Last week was a reminder of why heartbreak is commonplace in the NFL. It was a putrid week for handicapping, but it got even worse when San Francisco lost in overtime and Tampa Bay scored a late touchdown to cover.
This week offers a much different picture than week 5. Big spreads are the name of the game this week, compared to last week's pick-a-winner spreads.
We'll see if this translates to better handicapping. Here's the three best week 6 NFL underdogs that will cover the spread.
Underdogs: 8-6-1 ATS
Overall: 13-16-1 ATS
Miami Dolphins (+12) at Atlanta Falcons
Miami's offense is really bad, but I'm confused as to why this number is so large. Aren't the Falcons coming off a loss to Buffalo and could be 1-3 instead of 3-1?
Didn't we expect the offense to take some time in Miami?
If this number is that high because an offensive line coach was busted for snorting cocaine in the team facilities, then count me all over the Miami bandwagon. Distractions happen all the time in the NFL. Granted, this is fairly major, but it's not going to keep me away from backing a playoff team from a year ago that has many of the same pieces.
Miami has a legitimate defense capable of slowing down Atlanta, much like Buffalo did. The Dolphins rank in the top-10 in total defense and are fourth in the league at stopping the run.
The offense is pretty bad, but Jay Cutler is 3-1 in his career against the Falcons with almost a 100 QBR against them. There's no reason why this game should feature a 12-point spread. — Go Against The Chalk with Miami
Cleveland Browns (+10) at Houston Texans
I told myself to stop taking bad teams this year when picking underdogs. I believe Miami is better than many people believe, so I'm chalking that up to people misidentifying who the Dolphins really are.
The Browns are a different story. They're terrible.
But Houston is being ravaged by injuries, making me reconsider how good that defense can be. And what will their psyche be after losing J.J. Watt for another season?
Even though the Browns are terrible, I'm encouraged by the move to start Kevin Hogan. He's been far more effective than DeShone Kizer this season, so that's a step in the right direction for the offense.
Defensively, this team is still stopping the run at an impressive clip, so Deshaun Watson will have to carry the offense for Houston. I'm not going to crown him the greatest of all time yet, so the Browns can keep this close in a spirited effort. — Go Against The Chalk with Cleveland
Los Angeles Rams (+2.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
I can't believe the Rams are underdogs in this contest.
If this game had been played a week ago, Los Angeles would enter this contest as more than a three-point favorite. That's quite a swing after the Jaguars beat an overrated and turmoil-filled Pittsburgh team.
Los Angeles is the better team. I believed that in week 1 and this has been proven time and time again. The Rams have a dominating defensive line and the secondary will thwart any kind of passing attack the Jaguars can muster.
The Rams also have a good enough offense that it shouldn't completely fold against Jacksonville. Don't be fooled by Jacksonville's win in week 5. They scored defensive touchdowns, which won't happen consistently. When the defense isn't scoring touchdowns at a torrid pace, they lose to teams like the New York Jets.
Jacksonville's defense is really good, but the offense isn't good enough to be considered a favorite in this game. Don't lose sight of how good both of these teams are based on last week. This is the NFL and things can change in an instant. — Go Against The Chalk with Los Angeles
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. To see more, check out Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH