NFL odds, picks, predictions for Week 6: Expert model projects Chargers edge Cowboys, Chiefs obliterate Broncos

It sure looks like this could be a rough week for some teams.

Week 6 features several of the most lopsided matchups we’ve seen all season. The Chiefs begin the season facing the hapless Broncos, the 49ers face a Browns team that might be starting a backup quarterback, the Dolphins face the winless Panthers and the Bills face a Giants team that has lost by multiple touchdowns in every game except their lone victory.

There are still some contests that will certainly feature some intrigue. The Bengals appeared back on the right track against the Cardinals, but will face a heartier test when hosting the Seahawks. The Lions head to Tampa Bay to face a surprising 3-1 Buccaneers team. And the week wraps up with what could be a thrilling offensive showdown in the Cowboys visiting the Chargers.

NFL WEEK 6 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spread

Each week, Sporting News’ model will project every game in the NFL 10,000 times to generate the number of times a team wins a matchup and calculate the win probability. The model adjusts after each week as it learns more about each team and that team’s quarterback.

Listed for each game is its projected spread, according to the model, and a team’s win probability. We’ve also included updated playoff and Super Bowl odds at the bottom. The odds listed with each game are not based on bookmakers, but rather how the model sees the game playing out. We will then compare the model’s odds with those from BetMGM, to see how bookmakers are seeing the week’s games.

Here’s how the model sees Week 6 shaping up.

NFL picks, predictions Week 6

Chiefs (-16) vs. Broncos

Win probability: 90.4%, Chiefs

Whether it’s in sportsbooks or in the eyes of the model, this one seems incredibly lopsided. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs continue to show why they’re the team to beat, while the Broncos coughed up 31 points to a Zach Wilson-led Jets team. The model does not take into account Travis Kelce’s injury, which could help explain the difference between its spread (-16) and BetMGM’s (-10.5), but both see this as a clear Chiefs win.

 

Ravens (-4) vs. Titans

Win probability: 62.5%, Ravens

The Ravens have impressive wins on the road against the Bengals and the Browns. They also have disappointing losses to the Colts and Steelers. The Titans have wins against the Chargers and Bengals, but a blowout loss to the Browns and a disappointing loss to the Colts. This could be an unpredictable game between two inconsistent squads, especially since the game is in London, though both BetMGM (-4) and the model (-4) agree to pick Baltimore at just over a field goal.

 

Falcons (-4) vs. Commanders

Win probability: 64.6%, Falcons

Washington began the season with wins over the Cardinals and Broncos, but has since fallen to the Bills, Eagles and, most disappointingly, the Bears, with the latter being a 20-point defeat at home. Atlanta has had its ups and downs, but hosting the Commanders, the Falcons appear to be solid favorites, though BetMGM has Desmond Ridder’s squad as only 2.5-point favorites compared to the 4-point spread by the model.

 

Vikings (-3) vs. Bears

Win probability: 59.6%, Vikings

Here are two teams trending in opposite directions. The Bears have looked slightly more competent over the past two weeks, narrowly losing to Denver before blowing out Washington. The Vikings have lost by one score in all four of its losses, but are now heading into a stretch without Justin Jefferson. Even in Chicago, the model (-3) and BetMGM (-2.5) still favor the Vikings, but that’s a tighter spread than one might’ve thought earlier in the year.

 

Bengals (-2) vs. Seahawks

Win probability: 57.7%, Bengals

The ship appeared to be righted somewhat for Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Burrow looked more like his usual self on offense, though the defense still gave up way too many big plays to the Cardinals. The Seahawks are coming off a bye week and the offense has looked stout since falling in Week 1 to the Rams. BetMGM is favoring Cincinnati (-3) slightly more than the model (-2), but both expect this to come down to the wire.

 

49ers (-6) vs. Browns

Win probability: 69.3%, 49ers

The Browns are in a state of quarterback uncertainty following the injury to Deshaun Watson, and even coming out of the bye, there’s still plenty of questions in the air about whether he’ll play. The model is assuming right now that he’s in until told otherwise, but this line could take a drastic shift, particularly with the backup options so shaky. The 49ers are as complete a team in the NFL as there is, and they’re playing at a very high level. It’s largely a credit to Cleveland’s defense that both the model (-6) and BetMGM (-6.5) think this game can stay within a touchdown.

 

Saints (-6) vs. Texans

Win probability: 71.4%, Saints

There is more separation here than with many of the other games this week. The model has been high on the Saints all season, and after a dominating win on the road at New England, it’s not backing off now. But C.J. Stroud has the Texans looking better than many expected, and in Houston, it’s not surprising to see BetMGM having DeMeco Ryans’ squad as just a 1.5-point underdog, a noticeable difference from the model’s 6-point confidence in New Orleans.

 

Jaguars (-11) vs. Colts

Win probability: 81.9%, Jaguars

If you thought Saints-Texas was a big difference between bookmakers and the odds, this one is even more stark. BetMGM has the Jaguars as just 4-point favorites, while the model has set the line at an 11-point advantage for Jacksonville. The Jaguars picked up an impressive win against the Bills, while the Colts will be turning to their backup quarterback, both of which have a major impact on why the model feels as confident as it does in Jacksonville.

 

Dolphins (-12) vs. Panthers

Win probability: 85.2%, Dolphins

Doesn’t matter where you look for this one, it’s going to be lopsided. Outside of Week 4 against the Bills, the Dolphins have crushed opponents with an offense that looks like the league’s best. The Panthers are still working through struggles as the only winless team so far with Bryce Young still looking for answers. The model might be high on Miami (-12), but BetMGM is even higher (-13.5).

