It’s win or cry time for all the teams on the postseason bubble.
The middle of October is a crucial time, because this is when sqauds need to roll off multiple wins. That takes immense pressure off of those “must-win” games later in the season.
So, let’s take a look at how Week 6 will turn out in the 2013 NFL season.
*Note: All spreads courtesy of FootballLocks.com. Also, make sure to check back as each spread may change prior to kickoff. “**” are best bets.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-9)
Oakland is definitely more impressive after defeating San Diego at home. But Kansas City is a much more complete team by comparison. Plus, the Chiefs are arguably the best team the Raiders will have faced up to this point.
Pick: Kansas City straight up and against the spread
Philadelphia Eagles (-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Philadelphia has found a small amount of rhythm after defeating the Giants. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers are headed in the opposite direction.
Pick: Philadelphia straight up and against the spread
Green Bay Packers (-3) at Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore’s defense certainly has a challenge here. We’ve seen Aaron Rodgers dice up some of pro football’s best defenses. That said, what about the Packers’ defense? Although they fared well against Detroit, the Ravens feature a much better ground game to control the tempo.
Pick: Baltimore straight up and the points
Detroit Lions (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns
How will the Lions perform against a solid defense? The Browns are outstanding in the trenches and in coverage and are better than the Green Bay defense Detroit faced last week. On the flip side, Cleveland isn’t nearly as explosive offensively but has the offensive line to maintain control up front.
Pick: Cleveland straight up and the points
Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
Neither team has much of a defense here. Carolina played well early against tough teams like Seattle, whereas Minnesota took Chicago to the brink. Additionally, neither offense presents much of an aerial assault. So, who will be the difference? Adrian Peterson.
Pick: Minnesota straight up and against the spread
St. Louis Rams at Houston Texans (-7.5)
Houston’s offense hasn’t fared well against strong defenses that know how to make plays. St. Louis on the other hand, is improving its balance and has big-time potential. The Texans do have the better defense, but the Rams’ coverage and pass rush should not be discounted either. If anything the difference will be the pass rushers and playmaking receivers. Advantage Houston.
Pick: Houston straight up, St. Louis the points
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets (-2.5)
How about the New York Jets? Winning on the road in primetime over the Falcons in the Georgia Dome was a huge step for New York. Gang Green has everything in its favor right now, as the future looks brighter than anticipated. As for Pittsburgh, the Steelers have unreliable pass protection, no ground game and an old defense. The Jets possess the playmaking youth to capitalize on both sides of the line.
Pick: New York straight up and against the spread
Cincinnati Bengals (-7) at Buffalo Bills
Cincinnati is for real. Although its offense barely showed up against the Patriots, the Bengals have the defense to compete with any juggernaut. That said, Buffalo is no slouch. The Bills have explosive running backs, a defense that is capable of slowing anyone down and a confident young quarterback. The downside? Cincy’s defense is just as strong as Cleveland’s and the Bills struggled against the Browns.
Pick: Cincinnati straight up, Buffalo and the points
Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks (-13.5)
Without Jake Locker the Titans don’t have a multidimensional offense. Although the ground game is still there, that won’t be enough to keep pace with the Seahawks. Plus, Seattle is eager to get back in the win column after the road upset loss to Indianapolis.
Pick: Seattle straight up and against the spread
Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos (-27)
Don’t expect this game to be the blowout everyone thinks it will be. Yes, Denver could potentially put up a zillion points. But the Broncos haven’t played much defense this season either. Jacksonville’s offense is terrible, but not four-touchdown underdog terrible. When looking at this spread you also have to factor in garbage time. How long will the starters be on the field for Denver?
**Pick: Denver straight up, Jaguars and the points
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-10.5)
Provided Arizona generates some turnovers it may equal the 49ers punch for punch. San Francisco on the flip side, must simply punish the trenches and wear the Cardinals down. San Francisco still has the better defense and ground game to win the battle up front.
**Pick: San Francisco straight up and against the spread
New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots (-2.5)
Are the Patriots as good as their 4-1 record indicates? Well, New England’s defense has stepped up to the challenge thus far, but does remain vulnerable to big plays. And big plays are exactly what defines New Orleans’ offense. Include an upgraded defense for the Saints and they will remain perfect.
Pick: New Orleans straight up and the points
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-5.5)
Neither team is playing sound defense right now. Fortunately for Dallas, though, its offense has proven to be fast-paced and balanced when needed. The same cannot be said for the Redskins. No consistent rushing attack or passing game will spel another loss for Robert Griffin III and co.
Pick: Dallas straight up and against the spread
Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) at San Diego Chargers
San Diego continues to disappoint when weekly expectations are increased, just as we saw on Sunday night in Oakland. Indianapolis on the other hand, got a big confidence booster at home by upsetting Seattle. Fielding an opportunistic defense in crunch time, as well as an improving, balanced offense the Colts look like they’re for real. The Chargers simply don’t have the overall personnel to match.
Pick: Indianapolis straight up and against the spread
Straight Up: 6-8
Straight Up: 46-32
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