Expert NFL Best Bets: Picks and predictions for Week 6


Week 6 NFL best bets and predictions

Each week, I’ll be looking through Sunday’s NFL games to try and feed my readers three winners. And that continues with the three best bets I have for the Week 6 slate, which includes a pick on a meeting between the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns. I also have a play on an exciting battle between the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Keep reading to find out what I have and make sure you also check out what my talented VSiN colleagues are playing. Those plays, along with all of our NFL content for the week, are available at our Week 6 NFL Bet Hub. You can also get all of our picks for the week on the Pro Picks page


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Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

The Vikings just lost Justin Jefferson indefinitely, which should have a big impact on the offense. Jefferson demands so much of the defense’s attention that it makes life on guys like Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn and T.J. Hockenson a lot easier. Now, defenses will be able to specifically plan to make those guys uncomfortable. And when you combine that with the fact that the Vikings don’t have much of a running game, it could be hard for Kirk Cousins and Co. to outscore opponents — which is what they need to do to win games, as they are below average defensively.

Considering Minnesota is facing a lot of question marks heading into this game, it’s just hard not to like a Chicago team that is suddenly showing signs of life. The Bears really should be coming into this game on the heels of back-to-back wins, but they took their foot off the gas and let the Denver Broncos come back and beat them two weeks ago. However, Chicago responded nicely by earning a 40-20 road victory over the Washington Commanders last week. That game was a beatdown from start to finish.

One of the big reasons the Bears are suddenly playing better is that Justin Fields has looked like Dan Marino over the last two weeks. Fields has thrown for a total of 617 yards with eight touchdowns and only one pick in his last two games. And I don’t see much preventing him from putting up big numbers against this Vikings defense, especially after having had a few extra days to prepare because of last week’s Thursday Night Football appearance.

Overall, I just have a little more faith in Chicago to get stops in this football game. And I also think the Bears will be the better offensive team here. So, I’m backing the home team on the moneyline.

Bet: Bears ML (+122 – Play to +110) 

San Francisco 49ers at Cleveland Browns

This game has an absurdly low total, but I still like the Under. This season, Cleveland is first in the league in Defensive DVOA. The Browns are third in the league against the rush and first against the pass. That said, there isn’t a team in football that is better equipped to slow down this potent 49ers offense. Meanwhile, San Francisco is seventh in the league in Defensive DVOA, and the team now get a crack at a Cleveland squad that isn’t quite the same without Nick Chubb. And the Browns are also in a bad place at the quarterback position, with Deshaun Watson nowhere near 100% and a lot pointing to P.J. Walker starting.

On top of the defenses in this game being in a good position to succeed, it’s almost just as important that both teams desperately want to run the football. San Francisco is first in the NFL in rushing play percentage, and Cleveland is also a top-10 team in that regard. So, the clock should be running plenty when these two offenses are on the field.

It’s also worth noting that it’s supposed to be chilly and windy in Cleveland for this game. That’ll only add to the list of things that make an Over unlikely in this spot. And if that’s not enough for you, the Under is 3-1 in the four games the Browns have played this season. And two of those Unders hit in games with totals below 40.

Bet: Under 37.5 (-108 – Play to 37) 

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Lions have looked like one of the best teams in football this season, but I think they’re in for a battle this week. Jared Goff and the Lions have the fourth-best passing offense in the league according to DVOA, but that same metric has the Buccaneers as the second-best passing defense in the league. So, Tampa Bay should be able to keep Detroit’s passing game in check, and I also have some faith in Todd Bowles’ defense slowing down the Lions running game.

While the Bucs have been mediocre against the run this season, they are coming off a bye week. So, they have had a lot of extra time to get themselves ready to slow down David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. And Bowles is a bright defensive coach, so I do think he’ll have a good plan of action there.

The question with a game like this is whether the Buccaneers will be able to score enough points to hang around. But Baker Mayfield is coming off a game in which he threw for 246 yards with three touchdowns in a win over the Saints, and he continues to surprise people with his play under center. With that in mind, I don’t think it’s crazy to expect him to play a good game here, especially coming off a bye week. If the Lions are susceptible anywhere defensively, it’s in the secondary. Don’t be surprised if Tampa hits some shots over the top after having the time to prep for Detroit’s look.

Bet: Buccaneers +3.5 (-112 – Play to +3) 

Best Bets Record: 11-5 (+5.70 units)

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