NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bengals & Colts To Cover Spreads, A Patriots & Eagles Teaser, More Week 7 Bets
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow.
- The Bengals and Chiefs to cover their spreads. Falcons-Dolphins to clear its over/under. And a Patriots and Eagles teaser.
- After comparing NFL odds to his projections, our betting analyst reveals his favorite picks for Week 7.
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
The Ravens are coming of a dominant 34-6 win over the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday, but as a whole this is a team that is fortunate to be 5-1 on the season. With comeback victories over Kansas City, Detroit and Indianapolis, this Ravens team hasn’t exactly played perfect football; they’ve just capitalized on mishaps from opposing teams.
A fumble from Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the closing seconds of the Chiefs game, a 66-yard field goal from Justin Tucker and conservative offense leading to a blocked field goal against the Colts put this Ravens team on a path to winning five straight games. While the Ravens’ win over the Chargers was impressive, I believe we’re getting value on Cincinnati in a divisional matchup.
The Bengals are much improved defensively this season, ranking fifth in Defensive Efficiency, seventh in EPA/pPlay and third in Success Rate. They’ve been solid in defending the ground game, ranking third in Success Rate against the run (33.3%).The Bengals have only played the 23rd-ranked schedule of opposing offenses, but this team did slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Interestingly enough, these teams played last year, and an inferior version of this Bengals team held the Ravens to just 20 points, with the defense returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown.
Offensively, the Bengals are full of weapons around Joe Burrow with Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon, and they’ll be facing a Ravens team that is 31st in explosive run play rate and 19th in explosive pass play rate. We could see some big plays from the Bengals, which could keep them within the number and give them a chance to possibly win this game outright. Back the Bengals with +6.5.
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Dolphins-Falcons Over 47.5
My model makes this game 49.5, so at 47.5 I’m seeing some value. For starters, these are two bad defenses with the Falcons (29.6) and Dolphins (29.5) ranking 31st and 30th in scoring defense this season.
Looking deeper, the Falcons are 30th in Defensive Efficiency, 26th in EPA/play, 30th in Success Rate, 27th in Dropback Success Rate and 30th in Rushing Success Rate. The Dolphins are 26th in Defensive Efficiency, 27th in EPA/play, 23rd in Success Rate and 24th in Dropback Success Rate. It’s bad enough these are two bad defenses, but the Dolphins are dealing with injuries to Byron Jones and Xavien Howard, so we could see big games from Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. Overall, I’m expecting this to be a high-scoring game where both offenses put up decent numbers. I’ll take the over here.
One of my favorite axioms in NFL betting is “always avoid the public underdog,” and there will be no greater public dog in Week 7 than the Titans, who are coming off a 34-31 victory over the Bills on Monday Night Football.
Josh Allen and the Bills offense did whatever they wanted against the Titans, out-gaining them in first downs (28 vs. 16), total yards (417 vs. 362) and passing yards (335 vs. 216). However, the Bills lost the game in the red zone, where they were just two for five, including a crucial fourth-down stop to end the game. They also had a tipped-passed interception that led to a Titans touchdown to make it a 17-13 game in the second quarter.
Outside of the turnover and explosive plays from Derrick Henry and Julio Jones, though, it felt like the Bills dominated the Titans in the first half.
Making matters worse, the Titans are dealing with a cluster of injuries at cornerback with Caleb Farley out for the season after suffering a torn ACL and Kristian Fulton on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. With a beat-up secondary, expect the Chiefs offense to score on nearly every possession against a Titans defense that’s 28th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
The injuries don’t stop there for the Titans, as left tackle Taylor Lewan is in the concussion protocol, and Jones didn’t practice with a hamstring injury. The Chiefs, meanwhile, will welcome back defensive end Chris Jones and cornerback Charvarius Ward.
Overall, this is great spot to back the Chiefs.
Lions-Rams Over 50.5
Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams have one of the best offenses in the league, scoring 29.8 points per game, ranking third in Offensive Efficiency, fourth in EPA/play and fifth in Success Rate. It’s tough to imagine the Lions slowing down this Rams offense, as they’re giving up 28.7 points per game, ranking 27th in Defensive Efficiency, 28th in EPA/play and dead last in Dropback Success Rate. This is a Lions team that is dead last in explosive pass play rate, so Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and DeSean Jackson should have big games against this banged-up secondary.
