Our week 6 picks finished at a mediocre 3-4, suffering from a couple bad beats in the early slate of games. That brings our total on the year to 20-19-2, still floating just above the surface of a .500 season. I've been dreading addressing the fact that our Lock of the Week has now fallen to 2-4 on the year... But the law of averages states that the Lock is guaranteed to hit this week. Let's get into the picks so we can all go 7-0 in week (lucky number) 7.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans Over 50.5
This is probably going to be the best game of the week, and since I'm not a fan of either team, I wanted to make it even more fun to watch for me by placing a bet on it. I debated picking one of the teams to win outright, but I have no idea which team will win. I think the Steelers have a better defense, which would probably make me bet on them if I had to since the offensive stats are almost identical across the board. However, it doesn't matter who wins for us, because we'll have the over. Both teams are averaging over 30 points per game (ppg) this season, and the Titans put up 42 in each of their last two. Tennessee's offense is clicking on all cylinders, and because of that, Pittsburgh, who has typically scored just as much as it takes to win, will be forced to open up their offense to keep up with the Titans. Corey Davis will be returning, putting Tennessee's offense at full strength with the exception of Taylor Lewan, who will be out for the season. I expect the game to remain close, with the winning team putting up at least 35 points.
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons Over 55.0
The reality for this game is that while both teams have struggled to win for much of the season, these two offenses are heating up as of late. Neither defenses are very good either, which sets this one up to have a lot of points scored. Atlanta has allowed an average of 442 yards per game and Detroit has given up just under 400 per game. Matt Ryan has had a ton of success when he's had a healthy receiving corps, and while Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are listed as questionable right now, both played last game and should be participants in this one. D'Andre Swift exploded last week for 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns, adding another weapon for Matthew Stafford to use in both the rushing attack and for opening up the passing game. Barring unforeseen injuries or unforced errors, I think the over hits with ease.
Carolina Panthers +7.0 at New Orleans Saints
If you've been keeping up with my betting articles this season, try to recall exactly what I wrote for the Chargers - Buccaneers game, and replace the L.A. with the Panthers and Tampa with the Saints. Carolina has played surprisingly well this season under a new head coach and quarterback even without their best player. New Orleans, on the other hand, have been disappointing ever since their season opener, suffering two losses and barely beating two mediocre teams in their last two games. It's worth noting that with the exception of each of their games against the Bucs, the Panthers haven't lost a game by more than seven points, and the Saints haven't won a game by more than seven points all season. While Carolina will be traveling to the Superdome, New Orleans still isn't allowing fans in their stadium, so home field advantage will basically be nonexistent. This game between division rivals will undoubtedly be a close one.
Los Angeles Chargers -7.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Speaking of the Chargers, they hit on back-to-back bets for me before their week 6 bye, so I'm going to ride with them again at home against the struggling Jaguars. Justin Herbert has been great, and L.A. has gotten up big on all three of their last opponents before blowing those leads and losing in all three. Fortunately for the Chargers, the Jags are much poorer than any of those teams and won't have the firepower to keep it close early or overcome a large deficit. Gardner Minshew struggled to score last week against Detroit, and Los Angeles has a much better defense than the Lions in my opinion. Jacksonville also hasn't been within 8 points of a team since week two against the Titans, and all of those games were against teams in the bottom half of the league (except maybe the Dolphins). I like the Chargers here by double digits.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Over 45.5
I'll be honest, I'm not super confident with this game going over due to Denver's erratic offense and stout defense. But this point total is too low to pass up for a game involving Patrick Mahomes, who is liable to put up 45 points by himself at a moment's notice. The return of Drew Lock and K.J. Hamler will certainly help the Broncos, and I'm hoping they're able to provide a spark for the offense. I know the Chiefs haven't played spectacularly on the offensive side of the ball this season, but this is just a probability play here on a number that is too good to pass up.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Over 56.0
I realize that I bet over on a lot of games this week, but I just think a lot of matchups are set up to be high scoring in general. This one is no different, as we've seen the prowess of Seattle's offense all season, and Arizona is coming off a 38-point performance in a game where Kyler Murray didn't even play fully to his potential. I mentioned that the Steelers - Titans matchup is probably going to be the most exciting game this week, but I would put this one at number 2. Both teams are going to come out firing, and while both defenses have improved as the season has progressed, I think it'll still be a shootout. Knowing my luck, all of these games I've written about will end up being defensive struggles. But on paper, these two teams led by electric, dual-threat quarterbacks will prove tough for the respective defenses to handle.
Lock of the Week: Buffalo Bills -11.5 at New York Jets
I know, the Bills have looked pretty bad over the last two weeks, but a young Josh Allen is bound to have some struggle games against good teams. Fortunately for Buffalo, the Jets are not a good team. In fact, they are a very, very bad team. Allen will get back to his season-opening form against their in-state, division rivals, and Sean McDermott will utilize this week as a confidence-rebuilder for his team on both sides of the ball. The Jets have scored a total of 17 points through three of their last four games, and it won't be any easier for New York in this one even if Sam Darnold returns. We need to get back on track for our Lock of the Week, and this is a perfect game to do just that.
Written by Nick Swatson