Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals: 2018 Week 7 NFL Pick

Denver Broncos (2-4) at Arizona Cardinals (1-5)

The Broncos are a tough team to evaluate. They won their first 2 games, but by a combined 4 points against the Seahawks and Raiders. Since then, they’ve lost their last 4, but they’ve also been competitive with both the Chiefs and the Rams, who are two of the best teams in the league. They lost by double digits in both Baltimore and New York, but Baltimore has played at a high level this year as well, while that Jets loss came in a terrible spot, sandwiched between the Chiefs and Rams on their schedule. They’ve also won the first down rate battle in 4 of 6 games and have a +3.01% first down rate differential on the season, with 133 first downs to 118 allowed, and they rank 13th in DVOA as well.

On paper, this is a solid team talentwise and one that shouldn’t have much trouble covering against a terrible Arizona team in a game they pretty much just have to win to cover as 1.5-point road favorites. However, they’re also poorly coached and have been prone to let down games following big games, like the one they had last week against the Rams, especially on the road, where they are just 1-8 (1-8 ATS) under head coach Vance Joseph. I’m taking the Broncos, but I can’t take them with any confidence.

Denver Broncos 20 Arizona Cardinals 17

Pick against the spread: Denver -1.5

Confidence: None

2018 Week 6 NFL Pick Results

Week 5

Total Against the Spread: 9-5-1

Pick of the Week: 0-0-1

High Confidence Picks: 0-2

Medium Confidence Picks: 3-1

Money Picks (Medium Confidence and higher): 3-3-1

Low Confidence Picks: 2-2

No Confidence Picks: 4-0

Upset Picks: 1-2

2018

Total Against the Spread: 54-36-3

Pick of the Week: 2-3-1

High Confidence Picks: 7-5

Medium Confidence Picks: 19-9

Money Picks (Medium Confidence and higher): 28-17-1

Low Confidence Picks: 9-9

No Confidence Picks: 17-10-2

Upset Picks: 8-9-1

All-Time (Since 2013)

Total Against the Spread: 739-635-39 (53.68%)

Pick of the Week: 53-37-3 (58.60%)

Money Picks (Medium Confidence and higher): 358-263-15 (57.47%)

Upset Picks: 115-145-1 (44.25%)

2018 Week 6 NFL Picks

Pick of the Week

NE -3 vs. KC

High Confidence Picks

CIN -1.5 vs. PIT

GB -9.5 vs. SF

Medium Confidence Picks

PHI -2 @ NYG

DAL +3.5 vs. JAX

TEN +2.5 vs. BAL

WAS +1 vs. CAR

Low Confidence Picks

CHI -7 @ MIA

IND +2 @ NYJ

BUF +10 @ HOU

DEN +7 vs. LAR

No Confidence Picks

LAC +1 @ CLE

SEA -2.5 vs. OAK

ATL -3 vs. TB

ARZ +10.5 @ MIN

Upset Picks

WAS +100 vs. CAR

TEN +120 vs. BAL

IND +110 @ NYJ

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons: 2018 Week 6 NFL Pick

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-4)

These two teams are pretty similar, as they have good offenses, but horrendous defenses. The Falcons started the season as a balanced team, but they have had terrible injury luck on defense, with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, linebacker Deion Jones, and safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen out with injuries. As a result, a team that looked like a possible contender coming into the season has fallen to 1-4 and looks unlikely to improve on defense any time soon.

On the other side, the Buccaneers problem on defense isn’t really injuries; they just have a weak defense. They rank dead last in first down rate allowed at 45.88%, one spot ahead of the Falcons at 45.02%. Fortunately, their offense has been strong to compensate somewhat, ranking 7th in first down rate at 40.56%, a few spots ahead of the Falcons, who rank 10th at 39.25% and continue to be without running back Devonta Freeman with injury.

With Jameis Winston taking his starting job back from Ryan Fitzpatrick, after briefly being benched upon his return from suspension, the Buccaneers’ offense could conceivably improve going forward. Winston played well when healthy last season and has arguably the most talented receiving corps in the NFL, especially with tight end OJ Howard looking likely to return from injury this week. I have the Falcons a couple spots higher in my rankings, so I’m taking them as mere 3 point home favorites, but this game is close to a toss up and could easily push. At 3.5, I’d take the Buccaneers.

