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College Football Week 12 Picks 2021 (November 20th)

The regular season is winding down in College Football and that means teams are jockeying for position to at least win a Conference Champion...

Sunday, 17 October 2021

NFL Week 6 Picks 2021 (October 14-18)

Another week of the NFL is set to be played with the majority of the games taking place over the course of several hours on Sunday.

Bye Weeks have begun and there are not a lot of games that appeal from the NFL Picks point of view.

I will be at the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday as my Miami Dolphins come to town, but it may not be the most enjoyable spectacle. However, I do hope to build on the recent run which has produced four winning weeks in succession as the season has gotten off to a very positive start following the horrible Week 1 beginning.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Miami Dolphins Pick: Fans in Europe are going to be excited about the return of the NFL to London, especially after missing out last season as the world had to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. They will remain excited despite the fact that the four teams heading over to London are amongst the worst in the NFL and most will be heading back to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Week 6 hoping to see a much better game all around than the one between the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets.

It is not easy to try and suggest that will be the case when the Miami Dolphins (1-4) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) meet, but these two teams are familiar to fans in London and they will feel there are some positives ahead of this Week 6 game which can lead to a strong outing.

This was supposed to be a season when the Miami Dolphins took the next step in their development and returned to the PlayOffs, but four straight losses have knocked the confidence of the team. Tua Tagovailoa is back at Quarter Back after sitting out the last three games, but the Offensive play-calling is going to have improve markedly if the Dolphins are going to be able snap their poor run.

Brian Flores has done a good job as the Dolphins Head Coach, but a dual Offensive Co-Ordinator plan has simply not worked, while the Miami Dolphins continue to be linked with a move to trade for Deshaun Watson. That isn't going to help Tua Tagovailoa, but there hasn't been enough from the second season Quarter Back to believe he is the answer for a franchise that has been waiting for a long time to replace Dan Marino.

It has been difficult for whoever has been lining up for the Dolphins behind this Offensive Line which has struggled all season. The Offensive Line has not only struggled in pass protection, but they have also not been able to open big holes on the ground and the Dolphins may struggle to impose themselves on the Jacksonville Defensive Line and that could be key to helping figure out how this game will break down.

Miami are likely going to need Tua Tagovailoa to be close to his best if they are going to win this game and it is hard to know how he is feeling having just returned from a serious injury that saw him miss time. He will be without DeVante Parker and Will Fuller is also absent, which will make it more difficult to expose what has been a vulnerable Jacksonville Secondary.

Tua Tagovailoa should be able to make some plays, but he will benefit massively if the Dolphins can earn a few yards on the ground and avoid being in third and long spots. The Jaguars may not have the best pass rush, but they should still be able to get to Tagovailoa who is not the most mobile of Quarter Backs and it may end up being the best way to stall drives and force Field Goals rather than giving up Touchdowns to the Dolphins.

The Jaguars are used to playing in London as an organisation, but Urban Meyer will be the latest Head Coach leading the team on this side of the pond. The Head Coach has struggled in his first season as a Head Coach in the pro ranks, while off field issues have only clouded the respect the players have for him and there are rumours that Urban Meyer could be fired with a Bye Week coming up.

We will learn plenty about how the locker room feels about Urban Meyer during the course of this game in London, but you have to like the chances of the Jacksonville Jaguars moving the ball and scoring enough points for the upset. Trevor Lawrence looks to be improving, but the Jaguars may not need the rookie Quarter Back to have to push too hard considering what we have seen from the Miami Dolphins Defensive unit.

Xavien Howard looks like he will be missing on this side of the ball so Lawrence should be able to find his Receivers in the Secondary, but the main game plan has to be establishing the run. The Dolphins Defensive Line has struggled to stop the run all season and James Robinson is coming in off a game when he produced a yard shy of 149 on the ground against the Tennessee Titans.

James Robinson and the Jacksonville Jaguars should be able to establish the run against the Miami Dolphins and that will only up the passing lanes for Trevor Lawrence. The Quarter Back has made some mistakes, which are to be expected, but he should have some time in the pocket with his mobility and especially if the Jaguars are able to run the ball as expected.

