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Columns - Magazine

The Gambling Solution: Week 6

by Jeff Baldwin
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Both Jeremy and Jeff started with a 1,000 unit bankroll as they go head to head all season long.


Jeff hit all four selections last week as he had winners on the Cardinals, Eagles, Steelers and Eagles/Saints over.  Jeff gained 120 units on the week.  Jeremy went a solid 3-1 as he came through with winners on the Cardinals, Patriots, and Bengals/Seahawks over.  His only loss was on the Chargers.  Jeremy finished the week up 50 units.  Jeff currently has a 90 unit lead on Jeremy in the season-long contest.  Can Jeremy cut into Jeff's lead?  Let's get to the picks for Week 6.


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Jeff Baldwin

Record: 13-7

Units: 1,220


Jeremy Wardwell

Record: 13-7

Units: 1,130


Dolphins at Titans (-2.5) - 35 units
The Dolphins come off their bye week looking for a fresh start as Dan Campbell has taken over head coaching duties with the firing of Joe Philbin.  The Titans lost to the Bills at home as they couldn't hold onto a double-digit lead.  I think the Dolphins will be very motivated here to get Campbell his first win as a head coach.  It's no secret that some of the players weren't fond of Philbin.  I think the team will treat this as a fresh start, and look to get their season turned around.  The offense needs to get better and that starts with QB Ryan Tannehill.  I expect him to have a solid game here as he'll look to his primary weapons in WR Jarvis Landry and WR Rishard Matthews.  The Dolphins need to get their ground game going as this is an area they have really struggled in so far this season.  RB Lamar Miller should have some room to run against this Titans defense.  As for the Dolphins defense, this unit has underachieved up to this point, but I see them playing well in this matchup.  They'll need to get some pressure on QB Marcus Mariota and force him to make some mistakes.  DE Cameron Wake and DT Ndamukong Suh need to control the line of scrimmage and start playing to the level that's expected of them.  The Dolphins come up with an inspired performance on Sunday as they'll get Dan Campbell his first professional win as a head coach.  The Titans are 1-10 against the spread after two or more consecutive losses over the last two seasons. 
Pick: Miami Dolphins +2.5

Cardinals (-3.5) at Steelers - 40 units
After a last-second road victory over the San Diego Chargers, the Steelers host the 4-1 Arizona Cardinals. Arizona is coming off a convincing 42-17 win over the Detroit Lions in which Carson Palmer threw for three TDs before being pulled in the fourth when the game was well in hand. Palmer has been solid all season throwing for more than 1,300 yards and 13 TDs while completing 65% of his passes. While the Steelers were able to contain the Chargers and Philip Rivers, I don’t see them having as much success against Arizona. The Chargers’ offensive line was decimated by injuries and they were unable to provide Rivers any time or the Chargers’ running game any holes. The Cardinals, who lead the lead in scoring with 38 PPG, come into this one relatively healthy on offense. RB Andre Ellington returned last week from a knee injury and will share carries with Chris Johnson who has had a bounce back year rushing for more than 80 yards per game. The Steelers will most likely start Michael Vick at QB again. Last week Vick did enough to keep his team from losing as he threw for 200 yards, a touchdown and a pick. More importantly for Pittsburgh is that Mike Tomlin fed the ball to his best player at crunch time and Le’Veon Bell scored the game-winning TD as time expired. Bell will again be a key factor in this one as Vick will struggle against the Cardinals’ opportunistic defense. Arizona has 11 interceptions on the year and has forced nine fumbles. The Cardinals are 4-1 ATS this season and will also have more motivation to get the win for their head coach who was let go by Pittsburgh. Despite the fact that the Steelers have won four of the last five meetings between these two teams, I like Arizona to leave Pittsburgh with a win. Arizona has far more weapons offensively and on defense, they will be able to contain Vick which will allow them to focus on Bell who will certainly get his yards but won’t be enough to carry his team to a win.
Pick: Arizona Cardinals -3.5

