Here are my Week 6 picks with confidence level selections. The picks with a confidence level of 1-5 will be available for all NFL Pickwatch readers.
The picks with a 6+ confidence level, a group of selections that have netted a 105-36 record over the past two seasons (including a 22-8 mark this year), will be available exclusively to Pickwatch Pro subscribers.
Pickwatch Pro is a great service that allows subscribers to download the best expert data in the industry, see team-by-team winners for every expert, and provides access to Upset Watch, which has been the ultimate-cheatcode to beat the sportsbooks over the last five years. Combine those elements with the top level of my weekly picks and it makes for a must-subscribe service for anyone serious about betting.
Now let’s get to this week’s picks!
Miami Dolphins vs Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)
KC’s pick: Miami | Confidence level: 2
Trevor Lawrence hasn’t played at a Rookie of the Year pace this season, but the Jaguars ground game has gotten in gear of late with 496 rushing yards over the past three contests. That could be a problem for a Miami defense that has given up 121+ rushing yards in every matchup this year.
The Dolphins also have a non-existent rushing attack on offense, having tallied 74 or fewer yards on the ground in four out of five games. Both teams have been turnover prone on offense, as Miami has 2+ giveaways in three of its past four contests and Jacksonville has 2+ in four of five of its games. The tiebreaker here is takeaways, as the Dolphins have posted one or more of these in four games while the Jaguars have only one takeaway all year. That’s enough to land this selection in Miami’s column.
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions
KC’s pick: Cincinnati | Confidence level: 2
There isn’t a team in the NFL that has showed more determination or spirit than the Lions this year, as Dan Campbell’s team doesn’t seem to have an ounce of quit in it. That moxie has kept Detroit closer than they should have in multiple games where they were at a talent deficit. The Bengals do have qualify as a more talented team than the Lions, in part because Detroit just can’t seem to go a week without losing one of its top players (center Frank Ragnow being this week’s example). That skill edge does make Cincinnati the pick in this matchup, but do not be shocked if the Lions have enough fight in them to pull off the upset.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
KC’s pick: Indianapolis | Confidence level: 5
The Colts are coming off an incredibly disappointing Monday night loss to the Ravens, but they can take solace in a 513-yard offensive performance that shows the kind of upside that platoon can have when Carson Wentz is hitting on all cylinders. Indianapolis is also getting big plays out of Jonathan Taylor, who racked up 169 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns against Baltimore.
The Texans got a much-improved showing from Davis Mills last week, but their ground game is still non-existent, they are turnover prone, and their rush defense is minimal, so the Colts are the choice here.
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Football Team
KC’s pick: Kansas City | Confidence level: 4
If the past three years have shown us anything about Kansas City, it’s that they don’t like getting into shootout contests (defined as matchups where both teams score 24+ points). Andy Reid’s squad is 18-12 over the past four seasons in shootout contests versus a 28-3 record when they don’t get into shootouts. This could offer a path to victory for the Football Team, as they are 2-0 in shootouts this season, but they have also averaged just under 20 points per game in their other three games. Washington’s passing game is just too limited to expect a shootout, so Kansas City gets the selection here as a percentage play, but the Football Team does look to have a 50-50 chance of getting the high scoring contest they need to pull off the upset.
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
KC’s pick: Minnesota | Confidence level: 1
It’s tough to know what to expect from these two clubs. Carolina started the year off with three straight wins that were based on efficient offense and strong defense, but that didn’t happen in the past two weeks as passing game issues, five giveaways and poor special teams play led to consecutive losses for the Panthers. Minnesota commenced the 2021 campaign much like they were last year, a pass-heavy team that had to win shootouts, but over the past two and a half weeks the Vikings defense is finally starting to look like a Mike Zimmer-coached platoon. That trend is enough to push this pick towards Minnesota, but this is truly the definition of a tossup contest.
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens
KC’s pick: Baltimore | Confidence level: 3
Both of these teams pride themselves on strong defense, but that certainly didn’t look to be the case last week when the Chargers and Ravens defenses allowed a combined 1,044 offensive yards and 67 offensive points. That latter total could have been even higher were it not for Indianapolis fielding a kicker with a bum hip. These clubs are going to want to get back to a more conservative approach, but the Chargers are especially desperate to do so, as their defense has given up 186+ rushing yards in three of the past four games. That is not a place a defense wants to be in while facing the powerhouse Baltimore rushing attack, especially on the road, so the Ravens are the pick in this one.
Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
KC’s pick: Arizona | Confidence level: 2
The Cardinals had been winning games on the strength of an offense that led this club to four straight contests with 30+ points, but last week’s 17-10 triumph over the 49ers showed that Kliff Kingsbury’s squad can also win lower scoring games. That is a testament to a defense that has not allowed a team to post 300 net passing yards this year and has given up 20 or fewer points on four occasions. The problem for Arizona is that their defense has allowed 152+ rushing yards in three of the past four games and is facing a Cleveland team that has gained 153+ rushing yards in every game this season. The tiebreaker here is injuries, as the Browns are battling their share of them on offense, so Arizona gets this pick in a very close battle.
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos
KC’s pick: Denver | Confidence level: 3
It’s very tough to predict how the Raiders players will respond to the issues this week that led to Jon Gruden’s resignation this week, as that kind of turmoil can throw any club out of sync. It also won’t help an offense that started the year off on a great note, with 425+ offensive yards and 26 points in three straight games but has since faltered to only 472 yards and 23 points over the past two contests combined. Denver is a solid team that has some limitations that have contributed to consecutive losses to the Ravens and Steelers but facing the inconsistent Raiders defense at home should resolve some of those and lead to a Broncos victory.
KC’s 6+ confidence level picks, a group of selections that have gone 105-36 over the past two seasons (including a 22-8 mark this year), are available exclusively to Pickwatch Pro subscribers.