Can Browns hand Cardinals first loss?

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Throughout the 2021 season, a panel of Sportsnet’s NFL contributors will preview each week’s slate of games from a gambling perspective. Staff writer/host Donnovan Bennett, staff writers Emily Sadler and Mike Johnston, plus fantasy writers Andy McNamara and Matt Marchese will pick one FAVOURITE, one UNDERDOG, one OVER, one UNDER, including their personal LOCK, as they attempt to beat the odds

A high scoring Week 5 saw the over go 10-6, while favourites went 10-5-1 after Green Bay’s dramatic three-point win over the Bengals resulted in a push.

Week 6 gets underway with Tom Brady and the defending champion Buccaneers visiting Jalen Hurts and the Eagles on Thursday and wraps up with the Titans hosting the high-flying Bills on Monday.

Sandwiched between those prime-time matchups are Chargers vs. Ravens and Cardinals vs. Browns – the consensus two best matchups on the Sunday slate.

Here are the panel’s Week 6 picks.

Donnovan Bennett, staff writer/host
2021 record: 10-10-0
Last week: 2-2-0
Locks: 3-2-0

🏈 Chiefs at Washington OVER 55.5
🏈 Bills at Titans UNDER 54
🏈 Cardinals (+2.5) at Browns
🔒 Panthers (-1) vs. Vikings

Emily Sadler, staff writer
2021 record: 11-8-1
Last week: 1-2-1
Locks: 2-3-0

🏈 Cardinals at Browns OVER 50.5
🏈 Dolphins vs. Jaguars UNDER 47
🏈 Lions +3.5 vs. Bengals
🔒 Cowboys -4 at Patriots

The Lions play with too much heart to keep losing like they have. Dan Campbell needs a win (and I need to witness the joy of the post-win press conference to follow). Meanwhile, the Cowboys are rolling on both sides on the ball right now, and I’m actually surprised they’re not favoured by more against the Patriots. Feels like an easy lock to me.

Mike Johnston, staff writer
2021 record: 8-12-0
Last week: 1-3-0
Locks: 1-4-0

🏈 Texans at Colts OVER 42.5
🏈 Cardinals at Browns UNDER 50.5
🏈 Colts (-9.5) vs. Texans
🔒 Chargers (+3) at Ravens

The Chargers win this game outright, so not getting the hook is irrelevant to me this week. This is a perfect letdown spot for the Ravens on a short week coming off that dramatic OT win Monday over the Colts. Ironically, I’m banking on that same Colts team to bounce back and blow out the Texans.

Andy McNamara, analyst/fantasy sports writer
2021 record: 10-10-0
Last week: 3-1-0
Locks: 2-3-0

🏈 Chiefs (-7) at Washington
🏈 Raiders (+3.5) at Broncos
🏈 Dolphins vs. Jaguars UNDER 47 (neutral-site game in England)
🔒 Buccaneers at Eagles OVER 52

Tom Brady’s victory lap against Father Time is getting ridiculous. The man is coming off of a five-touchdown, 411-yard game and somehow looks to be getting better at 44-years old. That’s why this total of 52 is an obvious over to me.

Tampa Bay’s averaged 33.4 points over the first five weeks, while Philadelphia’s averaged 23 points during the season. With a growing offence and young QB, it’s not surprising the Eagles offensive output is a little more volatile. However, they’ve proven to be able to score in bunches and have posted 30 or more points twice already in 2021.

Matt Marchese, radio host/producer/fantasy football writer
2021 record: 8-12-0
Last week: 3-1-0
Locks: 1-4-0

🏈 Chiefs at Washington OVER 55.5
🏈 Rams at Giants UNDER 47.5
🏈 Chargers (+3) at Ravens
🔒 Bills (-5.5) at Titans

I’ll ride the Bills again this week after a dominant performance against the Chiefs which saw them torch Kansas City’s defence for 38 points. The Bills are 3-0 in their last three ATS against Tennessee and should be able to put up points on another subpar defense.

Bonus stat: The Rams have hit the under in nine straight games as non-division road favourites. Both Kansas City and Washington have been at or over 55 points in four of their first five games each.

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