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NFL Week 7 Picks for Every Game: Bets To Make for Seahawks vs Chargers, Colts vs Titans, More

NFL Week 7 Picks for Every Game: Bets To Make for Seahawks vs Chargers, Colts vs Titans, More article feature image
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Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Derrick Henry.

We may be hitting an era of unprecedented parity in the NFL.

After three weeks, 28 of 32 teams had either one or two wins. After six weeks, that parity continues to hold. There are four teams at the top with five or six wins and four more at the bottom with one. The other 24 teams are piled up in the middle with two, three or four wins each.

With so few great teams, it feels like anyone can win at any time. This has been the season of the underdog. So far, 2022 underdogs are 55-38-1, covering an impressive 59% of the time.

To make matters worse, three of those four teams at the top are off this week on a bye. The 6-0 Eagles, 5-1 Bills and 5-1 Vikings will sit this one out, along with the defending Super Bowl-champion Rams.

Underdogs of three or fewer points are 17-19-1 against the spread (ATS). Underdogs of 10 or more are 4-4 ATS, with just one win. Nothing to see there.

But look at the outrageous numbers for underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points:

  • 36-17 ATS, covering 68% of the time by 3.6 points.
  • Covering with a 30% ROI, highest in our database by 21%.
  • Winning ATS record all six weeks of the season.
  • 22-30-1 straight-up (SU), winning 42% of the time with a 34% ROI.
  • Positive ROI, as moneyline underdogs five of six weeks.

If you had blind bet $100 on every underdog in that range to cover so far this season, you’d be up $1,579. If you also bet $100 on those underdogs’ moneylines, you’d be up an additional $1,778. Not bad for six weeks’ work!

Trends never last forever, but it’s clear we should be wary of backing favorites in that 3.5-to-10-point range. Nine of this week’s 14 games feature a favorite in that range, and two more may get there by kickoff.

As always, we’ll make picks for every game. Picks are sorted by confidence level: Bet, Lean, Pass, or Wait.


Note: Odds are the best available for each pick as of writing on Tuesday night. Shop for the best real-time lines with our NFL odds page.


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THE WAITS

Chiefs (-3) vs.

49ers

We grabbed Chiefs -1.5 last week on The Lookahead, but now that the line has moved Kansas City’s direction, as expected, we’ll wait to see where the line settles.

San Francisco has so many injuries it would be faster to name the healthy players. We need to see who’s playing, especially on that 49ers defense.

THE PICK: Wait for the long 49ers injury report

Steelers vs.

Dolphins (-7)

Miami has three quarterbacks on the injury report, two of them still in some stage of concussion protocol. Pittsburgh rookie QB Kenny Pickett is in protocol himself. Nearly the entire Steelers secondary is banged up too. Looks like a weird one Sunday night. We need injury news.

THE PICK: Wait for injury news at QB and elsewhere for both teams

Lions vs.

Cowboys (-7)

I love this situational spot for Detroit out of a bye week after an ugly shutout loss against a Dallas squad coming off a tough divisional game. But we have to wait to see if Dak Prescott plays. If he does, this moves off the key number and I’ll probably like this spot even more for the Lions. Be ready to bet.

THE PICK: Wait for Dak Prescott news but be ready to bet Detroit

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THE PASSES

Packers (-5.5) vs.

Commanders

Are the Packers any good? This was supposed to be a Super Bowl favorite with a title-worthy defense, but Green Bay has been anything but. The Packers rank dead last in run defense, and the offense scares no one. The trends say this is a good situational spot for Green Bay, but the trends haven’t seen Green Bay lose to New York teams two straight weeks.

Rookie Brian Robinson should have another good game on the ground, and Taylor Heinicke might not be a downgrade from Carson Wentz at this point. Washington can get after Aaron Rodgers and limit Green Bay’s rushing attack, and the Commanders have a huge special teams advantage too.

It’s a good situational spot for Green Bay but a bad matchup.

THE PICK: Commanders +5.5 (Pass)

Jets vs.

Broncos (-1)

Is this Jets thing real? New York ranks 4th in DVOA during this three-game win streak, and it’s the defense that’s getting the job done. The pass D has been especially great, bad news for Russell Wilson and Broncos Country #LetsRide.

Denver’s defense is even better, though: 2nd in DVOA and 1st in pass D. This feels like an under, but the total has dropped from 42.5 to 39.5 since Monday night. Broncos unders are 5-1, and the Broncos have the fewest TDs both scored and allowed. These teams have gone under 39.5 in 8-of-12 games. Denver games average 31.7 points per game combined. Egads.

THE PICK: Broncos -1 (Pass) and Lean under 39.5


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THE LEANS

Saints vs.

Cardinals (-2.5)

Hope you like watching Thursday night backups.

The Saints are missing WRs Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, and maybe still rookie Chris Olave. They’re also short CB Marshon Lattimore and probably Jameis Winston still. The Cardinals lost Marquise Brown for the season the same week they got DeAndre Hopkins back, and James Conner is a doubt too.

