Ultimate Week 7 NFL Betting Guide: Picks & Predictions For Every Game

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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Teddy Bridgewater, Sean McVay, Josh Allen

  • See our staff's betting picks and predictions for every NFL Week 7 game.
  • We'll analyze the betting odds for Rams at Falcons, Saints at Bears and more.

Can Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints keep rolling without Drew Brees? Should you trust the Bills to cover as 17-point favorites against the Dolphins? Will the Rams bounce back on the road in Atlanta?

Our experts are here to help you find the best betting angles for Sunday’s 1 and 4 p.m. ET games.


Odds as of Friday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).


Here are all the games they’ll hit on:

  • Raiders at Packers: 1 p.m. ET
  • Rams at Falcons: 1 p.m. ET
  • 49ers at Redskins: 1 p.m. ET
  • Texans at Colts: 1 p.m. ET
  • Vikings at Lions: 1 p.m. ET
  • Jaguars at Bengals: 1 p.m. ET
  • Cardinals at Giants: 1 p.m. ET
  • Dolphins at Bills: 1 p.m. ET
  • Chargers at Titans: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • Ravens at Seahawks: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • Saints at Bears: 4:25 p.m. ET

See how they’re betting all 11, complete with Sean Koerner’s projected odds, analysis of the biggest matchups and much more. (Including picks for every game.)


Go To: OAK-GB | LAR-ATL | SF-WAS | HOU-IND | MIN-DET | JAX-CIN | ARI-NYG | MIA-BUF | LAC-TEN | BAL-SEA | NO-CHI


Raiders at Packers Betting Odds

  • Odds: Packers -5
  • Over/Under: 47
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

The Packers have only lost one game this season while the Raiders are above .500 coming off back-to-back wins after a tumultuous training camp. Bettors are rolling with the Raiders right now, with nearly 60% of bets on them to cover the spread after a bye week.

Should you follow the public?

Our analysts break down every angle of this matchup, complete with Sean Koerner’s projected odds as well as trends and a pick.

Raiders-Packers Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Raiders

Tyrell Williams (foot) still isn’t practicing, which isn’t a good sign for his status. It sounds like he won’t suit up as he continues to deal with plantar fasciitis.

The Packers could be in a heap of trouble, too, with three of their starting receivers banged up. Davante Adams (toe), Geronimo Allison (concussion) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/knee) were all absent from practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If all three are ruled out, Green Bay would be missing 73% of its Air Yards and 54% of its target share. Justin Bailey

Note: All injury info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Josh Jacobs vs. Packers Run Defense

The Raiders rookie has been a strong lead rusher, ranking eighth in rushing yards despite coming off a bye. His 4.9 yards per carry ranks is tied for fourth among running backs with at least 100 carries, and is the same as Christian McCaffrey.

The Raiders rank third in Football Outsiders’ run offense DVOA while the Packers sit 26th in run defense DVOA. They were gashed at home by the Eagles in Week 4, with Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard combining for 159 rushing yards on 26 attempts (6.2 yards per carry).

Jon Gruden knows his team is limited on offense and will center most of their plays through Jacobs, who also has eight targets over his past three games.

Steven Flynn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Jacobs

This Oakland offensive line has performed at an elite level, ranking third with 5.01 adjusted line yards and has allowed only six sacks this season. Green Bay has an elite pass-defense but will need to commit to stopping Jacobs.

If Williams, the Raiders’ top wide receiver, misses this game, a run-heavy game script would be even more prevalent.

The Packers should stack the line and tempt the conservative Derek Carr to make plays through the air. If Jacobs has a strong game, the Raiders’ sixth-best run defense will put even more pressure on an already-compromised Packers’ passing attack. — Mike Randle

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Packers -8
  • Projected Total: 47

Everything sets up for the Packers at -5 here.

My Pass/Run Funnel Model gives the Packers a 0.70 rating, which has an in-sample predictive value of 62.5%. The market seems to be leaning toward the Raiders here with 55% of the action coming their way as of writing (see live public betting data here), hence the line drifting down from 7.

One thing I’ll want to monitor before pulling the trigger on the Packers is the health/availability of Adams and Allison. Aaron Rodgers needs both to be active for me to feel more confident in backing them.

They brought in former Packers back Ryan Grant, which could be a sign they expect one or both wide receivers to miss. Either way, it’s a cluster injury worth waiting to get clarity on before betting on the favorite. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Matthew Freedman: Packers -5

Rodgers has notable home/away splits against the spread.

  • Home: 50-28-3 | 24.7% ROI
  • Away: 42-39-1 | 1.9% ROI

In the Rodgers era (since 2008), the Packers are the only team in the league that ranks top-five in home/away scoring differential for both offense and defense, as they have averaged 3.7 more points per game at home than on the road and held opponents to a league-best 4.9 fewer points in Green Bay.

As a result, they have an NFL-high 8.5-point overall home/away scoring differential. At Lambeau Field, they truly have a home-field advantage.



I bet this at -6.5 earlier in the week.


Rams at Falcons Betting Odds

  • Odds: Rams -3
  • Over/Under: 55
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

The Rams made a huge splash by landing cornerback Jalen Ramsey in a trade and they’ll need him to be as good as the hype against a high-scoring Falcons offense.

This game has the highest total of the weekend and bettors are heavily backing the Rams and the over with more than 70% of tickets taking both. Should you follow the public’s lead?

Our analysts break down the angles of this game, including Sean Koerner’s projected odds, a Pro System play, key matchups and an expert pick.

Rams-Falcons Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Falcons

The Falcons are in pretty good shape. Julio Jones (hip) remains limited, but there isn’t anything to worry about there. They could be without CB Desmond Trufant (toe) for the second game in a row, however.

Sean McVay isn’t sure whether Ramsey will play yet, but he said the goal is to have him play this week. Todd Gurley (quad) has been practicing in a limited fashion and McVay said he’s “hopeful” Gurley can play.

The Rams are also dealing with an injury to Gurley’s backup, Malcolm Brown (ankle), who hasn’t practiced in consecutive days and McVay considers him questionable. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Rams Pass Offense vs. Falcons Pass Defense

Jared Goff is coming off a horrendous 78-yard performance, but he still has the league’s best trio of wide receivers in Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks. He also has an emerging tight end in Gerald Everett and a head coach who should be able to exploit a good matchup in McVay.

And this is undoubtedly a good matchup. The Falcons are No. 31 with a 39.7 Pro Football Focus coverage grade.

Over the past four weeks, the Falcons allowed 1,303 yards and 13 touchdowns passing to Jacoby Brissett, Marcus Mariota, Deshaun Watson and Kyler Murray. Clearly, Watson is a top quarterback and Murray has potential, but that’s hardly a murderers’ row of passing talent.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: DeAndre Hopkins (10), Ricardo Allen (37)

It’s not just that the Falcons secondary is bad. They’re also missing Pro-Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal (Achilles), who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3.

