Beating the Spread: Week 7 Picks

Our Week 7 Beat the Spread column is ready to go for your consideration as you put in your weekly bets!

Welcome back to another week of Beating the Spread. As always, I’m Jake Roy and I’m joined by Brennan Rampe and Tyler Gentile. We’ll be here every Friday throughout the season, posting our picks along with some analysis.

A solid week all around last week with 14 wins and 11 losses between the three of us. That’s a 56% win rate, tail that every week and you’ll be raking it in. Brennan and I each come into the week with hopes of getting back over 50% for the season, while Tyler is crushing it at an incredibly respectable 60%. Just three road underdogs this week and a lot of low totals in what’s been a very low-scoring season across the board. Maybe this is the week to back the public and go with favorites and overs as Vegas tries to catch up.

You can play along in the comments or find us on Twitter (@Jake3Roy, @808Paperboi, @phdinnfl). Assuming -110 odds we need about 53% to break even, let’s see if we can hit that magic number for the season and come out with some profit. So, without further ado, here are the lines we’ll use for Week 7!

 

Week 6 Betting Lines
Away Home Line O/U
Colts Titans Titans -3.0 43.0
Giants Jaguars Jaguars -3.0 42.0
Buccaneers Panthers Buccaneers -10.5 40.5
Packers Commanders Packers -5.0 41.5
Lions Cowboys Cowboys -7.0 48.5
Falcons Bengals Bengals -6.0 47.5
Browns Ravens Ravens -6.5 45.5
Jets Broncos Broncos -2.0 40.0
Texans Raiders Raiders -7.0 45.5
Seahawks Chargers Chargers -6.0 51.0
Chiefs 49ers Chiefs -3.0 48.5
Steelers Dolphins Dolphins -7.0 44.5
Bears Patriots Patriots -8.0 39.5

 

Staff Picks
Jake Roy (@Jake3Roy) Brennan Rampe (@Phdinnfl) Tyler Gentile (@808PaperBoi)
Pick #1 Broncos -2.0 Buccaneers -10.5 Broncos/Jets under 40.0
Pick #2 Packers -5.0 Ravens -6.5 Buccaneers/Panthers under 40.5
Pick #3 Patriots -8.0 Bengals -6.0 Lions +7.0
Pick #4 Falcons/Bengals over 47.5 Chargers/Seahawks over 51.0 Seahawks +6.0
Pick #5 Colts/Titans under 43.0 Chiefs -3.0 Patriots -8.0
Record 14-16 14-15-1 18-12

 

Analysis

 

Jake Roy

 

In the intro, I wrote that this may be the week to back the public and take the chalky picks. I’m going to turn my football brain off and use my gambling brain instead to make this pick. Everybody piles on the Broncos. They were hyped up in preseason and have failed to reach the bar set for them. They play in primetime seemingly every week, so the entire country sees the entire game and trashes everything they do. Russell Wilson is making weird sandwich commercials and makes every wrong move in press conferences. The Jets, on the other hand, are media darlings. They’ve got rookies contributing, wearing cheeseheads, and exceeding expectations. The Jets are getting praise, while the Broncos are being trashed. Without any access to the numbers, I’m willing to bet that the Jets are the public’s choice in this one, despite being the underdog. Public dogs are always a red flag; give me the Broncos at home. DEN -2.0

Taylor Heinicke is lining up at quarterback for the Washington Commanders on Sunday. That’s somehow worse than Carson Wentz. People probably remember Heinecke for his performance in the Wild Card game against the Bucs a few years back and think he’s better than he is. If Heinicke was actually any good, they wouldn’t have brought in Carson Wentz. Carson Wentz is the guy you bring in because there isn’t anyone else. I’ll take the Packers in a bounce-back spot. GB -5.0

Bill Belichick spent the first ten or so minutes of his press conference talking about what a great roster the Bears have. That means he thinks the Bears’ roster stinks. If there’s one thing I know about Belichick, it’s that he’s great at gassing up opponents that aren’t any good. Justin Fields has “shown flashes” according to Bears’ fans who are holding on to hope that he might be the first good quarterback in franchise history. The Patriots feast on QBs who don’t take care of the ball. I see this game going a lot like the last one for the Patriots. Homer pick, but I’ll lay the big number. NE -8.0

