NFL Week 7 Picks: Expert Late Slate Predictions for Jets vs Broncos, Seahawks vs Chargers, More
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Sauce Gardner.
NFL Odds & Picks
Chris Raybon: This game sets up the perfect environment for an under. Both of defenses rank top 12 in DVOA and top six in pressure rate, while both offenses rank bottom six in third-down conversion rate.
The plight of the Broncos is well documented: They allow just 16.5 points per game but score just 15.2 — a combined scoring average of 31.7 points per game. But the Jets are overrated on offense and underrated on defense.
Per PFF, Zach Wilson’s passer rating drops from 111.3 in a clean pocket to 3.4 (!) when pressured. When under duress, the second-year QB has completed just 4-of-23 passes for 49 yards with no TDs and two interceptions. He’s allowed more than twice as many sacks (5) as he’s gotten first downs (2).
Meanwhile, led by Quinnen Williams up front and Sauce Gardner at corner, the Jets have a fast defense that can both rush the passer and cover. The pass rush should be able to tee off on Brett Rypien, whose passer rating dropped from 97.8 in a clean pocket to 27.0 under pressure when he last saw extended action in 2020.
Per our Action Labs data, totals in this range when the home team has failed to score 24 points in each of their past five games are 45-31-1 (59%) to the under since 2003, including 6-1 since 2019.
Chris Raybon: Moreau gets the start in place of the injured Darren Waller (hamstring).
In six games starting in place of Waller last season, Moreau averaged 3.7 receptions per game and recorded at least three two-thirds of the time. He also cleared 2.5 receptions in each of his past two games despite running a route on less than half of the team’s dropbacks in each.
Per Football Outsiders, the Texans are allowing the fifth most schedule-adjusted targets per game to TEs, which is not surprising because they play zone at a top-five rate.
I’m projecting Moreau for 3.2 receptions, which gives him the following odds:
- 0 receptions: 3.4%
- 1 reception: 12.2%
- 2 receptions: 21.0%
- 3+ receptions: 63.4%
Chris Raybon: As if it weren’t easy enough to pile on Russell Wilson … don’t look now, but at ninth in overall DVOA, his old squad rates as better than not only the Broncos (14th), but also the Chargers (11th).
Led by Geno Smith, who is fourth in the league in total QBR, the Seahawks offense matches up well against a Chargers defense still missing Joey Bosa.
Without Bosa, the Chargers are down to 27th in pressure rate, per Pro Football Reference. Per PFF, Smith’s passer rating when pressured is 89.6 but jumps to 114.6 with a clean pocket. The Chargers are also playing man coverage at a top-eight rate, and Seattle is averaging 10.7 yards per targeted throw versus man, second in the NFL.
The Seahawks defense is 22nd in DVOA but is trending upward for a couple of reasons.
One is the play of rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen, who has amassed an absurd four interceptions and two fumble recoveries through six games while holding opponents to a 38.6 passer rating when targeted in coverage.
Defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt has also started to make some schematic adjustments, namely replacing linebacker Cody Barton with safety Josh Jones in the nickel package in order to shore up underneath coverage that ranks bottom three in DVOA against tight ends and running backs.
Justin Herbert’s average depth of target (aDOT) this season is just 6.8, which ranks 32nd of 37 quarterbacks (min. 60 attempts). With Woolen lurking on the perimeter and the Chargers without boundary WR Joshua Palmer (concussion) and Keenan Allen (hamstring) on a pitch count if he suits up, Herbert is once again likely to dink and dunk his way down the field, which should keep the score close.
According to our Action Labs data, Weeks 6-7 non-divisional road dogs +7 or fewer have gone 76-51-10 (60%) ATS on Sunday afternoons since 2005, beating the spread by nearly two points per game.