Our Experts’ Favorite Week 7 NFL Picks
Mitch Stringer-USA Today Sports. Pictured: Lamar Jackson
- Our experts reveal their favorite Week 7 NFL picks, featuring spread and over/under bets.
- Find out how they're betting Saints-Bears, Ravens-Seahawks and four more games.
Everyone’s favorite underdog to fade is back with another double-digit spread (surprise) while the Cincinnati Bengals join them in search of their first wins of the season. Do either have a chance?
Our experts reveal their favorite bets of Week 7, featuring spread and over/under picks for the following games:
- Dolphins at Bills: 1 p.m. ET
- Jaguars at Bengals: 1 p.m. ET
- Cardinals at Giants: 1 p.m. ET
- Saints at Bears: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Ravens at Seahawks: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Eagles at Cowboys: 8:20 p.m. ET
Let’s dig in.
Odds as of Friday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Chris Raybon: Dolphins +17 at Bills
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.
Sean Koerner: Bengals +4 vs. Jaguars
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.
Mike Randle: Cardinals-Giants Over 50.5
The return of Saquon 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).
Daniel 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. Kyler 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 Christian 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.
John Ewing: Saints-Bears 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.
Stuckey: Ravens +3 at Seahawks
Russell 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 Duane 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 Will 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.
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.
Matthew Freedman: Eagles +3 at Cowboys
The Cowboys have a head coach in Jason Garrett who consistently gets the least from his players. Under his gum-chewing, hand-clapping regime (since 2010), the Cowboys have routinely played down to the level of their opponents.
In the situations where Garrett’s Cowboys have had an edge, they have consistently underperformed.
At home, the Cowboys have allowed visiting teams to go 42-30-2 (13.9%) against the spread. As favorites, they have coughed up a record of 49-35-3 ATS (13.9% ROI) to underdog opponents.
And as home favorites, the Cowboys have allowed road dogs to go 34-19-1 ATS (25.8%). No coach in the league has been more profitable to bet against as a home favorite than Garrett.
I would know. I’m a Cowboys fan.