NFL Betting: NFL Matchups for Week 6

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 6!

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) @ Tennessee Titans (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS)
Spread: Pittsburgh -6, Total: 44

LP Field, Nashville, TN – Thursday, October 11th, 8:30 ET

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The name of the game here on Thursday Night Football is sticking around for the push for the playoffs in the AFC. The Titans are probably said and done with four losses already, especially knowing how many insanely difficult games are still on the docket for a team that was a second place outfit last year. Pittsburgh though, still clearly has all to play for at 2-2. The AFC North title clearly isn’t out of reach yet, but the longer this goes on like this, the more that we wonder if this is nothing more than a team that is going to be suspect all year long. QB Matt Hasselbeck is going to have to call the shots once again this week for Tennessee, and that isn’t going to help it break a bad streak of two straight games in which the Steelers have covered by an average of 15.5 points per game.

Indianapolis Colts (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) @ New York Jets (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: New York -3.5, Total: 43

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Sunday, October 14th, 1:00 ET

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What a ringing endorsement that Head Coach Rex Ryan gave for QB Mark Sanchez. Apparently, the USC Trojan is the quarterback for the Jets, “this week”… whatever that means. Sanchez has been a flat out bum, and he is clearly one of the worst three starting quarterbacks in the league. Now, he has to go up against a team that is going to be bringing the heat with the pass rush. The Colts are coming off of their biggest win in the QB Andrew Luck era, as he picked up a victory after rallying from down 18 in the second half to beat the Green Bay Packers. Head Coach Chuck Pagano still isn’t here though, and that is going to ultimately hurt this team on the road. The question is whether the Colts really are good enough or not to win games without their coach. We’ll find out on Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Spread: Baltimore -3.5, Total: 44

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD – Sunday, October 14th, 1:00 ET

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It’s going to take a brave, brave man to bet on the Cowboys in this game, knowing that they have been dominated in this series by the Ravens through the years. In fact, Dallas hasn’t won a game in this series since the days of the first Cleveland Browns, and the franchise’s last win in Baltimore came against the Colts, long before anything purple and black hit the city. The Ravens are still winning games, and they are one of the two teams in the AFC that has fewer than two losses (the other being Houston). They’ll want to keep that intact against a Dallas team that would be sent below .500 for the first time this season with a defeat. The Cowboys have already won a big time game like this one the road this year, but the last time that we saw them two weeks ago, QB Tony Romo was busy figuring out how many passes he could successfully throw to the Bears’ defense.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3 SU, 3-1 ATS)
Spread: Tampa Bay -4, Total: 40

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL – Sunday, October 14th, 1:00 ET

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They might ultimately call this game the Barkley Bowl. The chase is already on for the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and this might be one of those decisive games. It is clear that neither of these teams are going to make the playoffs this year, and both might be in the market for a quarterback in the offseason. QB Matt Cassel is out of the lineup, and replacing him is going to be QB Brady Quinn, who last played in a game three years ago. Needless to say, it doesn’t seem like it is going to be all that pretty of a game, knowing that both of these teams tend to struggle on offense. The Bucs have won three in a row SU against KC, and they are 2-1 ATS to show for those games.

St. Louis Rams (3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS) @ Miami Dolphins (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Miami -3.5, Total: 37.5

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL – Sunday, October 14th, 1:00 ET

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The Rams and Dolphins all of a sudden went from teams that figured to be bottom feeders all year long to ones that might actually be in the playoff picture when push comes to shove through at least the first half of the season. St. Louis is a 3-2 team that is tied for the last playoff spots in the NFC right now, while Miami is just a game back and arguably could be a 4-1 team right now on a four-game winning streak. The Fins have the league’s No. 1 ranked rushing defense, and that’s bad news for a St. Louis outfit that has yet to rush for a touchdown this year. The Dolphins have won all but one of the meetings in this series since the Rams were in Los Angeles, and it holds a 5-2 ATS series edge dating all the way back to 1986.

Oakland Raiders (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS) @ Atlanta Falcons (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS)
Spread: Atlanta -9, Total: 48.5

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA – Sunday, October 14th, 1:00 ET

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The Falcons are 5-0 and surging, and they have yet another chance to start talking about magic numbers to clinch the NFC South if they win this one. The likelihood is there to be three up in the loss column on the field and 4.5 up with just 10 to play on the Saints, which still might be their only serious contender. Oakland isn’t nearly out of the AFC West race yet, but this is a game that is likely a loss, and there are still plenty of those types of games down the line. QB Carson Palmer is going to need to be at his best to have any shot of winning this one, but the bigger problem is going to be in the secondary, where the Raiders are getting mauled this year. They’re facing arguably the best trio of receivers in the league right now in WR Julio Jones, WR Roddy White, and TE Tony Gonzalez. The last time these two met, Atlanta posted a 24-0 shutout back in 2008.

Detroit Lions (1-3 SU, 0-4 ATS) @ Philadelphia Eagles (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Spread: Philadelphia -4, Total: 47.5

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA – Sunday, October 14th, 1:00 ET

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The Eagles have scored a whopping 121 points over the course of the last three games with the Lions, but these aren’t the same loveable losers that were plastered in 2004, 2007, and 2010. Detroit is a team that has some grit, but it also needs to get back on track after its bye week. Remember that the Lions have lost three in a row after winning on the opening Sunday of the year just barely, and they are the only team in the NFL that doesn’t have a single cover this year. More importantly though, is the chase for the postseason. The Saints are 1-4, and they might be able to get back into the discussion because they play in a significantly easier division. If Detroit loses another one of these games outside of the NFC North, it is going to have a tough time rallying.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-2 SU, 2-2-1 ATS) @ Cleveland Browns (0-5 SU, 2-2-1 ATS)
Spread: Cincinnati -1, Total: 43.5

Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH – Sunday, October 14th, 1:00 ET

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Will the real Cincinnati Bengals please stand up? They’re a team with some massive problems right now, coming off of a terrible home loss to the Miami Dolphins, but virtually everyone is going to screw the pooch in a game like that one when push comes to shove over the course of the season. Is this a team that is going to play down to the level of a team like the Browns, or is it the team that had won 14 previous games against teams that didn’t (or won’t) make the playoffs? Many think that this could be the very first win of the year for Cleveland, which would end any doubts about any team going 0-16 this year. DB Joe Haden is back, and he’ll be covering WR AJ Green like a hawk every single snap. The Browns lost 34-27 when these teams met in Week 2 at Paul Brown Stadium, ending in a push for NFL bettors.

