NFL Picks: The Best Spreads & Totals To Bet For Week 7

NFL Picks: The Best Spreads & Totals To Bet For Week 7 article feature image
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James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Gardner Minshew

NFL Picks & Predictions

Click on a pick to skip ahead to that analysis.

Pick
Kickoff
Bet Now At
Cowboys-Washington Over 44.5
1 p.m. ET
BetMGM
Browns -3 at Bengals
1 p.m. ET
PointsBet
Lions +2.5 at Falcons
1 p.m. ET
DraftKings
Panthers +7 at Saints
1 p.m. ET
BetMGM
Jaguars +7.5 at Chargers
Over 49
4:25 p.m. ET
FanDuel

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Sean Koerner: Cowboys at Washington Over 44.5

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

Andy Dalton led the Cowboys to a win after Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in Week 6. Dalton then flopped on Monday Night Football in a 38-10 blowout loss to the Cardinals.

The Cowboys offense won’t be as potent with Dalton under center, but they should bounce back given how much talent they possess.

Kyle Allen is a below-average quarterback, but he’s an upgrade over Dwayne Haskins and Alex Smith. Allen injected some life into this offense with a 280-yard game against the Giants in Week 6.

Allen and Terry McLaurin should connect for a big play or two against a Cowboys defense that’s vulnerable to explosive plays. Both teams rank inside the top five in terms of pace of play, which is why I’m projecting this total closer to 47.5.

I was shocked to see the line open at 48, only for it to get bet down to 44.5. I’ll take advantage of the ill-advised line move and lock in the key number of 45 before it creeps back towards 47.5.

[Bet now at BetMGM and win $100 if there’s a touchdown]

Brandon Anderson: Browns -3 at Bengals

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

When the Browns and Bengals met a month ago, the nation was watching. A matchup of former No. 1 picks in Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow lived up to its billing with a high-scoring matchup in which the Browns barely held on at home against the feisty Bengals team. Burrow led a late comeback and covered the 6-point spread, but the Browns escaped with a 35-30 win.

At least that’s how we remember it.

A closer look reveals a game that wasn’t actually that close.

Cleveland led 21-10 just before halftime and 28-13 with a minute to go in the third quarter. The Browns dominated on the ground with 35 carries for 215 yards and three scores. They averaged 7.5 yards per play to just 4.0 for the Bengals. Burrow’s late “comeback” was a garbage-time touchdown in the final minute to cover the spread, before a low-probability onside kick they didn’t convert.

The Browns were the much better team a month ago and they’ve gotten better since.

Don’t throw out those bad results against the Ravens and Steelers, but don’t mistake them either: The Browns are not ready to compete with the big boys and cannot handle an elite defense or pass rush, but they’re 4-0 against all other opponents, winning comfortably by two scores in all but the Cincinnati game, which they essentially won by two scores until the garbage-time cover.

The Browns will win this game the same way they did last time: In the trenches. Their line will dominate and clear the way on offense, while Myles Garrett and Co. will disrupt the Bengals’ offense and make their life miserable. Don’t overreact to Cleveland getting crushed by Pittsburgh: Cincinnati is not the big boys. The Bengals are still sitting at the kids table, and these Browns have proven they will take care of business.

Grab the line at -3 while it’s available, but don’t be afraid to play as high as -5.5 if needed.

[Bet now at PointsBet and get $125 if the Browns score a point]

Raheem Palmer: Lions +2.5 at Falcons

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The Atlanta Falcons are coming off the standard one game bump after firing their head coach, Dan Quinn — now it’s time to fade them again. Don’t let their 40 point outburst and 17-point win against the Minnesota Vikings fool you, this is still a bad football team with a dreadful defense.

The Falcons are 28th in points allowed (30.7), 31st in yards allowed per game (432.5), 32nd in yards per play (6.7), 25th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and 30th in passing efficiency. The Falcons are 31st in explosive pass rate, allowing 12% of plays to go for 20 or more yards. They’ve also allowed touchdowns on 73.9% of red-zone trips and gave up 23 second-half points in last week’s game against the Vikings.

By nearly every metric, this is one of the worst defenses in the league.

