John Halpin’s Week 6 NFL Picks


I don’t know what’s worse – that I’m only picking 54 percent of games correctly straight up through five weeks, or that such a success rate has me roughly in the middle of the pack in the Pickwatch standings.

Let’s step it up, people!

On to the Week 6 picks, with selections being both straight up and against the spread unless noted otherwise. If you have any questions, catch me on Twitter (@jhalpin37).

(Home team in CAPS.)

Week 5 records: 7-7 SU, 7-6 ATS (Vikings-Bears was a push)

Overall: 42-35 SU, 39-36 ATS

PANTHERS (-3) over Eagles




The NFL’s marquee Week 6 game will be its first one, as these are two of the NFC’s best teams. Carson Wentz is making big strides in his second season, while Cam Newton has looked rejuvenated over his last two games. The Eagles expect to get Fletcher Cox back, but figure to be without RT Lane Johnson (concussion).

This one could go either way, so I’ll take the home team. Convenient since I live in Charlotte, right?

The pick: Panthers win and cover

FALCONS (-11.5) over Dolphins

The Dolphins are terrible, and don’t know the status of WR DeVante Parker (ankle). The Falcons welcomed 2016 NFL sack leader Vic Beasley (hamstring) back to practice this week. I know, I know – any given Sunday and all that. But how is this game not a rout?

The pick: Falcons win and cover

RAVENS (-6.5) over Bears

The Ravens’ offense actually looked competent in Sunday’s win at Oakland, which is a big step for them. They return home to face rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky and a Bears’ offense bereft of perimeter playmakers. If you made the line 10.5 for projected Bears’ points, I’d take the under.

The pick: Ravens win and cover

TEXANS (-10) over Browns

I’m tempted to pick a Browns’ cover due to J.J. Watt’s injury and Myles Garrett’s emergence, but … nah.

The pick: Texans win and cover




PATRIOTS (-9.5) over Jets

The Jets’ 3-2 record is a mirage, as they’ve beaten the awful Dolphins and Browns, along with the offensively inept Jaguars. However, we’re at the point where the Pats shouldn’t be favored by 9.5 on the road over anyone. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong, but I’m not laying this many points until they do.

The pick: Pats win, Jets cover

Lions (+5) over SAINTS

On the surface, you’d expect a shootout here between Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees. However, the Lions’ offense has been struggling, while their defense has been pretty good. Can the Saints continue their two-game streak of solid play? We’re gonna say no, thanks to a still-suspect defense. Call this a hunch.

The pick: Lions win and cover

VIKINGS (+3.5) over Packers

The Vikes’ offense is certainly different without Dalvin Cook, but their defense has been good at home (14.3 ppg). I can’t say I like betting against Aaron Rodgers, but he can’t play cornerback against Stefon Diggs.

The pick: Vikings win and cover

REDSKINS (-10) over 49ers

Did you know that Football Outsiders has the ‘Skins ranked second behind the undefeated Chiefs in their DVOA metric? The Niners probably won’t be able to hang with them on the road, especially coming east for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The pick: Redskins win and cover

JAGUARS (-2.5) over Rams

The Rams’ defense is good enough that I can see an outcome in which they force Blake Bortles into mistakes. The more likely result is another dominant performance by the Jags’ D. They. Are. Ferocious.

The pick: Jags win and cover

Bucs (-2.5) over CARDINALS

If the Bucs get some of their defensive stars (Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander) back, they’ll start to live up to their preseason hype. And if that’s the case, they’ll be too much for the Cards and their new 97-year-old running back. I’m going to switch to the Cardinals if these guys don’t play.

The pick: Bucs win and cover




CHIEFS (-4.5) over Steelers

Sunday night’s performance sold me a bit more on the Chiefs, and it’s always difficult to trust Ben Roethlisberger on the road. But … eh, there’s no but. The Steelers could pull a minor upset here, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

The pick: Chiefs win and cover

RAIDERS (TBD) over Chargers

This spread is waiting on Derek Carr’s status. I’ll plan to go with the Raiders if Carr plays, and the Chargers if not (even though EJ Manuel hasn’t been bad). If the spread isn’t weird, that is.

The pick: Raiders win and cover

BRONCOS (-12) over Giants

Based on the point spread and the over-under, the implied point total for the Giants is 14.25. I think they’re likely to get shut out, since a team trainer and locker room attendant will probably start at wide receiver due to all the injuries.

The pick: Broncos win and cover

TITANS (TBD) over Colts

This point spread is waiting on Marcus Mariota’s status. I’ll probably take the Titans either way, but let’s see what the numbers look like.

The pick: TBD

SURVIVOR PICK

Last week went well here, with the Eagles (our pick) winning decisively, and the Steelers (the chalk) going down at home.

We’ve got four double-digit favorites in Week 6, with the Patriots close to being the fifth. The Broncos are the selection, as they’re a stone-cold lock to beat the Giants, and will be on the road for the next three weeks.

Previous selections:

Week 1: Bills (win)

Week 2: Ravens (win)

Week 3: Panthers (loss)

Week 4: Seahawks (win)

Week 5: Eagles (win)

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