Scott Shapiro's Week 6 NFL 4-Pack
Following a dominating 34-13 win from the defending champion Eagles we head to a challenging Sunday slate in Week 6 NFL action.
Here is my Week 6 NFL 4-Pack:
Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins (O/U 42) The Bears come off their bye week feeling good as they head to South Florida with a record of 3-1. When we last saw Chicago, second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had his best game as a pro throwing 6 touchdowns in a 48-10 rout of NFC foe Tampa Bay.
The effort was strong from Trubisky, but keep in mind that came against one of the league’s worst pass defenses and at home. On Sunday, he faces a much better defense on the road, so while he is capable of playing well and moving the ball it is unlikely to lead to a similar offensive output.
On the other sidelines, the Dolphins started off with three straight wins to start the season, but return home off a pair of road losses. Two weeks ago, they got drilled by the Patriots in Foxborough and last Sunday they blew a 14-0 halftime lead in Cincinnati and lost 27-17 to the Bengals.
Despite the consecutive losses, I expect a solid Miami defense to play well at home. However, I do not see them moving the ball consistently against Khalil Mack and crew. Their depleted offensive line meets one of the league’s best defenses and they have failed to possess the ball for long drives through five games evidenced by their 31st ranking in plays run per game.
This all leads to what should be a closely contested defensive struggle that should stay beneath the total of 42.
Week 6 NFL Pick- UNDER 1 unit
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals (O/U 53) The Bengals enter this key divisional battle after a come-from-behind 10-point win versus the aforementioned Dolphins. After a disappointing record of 7-9 in 2017, Marvin Lewis’ squad has really turned things around to start 2018. On Sunday, they meet their nemesis, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh went into a home game last weekend against Atlanta with a 1-2-1 record and not looking like the team we have seen win the AFC North in three of the last four seasons. Over the first four games the Steelers certainly did not remind anyone of the “Steel Curtain” defenses of the past, but they seemed to right the ship in Week 5 in a 41-17 win against a strong Falcons offense.
The Steelers defense will have their hands full on the road with Andy Dalton and a talented group of skilled position players, but they have fared well against this group in the past. In fact, they have held the Bengals to 20, 14, 20 and 16 points in four victories against their division rivals over the past two seasons. That combined with a Steeler offensive attack that has played much better in Heinz Field than on the road under quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and you have a total that seems a bit too high to me at 53.
This one goes down to the wire and stays below the total.
Week 6 NFL Pick- UNDER 1 unit
Indianapolis Colts (+2.5) at New York Jets I was on New York last weekend when the Broncos traveled west to east on short rest to take on the Jets in MetLife Stadium, but they are not in an equally advantageous spot on Sunday. Sure, they looked good on offense posting 34 points and rushing for 323 yards against Denver, but that was a flat spot for a road team that has really struggled to play at their best away from home under head coach Vance Joseph.
The Jets take on the 1 and 4 Colts this Sunday in North Jersey. Indianapolis has played better than their record indicates, but like last year they have failed to win games under new head coach Frank Reich. They were extremely short-handed last Thursday night against the Patriots, but still showed some grit to hang in versus a superior opponent. They have time to get healthy and get back some key players in Week 6, including their star rookie linebacker Darius Leonard.
Quarterback Andrew Luck has really played well over his last couple of games and the Colts have had extra time to prepare for New York. I think they find a way to beat a Jets team that has played well in a couple of spots, but is a year or two away from being a competitive football team.
Colts in a tight one.
Week 6 NFL Pick- COLTS 1 unit
New England Patriots (-3.5) vs Kansas City Chiefs In Sunday’s premier matchup, the undefeated Chiefs head into New England to take on the AFC champion Patriots.
Anytime Bill Belichick has had extra time to prepare for an opponent it is certainly worth noting. Furthermore, the Patriots have thrived in spots like this with a 7-1 record against the spread in their last eight games at home where they were favored by 3.5 to 7 points.
I worry about New England’s ability to stop Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense, but they may only need a couple of stops since it is hard to imagine a Kansas City defense that is likely to be without defensive end Justin Houston being able to do anything to halt Brady and the Pats. With Julian Edelman back in the lineup and the duo of rookie Sony Michel and James White in the backfield, New England is loaded to say the least. They should post at 35-40 on one of the league’s worst defenses.
The Patriots pull away late in a fun one. My play of the week.
Week 6 NFL Pick- PATRIOTS 2 unit
Scott Shapiro’s 2018 NFL Record (17-6-3, +10 units)