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    Every week in the NFL, nothing makes any damn sense.

    It’s why we love it. It’s why we can’t get off the intravenous drip. It’s why we’re compelled to watch garbage teams playing in prime time.

    But there comes a time in every fan’s life when they need something to make some semblance of sense. That’s why on Fridays, I’ll be looking at the upcoming week’s toss-up games ATS, according to RunYourPool VIP data (which you can sign up to access with a VIP account here). I’ll throw some numbers at you, they’ll make sense, and then we’ll all win our pools.

    Importantly, too, I’ll start every subsequent week’s column with a look at the previous week’s results and hold myself accountable so I can be mocked on Twitter. It’s important to stand by your principles, after all.

    DVOA data from Football Outsiders

    Team grades data from Pro Football Focus

    Last Week: 1-2-1

    Well, nobody succeeds in their first go-round, right? Just ask Matt Rhule.

    The first edition of Friday@4 used a bunch of math, analytics, and logic.

    The results went about as well as a Bears goal-to-go throw. (Sorry not sorry, Ryan Griffin.)

    Not only that, all but one of my bonus underdog picks straight-up lost. An inauspicious start, I’ll admit.

    This week, though! This week, things are gonna change. We’ve only got two toss-up games for Week 6, but they’re both fascinating. In theory, at least. Much like every football fan over the age of 40, we’re gonna throw those scary numbers away and just go with our GUT.

    Bucs @ Steelers

    +8.5 Pittsburgh Steelers 48%

    -8.5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 52%

    Y’all, come on now. This shouldn’t be a toss-up! Sure, the Bucs’ offense essentially sat out the second half of last week against the Falcons. It’s the Falcons. The Steelers are, for all intents and purposes, even worse. This line should reasonably be -9.5. Do you know what fuels men to over-perform and show off their true love (Mike Evans) in front of millions of people? A bitter, contentious divorce. That, and the vagaries of tattoo removal.

    Tom Brady is 9-3 against the Steelers for his career, though this is the first time he’ll face them as a Buccaneer. Does that matter? Should it? We’re going with our gut, people. It’s Brady against a rookie making his second career start. Don’t overthink it. It’ll be double-digits by halftime and you can switch over to…Bengals-Saints, maybe? The early slate kind of sucks.

    The F@4 Pick: TB -8.5

    Bills @ Chiefs

    -2.5 Buffalo Bills 49%

    +2.5 Kansas City Chiefs 51%

    This is the big one, people. The rematch. We know the story here, no need to recap it; unless you’re Travis Kelce, of course, who just three days ago showed his own four-touchdown prowess (on 97% fewer yards, no less).

    Unlike our previous entry, this game 100% deserves its toss-up status. So many narratives:

    The folks at The Ringer have a delightful schematic breakdown of these two teams if you’re into that sort of thing. After a bunch of discussion and stats thrown around… it’s still a toss-up. Can the Bills figure out Patrick Mahomes? Does Josh Allen somehow figure out how to throw a 101-yard touchdown pass? Does any of it matter when we just suffered through this?

    Barring unforeseeable tragedy in the form of Jackson Mahomes donating $10K to 4chan during pregame warmups, this should be the most entertaining, explosive, shorts-wetting bonanza of a game we’ve yet had this season. The bar’s set pretty high, and we’ve been let down before, but I feel confident with my gut here: I buy into the revenge angle, shutting down the fans at Mile High by putting the home team in a 20-point second-half hole that finally buries them. This result, by the way, creates a “Revenge: The Return” narrative for the post-season. You’re welcome.

    The F@4 Pick: BUF -2.5

    Friday Fifth:

    The Cardinals (36.8) and the Seahawks (42.0) have the two worst-graded pass coverage units in the league, and face off this week. 63% of RYP VIPs pick Arizona -3.5, in Seattle.


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    About Author

    Matt K

    Matt is the Social Media Manager at RYP and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He has experience managing social media accounts with agencies, small brands, and large companies. He’s a diehard New England sports fanatic, and if he’s not watching the Celtics, he can be found roaming around Boston discovering all that the city has to offer.

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