In the slot, Kupp should dominate against cornerback Damontae Kazee, who has allowed an 80% catch rate this season. Split out to the right, Woods will face fill-in corner Kendall Sheffield, a fourth-round rookie with one NFL start and 71 coverage snaps to his name. And out wide on the left, Cooks will run routes at cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who has allowed a 75% catch rate this season.

In my Week 7 WR/CB matchups piece, I graded all three of these matchups heavily in favor of the receivers.

With such an edge in what’s expected to be a high-scoring back-and-forth game, Goff could pass for 400 yards.Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Rams -3
  • Projected Total: 54

The Rams gave away two first- and one fourth-round pick to acquire Ramsey. It’s worth noting they traded away Marcus Peters and lost Aqib Talib to IR.

I’m treating them straight-up this week, assuming Ramsey is able to suit up, but their main issues still lie with their offensive line. It’s also becoming clear that the league has been able to figure out their offense, which means McVay is now the one who needs to adjust. We’ve seen that with them incorporating their tight ends more recently, and they should be able to exploit the Falcons’ lack of pass rush.

I expect Goff and the Rams to have a bounce back game, but the line(s) look about right, so this is a pass for me.Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

The Rams have been one of the most profitable teams to start the 2019 season, covering the spread in four of their six games. The same can’t be said for the Falcons, who are tied with the Ravens and Redskins for the worst record against the spread (1-5).

Nearly 70% of spread tickets are on the Rams to cover as road favorites as of writing (see live public betting data here), but bettors shouldn’t expect each team to continue their ATS ways.

ATS records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet teams with bad ATS records against opponents with winning ATS records.

Following this simple Pro System, bettors have gone 165-103-9 (61.6%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,289 following this strategy. Bettors are counting the Falcons out against the Rams, but history suggests Atlanta can cover as a home underdog. John Ewing


PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.


Expert Picks

Stuckey: Falcons +3

The Rams have gambled with an inexperienced interior on the offensive line and its backfired significantly.

Out of 57 guards with at least 250 snaps, Joseph Noteboom and Austin Blythe don’t rank in the top 50 in PFF’s overall grade. With Noteboom now hurt, rookie fifth-round draft pick David Edwards will make his first career start on the road.

Center Brian Allen has been one of the worst in the NFL at his position. And on the outside, an aging Andrew Whitworth and a suddenly lost Rob Havenstein haven’t helped matters.

Take a look at just how bad the line has performed:

  • Offensive line ranks last in pass-blocking efficiency at 76.2 (the next worst is Miami at 80.0)
  • They’ve allowed a league-high 91 QB Hurries (the next-highest is Green Bay at 60)
  • They have given up a gaudy 115 QB Hurries (the next-highest is the Chargers at 115)

Per PFF, Goff has dropped back under pressure a league-high 114 times. That’s 43.3% of all drop backs — the second-highest frequency in the NFL, trailing only Daniel Jones in New York.

On those plays, he has an adjusted completion percentage of just 60.7 — 21st out of 21 quarterbacks with a minimum of 150 drop backs. In comparison, Matt Ryan, who also deals with a shaky offensive line, sits at 68.9% — seventh-best in the league.

The strength of Atlanta’s defense is the interior of its defensive line. Expect the Falcons to blow up a number of plays, forcing Goff into some drive-killing inaccurate throws and/or turnovers.

The Rams acquired Ramsey to help to their struggling secondary, but if he can’t go, the two starting outside corners will be Troy Hill and Darious Williams (making his first career start). That’s not ideal against an explosive Falcons offense averaging 317.8 passing yards per game, trailing only the Chiefs.

The Falcons are also a mess along the offensive line, but that doesn’t disrupt the Falcons’ offense as much. L.A. will certainly score points against a beat up and subpar Atlanta defensive backfield. But I’ll gladly take the points at home in a game that I have as a coin flip.


49ers at Redskins Betting Odds

  • Odds: 49ers -10
  • Over/Under: 40.5
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

The 49ers have been the biggest surprise of the season with their dominant defense leading the way. Now they head to Washington D.C. to face a team in shambles and are one of just two double-digit favorites.

Bettors seem to be happy to lay the points with 81% of tickets backing the 49ers to cover, the highest ticket percentage for any team this week. Can the Redskins keep it close?

Our analysts break down every angle of this game, including Sean Koerner’s projected odds, key matchups, trends and a spread pick.

49ers-Redskins Injury Report

Which team is healthier? 49ers

Case Keenum (shoulder/foot) and Adrian Peterson (quad) both returned to full practice after sitting out on Wednesday. The Redskins could be without Chris Thompson, who is dealing with turf toe. Thompson hasn’t practiced since leaving last week’s game early. Josh Norman (thigh/hand) also hasn’t practiced this week, so his status will be something to monitor come Friday.

George Kittle (groin) returned to limited practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. Deebo Samuel (groin) could be in jeopardy of missing this game after he left last week’s game early and has yet to resume practicing.

Corner Ahkello Witherspoon (foot) also hasn’t practiced this week and rates as the 49ers’ second-best corner in coverage, so his potential absence could be good news for some of the Redskins’ pass-catchers. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Tevin Coleman & Matt Breida vs. Washington Run Defense

San Francisco brings one of the NFL’s most efficient rushing attacks to FedEx Field. Since returning from a high ankle sprain, Coleman was produced consecutive RB19 and RB16 PPR performances, while Breida was the overall RB4 in Week 5.

Tevin Coleman-Matt Breida
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida

Both backs benefit from a Niners offensive line that ranks second in adjusted line yards and fifth in team yards per carry, ranking behind only the Ravens in rushing yards per game.

Washington ranks 20th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA and has allowed at least 4.1 yards per carry against every opponent this season. The last time the Redskins faced an opponent that even approaches the 49ers’ rushing efficiency, they allowed 6.3 yards per carry to the Cowboys (Week 2).

If Washington struggles to limit the San Francisco rushing attack, this game could get ugly. The Redskins’ pass defense has struggled to generate pressure while allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

With a league-high 56% run rate, the 49ers will likely skew run heavy and attack the biggest mismatch against the Washington defense. — Mike Randle

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: 49ers -11.5
  • Projected Total: 40.5

This under is popping as it’s -0.43 Pass/Run Funnel Model rating gets an in-sample 68.9% probability of hitting. This makes sense as the 49ers should be able to use their shutdown defense and efficient running game to bury the Redskins with ease.

Terry McLaurin looks like the real deal as he’s erupted in his rookie season. The problem is that he’s really this offense’s only weapon. San Francisco will be able to get away with double-teaming him since no other pass catcher will make them pay. Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

The 49ers are one of two undefeated teams. The Redskins have one win.

The Niner’s success on the field has been great for bettors as they’re the second-most profitable team this season with a 4-1 against the spread. Washington hasn’t been as kind to gamblers going 1-5 ATS.

But ATS records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet teams that have bad ATS records against opponents with winning ATS records.

Following this simple Pro System, bettors have gone 165-103-9 (61.6%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,289 following this strategy.

The Redskins are double-digit underdogs at home and aren’t expected to win. But history suggests they’re a good bet to cover. John Ewing

Expert Picks

Matthew Freedman: Niners -10

I snap bet this on Sunday night at -9.5 knowing it would almost certainly get to the key number of -10. Although I like the -9.5 way better, I’m still willing to bet it at -10.

