One-third of the 2022 NFL regular season is in the books. That is an odd reality after the lengthy annual wait for football to begin, but it’s here and it doesn’t stop. The first four weeks were solid in the space, with Week 5 offering a disastrous result and Week 6 bringing middling outcomes. On the bright side, there is still time, and Week 7 offers an interesting menu of game action, even with high-profile teams enjoying bye weeks.
Before we get into this week’s quintet of selections, let’s check on the overall progress.
- Week 6: 2-3
- 2022 Season: 14-16
Come get these winners.
Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) over New Orleans Saints
I want to throw up. Arizona is maddening in every way. Arizona is poorly coached. Arizona cannot seem to function on schedule. Every caveat applies. However, this number is still short (although, I liked it more at -1.5 earlier this week), and New Orleans is suddenly scuffling a bit on defense amid offensive questions at quarterback and elsewhere. There is a “last stand” kind of vibe to the Cardinals on a short week, but Kyler Murray also tends to be much better when DeAndre Hopkins is on the field, and he’s back this week for good measure.
TEASER: Indianapolis Colts (+8.5) over Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins (-1) over Pittsburgh Steelers
From time to time, we lean on a teaser that fits strong principles. In short, Wong teasers (explanation here) can be profitable when taking key numbers into account, and this fits the bill. Indianapolis has been a tricky evaluation this season, but there are signs of life with a more pass-happy approach, and pushing this to 8.5 is appetizing. As for Miami, this is a home game against a shaky Pittsburgh team and, while we had the Steelers in successful fashion last week, Miami should be able to hold serve.
Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5) over Atlanta Falcons
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a Falcons fan. It’s been fun this season with a wacky, run-based approach, and the team is clearly overachieving its talent. In fact, the Falcons are 6-0 (!!!) against the spread and riding high after an outright win over the 49ers last week. Alas, it’s time to zag. This number was in the -10 range earlier in the season, and I’m buying the dip at less than a touchdown.
Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens OVER 45.5 points
I hate this as much as you do. We almost never give out Overs in this space, but this is a number we have to take. Cleveland is in the bottom six of the NFL in rushing DVOA and passing DVOA on defense, with the Ravens lined up to take full advantage. On the other side, Baltimore has been stingy against the pass and vulnerable against the run, which is not the formula you want against the 2022 Cleveland Browns. I also like Baltimore but that number has gotten away from us. Hold your nose and root for a lot of points.
Denver Broncos (-1) over New York Jets
Yep, we’re doing this again. Denver treated us well on Monday night, getting home as an underdog in Los Angeles. This is a different situation in needing the Broncos to actually win a football game, but I think this line should be three. New York is enjoying a nice season and, well, Denver’s offense stinks, but the Broncos bring a top-shelf defense and this is a friendly number for us at home.