NFL Week 6: Chuck Vitolo’s 3-pack of best bets

aaron rodgers, new york jets
Jan 16, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks up during the second half of a NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, someway, we are already at Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season!

And while that is exciting in many regards (unless you’re a fan of the New York Giants), the group that is likely most excited are the Las Vegas oddsmakers that make up the spreads as they now have five weeks of information to go off of now.

In my mind, as each week passes, the bookmakers get more and more of an advantage over the general public as they generate lines on an analytical basis rather than the average bettor that (typically) bets on emotion.

The good news is, though, that is if you are a ‘sharp’ bettor (a bettor that looks for specific edge and discrepancies in the lines), you are privy to the same type of information that the line-setters are. As a result, you can put your thinking cap on and, in theory, feel better about making your selections at this time of year rather than early on.

That’s what I’ll aim to do here each week after starting a weekly three-pack of NFL picks on my Twitter account for the 2021 season. So far, we’ve had good results with a 9-6 record (60%) while being +2.8 units (after factoring in juice, of course).

Optimally, you want to hit higher than 55% of your bets to turn in a profit, season-long, when factoring in juice (or the vig, whichever you prefer — the standard extra 10% a book charges on losing bets).

I’ll look to keep that going today as we’ve got about 14-hours of jam-packed NFL action today.

My minimum plays are 1-unit, with my max plays capping out at 5 units (you’ll only see a couple of those a year, if any).

For full transparency, there is a full thread on my Twitter starting with Week 1.

Lets’ get into it.

(All odds courtesy of The Action Network)

1. Miami Dolphins -2.5 (-110) over the Jags (9:30AM)

To say the Urban Meyer era has gotten off to a rocky start would be kind. The former elite college coach has looked lost – both on and off the field – as he’s tried to adapt to the NFL world. I don’t envision that getting any better for him or his team today, as they’re making a long road trip to play a ‘home’ game against a hungry, undervalued Miami Dolphins team.

The Dolphins, themselves, are just 1-4 on the season, but they’ve been without Tua Tagovalioa since Week 2 and are in a terrific ‘get-right- spot here.

This line should be more like 6 to me, so we’ll jump on the value here and look to get the day started off right, early.

3.5 units on the Dolphins.

2. LA Chargers +2.5 (+100) over the Ravens (1:00PM)

The LA Chargers have been one of the hottest stories around the NFL so far in 2021, and for good reason.

Second-year QB, Justin Herbert, was pegged by a lot of sharps as being a live underdog play for NFL MVP before the year even started; he’s making those folks look smart so far.

Sporting a 13-3 TD/INT ratio and leading an offense that’s putting up 28.4 points-per-game (6th-best in the NFL) after exploding fo 47 in an impressive win over the Browns last week, Herbert and the Chargers are in a great spot here as short-underdogs on the road.

Baltimore is surely no slouch, but if this game becomes a shootout (which I believe it will), I just believe Herbert is more apt to drop back and sling it for longer than Lamar Jackson is — even though I love myself some Lamar Jackson and am fully aware of what he just did last week.

We’ll back the Chargers here in what is always the sketchiest line in football, to me (for the favorite), at +2.5.

1.5 units on the Chargers.

3. Green Bay Packers -6 (-110) over the Bears

Last, but certainly not least, we’ll back the red-hot Green Bay Packers in what is a total mismatch on paper.

Sometimes it is best not to overthink things in this business, and that’s exactly what we have a case of here. There is just no possible way that Justin Fields can keep up with Aaron Rodgers today.

Chicago’s 3-2 start is a mirage, to me (and not just as a biased New York Giants fan), and they’re going to be in for a rude awakening today against their most-hated rivals.

Justin Fields will have a long, promising career in the NFL — it just won’t look like that will be the case at many points today.

2.2 units on the Packers.