A Closer Look At The Expert Picks For 2016 NFL Week 6
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (-3)NFL Week 6 Free Pick: Washington (-3)
It’s official, QB Kirk Cousins will be returning to the 2016 season as Washington starting quarterback. Spending this fall under a one-year, $20 million deal isn’t what he’d have wanted, but considering his options (and the fact that his salary is likely to sky-rocket if he plays well in 2016); his motivation should be in the right place. Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, is still grappling with the decision about who will be the starting QB in 2016 while the rest of the team is in disarray after an iffy offseason. With Washington having fewer questions ahead of the new season, a more experienced group that will be motivated to do well after winning the NFC East title last year, and Cousins known to play his best at home; Washington easily offers the best SU and ATS betting value in this game over the out-of-sorts Eagles. Mind you, the Redskins swept the Eagles in their two meetings in 2015, and Washington is 3-0 in its last three straight overall meetings against Philly.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Chicago Bears (-3.5)NFL Week 6 Free Pick: Chicago (-3.5)
Since his rookie season in 2014, Blake Bortles has been making constant progress in his passing game with every passing season. If that trend holds true, 2016 could even be a better year for the Jacksonville QB. After all, Jacksonville had a splashy offseason that solved some of the team’s weakest links in the defensive department. Nonetheless, Chicago is still shoulders above Jacksonville in terms of a talented roster, which should give the Bears the edge here. Veteran QB Jay Cutler is a wildcard in every sense of the word, but if he can take advantage of the talent around him—including Kevin White, Alshon Jeffery and Co.—while the likes of Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan cure most of Chicago’s defensive problems; the Bears (who are 4-2 in 6 All-time meetings against the Jags, including double-digit blowout wins in their last two straight meetings) will almost certainly win this game quite comfortably.
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots (-4)NFL Week 6 Free Pick: New England (-4)
It has been 30 damn years since the Bengals won a game at Foxboro (Yes, a barren stretch that is actually longer than Cincinnati’s winless drought in the playoffs) and we don’t expect that trend to change this year. This game will mark Tom Brady’s second start of the season after serving his four-game suspension at the start of 2016, meaning Cincinnati’s defense will have its hands full against the Super Bowl 59 MVP. Cincinnati’s starting QB Andy Dalton is coming off a career year, so he can’t be wished away in this game, but with an ominous history against them and the Patriots renowned for their solid performances against elite opponents (especially when playing at home), we don’t see this game ending in anything other than a win and cover for Brady and the Pats.
Cleveland Brown at Tennessee Titans (-3.5)NFL Week 6 Free Pick: Cleveland (+3.5)
The Browns and Titans are expected to be among the worst teams in the league in 2016, so it will be interesting to see who gets to win this matchup between two devalued NFL franchises. Like most NFL games, this game will most likely come down to the starting QBs and how the defenses play. Now, Robert Griffin III has reportedly been getting lots of needed help from several experts in the offseason, including quarterback expert Tom House, the same guy who has successfully worked with household names such as Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and most recently Andy Dalton.
If this help is able to make RG3 nearly as good as he was in his rookie season, then the maligned Browns QB could easily be due for a big bounce-back season. Marcus Mariota of Tennessee had a decent rookie year, and the addition of some solid pieces to support him will most likely make him a better player in his second season. The problem, however, for Tennessee is the concerns in their defense. Though the Titans aren’t thin in defense personnel like the Browns, their D is largely inexperienced. Against someone like RG3 who is fairly experienced to outwit such defenses, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cleveland upsets Tennessee or at least cover the spread in this Week 6 clash. By the way, Cleveland is 2-0 in its last two straight meetings against the Titans, and 5-2 in the last 7 overall against Tennessee, including a 28-14 win over the Titans in 2015.