Betting News & Analysis

NFL Week 6 Betting: Darius Butler's favorite bets of the week

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates a long pass completion to wide receiver Davante Adams (17) against the Detroit Lions during their football game Monday, September 20, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Apc Packvsdetroit 0920212180djp

I bounced back from a 1-3 Week 4 to deliver a perfect 3-0 Week 5, bringing my record to 9-9 on the year. So, let’s see if I can deliver back-to-back 3-0 betting picks. It only took me five weeks to get the first one.

Every week, I look at who has the edge in these five categories: quarterback, defense, offensive talent, play in the trenches and coaching.

Let’s get to my favorite bets of NFL Week 6.

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Green Bay Packers (-6) vs. Chicago Bears

I hate that I didn't lock this bet in earlier in the week when it was still at -4.5.

Divisional matchups are usually tough to pick, but this one is easy. Green Bay has the clear edge at quarterback and playcalling, while Davante Adams and the rest of the Packers receiving corps have earned a 79.8 team receiving grade through five weeks, way ahead of the Bears' 67.5.

Aaron Rodgers is 20-5 against the Bears for his career. He has graded below 60.0 in just three of those 25 games and earned grades above 70.0 in 16 of them.

The longtime Packers signal-caller has rebounded well from his Week 1 fiasco and has the edge over Justin fields in PFF grade, passer rating from a clean pocket and turnover-worthy play rate — three of the most stable metrics for evaluating quarterback performance.

Quarterback comparison
Metric Rodgers Fields
PFF Grade 73.7 54.6
Passer Rating When Clean 122.6 76.5
Passer Rating Under Pressure 31.0 38.4
Big-Time Throw % 5.35% 6.93%
Turnover-Worthy Play % 2.67% 2.97%

The Bears' inability to score points will not be enough to keep up with Rodgers and the Packers this weekend. With Fields as the starter, the Bears rank 25th league-wide in expected points added (EPA) per play, 28th in offensive points scored and 32nd in yards per play.

Making matters worse, Chicago will be down another running back this week with Damien Williams out with COVID-19, which will significantly impact what the Bears do best on offense.

Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) vs. New England Patriots

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The Cowboys are finally looking like a team that can realistically compete for a championship, and the sheer dominance of this passing game is the driving force behind it.

Quarterback Dak Prescott has come back from his gruesome ankle injury better than ever, earning PFF grades of at least 65.0 in four of his five games so far. Through five weeks, Prescott ranks 11th among quarterbacks in PFF passing grade (82.1), seventh in yards per attempt (8.3) and second in passer rating from a clean pocket (129.1). He should make short work of a Patriots defense that has produced pressure on just 32.7% of its pass-defense snaps this season, 20th among the NFL's 32 units.

Of course, the Cowboys' offensive line deserves its fair share of the credit, as they've allowed just two sacks, six hits and 25 hurries across 185 pass-blocking snaps so far. Their 17.8% pressure rate ranks second to only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the season.

While I'd never doubt Bill Belichick's ability to draw up the perfect defensive game plan, I believe this explosive Dallas passing attack has a massive advantage over New England's defense.

Dog of the day: Los Angeles Chargers moneyline (+120) vs. Baltimore Ravens

As high as I am on Justin Herbert and his chances to win MVP, this may be the only week I can’t give him the edge at quarterback. Lamar Jackson has simply been equally as impressive early on in the season.

However, the Ravens’ defense surrendered 400-plus passing yards to the Indianapolis Colts and Carson Wentz in the team’s Week 5 overtime win, and the Chargers’ passing attack far surpasses the Colts’ unit. Herbert’s 90.0 PFF grade ranks third at the position this season, and wide receiver Mike Williams (80.0 grade) is on pace for a career year. His eight contested catches this season are tied for the second-most in the NFL.

Team comparison
Average Offensive Snaps 75.4 69.4
% run plays 34% 39%
% pass plays 66% 61%
EPA per run -0.07 -0.18
EPA per pass 0.21 0.25

Head coach Brandon Staley’s aggressiveness on critical downs is another important factor, as Los Angeles has converted seven of its eight fourth-down tries. Smart coaching and a potent offense should see the Chargers come out ahead in this contest.

While I think this will be another close game for Baltimore that comes down to the final drive, I am confident Los Angeles will go into its bye week at 5-1.

Darius Butler is a former NFL free safety. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

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