We turn the page to Week 6 of the NFL season, and it already feels like this year is flying by.
There are four teams on bye, meaning there isn’t a full slate of games for the first time all season. That, along with the fact there are many close spreads on the slate, made this a difficult week to navigate from a best bets perspective.
Fear not, though, as I’ve narrowed down a shortlist of spread picks to consider this weekend. I’ve only made one bet at the time of this writing, but I have my eye on a few different games at this point in the week. These odds are as provided by Caesars Sportsbook, which is the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports.
Washington Commanders (PK) at Chicago Bears
I made myself stop betting on the Commanders after Week 3, because it became too painful to be invested in the Carson Wentz experience. If not for that rule, I might have already bet this game because I don’t really like this spot for the Bears.
Dating back to 2015, rookie head coaches are 8-18 (30.8%) against the spread on Thursday Night Football via this article from 4for4.com. Rookie head coaches are 0-2 ATS with a pair of outright losses in that scenario so far this season, both of which took place over the past two weeks. I wrote more about this trend earlier today.
Chicago Bears rookie head coach Matt Eberflus said all the right things in Monday’s news conference about how to manage the short week. But the Bears have typically played worse in the first half of every game this season, so I wonder how the short week will impact this young team in a winnable game at home on Thursday Night Football.
I lean Commanders in this game, but I will probably end up taking the first-half spread instead to minimize the chances of Wentz coughing up a game-changing turnover.
Lean: Commanders PK
Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) at New York Giants
I have already played this at 4.5, but I consider the 5.5 at Caesars Sportsbook much of the same because this is kind of the dead zone in spread betting. I make the Ravens a 6-point favorite and think the market might be buying too much into the 4-1 start by the New York Giants, who defeated the Green Bay Packers in London last weekend.
The Ravens have famously led for all but 14 seconds of their two losses, which would suggest they are better than their 3-2 overall record. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley returned to action last week and running back J.K. Dobbins appears to be getting his legs under him as well. The Ravens are starting to look like they might be closer to full strength than they have been in quite some time.
When the Ravens were at full strength, they used to beat up on bad teams. The Giants might be better than expected in the win-loss column, but they still have a long way to go under Brian Daboll. I expect the Ravens to roll, as a nice little reality check for this jet-lagged Giants squad on Sunday.
Bet: Ravens -4.5 (play to -5.5)
Kansas City Chiefs (+3) vs. Buffalo Bills
The market might have overreacted to the Buffalo Bills beating up on the Pittsburgh Steelers during Kenny Pickett’s first start. Two weeks ago, the Bills were a three-point favorite on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. The Bills trailed for much of the contest before securing a 23-20 victory in the end.
So, it doesn’t make a ton of sense why the Chiefs would also be a 3-point underdog at home ahead of Sunday’s matchup on CBS. Granted the +3 is juiced to -120 at Caesars Sportsbook, but I have a hard time believing the Chiefs and Ravens would be viewed that similarly on a neutral field at this point in the season.
The Bills will want to get revenge from last year’s heartbreaking playoff loss and this game will obviously have huge implications on the AFC seeding. But I’m having a hard time not taking the points and betting on Patrick Mahomes as a home underdog. I will wait to see if we get closer to a -110 offering on the spread, but I don’t mind it at the current price if you need to place a bet now.
Lean: Chiefs +3 (-120)