Week 6 pro football picks against the spread, ranked in order of confidence | JASON MCINTYRE’S PICKS
I’m Jason McIntyre, and I’m back picking every game on the Sunday slate, plus the Monday Night Football game. And folks, I’m hot! And I’m hearing from you on social media. Thank you! Five straight winning weeks — no losing weeks yet! — so let’s keep the ball rolling with Week 6.
I’ve always been a fan of U2’s music, and if forced to pick a favorite song, “The Sweetest Thing” probably takes the top prize. “Mysterious Ways” is also up there, but “Sunday Bloody Sunday” gets consideration as well. And I couldn’t help but think of that song when I looked at NFL lines for this weekend: Eight of the 12 games Sunday (and even the MNF game between the Lions and Packers) will have a spread of 4 or less.
I feel irrationally good about this card —I wanted no part of last weekend’s games but managed a 3-2 — but then I realized that the games I’m most confident about means I’m going against:Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers and the undefeated 49ers. So 3 of the 5 best QBs, and the last team unbeaten team. Let’s just hope it’s not a bloody Sunday for my confidence picks, ranked from most to least confident. Let’s go!
13. Houston Texans +4.5 at Kansas City Chiefs
I’m all over Deshaun Watson here — who, by the way, is 8-2-1 against the spread as an underdog with the Texans. Listen, he is a money player. I really like him against a beaten up Chiefs defense. They’re signing guys off the street to play on the defensive line. No Chris Jones for the Chiefs is big. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs haven’t covered in three straight games. Give me the Texans getting 4.5 points on the road.
12. Cleveland Browns +1.5 vs. Seattle Seahawks
This line has moved a lot; last week on the lookahead line, Seattle was getting two. Earlier this week, they were favored by 2.5, and now, the number is down slightly back toward Cleveland. The public is largely selling the Browns after that embarrassing loss on Monday Night Football to the 49ers. I don’t care. I don’t care that Baker Mayfield leads the NFL in interceptions, with 8, either. I think this Seattle team is still overrated. Three of their four wins came by a total of four points. I like the Browns to get right at home, getting 1.5 points.
11. Detroit Lions +4 at Green Bay Packers
The Monday Night Football matchup everybody’s waiting for (well, maybe not…). I love the Lions here, maybe even to win outright. Matt Stafford off a bye is 7-3 against the spread, and the Packers just aren’t incredible at night. Their last five home games at night? 0-5 against the spread. I think the Lions can go into Lambeau, run the football and pass on a bit of an overrated defense, so give me Detroit getting four points on Monday night.
10. Los Angeles Rams -3 vs. San Francisco 49ers
I really love the Rams here; in fact, 3 seems a little short. Why’s that? Well, the 49ers are overvalued, folks. I know they’re unbeaten, and the stats love them, but they’ve played a cupcake schedule. This is a team that has not beaten a team with a winning record! The 49ers’ combined opponents’ record: 5-15. And the key number: Sean McVay’s Rams, with extra rest — they played last Thursday, with the 49ers on a short week after playing last Monday — are 7-1 against the spread. Give me the Rams favored by three at home.
9. Minnesota Vikings -3 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I’ve seen the numbers. I know Kirk Cousins is 5-27 straight up in his past 32 games against teams with a winning record. But I don’t care. I’m taking the Vikings at home, because I think the Eagles are still overrated, and Minnesota has Dalvin Cook. I’m expecting a huge game for him, even against the 4th-ranked rush defense in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders. Give me the Vikings as 3-point favorites at home.
8. Carolina Panthers -1.5 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I really like Carolina in this spot. Big injury problems for the Bucs; the entire right side of their offensive line, and Carolina is second in the NFL in sacks. That’s a big advantage for the Panthers. I also do believe that this is a great revenge spot. Remember, Carolina was bottled up in Week 2, with Christian McCaffrey tallying just 37 yards rushing. I like a revenge angle for Carolina. They’ll go to London and beat Jameis Winston and the Bucs. Give me Carolina favored by 1.5.
7. Tennessee Titans +2 at Denver Broncos
I think I’ve solved the Tennessee Titans: they’re terrible as favorites (0-3), and they’re great as underdogs (2-0). They’re underdogs here, so I’ll take them. Give me the 2 points and Marcus Mariota on the road in Denver.
6. Miami Dolphins +4 vs. Washington Redskins
To a battle of the winless teams! Washington just fired their coach; it’s a disaster in D.C. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I like the Dolphins, who are a crazy 4-0 against the spread after a bye in their past four seasons. I’ll take Miami at home getting 4 points.
5. Los Angeles Chargers -6.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
A lot of this line has to do with Pittsburgh being down to their third-string quarterback after Mason Rudolph was knocked out last week. And given that, I’ve got to take the Chargers here. I don’t have a ton of faith in them right now; they can’t run the football, and they’re really beat up. But I just can’t side with a third-string QB. Fade Devlin Hodges and the Steelers.
4. Arizona Cardinals +2.5 vs. Atlanta Falcons
Surprise, surprise, but I’ve got to back Kyler Murray here after the Cardinals came through for me last week on the road in Cincinnati — and I will not back the Atlanta Falcons again for a while. They just gave up 53 points and over 500 yards of offense to Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. I’ll take the Cardinals getting 2.5 at home.
3. Baltimore Ravens -11 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
I’ve got Baltimore favored by 11 against the Bengals, and I’m going to take them reluctantly. I know Lamar Jackson is struggling, with five interceptions in the past two weeks, but what a better spot to get right than against a Bengals team that is winless and terrible. Give me the Ravens favored by 11.
2. New York Jets +7 vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have lost two straight and haven’t covered in either game, and now they have to face Sam Darnold, who’s back from mono. I like the Jets here getting a touchdown at home. In fact, the reinvigorated New York Jets could win this game outright. Give me the Jets getting seven against Dallas.
1. New Orleans Saints +2.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars
The New Orleans Saints are 14-0 against the spread in their last 14 October games, just an incredible stat — and I’m expecting them to make it 15-0. This one to me boils down to the QB play. Give me Teddy Bridgewater over Gardner Minshew and the Saints getting 2.5 in Jacksonville.