5 Early NFL Bets Our Staff Made for Week 7
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jason Garrett
- Sportsbettors should always been aiming to beat the closing number, and oftentimes the best way to do that is to bet early in the week.
- Below you'll find the early NFL bets our staff made for Week 7, with plays on Chiefs-Broncos, Texans-Colts, Ravens-Seahawks, Saints-Bears and Eagles-Cowboys.
NFL spreads usually open up on Sunday evenings for the following week — and after they do, they’re almost immediately on the move. The early bets serve as a signal to bookmakers for what the “true” odds should be, and sportsbooks aren’t shy about adjusting on the fly if the market is telling them they missed the mark.
Betting earlier in the week is a key way you can beat the closing line, which should be your goal as a bettor.
Our NFL experts hopped on five bets early in an attempt to beat the market on the following games:
- Chiefs at Broncos (Odds: Broncos +3.5)
- Texans at Colts (Odds: Colts -1.5)
- Ravens at Seahawks (Odds: Seahawks -3.5)
- Saints at Bears (Odds: Bears -3)
- Eagles at Cowboys (Odds: Cowboys -3)
Odds as of Monday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Below, they’ll detail what led them to make their wagers — and the thresholds at which they still have value.
Let’s dive in.
Collin Wilson: Denver +3.5 vs. Chiefs
What in the world is wrong with the Kansas City Chiefs? The short answer: defense. Specifically, the Chiefs have had issues defending the run, ranking dead last per PFF. Kansas City also ranks in the bottom-five in defensive line categories such as stuffed rank and 2nd level yards, both of which are run defense efficiency metrics.
Running the ball is exactly what Denver wants to do, ranking sixth overall per PFF and top-five in line yards. The Broncos have eclipsed 100 rushing yards in three of their games, including 191 on the Chargers.
A pair of 2-point losses to Jacksonville and Chicago are all that separate Denver from a 4-1 record. This number should close at 3 before Thursday Night kick, giving the current spread of +3.5 plenty of value.
Matthew Freedman: Texans +1.5 at Colts
1 p.m. ET on Sunday
I bet this at +1.5, and some books still have it at that number, but it’s starting to drop.
Both teams are coming off road victories against the Chiefs (the Colts in Week 5 followed with a bye, the Texans in Week 6). The team that wins this game will have the inside track to the AFC South and the conference’s No. 2 seed.
Of the two, the Texans strike me as the better team. The Colts beat the Chiefs with their running game, but unlike the Chiefs, the Texans are good against the run, ranking No. 6 in Football Outsiders’ rush defense DVOA. And Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett hasn’t yet shown the ability to beat opponents with his arm: He ranks No. 24 with 6.7 adjusted yards per attempt.
But the Texans should be able to run on the Colts: They are No. 3 with a 0.55 rushing success rate and No. 5 with 5.0 yards per carry. The Colts meanwhile are No. 27 in rush defense DVOA. And with an aerial attack led by quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, the Texans can move the ball with the passing game.
In his short career, Watson has been his best in adverse circumstances. As a dog, he is 9-3 against the spread. On the road, he is 9-4-1. And as a road dog, he is 8-2, good for a 57.9% return on investment (per Bet Labs).
I’d bet the Texans down to -2.5.
Sonny Banks: Ravens +3.5 at Seahawks
4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday
Seattle has been defying the odds all season, led by the clear-cut MVP at this point, Russell Wilson. The Seahawks are 5-1 against a weak strength of schedule and have a below-average pass-protection unit, injuries to the O-line and a defense that’s not getting to the QB. Heck, their pass-rush even made Cleveland’s offensive line look good!
Interestingly enough, I thought Seattle looked its best in its only loss of the season against the Saints. This is just a tough team to figure out.
While the Ravens have struggled on defense, particularly in the secondary, their defensive line should be able to get pressure on Wilson. I moved on the +4 early because I expected this to tick down as market perception on Seattle is not as high as a 5-1 team would normally be. Turns out, shortly after betting +4, that’s exactly what happened, as most of the market is at 3.5 at the time of publication.
Giving Seattle the maximum points for home-field advantage, a line of 4 indicates that the Seahawks are better than Baltimore on a neutral field, while I make them even.
I would bet the Ravens down to +3.
John Ewing: Saints-Bears Over 38.5
4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday
At the time of writing, 63% of tickets are on the Saints-Bears under 38.5. 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.
Mike Randle: Eagles +3 at Cowboys
8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday
Even though most of the public will overreact to the Cowboys’ loss to the Jets (74% of the tickets are on the Eagles), this is still too good for me to pass up.
We do not currently know the status of three key parts of the Dallas offense. Both starting tackles, La’el Collins and Tyron Smith, did not play against the Jets and wide receiver Amari Cooper left the game with a thigh bruise.
The Cowboys offense was extremely limited without Cooper, sending a team-high seven targets to 37-year old tight end Jason Witten. While the Eagles secondary has been vulnerable, the Cowboys may not have the personnel to capitalize.
Dallas will also face the task or rushing against the Eagles’ fourth-ranked run defense DVOA. The Eagles just held Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook to 2.6 yards per carry at home.
The Cowboys need to right the ship after three consecutive losses, but the three-point line is too much.
I would be this line down to Eagles -2.