NFL Underdogs: NFL Odds, Picks, and Predictions Week 6

The Eagles are the last undefeated team and are 6.5-point favorites vs. the Cowboys on Sunday. Regardless of who's under center for Dallas, its legit defense will show up, disrupt Jalen Hurts, and keep this one close — Jason Logan's NFL Underdogs has more.

Jason Logan: Senior Betting Analyst at Covers
Jason Logan • Senior Betting Analyst
Oct 12, 2022 • 18:03 ET • 4 min read

Week 6 of the NFL season mixes in byes for the first time, which is nice for those teams getting a break but slim pickings for a guy whose column is about solely selecting underdogs for his NFL picks and predictions

From Week 1 to Week 5, I’ve had 16 available options for my weekly NFL Underdogs entry. But with four teams off the clock this Sunday, we go from dinner to lunch buffet, as I’m left with 14 potential pup picks in Week 6. 

Underdogs are thriving so far in 2022, barking to the tune of a 45-30-3 ATS mark entering this week (59.6%). That early-season edge for underdogs has become routine the past few years, with dogs covering at a 56.3% clip between Week 1 and Week 6 since 2015. That cover rate jumps to 57.2% going back to 2019.

Given that long-term success and the shrunken schedule, my half-assed math says that there are roughly eight underdogs on the board that will cover those plus-points in Week 6. 

Here are three of them…

NFL picks against the spread for Week 6

Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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This spread opened Jaguars +1 and sharp money sided with the Colts and forced bookies to adjust this to Jacksonville +2.5. While I absolutely respect that opinion, I don’t have to agree with it. 

The market that once held the Jaguars high above its head like a baby Simba has gone full circle of life on our ass, downgrading Jacksonville for a weird loss to the undefeated Eagles (lost by eight despite five turnovers in a rain-soaked road game) and a brain-fart against the Texans (in which the Jags outgained Houston 422-248).

Less than a month ago, the Jaguars force-fed the Colts a rotten goose egg in Duval County, blanking Indianapolis 24-0 in Week 2. Now, Indy is a growing home favorite after… what: Winning the “Toilet Bowl” vs. the Broncos last Thursday?

The 2-2-1 Colts are a couple of bounces away from being an 0-5 team, and a mini bye as well as the potential return of RB Jonathan Taylor shouldn’t be enough to cover up those blemishes. Indianapolis wasn’t doing much with a healthy JT anyways, sitting 30th in EPA per handoff on the season. Mix in the thawing of “Matty Ice” — who ranks alongside the doldrums of QB play  and it’s tough to give the Colts any credit.

Given the Jags’ last two performances, I can see some red flags and reasons why wiseguys would snatch the short home favorite: Trevor Lawrence's turnover troubles are bubbling up and the defense made crucial mental and physical mistakes in the loss to Houston. However, Jacksonville’s greatest strength remains Indianapolis’ great weakness. 

The Jaguars' defense, which ranks Top 10 in a bunch of advanced metrics, is creating solid pressure on passers (10th highest pressure rate per dropback) and was able to get to Matt Ryan for five sacks in that Week 2 meeting, which led to three interceptions.

Ryan just took another six sacks from Denver last Thursday, bringing the count to 21 behind an offensive line tabbed 31st in pass block win rate and scrambling for adjustments up front, including at the always valuable center position.

Ryan's been under pressure at the fifth-highest rate so far in 2022, completing just 47.9% of his throws for only 5.4 yards per attempt along with five INTs while under duress this season. The Jags’ pass rush enters this AFC South showdown No. 2 in pass rush win rate at EPSN.

PICK: Jaguars +2.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

After doing this column for a while now, there are some underdogs you pick because they’re undervalued. Some you like because of an underlying mismatch. And some, like the Chiefs in Week 6, you just take because you never see them getting points.

Kansas City is +3 in Arrowhead taking on the Bills in a rematch of the infamous overtime finish in the AFC Divisional Round last season  you know, the one that forced the NFL to change its rules.

