NFL Week 7 Predictions and Best Bets: Hammering the OVERs

  • Coming off a perfect 3-0 week, I’m expanding to four “Locks” in Week 7. 
  • That’s despite four teams being on bye and two games being off the board due to QB injuries. 
  • If you follow my advice, you’ll be rooting for points, points, and more points this weekend. 

Week 6 was the big score I’ve been waiting for all year. Mason Crosby’s bounce back game for the Packers finished off a three-team parlay and cemented a 3-0 record for my “Locks of the Week,” bringing my profits for the year to a tidy $301.30 (a.k.a. +3.01 units).

  • “Locks of the Week” 2018 ROI: $301.30 (based on $100 wagers)
  • Week 6 ROI: $277.06

The schedule is a little thinner in Week 7 with four teams on bye (Packers, Raiders, Seahawks, Steelers). Two games are also off the board at the moment due to the uncertain status of a couple starting QBs (Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Miami’s Ryan Tannehill). But there is still enough on the betting menu to find four solid wagers.

Below, find the odds and predictions for every Week 7 game, followed by the Locks of the Week at very bottom. As always, the Locks of the Week are the only ones that I would recommend to a friend. Quality over quantity remains the key to successful NFL betting.

Denver Broncos vs Arizona Cardinals

Time & Date: 8:20 PM ET, Thursday, Oct. 18th

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Broncos -2.5 (-115) -140 O 41.5 (-110)
Cardinals +2.5 (-105) +120 U 41.5 (-110)

The Broncos (2-4, 0-2 away) are a bad football team on away from Mile High, getting outscored 61-30 by the Ravens and Jets. The Cardinals (1-5, 0-3 home) have yet to win at home, but they have the defense (8th in DVOA) to force more mistakes out of Case Keenum (7 TD, 8 INT). Rookie QB Josh Rosen is looking more comfortable every week and had his first 200-yard passing day against a solid Minnesota defense in Week 5 (21/31, 240 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT).

I like the Cardinals to, not just keep it close, but win on the field.

Score Prediction: 20-17 Cardinals

Best Bet: Cardinals’ moneyline (+120)

Tennessee Titans vs Los Angeles Chargers (London, England)

Time & Date: 9:30 AM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Titans +6.5 (-105) +235 O 45.5 (-110)
Chargers -6.5 (-115) -275 U 45.5 (-110)

Talk about two teams heading in opposite directions. The Titans (3-3, 1-2 away) have lost two straight, could only must 12 points against the lowly Bills (13-12), and were just shutout by the Ravens (21-0). Marcus Mariota was sacked 11 times by Baltimore. That’s more than his number of completions (10/15, 117 yards, 0 TD). The entire team only had 106 yards of total offense. Mariota is not 100% healthy and has no one to throw to without Delanie Walker.

The Chargers (4-2, 2-1 away) meanwhile have won three in a row, including back to back double-digit laughers (26-10 vs Oakland; 38-14 at Cleveland). Philip Rivers is playing some of the best football of his legendary career, sitting second in the NFL in passer rating (115.1), and the defense is learning how to function without Joey Bosa, recording eight sacks in the last two games combined. The travel factor is always tough to predict, but all else being equal, the Chargers are a significantly better team right now.

Score Prediction: 30-13 Chargers

Best Bet: Chargers -6.5 (-115)

Buffalo Bills vs Indianapolis Colts

Time & Date: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under

Odds for this game will not be posted until the injury status of Bills starting QB Josh Allen becomes more clear.

Score Prediction: TBD

Best Bet: TBD

New England Patriots vs Chicago Bears

Time & Date: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Patriots -3.5 (-110) -190 O 49.5 (-110)
Bears  +3.5 (-110) +165 U 49.5 (-110)

The Patriots’ (4-2, 0-2 away) offense has looked much better the last three weeks, averaging 39.7 PPG, but those were all home games and two were against bad defenses (KC & Indianapolis). The Bears’ (3-2, 2-0 home) defense is holding teams to 13.5 PPG at home. Look for that unit to have a huge bounce back effort after give up 31 points to the Brock Osweiler-led Dolphins in Week 5.

New England is a subpar 21st in pass blocking, per Pro Football Focus, while the Chicago pass rush is still 3rd in the league even after being shutout of the sack department in Week 6.

