Through the first five weeks of the NFL season, we’ve had a 23-11 run (+9.93 units) against the spread. Let’s break down where the value lies for my Week 6 NFL best bets.
While the betting public‘s performance doesn’t impact my perception of the league, it does influence the market. For BetMGM and many other sportsbooks, the NFL Week 5 results weren’t nearly as profitable as they would’ve hoped.
“We got crushed on most games (in Week 5),” BetMGM trader Chrstian Cipollini told TheLines. “Giants–Cowboys for sure. We had 91% of the bets on Cowboys moneyline (while) 85% of the spread bets were also on the Cowboys. All of the Giants skill players going down early made the public very happy because they crushed that one.”
How can we use that to our advantage? Below, you can find the oddsboard and my Week 6 NFL best bets.
NFL Week 6 Odds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles
We got our Eagles +7, as I mentioned in my NFL Week 6 underdogs piece.
Eli’s Bet: Eagles +7 (-115 — PointsBet, placed at 7pm ET on Thursday, Oct. 14)
Best Available Line: Eagles
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are already yielding the the 27th-highest expected points added (EPA) per dropback, and now starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard (shoulder/groin) and Byron Jones (Achilles/groin) are both out.
EPA is determined by expected points scored based on the down, distance, and field position at the start of a play — in comparison to the conclusion.
Trevor Lawrence & Co. present the league’s second-worst EPA per dropback overall, but their passing attack has improved in that department over the last few games. Even with Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) back under center for Miami, its offense is down wide receivers Devante Parker (shoulder/hamstring) and Preston Williams (groin).
With the spread ticking below a key number, I’ll take Jacksonville on the moneyline.
Eli’s Bet: Jaguars ML (+115 — PointsBet, placed at 9:10am ET on Sunday, Oct. 16)
Best Available Odds: Jaguars
Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns
Betting against the Cardinals didn’t work out in Week 5, but the 49ers outgained them in yards per play (5.7 to 5.1) — an indicator that their seven-point win wasn’t as convincing as the final score would appear.
San Francisco was also doomed in by its one-for-five performance on fourth down, including a failed attempt from Arizona’s one-yard line on the first half.
Additionally, Vance Joesph’s unit is letting up the league’s sixth-highest rushing success rate (SR). That metric exhibits whether a play is successful if a team gains:
- 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
Although the Browns are coming off of their second-half blown lead at the Chargers, they presented the advantage in YPP (7.8 to 7.3) while dominating on the ground to the tune of 6.57 yards per carry (YPC). In fact, Kevin Stefanski’s offense boasts the NFL’s fourth-highest rushing SR, led by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Even if offensive tackles Jedrick Wills Jr. (ankle) and Jack Conklin (knee) don’t suit up, Cleveland’s ground game is scheme-orientated and should continue to expose the Cardinals’ overrated defense.
Why Bet Cleveland Now?
The Browns’ cornerback injuries to Denzel Ward (neck) and Greedy Williams (shoulder) are concerning, as Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert picked apart their secondary with 8.47 yards per pass attempt (YPA). Missing both would hamper Cleveland’s third-ranked dropback SR against MVP candidate Kyler Murray, but I don’t see us nabbing a cheaper price on this spread.
Considering the preseason look-ahed line was Browns -5.5, we’re seeing a market overreaction to the Cardinals’ undefeated start.
Eli’s Bet: Browns -2.5 (-115; bet up to -3 — PointsBet, placed at 10pm ET on Monday, Oct. 11)
Best Available Line: Browns
Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots
Not only have the Cowboys accrued the NFL’s second-highest offensive SR, but they’re also the first team since 1983 to record 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in the same game via their Week 5 win over the Giants.
Nevertheless, here’s where the Patriots’ defense slots in across the entire league:
- No. 8 passing defense DVOA (via Football Outsiders)
- No. 9 dropback SR
- No. 10 EPA per dropback
Despite Bill Belichick’s group conceding 10.1 YPA to Texans rookie Davis Mills in its comeback victory, there’s thought that cornerback Jalen Mills (hamstring) was held out as a precaution — with Dallas’ explosive offense up next. If the Patriots’ secondary is closer to full strength, look for Belichick’s 3-4 defense to have more of an opportunity to mix up its looks against Cowboys signal caller Dak Prescott.
How Can New England’s Offense Succeed?
On the other side of the ball, Trevon Diggs‘ emergence as an elite cornerback has propelled the Cowboys into top-ten passing defense. But they’re still susceptible against the run (No. 17 opponents’ EPA per carry).
The Patriots’ offensive line was without left tackle Isaiah Wynn (COVID-19), left guard Michael Onwenu (COVID-19), right guard Shaq Mason (abdomen) and right tackle Trent Brown (IR, calf) in Houston. Assuming Wynn, Onewenu and Mason all return, Dallas’ biggest defensive weakness should allow New England to grind the clock and keep the ball out of Prescott’s hands.
Moreover, Josh McDaniels’ ground game will likely include its leading-rusher Damien Harris (ribs), who escaped a long-term injury against the Texans.
The market hasn’t necessarily overreacted to the preseason look-ahead line (Patriots -1.5), but there’s value above a key number.
Eli’s Bet: Patriots +4.5 (bet down to +3.5 — DraftKings, placed at 10pm ET on Monday, Oct. 11)
Best Available Line: Patriots
Buffalo Bills Tennessee Titans
With Titans wide receivers A.J. Brown (illness) and Julio Jones (hamstring) both suiting up, I’ll take a slightly better price than I mentioned in my NFL Week 6 underdogs piece.
Eli’s Bet: Titans +6 (+100 — PointsBet, placed at 5:30pm ET on Monday, Oct. 18)
Best Available Line: Titans