The Chiefs have been betting underdogs in the regular season only 10 times since Patrick Mahomes’ MVP year in 2018, with KC going 6-4 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in those rare spots (1-2 SU and ATS at home).

The lookahead line for this game was a pick’em in the summer but despite these teams rolling out identical 4-1 records, the betting markets are putting a field goal between them in Week 6. Of course, this has a lot to do with how these rivals are winning games: the Bills blowing away a couple of bad teams and Kansas City coming up big in the crunch with tight victories over tough divisional foes. 

Buffalo’s public appeal has never been higher, after crushing poor Pittsburgh last Sunday, but has proven far from invincible, with tight contests at Baltimore and Miami earlier this year. The Bills' secondary is still thin, and the offensive line is underperforming if you buy into PFF’s O-line rankings (19th). Those are two units you need peaking in order to get past the Chiefs.

Kansas City’s offense is right there with Buffalo in just about every passing metric, with Mahomes surrounded by playmakers. The Chiefs’ QB connected with nine different players in Monday’s win over Las Vegas and seven of those guys were targeted three or more times, showing the scale of problems KC presents at all passing levels: short, intermediate, and deep with Marquez Valdez-Scantling breaking out. 

Defensively, the Chiefs can get after rival quarterbacks with one of the most disruptive fronts in football. Kansas City owns the third-highest pressure rate in the league yet blitzes on only 29% of dropbacks. I’m not saying KC shuts down Josh Allen by any means, especially after allowing a total of 60 points the past two games, but that one strength could exploit the Bills’ so-so O-line enough for one or two game-changing plays.

Like I said, sometimes betting underdogs is just grabbing the points with the best team you can. And rarely do you get to do that with a team as good as the Chiefs

PICK: Chiefs +3 (-120 at BetMGM)

That’s all I can stands! I can’t stands no more!

The Cowboys are faced with a tough schedule spot for this Sunday night showdown with the undefeated Eagles, which kept me away from Dallas when this spread was as low as +5. But with play coming in on Philadelphia midway through the week, books have bumped this line to as high as Cowboys +6.5.

OK, at the half-point, I’ll bite. 

Dallas’ defense is not a flash in the pan, as many believed in the offseason. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has this group flying around the field and causing a ton of chaos, ranked No. 1 in pressure rate per dropback with 20 sacks, 28 QB hits, and 25 hurries (along with five INTs).

The Cowboys sink their teeth into a tender Eagles offensive line that has question marks up and down the depth chart. Philadelphia had some positives with players like Jordan Mailata coming out of Wednesday’s practice, but this Dallas pass rush is by far the most disruptive the Eagles have faced all season.

Keeping Jalen Hurts clean is vital to this Philly offense. Hurts has struggled when facing pressure, completing only 42% of passes for just 5.3 yards per attempt when feeling the heat  a notable dip in success from his stats in a clean pocket. Luckily for Philadelphia, he’s only felt pressure on 21% of dropbacks  a clip that will shoot up versus Big D.

With the Cowboys cutting Hurts down to size, it balances out the matchup at quarterback and that's where the beef of this spread rests (if Dak Prescott were in, this line likely sits below a field goal). 

I’m not beating the Cooper Rush drum as loud as some, but he’s avoiding making bad mistakes and will be backed behind a Dallas run game that’s picking up speed, including 163 yards against L.A.’s elite run stop. Philadelphia’s defense has benefited from early leads which have masked a soft spot against the ground game, where the Eagles sit 20th in run defense DVOA and budge for five yards per carry. 

This total continues to tick down from an opener of 43.5 to as low as 42 points, while the spread rises. As both teams are rooted in the run and you have two very sound stop units suiting up, the window is pretty tight for the Eagles to score enough to cover the -6.5.

As someone who also has the Under on Sunday Night Football, this feels like a 21-17 grinder of a division game.

PICK: Cowboys +6.5 (-110 at Pinnacle)

Last week: 3-0 ATS +2.60 units (Risking 1 unit per play)
Season: 8-7 ATS +0.08 units (Risking 1 unit per play)

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