Beating the Spread: Week 7 Picks
As I mentioned last week, I was in attendance at the Kansas City versus Houston tilt. It was a fairly good game that went about how I thought it would as Houston not only kept it competitive but won the game outright. A couple of near misses with Will Fuller prevented that one from being a blowout. Every week it seems that we rewrite league narratives, which makes this column fun but difficult. Vegas is really good at setting these lines and it gets harder and harder to figure out where to go with the bets. Add in the fact that there are some truly terrible teams like Washington and Miami with giant lines to navigate and this year has been challenging.
What’s your favorite method of picking games? Do you like to find road dogs that can keep it close or do you prefer home favorites? Are you comfortable taking on big lines or do you like to keep your picks within 7 or even 3 points? Hit up the comments below and let us know your strategy.
The following lines were captured on Tuesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.
Week 7 betting lines:
|Away Team||Home Team||Line||O/U|
|Kansas City||Denver||KC -3.5||49|
|LA Rams||Atlanta||LAR -3||54|
|Oakland||Green Bay||GB -6.5||46.5|
|Arizona||NY Giants||NYG -3||49.5|
|San Francisco||Washington||SF -10||42|
|LA Chargers||Tennessee||TEN -2||40|
|New Orleans||Chicago||CHI -3||38.5|
|New England||NY Jets||NE -9.5||42|
|Analyst||Jeff Berckes||Erik Smith||Tom Schweitzer|
|Pick #1||PHI +3||ARI +3||MIN pk|
|Pick #2||KC -3.5||JAC/CIN Over 43.5||TEN -2|
|Pick #3||BAL +3.5||ATL +3||JAC/CIN Over 43.5|
|Pick #4||SF -10||SF -10||SF/WAS Over 42|
|Pick #5||HOU +1||IND -1||NE/NYJ Over 42|
Jeff Berckes: I’m not sure this is the best strategy to take longterm, but I really like some of the road teams this week. I still believe that the Eagles are the most talented team in the NFC East and this is a big game to prove it. The Cowboys have been struggling as of late and while the Philadelphia defense may be what cures all, I still like Carson Wentz and the Eagles to keep it close and possibly take this game outright (PHI +3). I’ve watched Kansas City struggle the last two weeks at home but do we really think they will drop three straight? The Broncos have looked better as of late, which is why this line is now a snug 3.5. That’s close enough for me to take the Chiefs on the road as I feel confident their offense can find its footing again (KC -3.5). The other road favorite I like this week is the San Francisco 49ers flying to DC to take on Washington. The 49ers have looked like an absolute revelation early in the season with one of the best-designed offenses in the league. Washington can’t stop anyone so I don’t think points will be a problem for the 49ers. On the other side of the ball, the opportunistic 49ers defense shouldn’t have a problem taking the ball away from Case Keenum as this defense has helped SF win 4 of their 5 games by more than 10 points (SF -10). One game I’m really excited about this weekend is the Ravens – Seahawks. These teams are built similarly and I am curious to see how they play each other. This feels like a game that comes down to the wire so give me the road dog to at least keep it close (BAL +3.5). I’ve been really impressed with the Texans lately and it looks like DeShaun Watson is heating up. He was this close to breaking that game open last week on a couple of catchable balls to Will Fuller. I think the Colts have been a tough out this year, but this could be the game that Houston starts to separate themselves from the pack (HOU +1).
Erik Smith: I’ve been on the Kyler Murray bandwagon all year, so I’m certainly not shying away as he begins to build momentum each start. Getting Patrick Peterson back should provide a boost to the defense, and Daniel Jones is still living off his reputation from his impressive first start. The Cardinals are shockingly 2-3-1 on the year, with plenty left to play for (ARI +3). The Bengals defense is completely decimated right now, looking to be without both starting cornerbacks this week. They were already awful against running backs, so imagining them making more than a handful of stops is difficult. The Jacksonville defense isn’t quite the same without Jalen Ramsey, and I think Cincinnati should find a way to score a few points at home. I’ll take Over 43.5 in this one. Call me crazy, but I’m backing this disappointing Atlanta team again. Jared Goff has struggled on the road, and I’m not sure that the Rams have any kind of identity right now. If the Rams’ offense looks out of sorts again, I could see Matt Ryan mustering just enough offense to keep this close, if not win outright. Give me the points, ATL +3 at home. While this looks like a trap game for the 49ers, I think Washington winning last week against the lowly Dolphins is giving them a bit too much respect. They could barely hang on to beat a Dolphins team that was getting run off the field in previous weeks. San Francisco looks like a juggernaut right now, and Kyle Shanahan would surely love to run up the score against his old boss. SF -10 in a rout. Finally, I like the Colts at home in a bit of a letdown for the Texans. This should be a tough division game, and if the Colts can take care of the Chiefs on the road, I think they can hang with the Texans at home. It could be trouble if the Colts fall behind early, but I love the coaching staff and infrastructure, so IND -1 is my pick.
Tom Schweitzer: I don’t see many side plays I like this week, so I’m going to tentatively dip my toe back into the totals market, starting with Jaguars/Bengals game. Gardner Minshew struggled last week but I’m still a believer in him and the Jaguars long term. I expect Minshew to carve up the Bengals’ terrible defense. On the other side of the ball, the Jaguars’ defense has allowed 24 points per game without Jalen Ramsey and 24 points per game road games. The Bengals offense isn’t good, but I think they can get close to 20 points and send the total Over 43.5. The Lions have a decent defense, but I still think they’re getting a little too much respect from line makers. If the Packers didn’t shoot themselves in the foot so many times on Monday night they might have blown out the Lions and saved us all from this referee controversy. Mike Zimmer won both games against Matt Patricia last year, and I think the Vikings (pk) will keep that streak going. The 49ers have a very good defense, but they’ve also benefitted from goal-line stands and red zone turnovers in their last two games. Washington has actually been pretty efficient on offense with Case Keenum and I think he can help bring the total Over 42. The Chargers are still the most injured team in the NFL and now its beginning to look like Phil Rivers has lost a step. The quarterback change can only help the Titans (-2) and they shouldn’t have any problem running the ball after what I saw from the Chargers’ run defense the last few weeks. Finally, I think the Patriots defense might be just a bit overrated given how easy their schedule has been so far. The return of Sam Darnold should help the Jets and Patriots go Over 42.
What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)