On defense, the 49ers should be able to shut down the Redskins. In the passing game, the Redskins offense ranks 27th with 4.8 adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) while the 49ers defense is No. 2 with a 3.2 ANY/A.

As bad as the Redskins have been, the 49ers have made far better teams look worse than the Redskins when passing. That’s impressive.

In the running game, the Redskins are No. 30 with a 40% success rate. When rushing, they struggle to pick up the yardage necessary to sustain drives — and under interim head coach Bill Callahan, the Redskins actually want to be a run-heavy team.

Defensively, the 49ers are No. 12 with a 46% rushing success rate allowed. The 49ers don’t have an elite run unit, but it is above average, and against one of the league’s worst rushing offenses, it should be good enough. On offense, the 49ers should continue to roll, even without offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey.

The 49ers are actually last in the league with a 44.0% pass-play rate. But when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo drops back, I don’t expect him to face overwhelming pressure, as the Redskins have a middle-of-the-road 25.8% pressure rate.

In fact, they’re No. 30 with a 55% passing success rate allowed while the 49ers are No. 6 with a 50% success rate. I especially like the matchup for George Kittle: The Redskins are No. 26 in pass defense DVOA against the position. Not that there’s ever much of a reason to doubt Kittle, but he could be especially productive this week.

It’s unfortunate that the 49ers are without fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who is one of the best lead-blocking backs in the league. But even without him, I expect the 49ers will continue to rely on the run, especially if they get a lead.

Will the Redskins be able to stop the 49ers running game? I’m guessing not. They’re No. 27 with a 54% rushing success rate allowed.

With a double-digit spread anything can happen, especially with a road dog. But I have so little respect for the Redskins — who have a per-game differential of -12.8 points — that it’s hard for me not to bet against them with an opponent I consider to be vastly superior.


Texans at Colts Betting Odds

  • Odds: Colts -1
  • Over/Under: 47
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

The Texans lead the AFC South standings and face the Colts in Indy after their bye week. This game opened with a short spread and has only moved a half-point toward Houston since.

Bettors have been relatively split with a little more than 50% of bets taking the road team. So how should you bet this divisional matchup?

Our analysts break down every angle of this game, including Sean Koerner’s projected odds, key matchups, trends and a pick.

Texans-Colts Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Texans

The Texans should be full strength with Kenny Stills (hamstring), DeAndre Hopkins (ribs) and Will Fuller (calf/oblique) all logging full practices on Thursday. Stills seems to be back to full strength after his hamstring issue as he practiced in full on both Wednesday and Thursday.

The Colts will be getting linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion) back after he missed the past several weeks. And more good news, T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack are no longer on the injury report with the Colts coming off the bye.

Eric Ebron (illness) was added to the injury report on Thursday after he missed practice, so his status will be worth monitoring Friday. Most of the injuries to the Colts stem on the defensive side with corners Kenny Moore (knee) and Pierre Desire (hamstring) failing to practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Texans could have a field day if the Colts are missing some pieces in their secondary. Deshaun Watson could have even more time to throw if defensive Justin Houston (calf, DNP Thursday) doesn’t suit up. Houston was added to the injury report on Thursday and leads the Colts in pressures and hurries. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Texans Rush Offense vs. Colts Rush Defense

I am by no means enamored with the backfield duo of Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr., but on a team level, the Texans have been efficient on the ground with their 0.55 rushing success rate and 5.0 yards per carry.

It helps that they have one of the league’s better rushing quarterbacks in Watson, who has averaged 5.9 yards per carry for his career.

And Hyde is actually having a better season than most people realize. His 4.3 yards per carry is acceptable, and his 0.59 rushing success rate is exemplary: It’s actually the highest rate in the league for any lead back. Hyde doesn’t get a lot of yards, but for a high percentage of his carries, he gets enough yards for the offense to sustain drives.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson (25).

As for Johnson, he’s seeing just 6.2 carries per game, and while that’s not a large number, that’s more than the 4.7 he averaged in his first four years with the Browns. He’s having a highly efficient season, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

The run-game matchup for the Texans is almost as good as it could be. The Colts are No. 29 with a 58.9 Pro Football Focus run-defense grade. They especially struggle in the intermediate range of the field, where they rank No. 30 with 1.40 second-level yards allowed per run (per Football Outsiders). Once opposing backs get 5-10 yards past the line of scrimmage, they tend to pick up even more yardage.

And the Texans offense especially excels at the second level, where it ranks No. 2 with 1.49 second-level yards per run. With their downfield blocking, the Texans make it easy for their runners to pick up extra yards once they clear the line of scrimmage.

Watson and Johnson will pitch in, but this matchup really comes down to Hyde and his ability to keep drives going with steady yardage.

With back-to-back games of 20-plus carries, Hyde seems likely to be used heavily once again, and he could get a number of chunk-yardage runs thanks to the second-level edge the Texans have. — Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Colts -1
  • Projected Total: 46.5

This is a matchup of two teams that are typically undervalued according to my power ratings. I was expecting this market to favor the Texans here, but it looks like it’s in agreement with me with the Colts coming off a bye.

The betting behavior looks incredibly balanced, so this line looks solid. I’m going to pass on this game, but whichever team loses could be a value next week as both teams are better than their public perception.Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Freedman: Texans +1

Watson has been his best in adverse circumstances. His career doesn’t offer a huge sample of games, but his splits are suggestive (per RotoViz Game Splits App).

  • Underdog (13 games): 270.2 yards and 2.31 touchdowns passing, 39.3 yards and 0.62 touchdowns rushing
  • Favorite (16 games): 249.7 yards and 1.69 touchdowns passing, 29.6 yards and 0.25 touchdowns rushing
  • Road (14 games): 270.1 yards and 1.86 touchdowns passing, 38.1 yards and 0.50 touchdowns rushing
  • Home (15 games): 248.5 yards and 2.07 touchdowns passing, 30.1 yards and 0.33 touchdowns rushing

And we see these same splits reflected in his ATS record. As a dog, he’s 9-3 (48.4% ROI). On the road, he is 9-4-1 (33.8% ROI).

And as a road dog, he’s an outstanding 8-2 ATS (57.9% ROI).



I bet this at Texans +2.5 and +1.5, so I like the even lower price.


Vikings at Lions Betting Odds

  • Odds: Vikings -1.5
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

After suffering a heartbreaking loss on Monday night in Green Bay, the Lions head home to face the division-rival Vikings.

Our experts don’t think Detroit will be able to run much against a stout Minnesota defense, but expect a close finish. Let’s break down the odds and matchup.

Vikings-Lions Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Both teams are healthy.

Outside of DL Mike Daniels (foot), everyone on the Lions’ injury report has been limited in practice or upgraded to full, suggesting that most should be trending toward playing. The one player I’m keeping an eye on is S Quandre Diggs (hamstring), who was limited in practices last week but was eventually ruled out.

