Week 6 of the NFL season is upon us, and the overreactions are loud on the streets. We’re barely over a quarter of the way through the regular season, so we only have some idea about which teams are contenders and which are pretenders.
That said, the small sample size of games that have been played can be dug through and sprinkled with context to become useful. Team-adjusted stats like DVOA have some value, and we also have to be cognizant of how injuries have affected teams in the early going.
Also, it’s not a huge shock when rookies or new teammates aren’t clicking immediately. As the season goes on, we should expect more cohesion.
With that in mind, let’s dive into some NFL Week 6 upset predictions and best bets. All NFL gameday odds are current as of 10:00 a.m. ET on Friday, October 15.
NFL Week 6 Upset Predictions
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Miami Dolphins
This week’s London matchup features two more Eastern teams, so travel time is likely a non-factor as both teams are at a similar disadvantage with the early start. We have two bad teams on the surface, though the Jaguars have been significantly worse.
Miami is set to return potential franchise QB Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) this weekend in what would be his third start of the season. Regardless of how close Tagovailoa is to 100%, his presence is an immediate upgrade over Jacoby Brissett who hardly held his own in 4 straight losses.
Unfortunately, Tagovailoa is returning to a roster that has lost Will Fuller and is dealing with a recently injured DeVante Parker.
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The Jaguars are coming off of their fifth loss in a row to open the season and head to their second home in London. They have been the guinea pig for the NFL’s European expansion of influence and could have *somewhat* of a home-field advantage here.
Nevertheless, that is not the reason why they’ve been selected as an upset candidate. Jacksonville’s offense, despite the loss of D.J. Chark, is QBed by an improving rookie and features a high-level run game with James Robinson carrying over last season’s breakout.
Miami has next to nothing but the hope of Tagovailoa being healthier than expected less than a month after breaking multiple ribs. Jacksonville and Miami both possess bottom-10 defenses so that aspect should not be a major factor.
Upset Prediction: Jaguars 28, Dolphins 20
Jaguars vs Dolphins Upset Picks
Upset Pick: Jaguars Moneyline (+140) at BetMGM
Trevor Lawrence is looking much more comfortable in recent games. They really should have won the matchup against Cincinnati two weeks ago, but incompetent coaching failed them.
These two teams are on equal footing and it is crazy to see Miami as a 3-point favorite. The Jaguars’ defense, despite being second-worst by DVOA, is not THAT far from Miami’s regressed unit that sits at No. 24.
Upset Pick: Over 47 (-110) at BetMGM
Two dog water defenses and potentially competent QB play from both sides could cause some points to be scored. We finally saw Dolphins’ starting RB Myles Gaskin wake up last week, as he posted 99 total yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 touches.
More than anything, his involvement made up for the loss of DeVante Parker, who may still be out another week.
The Jaguars have a much more confident Trevor Lawrence who, despite throwing 8 interceptions, has not been fazed in-game. His poise in chaos is remarkable, but luckily, the presence of James Robinson does take a good bit of pressure off.
If Jacksonville does go down a few scores, Lawrence can be trusted to lead the offense and even take matters into his own hands (or more aptly, legs) as he has rushed 15 times over the past two weeks for 64 yards and 2 scores.
Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers
The Bears have now won back-to-back games and are still a little underrated due to the nature of their wins. Beating the Lions is seen as a foregone conclusion, and the Raiders, despite a record above .500, are not exactly respected.
Also, the fact that they have won these games with defense may keep spectators curious as to what occurs when forced to throw. Three weeks ago, in their 20-point loss to Cleveland, Justin Fields and the offense looked like a deer in headlights when tasked with coming back.
A similar scenario may occur this week against Aaron Rodgers and the first-place Packers, but there is a good chance for an upset. Chicago’s defense ranks No. 5 in defensive DVOA while Green Bay’s sits at No. 20, who are also now without lockdown corner Jaire Alexander.
The Bears’ top-five defense will also have the benefit of facing a Packers’ OL that is not in top form. All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari is still on IR, and replacement Elton Jenkins has been inactive since Week 3.
Of course, the most important task is stopping Rodgers, which is the biggest advantage for either team in this game.
Upset Prediction: Bears 23, Packers 20
Bears vs Packers Upset Picks
Upset Pick: Under 44 (-110) at BetMGM
There might be a lot of field goals here given how stout the Bears’ defense is despite playing a high-octane offense. Chicago’s offense, on the other hand, should be capable of driving it down the field often but may struggle to finish in the red-zone given their general lack of talent and trepidation with pushing Justin Fields.
Upset Pick: Bears Moneyline (+170) at BetMGM
Chicago is healthier and playing at a high level despite their low pass volume. Of course, division matchups are not a cakewalk, but the expectation should be for this to remain close with Chicago eeking out a victory.
The Bears are fully capable of controlling the clock if they take a lead and have the weapons on offense in Allen Robinson, Damien Williams, Darnell Mooney, and the yet-to-be-utilized Cole Kmet.
Obviously, none of this compares to Davante Adams and Aaron Jones combined, but it is enough to win a game if Fields is granted a green light to throw and utilize his dynamic legs.
New England Patriots vs Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys head into New England for a matchup that they are rightfully favored in. Dallas has the better QB and overall offense in this matchup, along with a defense that has played terrific football through the first 5 weeks. They also have a much healthier offensive line, given that 4 out of 5 New England starters missed last week due to various issues.
Nevertheless, this is setting up for an upset win because the Patriots match up very well against the Cowboys. Not only are they built as a run-first team, but their passing offense plays through the tight ends and slot WR Jakobi Meyers rather than a typical x-receiver on the outside.
New England can take advantage of the Cowboys’ difficulties in the middle of the field and avoid the emergent shut-down CB Trevon Diggs.
Bill Belichick will have some trouble deciding which of the two premier Cowboys’ receivers to shut down, but the pass defense has been so good this season (outside of last week’s meltdown vs Houston) that they can probably hold their own.
New England may be without starting RB Damien Harris, but rookie Rhamondre Stevenson is very talented in his own right and plays a similar role.
Upset Prediction: Patriots 27, Cowboys 24
Patriots vs Cowboys Upset Picks
Upset Pick: Over 50.5 (-115) at BetMGM
The Cowboys can attack the Patriots’ weakness in stopping the run with their talented tandem of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, while New England attacks the middle of Dallas’s defense. This game won’t be a typical shootout, but there will be chunk plays galore in a calm New England night, making this our NFL bet of the day.
Upset Pick: Patriots Moneyline (+150) at BetMGM
The Patriots have the advantage of better coaching and home-field, which admittedly may not matter too much but is a slight enough edge to tilt this game toward a win. Mac Jones may not be playing at a high level (or at least not anywhere within the realm of Dak Prescott) but he can get the ball where it needs to be while limiting mistakes.
The Cowboys will be challenged this weekend.