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Weekend Football Picks and Fantasy Football 2020 (February 8-17)

The English Winter Break is in play for the first time this season and I think it has not gone as well as the Premier League and the top clu...

Thursday, 10 October 2019

NFL Week 6 Picks 2019 (October 10-14)

I will get onto the NFL Week 6 Picks below, but first off I will write out a few thoughts about the NFL coming out of Week 5.

At this stage of the season teams are beginning to separate themselves out into genuine Super Bowl contenders, PlayOff hopefuls, middling teams and those who will be chasing the Number 1 Pick in the Draft.

It is still very early for teams to panic about their standings, but we are very much into the Bye Weeks now and that means the importance of games ramp up. This week we also get to see the second of four games to be played in London, one I will be attending on Sunday afternoon, and there are some good looking games to come throughout the Week 6 schedule including the best Monday Night Football game since Week 1 of the season.

A few thoughts that sprung to mind first:


Baker Mayfield IS over-rated: when the Cleveland Browns selected Baker Mayfield as the Number 1 Overall Pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, I did think they had reached massively for a player that had shown some quality in College, but also a tendency to rub people up the wrong way.

Now I wasn't sure if that would be a big problem within his own locker room and I don't think it has been, but I also thought Mayfield was not the best Quarter Back coming out of that Draft. None of the Quarter Backs selected in the Draft have excelled to suggest the Browns could have looked elsewhere, but Mayfield himself seems to get a lot more headlines than his talent warrants.

A couple of weeks ago Rex Ryan described him as 'over-rated' and I do agree with that with some out there thinking he is on the way to being an elite Quarter Back. I see more comparisons with Kirk Cousins as someone who will feast on the lower quality teams in the League, but not someone you can rely upon when it comes to big games.

That is harsh on a player who has only had seventeen starts in the League, but that is only five fewer than Patrick Mahomes and I know which of the two Quarter Backs I would want to lead my team. Baker Mayfield will have a solid career in the NFL I am sure and he is playing behind an Offensive Line which is struggling when it comes to pass protection, but some of the throws Mayfield makes would worry me massively.

At least one of the Interceptions in the loss to San Francisco on Monday Night Football was down to Mayfield completely missing where he intended to hit his Wide Receiver and causing the bounce off the hands of the Receiver into the arms of the Defensive player. It was a bit unlucky, but the Receiver was wide open and the throw and problems from it were caused by Baker Mayfield.

I expect he will bounce back this week with a much better game, but Mayfield is inconsistent and not even close to being as good as some would have you believe.


Toilet Bowl Part 1: The 0-5 Washington Redskins and the 0-4 Miami Dolphins meet on Sunday and the winning team will feel like the losing one later in the season with both chasing the Number 1 Pick in the Draft.

Arguably the game with the two worst teams in the NFL is ironically enough being played at the same venue as the Super Bowl in February, but this is only Part 1 of what could be a number of these 'Toilet Bowl' games involving Miami this season.

Winless Cincinnati and New York Jets face the Dolphins this season, while the Jets also visit the Redskins and face the Bengals too. The team that can take the most losses from those games is likely going to finish with the Number 1 Draft Pick and so they will be fascinating in their own way through the course of 2019.


Jay Gruden Out, Who's Next? And what about Washington?: It was perhaps a surprise that Jay Gruden was fired in the manner he was (he was allowed to go home on Sunday and then told to be in the office at 5am Monday morning to be fired, not sure why that couldn't have just been done later on Monday or at least right after the game on Sunday?), but the former Head Coach of the Washington Redskins would have known his time was numbered after the latest flat loss.

The Redskins will likely go with an Interim Head Coach through the remainder of the 2019 season before Dan Synder tries to make a big splash with some suggesting he has targeted Mike Tomlin from the Pittsburgh Steelers. I do think Snyder will give himself some thinking time (not that it will help this owner too much) and Bruce Allen is clinging onto his power with the Redskins which suggests this team is as far as ever from competing.

NFL teams rarely do an in-season firing, but it feels like a couple of Head Coaches will need to find something big soon to turn the momentum against them. Most likely is Dan Quinn with the Atlanta Falcons who were hoping for a PlayOff run and instead are at 1-4 having just given up over 50 points to the Houston Texans.