Redskins at Jets (-6) - 35 units
The Jets are coming off their bye week well rested and looking for their fourth win of the season.  The Redskins lost a tough game in overtime in Atlanta.  Now the Redskins have to go back on the road and face a Jets defense that is only giving up 13.8 points/game.  I think this is a tough spot for the Redskins.  The Jets will look to pound the ball with RB Chris Ivory.  The Redskins’ rush defense started the season strong, but has tailed off a bit especially last week where the Falcons as a team rushed for 176 yards.  I expect the Jets to have similar type success running the football.  QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will have opportunity in the passing game with the success they'll have running the football.  WRs Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker have been making big plays in this offense so far this season.  I expect that trend to continue in this matchup.  The Jets’ rush defense will be challenged here as the Redskins have run the ball effectively averaging 121.8 yards/game.  The Jets are in the top-eight in the league in rushing yards allowed per game.  The Jets’ game plan will be simple, stop the run and put a ton of pressure on QB Kirk Cousins.  Cousins is prone to making mistakes as he has thrown some costly interceptions this season.  In the end, I think the Jets will put forth a solid all-around effort here on both of the sides of the ball and come away with a ten point victory.  The only concern I have is the Jets possibly looking ahead to the following week as they face the Patriots, but given the veteran presence on this team I think they'll be focused on the Redskins.
Pick: New York Jets -6
Chiefs (+3.5) at Vikings - 35 units

Coming off their bye week, the 2-2 Vikings take on the 1-4 Kansas City Chiefs who have now lost four straight after last week’s loss to Chicago. The anticipated matchup of two of the best RBs in the league won’t happen as KC lost Jamaal Charles for the season last week to a torn ACL. Despite Charles’ loss, I expect both teams to feature the running game. In addition to RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota also has a dual threat under center in Teddy Bridgewater who is coming off his best performance of the year against the Broncos. He should be in line for another big performance against the Chiefs’ weak secondary. Minnesota is dealing with injuries to receivers Mike Wallace (knee) and Charles Johnson (ribs). Wallace hasn’t practiced yet this week but is expected to play. Johnson is a bit more unknown and will most likely be a game-time decision. The Chiefs will look to Knile Davis and second year man Charcandrick West to fill the void created by Charles’ injury against a Vikings team that is giving up more than 125 rushing yards per game.  Davis filled in well for Charles last year; however, losing a player of his caliber will likely cripple an already limited offense. QB Alex Smith has recently developed a nice rapport with newcomer Jeremy Maclin with the two combining for more than 380 yards and a TD in the last three games. Without Charles, teams will be able to lock in on the two weapons the Chiefs have left in Maclin and TE Travis Kelce. Minnesota has been brutal on opposing passing games giving up just 230 yards through the air and holding opponents to 18 PPG. I like Minnesota at home in this one to cover. Coming off the bye, having Peterson and an underrated defense, I see them limiting the Chiefs to less than 14 points.  
Pick: Minnesota Vikings -3.5

Giants at Eagles (-3.5) - 30 units
The Giants needed a late rally to defeat the 49ers last Sunday night.  The Eagles blew out the Saints at home 39-17.  The Giants have put together three straight wins after dropping their first two games of the season.  Their first two losses were games in which they had leads late, but couldn't close the games out.  They now face their NFC East rival Eagles for the first time this year looking to extend their lead in the division.  The Eagles have been very inconsistent this season.  They haven't been able to put together solid performances back to back.  I'm going to side with the more consistent team of the two as I like what I have seen from the Giants during their three game winning streak.  QB Eli Manning is coming off a tremendous performance against the 49ers as he led his team late in the fourth quarter with a go ahead touchdown pass.  A concern leading into the game is the health of WRs Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle as they both left last week's game due to injury.  However, at this point, all signs point to both of them suiting up on Monday night.  The Eagles’ secondary isn't a very strong group so Manning will have chances to make some big plays down the field.  The Giants defense will need to get a consistent pass rush on QB Sam Bradford in order to disrupt the Eagles up-tempo style offense.  The Giants can't afford to allow Bradford to get into any type of rhythm with his receivers.  In a game that will be close throughout, look for the difference to be a field goal either way which makes the hook here huge.
Pick: New York Giants +3.5

