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NFL Picks: Week 6 DraftKings Sportsbook Pro Football Spreads Pool Predictions

Matt LaMarca breaks down his picks in the DraftKings Sportsbook Pro Football Spreads Pool for Week 6 of the NFL season.

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Let’s take a look at all 12 NFL contests slated for Sunday’s DraftKings Sportsbook Pro Football Week 6 Spreads Pool, including my five personal favorites.

Washington Football Team @ New York Giants (-2.5)

The Pick: Washington +2.5

This is one of those games where it feels impossible to set a line. The Giants don’t feel like they deserved to be favored vs. anyone, but neither does Washington. DraftKings Sportsbook ultimately settled on a line of 2.5 points, which feels about right.

Still, I think Washington stands out in this contest. The best unit in this game by a significant amount is Washington’s pass rush. They have a host of first-round draft picks – including last year’s No. 2 overall pick Chase Young – and they have had a lot of success to start the year.

The Giants have been a bit better on their offensive line compared to last year, but they still rank just 20th in adjusted sack rate. Daniel Jones has struggled mightily when under pressure, posting a Pro Football Focus grade of just 51.0 in that situation.

On the offensive side, Washington did look a bit better last week with Kyle Allen under center. He was 9-13 as a passer and added a touchdown on the ground before ultimately succumbing to an injury. The Washington defense should force Daniel Jones into some mistakes, so Allen shouldn’t need to do much to lead them to a victory.

Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)

The Pick: Vikings -3.5

This line really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The Vikings have played much better over their past two games, winning on the road vs. the 49ers and nearly beating the Seahawks on the road in primetime. Meanwhile, the Falcons have been nothing short of a disaster this season.

With that in mind, I have no idea why the Vikings are favored by just 3.5 points. Home field advantage has been adjusted with no fans in 2020, but it still accounts for approximately 2.5 points. That means this line is saying that the Vikings are just a point better than the Falcons on a neutral field. I simply don’t agree with that.

The big difference for the Vikings recently has been the emergence of Justin Jefferson at wide receiver. He gives Kirk Cousins two excellent targets at the position, and that should be more than enough for him to find success vs. the Falcons. Atlanta currently ranks just 30th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA, so this is one of the best matchups in football for the Vikings’ passing attack.

It does look like Dalvin Cook will miss this contest, but the Vikings do have one of the better backup RBs in football in Alexander Mattison. If this spread has been adjusted to reflect the Cook injury, I think that would be a mistake.

Detroit Lions (-3.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Pick: Lions -3.5

This line may feel a little high on the surface, but the Jaguars are currently dealing with a host of injuries. They currently have some key defensive players who are questionable, and DJ Chark might be closer to doubtful. He has yet to suit up in practice this week, and that could have massive implications for their offense.

The Jags’ offense put together their worst performance of the year without Chark in Week 3 vs. the Dolphins, racking up just 13 points and 318 total yards. The Dolphins have been a very exploitable matchup for offenses this season — particularly early in the year with Byron Jones sidelined — so it’s fair to question if they’ll be able to move the ball if Chark is unable to suit up.

Another factor to consider here is that the Lions are coming off the bye, and favorites have historically fared well in that situation. Teams who are favored after at least 13 days off have posted a record of 161-119-9 against the spread since 2004, which is good for a +12.1% return on investment. The Steelers were able to cover in that situation last week, so this trend is off to a solid start in 2020.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)

The Pick: Steelers -3.5

The Browns are riding high following their win over the Colts last week. They’ve now won four straight games after dropping their first game of the year, but I’m still not sure that this team is actually good. Their wins have come against Washington, the Colts, the Cowboys, and the Bengals, and none of those wins stands out as particularly impressive. They also rank just 17th in overall DVOA, which suggests this team is more mediocre than their record indicates.

We’ll find out a lot about the Browns this week vs. the Steelers. Pittsburgh is undoubtedly a good football team, particularly on the defensive end. They currently rank seventh in defensive DVOA and boast one of the best pass rushes in football. They led the league in sacks last season and are currently first in adjusted sack rate in 2020.

Perhaps more importantly, Pittsburgh currently ranks first in rush defense DVOA. Cleveland has relied on their ability to run the ball in order to win games to start the year. They’ve run the ball at the highest rate in the league, including the fourth-highest rate in one-score contests (per Sharp Football). If the Steelers can take away the Browns run game, I have zero confidence in Baker Mayfield to actually win this game with his arm. The Browns will also be without star RB Nick Chubb once again, which should put even more pressure on Mayfield to deliver.

Green Bay Packers (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Pick: Buccaneers +2.5

This is undoubtedly the best game of the week and it is absolutely fascinating from a betting perspective. The advance line on this game was Buccaneers -3, but it dropped all the way to Packers -3 following the Bucs’ disappointing loss to the Bears on Thursday night. It has creeped back towards the Bucs, but the line sits at Tampa +2.5 for this pool. That represents nearly six points of spread value compared to the opening number.

Tom Brady also fits some sick trends here. He’s had an extended rest after playing on Thursday Night Football last week, and Brady historically gone 17-9-2 against the spread with at least 10 days to prepare during the regular season. He’s also coming off a loss, and Brady has gone 37-14 the following week since 2004. That’s good for a cover rate of 72.5%, which is absolutely stupid.

It is definitely fair to question just how valid all these trends are now that Brady is playing in Tampa instead of New England, but Brady has gone 1-0 straight up and against the spread following his only loss this season.

As far as DVOA goes, Tampa Bay definitely gets an edge in that department. They currently rank second in overall DVOA while the Packers rank sixth. With that in mind, you would expect the Bucs to be favored with this game being played at home, which is exactly what the initial line reflected.

Remaining Games

Here’s who I’m targeting for the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans (-3.5)

Pick: Texans +3.5

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts (-8.5)

Pick: Colts -8.5

Chicago Bears @ Carolina Panthers (-2.5)

Pick: Bears +2.5

Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: Ravens -7.5

Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots (-9.5)

Pick: Broncos +9.5

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins (-8.5)

Pick: Dolphins -8.5

Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) @ San Francisco 49ers

Pick: 49ers +3.5

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