Week 5 was filled with more than two than spring break in the Ozarks. Twenty-two percent of survivor pool entries were eliminated, two of the most egregious passer calls in NFL history were taken, and the Jacksonville Jaguars offense left a giant number two on the field. .
What could go wrong in Week 6 with 66.6% surviving starters on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams?
Before we dive into this week’s picks, let’s reflect on our week 5:
Week 5 Picks
Best bets: 0-1 (ADC: 5-3)
Lean: 2-0 (ADC: 7-1)
Traps to avoid: 1 elimination avoided (YTD: 9)
Let’s move on to the selections of week 6!
All BetMGM Lines.
Two weeks ago, I wiped out the Packers because of high ownership and fear the Patriots would crush them (they did). Last week I predicted the Giants would shock Green Bay in London (they did). This week, it’s time to support the pack. Coach Matt LaFleur has never lost consecutive games in the regular season. As dashing as the Jets have been this year, two of their wins were highly unlikely borderline comebacks and the other was over Skylar Thompson.
Green Bay’s weakness to the run shouldn’t be too badly exposed by a New York team with the sixth-lowest rushing pass rate. The Packers’ offense ranks eighth in offensive DVOA, while Robert Saleh’s defense ranks 21st. I expect Green Bay to move the ball efficiently and not choke on a double-digit lead like they did last week. LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers will right the ship and Saleh can keep the receipts on that.
With just over 7%, the Packers are the fourth most popular pick this week. They have solid future value with remaining matches against Commanders, Bears and Lions (twice).
That’s right, New York, I’m losing your two teams this week, how do you like them Big Apples? The fact that Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was once Baltimore’s defensive coordinator and knows intimately how to take on Lamar Jackson got me thinking at first, but it goes both ways. Jackson knows what he will face on Sunday. He is exceptional at a blitz, and the Giants lead the league in blitz percentage under Martindale (43.3%).
With more than a quarter of the season already on the books, Baltimore dragged on for a total of just over two minutes. That’s not even enough time for a self-loathing Southerner to cook up a pot of instant oatmeal. It’s a great game for the Ravens, whose offense ranks second in DVOA and will face a 25th-ranked Giants defense.
Baltimore is the eighth most popular pick this week, at 1.27%. Their future value mostly lies in home games against the Panthers (Week 11) and Falcons (Week 16).
Yes, we all know how good Dallas’ defense has been in recent weeks against some of the worst offensive lines in the league, but how will they fare against one of the best? No team has a higher hit rate than the Eagles, and only two offenses have a better overall hit rate. Philadelphia’s offense is thriving, but perhaps their biggest advantage in this game is their defense, which also ranks third in overall hit rate. Dallas’ offensive line is last in pass block completion rate and the Eagles are tied for fourth most sacks, so Cooper Rush could be under more siege than Steven Seagal. Rush’s play so far has been admirable, but I bet he won’t “beat the Eagles in Philadelphia on prime-time TV.”
Less than 1% of entries are in Philadelphia, making it the ninth most popular choice. They have so much future value that I’m afraid I’ll develop carpal tunnel syndrome if I list it here. Go check their schedule.
TRAPS TO AVOID
San Francisco 49ers (-5.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Niners have as much of an injury chance as Paul has good car ideas. Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley tore his ACL and is out for the season, safety Jimmie Ward broke his hand, defensive end Nick Bosa is the second Bosa to suffer a groin injury, the rest of the defensive line is also questionable to play, and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair remains on injured reserve. Many of the players who contributed to San Francisco’s No. 1 defensive ranking will either miss this game or play less than 100 percent against a Falcons offense that showed real spark.
San Francisco is the third most popular team this week, with 11.28%.
Los Angeles Chargers (-4.5) vs. Denver Broncos
The line on this play continues to drop, which should be red flag number one. Denver has lost left tackle Garett Bolles and cornerback Ronald Darby to injured reserve but has a decent talent to replace them. The Chargers couldn’t generate enough pressure without Joey Bosa. That’s a concern when you’re playing against such a solid offensive line as the Broncos. Denver’s offense was insurmountable, but could get off to a good start against a Chargers team giving up the third-highest points per game (27.2).
The Chargers are the fifth most popular selection this week, at 6.61%.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
If you were talking about the Bucs and Rams moneylines this week, you’d get a -200 price tag. This means that the implied probability that at least one of these two teams loses is 33.3%. If this happens, at least 33% of the entries will be returned from the survivor pools and you’ll get massive equity by taking any other team that wins. There will be much better spots to ride in Tampa Bay, which is the most popular choice this week at 33.73%.
Stats provided by Pro Football Reference, teamrankings.com, Football Outsiders, ESPN and rbsdm.com (recovery time removed).
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