My model makes this game Falcons -0.83, so at +2.5 I believe there’s some value on the Lions.

While I consider this more of a fade against the Falcons rather than a play on the Lions, I do think Detroit is undervalued. The Lions held double-digit leads in every game this season, allowing comebacks against the Bears, Packers and Saints. If the Lions can avoid that here, they’re a better team than the market realizes.

detroit-lions-odds-super-bowl-win-total-betting-2020
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Stafford.

I’ll take the points with the Lions as they should win this game outright.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

Michael Arinze: Panthers +7 at Saints

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Game Info

I feel like every week this season I’ve been looking for spots to fade the New Orleans Saints — I’m just not a believer in Drew Brees as I really think his best days are well behind him. For some context, only Washington’s Kyle Allen (5.3) averages fewer intended air yards than Brees (6.1) per NFL Next Gen Stats.

Meanwhile, Football Outsiders has the Saints ranked seventh overall in DVOA, but it’s their eight overall ranking in defensive efficiency is perplexing to me. Their opponents are scoring touchdowns on 85% of red-zone trips compared to 63% for the Panthers. Carolina is already averaging a higher yards per play (6.0) than New Orleans and only trail the Saints by a tenth of a yard in net yards per play.

For the Panthers to be catching seven points as a road dog seems too good pass up.

Now with wide receivers Michael Thomas (leg injury) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19) ruled out for tomorrow, I love the Panthers even more. There’s also a subtle revenge angle for Teddy Bridgewater who spent two years with the Saints and went 5-1 straight up when he filled in for an injured Brees last season.

According to our BetLabs data, away dogs in the NFC South that are coming off a game as a short underdog are 60% against the spread in their next matchup.

I’ll play this now to ensure I grab the full seven points as I’m already seeing some books adjusting the line down to 6.5 (shop real-time lines here).

[Bet now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

Mike Randle: Jaguars +7.5 at Chargers; Over 49

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Game Info

The Jaguars will look to attack the Chargers behind lead running back James Robinson.

Los Angeles allows only 79.2 rushing yards per game, but has been torched for 7.8 running back receptions per game, the most among all NFL teams. Robinson has been one of the most efficient pass-catching backs in the league, ranking fifth in receptions (23) and third in receiving yards (207).

Gardner Minshew will face a Chargers defense that’s been allowing the following fantasy quarterback performances due to recent injuries: Drew Brees (QB11), Tom Brady (QB2) and Patrick Mahomes (QB8). Minshew’s rushing ability should also benefit from a Chargers defenses that has permitted three rushing scores to the position.

The Chargers pass defense has been strong, but there are areas to exploit. Los Angeles will still be without slot cornerback Chris Harris (foot), leaving Keelan Cole and rookie Laviska Shenault with high-floor potential.

In Doug Marrone’s coaching tenure, Jacksonville has been a surprising live underdog. When a road underdog by more than a touchdown, Marrone’s Jaguars are a surprising 4-1 against the spread including a close 33-30 loss at Tennessee in Week 2. Per our Bet Labs data, a bettor would have seen a 48.2% Return On Investment betting on the Jaguars in these situations.

jacksonville-jaguars-odds-super-bowl-win-total-betting-2020
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images. Pictured: Gardner Minshew.

Los Angeles’ offense has been able to generate points in order to stay competitive. Quarterback Justin Herbert has seven touchdowns with only one interception in the past two games, translating to the overall QB9 and QB4 performances.

The Chargers will get a fully healthy Keenan Allen, which should be a big help to their passing attack. Allen torched Carolina in Week 3 for 13 receptions on 19 targets with 132 receiving yards and a touchdown. Big-play outside receiver Mike Williams has also generated an early connection with Herbert, with two touchdowns and 109 receiving yards against the Saints.

Suffering through injuries on both sides of the ball, the Chargers have struggled to put teams away, even while scoring points. Both offenses should find success, causing me to back the over in a high-scoring battle. The high-scoring potential of this game is in the shadow of other big Week 7 contests.

Jacksonville’s road success and ability to move the ball with Minshew makes this spread too high as well. I’m taking Jacksonville +7.5 with the over on 49 points. I would take this side down to 7 and the total up to 50 points.

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