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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 6 Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Oct 16, 2019
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Monday, October 14, 2019 Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers (NFL) - 8:15 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3.5/-105 Detroit Lions Rating: 9* Mike's Rare 9 Star MNF Black N' Blue Division Survivor (WIN) This game has DEEP roots that goes back 89 years to 1930 (Detroit was actually the Portsmouth Spartans). They've met twice a year since 1932 making this the longest continually-running rivalry in the NFL! Whether or not the "Cheeseheads" are willing to admit it, the Lions feel they smell a changing of the guard coming on in the NFC North. With & without QB Aaron Rodgers, the "Motor City Madmen" have swung the pendulum prohibitively in their favor the past 2 regular seasons. In those past 4 meetings, the Lions are 4-0 SU & have out-scored Green Bay 127 to 51! Keep in mind defensively-minded HC Matt Patricia ALSO has 2 weeks to prepare for the Packers after a game where Detroit looked great in losing 34-30 @ KC. Coming in to this rivalry, Lions' QB & former Georgia Bulldog Matt Stafford has played 1 less game than Rodgers yet has thrown 3 more TD passes. Even though Green Bay is 4-1 SU, they've been collectively out-gained by 198 yards. Stafford may not be a successful QB versus SU winning teams overall. However, his passing rating (QBR) the past 7 hookups with the Cheeseheads has been @ 95 or better! I feel the clock will move swiftly for this matchup as we have the Pack's 27th-ranked run defense versus Detroit's 21st ranking in that category. My bottom line says one can argue that without some questionable calls, the Silver & Blue could very easily be @ 4-0 right now. In Green Bay's first 2 divisional tilts this season, those game have both been decided by a TD or less. People used to bring up the "Lambeau Jinx" since you'd have to go back to the Wayne Fontes era to find the last time the Lions won @ Lambeau. Stafford & Co. have now put that to rest as Detroit comes in on a 2-game winning streak @ this venue. Using the Mocanaqua vernacular, it seems the Lions have successfully reached back for something extra! I love the fact that Detroit comes in on a 6-2 ATS run & have beaten 2 but should be all 3 of the playoff-caliber teams they've faced thus far. The kicker has to be how well prepared the Lions have been off their bye week. Coming into tonight, they've covered 6 of their last 7. Let's wrap this one up by saying Detroit has played a tough schedule but yet their offense ranks 8th overall compared to GB's 25th under new HC Matt LaFleur (runs the ball 17% more than McCarthy did) & new OC Nathaniel Hackett. The motivated Lions continue to point @ an NFC North title (something they've never won) since you'd have to go back 26 years since they won the divisional crown of the then-called NFC Central. On the way to historic Lambeau Field in Wisconsin to play the DETROIT LIONS (buying to + 5) with some on the ML as my Rare 9 Star MNF Black N' Blue Division Survivor! Sunday, October 13, 2019 Seattle Seahawks vs. Cleveland Browns (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Cleveland Browns Rating: 9* Mike's 9 star NFL Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) There's no denying that Seattle QB Russell Wilson (12/0 TD/INT ratio & a 126.3 QBR) is clearly better than Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield (4/6 TD/INT ratio & a 77.2 QBR). However, this game or selection is not based solely on a QB. The Browns were obviously flatter than a pancake in their 31-3 defeat @ San Francisco in prime time but only AFTER their 40-25 divisional upset win @ Baltimore. I'm afraid the Seahawks fall into that same category after their 30-29 highly-emotional win against the Los Angeles Rams last week. That was a game where OC Brian Schottenheimer called for an incredibly-high 43 rushing plays! The last time they called a high amount, they lost @ home the following week. When examining defensive numbers, these Brownies not only rank higher in total defense (12th to 15th) but have a wide edge in passing defense being ranked 8th to Seattle very low 26th, they have twice as many INT's (6 to 3) 7 hold a 14-10 sack edge. In each of Cleveland's previous losses, they come back BIG the following week to post double-digit victories. Is that a strong possibility here? No, but there's a good chance they can win outright with Mayfield having a big-play offense @ his disposal featuring RB Nick Chubb along with wideouts Jarvis Landry & Odell Beckham Jr.. My bottom line says MOST cappers are OVERLOOKING the fact that KEY RB Chris Carson has a banged-up shoulder & will either be out or play with limited carries. Right behind Carson, #2 man Rashaad Penny is also dealing with hamstring issues. This suits DC Steve Wilks fine since pressuring Wilson with an added spy will make things uncomfortable for Wilson as the game