2021 NFL Predictions and Picks: Week 6

NFL Oct 16, 2021


28 Wins — 20 Losses — 1 Push


Denver -3.5 vs. Las Vegas

The reasoning behind this wager is obvious.  The Raiders players and coaches are not only distracted, but they’re also in disarray following the Jon Gruden controversy and resignation early this week.  Las Vegas played a horrible game last week, and it’s tough to know how much internal strife over the breaking news at that time contributed to such a lackluster effort at home versus the Bears.  Now, following several days of this national controversy, I can’t see the Raiders putting all this behind them so quickly.  The tipping point on fading the Raiders being a “Best Bet” is the abrupt change in play-calling.  Oddly enough, even though the Raiders have an offensive coordinator, Gruden called all the offensive plays from the sideline.  Now, that responsibility shifts to Greg Olson, who last called plays five seasons ago when he was with Jacksonville (not exactly a pedigree resume).  Las Vegas will also face one of the NFL’s best defenses on the road in this spot.  I don’t see Las Vegas fixing this problem in just a few days.  The Raiders have also been a notoriously slow-starting team this season, falling behind by 11+ points in three straight weeks.  Denver has lost two straight games, but they did play tough competition — Baltimore followed by Pittsburgh in a desperate situation for the Steelers.  At 3-2, the Broncos should rebound here at home with a better effort.  Denver’s mediocre offense keeps this number low, as other situations like this might trigger a line of -6 or -7.  However, I can’t see how Las Vegas can shake off such a major disruption to the team and go on the road and win at a tough spot for most visitors.  So, I’m betting on the Broncos as the Best Bet of the week.

Arizona vs. Cleveland OVER 49.5

Given the two explosive offenses, I’m surprised this total isn’t higher.  Here are two of the most prolific passers in the NFL, well over the league average in yardage and points, which indicates a possible shootout.  Browns average 29 PPG.  Arizona averages 31 PPG.  The Browns defense was torched last week for 47 points, badly exposed in the loss.  With the undefeated Cardinals coming in, that doesn’t inspire confidence.  The Browns will try to run the ball more and should enjoy some success.  Nonetheless, I see both teams scoring somewhere in line with their season averages.  There are simply too many threats at skill positions on both teams not to play this one OVER the number.  Earlier forecasts for rain have cleared, as conditions should be ideal.

Dallas -3 vs. New England (-120)

Dallas looks to be the far superior team at the moment, which means this line should be higher.  Road favorites are always risky in the NFL, but Dallas is arguably the top offense in the NFL at the moment and is a perfect 5-0 against-the-spread.  The Cowboys are probably due for a letdown at some point, but I doubt this is the week given the lackluster Patriots offense which is averaging just 19 PPG.  Despite the win, New England didn't look good at Houston last week, perhaps the NFL's worst team, and certainly the weakest offense.  Now, they face one of the highest-scoring teams in the NFL.  I think there's justification for a wager here, especially at -3 (laying -120) which can still be found in some spots.