 

Lions (-5) vs. Buccaneers

Win probability: 68.2%, Lions

Few might have circled this one on the preseason calendars, but now it looks like an interesting clash. This game features the NFC North leader against the NFC South leader, with Tampa Bay surprisingly at 3-1 to start the year. Baker Mayfield has looked sharp, though the Buccaneer offense will have its work cut out for it keeping up with this high-flying Lions attack. Both lines are comparable, with the model (-5) going just over a field goal and BetMGM (-3) sitting right at a field goal.

 

Raiders (-4) vs. Patriots

Win probability: 65.5%, Raiders

Josh McDaniels beat his former boss last year, and he sure looks likely to do so again. The Raiders still have yet to score at least 20 points in a game this season, but the Patriots are spiraling, having been outscored 72-3 in their past two games. The model still sees this as a close contest (-4), likely due in large part to Las Vegas’ offensive issues, as does BetMGM (-3), with both picking the Raiders.

 

Jalen Hurts

Eagles (-7) vs. Jets

Win probability: 72.7%, Eagles

The Jets finally picked up that second win of the season, even if it took facing the Broncos to get it. Their reward is facing the unbeaten Eagles. Philadelphia still has yet to look dominant the way it did last year or San Francisco has this year, but it’s still getting it done on both sides of the ball. The same can’t be said for the Jets, who still face quarterback concerns, though Breece Hall and this defense have helped carry the team. BetMGM and the model agree that a 7-point spread is the right call to favor the Eagles.

 

Rams (-10) vs. Cardinals

Win probability: 80.5%, Rams

Give the Cardinals credit, they’re counted out every week and always find themselves in a close game. They might have lost by two touchdowns to Cincinnati, but they led that game late in the second quarter before Burrow took over. Similarly the Rams have been a better team than many expected and also have lost by no more than the nine-point defeat last week to the Eagles. The model feels very confident in the Rams at -10, but BetMGM has it a field-goal closer at -7 for Los Angeles.

 

Bills (-13) vs. Giants

Win probability: 86.4%, Bills

BetMGM has this as the largest spread of the week (Bills, -14) and it’s not hard to see why. Buffalo is coming back stateside after a disappointing loss to the Jaguars in London, and will host a Giants team that has been getting walloped each week. Similarly, the model has no confidence in New York to keep this close with the Bills entering at 13-point favorites.

 

Justin Herbert

Chargers (-1) vs. Cowboys

Win probability: 53.9%, Chargers

The only spread of the week where the model and BetMGM are picking a different winner. The Chargers are a hard team to predict because while Justin Herbert can make some superhuman plays, Brandon Staley can call some inexplicable play calls. The Cowboys now have two losses on their resume, a disappointing loss to Arizona and a blowout against San Francisco, while the Chargers are coming off a bye. BetMGM is taking the Cowboys as 2-point favorites, while the model has the Chargers’ rest and home-field advantage making a difference as 1-point favorites.

 

Updated NFL projections 2023

AFC East

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Bills 11-6 51.5% 36.4% 87.9% 11.9% 18.5% 8.4%
Dolphins 11-6 44.4% 40.0% 84.3% 10.2% 8.7% 3.8%
Jets 8-9 3.9% 15.4% 19.2% 0.2% 0.5% 0.1%
Patriots 5-12 0.3% 1.8% 2.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%

AFC North

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Ravens 10-7 46.2% 27.4% 73.6% 4.4% 6.8% 2.7%
Browns 9-8 19.3% 26.3% 45.6% 0.9% 2.1% 0.8%
Steelers 9-8 18.2% 25.0% 43.2% 1.2% 1.3% 0.4%
Bengals 9-8 16.3% 25.6% 41.8% 0.6% 3.6% 1.4%

AFC South

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Jaguars 10-7 60.5% 11.9% 72.4% 3.2% 4.9% 1.9%
Titans 8-9 17.9% 12.1% 30.0% 0.3% 0.7% 0.2%
Colts 8-9 15.4% 14.3% 29.6% 0.4% 0.3% 0.1%
Texans 7-10 6.3% 5.3% 11.6% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0%

AFC West

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Chiefs 13-4 91.4% 7.1% 98.5% 63.8% 48.7% 23.5%
Chargers 9-8 7.8% 41.1% 48.9% 2.7% 3.5% 1.2%
Raiders 7-10 0.7% 8.6% 9.3% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1%
Broncos 5-12 0.1% 1.9% 2.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%

NFC East

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Eagles 13-4 81.1% 17.7% 98.7% 28.8% 28.6% 15.3%
Cowboys 10-7 18.7% 64.6% 83.3% 2.5% 7.8% 3.7%
Commanders 6-11 0.1% 3.8% 3.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Giants 5-12 0.2% 2.9% 3.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

NFC North

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Lions 12-5 88.0% 6.2% 94.1% 8.6% 9.6% 4.7%
Packers 7-10 5.8% 18.4% 24.2% 0.0% 0.2% 0.1%
Vikings 7-10 4.7% 12.2% 16.9% 0.0% 0.4% 0.1%
Bears 6-11 1.5% 3.6% 5.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%

NFC South

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Saints 11-6 62.7% 21.9% 84.5% 2.0% 3.7% 1.7%
Falcons 9-8 25.6% 31.0% 56.7% 0.6% 0.5% 0.2%
Buccaneers 8-9 11.6% 23.4% 35.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1%
Panthers 4-13 0.2% 0.7% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

NFC West

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
49ers 14-3 93.2% 6.5% 99.7% 55.7% 46.0% 28.3%
Seahawks 10-7 6.3% 63.6% 70.0% 1.7% 2.7% 1.2%
Rams 8-9 0.5% 23.4% 23.9% 0.0% 0.3% 0.1%
Cardinals 3-14 0.0% 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

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