Panthers (+6.5) at Seahawks - 25 units
One week after suffering a devastating overtime loss to the Bengals, the Seahawks return home to face another undefeated team, the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are coming off their bye and this game will be their first real test after four games against opponents who are a combined 5-15 on the season.  QB Cam Newton has been excellent on the year throwing and rushing for a combined nine touchdowns. He will look for TE Greg Olsen early and often. Seattle was gashed by Tyler Eifert last week and I expect Olsen to have a big day in this one given his status as Carolina’s most reliable receiver.  Seattle will get running back Marshawn Lynch back after he missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. He returns against a stout Panthers’ run defense that is ranked sixth in the league and will be getting even stronger with the return of LB Luke Kuechly who has been out with a concussion. QB Russell Wilson has had to rely on his scrambling ability this year as his offensive line has often failed to provide him time in the pocket. The result has been a team that has scored only seven offensive touchdowns on the year while getting little production from their key offseason acquisition, TE Jimmy Graham. I expect this to be a close low scoring game featuring two very similar teams. Seattle is a notoriously difficult place to play given the crowd noise and stingy Seahawks’ defense. However, the Panthers come into this game with something to prove having lost four in a row to Seattle including a 31-17 loss in last year’s playoffs.  They will also be bolstered by Kuechly’s return and the Seahawks will be missing key personnel because of injury and suspension. The line on this game has Seattle favored by 6.5 which seems a bit high to me. I like Carolina to keep the score within that number with an outright win a very real possibility.
Pick: Carolina Panthers +6.5

Chargers at Packers (Total: 51 points) - 20 units
The Chargers head to Green Bay after suffering a last-second defeat to the Steelers on Monday night.  The Packers got by the Rams 24-10 as their offense didn't play particularly well against a solid Rams defense.  QB Aaron Rodgers now faces a very vulnerable Chargers’ defense that gives up 26.8 points/game and is coming off a short week of preparation.  I'm expecting a huge, bounce back game from the Packers’ offense.  Look for them to get the running game going with RB Eddie Lacy.  Lacy has struggled so far this season, but this could be the game that gets him going.  Rodgers will spread the ball around as both WRs Randall Cobb and James Jones will find the end zone.  Tough not to see the Packers putting up a team total in the upper thirties.  As for the Chargers’ offense, they got TE Antonio Gates back last week after he was suspended for the first four games of the season.  Gates went out and caught nine balls for 92 yards and two touchdowns.  His return to the lineup will improve an already-solid Chargers’ passing game led by QB Philip Rivers.  The Packers defense has been playing great football of late, but I think the Chargers’ offense will move the ball effectively and put enough points on the board for this game to go over the posted total.  There will be plenty of offensive fireworks in this matchup.
Pick: Over 51
Patriots at Colts (Total: 55.5 points) - 20 units
The undefeated New England Patriots travel to Indianapolis to take on the rival Colts on Sunday Night in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game. New England is coming off a 30-6 win over the Cowboys in a game where the offense came out sluggish and Tom Brady was sacked five times in the first half. Indianapolis won 27-20 last week with backup QB Matt Hasselbeck getting the start for the second week in place of Andrew Luck who has been battling a shoulder injury. Luck is expected to play in this one but how effective he will be remains to be seen. New England is averaging nearly 40 points per game and should have little issue moving the ball, especially through the air where the Colts rank 28th in the league in pass defense. In addition to Luck’s injury, WR TY Hilton was limited in practice with a groin injury. I would still expect Hilton to go and join a talented group of receivers who have helped the Colts to a three game winning streak during which they have averaged 26 points per game. New England is giving up 230 yards per game through the air and only 19 points per game but they have yet to face an offense as talented as the Colts who will score more than 20 points in this one.  Much of the talk this week has been surrounding the revenge factor for both teams which I think has some merit and will cause this game to be closer than most people think. Regardless of who wins, I see this being a high scoring game that passes the posted total of 55.5.
Pick: Over 55.5

Editor's note: Both Jeremy and Jeff started with 1,000 units as they go head to head all season long.

You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffBaldwin4 and Jeremy @jdwardwell5.

Jeff Baldwin
Jeff Baldwin has written Rotoworld's 'Gambling Solution' on Season Pass since 2011. He can be found on Twitter @JeffBaldwin4.