Vikings OL Riley Reiff (ankle) hasn’t practiced, and if he’s out, the pass blocking for Kirk Cousins will likely suffer. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Vikings Rush Defense vs. Lions Rush Offense

Simply put, the Lions can’t run the ball, which was evident in their loss to Green Bay. Detroit finished with a paltry 56 yards on 20 carries (2.8 yards per rush) against a Packers defense that’s struggled to defend the run.

For the year, the Lions are averaging only 3.8 yards per carry (26th in the NFL), so don’t expect Kerryon Johnson and Co. to churn out much on the ground against a Vikings defense that’s allowing the same amount (eighth).

Like most teams, the Lions succeeded running the ball against the Chiefs and their league-worst rush defense. Detroit finished with 186 yards on 35 carries in that home loss. But if you remove that game, the Lions are averaging a meager 3.3 yards per carry, which would sit higher than only the Dolphins, Bengals and Jets.

Detroit is allowing too many negative plays, ranking 27th in stuff rate (tackled behind LOS). I just can’t envision it doing much of anything on the ground against a rock solid Vikings defense that tackles as well as any team in the league. Per Pro Football Focus, Minnesota has a league-best 84.8 tackling grade — next best is Jets at 79.6.

So, if Detroit can’t run the ball, that will place Matt Stafford in more passing down situations than Matt Patricia would probably like. Stafford will face one of the NFL’s best edge rushing duos in Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter, both of whom rank in the top five among all edge rushers in hurries and pressures.

Here are the top five edge defenders in pressures of any kind:

They’ll be facing off against tackles Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner, who have struggled in pass protection, each sitting outside the top 50 in Pass Blocking Efficiency out of 65 qualified tackles with a minimum of 100 snaps.

Lastly, due to their lack of production in the run game, the Lions haven’t executed well in the red zone. And in a battle of two superb red zone defenses, that could make all the difference, especially considering the Vikings have an elite running back in Dalvin Cook facing a reeling Detroit defensive front. Stuckey

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Vikings -0.5
  • Projected Total: 44

You have to wonder where this line would be if the refs didn’t call those two phantom penalties on Trey Flowers and the Lions ended up beating the Packers on Monday Night Football.

I would guess it would be a pick ’em as my power ratings are meant to cut through the noise of game results. Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

The Vikings are 4-2 against the spread, covering by an average of 6.33 points per game. Cousins and Co. are making it look easy, but if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

ATS records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet against teams that have covered the spread by a big margin.

Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 308-237-16 (56.5%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,070 following this strategy.

The Vikings are a road favorite with more than 70% of spread tickets coming in on them as of writing (see live public betting data here). History suggests bettors should fade them and take the points with the Lions. John Ewing

Expert Picks

Koerner: Lions +2.5 or better

Given how both of these team’s recent results could be impacting this line, the Lions could be worth snagging if this pops over +2 and definitely if it reaches +3.


Jaguars at Bengals Betting Odds

  • Odds: Jaguars -4
  • Over/Under: 47.5
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Are the Bengals finally ready to pick up their first win of the season in a home date with Jacksonville? Our experts are skeptical of the Cincinnati defense, but expect a close finish.

Let’s break down the betting odds and see how our staff is betting this game.

Jaguars-Bengals Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Jaguars

The most notable injury for the Jaguars is Dede Westbrook (shoulder), who missed practice on Thursday and was added to the report. Mid-week additions are never great, so his status will be worth monitoring when they come out Friday. Also, TE Josh Oliver (hamstring) practiced in full and has been working with the first team. His return would be timely after losing James O’Shaughnessy for the season and with Geoff Swaim (concussion) not practicing this week.

A.J. Green (ankle) will continue to be out. Including Green, the Bengals had eight players miss practice this week. DL Carlos Dunlap (knee) could be one of the bigger losses for the Bengals if he’s unable to suit up since he ranks third on the team in pressures and hurries. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette vs. Bengals Linebackers

Since entering the league in 2017, Fournette trails only Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley with 23.2 opportunities (carries plus targets) per game. It’s a foregone conclusion that as long as he doesn’t suffer an in-game injury, Fournette will get as much action as he can handle.

In quarterback Gardner Minshew’s five starts, Fournette has averaged 135.8 yards from scrimmage on 20.4 carries and six targets per game. He has just one touchdown on the season, but that could change this weekend.

Last year, the Bengals allowed the second-most production to opposing backfields with 170.5 yards and 1.25 touchdowns from scrimmage per game. This year, they have somehow gotten worse with 192.5 yards and 1.67 touchdowns allowed.

Almost every back with eight carries against them this year has gone off, and Fournette might actually triple that number: Over his past three games, he’s averaged 24 carries.

Nick Vigil
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Vigil

Linebackers Nick Vigil and Preston Brown are especially to blame for the Bengals’ generosity to opposing backs. They have both been exposed on the ground and in coverage.

  • Vigil: 47.1 overall, 48.3 run defense, 50.8 coverage
  • Brown: 42.2 overall, 38.3 run defense, 53.1 coverage

The Bengals are fortunate to be only No. 26 in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA. They are at their worst in the intermediate range of the field, where they rank No. 31 with 1.59 second-level yards allowed per run: Once opposing backs get 5-10 yards past the line of scrimmage, the Bengals linebackers have been incapable of limiting yardage.

To make matters worse, the Bengals are No. 28 against running backs with a 31.9% pass defense DVOA. Last year, they were No. 31 with a 22.0% mark.

On the ground or through the air, they can’t stop anyone.

Against such a toothless defense, Fournette could have a 200-yard, two-touchdown day. It wouldn’t even be a surprise if rookie backup Ryquell Armstead sees some snaps if the Jags dominate on the ground. Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Jaguars -2
  • Projected Total: 43.5

The Jaguars dealt Jalen Ramsey to the Rams for two first-round picks and a fourth on Tuesday. It was a move that we sort of saw coming with Ramsey sitting out due to a “back” injury. It’s a short-term blow for the Jaguars, who are looking beyond 2019 to build their team of the future.

The Bengals +4 is one of the better plays this week.

To no surprise, the 0-6 Bengals are getting very little action with 78% of the tickets and 75% of the money pouring in on the Jaguars as of writing (see live public betting data here). Are the Bengals a bad team? Absolutely. But looking at their schedule to date, they’ve played four of their six games on the road, faced a fairly tough schedule and are now 0-4 in one-score games.

Their Pythagorean expected record is 1.4-4.6. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Travis Reed: Bengals +4

This is an ugly play since the Bengals are 0-6, but the line is too good in my opinion. The Bengals have played a tough schedule to date as the combined record of their opponents stands at 22-11-1 including losses to the 49ers, Seahawks, Ravens and Bills.

This team is still fighting, as four of their six losses have come by one possession, including road games against Baltimore, Seattle and Buffalo — three of the toughest places to play in the NFL.

The simulations that I run each week have the Bengals as slight favorites here. I was able to grab the Bengals +4 earlier in the week, but would easily take three points or more at home.


Cardinals at Giants Betting Odds

  • Odds: Giants -3
  • Over/Under: 50.5
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones were the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2019 NFL draft, and they’ll square off as pros for the first time on Sunday.

