Jimmy McGinty NFL Week 6 preview with bets on the Colts, Falcons and Vikings.
Week 5 recap: The Cardinals didn’t need their 4pt head-start as they won outright. The Titans were miserable in Buffalo and the Texans had plenty of chances to cover -3.5pts but ended up winning by only 3.
Weekly treble: +6.2pts (9-5-1 from 15 picks)
Bucs at Falcons (-3)
Despite their 1-4 record the Atlanta Falcons are still a force to be reckoned with – especially at home. Them loses have come against strong sides: Eagles (on the road), Bengals (by 1pt), Saints (in overtime) and Steelers (on the road). The Bucs are not a strong side. Prior to their bye they got torched by Mitchel Trubisky – imagine what Matt Ryan will do in a dome. Julio Jones has almost averaged a TD and 120yds across 12 games against the Bucs – the 2018 Bucs with some of the worst corners in the League have no chance of slowing him (or Sanu and Ridley) down. The Falcons OL has not been playing well this season but the Bucs don’t possess a strong pass-rush to gain an advantage.
The Falcons defense has got shredded the last few weeks but they’ve been a makeshift D riddled with injuries to starters in weeks 2 and 3. A few weeks on from losing those guys, the replacements should be in a better place to create a few stops. Grady Jarrett is unfortunately another big loss.
Coming off a bye appears to be an advantage for the Bucs here but neither side off a bye covered the spread last weekend. The 3pt spread suggests these teams are about equal – that’s not the case. The Bucs had two big wins to open the season, but I don’t believe it’s reliable form. Ryan Fitzpatrick had the games of his career. Receiving running backs, Conner, McCaffery and Kamara, have dominated against the Falcons recently. The Bucs have nobody with that sort of skillset. They won’t be able to keep up here. Falcons out to save their season win by a TD or more.
Bears at Dolphins (+3.5pts)
I think Chicago are a marginally better side than Miami but on the road (it’ll be hot in Miami) I’d have made this just about pick’em. As such Miami +3.5pts really should appeal. The spread was similar before the Bears bye when they faced the Bucs at home. The worry then was Mitch Trubisky looked limited and wouldn’t be able to throw for a big score. Well the Bucs defense was beyond awful and he did. But now on the road the same question must be asked. The worry is the Dolphins will struggle to move the ball as the strong Bears defensive line overpowers the weak Dolphins OL time after time. It’s Miami +3.5pts or nobody but I’ll probably choose nobody.
Colts (+2.5pts) at Jets
After being in an awful spot last week (at Patriots, on a short week, with multiple injuries) the Colts now find themselves in a decent spot. The Jets are overrated after easily defeating the Broncos. DEN were travelling east on a short week after a key loss and the Jets took full advantage. Now however they face the Colts who have a 10 day break and are on the right side of a coaching mismatch.
The Jets have given up 20+pts and a loss to Mayfield (on debut), Tannehill and Bortles before defeating Keenum. Andrew Luck is a far superior QB to all of those – he’ll have no problem moving the ball against the Jets missing two of their starting corner backs (Johnson & Skrine). The Colts surprisingly effective defensive front should also have a good game against a below-avergae Jets OL.
The injury report is still long in Indy and includes TY Hilton (out) but Castonzo (key Tackle on OL), Mack (potentially their best RB), Wilson & Moore (starting corners) and Leonard (top linebacker) are all likely to be fit after missing last week.
Plenty of the Jets success last week came from aggressive deep balls. The Colts are 7th best in the 20+yds catch surrendered table (thanks Evan Silva) – should help them limit the big plays.
This in my eyes is a classic buy-low sell-high spot to take the Colts against the Jets.
Cardinals at Vikings (-10pts)
Minnesota host a Cardinals side travelling east for an early kick off. An obvious negative, as is the fact it’s their second road game in a row. They also play Thursday night next week so may be looking ahead. Plenty of negatives.
The Cardinals got their first win last week against the 49ers. It was their third week in a row to cover the spread, but they were two home games, where they have a solid record, and against a bad 49ers squad who actually outplayed them. This will be much different to those outings - facing an elite side in a bad travel spot.
The Vikings, after an average start, got their season back on track by defeating the Eagles last Sunday. The Vikings have been on the road 3 of the last 4 weeks so should be glad to get back in to their dome. Their last home game was a similar spread versus Buffalo and in a result nobody saw coming, they got blown out. It was a bad spot between Packers and Rams games, but they really just took Buffalo for granted and it back-fired drastically. I see it as a positive now; they won’t do the same again here.
Some of the Cardinals already struggling offensive line are now banged-up – the Vikings defense is good and will have plenty of success against a rookie QB with poor protection. The Vikings offensive line are struggling themselves but should have a game plan in place to avoid what happened against Buffalo. Cousins and his receivers looked red-hot in Philly last Sunday which definitely makes it easier to execute said game plan.
1pt treble: Falcons -3pts, Colts +2.5pts, Vikings -10pts; 6.9/1 Coral Ladbrokes