NFL Week 6: Top Two Betting Picks
After another disappointing 1-1 week in Week 5, I swore to myself not to bet against the Eagles against the spread anymore. And yet, deep in my heart, I know that third time's the charm for everything so...
Lions (+3.5) over EAGLES
The Philadelphia Eagles have been my betting kryptonite. I've picked against them the past two weeks, and both times they have proven me wrong. However, this week the Eagles are the favorite by more than three points against an underrated team coming off a bye. It is too much to resist. For the third consecutive week, it's time once again to bet against the Eagles.
The formula is the same as last week's pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Eagles. An underperforming playoff contender coming off their bye playing against an overrated Eagles team. The Steelers won the game, but they did not cover the spread. However, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick proved that he still has a major fumbling problem. He lost two more against the Steelers, including one in the red zone. Maybe Vick will be the cure for the disappointing Detroit Lions' defense.
The Lions' secondary has been giving up a lot of big plays this season. However, with stud safety Louis Delmas returning to the lineup, expect the Lions to improve their pass defense. The matchup I really love though is the Lions' star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh against Eagles' backup center Dallas Reynolds. Suh will provide the penetration to frustrate the Eagles' offense and cause a pressured Vick to make more bad decisions. Expect the Lions' front four to make a huge impact in this game.
Everyone knows that the Lions have a very good passing attack, but the key for their offense in this game is running back Mikel Leshoure. Leshoure had a very minimal impact for the Lions last game, a Week 4 loss against the Minnesota Vikings. However, the Eagles' run defense is far more generous than that of the Vikings. Last week against the Steelers, the Eagles gave up 5.8 yards per carry to Rashard Mendenhall, a tailback with a very similar running style to Leshoure. The Lions will need to get the ground game going to prevent the Eagles' defense from cheating against the pass.
The psychological advantage also goes to the Lions. Already far behind in the NFC North, the Lions view this game as a must-win, whereas the Eagles have been known to not be as sharp the game before their bye week. Under coach Andy Reid, the Eagles are 5-8 against the spread going into a bye week. Additionally, the Eagles have yet to win a game by more than two points while the Lions haven't lost a game by more eight. I like the Lions to win this game straight up, but even if the Eagles do win, don't expect it to be by more than a field goal.
The Atlanta Falcons are one of two undefeated teams in the NFL. They play much better at home. The Oakland Raiders are traveling from the West Coast to play a 1 p.m. East Coast game. They have the 28th worst passing defense and the 30th worst scoring defense in the league. And yet, this line is still single digits?
The Falcons' passing game has been magnificent this year, and their quarterback Matt Ryan is close to elevating himself into the elite tier. Their three biggest weapons, wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez, will provide huge matchup advantages for Ryan against a struggling Raiders' secondary.
The Falcons' defense also provides another advantage against the Raiders' struggling offense. Their defense is tied for second in the NFL in takeaways with 14. Against turnover-prone Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, the Falcons' defense will be very opportunistic. The Raiders have been falling behind early in each of their games, and relying on Palmer against the ballhawking Falcons' secondary could be disastrous.
While the Falcons' run defense is ranked 27th in the NFL, expect them to focus their attention heavily on Raiders running back Darren McFadden. Even though he has struggled a bit to start the season, McFadden is still the Raiders most explosive weapon on offense. If the Falcons can keep McFadden contained, which three of the four Raiders' opponents have done thus far, this will be a very easy win for them.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, there are a lot of distinct advantages the Falcons have over the Raiders in this game. Matt Ryan is 21-10 in his career against the spread at home. The Raiders are 6-14 against the spread in 1 p.m. East Coast games since 2003. And just for good measure, the Raiders are 0-9 against the spread in their past nine games after a bye. Expect the Falcons to win big, and move on to 6-0 on the season. This is my lock of the week.
LAST WEEK'S PICKS: 1-1 || SEASON PICKS: 2-2