For the first time since their regular season finale in 2015, the Dallas Cowboys will be going into a game without Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback. The Cowboys lost Prescott for the season on Sunday after he suffered a right ankle compound fracture during the team’s 37-34 win over the Giants.
With Prescott out, oddsmakers have responded by making a major change to the point spread in the Cowboys’ Week 6 game against the Cardinals. In the early odds for Week 6, the Cowboys opened as a three-point home underdog to the Cards. In the look-ahead line that was released last week before Prescott was injured, the Cowboys were a three-point favorite, which tells you all you need to know about how oddsmakers feel about his loss. As soon as Prescott went down, the point spread made a six-point swing toward Arizona.
The good news for the Cowboys is that they made one of the smartest quarterback signings of the offseason when they added Andy Dalton. With Dak out, Dalton will take over the reins as the team’s starter and he’ll be gunning to do something Prescott never did this season: Cover the spread. The Cowboys are currently 0-5 against the spread (ATS) on the year, making them one of just three teams in the NFL that has yet to cover this season.
The NFC East also gave us one other point spread surprise this week: The 0-5 Giants are actually favored to win, marking just the seventh time since 2015 that a winless team has been favored in their fifth game or later.
With that in mind, let’s get to the Week 6 early odds
Note: There are several games in Week 6 that weren’t originally scheduled to be played in Week 6, including Broncos-Patriots and Jets-Dolphins. For a look at all the schedule changes that have been made by the NFL, be sure to click here.
NFL Week 6 early odds
(All lines from William Hill Sportsbook unless noted, all games on Sunday unless noted)
Broncos (1-3) at Patriots (2-2)
Opening line: Patriots, -8
Although it’s not yet clear if Cam Newton will be available for this game, if history holds, that might not matter, because the Patriots almost always win when they’re favored by a touchdown or more against an AFC team. In the past 20 games where that’s happened, the Patriots have gone 18-2 straight-up. One interesting thing about that stat is that both of those losses came to the Dolphins. If you take out Miami, then the Patriots are 18-0 straight-up and 13-4-1 ATS against AFC teams at home. As for the Broncos, they’ve actually done a pretty good job of covering in road games, going 6-2 ATS in their past eight (3-5 straight-up).
Texans (1-4) at Titans (3-0)
Opening line: Titans, -5.5 (via VegasInsider.com)
If there’s one team the Titans can never seem to cover against, it’s the Houston Texans. In the past 18 games between these two teams, the Titans have gone 5-13 ATS. However, Tennessee is 3-1 both straight-up and ATS in its past four home games against Houston. The Titans are also just one of three teams in the NFL that hasn’t yet covered the spread this year, although that could change if they cover against Buffalo on Tuesday. As for the Texans, they’ve lost four straight games where they were an underdog of three or more points and they didn’t cover in any of those losses.
Bengals (1-3-1) at Colts (3-2)
Opening line: Colts, -9.5
The Bengals have gone winless in 16 straight road games, which is probably going to make it tempting to bet against them, but keep in mind that they’ve gone 10-6 ATS in those games, including 2-1 this year. In another twist, the Bengals are 0-11-1 straight-up in the past 12 games where they’ve been an underdog of six or more, but 7-5 ATS. This game will mark just the 10th time over the past five years that the Colts have been favored by a touchdown or more. In the previous nine games, they went just 3-6 ATS (6-3 straight-up). One thing to like about the Colts is that they’re 4-1 ATS at home in their past five games, including 2-0 this year.
Falcons (0-5) at Vikings (1-4)
Opening line: Vikings, -3.5
This game is going to have a twist and that’s the fact that the Falcons are going to have a new head coach. If you’re a believer that a firing can spark a team — like it did for the Texans in Week 5 — then this would be a good spot to take Atlanta. That being said, interim coaches are just 3-6 ATS since 2016 in their first game as coach. This game is on the road though, where the Falcons have actually done pretty well, going 5-1 ATS in their past six games (4-2 straight-up). As for the Vikings, they’ve actually lost four straight games at home. However, Mike Zimmer has never lost to the Falcons, going 4-0 both straight-up and ATS since being hired by Minnesota in 2014.
Washington (1-4) at Giants (0-5)
Opening line: Giants, -3.5
The winless Giants are actually FAVORED in this game. Since 2015, winless teams favored in their fifth game or later are 1-5 ATS with the only cover coming on Sunday when Houston beat Jacksonville. Back to the Giants, though. If there’s one team you want to stay far away from during the month of October, it’s definitely the New York Giants, who haven’t won a game in the month since Week 6 of 2017. Since then, the Giants have gone 0-11 straight-up, including Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys. That being said, the Giants are 4-1 both straight-up and ATS in their past five games against Washington. As for the Football Team, they’re 0-3 both straight-up and ATS In their past three road games and they’re 2-8 straight-up on the road since the start of the 2019 season (4-6 ATS).