Should Dallas pay Dak Prescott as their Franchise Quarter Back: This is not a question of whether they will or not as it seems the Cowboys are convinced about Dak Prescott despite his eye-catching numbers largely coming against poor teams in 2019.

More importantly is whether they SHOULD pay Prescott- I am not convinced he is much more than a game-manager, an upper end game-manager, and so paying along with the elite Quarter Backs in the League is not what I would be thinking about doing.

I might be proven wrong, but the Cowboys will find it very difficult to shift the Quarter Back without putting in the kind of clauses that saved the Miami Dolphins when paying Ryan Tannehill. Even then it would set the team back if they do end up overpaying for Prescott who looks really good on some days, but really bad on others and I tend to find that depends on the level of opponent he is facing.

With the Cowboys Offensive Line banged up, Prescott does have a chance to showcase his own abilities in the next few weeks as running the ball might not be as comfortable as it has been. Ezekiel Elliot has not been firing as he would have liked either so Prescott has a chance to prove that I have got him wrong, even though it won't matter to Jerry Jones and Dallas who are almost certainly going to pay him anyway.



My Top Five
1) New England Patriots- not always looked their best Offensively, but the Defensive side of the ball is on fire and the Super Bowl Champions are going to be the team to beat in January barring massive injuries. The last unbeaten team in the AFC

2) Green Bay Packers- big win on the road in the Big D, and they look like a team who could improve on both sides of the ball. Defeat to Chicago Bears just gives them some breathing room at top of the NFC North.

3) New Orleans Saints- with Drew Brees still to come back, New Orleans look very strong at 4-1 as the Defensive side of the ball steps up.

4) Kansas City Chiefs- I know they lost this weekend so they could have slid a few more places in other people's Rankings, but the Chiefs are still looking like the second best team in the AFC. Will be hoping Patrick Mahomes is not too banged up.

5) San Francisco 49ers- they look good on both Lines which is always a boost for any team. If Jimmy G can just settle down again, the 49ers might be the team to beat in the NFC West. Only unbeaten team in the NFC left this season.


My Bottom Five
32) Miami Dolphins- you know it is bad when the spread makers have you down as the underdog in your Bye Week.

31) Washington Redskins- even the Washington Redskins are favoured by more than a Field Goal to win in Miami this weekend so that is the gap between the bottom two teams in my Rankings. Don't get me mistaken though, the Redskins are a hot mess.

30) New York Jets- still without a win, but I think the return of Sam Darnold will be a huge plus for this team.

29) Cincinnati Bengals- I thought about dropping them below the Jets, especially after a home loss to the previously winless Arizona Cardinals. However the Bengals have been more competitive than the Jets in recent weeks, although I wouldn't be surprised if the Jets end up with the better record in 2019.

28) Atlanta Falcons- lame duck Head Coach and just allowed over 50 points in Week 5's defeat at the Houston Texans. I can't believe they are favourites on the road this week even though they are facing the Arizona Cardinals.


Week 6 Picks
After a couple of positive weeks, I have suffered through back to back losing Weeks for the NFL Picks which is a real disappointment.

At least two of the selections I would love to have back after they feel through without ever really looking like winners, but I have to grit my teeth and look for a better record in Week 6. It is far too early in the season to be panicking, but I am looking for my first really big week of the season in the NFL having achieved that recently from the College Football Picks and I do think that week is just around the corner.

I am not one for just saying this and moving past it, I want to see the better results beginning in Week 6 and looking to put some momentum behind this season.

In this thread you can read the Week 6 Picks from the NFL Season as well as the updated totals from the 2019 season so far.


New York Giants @ New England Patriots Pick: Over the last few years the New York Giants will be remembered for upsetting the New England Patriots not once, but twice in the Super Bowl. Things have changed dramatically for the Giants since the last of those in February 2012, for example this is going to be a game they will not be starting with Eli Manning.

Daniel Jones has come in and shown enough in his rookie year at Quarter Back to suggest the Giants are in a good position for the years to come with Manning reduced to a backup. The change had to be made if only to appease a fanbase that has lost all faith in Eli Manning's capabilities and back to back wins before the blow out loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5 suggests it was the right move made by the Giants.

However we can't deny that this is a difficult spot for Jones who has to travel to New England on a short week and who is likely going to be without a number of Offensive weapons that could aid him. Saquon Barkley is unlikely to be risked despite news that he is much closer to a return from injury than the initial time line would have suggested, while his backup Wayne Gallman suffered an injury in Week 5 which is expected to keep him out.

