NFL Picks Week #6



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.


(click here for audio MP3 version, corresponding to episode #11 of "The Sports Investor Podcast")

Hello my friends, we went 4-2-1 last week which raises our record over the past three weeks to an astonishing 14-4-1, which is a success rate a bit above 75%. We cannot expect to keep winning at such a high rate for the remainder of the year, but let’s do our best to stay on the right track! I’m still upset at the Browns for literally giving the game away to the Jets by turning the ball over 2 times in the red zone and missing 2 field goals, all in the first half! They should have won this game, and we would have won an additional pick but that’s how things go sometimes!

I see fewer good plays on Week #6 in the NFL, but let me reveal to you my picks for the upcoming games.

PICK #1: Denver Broncos -11.5 against the New York Giants

I usually despise heavy favorites, but my projected lines are telling me to bet the Broncos in this game (according to my statistical models and adjustments I make based on a variety of factors). I even find myself getting pretty excited about this pick for many reasons.

First of all, the Broncos are very well-rested: not only are they coming off their bye week, but they have not traveled much thus far in the season after having played only one road game. In other words, heading into week #6 the Broncos have only had to travel to Buffalo and that was it.

Denver’s injury list is pretty short, while the Giants’ looks like a phone book. Their WR corps has been decimated by injuries, especially last week where they lost for the remainder of the season Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris. They are left with Sterling Shephard who left the game against the Chargers in the first half and never returned. He will probably be a game-time decision. Their next best receiver is Roger Lewis who has 15 career catches. Running back Orleans Darkwa looked pretty good before hurting his calf. He is questionable to play this week. New York’s offense might struggle big time in a hostile environment against the #1 rated defense in terms of yards allowed per game.

One more reason to like Denver in this game is the fact that the Giants will be traveling two time zones and playing in Colorado’s thin air (which is always a tough adjustment for visiting teams). This match is also one of New York’s two non-conference road games, which is not super motivating for them because of the reduced playoff implications. At 0-5 and following a game where they were depleted by injuries, the Giants are probably feeling depressed.

New York will be playing a third road game over their past four contests. I’m crossing my fingers the Broncos won’t be looking ahead to matchups against the Chargers, the Chiefs, the Eagles and the Patriots. Considering they have been preparing for the Giants for 2 weeks, I’m betting they will be sharp.

The Giants have not won in Denver since 1989.

I recommend betting this game early in the week because I expect the line to get even bigger. I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes up to 12.5 or 13 before kickoff.


PICK #2: New Orleans Saints -4.5 against the Detroit Lions

Here is one more play where I highly recommend placing your wager early in the week, otherwise I feel like the line is going to move against you. Matthew Stafford suffered two injuries on the same leg last week (ankle and hamstring); I expect him to be on the field in New Orleans but he may not be as effective. Meanwhile, Haloti Ngata had been having a good season as a pass rusher this year, but he exited last week’s game with an elbow injury. He was already battling a shoulder injury, and he will be out for several weeks.

After losing their first two games to Minnesota and New England, the Saints have rebounded nicely with wins over Carolina and Miami. Notice how the Saints were able to blow out the Panthers 34-13, which turns out to be Carolina’s only loss in 2017. New Orleans benefits from 7 additional days of rest, thanks to a bye last week. They will also be looking for revenge following a 28-13 loss at home against those same Detroit Lions last year.


A couple of unofficial picks (which won’t count towards my overall record):

  • I’m leaning towards the Atlanta Falcons -11 against the Miami Dolphins. What? Another heavy favorite? That’s right! I like how the Falcons had two full weeks to prepare for this game after suffering a surprising home loss to the Buffalo Bills. Great teams tend to respond well following a rare loss, especially when obtaining more days to prepare than their opponents. I’m a bit worried they could be looking ahead to a Super Bowl rematch against the Patriots on Week #7 though. Also, Mohamed Sanu may not be in the lineup, while Julio Jones is hampered by a hip injury. All of those factors led me to make the decision not to make it an official pick. I will stay away from that game and leave it up to you to decide whether you want to invest money or not.
  • I was also considering taking the Baltimore Ravens -6.5 against the Chicago Bears. Chicago has an epically banged up defense, but they should get linebacker Danny Trevathan back from a suspension. The Ravens have some injuries on the offensive line which is a cause of concern to me. However, I like the fact that the Bears played Monday night which leaves them with one less day to prepare for this matchup.


Here are the lines for my two picks with three different sportsbooks (Pinnacle ranked #1 in my sportsbook reviews section, Sports Interaction ranked #9 and Bovada ranked #13):



Broncos -11.5 at 1.97 against Giants

Broncos -12.5 at 1.91 against Giants

Broncos -12 at 1.91 against Giants



Saints -4.5 at 1.826 against Lions

Saints -4.5 at 1.91 against Lions

Saints -4.5 at 1.87 against Lions


I appreciate you taking the time to read this write up and I invite you to listen to episode #8 of “The Sports Investor Podcast” (on iTunes or Stitcher) where I interviewed Jason Logan from who unveiled some fascinating betting strategies in the NFL, MLB, the NHL and the NBA.

Thanks again and good luck on your plays!

Professor MJ

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