NFL WEEK 6 BETTING – FINDING EARLY VALUE IN PERCEIVED ONE-SIDED MATCHUPS
The Week 6 betting slate is highlighted by plenty of potentially lopsided matchups. Following a Week 5 filled with surprises and close calls, Week 6 looks to be a a lot of the same with three of the fifteen matchups being double-digit spreads and seven of the games opening at a field goal or less. Green Bay and Pittsburgh are both on bye, while the Browns, Seahawks, Chargers, and Buccaneers are coming off of byes with a full two weeks of rest and tape study.
The purpose of this article is to jump in on a couple of NFL games early in order to lock in a positive closing line value. If you are joining for the first time, welcome! If you are a returning reader, congrats on a successful Week 5 as we cashed in for back to back profitable weeks and a 2-0 record in last weeks article for +2.5 units. If you tuned into our Sharpen The Public NFL betting podcast I also turned my lean of Saints into an official play for an additional win, as well as another victory for the Sharpen The Public teaser.
This week will be a bit more difficult to navigate, but we will look to grab some value early on in the betting markets as things continue to develop and bettors quickly overreact or undervalue the spreads and totals. We will look to continue our hot streak of three positive weeks despite the interesting slate ahead, and as always fight the good fight of attempting a positive closing line value. Without further ado, let’s jump right in:
Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona Cardinals
The Rams have had a very odd season thus far, with losses against the Niners, Bengals, and Eagles that all were close competitive games until the end. Puka Nacua has been a revelation for this offense, and as we saw against the Eagles, adding Cooper Kupp back into the fold is going to make this passing game one of the best in football. The Rams only wins are against the Seahawks in a 30-13 road win, as well as an overtime victory against the Colts where they stifled a massive Indianapolis comeback.
Now the Rams face their easiest opponent by far in the Arizona Cardinals, a team that started 3-0 ATS but have since lost by two scores or more to the Niners and Bengals. The spread sitting at 5.5 and likely moving to 6 tells me that there is still some respect for this Cardinals side and how they were able to keep things close to start the season, but I think it may be time to forget about those results. The Cardinals covered against Washington and the Giants which does not say much now, and their massive upset over the Cowboys looks more and more like a fluke or that Arizona has their number as they’re 3-0 against Dallas in their last three now.
The problem I see here is how things are going to shake out for this Cardinals defense against the aerial threat that Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay are about to cook up, as well as a potential bounceback opportunity for Kyren Williams. The Cardinals only have one starting defender who rates above 65 on PFF so far this season, and rank in the bottom quarter of the league in passing yards allowed per game. I do not see a path to victory for this side, and despite the divisional matchup, I feel that the Cardinals skid of multiple score losses is about to continue as the Rams have not yet gotten an easy matchup to open things up against this season until now. Give me Los Angeles by a touchdown or more here, and I will be eyeing the team total or alternate spread as the weekend approaches.
The Play: Los Angeles Rams -5.5 (-110) – 1.25 Units
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HAPPY HOUR TEASER OF THE WEEK
6-Point Teaser (-120) – 1.5 Units | Texans +8.5 | Bucs +9
Following three straight weeks in a row of the Early Best Bets Teaser cashing in, you’ll find a familiar team from last week that I want to ride with again as well as another side where the six extra points can get us some value. The Wong Teaser methodology has done us well ever since last season, and you can read up more on how well it has fared as a whole in this Reddit thread from u/DuTeXz on r/sportsbook here. I typically try to stay within Wong’s parameters or step just outside of them within reason, and we will stay pretty close to the book this week as I pair the Texans and the Buccaneers both in a home underdog spot.
Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints had been involved in three games in a row to start the season that all ended by a margin of three points or less. Following their start of close games, New Orleans got beat handily by the Bucs, and now have blown out the Patriots 34-0. I believe that their Week 6 matchup against the Houston Texans will see the margin of victory fall back to how we saw it towards the beginning of the season, and the close spread and low total seem to suggest that Vegas feels the same way.