With one of their top Defensive Backs on the sidelines, Miami may then struggle to stop Jacksonville making some big plays through the air and I do think the Jaguars are in a position to snap their long losing run which has extended to twenty games after the blow out home loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 5.

Both franchises are familiar with the London game on the schedule, but both have failed to cover the last two times they have played in the United Kingdom capital. The Dolphins did blow out Jacksonville on the road in 2020, but the Jaguars had more yards on the day and this Miami Defensive unit has not played to the same kind of level.

There is a fear that the Jacksonville Jaguars players may have given up on Urban Meyer and feel like a poor performance could see the Head Coach canned, which may see them offer very little effort in this one. However, I do think the Jaguars match up well with the Dolphins on both sides of the ball and trying to snap the ugly twenty game slide should be motivation enough and will be added to by the fact that the Jaguars will be looking for revenge for the blow out loss in 2020.

Having a full Field Goal start looks appealing enough here.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears Pick: The NFC North Divisional lead is on the line in Week 6 when the two leading teams meet at Soldier Field. The Green Bay Packers (4-1) and the Chicago Bears (3-2) are the only two teams in the Division with a winning record, and both are 1-0 in the Divisional games thanks to a win over the winless Detroit Lions.

Tough road wins were secured in Week 5 so there is momentum behind both teams, although the Chicago Bears know they have more to prove to the nation and to their main Divisional rivals. They have never beaten the Green Bay Packers in the four attempts against Matt LaFleur and there is a marked difference about the level the Offensive units can produce on any given Sunday.

Both Defensive units have played well in their own way, but this is an area in which the Green Bay Packers are a little banged up. The question is whether Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears Offensive unit can take advantage and I have to admit that I think they will struggle to score points if the Defense is not able to create short fields for them.

Justin Fields is clearly going to be a decent Quarter Back, but the rookie is having teething problems early in his career and I am not sure the Bears Offensive game-plans are the most impressive. The pressure is going to be on the young player because the Chicago Bears could be down to a third string Running Back in this game and that may make it that much more difficult for the Bears to exploit what has long been an issue for the Green Bay Defensive Line.

Clamping down on the run is something that is still very much a work in progress for the Packers Defensive Line, but the Bears are already without David Montgomery and look to missing Damien Williams this week too. In the last three games, Green Bay have looked a little more stout against the run, which will give them further confidence, and the it may force Justin Fields to beat them from third and long situational spots.

We have seen inconsistent throws from Justin Fields already this season and he is not being helped by the Offensive Line which does not offer a lot of time in the pocket. Going through his progressions and working those out at the same time as seeing time run out rapidly has hurt the Quarter Back and Green Bay have a pass rush that can get to Fields and stall drives.

With the Offense likely to have some issues moving the ball, Chicago have to hope their Defensive unit can step up and try and keep the team in the game. It was the Defense that played really well in the back to back wins over Detroit and Las Vegas and Chicago have allowed just 23 points combined in those victories, but this is a game against Aaron Rodgers and the powerful Packers Offense and I am not sure the Bears will have the same level of success.

A fierce pass rush has been the key for the Bears, but now they are going up against a Packers Offensive Line which will be stronger and healthier than it has been. The experience of Aaron Rodgers means he can decipher where the pressure is coming from, while he will also make quick decisions about where he is throwing the ball and that should help ease the pass rush.

Further to that, Green Bay have had success running the ball and they should be able to establish Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, which forces the Chicago pass rush to just second guess themselves and slow them down another step. Moving the team into third and manageable spots should also mean Aaron Rodgers is able to attack the Chicago Secondary which has one or two holes to exploit despite the struggles of Jared Goff and Derek Carr.

Aaron Rodgers is significantly better than both of those Quarter Backs and I do think the Packers will be able to move the ball and punch in Touchdowns rather than settling for Field Goals.

This is a pretty big spread for a road favourite, but the Packers are 17-5 against the spread in their last twenty-two games here. The favourite is also 4-1 against the spread in the last five in the series between these NFC North rivals and I do think the Green Bay Packers can extend those numbers.

