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Rick Zamperin’s Week 6 NFL picks: New Cowboys sheriff Andy Dalton finds a way

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) drops back to pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) drops back to pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Primetime NFL games were not my friend in Week 5, certainly not when it came to the spread.

Overall, I had a record of 9-5 straight up and went 6-8 against the spread last week, but split the four primetime tilts straight up and laid a goose egg against the number.

So, it is redemption week. I hope.

With more positive COVID-19 cases popping up over the last couple of weeks in Tennessee and New England, the schedule makers have been forced to make some tweaks and that meant there wasn’t a Thursday night football game in Week 6.

Read more: Quebec’s student sports federation hits pause on university sports due to COVID-19 crisis

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (-9.5) This game was one that had to be delayed because of COVID-19 cases. Pats quarterback Cam Newton was the first player to test positive in New England and if he is cleared to play, that will be bad news for the Broncos. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has also had a long time to game plan against Denver. New England 31-16

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) The Steelers and Browns are playing some really good football right now. Both offences have found their rhythm, but Pittsburgh has a big advantage on defence. Will Canadian receiver Chase Claypool score four more TDs this week? Unlikely, but he should help the Steelers get the win. Pittsburgh 30-24

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-3) The Texans picked up their first win of the season last week for interim head coach Romeo Crennel, but that was against 1-4 Jacksonville. Now they play the undefeated Titans. Tennessee has looked very good this season and is coming off a 42-16 thrashing of the previously unbeaten Buffalo Bills. Tennessee 27-21

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Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles (+7.5) The Eagles were burned by Canadian Chase Claypool of the Steelers last week and are back home to host another AFC North powerhouse. 4-1 Baltimore has made it a habit of blowing out inferior teams this season and 1-3-1 Philadelphia falls into that category. Fly Ravens Fly. Baltimore 33-20

Washington Football Team at New York Giants (-3) Oof! Something’s gotta give here. 0-5 New York hosts 1-4 Washington in an early season candidate for the ‘Toilet Bowl.’ This game is a coin flip, and won’t be worth watching — unless you feel the need to punish yourself. N.Y. Giants 23-17

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) Atlanta will try to duplicate what Houston did a week ago, that is, fire their head coach and then pick up their first win of the season. Raheem Morris is now in charge of the Falcons but he inherits a team that will likely be without star receiver Julio Jones again this week and a club that just hasn’t played well in 2020. Minnesota 30-24

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Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) A pair of one-win teams meet in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars host the Lions. Detroit is coming off its bye week and may be playing for head coach Matt Patricia’s job in this one. The Jags defence gets exposed, again. Detroit 34-28

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (-8) Both teams enter this game on a downer. The Bengals were blasted by Baltimore while Indy fell to Cleveland. The Colts are the much better team, especially defensively, and will rattle rookie QB Joe Burrow. Indianapolis 24-13

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (-2.5) Who would have thought that the Panthers would be 3-2, especially after they lost All Pro running back Christian McCaffery to injury? And how many of you thought the Bears, with their quarterback issues, would be 4-1? This should be a good tilt, and I’m going to lean to the home team. Carolina 21-20

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New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-8.5) Miami is coming off a blowout victory against the defending NFC champions in San Francisco while the Jets are 0-5 and on the cusp of firing head coach Adam Gase. Plus, on Tuesday, New York released running back Le’Veon Bell after failing to find a trade partner. Things are not going well with ‘Gang Green.’ Miami 30-17

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2) Aaron Rodgers versus Tom Brady. This should be fun. The 4-0 Packers are coming off a bye week and are playing on the road against the 3-2 Bucs. Tampa Bay is still licking its wounds following a 20-19 loss against Chicago in the previous installment of Thursday Night Football. For some reason, I smell a small upset. Tampa Bay 31-30

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (+3) The last two NFC champions meet in a good old fashioned western showdown. But this tilt doesn’t seem to be a fair fight, not with all the injuries the 49ers are having to deal with. The Rams are a well coached club, and well oiled machine, and should be able to pick apart their hobbling division rivals. L.A. Rams 33-20

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Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (+3) If the Packers-Buccaneers tilt isn’t the game of the week, then this one is. Both the Bills and Chiefs are coming off disappointing losses in Week 5 and will be motivated to get back into the win column. Buffalo QB Josh Allen is enjoying a great start to the season but he isn’t at the level of K.C.’s wonder pivot Patrick Mahomes. Also, the Chiefs just got even more dangerous by adding RB Le’Veon Bell. Kansas City 31-27

Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys (+2.5) A week after losing Dak Prescott to a gruesome ankle injury that will sideline the Cowboys’ starting quarterback for the rest of the season, Dallas hosts Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. Andy Dalton is the new sheriff in ‘Big D’ but the question is can the 10-year NFL veteran get the job done? Arizona is going to see its fair share of Dallas tailback Ezekiel Elliott, who I think will have a big game. Dallas 27-24

Overall straight up 49-26-1

Overall against the spread 34-41-2

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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