2016 Week 6 NFL ATS Picks
Week 5 Results
Week 2-2-1, Season 7-16-2, All Time 200-180-5
A winning week alluded me for the fifth straight time this season as my picks finished at an even .500. The mixed week included two completely correct picks (Arizona & Tennessee), two completely incorrect picks (Denver & Cincinatti) and one pick that could have gone either way (New York). Despite the record, previous weeks were honestly better than this one. Fortunately, each game featured some nice take-aways that lend themselves well to my Week 6 picks.
Week 6 Picks
New England -7 (120) vs Cincinatti
In Week 5, I picked Cincinatti to beat Dallas convincingly. The complete opposite turned out to be the case as Cincinatti posted an uncharacteristically bad game on defense. However, what was more concerning to me was how poor the offense was. Cincinatti struggled to move the ball against an underpowered Dallas defense. Their passing attack is one dimensional and predicated on teams forgetting that AJ Green is Cincinatti's only viable threat.
Is there a worse opponent for a one dimensional offense than New England? New England is the only team in the NFL that will play a different base defense just to neutralize what its opponent does best. To make matters worse for Cincinatti, New England is playing it's first home game with Tom Brady. New England is vindictive, and they will be looking to make a statement to the NFL at the expense of this reeling Cincinatti team.
San Francisco +8.5 @ Buffalo
Just three weeks ago, Buffalo was considered one of the worst teams in the NFL and Rex Ryan was in serious danger of being fired. Since then, Buffalo has won against an imploding Arizona team, a New England team without a Quarterback, and a Los Angeles team that has been offensively inept all year. Is Buffalo now great? I don't think so. On the other side, San Francisco has actually been better than expected so far this year, despite some lopsided final scores. Chip Kelly has a team with zero talent moving the ball offensively, and has the defense playing at a league average level (16th by DVOA). A key strength of this team has been mobility at the QB position. Blaine Gabbert led all QBs in rushing before being benched for Kaepernick this week. Kelly's system has caused issues for a lot of good run defenses so far this year--just roll back Thursday night's tape and you will see Arizona linemen and backers constantly missing on zone-read plays. Kaepernick is a master of zone-reads and rifling defined look passes. He was made for Kelly's system and I think he will have enough success on Sunday to make this game close.
Seattle -6 vs Atlanta
This pick wasn't made until I saw Denver's defense struggle again just a few days ago. Despite being excellent on the defensive line and in the secondary, Denver is currently struggling to cover with their linebackers. They play man defense and are susceptible to mismatch-players at RB (Atlanta) and TE (San Diego). Seattle, however, plays zone almost exclusively. They are susceptible to route concepts, yes, but not individually talented players. This is actually a pretty uneven matchup for Atlanta's offense. This, coupled with the fact that Atlanta's defense is still ranked near the bottom of the league in efficiency (26th by DVOA), makes me believe that Seattle will win by multiple scores.
Green Bay - 4.5 vs Dallas
I don't think my theory on either of these teams has changed at all since I picked against both last week (and went 0-1-1). Rodger's accuracy issues on deep balls will continue to hold Green Bay back from true greatness, and Dallas is a one dimensional team that will crush you if you can't stop the run, but fall apart completely if you can. If Green Bay can put Dallas behind schedule on down and distance by stopping the run, Dak will be forced to pick up long firsts (which he hasn't proven he can do) and the defense will be forced to play a full thirty minutes of defense (which is when they tend to fall apart). Luckily for Green Bay, they have one of the best front sevens in football at the moment. Dallas has been worse on the road than at home, and I think they will struggle to keep up in this spot.
Houston -3 (115) vs Indianapolis
I've been against Houston all year. I think they are limited offensively and can be had defensively by disciplined teams with good QBs. However, this criticism pales in comparison to the grease fire that is Indianapolis. Luck is talented, but surrounded by incompetence. Only two miracle victories are keeping people from realizing that Indianapolis has--without question--the worst roster in the NFL. As limited as I believe Houston is, they are vastly more talented than their opponent. I think Houston rebounds nicely against their first easy opponent all year.