NFL WEEK 6: What is it about these Thursday night games that seems to set the sport of football back 40 years? Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than the Colts/Broncos Week 5 snoozefest, we got Washington and Chicago to open Week 6, meaning we had to suffer through 60 minutes of dropped balls and penalties, poor play-calling and utter incompetence, and atrocious quarterback play from Carson Wentz and Justin Fields. Wentz is essentially a retread at this point, his status as a “bust” cemented and known to everyone outside of Dan Snyder (and I think he’s figured it out by now), but Fields is still viewed by many as a player with potential. That said, I’ve seen enough and am calling it now: the kid is not good, will never be good, and the quicker the Bears cut bait and move on the better for them.

Fortunately, the football we’ve seen on these recent Thursday nights has very little resemblance to the action-packed Sundays, and we’ve got some terrific matchups to look forward to this week, headlined by the Chiefs/Bills clash that could be a preview of the AFC Championship game. We’re off to a great start to the season after another profitable week last week, and I’ve got a good feeling about this Sunday slate…


New York Jets @ Green Bay Packers (GB -7, 45)

Recommendation: Green Bay -7 at 1.91

Are the Jets good? If not “good”, are they at least… not bad? That appears to be the case after a dominant win over Miami that moved them to 3-2 on the season, and if they can pull off the upset in Lambeau this week they’ll really get people’s attention. Problem is, I don’t think that’s going to happen. While it’s true that New York has been better than expected so far, let’s not get ahead of ourselves: before last week’s win, a game in which Miami was playing a 3rd-string QB, the Jets beat a terrible Pittsburgh team by 4 and the Jacoby Brissett-led Browns by 1, and they lost to Baltimore and Cincinnati by 30 combined points. The Packers are closer in quality to the latter two teams, and something tells me that Aaron Rodgers is going to try and get the passing game revved up this week against a New York secondary that ranks 23rd against the pass despite facing the likes of Brissett, Mitch Trubisky, and Skylar Thompson. The Green Bay secondary, on the other hand, ranks second in the league against the pass, so this will be a real challenge for young Jets signal-caller Zach Wilson. I don’t like his chances of out-dueling Rodgers, and if he doesn’t protect the ball this one could get ugly.


Cincinnati Bengals @ New Orleans Saints (CIN -2.5, 43.5)

Recommendation: New Orleans +2.5 at 1.98; New Orleans moneyline (to win) at 2.31

The Bengals lost a heartbreaker to Baltimore last Sunday night to drop below .500, and many are expecting a “get right” game this week when they travel to New Orleans to face a Saints team that is without its starting quarterback and possibly its top three wideouts. However, the injuries to the New Orleans offense has had the effect of forcing them to play a certain style of football, which we saw last week: veteran QB Andy Dalton is careful with the ball and does a good job of managing the game, and the team leans on the dynamic playmaking ability of tailback Alvin Kamara and the explosiveness of do-it-all dynamo Taysom Hill in the run game. Last week Hill ran for over 100 yards and 3 TDs and threw for another, while Kamara totaled 194 scrimmage yards. Considering the Saints’ struggles on offense prior to this current spate of injuries, I feel that they might’ve accidentally stumbled onto a better formula for winning… this style of play is more effective than Jameis Winston winging it all over the yard. The Cincinnati defense is allowing 4.2 yards per rush and just surrendered 155 to Baltimore last week on 28 attempts, so the Saints should be able to stick with their gameplan and have some success. On the other side of the ball, Joe Burrow has had guys in his lap all season due to Cincy’s o-line issues, so I’m sure the excellent New Orleans front seven smells blood. This is a tough spot for the Bengals.


Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (BUF -2.5, 54)

Recommendation: Buffalo -2.5 at 1.91

If you asked the average NFL who the best two teams in the league are at this particular moment, I’m guessing a large percentage of them are going to say Buffalo and Kansas City. Best two teams, best two young quarterbacks, rematch of last year’s thrilling Divisional Round playoff game that was decided in overtime… this is as good as it gets for a regular season game. And from a betting perspective, MAN, it’s tough to turn your back on Pat Mahomes as a home ‘dog. That said, the Chiefs simply aren’t the same without the explosiveness of Tyreek Hill. Yes, the Mahomes-to-Kelce connection is as strong and potent as ever, but the new weapons that Kansas City brought in to help replace Hill– Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore– haven’t added any punch to the offense. It’s like they’ve got a bunch of Mecole Hardmans now and no Tyreeks.

The Bills, meanwhile, have kept their main offensive pieces intact and have been close to unstoppable this season, leading the league in both total offense and passing offense and ranking second in points scored (30.4 ppg). But the main difference between these two teams is on defense– the Chiefs are very average on that side of the ball, as they have been throughout Andy Reid’s tenure, while Buffalo ranks second in the NFL in yards allowed and first in points allowed, surrendering just 12.2 ppg. The Chiefs are a tempting home underdog, but Buffalo is the better team and I believe we’ll see conclusive evidence of that on Sunday.


WORLD CUP ULTRA Sun: JAPAN v COSTA RICA, BELGIUM v MOROCCO, CROATIA v CANADA, SPAIN v GERMANY
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