I said this was the week to back the public and take the square picks. I’ve done that so far with three favorites, although the first one is some reverse logic. I’ll keep it rolling with an over. The Bengals and Falcons can both get up and down the field, believe it or not. Everyone knows about the Bengals with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tee Higgins. They started the season off slow but have since picked it up, scoring 27+ in three of their last four. The offensive line is an obvious weakness; the Falcons don’t present much of a threat in terms of pass rushing, though. On the other side, the Falcons have sneakily had a solid year offensively, averaging over 24 points per game, tied for eighth in the league. Let’s see some scoring in Cincy on Sunday. ATL/CIN O47.5

It wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t take an under. I don’t love this pick, but I’ll go with the under in Tennessee. Both offenses are built as home run hitters, and if they don’t break any long runs it will take a while to get them in the endzone. Not too much to say about this game, just your good ole fashioned divisional rock fight. IND/TEN U43.0

 

Brennan Rampe

 

The Buccaneers somehow lost to a Steelers team that was without almost every starter in the secondary in addition to tight end Pat Friermuth. It was a terrible loss and they now sit at 3-3. Their other two losses were to the Packers and Chiefs, which was understandable, but this was unacceptable. I’m sure the players and coaches are well aware of that. Thankfully for them, they play the Panthers next. Carolina looks like the leading contender for the first overall pick in next year’s draft. They lost to the Rams last week, and wide receiver Robbie Anderson was dismissed from the game and sent back to the locker room. He was traded to the Cardinals the next day. The offense was struggling with him, so it’ll be even worse without him. Running back Christian McCaffrey could be traded as well, which would probably give this team the worst offense in the league. P.J. Walker is expected to start, but he was bad against the Rams. This team just looks hopeless. Tom Brady is 4-0 against the Panthers since joining Tampa Bay and I expect that to continue in a blowout where they will take their anger out on their divisional rival.  Inside the Numbers: Since 2019, the Panthers are 4-9-1 against the spread as home underdogs. TB -10.5

Being a Ravens fan has to be painful this season. They could be 6-0 if not for three blown leads of 10 or more points. Lamar Jackson has been playing as well as ever despite once again being surrounded by a mediocre supporting cast. However, veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson was just signed, and Rashod Bateman is expected to return. This is good news for Baltimore as they are about to play a Browns team that is really struggling, especially on defense. The offense, which has been reliable all year long, got shut down by the Patriots. This defense has the talent to be an elite unit, but they are one of the worst defenses in the league. They just gave up 300 passing yards to third-string rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe, so I don’t know how they intend to slow down Jackson, who is a former MVP winner. Jacoby Brissett played well to start the season, but he keeps turning the ball over in critical moments. Cleveland is just waiting around for Deshaun Watson to come back, but the season might be over for them by the time he returns. Jackson is 5-1 against the Browns, and he should beat them again at home.   Inside the Numbers: The Ravens are 31-24-2 against the spread in conference games since 2018. BAL -6.5
The Bengals defeated the Saints in a thriller. The game was a lot closer than it should have been. New Orleans didn’t have their top three wide receivers and their top cornerback and still almost won. Cincinnati is now going home to play another NFC South team. The Falcons are surprisingly 3-3 and have remained competitive in every game, and many were picking this team to be the worst in the league. The Falcons were great on offense last week, but the 49ers were missing nearly every starter on defense. Atlanta put cornerback Casey Heyward on IR, and that’s not ideal as they are going up against what might be the best wide receiver trio in the league. The offensive line for the Bengals is improving after their disastrous start, and I think the Bengals will score a lot and win by a touchdown. Inside the Numbers: I’m going against the trends here by going with the Bengals. CIN -6.0
The Seahawks won a low-scoring game against their divisional rival Cardinals 19-9. The offense did just enough and the defense, which has been terrible all year long, was fantastic. The Chargers also won a low-scoring game against a divisional rival, as they defeated the Broncos 19-16 in overtime. I think this game could be a shootout. The Chargers might get center Corey Linsley and wide receiver Keenan Allen back, which would be huge. Geno Smith played mediocre last week but has played surprisingly well throughout most of the season. Rookie running back Kenneth Walker III has been impressive so far, and Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are one of the best wide receiver duos in the league. Tight end Noah Fant is another talented weapon they have who was acquired in the Russell Wilson trade. Both of these teams only scored 19 points last week, but I think both will score more points than that. Inside the Numbers: This is another gut feeling that defies the trends as I feel both offenses will have big days. LAC/SEA O 51.0
The Chiefs lost a hard-fought game to the Bills, losing at home 24-20. Turnovers doomed Kansas City as Patrick Mahomes threw one interception in the end zone and another one at the end of the game. The 49ers also lost last week, but they were without nearly every defensive starter. They are only moderately healthier going into this game and nearly every defense struggles to contain or shut down Mahomes. Last week, Marcus Mariota only had one incompletion. The Chiefs have a better offensive line than the Falcons do in addition to having better weapons. After losing a game that definitely could have been won, I think the Chiefs are going to destroy this defense. I still think San Francisco is the best team in the NFC West, but they will probably lose their first home game this year. Inside the Numbers: The Chiefs are 20-14-1 as an away team against the spread since 2018. KC -3.0

