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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Picks For Week 6


Hard to believe, but we are six weeks into the NFL season and there's still a lot to be determined. The Giants are atop the NFC East, but are they really the division's best team? The Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins could all make claims to that distinction. Elsewhere, Peyton Manning's demise continues to be discussed in a lackluster win over Oakland. One person's demise who has been exaggerated is mine as we continue to hand out winners like Halloween candy.

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Record: 12-5-1 (2-2 last week)

Cincinnati Bengals (5-0) at Buffalo Bills (3-2)

This line has moved a ton because of the uncertainty of starting QB Tyrod Taylor (MCL sprain) for the Bills. Taylor has played well and is an upgrade over EJ Manuel, who would be the new starter. Buffalo's defense is clamping down against the run and has put up good numbers for the most part outside of giving up 40 points to the Patriots. The Bengals have been living on borrowed time, picking up close wins over San Diego, Baltimore and Seattle. Their defense has been leaky, allowing the Seahawks to run for 200 yards last week. Buffalo has covered in 10 of its last 15 games as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points. SELECTION: Buffalo +3.5

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Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-2)

The Vikings are coming off the bye, welcoming KC to town after the Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles for the season. Charcandrick West and Knile Davis will try to fill Charles’ shoes and run on a Vikings defense that has already slowed down the Lions and Chargers at home.  Adrian Peterson, meanwhile, is returning to his pre-suspension form, which is helping Teddy Bridgewater find some receivers. In three road games this season the Chiefs have allowed 20 points to Houston, 38 to Green Bay and 36 to Cincinnati. Minnesota is 22-14 ATS the last three seasons, including going 11-6 ATS at home. SELECTION: Vikings -3.5

Washington Redskins (2-3) at New York Jets (3-1)

Points will be at a premium in this one, as the Jets host the Redskins. In some respects these are the same teams – an offense that does just enough to help the defense win games. New York is coming off a bye week and has allowed just 55 points in four contests. The Jets have the secondary to make things difficult for Kirk Cousins.  These teams have combined for just one over in their nine games this season. SELECTION: Under 40.5

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Miami Dolphins (1-3) at Tennessee Titans (1-3)

Miami also is coming off a bye and have a new head coach. The Dolphins limped into their off week with a pair of 14-point scoring efforts. The Fins are a talented team and have the pieces to make a run and I believe they going to do so starting Sunday. Tennessee has lost three straight and are putting up good defensive numbers. However, those good numbers have come against the Buccaneers, Browns and Bills, teams that aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts. Tennessee is 3-11 ATS the last three seasons at home. I'm buying the Dolphins. SELECTION: Miami +2.5

Carolina Panthers (4-0) at Seattle Seahawks (2-3)

The Seahawks are a banged-up bunch entering this one with Carolina. Marshawn Lynch figures to play, but he’s not completely over his hamstring issue. Russell Wilson has been under siege due to poor offensive line play and that won't improve with the pass rush Carolina has. The Panthers’ offense is not as good as the numbers they have put up. Carolina has gone under in 45 of its last 63 after a win against a division rival. SELECTION: Under 41


— I wish I could trust the Saints as a home dog against the Falcons in the Thursday night game. It's a short week for both teams and Atlanta's wide receivers are banged up. Julio Jones has a hamstring issue while Leonard Hankerson also isn't 100 percent. The problem is that New Orleans has one of the worst defenses in the league and the Saints figure to struggle with this balanced offense. I'm not buying Atlanta's defense, which has allowed 366.4 yards per game. New Orleans has been a home underdog of three points or less just 24 times since 1992 with the Saints covering 10 of those games. The over seems like the right play, but not quite enough to become official.

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— Your "too good to be true" line of the weekend is in Cleveland, as the Broncos are a short four-point favorite. The Broncos have won and covered four of their five contests so far this season and have a bye next week so there's no look-ahead factor involved here. The Browns’ passing attack has been greatly improved with Josh McCown under center, but his mediocre WRs will find tough sledding against this Denver defense. The Broncos have covered eight of their last nine against Cleveland, including four straight on the road. I'm not going to touch it, but it seems like Denver is an easy play.

— Once again I disclose to you the reader that I am an Eagles fan so my thoughts on them may be a bit clouded. There's some value with the Giants, which have won three straight and have split their last 24 games in Philly. Pardon me if I'm not buying this offense after a demolition of the awful Saints at home. This one on Monday night also depends on the status of Odell Beckham Jr., who is dealing with a hamstring injury.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.