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Beating the Book: Chris Liss Handicaps Week 6

Chris Liss

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.


I have some misgivings about this slate as I'm conflicted between what I want to do and what I've learned is the right thing to do over time. If I were on a roll I might lean more heavily toward the former, but I'm not, so I've gone with some tried and true strategies - selling teams off big wins, backing ugly home dogs and fading teams the public typically loves.

For what it's worth I particularly like the Bucs, Niners, Jaguars and Giants.

EARLY GAMES

Panthers +3.5 at Falcons

The Panthers have to be the value here, especially with Julio Jones out, but the Falcons, overrated as they are, usually play better at home and should be able to move the ball consistently against a porous Carolina defense. Much as I despise Atlanta and find the Panthers to be scrappy, I have to take the Falcons.

Falcons 27 - 20

49ers +4 at Lions

Both teams are sell high candidates, but I expect this to be a low-scoring game where the four points are magnified somewhat. Back the Niners who keep it close and possibly win outright.

49ers 17 - 16

Colts +7 at Bengals

The Colts are probably the worst team in the league right now and have the virtue of being run by its arguably its worst coach. I'm a little worried about Cincy playing it too close to the vest, but in the end I think this line's a bit low given the venue and the disparity in the teams. Back the Bengals.

Bengals 23 - 10

Eagles -1 at Redskins

What a crazy line given the venue and the respective records of these teams. I'll take the bait and back Washington whose defense might be for real this year.

Redskins 27 - 20

Rams +15 at Packers

The Packers are easily the best team in the NFL, but they've got major problems on the offensive line, and the Rams can rush the passer. Coming off the bye, I expect a desperate St. Louis squad to put up a fight. Back the Rams.

Packers 24 - 13

Jaguars +12.5 at Steelers

Pittsburgh seems back on track after a convincing win over the Titans, but the Jaguars have stayed in games against the Bengals and Saints for the most part the last two weeks. I expect them to cover here. Back Jacksonville.

Steelers 24 - 19

Bills +3 at Giants

The Giants defense fell apart last week, but Eli Manning had them in position to win before the last minute pick six. The Bills will score points here, but I think the Giants will handle them at home. Back New York.

Giants 31 - 23

LATE GAMES

Browns +7 at Raiders

The Raiders are coming off a big win in Houston, and I like them as a team, given their improving passing game, elite running game and risk-taking coach. Moreover, the Browns could be without star cornerback Joe Haden. But seven points strikes me as a lot as Cleveland can pass protect, and Colt McCoy is improving as a signal caller. Back the Browns.

Raiders 23 - 20

Texans +8 at Ravens

The Texans can run the ball, and Jonathan Joseph is a big addition to the pass defense. But with Andre Johnson and Mario Williams - their two best players - out, this is an awfully tough matchup in Baltimore against the rested Ravens, who I expect to roll. Back the Baltimore.

Ravens 31 - 13

Saints -4.5 at Buccaneers

It's a good time to buy low on the Bucs as a home dog after they were throttled by the Niners in San Francisco. The Saints look like a top-five NFL team, but the Bucs should be able to move the ball consistently against them, especially at home. I expect this game to be close. Back the Bucs who cover and possibly win outright.

Buccaneers 24 - 23

Cowboys +7 at Patriots

The Cowboys are so Jekyll and Hyde it's impossible to know what they'll do in a given week, let alone a given half. But with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant healthy, I can't see them having much trouble shredding a porous New England defense and hanging around most of the game. Back Dallas.

Patriots 40 - 34

SUNDAY NIGHT

Vikings +2.5 at Bears

I've come to dislike both of these teams. The Bears can't pass protect and have the worst receivers in the league, while the Vikings are weak at quarterback and don't get the ball in the hands of their playmakers enough. In the end, I have to buy the Bears at home off Monday night's embarrassing showing and sell Minnesota off their win over Arizona. Back the Bears.

Bears 24 - 21

MONDAY NIGHT

Dolphins +7.5 at Jets

I don't see how I can lay 7.5 with the Jets against a desperate Dolphins team coming off a bye. I expect this game to be a low-scoring slugfest which either team could win. Back the Dolphins.

Jets 19 - 16

We were 6-7 last week to put us at 37-38-2 on the season. From 1999-2010 we've gone 1565-1387 (53%, not including ties).

You can follow me on Twitter at @Chris_Liss