progresses. In the numbers support us as Seattle has covered just 1 of their last 5 Week 6 affairs. In contrast, the up & down Kitchens' club are a very consistent 5-1 ATs after their last 6 pointspread losses. Remember, the Browns not only will be focused with their bye week on deck but also come in more desperate & in need @ 2-3 compared to Seattle's 4-1 record. With the Cleveland "D" knowing how to get off the field with a nifty 29.2% 3rd-down conversion yield, here's where we're going with a team that wants their 1st home win in 3 tries. Let's go to FirstEnergy Stadium in Ohio to play the CLEVELAND BROWNS (buying to a key + 3 1/2) with a little pasta on the ML as my 9 Star NFL Public Missed Perception Play! New Orleans Saints vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -145 Jacksonville Jaguars Rating: 9* Inter-Conference Game Of The Week (LOSS) We're throwing out the historical records on the Jags NOT being successful versus the NFC. There are way more critical factors to consider for this particular matchup. The BIGGEST by far has to be the limited action or possibly OUT status by leading "brahman bull" (borrowing the late great NFL Films man John Facenda's term) or workhorse RB Alvin Kamara (ankle injury). This forces the bulk of carries to longtime 7-year vet & journeyman Latavius Murray who was brought in for the spot vacated by Mark Ingram (now with Baltimore). Having future HOF QB Drew Brees (out after surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament in his right hand) on the bench as well is taking out 2 of the best impact players on the team. Remember, backup QB Teddy Bridgewater may be flawless (3-0) as a starter but hasn't face this much adversity. I'm looking for his 25 PPG output to drop here in the hot weather on grass compared to the climated-controlled UBU-Speed Series surface @ the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. My bottom line says we must NOT under-estimate 2nd-string QB Gardner Minshew II (9/1 TD/INT ratio) of Jacksonville. He's in front of the home crowd & has a higher QBR (105.6) than Bridgewater (99.5 with a 6/2 TD/INT ratio). There's also a BIG gap in total offense with the Jags chiming in @ 6th compared to the Saints 21st & with Kamara. This is a game of MAJOR need for this 2-3 AFC South team that trail Indianapolis & Houston by 1 game. New Orleans currently holds a 1-game lead over Carolina in the NFC South. Numbers clearly show the Saints having a low winning margin of 4.2 PPG & have been out-scored by their opponents overall (5 games). Recent past shows the Jaguars are a dependable 4-1-1 ATS versus teams with winning road records. In addition, DC Todd Wash should have an excellent game plan to neutralize WR Michael Thomas @ the line of scrimmage. On the other end, I believe the most dangerous hookup for this game has to be Minshew to D.J. Clark that's already accounted for 27 receptions for 485 receiving yards & 5 TD's. Let's fly down to TIAA Bank Field in Florida to play the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS as my Inter-Conference Game Of The Week! Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 4/-110 Houston Texans Rating: 8* Mike's AFC Against The Grain Motivator(WIN) I'm questioning the status of QB Pat Mahomes & RB LeSean McCoy here. Mahomes is coming off a 19-13 home loss to the Colts & was hobbling on an injured ankle. McCoy was also hobbled with the same injury versus Indy. Adding insult to injury has to be a pourous KC rushing defense that was gashed for 180 yards on 45 carries last week. Having WR Tyreek Hill back in the lineup is a plus but a healthy Deshaun Watson who can counter with WR's Will Fuller V (28 receptions for 400 receiving yards & 3 TD's) & DeAndre Hopkins (31 catches & good for 347 yards 7 2 TD's). Watson looks BACK after throwing for a career-high 426 yards on 28-for 33 passing & 5 TD passes in racking up 53 points versus Atlanta. Even though the Texans don't show up well in a favorite role, things are quite the opposite since Watson arrived & in an underdog role. He's a dynamic 8-2-1 in his short NFL career & that includes a perfect 4-0 versus the number if also facing a team coming off a SU loss. Analytics clearly point out Kansas City is NOT a dependable home chalk in non-divisional games where they 2-11 ATS as well as a no-show 2-12 SU the past 12 years when off a SU home loss. It's very clear to go to historic Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri to play the HOUSTON TEXANS (buying to +6) as my AFC Against The Grain Motivator! Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets (NFL) - 4:25 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 7/-110 New York Jets Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Ugly Pig Play Of The Week (WIN) This game is clearly pegged as a blowout by the Cowboys right? Wrong! Do you really think HC Adam Gase opened up his playbook fully when backup QB Luke Falk took over for Sam Darnold? I'm believing Darnold (back from a bout with mononucleosis) wouldn't be starting today unless 100% & ready to go. When the added dimension of Darnold opening up the passing game (missing since Week 1), I expect RB Le'Veon Bell's effectiveness increases. Remember, the New York defense will intensify when Darnold boosts the very low Jets' 3rd-down conversion rate of 21.1%. My bottom line says DC Gregg Williams will capitalize on the defensive blueprints already laid the last 2 weeks by New Orleans & Green Bay who held the combo of Prescott-Elliott-Cooper to a collective 17 PPG. Don't forget that the Jets' defense is close to being in the Top 10 despite being on the field for most of the game earlier. Darnold's presence makes them more effective with longer offensive drives & more time to adjust schemes. He takes on a Dallas squad whose 3 wins were against teams with a 2-12 combined record. With the Eagles straight ahead for the Cowboys, let's go to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. to play the NEW YORK JETS (buying to + 8 1/2) as my NFL Ugly Pig Play Of The Week! San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams (NFL) - 4:05 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -167 Los Angeles Rams Rating: 8* Mike's Later Games' Old-Time Rivalry Survivor Play (LOSS) It's no secret that these 2 teams go WAY back to 1950 in this NFC West rivalry between teams from northern & southern California. This situation clearly favors L.A. on their home turf. Even though RB Todd Gurley, OLB Clay Matthews & CB Aqib Talib are out, the 49ers are missing key personnel like OT Joe Staley, OT Mike McGlinchey, WR Jordan Matthews, FB Kyle Juszczyk, CB Jason Verrett, DE Dee Ford & CB Ahkello Witherspoon. I love the facts that the Rams come in off extra rest having played @ Seattle (30-29 loss) last Thursday while SF is on a short week after disposing Cleveland 31-3 Monday night. Sean McVay hasn't loss 3 in a row in his HC'ing career. San Francisco may be 4-0 SU but their wins were against opponents who failed to make the playoffs & have a combined 5-15 record. Don't dwell on better records here since Los Angeles has already played Carolina, New Orleans & Seattle. My bottom line says NUMBERS don't lie! Not only are the Niners a perfect 0-5 SU & ATS after Monday nighters, the past 14 seasons have shown Super Bowl losers posting a solid 12-4 ATS record off 2 exact losses but a perfect 7-0 ATS IF their opponent comes in off a SU & ATS win. Don't lose track that L.A. QB Jared Goff has thrown for 1,649 yards compared to Garoppolo's 739 & the Rams have rushed for twice as many TD's (8 to 4) than SF. It will be interesting to see how Mike LaFleur, Mike McDaniel & Kyle Shanahan deal with DT Aaron Donald. Being just 3-2 SU, the sense or urgency clearly sits with the Blue & Gold! Let's go to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to play the LOS ANGELES RAMS as my Later Games' Old-Time Rivalry Survivor Play! NOTES: Even though it was a 3-3 week, it was nice getting outright underdog wins from Houston, the New York Jets & almost Detroit. I was disappointed on how BAD Rams' QB Jared Goff looked missing wide open receivers for TD's & long-gainers repetitively. San Francisco has a superb pass defense but Goff & his coaches (HC Sean McVay, Assistant OC Jedd Fisch & Run Game Coordinator Aaron Kromer) were far from being on the same page. I also felt Goff hasn't adjusted since he was exposed by Belichick in the Super Bowl. There's plenty of time for adjustments but the season will be on the line when they hit mid-November on when they take on the likes of playoff-caliber teams like Chicago, Baltimore as well as round 2's with Seattle & San Francisco. It looked liked Cleveland had command of Seattle by double-digits. However, QB Baker Mayfield threw 3 INT's & we wind up losing by a 1/2-point in the end. One thing for sure about the Jaguars pick, it was predicated on Jalen Ramsey getting his butt off the bench & playing some football. what did we get? We watched as the Jacksonville "D" still played superbly (yielded 13 points) with Ramsey watching from the sidelines with ego swelling. Unfortunately, it was missing a Shew' on offense as QB Gardner Minshew struggled going 14-for-29 for 151 yards & an INT as they only mustered 6 points on their way to an 1-2 SU start @ home this season. I thought the ML on the Lions should have cashed even though we won versus the number. Why have replay if you're NOT going to reverse 2 Aaron Rodgers hands-to-the-face penalties that DIDN'T happen! What if Detroit misses the playoffs because of that 1 game? Officiating better start getting it WAY more accurate! On upcoming games, it will be interesting to see how Sam Darnold handles the the Patriots 2nd-ranked pass defense (only 2nd to SF) on MNF. Three other games of intrigue will be Baltimore @ Seattle, New Orleans @ Chicago & Philadelphia @ Dallas. Let's turn the corner as we look to make a move to the top. Mike Handzelek's 2019 NFL Week 6 Record: 3-3 for 50% Mike Handzelek's 2019-20 NFL overall Record: 11-7 for a not too shabby 61%

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