Our experts expect a lot of points in a matchup between two fast offenses and bad defenses. Let’s break down the betting odds and how our staff is betting the game

Cardinals-Giants Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Cardinals

The Giants would be the healthier team if Evan Engram (knee) and Saquon Barkley (ankle) both suit up. Both players have been practicing in full, so they should be trending in the right direction in an extremely inviting matchup. Sterling Shepard’s status is uncertain as he’s been limited in practice with a concussion.

David Johnson added an ankle injury to his woes, but he returned to a limited practice on Thursday, suggesting he should be fine for Sunday. Christian Kirk (ankle) could be healthy enough to play despite limited practice this week.  Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Evan Engram vs. Cardinals Pass Defense

The Cardinals are likely unhappy to see that Engram and Barkley are good bets to play after they missed last week’s loss to the Patriots.

Arizona ranks 32nd against opposing tight ends and 31st vs opposing backs in coverage. Just last week, Falcons tight end Austin Hooper went off for eight catches, 117 yards and a touchdown. If they play, expect huge games from Engram and Barkley, two of the most explosive players at their respective positions.

fantasy-football-standard-rankings-te-week-7-2019
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Evan Engram

Just take a look at what some of the other tight ends have done (catches/targets/yards/touchdowns) against the Cardinals this season:

  • Austin Hooper: 8/8-117-1
  • Will Dissly: 7/8-57-1
  • Mark Andrews: 8/9-112-1
  • J. Hockenson: 6/9-131-1
  • Greg Olsen: 6/7-75-2

That’s a total of 35 catches on 41 targets for 492 yards and six touchdowns. That means in those five games, opposing tight ends are averaging seven catches on 8.2 targets for 98.4 yards and 1.2 touchdowns!

They’ve been absolutely torched by opposing tight ends in all but one game against the winless Bengals. With Patrick Peterson returning to one of the two corner spots on the outside for Arizona, look for Jones to target Evan (and Barkley) early and often when he drops back. Stuckey

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Giants -2.5
  • Projected Total: 47

The Cardinals are on a two-game win streak and get Peterson back from his six-game suspension. The Giants have key offensive players who are questionable in Barkley, Engram and Shepard, so it would be a significant boost to the offense if/when all three are active and near 100%. I’m guessing Engram will play, Barkley will be limited and Shepard will sit.

With 79% of the money on the Giants as of writing (see live public betting data here), it’s driven the line up to the key number of 3, meaning now may be the time to lock in the key number. It doesn’t look like sharps are letting it get up to 3.5 as they might have the same read on this game as me at +2.5.

Despite the over getting 70% of the bets, this total has dipped from 49 to 48.5 and has since rebounded up to 50.5.

It makes sense that the public is attacking this over. You have two top-10 teams in terms of pace and two below-average defenses. Either offense is capable of scoring points in the right matchup. However, 50.5 points is still a bit high given Peterson’s return and the Giants having key offensive players at less than 100% health.

I’m leaning toward the under but am willing to see if the line continues to climb higher before taking it. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Mike Randle: Over 50.5

I’m gonna disagree with Sean here.

The return of Barkley would be ideal for a Giants offense that should score against an Arizona defense that ranks 30th in Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA. The Cardinals have been particularly poor against opposing quarterbacks, allowing 24.5 fantasy points per game (31st among all teams).

Jones should also be able to generate yards on the ground, as only the Bengals have allowed more rushing yards to opposing signal-callers.

The Cardinals offense also have a juicy matchup against a Giants team that is 28th in pass defense DVOA. Murray has improved every week and notched consecutive top-five fantasy quarterback performances. His wide receiving corps should be back to full strength with the potential return of Kirk. Before the injury, Kirk ranked third among all wide receivers in targets. New York allows the third-most points to opposing fantasy wide receivers.

Both the Giants (eighth) and Cardinals (first) play at an extremely quick pace, causing me to bet on the offensive playmakers in this matchup of two poor defenses.


Dolphins at Bills Betting Odds

  • Odds: Bills -17
  • Over/Under: 41
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Everyone’s favorite underdog to fade is back with another double-digit spread. But is this the week to take the points?

Our experts break down whether you can trust the Bills as 17-point favorites, complete with a comparison to Sean Koerner’s projected odds and a staff spread pick.

Dolphins-Bills Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Bills

The Bills are looking good off the bye. Devin Singletary (hamstring) has been able to practice in full for the first time since the season began. Barring a setback, he should be ready to go.

The other injury to watch would be John Brown (groin), who has practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday and Thursday. He leads the Bills with 34% of their Air Yards and 22% of their target share.

CB Xavien Howard (knee) has got in limited practices, but he did the same thing last week and was ultimately ruled out. His potential absence would be great news for Bills receivers, especially if S Reshad Jones (chest) is ruled out. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Bills Pass Defense vs. Dolphins Pass Offense

The 0-5 Dolphins are bad at everything, but they’re especially poor in the passing game. They rank dead last in Football Outsiders’ pass offense DVOA and Pro Football Focus’ pass-blocking grades.

At quarterback for the Dolphins will be starter-turned-backup-turned-starter journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. On the positive side, Fitz leads the league with a 12.0-yard average depth of target, and if the Dolphins are to have a prayer of winning, they’ll need to be aggressive with the ball and hope for a few lucky plays.

On the negative side is basically everything else. Fitz has a basement-level 55.7% completion rate this year and a sewer-level 4.2 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A).

Ryan-Fitzpatrick-Kalen-Ballage
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kalen Ballage

Fitz is better than backup-turned-starter-turned-backup Josh Rosen (53.2%, 3.3 AY/A), but not by much. And if Fitz tanks early in the game, the Dolphins might once again turn to Rosen.

But regardless of who starts and finishes at quarterback, he’s likely to struggle against the Bills, who have created a dominant defense under third-year head coach Sean McDermott. They’ve held opposing teams to a bottom-three mark of 4.6 AY/A this season, which is unfathomably low. They have essentially turned the quarterbacks they’ve faced into Fitz-level passers. In five games, they’ve allowed just three passing touchdowns.

Only the Patriots, 49ers and Vikings have a higher PFF coverage grade than the Bills at 84.2.

Although wide receivers DeVante Parker and Preston Williams have talent, they’ll probably struggle against outside cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Levi Wallace, who have combined to allow a 54.2% catch rate for their careers.

In the slot, wide receiver Albert Wilson seems likely to face cornerback Taron Johnson (hamstring), who is practicing this week but has been out since Week 1. In his stead, Siran Neal and Kevin Johnson have filled in, and they might still see action if the Bills choose to ease Johnson back in. The three of them have combined to hold opposing receivers to just 179 yards on 28 targets. Whoever he faces, Wilson won’t have a clearly winnable matchup.

The Bills are yet to allow more than 250 yards passing to any opposing team. Given how bad the Dolphins are, the Bills’ sub-250 streak will probably be intact at the end of the weekend. Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Bills -15.5
  • Projected Total: 38.5

Life has been good since I decided to pass on taking a side on the spread in any Dolphins matchup. They’re truly one of the worst football teams we’ve ever seen and the market has been trying to correct for that by establishing unthinkable lines such as this one.