But the most important injuries this game might be the guys no one’s talking about. Arizona is missing two interior linemen, and its OL depth is compromised too. This pitiful offense managed just three points against a bad Seattle D, and the Saints have a terrific defensive front.

Kliff Kingsbury is 8-15 ATS (35%) as a favorite, including 1-7 ATS and 2-6 straight up as a favorite of three or less. There’s really no good reason the Cards should be favored here, and if Kingsbury’s offense sputters again before a mini-bye week, he could be in for a real job security Kliffhanger.

THE PICK: Lean Saints +2.5

Giants vs.

Jaguars (-3)

The 5-1 Giants are road underdogs to the 2-4 Jaguars, and this line hasn’t budged since re-opening. Books are absolutely daring bettors to back Jacksonville here, so we may as well oblige. New York continues to rank as the NFL’s luckiest team and is now 5-1 in one-score games.

New York’s offense has been remarkably solid considering the personnel, but the Giants allow the third highest pressure rate and that’s a Jacksonville strength. The Giants defense ranks dead last on first down but is getting bailed out on third downs; the Jags D is the opposite, third on early downs but dead last on late downs. That should put Jacksonville’s offense in position to succeed all game while doing the opposite for Daniel Jones.

New York’s defense ranks 30th in DVOA. They’re improving some lately but still the weakest unit on the field. These teams’ win-loss records do not represent their on-field performance. By Football Outsiders’ estimated wins, Jacksonville’s 3.1 actually outpace New York’s 2.7.

The under might be the better play with both defenses playing well. Doug Pederson home unders are a remarkable 30-12 (71%), while Trevor Lawrence home unders are 9-2 (82%). Jacksonville’s defense has been elite at home.

THE PICK: Lean Jaguars -3 and Under 42.5

Buccaneers (-10.5) vs.

Panthers

The Bucs certainly aren’t playing good football lately, but I’m not sure the Panthers are playing football at all. P.J. Walker somehow had a negative aDOT last week, and the Panthers have three consecutive double-digit losses with just two offensive TDs during that stretch.

Tampa Bay’s defense has been outstanding, and it’s tough to see Carolina having much of a shot here. The Bucs have the No. 1 road defense by DVOA. Carolina’s defense has kept them in games awhile, so you might wait a bit and hope for a shorter live line, but Tampa Bay may not need more than 17 or 20 points to cover this line anyway.

Tom Brady’s Bucs have swept the Panthers with 37.5 points per game, winning by 21.8 points per game and at least two touchdowns all four games. I’ll sprinkle a shutout too.

THE PICK: Lean Bucs -10.5 and sprinkle Bucs shutout once odds post

Browns vs.

Ravens (-6.5)

These teams have both been disappointing in their own ways. The Ravens are 3-3 but led by double digits in all three losses, so they could be undefeated. The Browns are 2-4 with a terrible defense and three losses by three or less.

Cleveland’s last loss was by way more than three but not as bad as it looked, and that’s buying us some value on this line. Neither of these teams can defend the run to save its life. Both teams prefer to run, and that style of game should help the Browns stay in this, like they had every game before Sunday.

The Ravens have dominated this hated rivalry, winning 23 of the last 28, but we’ve seen three straight one-score games. I like the Browns to hang around, but the Ravens are terrific early, so I’ll wait and look to grab Cleveland +8 or longer live.

THE PICK: Lean Browns +6, but look to grab Browns +8 live if possible

Texans vs.

Raiders (-7)

Remember these guys?

Both teams are coming off a bye week. Lovie Smith has been good in that spot (8-5 ATS), while Josh McDaniels is just 1-4 ATS against teams off a bye.

This line feels unnecessarily high. What have the Raiders proven to be a full touchdown favorite? They’ve played in one-score games all season other than one nine-point win thanks to a late TD to put the game out of reach. All but one of Houston’s games have been one-score affairs too.

Derek Carr is 14-25-1 ATS (36%) as a favorite, failing to cover by 4.5 points per game, and he’s only 1-4 ATS when favored by at least a touchdown. This is a great spot to back one of those mid-range underdogs we discussed at the top.

THE PICK: Lean Texans +7

Bears vs.

Patriots (-7.5)

On the one hand, the Patriots are absolutely overvalued right now after 29-0 and 38-15 wins over the Lions and Browns that were nowhere near as big of blowouts as those scorelines indicated. It will absolutely be time to fade this New England squad soon. On the other hand, that time is definitely not against Justin Fields and this ugly Bears offense.

You simply can’t play a one-dimensional offense and get away with it against Bill Belichick. He’s too good at taking away the only thing you’re good at, forcing teams to play his way, and sucking the life out of helpless opponents. The Bears only want to run, so Belichick won’t let them. And since Chicago can’t pass block, that’s all she wrote.

Is this an overreaction line move after another big Pats win? Yes, absolutely. But there’s no way I’m backing Justin Fields here, now 4-9 ATS (29%) as an underdog and 1-4 ATS as more than a TD underdog.

