After a week where there were a lot of heavy favorites and few close matchups, Week 6 gives us the opposite. Ten different games opened up the week with a point spread of 3.5 or less, so there should be a lot of differing opinions on the best picks for NFL Pick ’em pools and Confidence pools.
In weeks like this, there are usually more value pick opportunities because the public is either irrationally biased toward one side or relatively evenly split although one team is better than a coin flip to win. To increase your odds to win an NFL pick ’em pool, you need to be on the smarter side of those games.
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Week 6 NFL Picks Advice: Tips for Pick ’em Pools
Note: Win odds and estimated pick popularity data below may change between publication time and kickoff time. If you want the latest numbers, our product updates multiple times per day.
Big Favorites At A Reasonable Price
The pick below may not be significantly underrated by the public, but compared to other favorites this week, it is a relative bargain in terms of pick popularity. Think twice about picking against it because there are smarter upset pick opportunities on the board.
Baltimore Ravens (at Philadelphia)
The Ravens have the highest win odds of the week and are tied for the largest spread when they make the short trip to Philadelphia. But the public is picking the upset in this game 14 percent of the time, which is twice as often as they are picking upsets in the other larger spread games this week (New England, Miami, and Indianapolis).
As a result, it makes sense to slot the Ravens in at higher confidence this week.
2020 NFL Week 6 features several favorites that the public is picking at a lower rate than their chance to win. These types of teams are as close to no-brainer picks as you can get in NFL pick ’em contests, since you can take the team that’s expected to win, yet still “fade the public” (in relative terms, at least) at the same time.
Carolina Panthers (vs. Chicago)
Yes, yes, the Bears are now 4-1, but the Panthers are on a three-game winning streak of their own that doesn’t appear to be a fluke. They have had great passing numbers in the first year with Teddy Bridgewater at QB and Joe Brady at offensive coordinator, and they just won in Atlanta.
Carolina is the three-point favorite in this one with 60-percent win odds against the Bears. The public, though, is more evenly split on this game, taking the Panthers 53 percent of the time. That makes for a solid situation of grabbing the field goal favorite and being able to distance yourself from a good chunk of your pool if the Panthers prevail.
Arizona Cardinals (at Dallas)
It’s possible that the public has not fully processed the injury to Dallas QB Dak Prescott here, as the Cowboys have 56-percent pick popularity in the early going. But it’s the 3-2 Cardinals who are now the three-point favorite with 55-percent win odds.
This is one game to keep an eye on to see if the public opinion shifts as the week goes on. Right now, Arizona is a value play this week.
Los Angeles Rams (at San Francisco)
San Francisco just got smashed at home by Miami and has now started 2-3 despite being a heavy favorite in most games and having a favorable schedule to start the year. The defense has been wrecked by injuries, and last week, QB Jimmy Garoppolo got benched at halftime after two bad interceptions in his first game back from an ankle injury.
We may not believe in Super Bowl curses, but the 49ers have not shown to be playing anywhere near the level of 2019 so far and might be getting a little too much respect here.
Meanwhile, the Rams are now 4-1 and have looked more like the team from 2018 than the version that missed the playoffs last year. After San Francisco’s poor start, the Rams are the betting favorite in this one (by 3.5 points) with over 60-percent win odds, but the public is again more evenly split, at 54 percent for the Rams and 46 percent for the 49ers.
If you’re going to make a gamble on a decently sized underdog, you need to make sure that the potential reward if you get it right — that is, how much your odds to win your pool will increase — is big. Take a bunch of extra risk to make a trendy upset pick, and the joke is on you.
The pick below is definitely not appropriate for all pools. If you’re in a smaller, season-long pool, it is probably not worth the risk. However, it should be seriously considered for single-week contests or if you only care about weekly prizes.
Houston Texans (at Tennessee)
Tennessee blew out Buffalo 42-16 on Tuesday, but the game swung on a few key plays. The teams finished with roughly equal yards and first downs, but Josh Allen threw two costly interceptions, and a late fumble on a kickoff allowed the game to get out of hand. Now sitting at 4-0 and coming off a big win, Tennessee is a very popular choice against the Texans (85 percent) even though the early line is only Tennessee by 2.5 points.
For perspective, that’s nearly as many entries picking Tennessee as are picking Baltimore, the largest favorite of the week. The Titans are second-smallest favorite in Week 6.
Houston bounced back last week with their first win after firing head coach Bill O’Brien and replacing him with Romeo Crennel, and these teams are closer than their current records (1-4 for Houston, 4-0 for Tennessee) suggest. Houston has played a tough early schedule, while Tennessee, before winning big against Buffalo, had narrowly won three games against teams that are a combined 3-11 so far.
Given the extreme public popularity difference, Houston is an attractive value opportunity for an upset pick.
Important Notes About These NFL Week 6 Picks
Good NFL game predictions are only part of the story when it comes to winning a football pool. You also need to consider how you expect your opponents to pick each game. After all, you can only rise in your pool standings if you score points that your opponents miss. So, in order to distance yourself from the competition, you need to do two things:
- Always look for unpopular picks that might be worth an educated gamble
- Make sure to avoid trendy upset picks that aren’t worth the risk.
The teams mentioned in this post provide some of the best opportunities to differentiate your Week 6 picks from your pool opponents by taking on little or no additional risk. That’s the basic strategy foundation for winning more pick ’em pools, and a big reason why an average of 72 percent our subscribers have reported winning a prize in a football pick ’em contest since 2014.
Get all of our Week 6 picks for your pool!
Just as importantly, we are not saying that you should make all of the picks mentioned in this article — the upset picks especially. The best Week 6 picks for your NFL pool depend on a number of strategy factors particular to your pool.
If you’re in a confidence pool, for example, it may be wise to bump up the number of confidence points you assign to a value pick like Carolina. In a non-confidence pool, the process is more about deciding whether the risk of making one or more upset picks is worth it in Week 6, especially with many weeks still to play.
We’ve built technology to do all the data gathering and analysis needed to make the best calls. Our Football Pick ’em Picks is the only product that gives you the tools and data you need to maximize your edge, and we invite you to try it out for free using our free trial below.
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