John Boell's NFL picks for Week 6

Tom Coughlin looks on during a game against

Tom Coughlin looks on during a game against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. (Oct. 7, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

John Boell

Newsday sports writer John Boell John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various

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GIANTS (3-2) at 49ERS (4-1), 4:25 p.m.

49ers by 61/2; O/U: 451/2

TV: Ch. 5. Radio: WFAN (660).

C'mon Big Blue fans, admit it. You had to have been nervous in the first quarter last week vs. the Browns down 14 points. Credit the Giants' comeback, but if they start like that against the 49ers, the result will be different, and Tom Coughlin's face will turn from a calm, pale white to an angry, red hue. The Niners probably have this one circled on their calendar since the overtime loss to the G-Men in last year's NFC Championship Game. The "r" words (revenge, respect) have been flying around all week. The Giants are 36-15-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 52 road games; San Fran is 21-7-3 ATS in their last 31 home games. The Giants should keep this one close enough.

THE PICK: Giants

 

COLTS (2-2) at JETS (2-3)

Jets by 31/2; O/U: 43

TV: Ch. 2. Radio: ESPN (98.7).

Jets by 31/2; O/U: 43

I'm still trying to figure out if Jets coach Rex Ryan intentionally slipped up when he said on Wednesday that Mark Sanchez is "our starter this week.'' Not really a glowing endorsement, right? It's not just one guy, though, Rex! The Jets' O-line is a shell of what it was a few seasons ago, and I'm not sold on RBs Shonn Greene (2.9 yards per carry) or Bilal Powell (3.9). As much as Ryan hypes his "D", they rank 20th in yards per game (372.2) and 22nd in points allowed per game (26.4). They'll be tested by Colts QB Andrew Luck, but wiith AFC East tests vs. the Pats and Dolphins on the horizon, Gang Green needs a big effort here.

THE PICK: Jets

 

COWBOYS (2-2) at RAVENS (4-1)

Ravens by 31/2; O/U: 44

The Ravens have won 13 straight regular-season home games, the longest active streak in the NFL. QB Joe Flacco is 8-0 at home vs. NFC foes, and a stellar 30-5 at home overall. Baltimore is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games as a favorite of 4 or points or fewer; Dallas is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games as an underdog of 4 or fewer.

THE PICK: Ravens

 

CHIEFS (1-4) at BUCS (1-3)

Bucs by 4; O/U: 40

Everyone always talks about the Ravens' Ed Reed, but how about a little love for Bucs CB Ronde Barber. The 16-year pro is the only player in NFL history with more than 25 sacks (28) and more than 40 interceptions (44). In a close call, I'll take the home team coming off a bye.

THE PICK: Bucs

 

RAMS (3-2)

at DOLPHINS (2-3)

Dolphins by 31/2; O/U: 371/2

The Dolphins are 22-50-1 ATS in their last 73 home games. (To be fair, they're 1-1 ATS at home this season). St. Louis is one of five teams that are 4-1 ATS this season. I'll take the points in a close game,

THE PICK: Rams

 

LIONS (1-3) at EAGLES (3-2)

Eagles by 4; O/U: 471/2

These are two of the worst teams ATS in 2012: Philly is 1-3-1, and Detroit is 0-4. Although the teams don't play each other often, the Lions haven't won in Philly since Nov. 16, 1986. Not sure they'll win, but Detroit, off a bye, should keep things close against the Eagles, who are tied with Dallas for last in the NFC in turnover margin (-7).

THE PICK: Lions

 

BENGALS (3-2)

at BROWNS (0-5)

Bengals by 11/2; O/U: 44

At first glance, this seems like an easy Bengals cover. But the Browns had the Giants sweating last Sunday, and play too hard to still be winless. Plus, the underdog in this series is 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings. Overall, home underdogs are 18-11 ATS (62 percent) this season. Give it a shot.

THE PICK: Browns

 

RAIDERS (1-3)

at FALCONS (5-0)

Falcons by 9; O/U: 481/2

This is the only Week 6 spread with a line higher than six points. I really like the Falcons' ball-hawking defense with an NFL-best plus-10 turnover margin. That said, Atlanta struggled vs. the Redskins last week.

THE PICK: Raiders

 

PATRIOTS (3-2)

AT SEAHAWKS

(3-2), 4:05 p.m.

Patriots by 31/2; O/U: 441/2

I know what I said last week about Seattle: "I can't pick the Seagulls unless they're playing at home." So here's my chance: The Seagulls are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. But the Patriots are 35-16-2 ATS in their last 53 road games, and the emergence of RB Stevan Ridley makes the Pats a more balanced offense. That's bad news for Seattle, even at home.

THE PICK: Patriots

 

VIKINGS (4-1)

at REDSKINS (2-3), 4:25 p.m.

OFF (Wash. QB questionable); O/U: OFF

'Skins QB Robert Griffin III suffered a concussion last week, but was cleared to practice. He is listed as questionable (some places have Washington as 11/2- to 21/2- point favorites if he plays). Watch this line or save yourself the trouble and ride the white-hot Vikings, which is what I'll do.

THE PICK: Vikings

 

BILLS (2-3)

at CARDINALS

(4-1), 4:05 p.m.

Cardinals by 5; O/U: 431/2

The Cards will have had nine long days to think about their disappointing loss at St. Louis in Week 5's Thursday Night game. Arizona has covered six of its last eight home games and is 11-3 in its last 14 games overall. This is usually a bad spot for the Bills, who are 6-12-2 ATS in their last 20 games as underdogs of six points or fewer.

THE PICK: Cardinals

 

PACKERS (2-3) at TEXANS (5-0), 8:20 p.m.

Texans by 31/2; O/U: 471/2

TV: Ch. 4. Radio: WFAN (660, joined in progress).

I love the way Packers QB Aaron Rodgers put the Packers' offensive woes directly on himself. It doesn't help that Rodgers has been sacked 21 times, or that the Packers are 20th in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Although this is a tough spot for the Packers, they are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games as an underdog of 4 points or fewer. Houston can be streaky, and I think the Pack will avoid a 2-4 start.

THE PICK: Packers

 

BRONCOS (2-3) at

CHARGERS (3-2), 8:30 p.m.

Chargers by 1; O/U: 491/2

TV: ESPN. Radio: WFAN (660).

Chargers QB Philip Rivers is 7-3 in Monday Night games with 17 TDs and 5 INTs. He's also 13-5 at home as a starter vs. AFC West foes. That said, I just feel like the Broncos and Peyton Manning are due for a breakout effort. Manning is no slouch on Mondays, either, with an 11-4 record and a passer rating of 96.3. My gut says don't bet against Peyton here.

THE PICK: Broncos