The Bills being favored by 17 points has forced the market to side with the Dolphins: 62% of the tickets and 84% of the money has come in on Miami as of writing (see live public betting data here).

The Bills aren’t the type of team that can pile on the points, so bettors are likely more willing to take the huge underdog here. But the Bills defense is more than capable of holding the Dolphins to single digits. In fact, the Bills’ strength is their running game, so this matchup sets up for them nicely.

I created a Pass/Run Funnel Model — which I use throughout my Week 7 power ratings analysis — and the Bills are popping with a rating of 0.78 in this matchup. On the season, teams with a rating of 0.78 or higher have covered 77% of the time (23-7). Smoothing out the data a bit has a 0.78 rating with a projected in-sample win rate of 63.8%.

The under is also popping in the PRFM, which is also aligned with my ratings. Any game with a rating below -0.34 has gone 10-5 (66.7%) on the under this season and has an in-sample projected win rate of 65.3%. Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

The Bills have been the most profitable team to start the season. They’re 4-1 against the spread, covering by an average of 5.3 points. McDermott’s team is making it look easy. But as the old saying goes, if it looks too good to be true it probably is.

ATS records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet against teams that have covered the spread by a big margin.

Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 308-237-16 (56.5%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,070 following this strategy.

The Dolphins have little chance to win, but covering is a different story.  John Ewing

Expert Picks

Chris Raybon: Dolphins +17

One of the keys to betting NFL point spreads is to take the total into account. The lower the score, the more difficult it is for a favorite to pull away by enough to cover a big number even when they win.

The Bills are a perfect example of a good team whose style of play tilts the odds against them when it comes to winning big. They don’t get beat deep on defense, love to run the ball and have a quarterback in Josh Allen who turns the ball over at a high rate. And because Allen sometimes forgets he’s not a running back, he’s one of the most susceptible QBs to an in-game injury.

Six of Allen’s nine career wins have been decided by one score or less, and only two were by 17-plus. This season we’ve already seen the Bills go against many of the NFL’s worst teams, and the final point differentials have been mostly underwhelming: 17-16 (Jets), 28-14 (Giants), 21-17 (Bengals) and 14-7 (Titans).

According to our data at Bet Labs, road underdogs of +16 or better are 20-16-2 ATS since 2003, and though it would probably take decades to get a sample large enough to draw sweeping conclusions, I would expect it to be a trend that continues in the long term because lines this big are almost always artificially inflated.


Chargers at Titans Betting Odds

  • Odds: Chargers -2.5
  • Over/Under: 41
  • Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

The Titans will start Ryan Tannehill after benching Marcus Mariota during their shutout loss to the Broncos last week.

Should you back Tennessee as a small home underdog?

Our experts break down every angle of this game, featuring Sean Koerner’s projected odds and a spread pick.

Chargers-Titans Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Titans

The Titans’ main concerns are LBs Jayon Brown (groin) and Sharif Finch (shoulder), who haven’t been able to practice. Brown is the highest-graded linebacker on the team, per Pro Football Focus, and is second on the team in tackles. Cameron Wake (hamstring) will be another one to pay attention to as he was ruled out last week and has just one limited practice so far.

The Chargers placed Travis Benjamin (quad) on Injured Reserve, but more importantly, OLB Melvin Ingram (hamstring) still hasn’t resumed practicing practicing. His potential absence would be good news for Ryan Tannehill. Ingram is second on the team in pressures and hurries. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Philip Rivers vs. Ryan Tannehill/Marcus Mariota

You could point to a number of things here on either side. There’s Joey Bosa going against Tennessee’s underachieving tackle duo of Jack Conklin, who has graded out just 39th among tackles in pass blocking this season, and Taylor Lewan, who has given the Titans 121 snaps of bottom-five tackle play (46.4 overall grade, 72nd) since returning from a four-game suspension.

There’s punishing tackle-breaker Derrick Henry going against a Chargers defense that leads the league in missed tackles (57).

There’s Casey Hayward likely shadowing Corey Davis after Hayward held Marvin Jones, DeAndre Hopkins and Courtland Sutton to a combined 2-12-0 on five targets while shadowing each on more than two-thirds of their routes.

There’s Jurrell Casey and DaQuan Jones going against LA’s Mike Pouncey-less offensive line.

But at the end of the day, backwards-throwing fumble sixes aside, the Chargers still have the advantage at the game’s most important position in Rivers. While both of these O-lines figure to surrender pressure all afternoon, Rivers still gives his team a better chance to win than Tannehill or some combination of him and Mariota.

Ryan Tannehill-Marcus Mariota
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ryan Tannehill, Marcus Mariota

Pressure has been commonplace this season for Rivers, who has been under duress 39.1% of the time — the ninth-highest rate in the league according to PFF. But Rivers has posted a top-10 passer rating while under pressure (80.7) while taking a sack only 12.0% of the time, eighth-best. Under similar circumstances, Mariota crumbled this season, taking a sack on 35.0% of pressured dropbacks — second-worst behind only the abysmal Luke Falk.

Mariota also took the highest rate of sacks under pressure last season (29.2%), but you know who was second? If you guessed the man who will be starting at QB for the Titans on Sunday, you are correct. Despite performing quarterback-like actions that Mariota seemed increasingly incapable of — such as completing a forward pass on an obvious passing down — Tannehill actually took more sacks (4) than Mariota (3) last week against a previously sack-average Broncos team, proceeding to out-tank him with a 7.0 Total QBR to Mariota’s lowly 9.9.

When the backing the Titans seems like the right play, it’s usually too good to be true.

Since 2016 — or what I like to call the “I can’t believe they went 9-7 again” era — the Titans have been a favorite 28 times, going 11-16-1 against the spread and costing backers -20.5$ ROI, according to Bet Labs. Meanwhile, they’ve been profitable as underdogs, going 14-12 over that span, including 8-5 over the past two seasons.

And because the Chargers have a home-field disadvantage and a mandate from the football Gods to forever find new and inexplicable ways to blow games, no one ever trusts them enough to buy in at the right time. They’re 64-71-3 (47%) ATS as a favorite with Rivers at QB, but 41-31-3 (57%) as an underdog, including 34-20-3 as a road dog and 21-6-1 (78%) when coming off an ATS losing streak of one or more.

Perhaps the Chargers aren’t a real NFL team at all, but just a plant from sportsbooks. Either way, in what should otherwise be a toss-up, Rivers gives them an edge at the game’s most important position. Chris Raybon

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Titans -1
  • Projected Total: 39.5

I had mentioned earlier in the preseason that if the Titans ever needed to start Tannehill, it likely wouldn’t have much impact on the spread. They’ve had to deal with Mariota missing periods of time and having to roll with QBs like Blaine Gabbert. It wasn’t surprising for the Titans to just bench the struggling Mariota outright and give Tannehill the start to see if he can spark the offense.

I haven’t changed their power rating at all with the QB swap.