Score Prediction: 24-23 Patriots

Best Bet: Bears +3.5 (-110)

Carolina Panthers vs Philadelphia Eagles

Time & Date: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Panthers +4.5 (-110) +175 O 45.5 (-110)
Eagles -4.5 (-110) -210 U 45.5 (-110)

Are the Eagles (3-3, 2-1 home) back or was their Week 6 domination purely a product of facing the abominable Giants (34-13)? I think it’s more of the former. The NY defense is actually half decent, and Carson Wentz (26-36, 278 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) made them look like the Falcons. Their big weakness this year has been in the secondary, which has been routinely torched for big plays. Carolina doesn’t really have the weapons on the outside to capitalize on that, and they don’t have the offensive line to contain Philly’s top-ranked pass rush (per PFF).

That said, Cam Newton almost always finds a way to put his share of points on the board. The OVER is a safer bet than the spread.

Score Prediction: 28-23 Eagles

Best Bet: OVER 45.5 (-110)

Detroit Lions vs Miami Dolphins

Time & Date: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Dolphins OFF OFF OFF

This line will not be posted until the Dolphins announce whether Ryan Tannehill () or Brock Osweiler will start.

Score Prediction: TBD

Best Bet: TBD

Minnesota Vikings vs New York Jets

Time & Date: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Vikings -3.5 (-105) -170 O 47.0 (-110)
Jets +3.5 (-115) +150 U 47.0 (-110)

The Vikings (3-2-1, 1-1-1 away) are not the juggernaut some were expecting them to be heading into the year. They were supposed to be the most balanced team in the league, but the elite defense we saw in 2017 is 26th in DVOA and giving up 24.7 PPG (18th). On offense, they are completely one dimensional without RB Dalvin Cook, sitting 8th in passing yards per game and 28th in rushing yards per game.

The Jets (3-3, 2-1 home) have won two straight in pretty dominant fashion (36-16 vs Denver; 42-34 vs Indianapolis) and get to stay home for a third straight week. This line is based more on what we saw last year than this year. The Jets have been a better team than the Vikings on the whole, sitting 17th in overall DVOA compared to 24th for Minnesota.

Score Prediction: 24-23 Jets

Best Bet: Jets +3.5 (-115) 

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs

Time & Date: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Bengals +6.0 (-105) +210 O 59.0 (-105)
Chiefs -6.0 (-115) -250 U 59.0 (-115)

The Bengals (4-2, 2-1 away) are not an elite team. Their defense has been the beneficiary of timely takeaways. Those didn’t come last week and thus they lost at home to rival Pittsburgh (28-21). Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and Joe Mixon will score against KC’s 28th-ranked defense, but Patrick Mahomes and company are liable to put up half-a-hundred against this Cincinnati unit.

The Chiefs (5-1, 2-0 home) will jump out to a double-digit lead, however, and won’t need to push the pace, so take KC — which has a 13.5-point average margin of victory at home — instead of the OVER.

Score Prediction: 37-24 Chiefs

Best Bet: Chiefs -6.0 (-115)

Cleveland Browns vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Time & Date: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Browns +3.0 (EVEN) +145 O 49.5 (-110)
Buccaneers  -3.0 (-120) -165 U 49.5 (-110)

The Browns (2-3-1, 0-2 away) have yet to win on the road and were just harpooned at home by the Chargers (38-14), but I’ve already talked about how good the Chargers are. The Bucs (2-3, 1-1 home) are nowhere near that level. Jameis Winston had a nice statline against Atlanta in a tough 34-29 setback (30/41, 395 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT), but the Falcon defense is the second-worst in the NFL in both DVOA and scoring.

Guess which defense is dead-last in both those categories. If you said Tampa, you win! Just like the Browns — whose defense is second in DVOA — are going to do on Sunday.

Score Prediction: 29-26 Browns

Best Bet: OVER 49.5 (-110)

Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Time & Date: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Texans +5.0 (-110) +185 O 41.5 (-110)
Jaguars -5.0 (-110) -225 U 41.5 (-110)

The Texans (3-3, 1-2 away) are on a three-game win streak, but two came in OT and the third was an unimpressive 20-13 win over Buffalo last Sunday, a game that was tied until a late pick-six from Bills backup Nathan Peterman. Suffice to say, Houston is not exactly riding high.

Neither are the Jaguars (3-3, 2-1 home) however. Blake Bortles has regressed to the player we knew circa 2016, completing just 55% of his passes over the last two weeks while tossing five picks and just two TDs. The Jags have been held to 14 points or fewer in three of their last four, and their defense has been average instead of elite.

That said, Bortles has been much better at home this year (and last), posting a 101.1 passer rating in Jacksonville compared to 61.6 on the road, and the Jags swept the series last year (29-7 at home, 45-7 in Houston).