Atlanta Falcons 34 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31

Pick against the spread: Atlanta -3

Confidence: None

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings: 2018 Week 6 NFL Pick

Arizona Cardinals (1-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1)

I’m torn on this one. On one hand, the Cardinals are one of the worst teams in the league and should only be picked if you are getting great line value with them, while the Vikings are in a great spot with only a trip to New York to play the Jets on deck. Teams are 79-61 ATS since 2014 before being road favorites of 4+, which the Vikings are expected to be next week in New York. With no upcoming distractions, they could easily take care of business at home against a much inferior team.

On the other hand, the Vikings enter this game missing several key players, so the Cardinals could easily keep it closer than expected. Already missing defensive end Everson Griffen with injury, the Vikings will also be without left tackle Riley Reiff and talented starting safety Andrew Sendejo with injury this week. Cornerback Trae Waynes and running back Dalvin Cook are expected to return from short absences, but the Vikings are far from 100% right now, so we’re getting a little bit of line value with the visitors. It’s not enough to take them with any confidence, but they are the pick for pick ‘em purposes.

Minnesota Vikings 23 Arizona Cardinals 13

Pick against the spread: Arizona +10.5

Confidence: None

Oakland Raiders vs. Seattle Seahawks: 2018 Week 6 NFL Pick

Oakland Raiders (1-4) vs. Seattle Seahawks (2-3) in London

This game features the Raiders and Seahawks in London. Typically in neutral site games, the rule of thumb is that the better team typically covers, as favorites are 21-9 ATS all-time. That makes sense, as better teams are more likely to be better prepared for a weird situation like this. The crowd is also likely to be slanted towards the better team. The Seahawks are favored in this one, but only by 2.5 points. While favorites of 4+ are 13-1 ATS in neutral site games, favorites of less than 4 are just 8-8 ATS.

The Seahawks also are not a good team right now, thanks to several personnel major losses over the past couple seasons and several major injuries, including stud safety Earl Thomas and every down linebacker KJ Wright. They’re better than the Raiders, but only by default, as the Raiders are one of the worst teams in the league, especially with talented left guard Kelechi Osemele out for the second straight game. I’m taking the Seahawks because they are the slightly better team and only really need to win to cover, but this is a no confidence bet.

Seattle Seahawks 23 Oakland Raiders 20

Pick against the spread: Seattle -2.5

Confidence: None

Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns: 2018 Week 6 NFL Pick

Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2-1)

The Browns have been near the top of my underrated list all season and I’ve picked them against the spread every week so far this season, including money bets on them against the Steelers, Jets, and Ravens. The Browns have covered or pushed in all 5 games, with their only non-cover coming in a push as 3-point underdogs in Oakland in a game they led by 8 with the ball under 2 minutes left. In fact, if not for a couple bad calls in that game and some missed kicks week 1 and week 2, the Browns could easily be 5-0 right now.

Of course, they also haven’t won a game by more than 4 points, so they could also easily be 1-4 right now, but my point is that the Browns are a competitive football team this season. They’ve drastically upgraded their quarterback situation, which has allowed a solid all around roster to shine more, after Deshone Kizer’s turnover proneness made it near impossible for them to win games in 2017.

Unfortunately, the public seems to be catching on a little bit, as the Browns are 1-point favorites this week at home against the Chargers. Last week, the Browns were field goal home underdogs against the Ravens. The Ravens and Chargers are about even in my rankings, with the Ravens only a couple spots ahead, so we’re not getting the same line value with the Browns this week. In fact, I actually have this line calculated at even, so, if anything we’re getting a tiny bit of line value with the Chargers.

The Chargers have no homefield advantage in Los Angeles, so I always like to bet on them away from home (30-19-3 ATS on the road since 2012, including 5-3-2 ATS since moving to Los Angeles last season), and the Browns could be a little tired this weekend after playing a ridiculous 3rd overtime game in 5 weeks last week. The Chargers aren’t exactly in a great spot either though, with a trip to London on deck (teams are 16-24 ATS all-time before a trip to London). In a game that’s a complete toss up, I’m taking the point for a no confidence pick. Maybe it’ll be another tie. Both teams have suspect kicking units.

Los Angeles Chargers 20 Cleveland Browns 20

Pick against the spread: LA Chargers +1

Confidence: None