We’re all set to get going with the Week 6 odds for NFL this week at Bang the Book, as there are a plethora of games that we are going to be focusing in on that are going to have some huge impacts on the entire season.
Depending upon where it finishes up, we might have the biggest single game point spread in the history of NFL betting on Sunday, and it would certainly be warranted. The Denver Broncos, who are without a shadow of a doubt, the best team in the league at the moment, are giving 26.5 points to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who really seem destined to end up losing at least 14 of their games, and no one would be surprised if they dropped all 16. QB Chad Henne is going to be forced to start this one with QB Blaine Gabbert out, and that might actually give Jacksonville more of a shot. Still, as long as this one finishes beyond 26, it eclipses a game between the Bucs and the Steelers in the 1970s for the biggest point spread ever.
The most shocking part about this massive number is that it dwarfs two other games, both of which would have the moniker of the highest point spread of the week in most given weeks. The Tennessee Titans are still playing without QB Jake Locker, and they have to go on the road to take on the Seattle Seahawks, who will be thrilled to be back at CenturyLink Field after having to play a pair of early 1:00 ET games against AFC South foes. Now, the AFC South is coming to the great Northwest, where Seattle virtually never loses. Not surprisingly, the Seahawks are -13.5 in spite of the fact that the Titans do have themselves a very good team this year.
The other massive spread is also out of the NFC West, where the San Francisco 49ers are -11 against the Arizona Cardinals. We have to remember that these big numbers tend to trip up San Francisco though, and if you want proof of that, just go back to the tie against the Rams last year here at Candlestick Park. That said, if the 49ers look anywhere near as good as they did last week against the Texans, this game won’t be an issue. Remember though, that the Cardinals do have a winning record, and it isn’t beyond them to at least challenge in this game.
The theme of the big numbers is continuing throughout the week, as there are three more games that we have yet to discuss that all feature spreads of at least 7.5 and one more that is lined at seven. The Kansas City Chiefs are the biggest of the bunch, as they are -9 against the Oakland Raiders, who just released QB Matt Flynn to put him out of his misery once and (probably) for all. KC should roll to 6-0 prior to the Houston Texans coming to Arrowhead Stadium in Week 7. As far as those Texans are concerned, they’re busy dealing with the other team from the Show Me State, as the St. Louis Rams are coming to Reliant Stadium. Houston is -7.5, but this is a treacherous game that would probably signal the end of the regular season if it is ultimately lost. The Chicago Bears are starting off the week on Thursday Night Football against the New York Giants, who have yet to win a game this year. The turnover machine known as the G-Men are getting 7.5, and they don’t look good to get their first win of the season in this one. Finally, the Cincinnati Bengals are -7 on the road against QB Thad Lewis and the Buffalo Bills, who badly need a quarterback in the worst sort of way right now with both QB Kevin Kolb and QB EJ Manuel injured and out for at least the next week or two.
That said, not every game is going to be a blowout, and the other half of the games on the docket are going to be great clashes that really could go either way. In fact, none of these games even feature numbers as high as three, and it is equally rare to see seven games lined at under three as it is to see seven games lined at seven or higher and three at 11 or higher.
The best game of the bunch pits the Baltimore Ravens against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack are only 2-2 through four games, but it’s tough to look at them and not think that this is one of the best teams in the NFC and certainly is the best team in the NFC North. Perhaps Green Bay won’t win the division, especially if this game is lost, though. The Ravens are hungry, and they have already beaten one Super Bowl contender here at home in Houston, and they aren’t beyond doing it to even the best of teams in the league. Green Bay is -2.5 on the road, but most recognize that this game could easily go either way.
The New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints battle it out in what could be a real shootout between two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. QB Drew Brees has his team off to a 5-0 start, and it is the only team left in the NFC without a blemish on their record. The Saints are running away with the NFC South already, and there is no doubt that for as long as Brees stays upright and healthy, this division chase is said and done with. The Pats watched their perfect season come to an end on the road last week, and they are now 2.5-point favorites to return the favor to the Saints on Sunday.
The week wraps up with the Indianapolis Colts going on the road at -1 against the San Diego Chargers. The Bolts need a win in the worst sort of way, as they have coughed up game after game that they probably had no business losing. Now, they have a very tough team coming to town off of their biggest win in quite some time against the Seahawks. The chance is there to extend the lead in the AFC South to two games on Monday, and QB Andrew Luck and company can’t wait to have that opportunity.
The other games that we have yet to discuss are all expected to be close calls as well. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now free of the QB Josh Freeman situation, are +1 at home against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are going to be playing this game without QB Michael Vick in all likelihood. The Detroit Lions are -2.5 on the road against QB Brandon Weeden and the Cleveland Browns. The Minnesota Vikings, who just added Freeman in free agency, are set at -2 at home against the Carolina Panthers. And finally, the surprisingly 3-2 New York Jets take on the perhaps equally surprisingly 0-4 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jets are a pick ’em at home, and if they can win this one, they’ll really have to be taken seriously as AFC playoff contenders.
‘Totals’ are not surprisingly very high again this week. The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins, who are playing on Sunday Night Football this week, have the highest ‘total’ on the board at 53. This game is going to be a great one for sure, and with as bad as the NFC East has been this year, all of these divisional games are as crucial as could be. QB Robert Griffin III knows that this is his chance to shine, though his team is a 5.5-point underdog on the NFL odds. The Jaguars and the Broncos are also set at 53, while as interesting as it is, Brees and Brady are only together to have a ‘total’ of 49.5 in what will surely be the most public ‘over’ of the weekend.
The number of 40 is all over the place this week as well, as there are three games with that number as the ‘total’. The Chiefs and Raiders have started off the week that low, as have the Steelers (who have still yet to force a turnover this season) and the Jets. The other game that kicks off Week 6 tied as the lowest over/under on the board is the duel between the Titans and the Seahawks, a real sign of respect for both of these defenses, both of which might ultimately be in the Top 5 in the NFL this season. The Cardinals and the 49ers come in just above these games at 41, and this could also end up being the lowest ‘total’ of the week when push comes to shove by Sunday.
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.