Score Prediction: 23-17 Jaguars

Best Bet: Jaguars’ moneyline (-225)

New Orleans Saints vs Baltimore Ravens

Time & Date: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Saints +2.5 (-105) +120 O 49.5 (-110)
Ravens -2.5 (-115) -140 U 49.5 (-110)

The most fascinating game of the week sees the high-flying Saints (4-1, 2-0 away) taking their fireworks show on the road to Baltimore (4-2, 2-0 home). Drew Brees is first in the league in passer rating (122.3) and has New Orleans averaging an NFL-best 36.0 PPG. But the Ravens are holding teams to an NFL-low 12.8 PPG, have allowed just 17 points in two home games, and are fresh off a shutout of the Titans in Week 6 (21-0). They sacked Marcus Mariota 11 times last Sunday.

This week, however, they will be facing a top-notch offensive line that has surrendered just eight sacks through five games and ranks 6th in pass blocking (per PFF). They’ll also be facing a Saints team coming off a bye. New Orleans is also re-writing the narrative that their offense doesn’t travel, putting up 43 at Atlanta and 33 at the Giants in their two road games so far.

Shockingly, the Saints’ much maligned defense is first in DVOA against the run, which is going to put pressure on Joe Flacco to keep up with Brees through the air. I’ll take Brees in that battle every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

Score Prediction: 24-23 Saints

Best Bet: Saints’ moneyline (+120)

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington

Time & Date: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Cowboys +1.5 (-110) +105 O 41.0 (-110)
Washington -1.5 (-110) -125 U 41.0 (-110)

The Cowboys (3-3, 0-3 away) still have no outside weapons, but apparently they don’t need any. The combination of Ezekiel Elliott (24 carres, 106 yards, 1 TD) in the backfield and Cole Beasley (9 receptions, 101 yards, 2 TDs) in the slot was plenty to rout Jacksonville in Week 6 (40-7), though obviously a ton of credit goes to the defense (204 total yards allowed, 2 takeaways, 3 sacks).

Washington jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead against Carolina on Sunday, but needed a last-minute stop in the red zone to hold on for a 23-17 win. They were outgained 350-288 in the game and only came away with the W thanks to a +3 turnover differential. That said, this was the second home win in a row over an above-average team, and now Washington faces a Dallas squad that is 0-3 on the road and hasn’t topped 16 points in those three games.

This should be a pick’em on a neutral field, so you’re getting good value on Washington -1.5 at home.

Score Prediction: 23-20 Washington

Best Bet: Washington -1.5 (-110)

Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers

Time & Date: 8:20 PM ET, Sunday, Oct. 21st

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Rams -10.0 (-105) OFF O 52.5 (-110)
49ers +10.0 (-115) OFF U 52.5 (-110)

With Kyle Shanahan crafting the game-plan and calling the plays, the 49ers (1-5, 1-1 home) are going to keep it close more often than not, even with Matt Breida injured and CJ Beathard at the helm. They nearly pulled a massive upset as double-digit dogs in Week 6 at Green Bay (33-30).

For the second straight week, the Rams went into a tough road environment (Mile High Stadium) and won the game but failed to cover, edging Denver 23-20. On the road for a third straight week, expect a similar result from the banged-up Rams. Win and advance is the name of the game for LA right now.

Score Prediction: 28-21 Rams

Best Bet: 49ers +10.0 (-115)

New York Giants vs Atlanta Falcons

Time & Date: 8:15 PM ET, Monday, Oct. 22nd

Team Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Giants +6.0 (-115) +215 O 54.5 (-110)
Falcons -6.0 (-105) -255 U 54.5 (-110)

Decimated on defense, Atlanta has given up at least 34 points in four straight games. This should be a prime spot for Eli Manning to get right, not to mention a great chance for Saquon Barkley to go off again.

Keeping up with Atlanta at home is a big ask. The Falcons are scoring 34.0 PPG at home; the Giants have only hit 30 points once in their last 40 games.

But still, neither team has a pass rush (T28th in pass rushing, per PFF) and this should be yet another track meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Score Prediction: 33-26 Falcons

Best Bet: OVER 54.5 (-110)

Locks of the Week

  • Chargers -6.5 (-110)
  • Chiefs -6.0 (-115)
  • Panthers vs Eagles OVER 45.5 (-110)
  • Browns vs Buccaneers OVER 49.5 (-110)

Alexander is the MTS editor-in-chief. Frank, Alex, and Geoff brought him in when they realized that their betting expertise far surpassed their grammatical abilities. He loves overanalyzing college basketball trends. Talking to him during the first weekend of March Madness is like talking to a wall. A very focused wall, but a wall nonetheless.

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