This is a classic teaser spot for the Texans as the Saints are a bit overvalued in the market due to their blowout victory over the Patriots, while their previous four games did not show that they were anything to write home about as a seemingly middle of the road side talent-wise. The Texans are a very young team and one that nobody saw being competitive this season. Do not forget that this squad was +10 against the Ravens in Week 1, and although they did not cover that number, this already feels like a more mature squad than they were just a month ago.
CJ Stroud has been putting up numbers that have people comparing him to some of the quarterback greats and he has gotten some help from his newfound friends of Nico Collins and Tank Dell. Both receiver should have fairly favorable CB matchups in this one, however the Saints defense as a whole rates out very well as they have only allowed more than 17 points scored by an opponent this season once in their Week 4 loss. I think that we will get some nice back and forth, but that overall it should be a low scoring affair and getting to cross two key numbers in 3 and 7 with the Texans spread being teased is a massive advantage in our favor.
I’ll roll with the Texans here to kick off our Early Best Bets teaser, and I lean the under early on but will wait and see where the money and bets sit on Sunday before placing my money there.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Detroit Lions
I am worried a little bit about hopping in early on this one at +3, but I would be shocked if Tampa Bay goes above +3.5 and feel really comfortable teasing them here regardless. The Lions just finished up stomping on the Carolina Panthers, and have been on a roll as of late. However, the Chiefs win was definitely impressive, but should we put a ton of stock in the Lions victories against the Falcons, Packers, and Panthers following their loss at home to the Seahawks?
I think getting the Bucs at home off of two weeks of rest thanks to the bye week is a fantastic way to grab value, and it is clear that the early bettors are not thinking that one through all the way yet as the Lions are juiced to -120 on their spread. I was definitely not someone who gave a lot of credit to this side over the summer, and I thought that Tampa bringing in Baker Mayfield surely meant they were mailing it in so they could participate in the Caleb Williams and Drake Maye sweepstakes this April. However, Mayfield has ranked as a Top 15 fantasy QB through four weeks of action, Evans and Godwin haven’t skipped a beat, and the Bucs defense has looked solid through four.
Evans and Godwin should once again have some room to play against favorable CB matchups, but I do worry about the Bucs O-Line taking on a tough Lions group in the trenches. However, with ample time to prep over the bye week, and the Lions having a cupcake schedule the last few weeks, I think getting a real test will lead to some surprises for Detroit where getting the Bucs at +9 feels like we are stealing. I am interested to see how the Lions fare against a more competent side with a lot of experience in Tampa Bay as Detroit begins the first half of their road trip over the next two weeks.
NFL WEEK 6 GAMES TO MONITOR:
Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans
The Ravens have opened up as -4 favorites on the road visiting the Titans this week. Both teams are coming off of a loss, and this could be the classic spot where the narrative becomes how great of a coach Mike Vrabel is as an underdog at home. The problem here is that I do not think Vrabel has the defensive personnel to stop Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers from wreaking havoc, and the other problem is that this is not even a home game for Tennessee – they are playing in London on Sunday morning. We saw how easy Zack Moss tore apart the Titans for 195 total yards and two touchdowns with and without Anthony Richardson – who is to say that Lamar Jackson, Justice Hill, and Gus Edwards can’t also have a day coming off of a loss? Let’s see where this one moves first before taking action.
Seattle Seahawks @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Seahawks opened as +3 underdogs as they hit the road following their bye week to play Joe Burrow and the Bengals fresh off of a much needed victory. Ja’Marr Chase is coming off of a hat trick of touchdowns and the offense finally looked competent again, but should we put much stock into that performance against a weak Cardinals defense? Early bettors apparently do not, as the Hawks are already being steamed to -122 on FanDuel, and could be +2.5 or less by the time you are reading this article. I am watching this number to see how people feel about this game before I am placing any wagers, and will likely have action one way or the other here as I eye that total of 45.5 that has bounced between 44 and 46 over the last few hours.
THIS IS AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY ANDY CHASE
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