Chicago have to be respected for being a tough home underdog to deal with, but they have a poor record against Divisional rivals in recent games and especially compared with how well Green Bay have matched up against those teams in the NFC North. The backdoor cover is a slight concern, but I think the Packers can score enough points to win here by at least a Touchdown mark and take a strong hold of the Division even at this early stage of the 2021 season.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Football Team Pick: Winning a Super Bowl and then reaching the big game again and coming up slightly short will put a bullseye on the back of any team in the NFL. That is perhaps part of the reason the Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) have struggled to open the 2021 season, although they have not really helped themselves as turnovers have hurt and the Defensive unit have struggled to make any stops.

They will be heading to the nation's capital to take on the Washington Football Team (2-3) who also have a losing record and are coming in off a disappointing defeat to the New Orleans Saints. This may not be a Conference game, but both of these teams are already 2 games behind their Divisional leaders and that means both the Chiefs and the Football Team should be highly motivated to produce a win.

Backing a top Quarter Back off a loss is usually a productive method and Patrick Mahomes is certainly one of top Quarter Backs in the NFL. However, Patrick Mahomes may be the first to admit that some of the Kansas City Chiefs problems are of his own making with too many Interceptions beginning to hurt a Defense that has struggled to get off the field.

Patrick Mahomes should have a chance of bouncing back here and two weeks ago he did lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a road win over the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFC East. He is going to be without a couple of key skill players, although Tyreek Hill may yet suit up, but this should not hinder Kansas City too much and especially not against an underperforming Washington Defense.

In recent games there have been signs that the Washington Defensive Line are beginning to knuckle down when it comes to stopping the run, but the concern about stopping Mahomes has left Kansas City the opportunity to pick up big gains on the ground. Patrick Mahomes himself is able to scramble away from pressure and help move the chains and I do think Kansas City will be able to at least establish the run to try and make life easier for their Quarter Back.

The Washington Defensive Line was supposed to be a strength of the team, but players have not played up to the level that was expected and Patrick Mahomes should have time to hit his playmakers down the field. Even without Hill, I would expect the Quarter Back to have a strong game and I do think Kansas City will score a fair few points, which means it is up to Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Offensive unit to try and keep up with them.

Just like the Chiefs, the Washington Football Team are pretty banged up Offensively and that leaves them vulnerable to the home loss here. Taylor Heinicke has not played badly, but he is a downgrade on Ryan Fitzpatrick and Washington have had issues in getting enough consistency from their Offensive unit to produce a winning record on the season.

Washington's Offensive Line have usually given Taylor Heinicke time to make his throws, but they have not been as efficient opening up holes on the ground. It does mean that Heinicke has been asked to push with his throws to keep the chains moving and the Quarter Back has made mistakes.

Taylor Heinicke will be pleased to see the issues Kansas City have been having stopping teams though and I do think he will be able to hit some of his Receivers, although injuries could mean the top names that he would like to throw to are missing from the game. While I would expect the guys suiting up to make some plays, Taylor Heinicke may not always be confident in those Receivers and that could see him hold onto the ball a little longer than he would normally.

There will be times Taylor Heinicke is able to help Washington move the chains, but in a shoot out I do have to like Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs securing a road win.

The Chiefs are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven following a defeat and this may be a rare cover for Kansas City who have been a money pit since the last few weeks of 2020. The Football Team are 1-4 against the spread in their last five here and I think they may be too banged up to keep up with Kansas City on the scoreboard and the road favourite can cover what is a big mark.

MY PICKS: Jacksonville Jaguars + 3 Points @ 1.86 Bet365 (2 Units)
Green Bay Packers - 5.5 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Kansas City Chiefs - 6.5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)
Detroit Lions + 3.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Cleveland Browns - 3.5 Points @ 1.95 Bet365 (2 Units)
Denver Broncos - 4 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Pittsburgh Steelers - 5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)

Week 5: 4-2-1, + 3.28 Units (14 Units Staked, + 23.43% Yield)
Week 4: 7-3, + 6.46 Units (20 Units Staked, + 32.30% Yield)
Week 3: 7-3, + 6.68 Units (20 Units Staked, + 33.40% Yield)
Week 2: 6-5, + 0.98 Units (22 Units Staked, + 4.45% Yield)
Week 1: 3-6, - - 6.46 Units (18 Units Staked, - 35.89% Yield)

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