This would be a bet when it gets under a TD. Unfortunately the books know that too. It’s a great teaser spot for New England, and you can also avoid the -7.5 by just playing a Patriots first-half cover. New England ranks second in first-half Defensive DVOA and the Bears rank dead last. Chicago is 0-6 ATS in the first half. Belichick will end this early.

THE PICK: Lean Patriots -7.5, but avoid the hook by teasing New England or betting Patriots 1H -4


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THE BETS

Seahawks vs.

Chargers (-6.5)

On one side, we’ve got an outstanding offense with an elite quarterback and terrific receivers, a huge downfield passing game, and an improving defense playing in front of loud, raucous fans, and on the other side … it’s Justin Herbert and the home LA Chargers.

The Chargers were supposed to be a fun, explosive offense, but they have been neither. OC Joe Lombardi continues to stifle his attack on early downs with poor play calling, and Seattle’s defense is actually top 10 on first downs so that could be an even bigger problem here. LA’s offense will look really familiar to Seattle fans who watched Russell Wilson for years — running in place for two downs, then asking a star QB to go save the day on third down.

The Chargers are winning games but are missing big names on both sides of the ball. LA’s top two offensive linemen remain out, stud pass rusher Joey Bosa is sidelined, Keenan Allen hasn’t played since the opener, and Herbert and J.C. Jackson are struggling playing through injuries.

The Chargers are coming off a short week after an overtime game against a division rival, so this is a bad spot. LA ranks 29th on first-down defensive DVOA, and that’s a rough matchup for an opponent that’s been great doing the very thing the Chargers don’t: moving the ball well on early downs and setting itself up to succeed.

Seattle has the league’s best road offense so far. Geno Smith is balling, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are lighting it up deep, and rookie Kenneth Walker is running angry behind a rapidly improving line. Even the much maligned defense ranks 11th in DVOA over the last three weeks. Pete Carroll has covered 61% of the time as an underdog and Geno Smith is at 62% himself.

Come on down to Seattle island. It’s balmy and breezy and there’s still room for plenty more.

Seattle Island is starting to get a little buzz, but there’s still room for more. Give me a Seahawks cover, and give me the moneyline too.

THE PICK: Bet Seahawks +6.5 and Seahawks ML +240

Quickslips: Seahawks +6.5 | Seahawks ML


Falcons vs.

Bengals (-6.5)

The Falcons are 6-0 ATS and tied for the division lead but get no respect, even after an impressive win over the No. 1 DVOA defense 49ers. Atlanta has few weapons to speak of and continues to roll offensively, thanks to Arthur Smith’s No. 1 DVOA rushing attack and the lethal playaction it opens up.

Smith is consistently putting this offense in position to succeed and helping them move the chains. In other words, he’s been everything Zac Taylor has not. The Bengals continue to make things harder on themselves, committing too heavily to a bad run game and digging early-down holes.

Cincinnati’s defense has kept the Bengals afloat, but if Atlanta can move the ball on San Francisco, then they can score on the Bengals too — especially with stud Cincinnati run stopper D.J. Reader sidelined to injury. This line is still pricing the Bengals like they just played in the Super Bowl, but this offense has not been anywhere near good enough.

The Falcons can’t stay perfect against the spread forever, but undefeated ATS teams that are underdogs in Week 6 or later are now 7-4 ATS all time, winning four of the last six outright. That includes Atlanta’s win last Sunday, and if the Bengals aren’t careful, they might be next.

THE PICK: Bet Falcons +6.5 and sprinkle Falcons ML +225

Quickslips: Falcons +6.5 | Falcons ML


Colts vs.

Titans (-2.5)

These teams just played earlier this month, and the Titans dominated. They scored on their first four drives to go up 24-3 and held the Colts to just 38 rushing yards on 23 carries.

That was Tennessee’s fifth win in six in this division rivalry, and that early script looks familiar for these teams. The Colts have fallen behind early all season. Indianapolis ranks dead last in offensive DVOA in the first half and 29th in defense. The Titans, on the other hand, lead the league in offensive DVOA in the first half. That’s exactly how this played out just over two weeks ago.

Even better, Tennessee is coming off a bye, and Mike Vrabel has had his guys ready after the week off. Vrabel is 4-0 SU and ATS after a bye, covering by a whopping 19.1 points per game. Ryan Tannehill is also 7-2 ATS (78%) off a bye, and favorites of a field goal or less off a full bye over the last 15 years are an impressive 46-27-5 ATS (63%).

The Titans are rested and ready from the jump, while the Colts look anything but that. They were without Jonathan Taylor, Shaq Leonard, and Kwity Paye Sunday and could be shorthanded again. The Titans might actually just be a good team. Outside of the blowout Monday night loss to the Bills, Tennessee ranks 7th in DVOA.

I like the Titans to win and cover, but I love them in the first half. Indianapolis is 0-6 ATS in first halves this season, failing to cover by 8.3 points per game, while the Titans are 4-1 ATS themselves, covering by that same 8.3 points per game. Yeah, that’ll do.

THE PICK: Lean Titans -2.5 and Bet Titans -0.5 1H

Click Here to Bet Titans -2.5 at FanDuel


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