Week 6: Part 1 is already live here. The last seven games for Week 6 are listed below in Part 2.
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Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Rams -9 at Giants
The Rams have been sharp this season, but that’s fallen-off the past few weeks. Following a hot start to the season, the Rams stumbled at home against the Cardinals. Ever since Brandon Staley left for the Chargers, this defense has taken a bit of a step back.
The Rams defense is allowing an average of 388 YPG this season (23rd in the NFL). Despite this, they are 12th in points-allowed per game. That’s the big hint here for me. Even with their issues slowing teams defensively, the Rams are 2nd in the NFL in passing and 8th in scoring (28.2 PPG).
For the Giants, injuries and generally bad situational football have held this team back in 2021. Daniel Jones has also been uncharacteristically sound with protecting the ball so far this season. Do you trust Daniel Jones when the field gets short without Kenny Golladay, Saquan Barkley and a banged-up Kadarius Toney?
As tempting as it is to take the Giants at home in a must-win scenario, this line feels almost too sharp. This game has as much blowout potential as it does one-score potential. The Rams have had nine days to prep for this one, so I feel good going Rams here.
Rams 31 Giants 19
Chiefs -6.5 at WFT
The Chiefs are just the ultimate tease this week, as they are almost every week. We know how good this offense is, but the defense has been incredibly awful. Despite that, it’s a very important game for the Chiefs.
The WFT is playing near their offensive ceiling right now, but far below it on defense. The rub here is the schedule thus far. The WFT could easily be 0-5, as both the win over the Giants and the Falcons both probably shouldn’t have been wins.
Normally, I’d side with the better defense in a matchup like this, but both teams have pretty awful defenses. That being said, this may be more of a statement game for the Chiefs than a “our defense is actually good and we’re going to show you” game from the WFT.
The WFT is the 30th ranked pass defense (via PFF grade). Since the Chiefs don’t really run the ball much anyway, this ranking is the biggest red flag of the game. I still believe WFT will put up points in this game, but have a lot more faith in the Chiefs to score even more.
Chiefs 38 WFT 30
Cardinals at Browns -3
The Cardinals vs Browns is a tale of coaches, to me. Last week, the 49ers simply lacked the talent offensively to adequately perform on offense. Defensively, Kyle Shanahan schemed well last week against the Cardinals, and I expect Kevin Stefanski to finish the job this week.
There’s no Nick Chubb this week, but who honestly cares? This offense is elite in the run game and still has Kareem Hunt at its disposal. Even with a few injuries on the offensive line, the Browns have the clear matchup advantage on offense, in the trenches.
Kyler Murray is a weapon, but a weapon who thrives under chaos. Expect Kevin Stefanski to limit the big plays from Kyler, as the Browns should be able to control this game on the ground.
Browns 27 Cardinals 17
Raiders at Broncos -4
There’s a lot of “the Raiders are at a crossroads this week” dialogue going around this week. I tend to believe these rumors more often then not, but I have some concerns about the Raiders. For one, their great offensive performances this season came against the Ravens and Dolphins (both hyped early in the season to have good defenses).
The concern for me this week is how this Raiders offense has stalled-out the last few weeks. 14 against the Chargers and 9 against the Bears really concerns me. On the other side, I still believe the Broncos aren’t great, but their run defense and run offense give them a major leg-up in this game.
The Broncos are playing at home and should feel comfortable operating their offense against a weak run defense in the Raiders. This is a must-win for both teams and the circumstances just favor the Broncos by a lot more.
Broncos 23 Raiders 17
Cowboys -3.5 at Patriots
The Patriots are about as bland of a team there can be in 2021. They lack explosive plays, lack explosive offensive players, and are awful to watch. The Cowboys couldn’t be any more different. The Cowboys thrive off their balance and explosive plays. The Cowboys defense forces turnovers and buries teams early in games.
The Cowboys are 6th in offensive rating and 10th in ELO ranking. They have playmakers all over their offense and have mismatches at the skill positions. The Patriots are without their best running back and lack the talent in the receiving core to potentially stretch the Cowboys defense.
I’m not buying the Patriots and these trap lines. As difficult as it is picking against Belichik, I’m absolutely not going with the Patriots this week. I do believe Belichik can keep this game close via safe and smart passing schemes, but the Cowboys are an efficient team with a creative offensive coordinator. I like the Cowboys to pull away early in the fourth.
Cowboys 31 Patriots 20
Seahawks at Steelers -5
Does anyone trust the Steelers? There are a number of reasons why we shouldn’t trust them, but they have showed up in a few of these games this year. The Steelers tend to get the ball out quickly, mainly due to how bad their offensive line is. They also run the ball a considerable amount, despite how bad their line is. For them, it’s a delicate balance.
Had Russell Wilson not been injured last week, I’d have been heavy on the Seahawks this week. Wilson creates issues for containment purposes and makes game plans against the Seattle offense very difficult.
The problem for the Seahawks, aside from Russell Wilson being out, is Chris Carson also being out. Now, they have an offense being slightly re-tooled for Geno Smith. Last week, Smith did fairly well to lead one touchdown drive in the second half. This week, the Steelers have an entire week to prepare for the Seahawks and Smith behind center.
Steelers 27 Seahawks 20
Bills -5.5 at Titans
This is going to be a clash of offensive schemes. We get to see the Bills passing attack against the Titans run game. These teams are similarly ranked on offense but very different on the defensive side of the ball. The Bills have the 5th ranked defense, while the Titans are 26th.
Where it really comes into play in the specifics. The Bills have the highest pass coverage grade as rated by PFF. This disparity should make things difficult for the Titans and their two elite receivers, because they rely so heavily on play action. When you can limit effectiveness in play action, you can focus more on stopping the run.
Expect this game to be a boat race, with the Bills having little resistance offensively. The defense should stymie the Titans enough to keep a safe distance. I like the Bills to pull away in the third quarter and bury this one late.
Bills 34 Titans 24