 

Tyler Gentile

 

Remember how I said I’d like to go 1-4 just to mix up my record for one week? I take that back. 3-2. Every week. All year long. Let’s go.

It doesn’t matter the number on a Broncos game. Take the under. I’m not sorry if this pick is getting boring to read every week because it just keeps hitting. My Broncos are the perfect under-team with an anemic offense (27th in DVOA) and elite defense (2nd in DVOA). The under is 5-1 in Denver games with the biggest total differential of any team, and now their stud quarterback might be out. Russell, “more bathrooms in his house (12) than touchdowns (5)”, Wilson is dealing with a hamstring injury, and if he misses, Brett, “who is that?”, Rypien will start. Funny enough Rypien’s only career start came against the Jets back in 2020, but this isn’t the same Jets defense he faced back then. Led by Quinnen Williams and the defensive line, the Jets are allowing the 7th fewest yards per play so far this year. That D-line is generating the t4th best pressure rate while blitzing at the 2nd lowest percentage. As for their offense, they are 23rd in DVOA and don’t stand a chance against the Denver D. NYJ/DEN U40.0

Another low-hanging total that calls for an under. The Bucs, like the Broncos, are 5-1 to the under and should have no issue limiting the worst offense in the league. The Panthers team total is set at a laughable 13.5 points, and I don’t think they get over that mark with P.J. Walker leading the way. Carolina scored just ten points with him operating last week, held the Rams to 24, and the Bucs parallel Los Angeles in a sense. Both offenses are struggling with weak O-line play, and have defenses that rank in the upper echelon of the league. Tampa has failed to put up more than 21 points in five of their six games this year and ultimately this seems like a ground game where the Bucs dominate the clock and win 24-10 like the Rams last week. TB/CAR U40.5

Too many points. The Lions are coming off a much-needed bye to get healthy and have had all the time to scheme for this matchup. If he is active how effective will Dak really be in his first game back with his hand injury? This line appears to be an overreaction to him coming back. Detroit actually has a solid offensive line to combat the Dallas defense and should get Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift back as well. There’s a decent chance this line could creep up to +7.5 if Dak is ruled in, so hold off until that inevitable news comes out. DET +7.0

I’m determined to pick the right side in a Seahawks game. I took them +5.5 two weeks ago, they lost 32-39. I took over 50.5 points last week against the Cardinals, they won 19-9. If logic served me right, I should probably take the under 51, but I’ll roll with the spread since this once again feels like too many points for the (tied for) first-place Hawks. They have the fourth-best offense according to DVOA while accumulating the second-most yards per play. Just like any other year the Chargers are banged up and haven’t looked like a team worthy of being -6.5 favorites this year. They’re in the middle of the pack in DVOA, but are allowing the t6th most yards per play to opposing offenses. The Hawks are pesky and should be able to keep this within a touchdown. SEA +6.0

Belichick always gets his teams rounding into form come the end of October and early November. Early in the season, it was worth questioning if the Pats had fallen off with their whole offensive coordinator debacle, 1-3 record, and Mac Jones injury, yet here we are with them as heavy favorites at home following two dominant victories. Of course, it is the Bears they are facing, but I don’t think it’s enough points for the Patriots. The Bears’ offense can do only one thing: run the ball. Unfortunately for them the Pats’ defense, particularly their run defense is looking really good as of late. They just shut down one of the best run games in Cleveland, held the Lions to a big ol’ donut the week before, and rank seventh in DVOA on the year. Bailey Zappe or Mac Jones–it doesn’t really matter who goes on Monday night with the system Belichick has built in New England for years. He’s probably frothing at the mouth scheming for Justin Fields. NE -8.0

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

One response to “Beating the Spread: Week 7 Picks”

  1. Barry J Shapiro says:

    Brennan Rampe sure makes an interesting read. Very articulate in your in your projections and what has happened in previous games. Notice you never mention the N.Y. Giants. Should I assume like I do, you have no idea what they are going to do.

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