We need to recover from our first losing week of the season,
We need to recover from our first losing week of the season,
Photo by Jack Gorman

NFL Football Week 6 — This Weekend's Best Bets

Well, it had to happen eventually. After six weeks of avoiding a losing weekly mark, I was in the red last weekend. Truth be told, in real life, I was 3-3, as I got Tampa Bay at +5.5 and avoided the push against New England. But I am honest, if nothing else, and here I go by the odds posted at the time that I write my picks.

So now we need to get back to our winning ways. We are still 60 percent on the season, but it was more fun when we were hovering around 65 percent. Let's have some fun! GAMBLING IS FUN! Here we go, three college games and three NFL games...

INDIANA +7.5 over Michigan
Michigan is still a very public team, despite the loss to Michigan State last week. People look at Jim Harbaugh and get swept up in his bluster and creepy recruiting stories, and they get intoxicated by the Michigan helmets. This won't happen forever, so we must take advantage now. Indiana, despite its 0-2 record in the Big Ten and two blowout losses to Ohio State and Penn State, is not a bad team. They did some good things in those games, and allowed the floodgates to open on them. Against Ohio State, they were the better team for 2.5 quarters. They may not beat Michigan, but I like them getting more than one score.

WISCONSIN -17 over Purdue
I've been on Purdue all season, and it's paid off with a season win total ticket already cashed (over 2.5 wins, they've won three games) and a nice late cover last week against Minnesota. Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm has been doing it with a little hocus pocus, though. That stuff tends not to work against teams that are just physically superior to the Boilermakers, as when Michigan ground out a win by 18 a few weeks ago and got a cover in the second half. I think this one is bad news for Purdue as Wisconsin just lines up and reminds Brohm how much work is still left to do.

ALABAMA -30 over Arkansas
Arkansas is an absolute train wreck, Bret Bielema has the hottest seat in the SEC, and Nick Saban's crew is coming off a single-digit win over Texas A&M in a game where they were 26.5-point favorites, which may as well be a loss as far as Sabam is concerned. Alabama wins this one by 40 or more.

TEXANS -9.5 over Browns
With a majority of the league sobering around the 2-3 or 3-2 mark, it's crucial to sniff out who the TRUE good and bad teams are. Fortunately, this is not one of those games where we need to do that. After losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus to season-ending injuries last week, the Texans get the exact tonic they need in this spot — Cleveland followed by the bye week. The Browns are starting Kevin Hogan for the first time in his career (the Browns' 28th different starting QB since 1999), so this should allow Mike Vrabel's defense to get well, and I think Deshaun Watson puts up more than 30 points again. Texans by 20.

Bears/RAVENS UNDER 39.5
It was fun watching Mitchell Trubisky make his first career start for the Bears on Monday night. Too bad he threw a backbreaking pick to lose the game. Now, on a short week, the Bears have to travel to Baltimore to take on one of the best defenses in the league. Against Minnesota, the Bears needed a fake punt and a tip drill TD catch just to score touchdowns. The Ravens are no great shakes offensively either, so I like this one to be in the 16-10 final score range. Easy under.

Buccaneers -1 over ARIZONA
Now THIS is a game where we need to sniff out reality with fantasy. On paper, the teams appear to be somewhat even — Arizona is 2-3 and Tampa Bay is 2-2. However, there is a really good chance that Arizona is one of the worst teams in the league. Their two wins are each by three points over the Colts and the 49ers, and the Cardinals are rated No. 30 in the Football Outsiders DVOA stats. Meanwhile, if Tampa Bay's kicker Nick Folk could just make easy field goals, the Bucs would be 3-1 right now, with a win over the Patriots, to boot. Empty the chamber on this one.

LAST WEEK: 2-3-1
SEASON RECORD: 21-14-1 (60.0 percent)

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

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