New England Patriots (3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS) @ Seattle Seahawks (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: New England -3.5, Total: 45

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA – Sunday, October 14th, 4:05 ET

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About the only thing that the Patriots and the Seahawks share in common is a 3-2 record. New England’s 3-2 is good enough for first place in the AFC East. Seattle’s 3-2 is bad enough for last place in the NFC West. New England has the league’s top rated offense. Seattle has the league’s top rated defense. New England scatters its rushing yards amongst four different players. RB Marshawn Lynch is often times the only running back that ever gets the ball for Seattle. And yet here we are, watching a very vanilla Seattle team that doesn’t let QB Russell Wilson do anything too outrageous take on the polar opposite – chocolate, if you will – Patriots outfit that will do anything that it can to win. The Seahawks had won and covered for meetings in a row through 1993, but when the two teams split conferences, the roles were reversed. The Patriots have now won both of the last two games, though the domination from an ATS standpoint here in Seattle remains for the Seahawks.

Buffalo Bills (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Arizona -4.5, Total: 43

University of Phoenix Stadium, Tucson, AZ – Sunday, October 14th, 4:05 ET

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It’s definitely gut check time for both the Bills and the Cardinals. Sure, Arizona has a little bit more breathing room to get itself right, knowing that it was one of the last three teams to lose a game this year. However, last week’s loss to the Rams showed that this offense really has the potential to be really, really bad, especially with virtually no healthy running backs to get the ball on a regular basis. Meanwhile, Buffalo has been drilled by a combined score of 90-17 over the course of the last six quarters of play, and the defense has allowed at least 45 three times already this year. Another loss, and the Bills might be a whole heck of a lot closer to the Matt Barkley Sweepstakes than the playoffs even though the AFC East stinks.

New York Giants (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS)
Spread: San Francisco -6.5, Total: 45.5

Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA – Sunday, October 14th, 4:25 ET

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This is a rematch of the NFC Championship Game from last year, but what many forget is that these two teams played a heck of a game here at Candlestick Park in the regular season last year as well. QB Eli Manning might be the MVP of the league right now, and he is going to have to push in this one against a stout defense that is still absolutely one of the most dangerous out there. The G-Men are starting to get healthy, and that’s a great sign going forward. San Fran is back in a first place tie in the NFC West, and that means that the assault on the best record in the NFC is on. The Giants are 6-1 ATS over the course of the last eight in this series, and in there include a pair of playoff covers right here in the Bay Area.

Minnesota Vikings (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) @ Washington Redskins (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Spread: Washington -2.5, Total: 48

FedEx Field, Landover, MD – Sunday, October 14th, 4:25 ET

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Keep an eye on the line movement in this game over the course of the week, as that will tell us what the status is on QB Robert Griffin III. If RG3 plays, we expect to see Washington favored by a reasonable margin probably right around a field goal even though it hasn’t won a home game now in almost 400 days. If he doesn’t, it’s probably a six-point swing at minimum. The Vikes have quietly been the biggest surprise in the league, and they are really starting to get into a position where if they can just hold serve and go .500-ish for the rest of the year, they’ll be in the playoffs or darn near to it. QB Christian Ponder is proving that he is the real deal, and with every carry that we see RB Adrian Peterson make, the more and more convinced that we he is back and ready to carry the ball 300 times this year. The road team has won four in a row both SU and ATS in this series dating back to 2006.

Green Bay Packers (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) @ Houston Texans (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS)
Spread: Houston -3.5, Total: 47

Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX – Sunday, October 14th, 8:20 ET

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The Texans and Packers have only played each other twice all-time, and the road team has won both games from an SU standpoint. Houston is 2-0 ATS in those games. That bodes well for the Texans, who are vying to move to 6-0 for the first time in franchise history, which at the same time, would put together the longest winning streak for the team all-time as well. These Packers are the more intriguing team, though. They already have three losses this year, and they are just 3-5 in their last eight games overall dating back to last year and including the playoffs. QB Aaron Rodgers doesn’t look sharp like he normally does, and the end result really could be ugly. Could Green Bay really suffer a fourth loss? This one is also going to highlight the two sack kings in the league right now, as DE JJ Watt (8.5 sacks) and LB Clay Matthews (8.0 sacks) are both going to be on display.

Denver Broncos (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ San Diego Chargers (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: San Diego -1, Total: 49.5

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA – Monday, October 15th, 8:30 ET

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If the Broncos end up winning this game, there won’t be a team in the AFC West that is above .500. If San Diego goes on to win it, the Bolts will effectively be 2.5 games up in the division, knowing that for the time being, they would have the tiebreaker over Denver having won this game. Two potential future Hall of Famers are going to be going at it at quarterback, as QB Peyton Manning and QB Philip Rivers duke it out in what could be a real shootout. The road team has won three in a row in this series and five out of six. The Chargers are 3-1-1 ATS in the last five, and they have scored at least 32 in six of the last eight overall. Rivers has a quarterback rating over 100 against Denver in his career.

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Adam Markowitz

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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