The underdogs failed me in a major way in week 5, so it's time to start being a little more picky with who I'm backing this week.
Now's the time where teams are starting to separate themselves from others, so the underdogs don't present as much value as in the first few weeks. However, there's still room for some upsets in week 6.
Here’s my week 6 NFL picks, with three underdogs that I’m watching this week in my Westgate SuperContest picks.
Overall: 13-15-2 ATS
SuperContest: 10-12-3 ATS (11.5 points)
Underdogs: 8-6-1 ATS
Indianapolis Colts (+2.5) at New York Jets
Quarterbacks still matter in the NFL.
That should be the difference in this game. Andrew Luck is back. His first couple weeks presented some issues, but it has become clear in the last few weeks that he's gaining confidence.
He basically had no help around him and still fit balls into tight windows against New England in week 5. That should matter in this game, with the Jets still searching for answers on the offensive side of the football.
I'm not taking the week 5 blowout of Denver as an indication of what this team can do on the offensive side of the ball. The Jets caught the Broncos in a perfect situation, with Denver traveling on a short week after an emotional loss.
The Colts have a better defense than most believe and it should have some success against New York. These are evenly matched teams with a glaring plus-matchup at the quarterback position, which happens to be the most important in football. — Go Against The Chalk with Indianapolis
Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Teams can improve during a season. That's what I saw from Pittsburgh on the defensive side of the ball in week 5.
Against a high-powered Atlanta offense, the defense rushed the quarterback at a solid clip, forcing Matt Ryan into difficult decisions.
And while I'm seeing improvements with the Steelers, the Bengals are showing signs of having a defense not capable of stopping teams. The Bengals are allowing 6.1 yards per play in the last three games, which is much higher than their season average of 5.6.
It's been most troublesome against the run, with the Bengals giving up 5.2 yards per rush in the last three games. That should play into the Steelers hands, which showed more of a commitment to running the football in week 5.
This will be close, but I'll take the Steelers with more desperation. — Go Against The Chalk with Pittsburgh
Arizona Cardinals (+10) at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings may be back. Or maybe it was just a one-week aberration.
I'm not sure, but this number seems a little big for a team that has lost at home to Buffalo and couldn't stop Los Angeles just two weeks ago.
There's still real concerns regarding Minnesota's defense, and quietly, with Josh Rosen at quarterback, the Cardinals have improved on the offensive side of the ball. It also doesn't hurt that the defense has shown vast improvement in recent weeks.
Arizona is giving up 5.4 yards per play. However, that number has dropped below 5 in the last three games, with the most improvement coming against the pass, allowing 5.7 yards per pass attempt.
The Vikings should win this game, but it should be within one possession. — Go Against The Chalk with Arizona
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more sports betting coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH