Will things get back to normal in the National Football League this weekend? After a handful of schedule changes, nothing should be considered locked in at the moment. But you know what is locked in? Our picks against the spread.
Sure, there is still room for improvement and we went .500 last week. But breaking even is better than coming up on the negative side of the margin. This week we're looking for some big gains, and there are some matchups that are screaming to be taken this week.
Don't be scared off by some big lines, and don't be afraid to go with a road underdog outright. Strap in. It's time to make some picks for Week 6 of the NFL season.
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Here are this week's best NFL picks against the spread:
Carolina (-3) vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.
The Panthers are starting to find their groove now under new head coach Matt Rhule. Teddy Bridgewater has helped. This one will be about the defense though as the Panthers find a way to de-rail the Nick Foles train for the Bears. Panthers win a defensive battle. Panthers 20, Bears 16
Cleveland (+3.5) at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
The Steelers are off to a 4-0 start, but their opponents have a combined record of 3-15-1. None of the wins have been by big cushions until last weekend against the Eagles, thanks to a late score. In a phrase you usually can't say, the Browns are clearly the best team the Steelers have faced so far this season. And it will show. Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. not only keep it close, they get the win, outright! Browns 27, Steelers 24
Miami (-9) vs. New York Jets, 4:05 p.m.
The Dolphins are swimming happily after a surprise blowout of the 49ers (more on them in a moment). And the Jets are still, well, the Jets (although now minus Le'Veon Bell). Ryan Fitzpatrick keeps things rolling for the Fins this week as the Jets continue to look for answers they will likely never find. Dolphins 34, Jets 23
Green Bay (-2.5) at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m.
If Tom Brady had more healthy options to work with this weekend, this would be a game to strongly consider taking the Bucs. As it stands, the Packers are looking like the better option on the road in the latest Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers matchup. Packers 26, Buccaneers 24
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) at San Francisco, 8:20 p.m. (SNF)
The 49ers have been taking plenty of lumps and bruises this season. Is it the usual curse of the Super Bowl loser hangover looming over an already bizarre 2020? Regardless, the Rams could not be getting their division rival at a much better time. Jared Goff and the Rams should have a comfortable win to take home with them this weekend. Rams 31, 49ers 20
Last week: 2-2
Season to date: 14-10