Don't underestimate the revenge factor for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan this week
Everywhere you turned last week, it seemed like there was a shocking NFL upset in progress. From the Jets making Jason Garrett’s hot seat even hotter to the suddenly reeling Chiefs losing back-to-back home games at Arrowhead, to unheard-of Devlin Hodges leading the Steelers to victory in Heinz Field West... er, Los Angeles. Will we see more of the same... or do we return to a bit more of the status quo come Week 7?
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Oct. 20 unless otherwise noted.
Here are this week's best NFL picks against the spread:
Miami Dolphins (0-5) at Buffalo Bills (4-1), 1 p.m. ET
The lines for Miami games have been reflective of a team that is not only 0-5 on the year, but a team off to one of the worst starts in recent memory in the NFL. The coaching staff pulled QB Josh Rosen last week and will go up to Buffalo hoping to rekindle a little FitzMagic — something that will be tough against a Bills squad coming off a bye with a good defense. That said... the Buffalo offense has scored more than 17 points just twice all season, which makes covering that number seem like a tough ask against a division rival. The Pick: Dolphins +17
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-6), 1 p.m. ET
Minshew Mania has trailed off after a couple of losses but a trip to Cincinnati presents a great opportunity for the Jags’ rookie QB to get back on track. He should be able to lean on Leonard Fournette and the run game if nothing else, as the Bengals are the worst team when it comes to stopping the run. The Bengals have kept things close in most of their games but the more Jacksonville stays on the field on offense, the better shot the Jags have at covering by a field goal. The Pick: Jaguars -3
Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at Atlanta Falcons (1-5), 1 p.m. ET
Most of the focus in L.A. the past few days has been on the blockbuster Jalen Ramsey trade but even if the superstar corner isn’t full go for this one, the Rams match up well against the reeling Falcons. They should be able to get back to running the football better and it’s hard for Jared Goff to play any worse than he has the past few weeks. This figures to be a high-scoring affair but the team from the West Coast takes care of business as they shake off their Super Bowl hangover at the site of that ugly loss in February. The Pick: Rams -3
San Francisco 49ers (5-0) at Washington Redskins (1-5), 1 p.m. ET
The 49ers' stout defense is a total mismatch against the Washington offense, particularly in the trenches. It’s possible that Dwayne Haskins gets the start at QB too, which makes this even more of an uphill battle for a team already in disarray. While a team going East and playing the early game tends to be tough, we're guessing Kyle Shanahan has his group fired up and has a little extra stored up to twist the knife into an organization that fired him and his father. The Pick: 49ers -9.5
Last Week: 2-2
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.