For the second straight week, I had a rough go of it, although I think a lot of people misfired on games that seemed to be in hand (even while they were being played!) but then went by the wayside. Nevertheless, when you fall off the horse, you quit and go to the ranch house for a beer and some food. No, I mean, you get back on (yeah, sure, whatever).
A number of the NFL’s top teams are on their bye this week, but looking at the games on the schedule, there are quite a few where is no “intuitive” pick. That makes doing your homework about rivalry history, trends and, most importantly, how a team has fared missing certain players due to injury, more important than ever. Good luck — here are the NFL Week 7 odds and betting lines!
Last Week’s Picks: 6-8-1 Best: 1-3
Season Totals: 45-49-4 Best: 12-11
Buffalo (-4) @Jacksonville (Westgate Superbook)
This is not a home game for Jacksonville but yet another tilt in London, England. The Bills will once again be without the service of Tyrod Taylor, and if Sammy Watkins plays, he will not be 100%. That said, Buffalo is still the better team, and the better team has a history of winning convincingly in the overseas games. Frankly, it’s a miracle Blake Bortles and the Jags’ receivers have done as well as they have considering that their offensive line is complete dog shit. Playing decently well despite pressure is a terrific sign for a young QB. Bottom line: the Bills need this game to keep pace and I think they’ll win it.
Buffalo Bills 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Cleveland (+7) @St. Louis (5Dimes)
Here’s a fantasy tip – start Todd Gurley this week. He’s been great, and the one thing the Browns are worst at is stopping the run. Overall, I don’t see this as a touchdown spread game. St. Louis should be able to hold serve in their own building, but they have no offensive weapons to run up the score, and Cleveland will struggle all day against their defense. I like the Rams to win, but not by a lot.
St. Louis Rams 20 Cleveland Browns 16
Pittsburgh (-2) @Kansas City (Betonline.ag)
Good luck finding a spread on this game. I won’t be picking Kansas City anytime soon until they prove they can run their offense effectively without Jamaal Charles. No one is sure who will be playing quarterback for the Steelers on Sunday, but it probably won’t matter.
Pittsburgh Steelers 23 Kansas City Chiefs 17
Houston (+4.5) @Miami (Westgate Superbook)
I’m not much of a believer in the Texans, but Miami just does not cover spreads over 3 points very well and they are in a look ahead situation with the Patriots looming on Thursday. The Texans are a much better team with Brian Hoyer under center so I have a bit more of a comfort level taking them. I like the under a bit here also but I’ll stick with taking Houston and the points.
Miami Dolphins 24 Houston Texans 20
NY Jets (+10) @New England (5Dimes)
The goofylicious lines with the Patriots continue. Sure, it’s always possible they’ll go postal on whomever they’re playing, but the Jets have a run-centric low-mistake offense and a defense that should make scoring at least a challenge for Saint Brady and the Heavenly Receiving Corps. I’ll take the 10.
New England Patriots 27 New York Jets 20
Minnesota (-2.5) @Detroit (Westgate Superbook)
This is a tough spot for the Lions. They got their first win last week but it was an overtime ordeal somewhere in the neighborhood of pulling teeth. They also have to travel to London next week. Even though Detroit may have turned a corner for this season, Minnesota has actually dominated this rivalry to a very surprising extent considering that these two teams have not really been that far apart in terms of relative success recently.
Minnesota Vikings 27 Detroit Lions 24
Tampa Bay (+3.5) @Washington (MGM Mirage)
I am so very tempted to take Tampa Bay to win outright in this game, but I’m a big chicken and I don’t trust young Master Jameis just yet and I really don’t trust the rest of the Buccaneers to necessarily show up when they should. If they do, however, they might just be better man to man than the RacialSlurs. I certainly don’t trust Kirk Cousins to do anything special here.
Washington RacialSlurs 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22
Oakland (+4) @San Diego (Westgate Superbook)
Once again, I find myself tempted to take an underdog to win outright, but even though I think the Raiders are on a rising arc while the Chargers are on the decline, the Chargers have won 6 of the last 7 meetings and this game is in San Diego. I’m more than happy to take the Raiders and the 4 points and wait until the setting switches to Oakland on Christmas Eve before looking for Oakland to win the game outright. As yet another aside, I like the under in this game as the number seems quite high at 47, but I’m not willing to go that route on an AFC West rivalry game. Things can get crazy in these.
San Diego Chargers 23 Oakland Raiders 21
Dallas (+3.5) @NY Giants (Pinnacle)
This is yet another NFC East rivalry where the road team has the advantage, but in this case I am off of the Cowboys until they actually show up for a game where Tony Romo isn’t playing. Their defense has failed miserably despite getting Rolando McClain and Greg Hardy back and about the last person I would blame for their current losing streak is Brandon Weeden. Maybe Matt Cassel will make a difference after all, but I say “show me” before I take Dallas in a game like this where the Giants need a divisional win to keep pace.
New York Giants 28 Dallas Cowboys 24
Philadelphia (+3) @Carolina (MGM Mirage)
I don’t know how the Eagles keep winning with Sam Bradford turning the ball over like he’s addicted to interceptions, but it ends this week against a very stout Panthers defense. I’m not sure Carolina can cover the 3 points but I am confident they win this game and I’ll take my chances on the margin of victory.
Carolina Panthers 21 Philadelphia Eagles 15
Cleveland @St. Louis o/u 42 (Westgate Superbook)
You’ve got two teams here who want to run the ball, you’ve got a Rams team with a particularly strong defense, and neither offense is what you’d call explosive. This game is tailor made for an under bet.
St. Louis Rams 20 Cleveland Browns 16
Atlanta (-4.5) @Tennessee (MGM Mirage)
The Falcons come into this game smarting a bit from their loss to the Saints, and have had 10 days to prepare for this game against a Titans team that may not have Marcus Mariota at 100%, if he plays at all. While I usually avoid Atlanta on the road, this one looks a little too good to pass up. As an aside, the over on this game looks pretty good, but I don’t want to take it without knowing that it will be Mariota and not Zach Mettenberger at quarterback for Tennessee.
Atlanta Falcons 30 Tennessee Titans 20
New Orleans (+4) @Indianapolis (Westgate Superbook)
I’ve gotten burned this season relying on Andrew Luck’s near infallibility coming off a loss, but I have a very strong feeling that Indy will have no trouble running it up this week against a Saints defense that does not offer much resistance. Brees vs. Luck in a dome? I should go with the over too but the Saints, even Brees, have been SOOOOO inconsistent on offense that I’ve shied away from that side bet. Instead, I’ll take Indy and the points.
Indianapolis Colts 31 New Orleans Saints 24
Philadelphia @Carolina o/u 46.5 (MGM Mirage)
This is my absolutely positively can’t miss mortal lock of the week. Both the Eagles and Panthers are winning with defense and it is pretty much unfathomable to me that this game turns into a shoot out. Instead, I like the Panthers to score just a little more than the Eagles can, with both defenses able to walk away with their heads held high. Take the under.
Carolina Panthers 21 Philadelphia Eagles 16
Baltimore (+10) @Arizona (5Dimes)
The Ravens sure have stunk the joint up this season! Have they, are you sure? Because I see a team that hasn’t lost a game by a touchdown or more all season. In fact, their worst margin of defeat was six, opening day, against the Broncos. This is also a team that managed to beat the Steelers, and went toe to toe with Cincinnati. While the Cardinals seem to be alternating brilliant performances with rats ass ones, I don’t think Baltimore gets blown out here. They’ll find a way to keep it under 7 points.
Arizona Cardinals 28 Baltimore Ravens 23