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NFL Underdogs: Week 6 pointspread picks

There’s a point in every great movie when the seemingly indestructible foe shows a moment of weakness, allowing the good guys to pounce.

Whether it’s a carelessly-placed thermal exhaust port, a cut under the left eye or a poor showing on national TV, every “unstoppable” behemoth has a chink in the armor.


Of course, the latter example has to do with the Houston Texans’ ho-hum 23-17 win over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.

The Texans, who improved to 5-0 SU with the victory, looked human for the first time this season versus the desperate Jets – a team oddsmakers tagged as high as 10-point home underdogs.

On top of that blown cover, Houston suffered a crushing injury to All-Pro linebacker Brian Cushing, who’s out for the remainder of the year with a torn ACL. That loss puts a speed bump in front of the Texans’ fearless pass rush, allowing blockers to key on sack master J.J. Watt, who leads the AFC in QB kills with 7.5.

As strong as the Texans have looked, chop blocking one of their biggest pillars causes plenty of cracks in the dam. And, really, is Houston’s undefeated mark really that great to begin with, boasting wins over Miami, Jacksonville, Denver, Tennessee and New York?

Those teams combine for an 8-17 record (11-14 ATS) and Houston is actually tied for the third-weakest schedule in the league. We’re not dealing with Ivan Drago here, are we?

The Texans get their first true test of the season this Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers, a once-mighty force that knows all about having its weaknesses exposed.

Speaking of looking human for the first time this season, I suffered my first losing week of NFL Underdogs, going 1-2 ATS in Week 5 to fall to 10-4-1 ATS on the year.

Here’s hoping my record isn’t as paper-thin as the Texans’.

Pick: Green Bay +3.5

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (-4, 47.5)


Andy Reid has a bone to pick with one NFL GM, who anonymously ripped Lions DT Ndamukong Suh earlier this week.

That sparked a fire in Suh, who is one scary dude even when he’s not being publicly criticized. That mystery GM didn’t do the Eagles offensive line any favors.

Philadelphia’s lack of protection has left QB Mike Vick to scramble for his life through the first five weeks, allowing Vick to be sacked 14 times while also causing him to throw six interceptions and fumble five times.

Wouldn’t it be funny if the GM turned out to be Lions’ top man Martin Mayhew? A 1-3 start can make teams resort to desperate measures.

Pick: Detroit +4

Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (-1, 49.5)

The look on Peyton Manning’s face said it all.

The Broncos marched down the field and had themselves in position to make things very interesting late in the fourth quarter at New England last weekend.

Then, RB Willis McGahee fumbled on the Patriots’ 14-yard line with just under four minutes remaining, erasing any chance of a Denver comeback – let alone a cover as a 5.5-point underdog.

Don’t expect anyone else to handle the ball besides Manning when the Broncos are closing in on the end zone in San Diego Monday.

Pick:
Denver +1

Last week: 1-2 ATS
Season: 10-4-1 ATS

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Posted by BradsBargains
2 years ago

Way to go...3-0
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Posted by Redbull88
2 years ago

Denver pick easy money $$$
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Posted by MasterNBA
2 years ago

11-2 Underdog on week 6 Denver
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Posted by bigbooze
2 years ago

u know its never that easy CHARGERS ALL THE WAY
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Posted by theclaw
2 years ago

Playing a weak schedule does not make a team weak. FO did lots of research in this area and found the highest correlation to winning deep into the playoffs was dominating teams with losing records. It had a higher correlation to winning then dominating teams with winning records. Houston is a monster and should roll tonight. Don't overreact to last weeks game against the Jets, that was a typical letdown spot for them, not tonight.
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Posted by eleo3e
2 years ago

You were saying what now? yeah ok Houston got rolled is more like it!
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Posted by brokenleg
2 years ago

Last game of Cowboys and Bears I was having pizza and Doritos and on the 5th interception I THREW UP!!!!! made a big mess, my wife almost killed me... dam with Romo..... Going with Baltimore
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Posted by bigbooze
2 years ago

philly,sf,& atl moneyline paylay GET PAID
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Posted by whitesnake1983
2 years ago

I like these bets this week, except for Denver - I think that Rivers is showing some signs of growing up this season, he's not being reckless as in the past few years and he is really leading San Diego offense very well. I don't think Peyton and his horses have a chance against the Chargers, but as for the other 2 - I agree, I won't even play the plus points, I am going ML on both GB and Detroit - Houston are way overrated and Michael Vick is losing that football constantly, so Lions and Packers all the way!
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Posted by BCEagle89
2 years ago

Bills, 2nd week out west with the worst pass D in the NFL? Can't do it. Gimme NYG plus the 5 points on the road where they play well & if I need another underdog cover, I'll go with the Colts sat NYJ getting 3. Jets are done.
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Posted by Skubishack
2 years ago

I like GB and DET but not Denver who seems to play well ONLY after getting into a big hole. Stick to the Over-49.5 in the DEN/SD game and it should climb abover that when desperation sets in for these two teams again.
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Posted by Skubishack
2 years ago

Eagles 24 Lions 23(+4)... Houston 30 Green Bay 27(+3.5)... San Diego 31(-1) Denver 27.
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Posted by lmstudfosho
2 years ago

7 point tease Detroit +11 Denver +8 Oakland +16.5
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Posted by mgmprofits
2 years ago

I dont trust detroit. They may surely cover...but they just are terrible. Probably the 2nd worst team in the league. Philly is at the top. Philly should blow them out. We'll see what happens.
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Posted by YukonTrav
2 years ago

First off JLo, cheers to posting your column on a Thursday nite, plenty of time before our pool picks have to be in by Saturday morning. Much appreciated. I like your pick of Detroit, no confidence in Vick right now and this is essentially a 'must win' for Stafford to get the naysayers off his back. Denver looks shoddy, cant trust their pathetic secondary and DBs on the road in SD. Not a fan of GB either, I think Houston played a conservative game against the Jets so as not to reveal too much against the Pack. Thing is, the Packs O-Line is garbage, and Houston is going to POUND them and Rogers. Houston at home on a Sunday nite, I think they're going to bring a powerful game against a somewhat staggering Packers squad. Call me nuts, but Im thinking a strong dog is Buffalo. Arizona got exposed against the Rams, Kolb is a backup at best, and there is something to be said for teams that get totally embarrassed as the Bills did against the 49ers. Pro teams have a way of responding with pride, and with a Zona team that doesnt score much, I can see the Bills taking this one. If Spiller hadn't spilled the ball on the 1 yd line, the Bills would have been up 28-7 against the Pats (i.e., their offense can put points on the board, and Frantic Freddy is expected to be back in at RB ... anywho, cheers on the early post, and good luck with your picks, old boot :)
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Posted by J_Logan
2 years ago

Denver's defense and pass rush was insane-o in the second half of the Pats game, Brady was lucky to walk away. I think they bring the pain Monday night. I also like the Bills but not enough for the column. Took them in this week's staff picks, which can be found here - Warning - I sucked something terrible last week, so follow or fade: http://www.covers.com/Sports/staff-picks/nfl-staff-picks.aspx
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Posted by Saltpetey
2 years ago

I agree with your pick of the Bills,Kolb should not be a starter in this league, unless he goes back to Philly. I;ve been a Cardinal fan my whole life since they played in Chicago and other than the Warner years I haven't had much to cheer about lately. GL
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Top Response

Posted by whitesnake1983
2 years ago

"I like these bets this week, except for Denver - I think that Rivers is showing some signs of growing up this season, he's not being reckless as in the past few years and he is really leading San Diego offense very well. I don't think Peyton and his ..."