CLEVELAND — "Show me the money" - Jerry Maguire (Tom Crusie) in "Jerry Maguire"
After a slow start to the 2019 season, I almost have my head back above water. One week after turning in an 8-7 record, I put together my second straight winning week going 9-5 on my season-best Week 5 picks.
With that, my total record for the still-young 2019 campaign now stands at 37-38-1. Let's break the .500 barrier once and for all with my Week 6 picks.
All lines via Bovada:
New England Patriots (-17) vs. New York Giants
Pick: Patriots -17
The Patriots have been favored by double digits three times this season and covered twice. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be able to do it a third time while facing a Giants team starting a rookie quarterback and that remains without its best player in Saquon Barkley.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2) vs. Carolina Panthers
Pick: Panthers -2
By all counts, these two teams are fairly evenly matched. With that in mind, I'll take the team with the best player on the field (Christian McCaffrey) to cover in London on Sunday morning.
Cleveland Browns (+1.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Seahawks -1.5
The Browns have been at their best this season with their backs against the walls. But I can't ignore that Seattle is coming off a long week of rest, while Cleveland just played on Monday Night Football and will have a significant coaching advantage with Pete Carroll facing Freddie Kitchens.
Minnesota Vikings (-3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Eagles +3
Kirk Cousins has been so up-and-down this season that how I bet on the Vikings is now determined by how he played the previous week. Plus, I think the Eagles are simply the better team, so I'll happily take the three points here.
Baltimore Ravens (-11) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Ravens -11
I still don't know what to make of this Ravens team, but if they've shown the ability to do one thing, it's blow out bad teams. Fortunately for Baltimore, the Bengals qualify as just that at a time where the Ravens could push their division lead to two games.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-1) vs. New Orleans Saints
Pick: Saints +1
Are we sure the right team is favored in this game? While Gardner Minshew II has been impressive, replicating his success against a defense as talented as the Saints' will be easier said than done.
Miami Dolphins (+3.5) vs. Washington Redskins
Pick: Redskins -3.5
The difference between the Dolphins and the Redskisn this season is that the Dolphins are trying to be this bad. And in a game that could have implications for who will wind up with the No. 1 pick, I think Miami will make sure it doesn't wind up on the winning side.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) vs. Houston Texans
Pick: Chiefs -4.5
The Texans have begun to hit their stride offensively, but I think this is a good bounce-back spot for the Chiefs. In what should be a high scoring game, I'll take a touchdown to be the final difference.
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Rams -3.5
The 49ers are good -- like, really good -- but after two straight losses, the Rams are in a must-win spot. Coming off a long week of rest and with San Francisco having just played on Monday night, I think Los Angeles can get it done in what could very well be a letdown spot for the 49ers.
Arizona Cardinals (+2.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Cardinals +2.5
I don't feel great about this pick. But if there's one team (outside of the obvious tankers) that appears ready to fold it in for the season, it's the Falcons. And while Kyler Murray, David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald may not be as potent as the Houston offense that torched Atlanta last week, I think the Cardinals offense could cause similar problems for the Falcons.
Denver Broncos (-2.5) vs. Tennessee Titans
Pick: Titans +2.5
Much like Kirk Cousins, the Titans have been so up and down this season that I'm just reversing course on their previous week. Plus, Tennessee's defense has been strong enough that I can't imagine it being flustered by Joe Flacco.
Los Angeles Chargers (-7) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Chargers -7
The Chargers have been less than impressive this season, but I think last week's loss to the Broncos can be explained by their desire to involve Melvin Gordon to a fault. That should sort itself out this week against a Steelers team that will likely be starting its third-string quarterback.
Green Bay Packers (-4.5) vs. Detroit Lions
Pick: Packers -4.5
I know the Packers are a good team. I'm still not sure about the Lions. This is a prove-it-to-me spot and I'll bank on Detroit not being up to the task.