Running the ball might have been the best hope for the Giants on Thursday Night Football to keep themselves in with a chance of upsetting New England, but without their first two choices at Running Back it might not be easy to do so. The Patriots have a Defensive Line that has impressed, but has not been as stout against the run as they would have liked so I do think Jones will scramble for a couple of big plays on the ground, although to sustain that against a Bill Belichick coached Defense is not going to be an expectation.

Since Barkley went down with an injury, the Giants have struggled to move the chains on the ground anyway so it might be up to the arm of Daniel Jones to give them a shot. The conditions in Foxboro don't exactly scream out for a big passing day, but injuries to Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram has depleted a Receiving corps that saw the Giants see fit to move on Odell Beckham Jr in the off-season.

Throwing against the Patriots is a difficult looking task in any conditions though and Daniel Jones could find himself under immense pressure from the New England pass rush whenever he is in third and long spots. The Giants Offensive Line has not been too good when it comes to pass protection and it might mean the Patriots are able to get to the rookie Quarter Back with the belief that Belichick will look to take away any semblance of a running game and force Jones to try and beat through the air.

Running the ball hasn't been much easier for the New England Patriots in 2019 either, although this does feel like a game in which Sony Michel can crack a couple of big plays. Unlike the Giants, New England have all of the experience in the world with Tom Brady and they have a passing Offense which should be able to feast on a Giants Secondary which has struggled throughout the season.

Again it has to be said the conditions are perhaps going to be the biggest opponent for the Patriots to deal with when it comes to dropping back and throwing the ball. It is expected to be a little wet and windy in Foxboro on Thursday Night Football, but Brady can run the Offense to crack big plays without taking risky long passes.

His only negative in this game might be dealing with the Giants pass rush if the likes of Michel and James White can't get the rushing Offense on track. Even then Brady is largely well protected and he can get the ball out of his hands very quickly which should see New England continue to move the chains and perhaps reach at least 30 points scored for the fifth time in six weeks to open the 2019 season.

The key to the spread in my mind is about how much Offense the Giants can produce and I do know we have seen many rookies struggle at Quarter Back when facing Bill Belichick for the first time. Daniel Jones is almost playing with one hand tied behind his back when you think of the injuries the Giants arrive with and I do like the Patriots here.

It is the third time New England have been asked to cover a spread of 15.5 points or higher this season and they are 2-1 against the spread in those games. The Patriots are 8-4 against the spread as the favourite on Thursday Night Football and they are 5-0 against the spread when facing a non-Division opponent with a losing record.

New York Giants are 1-7 against the spread under Pat Shurmur when playing a team with back to back straight up wins while coming off a non-Division game. On a short week I do think the Giants might struggle to score enough points to remain within this number.


New Orleans Saints @ Jacksonville Jaguars Pick: When Drew Brees picked up the thumb injury that was likely going to keep him out for a few weeks the consensus was that the New Orleans Saints were fortunate to be playing in the weak NFC South. However the Carolina Panthers are on something of a roll so it has been very important for the Saints that backup Teddy Bridgewater has been able to manage three wins in a row and guide New Orleans to a 4-1 record.

This is going to mean the Saints are in a good place when Brees returns and Bridgewater is coming in off one of his better games having been little more than a game manager in wins over the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys. Those are the kind of wins that show that the Saints have a real depth to their team outside of their future Hall of Fame Quarter Back, while Teddy Bridgewater carved up the Tampa Bay Secondary in Week 5 to help the Saints to a big Divisional win.

In Week 6 they face the Jacksonville Jaguars who have also lost their starting Quarter Back when Nick Foles was injured in the first game of the season. Gardner Minshew was a Sixth Round Draft Pick and had to be seen as a project for the Jaguars, but instead he has come in and thrown for almost 1300 passing yards with 9 Touchdowns to a single Interception which means the team have likely found the Quarter Back that will have the keys to the Offense for the next two seasons.

Those numbers are impressive, but the Jaguars are 2-3 in the AFC South where they trail the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts by a single game. That is a manageable distance, especially if they can win this game in Week 6 like I believe they can.

Minshew would love to get some help from Leonard Fournette at Running Back and earlier in the season you would have felt he could have a big game. The Jaguars have continued to pound the ball with success, but New Orleans Defensive Line has just stiffened up front since the Brees injury and so it might be a real test for the Jaguars to show their own Offensive Line powers in opening up holes for their rushing Offense.