While I’m passing on this matchup of two underachieving teams, I’ll be looking to back whichever team loses in Week 8. Both are 2-4 despite having positive point differentials. They also each have a Pythagorean expected record of 3.2- 2.8 right now, well above their actual record. Both have had extreme bad luck in one-score games and are much better on paper than their record.

Whichever team leaves this week 2-5 could be an under-the-radar team for the second half of the season and a solid bet for Week 8. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Stuckey: Titans -2

There’s no buying low or selling high here as both teams come in on two-game skids. Both offenses are an absolute mess, primarily due to horrible offensive line play.

The Chargers at least have an excuse as of playing without their two best offensive linemen in LT Russell Okung and Pouncey. Still, their offensive line ranks near the bottom of the league in almost every stat. As a result, the run game has been nonexistent — Melvin Gordon not being fully up to speed yet doesn’t help — and Rivers looks rushed and panicked right from the snap.

Now, there’s an outside chance that Okung does play as he just returned to practice, but I’d be shocked if he does with such little prep. And even if he does, rust and continuity are major concerns.

Regardless, this is a unit that should struggle, especially on the road in a hostile environment. It also doesn’t help that the Chargers are the slowest team as a result of Rivers constantly snapping the ball with 1 on the play clock, which can give the defensive line a well timed jump off the snap.

The Titans, meanwhile, have an excellent defense. They rank in the top-five in the league in points per game allowed and have yet to allow more than 20. They can also get pressure, ranking in the top 10 in adjusted sack rate. Their secondary is also rock solid, especially with the significant improvement of cornerback Adoree Jackson.

The Titans may also be getting back one of their best pass rushers, Cameron Wake, and be adding first-round draft pick Jeffery Simmons — the steal of the draft, in my opinion — in the middle of the defensive line.

Now, I’m not here to tell you the Tennessee offense will light up the world. The Titans have been a horror show to watch, in large part due to their offensive line, which ranks dead last in adjusted sack rate. But the talent is at least there and Lewan looked like he was finally getting back up to speed last game after missing the first four.

With players like Conklin, Ben Jones and Roger Saffold, I trust this unit much more than the Chargers.

Plus, Mariota deserves some of the blame. He’s not only been wildly inaccurate at times but also indecisive when his first read isn’t there, which has led to some of the sacks. And while Tannehill is no Tom Brady, he has a stronger arm for throws to the hashes and will get the ball out quicker (just hopefully not to the other team).

Tannehill will at least get to go up against a defense that’s been decimated with injuries, especially in the secondary. Injuries have forced Roderick Teamer into playing time and it has not gone well. Teamer has allowed a perfect passer rating (158.3) when targeted, giving up 15 catches on 16 targets for three touchdowns. Los Angeles sorely misses All Pro safety Derwin James. The Chargers still do have an elite corner on the outside in Heyward but it’s not like the Titans rely on a dominant No. 1 receiver in their offense.

The tackling has also been nonexistent for LA. Per PFF, the Chargers rank dead last as a team with a tackling grade of 36.3; no other team ranks below 40. (Tennessee’s defense ranks fourth at 75.2.) This isn’t the Chargers defense of last year but rather a unit that just lost at home to Devlin Hodges and Joe Flacco

In my opinion, the Chargers simply aren’t being downgraded enough by the market. This is a team that has won one game since an OT victory at home in the season opener. And that victory came against the winless, tanking Dolphins.

I hate to side with Tannehill and the ugly Titans offense, but I don’t mind the atrocious Chargers OL and banged up defense on the road here at under a FG. I’ll side with the one unit I trust in this game: The Titans defense.


Ravens at Seahawks Betting Odds

  • Odds: Seahawks -3
  • Over/Under: 48.5
  • Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Russell Wilson has emerged as an MVP frontrunner, yet the 5-1 Seahawks are short home favorites for Sunday’s showdown with the Ravens.

Is Seattle being undervalued?

Our experts break down every angle of this matchup, featuring Sean Koerner’s projected odds and two spread picks.

Ravens-Seahawks Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Both teams are banged up

The Ravens’ biggest injury is Marquise Brown (ankle), who hasn’t been able to practice. Unless he’s able to on Friday, it doesn’t appear likely he’ll suit up. OL Ronnie Staley (knee) is another crucial injury as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 overall tackle, though he was upgraded to limited on Thursday.

The Seahawks lost Will Dissly (Achilles), but that’s their only skill-position injury. Otherwise, they’re banged up on the offensive and defensive line with DE Quinton Jefferson (oblique) added to the injury report and Ezekiel Ansah (ankle) not practicing. OL Duane Brown (biceps) could be ruled out yet again after missing practice so far this week while OL D.J. Fluker (hamstring) was upgraded to limited practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday.

Seattle is also dealing with injuries to starting safeties Lano Hill (elbow) and Bradley McDougald (back). Both haven’t practiced yet. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Ravens Special Teams vs. Seahawks Special Teams

These teams actually profile pretty similarly.

They’re both above .500 and have benefited from easy schedules and mobile quarterbacks who can make things happen with their legs. They’ve also had issues on defense. However, the one glaring difference is special teams.

It’s obviously a no contest when it comes to kicking as the Ravens feature the most accurate kicker in NFL history in future Hall-of-Famer Justin Tucker. Mr. Automatic is 13-for-13 this season, including a perfect 6-for-6 from beyond 40.

fantasy kicker rankings-week 7-2019
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Justin Tucker

Jason Myers, meanwhile, is just 5-for-7 (1-for-3 from beyond 40 yards). He’s even missed an extra point. Tucker has missed one over his entire career.

The Ravens should win the field position battle, which could be the difference in a game between two evenly matched teams. Plus they have the much more reliable kicker when a missed field goal could decide this game. Stuckey

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Seahawks -4
  • Projected Total: 48.5

The Seahawks are popping in my Pass/Run Funnel Model with a rating of 0.87 (an in-sample predictive win rate of 65.4%). This lines up with my power ratings.

Wilson is playing like an MVP and the Ravens defense is not good enough to slow him down. They’ve given up 340-plus passing yards to Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield while Lamar Jackson has tapered off a bit against better competition. He could be without Brown again, which will hurt.

The Seahawks get Jarran Reed back from a six-game suspension and the timing couldn’t have been better as he’ll give their pass rush an instant boost.

Give me Seattle here. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Stuckey: Ravens +3

Wilson is playing at a ridiculous level. He’s had a QB rating above 100 in each of the first six games — a feat only three quarterbacks have reached since the inception of that metric. He’s the well-deserved MVP frontrunner, but it says a lot about the flaws of this Seahawks team that they’ve pulled out four of their five wins by a combined eight points, none of which have come against teams better than .500.

This team could just as easily be 1-5 with a few different bounces of the ball. As a result, I think the Seahawks continue to be overvalued. They have plenty of flaws, especially on defense. They struggle to get pressure; only five teams have fewer than their 10 sacks, and three have played one fewer game. And they have subpar safety play; Tedric Thompson continues to be one of the worst cover safeties.

And now the Seahawks could be without three starting offensive linemen.

