Last week was brutal. I went 0-3 on my picks with a couple of tough losses. I took the Panthers -7 against the Giants, and then watched the Panthers take an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, and when Eli Manning threw an interception on the next drive from his 26-yard line, I thought I was good. Unfortunately, that turnover was quickly followed by Cam Newton throwing a pick that Janoris Jenkins returned into Panthers territory. The Giants scored a few plays later, and I watched my cover dwindle.
As bad as that was, however, the killer took place in Cincinnati. I had the Dolphins +4.5, and Miami had a 17-0 lead in the second half. I was golden! At least, I thought I was. Two defensive touchdowns and a 24-point fourth quarter later the Dolphins lost 27-17.
It sucked. Hard. But, we move on and look to leave the nightmares behind us this week.
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Miami Dolphins (+3) vs. Chicago Bears
Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment, or perhaps I’m just not letting an awful beat scare me off an excellent opportunity here. The last we saw the Bears Mitch Trubisky was throwing six touchdowns as they torched the Buccaneers, 48-10, in Chicago. Now the Bears are coming off a bye and heading down to South Beach, and it’s possible Trubisky, and the Bears offense have taken a considerable step forward.
It’s also possible that the Bears took advantage of a horrible Tampa defense and are being a little overvalued here. I’m just not ready to trust a team led by Trubisky as a 3-point favorite on the road yet. Particularly against a Miami pass defense that’s proven to be one of the best in the NFL. I will spend this entire game in constant fear of Khalil Mack creating a defensive touchdown that kills me, but I’m willing to live with that fear. Chicago Bears 21, Miami Dolphins 20
Los Angeles Rams (-7) at Denver Broncos
I was hesitant to make this pick just because it seems a little too chalky, but the Rams are a juggernaut, and the Broncos are a team led by Case Keenum, who has come crashing back to Earth this year with the Broncos. Denver’s defense is good, but it will only be able to do so much to slow down the Rams offense. Factor in the coaching mismatch between Sean McVay and the frustratingly conservative Vance Joseph, and it’s hard to go any other way. Los Angeles Rams 28, Denver Broncos 17
Dallas Cowboys (+3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Much like I’m not willing to trust Trubisky as a road favorite, I’m not ready to believe in Blake Bortles, either. He’s been worse on the road throughout his career. At home, Bortles has a TD rate of 4.14 percent and an interception rate of 2.81 percent. On the road, the TD rate drops to 3.88 percent, and the interception rate jumps to 3.02 percent.
Dallas, meanwhile, has a stingy run defense and could get Sean Lee back this week, making it even better. The Jaguars will likely be without Leonard Fournette. I’m taking the Cowboys against the spread, but taking them on the money line wouldn’t be an awful play, either. Dallas Cowboys 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 21
SportsLine Pick of the Week
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans: The Titans will host the Ravens on Sunday afternoon, and the Ravens are favored by 2.5 points with the total set at 41. To see what play I’m making on this game, head over to my SportsLine page.