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NFL Pro Football 2011 Week 6 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 6 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 16-17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Sunday, Oct. 16

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3 1/2, 50 1/2) 1:00 pm - Despite their 1-4 record, the Panthers are an amazing 4-1 ATS this season, due to the outstanding play of rookie QB Cam Newton. Atlanta, a sub-par 2-3, are equally inept against the spread, registering a 1-4 record in that regard.

As trends go, these are pretty much at the extremes, and should reverse course, not because they have to (probabilities are static, game-to-game), but because the Falcons are very much in need of a win if they hope to make the playoffs, whereas Carolina is still a very young team, used to making the effort only to lose close games.

In-head-to-head scenarios, the Falcons have won the last five straight in the series, by margins of between 8 and 21 points, and, even though the Panthers are a much different team than over the past three seasons, they are up against it here. The Falcons haven't lost two games in a row since Weeks 13 and 14 of the 2009 season.

Prediction: Falcons 34 Panthers 24

Philadelphia Eagles (-1 1/2, 47) at Washington Redskins 1:00 pm - Oddly enough, the 1-4 Eagles, riding only their reputation rather than their record, are one of just two road favorites this week (the other is New Orleans), even though the edge is slight. 3-1 Washington is coming off a bye, which allowed an additional week to prepare for Michael Vick and company, which, considering the talent in Philly, may be adequate.

Statistically, it's something of a toss-up, as the Eagles have the better offense, the Redskins the better defense, allowing just 15 ppg and 84.5 yards rushing per game, on average.

The difference is that the Redskins won their first three games of the season at home, a scheduling oddity, whereas the Eagles have already hit the road three times, losing two of them (Buffalo, last week, and Atlanta, in Week 2). Both teams beat the Rams in St. Louis, Philly by a 31-13 score, Washington by 17-10. Advantage, Eagles.

Prediction: Eagles 27 Redskins 20

Buffalo Bills at NY Giants (-3, 50) 1:00 pm - Despite being an inter-conference game, this is a huge one for both teams. The Bills remained tied for first place in the AFC East with their win over the Eagles last week, while the Giants fell a half game behind the Redskins in the NFC West, inexplicably losing to Seattle at home, 36-25, after three straight wins.

Buffalo, amazingly, is third in the league in points per game, at 32.8, but are allowing 24.0 on defense. The Giants are actually worse than Buffalo in both categories, and are generally unreliable as a home favorite, registering a 2-5 mark in their last 7 home games. Buffalo, however, is inept on the road, compiling a 3-8 mark SU over the past 11 games and are historically poor against the Giants, with a 1-5 ATS mark.

Prediction: Giants 31 Bills 24

Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-7, 41) 1:00 pm - Cincinnati has apparently done well by its controversial off-season antics, racking up a 3-2 record thus far, while the Colts have obviously struggled without QB Payton Manning and are still looking for their first win of the 2011 season.

The Bengals hold sizable advantages in just about every relevant statistical category, and should probably win the game, but the Colts are 2-3 ATS, so the lines presented weekly may have underestimated the Colts' players desire by a bit.

Curtis Painter seems to be getting better each week, and eventually, they will beat somebody. After the first two weeks, where the Colts lost by 27, and then, 8 points, their next three losses were by 3, 7 and 4. Cincy's three wins were by 7, 10, and 10. Tough call, but the points may come in handy here.

Prediction: Bengals 21 Colts 17

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Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (-12, 40) 1:00 pm - One of two double-digit favorites on the weekend, the Steelers have seemingly awakened with their 38-17 win over the Titans last week and are playing their best football of the season. They happen to catch the Jags in the midst of a four-game losing streak, about to become five.

The Steelers are 2nd in overall defense, allowing 282.8 yards per game, while allowing 17.8 points per outing, 4th best in the league, a tough nut for Jacksonville, which has displayed offensive ineptitude of incredible ability, second only to the Rams in points, at 11.8 per game and worst in yardage, averaging a measly 270.6 yards per game.

If there's a blowout this weekend, this almost surely would be it.

Prediction: Steelers 38 Jaguars 6

Looking for the best NFL Handicapper? Good luck. Most of them suck.

San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions (-4, 46) 1:00 pm - A nice match-up here between the 4-1 49ers and the 5-0 Lions, all of a sudden the darlings of the media after decades of frustration. The Lions are the 4th-highest scoring offense in the NFL, at 31.8 ppg, but the 'Niners are right there at number seven, getting 28.4 ppg,

What's surprising is that it's the 49ers, not the Lions, who have the defensive edge, though it's not much. San Francisco is second best in points allowed, at 15.6, while the Lions are 5th, at 17.8 ppg.

Both teams currently look to be playoff-bound, and in a close call, the 49ers can win this one on a late field goal or in overtime, ending Detroit's five-game opening win streak.

Prediction: 49ers 27 Lions 24

St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers (-14 1/2, 47 1/2) 1:00 pm - The Packers are playing at home against the team with the second worst ppg allowed, at 28.3, and the worst offense in the league, averaging a paltry 11.5 ppg on offense.

There's no need for further analysis, as the records speak for themselves. Green Bay is 5-0; the Rams are 0-4, though they are coming off a bye, which means they have had more time to ponder how badly they're going to be beaten on the gridiron of Title Town.

Prediction: Packers 44 Rams 3

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2011, 2012, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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