Eli’s Week 6 NFL Picks: My 3 Favorite Situational Spots

Written By Eli Hershkovich on October 16, 2022
NFL Picks

After a 20-9 mark through five weeks, let’s keep things rolling. Below are my NFL picks for Week 6 — centered around three wagers against the spread. As always, these are bets I have wagered my own money on as well and will never post a bet I haven’t also made.

Join our NFL Discord betting channel to receive an immediate notification when we bet anything, which you can sign up for under the #roles server. Click on any of the odds to place a wager on these NFL picks.

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Washington Commanders at Chicago Bears

You can find my betting guide for this game here.

Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints

Yes, the defending AFC champions have covered in three consecutive weeks. Cincinnati is also 2-3 straight up, so much of the betting market expects a bounce-back performance after their loss at the Ravens.

However, as we’ve seen with the Raiders (0-4 in one-score games after going 7-2 last season), regression is often a natural part of sports. Keep in mind, the Bengals lost the Yards Per Play (YPP) battle in their first three playoff games before reaching Super Bowl 56.

This notion doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to continue to struggle out of the gate. It does signify that they may be slightly overvalued because of the betting market’s general opinion, though.

Saints’ Offensive Edge

Although Cincinnati’s run defense ranks above league average, it’s only faced a pair ground-reliant offenses thus far — the Cowboys and Ravens. On Sunday, it surrendered the league’s seventh-highest Rushing EPA against an option-based scheme via the duel-threat Lamar Jackson.

Not only has New Orleans has accrued the third-best Rushing Success Rate (SR), but it’s also manufactured the 11th-highest rushing percentage. A play is deemed successful if it produces:

  • 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
  • 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
  • 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down

Forget about the Andy Dalton revenge narrative versus his ex-team. He — or even Jameis Winston (back) — Taysom Hill, Alvin Kamara & Co. should generate explosive plays if they maintain a positive game script. The Saints have tallied a below-average pace in both halves this season, enforcing their ability to milk the clock while pinning Joe Burrow to the sidelines.

For context, Dalton or Winston likely won’t have wideouts Michael Thomas (foot) and Jarvis Landry (foot) at his disposal. But promising rookie receiver Chris Olave (concussion) may suit up despite suffering a concussion on Sunday.

Burrow At A Disadvantage?

As bettors witnessed last week, Burrow continues to perform worse against zone-centric defenses. He notched the eighth-lowest Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE) — a metric that isolates a quarterback’s metrics from the opposition.

New Orleans head coach Dennis Allen runs his fair share of zone, including the Quarters and Cover-1 looks that have notoriously given Tom Brady fits. Even if stud defensive back Marcus Lattimore (abdomen) doesn’t play, Allen’s structure isn’t necessarily reliant on an elite coverage corner. Saints safety Marcus Maye (ribs) is trending in the right direction, too.

This game presents a coaching mismatch as well, as Allen is up against the oft-dimwitted Zac Taylor. The fourth-year head coach most recently cost his team an outright win because of his poor decision-making on the goal line.

I bet the Saints at +2, which is available at both DraftKings and BetMGM Sportsbook as of Thursday morning. I’d also consider them as a teaser leg among NFL picks this week.

Beat The Closing Line Podcast: Eli Talks Bengals – Saints, NFC South Odds

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New York Jets at Green Bay Packers

Similar to Bengals – Saints, money (and the line adjustment) initially highlighted the road team. The Jets were 9.5-point dogs on the look-ahead line, but they were bet down to as low as +7. It’s currently sitting between 7 and 7.5 at most legal sportsbooks.

Despite the betting market adjusting the point spread, the Packers’ market rating is still a bit too high for my liking. Jeff Ulbrich’s zone arrangements will leave room for Aaron Rodgers over the middle of the field, but the absence of Davante Adams is clearly impacting his play.

Keep in mind, Rodgers never (and I mean never) sits outside of the top 10 in Dropback EPA. Nevertheless, he ranks No. 17 through the first five weeks. All-Pro offensive linemen David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins aren’t at their best yet, either, which is leading to more pressure.

Speaking of applying heat, New York’s front-seven is doing so at the fourth-highest rate (28.9%) while blitzing at the fourth-lowest clip (15.6%). As long as blossoming edge rusher Carl Lawson (ankle) is in action, that trend will continue at Lambeau Field.

Run Breece, Run

I’ve hammered this point ever since I joined TheLines. Joe Barry’s run defense is extremely vulnerable, yielding the highest Rushing SR across the NFL. With New York’s offensive line somewhat healthier, thanks to Duane Brown’s return, its Run Block Win Rate (RBWR) has climbed above league average.

As Breece Hall’s role increases, representing the Jets’ most talented tailback, look for their explosive gallops to continue to amount. Over their last two games, their Rushing EPA and SR, respectively, has found its way ahead of the curve.

If Zach Wilson & Co. avoid a negative game script throughout, they’ll stay within a possession at the least.

Packers – Jets Conclusion

I’m definitely concerned about Rodgers bouncing back — and a blowout win as a result. Green Bay is both 10-0 straight up and against the spread after a loss under Matt LaFleur — the longest streak in the Super Bowl era.

We’re buying New York off consecutive victories as well, benefiting from poor QB play and a concussion to Teddy Bridgewater in the process. But the Packers are still overvalued, and there’s the adjustment following an overseas game to keep in mind — on top of Rodgers’ thumb injury.

Additional NFL Picks


Not only could the Giants deal with similar fatigue as the Packers after their London affair, but this matchup represents a sell-high opportunity on their 4-1 record, too.

Even with New York defensive end Leonard Williams (knee) likely play, the Ravens showcase the fifth-highest Rushing EPA and sixth-best RBWR, respectively. That’s a byproduct of their elite zone rushing scheme. Couple that with the Giants’ inability to slow down ground attacks, and John Harbaugh’s team should dictate the tempo while sustaining drives.

Moreover, Baltimore isn’t nearly as susceptible against the run as New York’s previous opponent. I’m a little concerned about Daniel Jones’ prowess against zone defenses, which Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald runs, yet his success is contingent upon Saquon Barkley’s productivity.

Baltimore was in position to cover — on numerous occasions — against Cincinnati in Week 5. We’re getting a cheaper price as a result. Best of luck with your NFL Week 6 picks.

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