It has been a Line that has been less successful when it comes to pass protection so the likes of Marcus Davenport and Cam Jordan will be licking their lips. However Minshew has also shown he is capable of scrambling around the pocket and extending plays and I do think that is going to be vital, especially as the New Orleans Secondary has one or two holes that can be exploited when Quarter Backs are given the time to throw against them.

With Fournette expected to give the Saints some issues in stopping the run, Minshew can pick up the reigns and help the Jaguars move the ball in the expected hot Florida weather. Extending drives to tire out the Defensive unit will be important for Jacksonville and winning the field position battle will also allow their own strong Defense to step up and force Bridgewater into uncomfortable positions.

Surprisingly there have been holes on the Defensive Line which has seen the Jaguars give up 6.4 yards per carry in their last three games. Whether New Orleans can exploit that is another thing with Alvin Kamara banged up and the fact that teams are beginning to load the box and dare Bridgewater to beat them through the air.

Teddy Bridgewater had a very strong outing in Week 5 which may aid the Saints as teams will have to respect the pass, but Jacksonville will be looking to get their pass rush going to try and rattle the Quarter Back. I do think the Saints will have some success moving the ball, but this might not be a great spot for the players who are coming off two big Conference games and have to visit the Chicago Bears last week.

Taking on a non-Conference game might not be ideal for them and I do think opposing a public underdog is a bonus. Jacksonville should be able to have another success Defensively and I also think the conditions in Florida will suit the home team a lot more than New Orleans.

Backing the Jacksonville Jaguars as a home favourite has not been a productive play in recent years, but the return of Jalen Ramsey is a bonus for the Defensive unit. I expect Gardner Minshew to have a decent game against a New Orleans team who may be focusing on other games rather than this non-Conference one and laying the points is the approach for me.


Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs Pick: Two teams with winning records coming in off contrasting performances in Week 5 are facing each other in a big Week 6 game. The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans are both Divisional leaders, but the Chiefs are looking to bounce back from a poor home loss to the Indianapolis Colts in primetime on Sunday, while the Houston Texans just put up 50 plus points in a home win over the Atlanta Falcons.

That has seen the line move a few points in favour of the underdog and has just lessened the appeal in backing the Houston Texans. However, they are still going through a key number in this one and I think the road team might be able to keep this one close enough on the day even if I believe they will come up short when it comes to winning outright.

Deshaun Watson vs Patrick Mahomes should be a game being played in a much better primetime spot in my opinion, but I would not be surprised if this is the first of two meetings between these teams in the 2019 season.

In Week 6 I do think the potential injury that Mahomes is playing through could be a concern for the Chiefs who need their superstar Quarter Back at his best if they are going to challenge for a spot in the Super Bowl. Last week Mahomes had an Offensive Lineman step on his ankle and his movement was limited through the remainder of the defeat to the Colts, while Indianapolis did follow the blueprint set up by the New England Patriots in trying to limit the time Mahomes had to run the Offense.

Kansas City are going to need Mahomes to be close to his best because they may have one or two issues trying to establish the run against an improving Houston Defensive Line. With the Quarter Back they have, teams can't afford to completely focus on shutting down the run against the Chiefs, but Houston will feel their Line can at least limit the impact Kansas City have on the ground and make sure Mahomes is not escaping the pocket too frequently either.

Putting the clamps on Patrick Mahomes is a different test altogether though and I am not sure Houston are going to be able to do that. Their Secondary has struggle in defending the pass and Mahomes is helping the Chiefs average 320 passing yards per game in the last three for his team, although the question mark around his ankle might mean he is not able to escape the Houston pass rush pressure as he would if 100% healthy.

I do think the Kansas City Chiefs will be able to move the chains and score plenty of points in this one, but Houston can certainly keep up with them if they pick up from where they left off in Week 5. The Atlanta Falcons might not be a benchmark for any Offensive output, but the Chiefs are not exactly a Defensive powerhouse and I do like what Houston will be bringing to the table.

The Texans will use Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson to establish the run and they should be able to do that with the Offensive Line averaging 4.5 yards per carry in their last three games. That is not quite in line with the season average, but Houston should have success against the Chiefs Defensive Line which has given up 5.1 yards per carry in recent games and who struggled to stop the Indianapolis Colts last week.

