At the beginning of the NFL regular season, I outlined my top 10 strategies for betting football. Each week of the season we’ll be using those concepts to analyze the week’s slate and make some picks. We’ve had mixed results so far, but we’re still profitable heading into NFL Week 6.
Last week, we hit Falcons +9 against an overrated Bucs team, but missed Dolphins -3 against the terrible New York Jets. I’m still convinced it was the right play, as Teddy Bridgewater is more than capable against the Jets secondary. But it’s tough to win when the guy you were backing doesn’t last longer than a single play!
For anyone who got burned when Teddy Covers went down, consider it a real-life lesson in betting variance: no matter how much you like your picks, the gambling gods are a fickle bunch! Keep your betting units to a manageable size, so you can ride out the bad beats and tough stretches.
Let’s dive into some NFL Week 6 Betting Tips and Strategies.
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NFL Week 6: Two Underdogs With Value
As I outlined in my NFL Strategy Guide, recreational bettors typically bet the favorite. Fans think the better team should win and won’t take the point spread into account.
Sportsbooks know this. They have a tendency to skew their lines towards the favorite by a point or so. Knowing we’re getting the better of it, us sharp bettors focus the bulk of our betting on underdogs.
With that in mind, there are two NFL Week 6 underdogs to target this week.
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Buffalo BILLS vs. Kansas City CHIEFS + 3, Moneyline +130
This week’s marquee matchup could end up being the best game of the entire NFL season.
This look-ahead line was as a pick ‘em for the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Since then, money has flowed steadily towards Buffalo and has moved this line a full three points in their favor.
I’m not buying it.
Assuming a home field advantage is worth three points, the betting market is telling us the Bills are six points better than the Chiefs on a neutral field?
We’re seeing some recency bias here. The Chiefs struggled early but held on for a tough Week 5 win against the Raiders during Monday Night Football. The Bills cruised past the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-3. Those games weren’t created equally: the Steelers are my vote for the worst team in the league while the Raiders are a much stiffer test.
Most importantly, the Chiefs have one of the best home-field advantages in sports. We saw EXACTLY how effective this home crowd can be during Monday’s game against the Raiders. With the Chiefs down in the first half, the crowd exploded in fury after a brutal roughing the passer call. It was the turning point in the game, with Kansas City fans willing their team back to life. The Raiders never recovered.
There’s simply too much value to not bet the Chiefs as a home underdog. Since Patrick Mahomes entered the NFL, he’s gone 25-6 straight up at Arrowhead Stadium. Not good enough? He’s also a “perfect” 7-0-1 lifetime against the spread as an underdog. He has never lost bettors money when he’s getting points.
Give me the Chiefs at home.
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Arizona CARDINALS vs. Seattle SEAHAWKS +3, +130
The wrong team is favored here.
Both the Cardinals and Seahawks have gotten off to shaky starts, but the trajectory of their seasons are going in opposite directions.
The Cardinals, after signing QB Kyler Murray to an enormous $250 million dollar deal, were hoping to contend for a Super Bowl. Murray and company have instead looked terrible for most of the season. Dropped passes, poor defense, missed kicks, and then some. Other than a few late game heroics from their franchise quarterback to steal two wins, saying the Cardinals have looked disappointing would be an understatement.
The Seahawks, on the other hand, have already exceeded pre-season expectations. Geno Smith out-dueled longtime Seattle hero Russell Wilson in the Seahawks season opener, and has trounced his predecessor in every significant statistical category. In fact, through five weeks, Smith also has a better quarterback rating than *checks stats*…
Oh. The entire NFL.
Much like the Chiefs, the Seahawks playing at home is the difference maker here. Lumen Field in Seattle provides one of the biggest home field advantages in sports. The crowd’s famous 12th man mantra can reach ear shattering decibel levels when the visitors have the ball. Add a Seahawks team that can score a ton of points, and I like their chances.
I would make Seattle a slight favorite here. There’s a ton of value getting them as a moneyline underdog at home.
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NFL Week 6: Wait for Key Number
Dallas COWBOYS vs. Philadelphia EAGLES -4.5
The other marquee matchup of NFL Week 6 is between the surprise Dallas Cowboys and the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.
As of this writing, the Eagles sit as 4.5-point home favorites against the Cowboys. This line opened as a pick ‘em during the pre-season, went as high as 6.5 last week, and has since settled between 4 and 5 at most sportsbooks.
The big question mark for this contest is the return of Dak Prescott. The franchise quarterback is rumored to be making a quicker return than expected and could suit up for this divisional matchup. While his replacement Cooper Rush isn’t exactly setting the world on fire with his stats, the backup quarterback has gone a perfect 4-0 as a starter this season. With the Cowboys boasting the league’s best defense on the other side of the ball, their once hopeless season is very much alive.
Until we learn more about the status of Prescott, this game is a stay-away. While the Eagles are firing on all cylinders, this point spread is currently showing no value for either side. If the line moves back to the key number of six, I’d take a shot on the Cowboys +6. However, if the line drifts lower to the other key number of 3, I’d lay the field goal with the Eagles -3.
As it stands, the spread is in no man’s land. Best to wait for line movement.