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NFL Betting Line Movement Analysis for Week 6 (2021)

by October 15, 2021

Last week saw NFL betting favorites come in big time. Sportsbooks were largely massive losers this past weekend. While some of that action can be attributed to other sports and events, the success rate of NFL favorites certainly played a big role. Week 6 marks the start of byes around the league. Four of the 32 teams will be idle this week. We also have a number of injuries that are impacting the lines and already causing moves across the betting market. As always, it behooves bettors to note adjustments in the odds from opening to present and consider what exactly might be behind each shift.

The following article highlights some of the most significant and noteworthy NFL line moves and breaks down what might be behind each shift. As always, a table containing both the opening and current betting odds for each game on the Week 6 slate is included at the end of this column. 

Significant NFL Week 6 Line Moves | Point Spreads


Rams at Giants (LAR from -6.5 to -9.5)
Historically, west coast teams traveling east to play an early kickoff game have struggled. However, the NFL betting market hasn’t shied away from backing the Los Angeles Rams this week ahead of their road tilt against the New York Giants. The Rams originally opened as just under a touchdown favorite. The line has been bet up a full three points. L.A. is now laying nearly double digits. 

The Rams successfully got back on track last week after suffering their first loss of the season in Week 4. Matthew Stafford tore up the Seattle Seahawks’ secondary last Thursday, and Robert Woods went off in the win after playing second-fiddle to Cooper Kupp early in the season. Meanwhile, the Giants could not hang with the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys last week. New York has just one win on the season and has left a lot to be desired defensively. In addition, the Giants saw quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, and top wideout Kenny Golladay all exit last week’s game with injuries. Of the three, Jones is the only one who figures to have any shot of playing this week. It’s no surprise to see the line move against a battered Giants squad in this spot.

Seahawks at Steelers (PIT from +2.5 to -5)
This Sunday night game has seen the largest point spread move of any Week 6 matchup. After opening as 2.5 point underdogs, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now laying a full five points ahead of this home tilt against the Seattle Seahawks. To the Steelers’ credit, they looked sharp in knocking off the Denver Broncos last week to snap a three-game losing streak. However, this massive line move has much more to do with the Seahawks. Seattle lost quarterback Russell Wilson to an injury in last week’s loss. After undergoing surgery this week, Wilson is set to miss the next four to eight weeks. No disrespect to Geno Smith, but he’s no Russell Wilson. Add in the Seahawks’ porous defense and it adds up to this spread moving a full touchdown.

Bills at Titans (BUF from -3.5 to -5.5)
The final point spread move that we will explore in detail this week is Monday night’s battle between the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans. After opening as 3.5 point favorites, the Bills have taken action and are now laying 5.5 points on the road ahead of this matchup. After Buffalo took it to the Kansas City Chiefs on the road last weekend, it’s hard to argue against the Bills right now. The offense is electric, and the defense looks to be drastically improved from a year ago. Through five games, the Bills are 4-1 ATS. Furthermore, they are covering by an average of over two touchdowns per game!

On the flip side, the Titans have left a lot to be desired through the first five weeks. For as impressive as they were in knocking off the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, Tennessee also lost outright to the New York Jets the following Sunday. Getting back on track against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars last week isn’t saying much. The Titans’ defense isn’t likely to provide much resistance to the Bills’ offensive attack on Monday. Considering the inconsistent play of the offensive line thus far, Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, and the offense will face a tall task in trying to keep pace.

Significant NFL Week 6 Line Moves | Totals


Chargers at Ravens (48 up to 51.5)
Given what both the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens did offensively last week, the rise in this over/under line shouldn’t come as a surprise. Justin Herbert went bananas in a thrilling win to get the Chargers to 4-1. And while it took Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ offense a full half to get going, they ultimately could not be stopped down the stretch in their overtime victory on Monday night. 

While the Chargers have actually been one of the NFL’s best defensive teams through five weeks, trying to stop the video game that is Jackson won’t be easy. As far as the Ravens defense, this is a unit that has actually been struggling. The strong effort against the Denver Broncos two weeks ago notably came against a team that was without both starting offensive guards. Herbert and the dynamic L.A. passing attack should be able to exploit the various injuries in the Baltimore secondary. 

Cardinals at Browns (53.5 down to 49.5)
This total move might be the best example of a betting line going against public perception. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is now the betting favorite to win the MVP award after a tremendous start to the season. Meanwhile, Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns scored 42 points against the Chargers in last week’s shootout loss. Despite these things, the over/under has crashed down a full four points ahead of this Week 6 showdown.

First and foremost, the Cardinals’ defense is a big factor in this handicap. Vance Joseph’s unit is legit. Pass-rushers J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones have wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines all season. The secondary has a nose for the football as well, forcing 10 turnovers through five games. The Browns defensive front is also a force to be reckoned with when healthy. Health is a big cause for concern when it comes to this matchup. Both Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are banged up for the Browns. The same can be said for Byron Murphy and Jordan Hicks on the Cardinals’ defense. Despite the injury concerns, this line move to the under certainly runs contrarian to public perception.

Week 6 NFL Betting Line Moves Table

Refer to the table below for a side-by-side comparison of the opening and current Las Vegas consensus lines for all Week 6 NFL games including those discussed above.

Note: All current odds reflect lines at 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday, October 14th

Matchup Opening Lines Current Vegas Consensus
Buccaneers
Eagles
-6.5
52.5
-7
52.5
Dolphins
Jaguars
-2.5
43.5
-3.5
47
Texans
Colts
43
-10
43
-10
Packers
Bears
-4.5
46
-4.5
44
Chiefs
Washington
-5.5
54
-6.5
55.5
Vikings
Panthers
48
-1
-1
46
Chargers
Ravens
48
-3
51.5
-3
Bengals
Lions
-3.5
49
-3.5
47.5
Rams
Giants
-6.5
50
-9.5
49
Cardinals
Browns
53.5
-3
49.5
-3
Raiders
Broncos
44
-2.5
44
-3.5
Cowboys
Patriots
-1
48
-3.5
51.5
Seahawks
Steelers
-2.5
48
42.5
-5
Bills
Titans
-3.5
53.5
-5.5
54.5

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Henry John is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Henry, check out his archive and follow him @HankTimeHenry.

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