Running the ball effectively will just make things that much more comfortable for Deshaun Watson to hit his Receivers for big plays. The Chiefs have a few issues in the Secondary that can be exploited especially if a team is able to run the ball effectively against them and I think the Houston Texans will be in a position to score plenty of points.

It is also important to run the ball to protect the Quarter Back with the Offensive Line still having difficulties in looking after Watson behind them. Keeping the Texans in third and manageable spots will be ideal as Watson has the capabilities of running the ball as well as he throws it and I do like the Texans this week as the road underdog.

I am expecting a big reaction from the Kansas City Chiefs off a loss, but the road team is 5-1 against the spread in this series. Also, Kansas City are just 1-13 against the spread as a home favourite of less than 9 points when playing the second of back to back home games.

Deshaun Watson has been a great road underdog to back since coming into the NFL and has improved to 7-1 against the spread in that spot this season. I will back him to duel Patrick Mahomes all the way in this one and keep the Houston Texans in with a chance to win this game outright, but taking the points looks the right play.


Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings Pick: Both the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles are at 3-2 following strong wins over New York teams in Week 5, and both have a huge road game against a Divisional rival coming up in Week 7. However the importance of this game won't be lost on either with the two teams expected to be battling for Wild Card spots in the NFC later this season and tie-breakers potentially separating a loaded Conference.

They look to be evenly matched on paper and I think this is going to be a fun game with questions to be answered by both teams and the two starting Quarter Backs.

Kirk Cousins found his groove in a dominant win in Week 5, but the Quarter Back has long been seen as someone who will be very good when playing the weak teams in the NFL, but who will struggle when the pressure intensifies in big games. That is most certainly the case in Week 6, but Cousins has a vast experience of taking on the Philadelphia Eagles from his time with the Washington Redskins and I do think he can follow up the kind of level he produced in the win over the Giants.

The Minnesota Vikings will need Cousins at his best even though they are a team that will be looking to establish the run first and foremost. Dalvin Cook has had his injury problems since coming into the NFL, but he has shown this season why he is considered such a good player and the Running Back has helped the Vikings average 5.4 yards per carry on the ground this season.

However stopping the run has proven to be one of the best elements of the Philadelphia Defensive unit and that is likely going to slow down the Vikings just a little bit. Dalvin Cook has shown he is always capable of snapping out a big run or two so it would not surprise me if that is the case in this game, but ultimately it is going to come down to the arm of Cousins to really give the Vikings a chance of winning.

Cook will also be a factor in the passing game as a safety blanket for Kirk Cousins who will have to deal with the strong Philadelphia Defensive Line and the pass rush they have been able to produce in recent games. I have no doubt that Jim Schwartz will want to send the pressure throughout the sixty minutes of this game and try and pressure Kirk Cousins into mistakes while also protecting a Secondary that has been dealing with a vast amount of injuries and not playing up to the level they would be expected to.

The pass rush has helped the Secondary in recent games, but I also think the Eagles are facing a stronger Quarter Back than Luke Falk who struggled against Philadelphia last week.

Kirk Cousins tends to play much better at home so I do think he can pick up from where he left off in the win over the New York Giants. He should provide enough points for the Minnesota Defensive unit to protect even if Carson Wentz has been doing enough to help the Eagles win back to back games.

After a slower start to the season than expected, the Vikings Defensive Line has really clamped down on the run and I do believe they are going to be able to control Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders in this game. Being strong up front will force Wentz into third and long spots and that is exactly where the Vikings would want to have the Quarter Back as they continue to make big plays throughout the game.

The Philadelphia Offensive Line has protected Carson Wentz effectively, but they are going to be challenged by Mike Zimmer's pass rush. There has been enough pressure to slow the passing game and the Eagles are also dealing with plenty of injuries in their Receiving corps which makes it hard to believe they are going to win their battles on the outside.

Carson Wentz is a very good Quarter Back who will make some plays, but I like the Vikings being able to at least control the Eagles at home and they can stall enough drives to win this game and cover the number.

Both teams hold some strong trends at home/on the road respectively and it can be hard to trust Kirk Cousins in big games. However I think the skill players in the Minnesota team can make the difference on the day, while Carson Wentz has a losing record against the spread when set in the underdog role on the road.