Ravens (4-1) at Eagles (1-3-1)
Opening line: Ravens, -7
If you regularly bet on the Ravens, then you’ve definitely made some money over the past 12 months. In their past 15 games, the Ravens have gone 12-3 ATS (14-1 straight-up). The fact that Ravens are favored by a touchdown shouldn’t scare you away either, and that’s because they almost always cover when favored by seven or more. In their past seven games favored by seven or more, they’re 6-1 ATS and 7-0 straight-up. As for the Eagles, they’re 0-4 ATS in their past four games against AFC teams, including 0-2 ATS against the AFC North. This game will mark the first time since 2005 that the Eagles have been an underdog of seven or more points at home.
Browns (4-1) at Steelers (4-0)
Opening line: Steelers, -4.5
If the Browns actually want to prove that they’re for real this year, a good way to do it would be by beating a team they almost never beat: The Pittsburgh Steelers. Since 2010, the Browns have gone 3-16-1 straight-up against Pittsburgh, although it’s been a much more respectable 10-9-1 ATS. This game is being played in Pittsburgh, which is notable, because Mike Tomlin has never lost to the Browns at Heinz Field (13-0 straight-up). The Browns only have one win at Heinz and that came in 2003.
Bears (4-1) at Panthers (3-2)
Opening line: Panthers, -2.5
The Panthers being favored at home is somewhat surprising, if only because they’ve been so terrible in Charlotte. In their past 13 games played at Bank of America Stadium, the Panthers are just 3-10 straight-up (4-8-1 ATS). As for the Bears, they’re 4-1 straight-up in their past five road games and they’re also 2-0 ATS in road games this year.
Lions (1-3) at Jaguars (1-4)
Opening line: Lions, -3
There’s something you should know before betting this game and that’s the Jacksonville has been horrible against NFC teams. Since the start of the 2013 seasons, the Jaguars have gone 4-24 both straight-up and ATS against NFC teams. The Jags are also 0-7 ATS in their past seven games against the NFC. As for the Lions, if there’s one team the Jaguars might be able to beat, it’s Detroit. In their past 15 games overall, the Lions are 2-13 straight-up and 3-12 ATS.
Jets (0-5) at Dolphins (2-3)
Opening line: No Line
The reason there was no opening point spread released for this game is because it wasn’t originally supposed to happen in Week 6. This game was originally scheduled for Week 9, but it got bumped up three weeks when the NFL reshuffled the regular season schedule on Sunday. Although there’s no point spread for this game yet, you might just want to go ahead and bet on the Dolphins, and that’s because they’re 6-1-1 ATS in their past eight games against the Jets. Also, betting against the Jets has been an easy way to make money recently as New York has gone 2-8 ATS in its past 10 games. The Jets are also 3-12 straight-up in their past 15 road games.
Packers (4-0) at Buccaneers (3-2)
Opening line: Packers, -1.5
The Packers are 4-0 ATS this year making them the only team in the NFL that has covered every game they’ve played in through five weeks. Thanks to that start, the Packers are now 14-6 ATS in their past 20 games and an even more impressive 17-3 straight-up. As for the Buccaneers, they’ve only covered in one of their past 10 home games, going 1-7-2 ATS (4-6 straight-up). The Buccaneers are also 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games against teams with a winning record, dating back to Week 5 of last season. And since you’re probably wondering, this game will mark just the third time that Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have faced each other. The quarterbacks split the first two games both straight-up and ATS.
Rams (4-1) at 49ers (2-3)
Opening line: Rams, -3
If there’s one underdog you don’t want to bet against, it’s the 49ers. In their past five games as an underdog, the Niners are 5-0 ATS and 4-1 straight-up. As for the Rams, they’ve played a total of 20 games as a road favorite under Sean McVay and in those 20 games, they’ve gone 16-4 straight-up and 12-8 ATS. As divisional rivals, these two teams played twice last year with the 49ers sweeping the series but with each team covering in one game. Of course, one reason you might want to stay away from the 49ers is because they’re 1-4 in their past five home games and they’ve gone 0-5 ATS in those games (They’re 0-3 both straight-up and ATS at home this season).
Chiefs (4-1) at Bills (4-0), Monday
Opening line: Chiefs, -3.5
The Chiefs used to be one of the safest bets in the NFL, but now, things have gotten a little risky. Including Sunday’s loss to the Raiders, Kansas City is now 1-2 ATS in its past three games. Despite that, the Chiefs are still 8-2 ATS in their past 10 regular season games. That being said, October just seems to be a bad month for the Chiefs, who are just 1-5 ATS in October games since the start of the 2018 season (2-4 straight-up). As for the Bills, this will mark the 12th time since Sean McDermott was hired in 2017 that they’ve been a home underdog. In the previous 11 games, they went 3-9 straight-up and 4-8 ATS.
Cardinals (3-2) at Cowboys (2-3), Monday
Opening line: Cardinals, -2.5
Putting the Cardinals in prime time hasn’t exactly been a good thing for them over the years. In their past five night games, the Cardinals have gone 0-4-1 straight up and 1-3-1 ATS. As for the Cowboys, this will be the first game they’ve played since the end of the 2015 season without Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback. Although Dallas is a home underdog, that might actually be a good thing, and that’s because the Cowboys are 4-0 both straight-up and ATS in their past four games as a home dog.
BYES: Raiders, Saints, Seahawks, Chargers