During the sixth week of the 2016 National Football League season, five games feature close matchups that could go either way. Three involve home favorites, while two involve road chalk. Below are some quick analyses of those contests.
Carolina (-3) at New Orleans
Two teams with different levels of rest meet up in the Big Easy for a crucial divisional contest. The Panthers are road favorites coming off a Monday night loss, with quarterback Cam Newton expected to return. He can light up the scoreboard, and against a Saints team that’s allowed 130 points in their four games, that should happen. Plus, over the last decade, home dogs coming off byes are just 4-9-1 against the spread, so go with Carolina.
Jacksonville at Chicago (-2.5)
While the Jaguars are coming off a bye and their first victory of the season, they’ve failed to cover in their last four games as a road dog of a field goal or less. Also, they’ve failed to beat the line in their last six road games against NFC teams. While the Bears are still flailing without Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer should be able to manage Chicago to a victory. Early bettors have bumped this line up a point in the Bears’ favor, but Chicago is still the pick.
Los Angeles at Detroit (-3)
The Rams lost last week to snap a three-game winning streak but have won their last two road contests outright. Both those wins came as road dogs, which is their fate in this matchup. On the other side, the Lions have come up short both times as chalk in 2016 and seem to have a problem as a home favorite during the month of October. Since 2011, they sport a miserable 2-7 mark versus the line. Go with the Rams in an upset.
Philadelphia (-2.5) at Washington
Bettors have moved this line from the Redskins opening as a -1.5 favorite to the current spread. They seem convinced that rookie quarterback Carson Wentz is the real deal and are no doubt aware of the Eagles 22-10 ATS and straight up record in road divisional games since 2006. Washington has performed better on the road than at home, though their three 2016 games at Fed Ex Field have been high-scoring clashes. The choice is Philadelphia while also looking at the Over of 44.5.
Kansas City (-1) at Oakland
Another game that began with the current favorite getting points. The Chiefs have had two weeks to soothe the sting from a pounding by the Steelers, but have one fascinating statistic in their favor. Over the last quarter century, when they’ve traveled to face the Raiders following a loss, they have a 10-1 ATS mark. Oakland has failed to cover either of their two 2016 home games and despite an impressive 4-1 straight up record, three of their wins have come by a combined five points. Go with the Chiefs in this one.