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!
|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|
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
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
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)