We are five weeks into the 2011 NFL regular season and the odds makers continue to keep the lines sharp as last week seven favorites and six underdogs won against the spread. We cashed in on Oakland’s outright win over Houston as a six-point road underdog but came up short on New Orleans. The opening line on the Patriots-Jets game was 9.5 giving us the win with New York, but the closing line on most books moved lower allowing New England to cover in its 30-21 victory.
Last week’s success inspired us to crunch the numbers even harder in an effort to once again ‘Bang the Book’. The following are the three top plays for Week 6 in the NFL.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-4)
Carolina is only 1-4 straight-up on the year, but is already proving to be a tough out by covering the spread in its last four games. The Panthers had New Orleans on the ropes last week in a 30-27 loss as 6.5-point road underdogs.
Atlanta’s roller-coaster season took another dip downward last Sunday in a 25-14 loss to Green Bay as a six-point home underdog. The Falcons are now 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS and have yet to win or lose two games in a row in the first five weeks.
The Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against the Falcons and 3-10-2 ATS in their last 15 trips to Atlanta. The home team in this series is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings and the favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six as well.
The Free NFL Pick: Atlanta 28 Carolina 23
Philadelphia Eagles (-1) at Washington Redskins
Philadelphia’s 1-4 SU start (1-4 ATS) has to be the most shocking story in the NFL so far this season. The majority of this team’s problems have been self-inflicted through coverage breakdowns, penalties, and most notably a turnover ratio of -10.
Washington is coming off a bye week as the current leader in the NFC East at 3-1 both SU and ATS. The Redskins’ offense is ranked 22nd in the league in scoring with an average of 20.8 points a game and 15th overall. Their defense has been stingy in points allowed, but it is still giving up 212 yards a game through the air which could be a problem against a pass-happy Philadelphia offense.
The Eagles are 4-1 SU and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games in Washington. The road team in this series is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
The Free NFL Pick: Philadelphia 28 Washington 24
San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions (-6)
Before the season started there are very few people in the world that would have circled this contest as the ‘game of the week’ but with San Francisco coming in at 4-1 SU to face an undefeated Detroit team at 5-0 SU, this does present itself as the most intriguing matchup in Week 6.
Both teams are 4-0-1 ATS and have done a great job at finding ways to win games. The 49ers pulled-off a dramatic 24-23 win over Philadelphia after trailing 23-3, while the Lions used furious second-half rallies to get past Minnesota and Dallas.
The 49ers are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games as an underdog of more than 3.5 points, while the Lions are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 games as a favorite of 3.5 points or more. Both of these teams relish the role of underdog, so take the points in this one.
The Free NFL Pick: Detroit 23 San Francisco 20
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.