Minnesota have a very strong record at home under Mike Zimmer and they have been a solid favourite to back. On the other hand the Eagles have a losing record on the road under Doug Pederson and I am going to back the Vikings to earn a big home win on Sunday.


Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens Pick: The last time the Cincinnati Bengals played in a Divisional game on the road it was on Monday Night Football and they were blown out by the Pittsburgh Steelers without Ben Roethlisberger. Last week the Bengals were dropped to 0-5 for the season and they are a big road underdog in Week 6 as they get set to visit the Baltimore Ravens.

In Week 5 the Ravens avoided being involved in crisis style headlines as they overcame a bunch of mistakes to beat the Steelers on the road to maintain control of the weak looking AFC North. The Ravens are the only team in the Division with a winning record and they lead the Cleveland Browns by one game, but Baltimore are looking to bounce back from their last home performance when embarrassed by the Browns.

Lamar Jackson started the season on fire in the blowout win over the Miami Dolphins, but suffice to say that things have gotten much more difficult since then. There are still some issues with the accuracy that Jackson has when he drops back to pass, but his legs could be more important in this game anyway with the Ravens expected to dominate the Cincinnati Defensive Line.

The Bengals are allowing 5 yards per carry on the 2019 season and have shown very little sign they are going to improve that markedly through the remainder of the regular season. Now they are going to be tested by a mobile Quarter Back and Mark Ingram who have helped Baltimore produce almost 200 yards per game on the ground at 5.3 yards per clip and I think it is going to be a tough day in the office for the Bengals.

The Baltimore Offensive Line has had issues in pass protection, but I am not seeing too many problems for them in Week 6. The Bengals have an ineffective pass rush and the Secondary play has suffered too with teams being given the time to get Receivers open and avoid back breaking Interceptions.

Lamar Jackson should be able to bounce back from his recent outings and I think he is going to have a big game moving the chains for Baltimore both on the ground and through the air. You can understand them being a double digit favourite with the expected performance on the Offensive side of the ball, but the Baltimore Defensive unit has had a few issues themselves and Andy Dalton and company might be able to take advantage.

AJ Green has been absent and John Ross is injured to take away a couple of key pieces for Dalton at Quarter Back, but I still think there is an opportunity for Cincinnati if they can just clear up a couple of mistakes. Joe Mixon has not been as big a feature for the Bengals at Running Back either, but he has shown his ability as the Offensive Line is beginning to settle down and Mixon could be all important on the day.

In previous years running the ball against the Baltimore Defensive Line would have been a fool's errand, but this Ravens team is not as strong as those that have come previously. Instead they are allowing 5.6 yards per carry over their last three games and have struggled since the Week 1 win over the awful Miami Dolphins so this could be the week in which Mixon can get himself well established.

It is key for the Bengals to be able to run the ball and help and Offensive Line that have been worse in pass protection than run blocking. Andy Dalton has been under siege for much of the season which is also contributed to Receivers not being able to break free of their coverages, but Baltimore's pass rush has been erratic in 2019 and so we may see Dalton have one of his better showings of the season.

There are some huge holes in the Baltimore Secondary which were even being exploited by a third string Quarter Back being used by the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. If Cincinnati can run the ball, Andy Dalton should be able to make enough plays to keep the chains moving and at least make the Bengals competitive even if winning is a long shot.

Running the ball will also slow the pass rush just a touch and offer Dalton a couple of ticks longer to survey the field and I do like the road underdog to surprise with the points. The underdog is 8-2 against the spread in the last ten Divisional games between these teams and Cincinnati are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games in Baltimore.

Cincinnati are anything but a really good team, but they are 12-6 against the spread in their last eighteen games as the road underdog including going 2-1 this season. With Andy Dalton at Quarter Back, Cincinnati are 26-15 against the spread as the road underdog.

On the other side Baltimore are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight facing a team with a losing record on the road and they have not covered in their last seven when favoured by more than 8 points as the home team in a Divisional game. There is no doubt this is a lot of points to get the better of and I like the Bengals to stay within the number.


Dallas Cowboys @ New York Jets Pick: The good news for fans of the New York Jets is that Sam Darnold has been cleared to return at Quarter Back for their team, but the bad news is that they remain winless in his absence. The Jets dropped to 0-4 coming out of their Bye Week with a defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles as they showed next to nothing as an Offensive team with a third string Quarter Back starting either side of that Bye.

