The NFL Week 5 early starts serve up a trio of interdivisional showdowns.
- The Chargers head east to face the first-place Cleveland Browns.
- Seattle goes to New Orleans to face the Saints.
- The Detroit Lions play the New England Patriots.
We take a look at who to take for your NFL picks in three of the matchups.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns
Sunday, October 9, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at FirstEnergy Stadium
The Chargers and Browns gave NFL fans one of the wildest regular season games of last year in a shootout won by Los Angeles, 47-42. Almost exactly one year later, they’re ready to do it again.
Both teams have 2-2 records, which is good for a share of first place for Cleveland in the AFC North. It puts the Chargers a game behind Kansas City in the West. Both teams have shown they are vulnerable. The Chargers had a shocking loss to Jacksonville in Week 3, while Cleveland has lost to the Jets and Falcons.
The Browns have benefitted from a soft early schedule, facing a roster of quarterbacks who have been backups until very recently. Chargers' Justin Herbert, who leads the league in passing despite the rash of injuries on the offensive line and at receiver, is on a different level than anyone the Browns have seen thus far.
The Chargers are among the league leaders in offense but rank No. 30 in defense. Cleveland has the sixth-best scoring offense but has been shaky on defense and special teams, so expect another shootout.
Even depleted by injury, the Chargers seem to have more firepower. The pick here is that the Browns won’t be able to keep pace.
Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday, October 9, 2022 - 01:00 PM EDT at Caesars Superdome
The Saints have lost three straight games since an opening weekend win over Atlanta, while the Seahawks won a shootout with Detroit last weekend to even their record at 2-2.
New Orleans returns to the Superdome after playing the Vikings in London last week, and the jet lag isn’t the only adversity facing the Saints. Quarterback Jameis Winston missed last week’s game with bank and ankle problems, and it’s still up in the air whether he returns this week or veteran backup Andy Dalton gets another start.
Offensive stars Alvin Kamara (rib) and Michael Thomas (foot) are also battling injuries. Both missed the London game, and their status for this week is uncertain.
Usually, teams get to have a bye week coming back from an overseas game, but the Saints opted not to take their bye this early in the season, which is why they’ll have the quick turnaround following the long trip.
The Seahawks seem to be adjusting to life after Russell Wilson. His replacement at quarterback, Geno Smith, threw for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. Running back Rashaad Penny has also been a surprise, running for 151 yards last week, and receiver DK Metcalf is blossoming into one of the league’s best offensive weapons.
Seattle needs those three players to keep producing in order to keep pace with a defense that has been allowing points at one of the top rates in the NFL.
With all of New Orleans’ injuries, Seattle will likely have the three most dangerous offensive players on the field for Sunday’s game. Look for the Seahawks to pull the upset on the road for your best bets.
NFL Pick: Seahawks +6 (-117) at BetOnline
Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots
Sunday, October 09, 2022 - 01:00 PM EDT at Gillette Stadium
Two last-place teams meet in Foxborough when the 1-3 Lions face the 1-3 Patriots. New England has played a tough schedule, losing to three likely playoff teams in Miami, Baltimore, and Green Bay, the latter game going to overtime last weekend. Level of opposition aside, the Patriots' offense has struggled this season, and things don’t look like they’ll be getting better anytime soon.
New England has managed just 74 points on the year, and the Pats will likely be starting their third-string quarterback in the game. That would be Bailey Zappe, a rookie who made his NFL debut when he entered last Sunday’s game after backup Brian Hoyer suffered a head injury. Starter Mac Jones was already out with an ankle he hurt the week before.
The Pats were already embracing the run game this season, and it seems like they’ll go even farther in that direction with Zappe at quarterback. Look for Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson to get plenty of carries.
The Lions' defense could be just what New England needs at this point in the season. Detroit is at the bottom of the NFL in most defensive categories. They allow 165.5 yards per game on the ground, which is 30th in the NFL and their 5.6 yards per carried allowed is worst in the league.
They’ve also allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL. Detroit isn’t any better against the pass, giving up 279.3 yards per game, which is also 30th in the league.
The Lions have been one of the top rushing teams in the league this season, while the Patriots have also struggled defending the run. So expect a clock-control game with very few possessions.
The Patriots' defense is better against the pass, however, and Bill Belichick should be able to find a way to solve the Lions' run game.
NFL Pick: Patriots -3 (-113) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.