Walking The Line: Week 6

We are coming back! And by “we” I mean Shaun, as he turns in yet another winning week. I on the other hand, get close but come up just a bit short, putting myself even more into a hole as Shaun continues to inch towards .500. But the good thing is that things are shaping up and we are really starting to get a sense of the teams and how they are looking this season. Before we give you our week 6 picks, let’s take a look at where we stand on the season:

Last Week

Steve: 2-3                                            Season Record: 10-14-1

Shaun: 3-2                                           Season Record 11-13-1

Getting better (for one of us) but we are still within striking distance of being even! Let’s make that happen this week!

Steve’s Picks

Kansas City @ Oakland (+2) Confidence LVL: 7
There are a few different things that are working against me in this one, but also a few trends that I evidently weigh a bit more heavily. The Chiefs are 4-2 themselves ATS and are coming off of their bye week. Anyone who knows football knows that teams coached by Andy Reid are almost undefeated coming off of a bye, the dude knows how to get a team prepared with an extra week’s time. But this year, you won’t be facing the same old Raiders, who typically aren’t a good bet when they’re playing at home (0-5 ATS in their last 5 in Oakland). Only one of those losses has been this season though and the Raiders are 4-1 SU in their last 5 and 4-2 ATS in their last 6. Most of those games have happened this season. The Raiders can put up a lot of points, and although their defense has struggled, it’s still Alex Smith running the show there. I’ll take the Raiders to win this one straight up, but I’ll always take the points!

Jacksonville (+2.5) @ Chicago Confidence LVL: 7
This bet isn’t so much about the Jaguars, who are typically a bad bet when they go on the road, going just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road contests. But they are coming off of a bye and getting Julius Thomas back, who although often injured, is a huge threat for them when on the field. For me, this game is more about the Bears and their struggles, particularly at home. Overall, the Bears are just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games. On top of that, they’re only 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and what’s worse is that straight up, they are only 1-6 at home in their last 7 at home. Now I know that the “1” that keeps popping up is from just a few weeks ago when Chicago stunned Detroit (a game that I correctly picked in this article), but that doesn’t matter to me. I’ll take the Jags in a tight one here, winning on a late field goal.

Carolina @ New Orleans (+3) Confidence LVL: 7
Has any team started off the year more surprisingly than the Panthers? A team that was in the Super Bowl just last year and have started the year off at 1-4. Luckily for them, they are getting Cam Newton back after missing week 5 with a concussion and their best RB in Jonathan Stewart back after tweaking his hamstring in week 2. Unfortunately for them, they are going to run into a Saints team who is coming off of their bye week and a terror to play at home. What’s more is that the Saints play their division really strong, going 5-1 ATS against NFC South opponents in their last 6 games. The Saints are also 4-2 ATS overall in their last 6 games. Couple that with the fact that the Panthers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games and I’ll take the home dog yet again.

Pittsburgh (-8) @ Miami Confidence LVL: 4
I hate this bet. I’m sorry but I do. Everything I believe in says take the home team that is laying over a touchdown. It’s like the oldest rule in the book. But the book doesn’t have eyes, and hasn’t watched this Dolphins team deteriorate over the last few weeks while the Steelers have been hitting on all cylinders. Pittsburgh actually burned me in a similar spot when they traveled to Philadelphia as a small road favorite. This actually works in our favor though, as the Steelers are 8-2 SU on the road following a road loss. But what’s more is that they’re also 5-1 ATS when favored by 7.5 or more. That means when they’re supposed to blow someone out, they usually do. Miami is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games. Yes, that said home games. There almost isn’t a home field advantage there anymore because the team has no identity. Give me the Steelers in a big route.

Shaun’s Picks

Baltimore (+3.5) @ NY Giants Confidence LVL 8
The Ravens are coming off a tough home loss to Washington. It was a terrible, windy game that killed my over call from last week. I'm not bitter. The Giants lost to the Packers (but covered by .5) and looked horrible in the process. Everyone would be talking about how unimpressive the Packers look if the Giants didn't say "Bad? We'll show ya bad". They have been awful to watch every week and as a dynasty OBJ owner it's killing me. The Ravens gave the ax to their offensive coordinator and I think it will give them a spark, at least for one week. As a small spread road dog, Flacco is 10-6-2 ATS in his career. As for the G-men, teams that are under .500, and coming off back to back home losses, are 14-39 ATS. Ravens only beat bad teams…but the Giants are a bad team. Ravens 24-20.

Carolina @ New Orleans (+3) Confidence LVL 7
The Panthers took an embarrassing loss to the Bucs on Monday Night Football last week, albeit with Derek Anderson at the helm. The Saints are coming fresh off a bye. Cam is back this week, as well as JStew. But the Panthers have had the Super Bowl loser hangover bad thus far this year. As a favorite in every game this season, Carolina is 1-4 ATS. I expect that trend to continue. The saints will score too much for the slumping Panthers whose defense apparently was carried by those they let sign elsewhere. Drew Brees is 7-1 ATS as a Saint and a home underdog and 9-4 ATS coming off the bye over his career. Saints 34-31.

Philadelphia @ Washington (+3) Confidence LVL 5
Philadelphia and the Wentzonator let me down last week. I thought Doug Pederson would have Andy Reid-like magic coming off the bye but that was not the case. The D that had been one of the best in fantasy gave up points in a hurry to Theo and the Lions. The Kirk Cousinskins ended up on the winning side of the wind bowl in Baltimore last week. Washington has sneakily won three in a row covering the spread in all of them along the way. My guy Kirk is 7-2 ATS as an underdog against NFC East teams as a starter. Plus I believe the tape is out on Wentz and he will continue to struggle. Washington 27-24.

Colts (+3) @ Houston Confidence LVL 6
The battle for the AFC South. Ooooooooooo Sunday Night!!!! Wowza, is this really a primetime game?  I'm FROM Indiana and the Colts are hard to even watch until the back half of the fourth quarter. Meanwhile the Texans aren't much prettier. Hilton and Fuller are the bright spots on two otherwise disappointing teams for fantasy. Indy is coming off a typical 4th quarter win vs the Hoyer-led Bears. The Texans, predictably had their ass handed to them by the Big Purple Machine. The Texans since 2009 in primetime games are 2-16 ATS. I expect this game to go just like you think it would. Texans may have a lead but Luck will turn it on in the fourth and come out on top. Colts 30-20.

Wildcards

Steve: Ravens/Giants OVER 45 Confidence LVL 6
If you’re ever in the FLAFFL House chat on the Fantasy Life App, or if you listen to the FLAFFL House Podcast, then you know that Sal and I think that this is going to be a “get right” game for Eli Manning and Co. The Ravens are coming into town without their best receiver in Steve Smith but will have Kamar Aiken taking his spot, who was a very able-bodied receiver when Smith missed time last year. Odell Beckham Jr and his cohorts will have no issue putting points up this week and the Ravens will be able to keep pace. Let’s see them touchdowns!

Shaun: Bengals/Patriots OVER 48 Confidence LVL 7
Come on man, the Patriots have a shot to put up 40 in any given week. This game will be full of fantasy goodness. Green, Hill (hopefully), and Andy Dandy will keep pace and push Tom Terrific to keep scoring. Not that he needs pushing. Pats 38-27.