As we have come to learn over recent weeks, there is still a fair amount of ‘reactionary spreads,’ in which the number is chasing a team that it consistently has missed. Of course, as the season progresses, the spreads will balance out. We aim to identify these picks as they emerge, since we always want to be ahead-of-the-curve.
With so many spreads attempting to catch up to the action on the field-of-play, we have arguably the most polarizing set of numbers to date. Last week, there was only a single game with a spread greater than seven points. This week? Five. And all five are double-digit spreads.
The large number of points given from one team to another always sends mixed signals, and it is critical to decipher which message is accurate. The general expectation is that a spread of ten or more points means the favorite will win by double digits. But, it is just as viable that the favorite is such an often-picked team that it needs a large number for protection. Each of these matchups need to be assessed separately, especially since there is not only a high likelihood that a few underdogs beat the spread, but that one might win outright, as well.
If we are to believe the overall theme that Week 6 appears to be displaying, we should be prepared for a few organizations to assert themselves in a league currently with 21 teams owning records with either 2 or 3 wins. Four of the eight divisions are led by teams with 3-2 records and, almost by default, all four lead by no more than a single game – if that, as most are tied with another franchise.
Moves will be made in Week 6 and a few of the congested divisions might start to dissipate. In the meantime, we have more-than-enough wiggle room with some of the spreads to determine how accurate they truly are.
Below are predictions for each game against the spread. Spreads have been taken from various websites and are subject to change. The spread in parenthesis denotes the selected team. An asterisk denotes a confidence pick.
*Confidence Picks – 2017 Season: 16-14-1 (Last Week: 2-3-1)
(2016 Season: 53-67-3) (2015 Season: 69-45-2) (2014 Season: 61-46-2) (3-Year Total: 183-158-7)
All Picks Against Spread – 2017 Season: 42-32-3 (Last Week: 7-5-2)
(2016 Season: 123-136-8) (2015 Season: 143-117-7) (2014 Season: 149-114-4) (3-Year Total: 415-367-19)
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers
Look at this! We actually have a Thursday Night Football game that not only includes two teams with excellent records – 4-1, apiece – but sets up for a truly entertaining showdown. These aren’t teams that have skated to winning records. They have earned them. And we are rewarded with watching them face off against one another for the right to temporarily claim the best record in the NFC.
Carolina enters Thursday night in the middle of an odd travel schedule. The Panthers will-have-played back-to-back road games in New England and Detroit, go home for Week 6, then head back out again for back-to-back road games in Chicago and Tampa Bay. Already with two wins in this stretch, the Panthers are ahead of expectations, but the lone home appearance in a five-game span will give Carolina its own opportunity to defend its turf in front of a favorable crowd. And a national audience.
Like the Panthers, the Eagles have won back-to-back games en route to Week 6, but go back one week further to make it an official three-game winning streak. Unlike Carolina, two-of-these-three games were at home. In fact, Thursday night is the only road game on the Eagles’ schedule from Weeks 5 through 9.
Even though both teams are riding high into Week 6,