams head into this game looking to get there starting running backs into the lineup potentially. Christian McCaffrey is looking to give it a go for Carolina after some hamstring issues, while Dalvin Cook is looking a little more likely to play for Minnesota after some ankle issues.
Even though both running backs have the potential to be back, it’s really a matter of quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins has been decent this year, but has struggled when under a lot of pressure. Carolina will look to really put the pressure on him and get a few sacks early on to set the tone. It’s virtually a toss-up, but taking Carolina as the home team seems like the safer bet.
Pick: Carolina Panthers +1
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots
Dallas Cowboys -4
For all the hype that New England has received in matchups this year, they are just 2-3 early on. They have another big test at home when they face the Dallas Cowboys, a team currently clicking on all cylinders with a three-game winning streak.
It doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier for New England with this matchup, as it’s just not a good one for them overall. Dak Prescott has looked very impressive so far this year, throwing for 13 touchdown passes. That’s more than enough offense for a Cowboys’ defense that has been outstanding as well. They get a chance to shut down a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones, and it just seems like a touchdown or more victory on the road.
Pick: Dallas Cowboys -4
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers -4.5
The oldest rivalry in the NFL gets ready for the first of two meetings in 2021. It seems like a bit of a mismatch on paper, as the Packers are rolling, and the Bears are still trying to figure things out. With that said, rivalry games are always a bit unpredictable, so could the Bears pull off a victory at home?
If they are going to do so, they’ll need to figure out a way to stop Aaron Rodgers, who seems to be getting into the swing of things pretty quickly. The Green Bay quarterback didn’t look that great in Week 1, but the Packers are now looking like a legitimate Super Bowl contender. He might not be at his best, but he should be able to outperform rookie Justin Fields. The line is a bit big for a road favorite, but take the Packers anyway.
Pick: Green Bay Packers -4.5
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions
Cincinnati Bengals -3
The Detroit Lions just can’t catch a break this year. They’ve now lost five straight games, and two in a row on last-second field goals. It doesn’t get any easier as they welcome a Cincinnati Bengals team trying to show the world that they are playoff contenders.
Cincinnati faces a bit of a struggle as they will be without their starting running back Samaje Perine. That could have some people wondering if Cincinnati will be able to cover, but Joe Burrow and his improved passing should be enough offense to continue Detroit’s woes.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -3
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Los Angeles Rams -10.5
A double-digit spread is always a scary thing to look at, especially when the favorite is on the road. The Rams are traveling across the country to play the Giants, but New York will look like a second string team in many ways. There’s a chance that Daniel Jones misses this game, as well as a few other key players on both sides of the ball.
That’s bad news for a team going up against a very good Los Angeles Rams team. They can score at will, and will be looking to get out for a hot start to put away any doubts that they will be sluggish on the East Coast. The Rams should win by double digits.
Pick: Los Angeles Rams -10.5
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington football team
Kansas City Chiefs -6.5
It looks like Kansas City has a chance to get back on track after stumbling out of the gate a bit to a 2-3 record. It’s not that terrible offense this year, but the defense can’t seem to stop giving up big plays.
Fortunately, Washington doesn’t really have that type of offense to give the Chiefs a lot of problems. Not only is Washington’s offense a little underwhelming, but the defense has allowed the fifth-most passing yards so far this year. Look for Patrick Mahomes to shore up some of his interception issues and have a big game to get the Chiefs going in the right direction.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -6.5
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts -9.5
With two teams off to 1-4 starts, it’s pretty surprising to see that the Indianapolis Colts are such heavy favors. However, Indianapolis really shouldn’t be just 1-4 on the year, but a tough loss last week to the Baltimore Ravens put them in the situation. They had a 19-point lead at one point in the game, and then surrendered big play after big play to lose the game.
Houston doesn’t have that type of firepower, and the Colts will be playing in front of their home crowd. Expect the Colts to win, but unfortunately, the spread is too high to count on them that much. Houston is the pick against the spread, even though they lose once again.
Pick: Houston Texans +9.5
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos -3.5
It’s been a whirlwind week for the Los Angeles Raiders, as they lost their head coach John Gruden after he resigned amidst scandal on Monday. The Raiders haven’t looked too bad this year so far, but preparing for a very good defense with so many other distractions can be tough.
Denver started 3-0 on the year, but they’ve lost two straight. At home, this figures to be pretty much a must-win to get everything back on track. Denver is a pretty significant favorite, but they should be able to win by a touchdown or more.
Pick: Denver Broncos -3.5
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers -4.5
The dynamics of this game changed significantly when Russell Wilson went down with a thumb injury last week. This will officially be the first game Wilson has missed in his entire career, and the Seahawks will be trying to do whatever they can to stay competitive.
Unfortunately, Geno Smith has to go up against a pretty good Steelers defense with experience over Seattle. This is the first start for Smith since 2017, and he has to do it on Sunday Night on the road, no less. The Steelers might not be the same Steelers people have been used to the last few years, but they win and cover on Sunday night.