NFL Picks & Predictions: Bets To Make Based On Our Week 7 Power Ratings
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Herbert
One way I find betting edges is by comparing the odds to my NFL Power Ratings — if there’s a notable difference between, I’ll make a bet. (By the way, you can access mine and my colleague’s NFL ratings in our new PRO Projections.)
Each week of the season I’ll highlight the biggest of those edges. We’ve got four for Week 7, so let’s jump right in!
Week 7 NFL Picks
Click on a pick to skip ahead to that analysis.
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.
Chargers -7.5 vs. Jaguars
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Game Info
The Chargers (1-4) are underrated coming out of their Week 6 bye.
First-round rookie Justin Herbert was thrust into the starting lineup in Week 2 and already looks comfortable in the NFL. He nearly pulled off upsets over the Chiefs and Saints, but eventually lost both games in overtime.
The Chargers have led games for 28:10 on average, which we would expect for a team with a record closer to 2.8-2.2. I have them projected as 9-point favorites in this matchup and want to buy low on them before the market catches up.
Broncos +8 vs. Chiefs
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Game Info
The weather could play a significant role in this matchup with snow in the forecast.
How much snow remains to be seen, and typically I’m not particularly eager to make assumptions about weather more than 24 hours out. However, if it becomes clear this game will see heavy snow, I would want the Broncos at this number.
Not only would snow help slow down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, but it would also make this more of a running game battle. That could be an issue for a run-funnel Chiefs defense that ranks fourth against the pass and 27th against the run according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
The Broncos rank fifth against the run, and Chiefs stud tackle Mitchell Schwartz has already been ruled out, which is a massive blow to Kansas City’s offensive line.
I would have the Chiefs closer to -11, but given the potential weather, shift to a run-heavy game and lower-scoring environment, I would set this closer to -7.5.
Cardinals +3.5 vs. Seahawks
Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET | More Game Info
The 5-0 Seahawks are being overrated by the market right now.
Based on metrics such as average margin of victory and time leading, they have performed more like a 3.5-1.5 team. Russell Wilson gives them a chance to win every single game, but their defense remains a concern with Jamal Adams out of the lineup again this week.
The Cardinals offense should be able to keep up in this one and keep it close. As of Saturday afternoon, 85% of the money has come in on the Seahawks (go to our real-time public betting data), but the line has been parked on the key number of -3.5. Sharp action is likely why that number hasn’t budged, so I’m going to lock it in case it drops to 3.
The Cardinals currently have the highest edge based on our new PRO Projections, and I agree that they are one of the top plays this week.