If Brown is ruled out, it would leave Germain Ifedi and George Fant as the starting tackles. Of 71 tackles with at least 70 snaps, Ifedi and Fant rank 70th and 71st in Pass Blocking Efficiency. That’s not ideal against a Ravens team that blitzes more than any other. Expect defensive coordinator Don Martindale to bring constant pressure off the edge to get into the backfield and take away the edges from Wilson, where he’s so dangerous in creating big plays.

By the way, Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown rank first and 35thin Pass Blocking Efficiency, respectively. That duo, along with star guard Marshal Yanda, lead one of the NFL’s strongest pass-blocking units.

The loss of Dissly will also hurt the Seahawks in the red zone, where they’ve excelled with him as one of Wilson’s favorite targets. He’ll be especially missed as the Ravens have struggled to cover tight ends.

Mark Andrews
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mark Andrews

Speaking of tight ends, look for Mark Andrews to have a big day, especially when he ends up in the area of the aforementioned Thompson, whose 39.4 coverage grade is second-worst among 62 safeties (minimum 200 snaps). Per Football Outsiders, Seattle ranks 25th against opposing tight ends.

Another area where these teams mirror each other is in their run-heavy offensive schemes. Both rank inside the top five in run percentage, which could spell trouble for a Seattle team that’s allowing 4.7 yards per rush (25th) against an explosive Baltimore rushing attack that’s averaging an NFL-best 5.5 yards per carry.

Finally, I think many are undervaluing the acquisition of Marcus Peters.

The Ravens have one lockdown corner in Marlon Humphrey. But due to a plethora of injuries, their second corner has been nothing short of a disaster. It’s one of the main reasons their pass defense has been so poor, allowing 7.7 yards per pass (26th). Per Football Outsiders, the Ravens rank second overall vs. No. 1 receivers and 24th vs. No. 2 receivers, so Peters will help sure up that gap immediately.

A common misconception is that Peters can’t play press man — which the Ravens do a ton of — but that’s just not true. He’s an elite press man corner. Look no further than the 2017 season when he was one of the best corners with the Chiefs, who ran Cover 1 more than any team (at almost a 50% frequency) — he had the lowest QB rating allowed of any corner from 2015-17.

I was convinced Peters was never healthy last season, which explained his drop-off in production. And seeing his underlying metrics this season — top 10 in yards per cover snap with two touchdowns and two interceptions — confirms that.

You should see Peters either in press man or Cover 3, where he can use his ballhawks and route-jumping skills to try to create turnovers. He’ll get burnt for the occasional big play, but regardless, he fills one of the Ravens’ biggest needs. Peters, like former Seattle safety Earl Thomas, is also very familiar with the Seahawks, having played in the same division the past two seasons.

I have the Ravens rated a point better than the Seahawks on a neutral field, so I gladly took +3.5 and would take anything at 3 or above.

I also think Baltimore is a worthy teaser piece in what should be one of the week’s most competitive games. Wilson won’t make it easy, but I think the Ravens pull this out on the back of their superior offensive line, special teams and, yes, with the help of Peters.


Saints at Bears Betting Odds

  • Odds: Bears -3
  • Over/Under: 38
  • Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

You want a popular road underdog? We’ve got a popular road underdog.

At the time of writing, the Saints are getting 68% of the betting tickets as 3- or 3.5-point underdogs, depending on the book. That makes New Orleans the fourth-most popular bet of the week (see real-time data here).

Below our experts will preview this NFC matchup in full, covering the biggest mismatches to know and a bet on the over/under offering value.

Saints-Bears Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Bears

The Bears should be all systems go coming off their bye week. Mitch Trubisky (shoulder) has practiced in full all week, so it’s likely he’ll take over the starting job once again.

The Saints, meanwhile, could potentially be in trouble: Alvin Kamara (ankle) and Jared Cook (ankle) haven’t practiced all week. The signing of Zach Zenner earlier in the week could be a good indication of Kamara’s health. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Saints Defensive Line vs. Bears Offensive Line

Drew Brees is pretty good, and a fully healthy Alvin Kamara is nice to have, but this matchup may not come down to the Saints offense if the Bears O-line doesn’t get it together.

We know the Bears defense will show up more often than not, but Chicago has already lost two games in which it has held the opposition to 16 points or fewer. While quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) is a convenient scapegoat, the issues on offense start with a line that has failed to give Trubisky much time to work with, ranking 23rd in Pass Blocking Efficiency, per Pro Football Focus.

Not only that, but it has also been so bad in run blocking that the Bears’ backs are under the Mendoza line at 2.99 yards per carry. The team’s 30% rushing Success Rate on third/fourth down and 2 or less ranks second-worst in the league.

Normally, a team coming off a bye will shore up these kinds of things, but the Bears had to place starting guard and former Pro Bowler Kyle Long (hip) on injured reserve. This will cause a ripple effect whereby they’ll be forced to use new starting configurations, and the lack of experience as a unit will likely lead to more struggles against a deep Saints front led by Cameron Jordan and Marcus Daventport, each of whom rank among the top eight edge rushers in total pressures, per PFF.

Going back to his Minnesota days, Teddy Bridgewater is now 27-7 against the spread as a starting quarterback, thanks in large part to being complemented by strong Mike Zimmer defenses. Early returns in New Orleans are reminscient, as he’s 4-0 behind a defensive allowing just 16.8 points per game in his starts. According to our Bet Labs data, Sean Payton’s all-time mark as a road underdog is 30-21-2, so don’t be surprised if his team finds a way to get it done ugly in the Windy City. Chris Raybon

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Bears -3
  • Projected Total: 39.5

The Saints are 4-0 in the four starts Bridgewater has filled in for the injured Brees. All four of those wins were one-score games, which puts their one-score record at 5-0. By definition, the public is going to be overrating them right now.

We’re still unsure as to who will be the starting QB for the Bears this week. They’re cautiously optimistic that Trubisky will return from his shoulder injury, but they appear to be splitting first-team reps with Chase Daniel just in case. It’s a pretty big indictment against a starting QB when they’re a true game-time decision and all sportsbooks are taking action just as if it’s any other game.

As Justin mentioned, Kamara is dealing with an ankle injury, and with a Week 9 bye looming, the Saints could very well limit him again or rule him out in an attempt to get him 100% healthy.

Due to all of these factors, it appears Bears -3 is the play here. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

John Ewing: Over 38

At the time of writing, 66% of tickets are on the Saints-Bears under 38. Both teams are starting backup quarterbacks and the defenses have been solid to start the season, as the Bears are allowing 13.8 ppg (third) and the Saints are giving up 20.3 ppg (11th).

The public is expecting a low-scoring affair but there are a few reasons to think this game can go over the total.

For starters, history says the over is a smart play. Since 2003, it has been profitable to bet the over in low-total non-division games that don’t feature windy weather.

Following this strategy, over bettors have cashed 55% of their tickets returning a profit of $9,432 for a $100 gambler.

It is not just history that points toward the over: Our Bets Labs sims have this total at 45.6 points, which makes this one of the best over bets in Week 7.

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