The season becomes more intriguing and exciting as teams get ready for NFL Week Six.
Several teams are still seeking their first wins of the season. This includes the two franchises that call MetLife Stadium home.
And there’s the situation in Dallas in which the Cowboys will be playing without Dak Prescott. More on his season-ending injury later.
Hard to believe, as we enter NFL Week Six, that there have already been two coaching changes.
Let’s look at the Football Five.
Jets + Giants = zero moneyline payouts
The New York Jets and New York Giants are the latest example of why the NFL should be grateful to legalized NJ sports betting. If the 18 NJ sportsbook apps didn’t exist, imagine what the lack of interest would be like in the NFL’s largest market.
The two teams are a combined 0-10 on the moneyline.
The Giants at least have a pulse and are 3-2 against the spread. The Jets are so bad that even the cutouts are staying home.
Looking ahead to Week Six, the Giants are hosting the Washington Football Team and are favored for the first time this year. DraftKings Sportsbook set the opening line at Giants -3.5 prompted, which attracted enough Washington money to move it down to -2.5 early Wednesday morning.
This line could move throughout the week, so timing will be important.
The Jets are +8.5 against the host Miami Dolphins, who just plastered the San Francisco 49ers, 43-17.
And New York will be playing without running back Le’Veon Bell, who was released on Tuesday.
Trusting Justin Herbert + the Chargers
Justin Herbert, the rookie signal caller for the Los Angeles Chargers, was brilliant against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. Unfortunately, his efforts were undermined by kicker Michael Badgley.
Herbert took the Chargers into the end zone in the fourth quarter and into position to win on the last play of regulation. But Badgley’s game-winning field goal hit the upright.
In overtime, after the New Orleans Saints kicked a field goal, the Chargers were stopped half a yard shy of a first down at midfield. Los Angeles nearly beat the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and now the Saints.
They are a deceiving 1-4 and should be strong when they return from the bye week. The Chargers will put a hurting on somebody in the not-too-distant future.
Cowboys + the Prescott factor
The NFL has been sending get-well wishes to Dallas superstar Dak Prescott, who was lost for the season in the team’s 37-34 triumph over the Giants on Sunday.
What does the loss of Prescott mean to the line? Nearly six points. The Cowboys were -3 against the Arizona Cardinals in early betting for Monday night’s game. Now they are + 2.5, a swing of almost a touchdown.
Dallas is looking smart for signing Andy Dalton in the offseason. The former Bengals quarterback had hit a ceiling with that team and could not get them past the early round of the playoffs.
Now he inherits a Cowboys offense loaded with talent. Zeke Elliott is a premier runner, rookie CeeDee Lamb has emerged as a star receiver and Dalton himself is a veteran.
Prescott’s injury does remove the Cowboys’ mystique, however. Opponents know they are facing Dalton and will pressure a quarterback who is far less mobile than Prescott.
Oddity upon oddity: The Cowboys, at 2-3, lead the NFC Least. Dallas has scored a whopping 163 points, the second-highest total in football behind the Seattle Seahawks (169 points).
With all that offense, guess how many times the Cowboys have covered the spread?
Dallas has also given up 180 points, which leads the NFL.
Super Bowl champs come back to earth
The Las Vegas Raiders not only knocked the Kansas City Chiefs from the unbeaten ranks but manhandled them in Sunday’s 40-32 win — at +10.5 no less. Las Vegas removed some of Patrick Mahomes’s crossing patterns, making him work for everything he got.
The Chiefs are showing some holes. They have had significant stretches of offensive inactivity during three of their games, and the defense is shaky.
They looked to be on another planet after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 34-20 in Week Three.
Now they are on this one.
Looking at NFL Week 6 point spreads
The Green Bay Packers are the only team to cover the spread in every game (based on the DraftKings Sportsbook lines at kickoff). In NFL Week Six, the Packers are giving 2.5 points to Tom Brady and the hosting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In Week Five, the Bengals suffered their first loss against the number, being pounded 27-3 by the Ravens. They are still a big +8 in visiting the Indianapolis Colts.
Pittsburgh Steelers bettors are encountering late-game drama on a weekly basis. This team plays close to the number every week, and with two minutes left, the spread is usually up for grabs.
Take last weekend’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The score was 31-29 Pittsburgh for a good chunk of the fourth quarter. The line was Steelers -7.5 points. The home team put the game away with 2:59 remaining when Chase Claypool scored his fourth touchdown of the day,
The Steelers are -3.5 against the visiting Cleveland Browns, winners of four straight overall and three in a row against the spread. Cleveland has hit 30 points on four consecutive weeks for the first time in over 50 years.
The Steelers are 3-1 against the number and are 4-0 for the first time since 1979.
Sportsbook operators will tell you that coaching changes rarely impact the line. But I think they impact performance, as players respond from fear of losing their jobs. The Texans earned their first win and cover of the season under new coach Romeo Crennel on Sunday.
This week, the Atlanta Falcons finally fired coach Dan Quinn and replaced him with Raheem Morris. Will the players react?
Atlanta, 0-5 and 1-4 against the spread, is +3.5 when facing the host Minnesota Vikings.
It will be interesting to see if the Falcons show up. Their season is over, and the Vikings are in must-win mode at 1-4, including two losses by a single point.
Bettors note: There are no teams giving double-digit points this week.