The 2022 NFL season is flying by, as we’ve already reached the point when bye weeks start. The Raiders, Texans, Titans and Lions are off this week, leaving us with 14 games to pick from in Week 6.
There were some really disappointing performances in Week 5 (with the Monday night game still to come), so several teams will be trying to bounce back. Some others will be looking to ride the wave after big victories.
Here are three early lines of interest for Week 6 (odds are from DraftKings):
Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams (-9, 42)
The Panthers look like the worst team in the NFL. Baker Mayfield isn’t long for the starting quarterback job and Matt Rhule isn’t long for the head coaching job. The Panthers are 3-16 ATS in their last 19 games. They are also 1-27 SU and 5-23 ATS when allowing at least 17 points. The Rams should be able to eclipse that number and then some (the 49ers just hung 37 points on Carolina).
This is a really big number, but the Rams need a get-right game. They need an opportunity to blow a team out and this is a team that they should be able to blow out. The offense needs to be able to go off on somebody. The defense has been relatively solid throughout the season, but the offense has struggled. Against a Panthers team that just allowed 6.5 yards per play to the Niners and once again failed to get much pressure, it sure looks like this is the game the Rams get on track.
Pick: Rams -9
New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns (-2.5, 42)
The Browns left points on the field again against the Chargers on Sunday but continued to rack up yards at a really high rate. Cleveland had over 400 yards for the second straight week and had 6.8 yards per play. This has been a very efficient offense that grades well in success rate and DVOA metrics. Sure, they’ve struggled in the red zone and in the kicking game, but their performance on offense has been strong enough to put up a lot of points.
The Browns defense has been bad. They allowed 6.7 yards per play to the Chargers and also lost some key players during the game, including top cornerback Denzel Ward to concussion protocol. Mac Jones is not Justin Herbert, especially in his current state, but Cleveland has been gashed by both the pass and the run. A well-coached team should be able to find the weaknesses to exploit in this Joe Woods defense and get this game at least into the upper 40s, if not more.
Pick: Over 42
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8, 43.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Buccaneers have really struggled offensively so far. They got some players back against the Falcons and still only managed 21 points. Tampa Bay struggled to get the running game going again, so they became very one-dimensional on offense. Tom Brady threw for over 350 yards, but the Bucs only managed 5.6 yards per play. They came into the game with just 5.2 yards per play. The offensive line has had some issues protecting Brady, who, as we know, does not move particularly well.
The Kenny Pickett era started with a whimper as the Steelers mustered just three points in a blowout loss to the Bills. They were able to throw for over 300 yards, but they were also trailing badly throughout the game and played against a lot of soft zone coverage. It was a lot of empty, garbage-time offense. While the Steelers have had very little efficiency on offense, the defense has played well for the most part, even without T.J. Watt. Pittsburgh can keep Tampa Bay in check, and the Bucs should do the same with the Steelers.
Pick: Under 43.5