On the other side of the ball, the Rams defense hasn’t been nearly as good as we saw last season as they’re just 26th in Defensive Success Rate, allowing 47.6% of plays to grade out as successful. While the Lions are banged up at receiver, I’m expecting the them to do just enough to help this game go over the total with the Rams naming their score in this matchup.
The Colts have been playing solid football recently, winning two out of the last three games, and probably should have won their Monday Night Football matchup against the Ravens if it weren’t for a blocked field goal.
Nevertheless, I want to back the Colts against the 49ers, who have lost three straight games. As I’ve stated before, I’ve never been big on trends, but road underdogs of six or fewer points are 25-9 (73.5%) against the spread (ATS) this season.
Trends aside, this feels like an ideal spot for Carson Wentz and the Colts, who face a 49ers defense that has really struggled in the secondary. They’re just 26th in Dropback Success Rate (48.5%), and the loss of cornerback Jason Verrett in Week 1 is notable given the struggles of Emmanuel Moseley, Deommodore Lenoir and K’waun Williams, who is returning from a calf injury.
It’s tough to know what to expect from the 49ers offense with the possible return of Jimmy Garoppolo, who hasn’t been particularly great this season. Overall, this line is too high. And with my model making this game 49ers -2, I’ll back the Colts at +3.5.
2-Team, 6-Point Teaser: Patriots -1/Eagles +9 (-120)
New England Patriots -1
Home-field advantage is worth less than a point in the NFL this season, but still, this line is slightly perplexing.
The Patriots closed as 5.5-point favorites before their Week 2 win over the Jets. The Jets looked overmatched in that 25-6 loss — Zach Wilson finished 19-of-33 for 210 yards and four interceptions — and yet there’s only been a one-point adjustment moving from MetLife Stadium to Gillette Stadium.
Nevertheless, I’m not expecting things to change as Bill Belichick-coached teams are 21-6 straight up against rookie quarterbacks. This Jets offense is downright abysmal, ranking dead last in EPA/play and 30th in Success Rate, so I’m not sure if anything changes on the offensive side of the ball for the Jets.
Looking back at that Week 2 matchup, the Patriots didn’t play a great game, going just 3-of-12 on third down with Mac Jones throwing no touchdown passes as he completed 22-of-30 passes for 186 yards — his lowest yardage output of the season. I’m projecting a better offensive performance from the Patriots than their first matchup, which should be more than enough to win this game for the first leg of our two-team teaser. I also like the Patriots on the spread at -6.5 or better, so feel free to play that if it’s available within the market.
Philadelphia Eagles +9
The underdog has covered in every single Raiders game this season, and I’m not expecting that to change in Sunday’s matchup against the Eagles, who are coming off extended rest following their 28-22 loss to the Bucs on Thursday Night Football before the Week 6 bye.
My model makes this game closer to a pick’em for the Raiders, so teasing this game to +9 gives us a ton of value.
The Eagles have played an extremely tough schedule with games against the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Cowboys and 49ers who rank first, second, fourth and 10th in offensive DVOA. By comparison, the Raiders are just 22nd in DVOA. They’re also 19th in EPA/play, 24th in Success Rate and 24th in Early Down Success Rate and will have to deal with this Eagles defense, which is fourth in ESPN’s pass rush win rate (52%).
Given the Eagles’ ability to rush the passer, Derek Carr could struggle in this matchup as he sees his passer rating drop from 108.1 in a clean pocket to 72.7 when under pressure. Nevertheless, this offense — which is first in explosive pass play rate — likely won’t get big plays against an Eagles defense that’s allowing an average depth of target- (aDOT) of just 6.6 yards, fifth-fewest in the NFL.
With the return of RT Lane Johnson, Jalen Hurts should have time to throw and put the Eagles in position to potentially win this game outright. I’ll back them as the second leg of my two-team teaser. I also like the Eagles at +3 or better, so you can play that as well.