Schwartz’s Trench Report: Vikings-Jets, Bills-Colts Highlight My Favorite Week 7 NFL Bets
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kirk Cousins
- Former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz offers his best bets based on the battles up front.
- He's picking the over/under in two Week 7 games featuring poor offensive line matchups: Bills-Colts and Vikings-Jets.
I can’t believe how quickly this season is flying by. I’m not one to brag (yeah right), but I completely nailed the Chiefs-Patriots game in last week’s trench report. The Chiefs covered in a high-scoring affair that featured two teams with excellent offensive lines and run games.
So let’s pay close attention to the Week 7 report.
There’s been an offensive explosion in the NFL and scoring records might fall by the end of the season. So what do we do: Continue to pound the over (like most people will do), or try finding value in under plays?
There are two totals in games featuring poor offensive line matchups that I’m eyeing this weekend. Let’s start in Indianapolis.
>> All odds as of Thursday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts
- Spread: Colts -7
- Over/Under: 43
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
The Bills are starting Derek Anderson, whom they signed last Tuesday.
I’ve played with a quarterback who was signed on a Tuesday and shortly thereafter started on a Sunday. And, to be fair, he was far worse than Anderson. But I don’t think that matters here.
Anderson wasn’t in camp. He’s new to the playbook. When he got into games with a good offensive line and run game in Carolina the past two seasons, he was below average.
Now mix in the Bills’ offensive line — which is fifth-worst in running back yards per carry (3.43) and dead-last in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Sack Rate — along with their lack of offensive weapons, and this is a recipe for disaster.
You might say, “Oh well, they are playing the 1-5 Colts.”
That is accurate. But the Colts have played much better than their schedule at times, especially on defense. They are *eighth in Football Outsiders’ rush defense DVOA and get to the quarterback at a decent clip, as well.
This is a bad matchup for the Bills.
Adding to my love for the under here is the Colts’ offensive line issues.
I love Andrew Luck. He’s awesome. But this line has struggled, even with the return of left tackle Anthony Castonzo. And while the Colts are middle of the road in rushing attack, they’re near the bottom of the league in explosive runs, which means two things: 1) They don’t have backs who can make would-be tacklers miss, and 2) lineman aren’t getting downfield to open large lanes.
The Bills’ rushing defense is one of the best in the league, so I think the Colts struggle to move the ball.
This feels very much like a 23-13 win for Indianapolis, which is a green dot for the under.
The Bet: Under 43
Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets
- Spread: Vikings -3.5
- Over/Under: 46
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
This line opened at 47, and despite only 29% of tickets coming in on the under as of writing (see live data here), it dropped to 46.
That should be a sign that sharps are on the under, and so am I.
The Vikings are a legit Super Bowl contender, but their offensive line is a complete mess. They’ve allowed Kirk Cousins to be pressured at a 40% clip, sixth worst in the NFL. They finally got their first rushing touchdown last weekend against the lowly Cardinals, and now they hit the road to face a stingy Jets defense that’s good on third down and in the red zone.
On the flip side, we have a rookie quarterback up against the Vikings.
The Minnesota defense hasn’t been its usual self, but it’s starting to round into form, shutting down the Cardinals in Week 6 and getting after the Eagles in Week 5. I see more of that happening against Sam Darnold on Sunday.
The Bet: Under 46