It was a very up and down Week 6 for Team Degenerate. The picks were either brutally awful or easy wins. The hideous side of the ledger were wagers on Minnesota and Dallas. Nice of either of them to show up. However, Pittsburgh won in a blowout and San Francisco was a winner throughout. It was a 2-2 week for a loss of one unit. That brings the season total to 22-11-2 and +11 units.
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Houston Texans
It was a Week 6 to forget for the Green Bay Packers as they took it on the chin in a 38-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unfortunately, a performance like that will bring into question the strength of schedule that the Packers had dominated to that point. The Bucs were the first great defense they played this year and they did not pass the test.
What does it mean for this week? The Packers were great responding off losses last year under LaFluer, which is a good sign. A good trend favoring the Packers is teams that lose by 30 points or more are 54 percent ATS since 1989. And if those teams were on the road the previous week and on the road again it is even better at 63 percent.
There should be a ton of points in this game. The Texans have had an offensive philosophy change since they fired Bill O’Brien and have been taking more deep shots than ever. O’Brien and his infinite wisdom wanted to establish the run with a team that has Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller and Randall Cobb at wide receiver, which is one reason out of a million that he was an awful head coach and general manager. Without him, Houston has scored 30 or more points in both games.
DeShaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers both excel when not under pressure, and both Houston and Green Bay’s defenses rank in the bottom seven of pressure rate. Watson has averaged over nine yards per attempt in each of his last four games
In addition to having a much better plan on offense without O’Brien, Houston is a better team than its 1-5 record because of strength of schedule. Four or Houston’s losses have been to Kansas City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Tennessee, which are all Super Bowl contenders. This is why Houston is ranked 15th in Football Outsiders DVOA despite being 1-5.
I wanted to look to the Packers here, but there are too many injuries for me to back them with David Bakhtiari, Darnell Savage, Aaron Jones and Kevin King all likely out. However, a play on the over should be in order with how awful these defenses have been despite the high total.
PICK: OVER 56.5 1 unit
Cleveland Browns (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals 2 units
I’m not usually much of a road favorites bettor, but I like the matchup for Cleveland here. In their Week 2 game, the Browns dominated the stats yet did not cover because the Bengals went an insane 5-for-5 on fourth downs.
Cincinnati has cluster injuries at cornerback without William Jackson, Trae Waynes and Mackenzie Alexander and cluster injuries on the defensive line without D.J. Reader and Sam Hubbard. Joe Mixon being out will also kill the running game.
The matchup in the trenches is a huge favor to the Browns. Cleveland ran for 215 yards against the Bengals and should be able to do something similar even without Nick Chubb. The Cincinnati offensive line is also terrible, so good luck against Myles Garrett.
The Browns are also in the same good spot that Green Bay is in. Baker Mayfield not being 100 percent is the only thing stopping this from being a 3 unit play.
New England Patriots (-2.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers 2 units
This should be a great bounce back spot for New England. The Patriots were without four offensive linemen last week and Cam Newton barely had any practice time. The return of David Andrews and Shaq Mason should be huge.
Nobody knows Jimmy Garoppolo better than Bill Belichick. Garoppolo is also still not 100 percent, and Kyle Shanahan had him getting the ball out very quickly last week. The loss of Raheem Mostert is big because Jerrick McKinnon has lost a lot of explosion. San Francisco did nothing on offense in the second half against the Rams without Mostert. New England is also one of the best teams in the NFL against the tight end, so things could be tougher for George Kittle.
Carolina Panthers (+7.5) over New Orleans Saints 1 unit
I don’t much understand this line. New Orleans has nothing this year to suggest it should be favored this much over a Carolina team that has played pretty well.
A Teddy Bridgewater interception put them behind the eight-ball early last week, but this is a team that should only continue to get better. In his career, Bridgewater is 18-4 ATS as an underdog and13-3 ATS following a straight up loss.
Tee Higgins over 59.5 receiving yards 1 unit
Higgins has had at least seven targets in each of his last four games. The game script should be perfect with the Bengals likely trailing and with no Joe Mixon they should pass more. Denzel Ward was shadowing AJ Green in the previous matchup and shut him down. Higgins has has had 77, 62 and 125 yards, respectively, in each of his last three games.
James Conner over 63.5 rushing yards 1 unit
Conner is a workhorse and the books still are not recognizing that. He has averaged over 17 carries per game when healthy and has eclipsed 100 yards in three of his last four games with a healthy 4.9 yards per carry on the season. The Steelers have an advantage in the trenches against Tennessee and look for Conner to take advantage.
Terry McLaurin over 78.5 receiving yards 1 unit
This should be self-explanatory picking on the Dallas defense. McLaurin’s target share is 27 percent this year and Dallas has nobody to cover him. Dallas has allowed eight receivers to hit this number in just six games.
DK Metcalf over 68.5 receiving yards 2 units
How on earth are the books still hanging numbers like this on Metcalf? I have no clue, but we will take advantage. No need to fix what isn’t broken.