NFL Week 7 Lookahead Picks: Bet the Chiefs, Seahawks Right Now
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Image. Pictured: Geno Smith.
Welcome back to The Lookahead.
While everyone else is busy betting on this weekend's games, we're getting out ahead of things with a pair of picks for next Sunday. It's all about locking in that sweet closing line value (CLV) now and gobbling up easy line value before this week's results move next week's lines.
We took our first real CLV hit in Week 5 when we bet early on the Lions only to see them get hit by a flurry of injuries to key players. The line moved against us two points and we took a big fat L as Detroit got shut out by the Patriots.
Injuries will always be a risk on a lookahead pick, but injury luck goes both ways and evens out in time. We've gained CLV on six of eight lookahead picks so far, twice enough to hit a pick we wouldn't have at the closing line. If we keep doing that, we'll be in great shape.
I've already got your Sunday picks covered, so let's look ahead and get some more CLV for those Week 7 games before the weekend.
The last time these teams played, the stakes were slightly higher.
That was Super LIV and weirdly enough, the Chiefs were favored by this exact line. Kansas City trailed after three quarters but scored a trio of TDs in the final stanza to pull away and give Patrick Mahomes his first ring.
There's no hardware on the line this time, but I like the Chiefs to win again.
San Francisco appears to be rolling, but I think this team is a bit overrated. Its opponents are 9-17 combined — none of them above .500 — and it's hard to be too impressed with wins over a tepid Rams offense or a Panthers squad on the verge of cleaning house.
The 49ers defense has been outstanding, but mounting injuries present a problem.
Tackles Javon Kinlaw (knee) and Arik Armstead (foot/ankle) missed last Sunday, and now star edge rusher Nick Bosa (groin) is hurt. Emmanuel Moseley (torn ACL) is out for the season, and the Niners are short another starting corner and linebacker, too. That's nearly half the starters and something like seven of San Francisco's 10 best players either out or playing hurt.
Those defensive line injuries especially hurt with Kansas City's offensive line struggling. The 49ers are winning with stifling defense and a dominating front seven, but if they can't pressure Mahomes, that exposes their banged up secondary and changes the calculus.
Look, you already know the Chiefs are good. The offense is great and the defense has been solid, especially against the run. That means a 49ers bet is on the defense stopping Mahomes and on Jimmy Garoppolo outgunning him.
Good luck with that.
If the Chiefs beat the Bills this weekend, this line hits the key number by Sunday night. If the Chiefs lose, it's hard to see them downgraded too much since that would be a defeat to one of the Super Bowl favorites.
The 49ers are on the road in Week 6 for a dangerous game against the Falcons, who always seem to keep things close (5-0 ATS). If the Niners struggle and start to look vulnerable, that could be another reason to see this line move toward the Chiefs.
Even if we lose a point or two of value, we don't have much to lose in that direction if we know we're picking the Chiefs anyway.
Mahomes is 13-2-1 ATS all time as anything less than a 3.5-point favorite. San Francisco's defense has been great against the likes of the Panthers and Bears, but Mahomes is something else entirely. I'll grab the Chiefs now before this line rises past the key number.
I swear, the Seahawks offense is genuinely good.
Seattle leads the league in passing and overall offensive DVOA, and Geno Smith has been one of the best quarterbacks through five weeks. Seattle is blocking well, running the ball and getting playmakers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett open.
The Chargers were supposed to be the fun, explosive offense, but have been neither. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi continues to stifle his attack on early downs, and it doesn't help that the team can't get healthy.
Keenan Allen, who hasn't played since the season opener due to a lingering hamstring injury, is practicing, but in limited fashion. Justin Herbert is still nursing sore ribs, and the offensive line is missing its bookends, including stud LT Rashawn Slater.
The defense is missing key names as well — Joey Bosa (groin), the best player on this unit, is out a while, and key free agent acquisition J.C. Jackson continues to struggle through injury and disappoints when he does play. Those are the two most important players on this pass defense, and that leaves the Chargers vulnerable to Seattle's explosive passing attack.
This is a bad situational spot for the Chargers, coming off a short week and what will likely be a close, emotional game against a division rival on Monday Night Football. I like the Broncos to hang close in that one or even get the win, and I like the Seahawks to win as underdogs over the Cardinals, too.
This is a "home" game for L.A., but there will undoubtedly be more Seahawks fans in the stands. The Chargers are being given credit as more than a touchdown favorite against a team that's arguably been just as good. Pete Carroll is good ATS as an underdog and even better as a long dog.
I like Seattle, and I'm playing this before the weekend because I love getting the hook on the right side of the key number. This game looks like a shootout, and even if the Chargers hang a big total on Seattle's putrid defense, the backdoor should be open for a late cover.
The total for this game is already 53 and probably rises. If it gets to 55, know that underdogs of more than a touchdown are 15-6 ATS (71%), winning three of the last five outright. When the line is that high, it's a shootout and both offenses are good enough to cover or win.
I'm on Seattle island. I'll keep playing this Seahawks offense until the books adjust and credit how good they've been. I want the underdog line at +7.5 before we lose the hook.