Situational handicapping is a great way to find underlying edges when the razor-sharp NFL odds are slicing you up.
Also known as spot bets, these situational angles involve combing over the current slate of games and unearthing quirks in the calendar that could influence the outcome, such as letdown, look-ahead and tricky schedule spots.
Here are my top spots to shop when sizing up your NFL Week 6 picks.
Letdown spot: New York Jets at Green Bay Packers
You could see this New York Jets offense simmering over the past few weeks. And all that young talent boiled over in Week 5, with Gang Green hanging 40 points on the Miami Dolphins at home last Sunday – the franchise’s highest output since Oct. 14, 2018. It was also New York’s second straight win and third victory in four weeks, after squeezing out slim winners over Cleveland and Pittsburgh in the previous Ws.
The J-E-T-S are soaring higher than they have in a long, long time and could be bringing the betting markets along for the ride. New York garnered sharp action vs. Miami and has seen this Week 6 spread shorten from +7.5 to +7 at some shops, with our Covers Consensus showing 58% of early picks backing the Jets.
Waiting for them in Wisconsin is a looming letdown off such a high, as well as a pissed-off NFL MVP. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers just got embarrassed in a different continent with a loss to the “other” New York team Sunday morning. Following that upset, Rodgers wouldn’t even consider losing to the Jets and laid into his teammates for even mentioning the possibility. Something about the “power of words and manifestation”...
Considering this is the best we’ve seen the Jets and the worst we’ve seen from Green Bay, many bookies are still protecting their necks with the half-point hook on the touchdown. Since taking over in 2019, head coach Matt LaFleur is 10-1 SU and 10-1 ATS coming off a loss. That tremendous trend could be helped out by a letdown nosedive from the Jets in Week 6.
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Look-ahead spot: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons
There are a few factors at play in this Week 6 matchup between Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers (what’s left of them) and his former team.
San Francisco limps into its second straight road game with bodies missing all over the place, most notably on defense. Corner Emmanuel Moseley is the latest starter lost for the season and star DE Nick Bosa is questionable with a groin injury, joining two other starting defensive linemen up in the air for Week 6.
Piling on those ailments, which have moved this spread from Niners -6.5 to -5.5, is a looming look-ahead spot.
After facing the 2-3 SU (but 5-0 ATS) Atlanta Falcons in Week 6, Shanahan & Co. come back to the Bay Area to host the mighty Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7: a rematch of Super Bowl LIV in which Kansas City defeated the 49ers 31-20 thanks to a 21-0 surge in the fourth quarter.
Considering the laundry list of injuries, the team working out of the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia all week, and the ghosts of Super Bowl LIV haunting the back of their minds, the 49ers have a nasty situational sandwich (stuffed with band-aids) on their plate.
Schedule spot: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
The Dallas Cowboys don’t have that tough a slate in 2022, but it just so happens one of their most important games of the year comes in a crunch of a schedule spot in Week 6.
This huge divisional showdown in Philadelphia is Dallas’ second straight road game and its third away tilt in four weeks, after playing at L.A. in Week 6 and visiting the Giants on Monday Night Football in Week 4. That will squeeze three road games (and four overall) into 21 days.
The Sunday night stage could also be a bit of a climate shock for the Cowboys too, with the extended forecast calling for “feels like” temperatures in the mid-40s in Philly. That’s fine football weather for thick-skinned East Coasters but will be a little chilly for the guys from Texas.
This spread is all over the place as of Tuesday morning, with the Cowboys between +4.5 and +5.5. It's a tough line to tackle, but keep this sked spot in mind as you get your nails dirty over this NFC East encounter.