It won't be just the home fans looking for a bounce this week as the Dallas Cowboys try and get back to winning ways following consecutive defeats. The Cowboys are a hard team to read when you think they have crushed three of the weakest teams in the NFL and lost to two contenders in the NFC, but at 3-2 Dallas are joint leaders of the NFC East.

They can't afford to overlook the Jets even though a big game with the Philadelphia Eagles is on deck, and I don't imagine anyone associated with the Cowboys will be off back to back defeats. Offensively it has been something of a struggle for the Dallas Cowboys in the last two games, but turnovers have really hurt them and they have to play a much cleaner game if they are going to win in Gotham.

Dak Prescott is hoping to sign a big contract with the Cowboys, and the Quarter Back may have a very good chance to showcase his talent in this one. Dallas are likely going to need Prescott at his best with the chance that Ezekiel Elliot may not have an easy match up against the New York Defensive Line which has been very strong at containing the run.

At least two key members of the Dallas Offensive Line are likely to be sitting out in Week 6 so running the ball might be all the more difficult anyway and that is going to mean Prescott has to make the plays to win this game. He might be under more pressure than usual with those injuries to the Offensive Line, but the Jets have not gotten much of a pass rush going and that should mean Prescott can find the throws to get Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Jason Witten going.

The Quarter Back is facing a New York Secondary which has struggled in pass protection all season. Dak Prescott's Interceptions are a concern, but I think he will see the holes in the Jets Secondary to make some big plays and at least produce enough points to win this one on the road.

Avoiding mistakes will be key to covering the number set by Vegas though as I don't think the Jets will be capable of sustaining long drives throughout the game. Short fields will be giving up points, but asking the Jets to drive eighty yards for Touchdowns should see the Dallas Defensive unit step up and force some drives to stall.

Sam Darnold is a huge upgrade on Luke Falk at Quarter Back, but he is going to be a little rusty having missed much of the last month with mono. The last two weeks have seen Darnold taking some snaps in practice, but a game day is very different and he might not be able to ask for much help from Le'Veon Bell and the rushing Offense.

Bell has had a difficult time since leaving Pittsburgh and the Running Back has been involved in some trade rumours seeing as the new regime running the Jets were not the ones to sign him. Head Coach Adam Gase wasn't enamoured with the money that was given to Le'Veon Bell either and the Jets have only picked up 3.1 yards per carry on the season while this week he will be going up against an improving Dallas Defensive Line.

While the Offensive Line have struggled to open holes for the patient Bell, they have really had issues in protecting the Quarter Back. A recovering Sam Darnold might not have the mobility to help avoid the Sacks that have been killing the Jets drives, and this Cowboys team have really got going up front which is going to be very important for them to make sure they stay on top of New York.

The pass rush has helped improve the Dallas Secondary play too and I do think Darnold will have limited successes throwing the ball. While he is much better than Luke Falk and Trevor Siemian, Darnold is likely going to make one or two errors in reading the plays and I think the Cowboys can shut down the Offensive plays to help them cover here.

Dak Prescott has helped the Cowboys go 8-5 against the spread as the road favourite, while Sam Darnold has dropped to 0-4-1 against the spread as a home underdog. The Dallas Quarter Back is also 3-1 against the spread when playing off consecutive losses and the Cowboys are 7-1 against the spread when playing a team with a losing record at home.

The Jets have not covered in any of their last seven road games and only one of those ended in a push so I am backing the Cowboys to win and cover here.

MY PICKS: New England Patriots - 17 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Jacksonville Jaguars - 2.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Houston Texans + 4 Points @ 1.95 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Minnesota Vikings - 3 Points @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Cincinnati Bengals + 10.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Dallas Cowboys - 6.5 Points @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Seattle Seahawks - 1 Point @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Washington Redskins - 3.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Arizona Cardinals + 2.5 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Week 5: 4-5, - 2.72 Units (18 Units Staked, - 15.11% Yield)
Week 43-6, - 6.54 Units (18 Units Staked, - 36.33% Yield)
Week 35-2, + 3.28 Units (12 Units Staked, + 27.33% Yield)
Week 23-4, - 2.70 Units (14 Units Staked, - 19.29% Yield)
Week 14-4, + 0.16 Units (15 Units Staked, + 1.07% Yield)

Season 201919-21, - 8.52 Units (77 Units Staked, - 11.06% Yield)

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