It’s been the year of the dog in the NFL thus far with underdogs going 45-35 ATS through five weeks of the season (56.25%). Last week, the Eagles, Bills, Steelers, and Bears won outright as dogs with the Bengals, Texans, Lions, Browns, and Colts all coming dangerously close to joining that group as well. In the spirit of the above, we took a hard look at the Week 6 slate and isolated three underdogs we believe could leave this week with an unexpected victory — or at least cover the spread.

Here is a look at our NFL upset picks for Week 6, complete with matchups and ATS betting analysis.

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The Best NFL Upset Picks for Week 6

Dolphins vs. Jaguars

If nothing else, perhaps this will give you a reason to get up early Sunday morning, skip church, turn on the television and watch two teams with a combined 1-9 record play football in London at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Despite Miami being the one that managed the lone win in 2020, we think it’s the Jaguars who are the play as underdogs in this one.

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While the Dolphins won their first game of the season and have plummeted downhill ever since, the poor Jaguars have actually shown marked improvement over the course of the first five weeks as the team’s rookie coach and quarterback have grown into their respective roles. As you might expect from a winless team with a rookie under center that peddled most of its relative defensive players away over the last few seasons, Jacksonville has been poor in the turnover department on both sides of the ball. And, by poor, we mean that they have turned the ball over the joint-most in the league (11), while generating just one takeaway, unsurprisingly the NFL’s lowest mark.

Over time, there tends to be a regression towards the normal curve for these sorts of statistics, however, and the Jags seem due for a game where the turnover margin works in their favor. There may be no finer example of this than the Dolphins, themselves, as they were tied for second in the NFL in turnover margin per game last season (+0.6) and suddenly find themselves tied for 21st in 2021 (-0.4).

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But, besides simply being hopeful for statistical normalization, we can absorb some comfort from just how bad Miami has been on both sides of the ball this season. The Dolphins have the league’s third worst defense, allowing 422.2 yards per game, only outdone by its offense, which is second worst in the NFL at just 261.8 yards per game.

As you may then expect, the Fins fall into those same respective rankings regarding scoring defense and offense, allowing 30.8 points per game, while scoring just 15.8. That -15.0 scoring margin per game makes them the worst in the league and begs the question, “Why is a team like that, which has not won a game by more than one point all season, suddenly laying more than that on a neutral field?”

Trends to Know

We believe it’s a valid question, too, as Miami is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven games after a straight up loss by 15 or more and just 2-7 ATS in its last nine games on artificial surfaces. Yes, the Dolphins may get Tua Tagovailoa back for this one, but so many of his passing options are either missing or banged up.

Jacksonville will be playing with revenge from a 31-13 home loss to the Dolphins last season in the only game in which the Jaguars were favored in 2020-21. They will want to return the favor and can lean on their performance this season at Cincinnati. The Jags covered the spread in that game, their lone outing thus far as underdogs away from home.

Dolphins vs. Jaguars Pick

Miami is a mess, having allowed 27 or more points in four straight games for an average of 34.5 points per game against in that span. They also failed to top 17 points in four of their five games this season. Knowing that the underdog in this head-to-head series has won each of the last three meetings outright, look for the improving Jaguars to earn their first victory in the Urban Meyer-Trevor Lawrence era across the pond early Sunday morning.

Our Pick: Jacksonville +3.5

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Bengals vs. Lions

The poor Lions just cannot seem to catch a break. Another heart-rending last second loss on a long field goal left first year head coach Dan Campbell in tears during postgame interviews. As you might expect, Joe Public cannot get behind a seemingly snake-bitten franchise like this and that is evidenced in the 60 percent of wagers coming in on Detroit’s opponents this week, the Cincinnati Bengals.

This is in spite of the fact that Cincy has been favored just once this season and failed to cover that game against a hapless Jaguars’ bunch.

Cincinnati is suffering from some heartbreak of its own last week, losing to Green Bay in a game that set kickers’ reputations back 50 years. With Joe Burrow not having a full practice week due to a throat injury suffered in the loss, we think it is Detroit that will be able to pick itself up more effectively off its own devastating defeat.

After all, Campbell is an effort guy and that is reflected in the way the Lions play. They have shown they have no quit, no matter the result, and you have to believe they’d like to get their very likable head coach his first win in Detroit.

Trends to Know

The Lions, who are 2-0 ATS at home this season and held their last three opponents to 24 points or less, do have some trends working in their favor. They have covered their last four games on artificial surfaces and four of their last five as a home dog. They are also 6-2 ATS in their last eight Week 6 games.

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Cincy, meanwhile, is just 5-12 ATS in its last 17 Week 6 outings and is a lowly 1-5 ATS in its last six games as a favorite. In fact, the Bengals have dropped five straight games ATS as non-conference favorites of more than one point. Laying points is a role they just are not comfortable in, as this game will mark only their second as road favorites since the start of the 2018 season, losing the other outright.

Bengals vs. Lions Pick

With the Bengals facing a huge division rivalry game at Baltimore next week, this could be the perfect spot for Detroit to steal its first win of the season.

Our Pick: Detroit +3.5

Packers vs. Bears

The Chicago Bears will hope the Green Bay Packers used up most of their nine lives last week in surviving an overtime mess against the Bengals. It seems the betting public was unfazed by Green Bay’s inability to close that game out sooner, as roughly 77 percent of bets placed on this game have come in on the Packers thus far. Still, we are hesitant to follow the sound of that Pied Piper’s flute, as the Pack, which slaughtered oddsmakers last week, will be playing its second straight road game on the heels of an overtime outing which saw seven more plays run than an average Green Bay game this season.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur is just 1-6 ATS versus a sub .500 opponent when entering off a SU and ATS win. That’s bad news for a Green Bay team that had failed to cover four straight Week 6 games before LaFleur arrived here and still has not managed to end that run in his two seasons in charge.

Interestingly, both of those missed covers under the team’s current leader came as favorites of less than a touchdown, similar to this game’s line. In fact, Green Bay was favored in all six of those ATS losses, losing both of the road games in that stretch outright.

The Bears should be properly motivated by revenge here, as Green Bay has won nine of the last 10 head-to-head meetings and has won and covered each of the last at least a touchdown. Chicago should enter with confidence, too, as winners of back-to-back games in which the team held its opponents to just 23 total points.

Those defensive efforts are not a mirage either. Chicago boasts the league’s eighth best scoring defense (20.0 ppg) and total defense (332.4 ypg), built upon a balanced defensive game plan that stops both the pass and run the 12th best in the NFL.

Chicago’s offense, which has struggled with a rookie at the helm, forced to start before head coach Matt Nagy ideally had hoped, could exploit Green Bay’s defense, which has allowed 22 or more points in all three road games (29.3 ppg) in 2021.

Trends to Know

Coach Nagy is 17-12 ATS off a SU win while in charge in Chicago, as well as 12-7 ATS against the NFC North. His Bears have covered four of their last five October games dating back to last season. The Bears have also lost just three of their last 11 home games ATS against opponents with above .500 road records. Furthermore, Chicago is 14-6-1 ATS in its last 21 games as a home dog.

Packers vs. Bears Pick

In a bitter divisional rivalry game with a ton of revenge for the home underdogs here, we think Chicago will hang in to the finish in what we believe will be a low-scoring battle.

Our Pick: Chicago +5.5

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