With Week 6, we started the beginning of football with bye weeks, which can lead to less action. Or, two primetime games could be decided by three points with extremely exciting finishes! Also, how about the end of that Cowboys-Patriots game? What a week of football!
Today, let’s take a look at the Week 7 slate. Every week, I’ll be providing my projections on the outcome of each game, and then contextualizing what to do with that information: best bets, teasers, parlays, survivor picks, and much more!
These projections started with me using projected PFF grades to decipher the true talent of every team. From there, I utilized those projections to establish each team’s offense and defense rank, which allowed me to derive how talented each team is compared to the average team with a neutral field; as the season goes, I’ll be analyzing PFF data and other key metrics to continue to update each team’s offense and defense ranking. Adding in an adjustment for home field, and, what do you know, each game had a projection! The combination of the foundation of it starting objectively, and then the mixture of subjective analysis to make it less of a “blind” projection, will hopefully lead us to where we want to go. You can consider these, based on the subjective touch, predictions instead of pure projections, but, hey, it gets us in the same place!
Enough rambling; it’s time to get to the point of this article! Let’s completely preview Week 7 from a betting perspective!
All Stats via Pro Football Focus
Week 7 Personal Projections
DET at LAR (Under 50.5)
I’m going back to the well with an “under” this week! For two teams to cover a 50+ point total, I generally want both to be strong offensively, and that’s not the case here.
Since the first game of the season, the Lions are averaging 15.2 points/game and have yet to exceed 17 points in a game. Meanwhile, they rank fourth-worst in yards/play, third-worst in passing yards/attempt, and rank in the bottom ten in every PFF grading category. This week, their implied point total is 17, which seems like too much against a very strong Rams defense.
I’m not saying the Rams, who rank 2nd in yards/play, are going to have any problems with the Lions. Yet, they’re going to have to score a lot of points to help cover this total. They likely won’t get an exceptional amount of help via turnovers, as Detroit quarterback Jared Goff has just a 3.2% turnover-worthy play rate, and could easily pump the brakes if this game turns into a quick blowout, which the spread (LAR-15) indicates will happen. All it takes is for a few failed red-zone conversions for Los Angeles, and this under isn’t even in question. I’m happy to fade Detroit’s offense any chance I can get, which is exactly what I’m doing here.
NO (-4.5) at SEA
Finally, folks, we have a traditional spread pick this week! Speaking of fading poor offenses, there is no way you can get me to trust the Geno Smith Seahawks right now.
On Sunday Night Football, Smith averaged just 6.5 yards/pass attempt against the Steelers. Meanwhile, the last time he started a game before this was 2017, and he only mustered an average depth of target of 4.1 yards. That’s not exactly inspiring. Thus, why head coach Pete Carroll wanted to keep the game out of his hands; Seattle rank fourth-lowest in early-down pass rate, excluding the fourth quarter (where game script no longer matters). Facing the #1 run defense in the NFL in terms of yards allowed/attempt, that’s not going to fly.
Assuming the Seahawks once again try to establish the run on early downs, they’ll face unfavorable third-down situations, which isn’t the recipe for success. The Saints, PFF’s 10th-highest-graded team, possess a more well-rounded team at this point, and are also coming off their bye. Should Seattle’s offense struggle, as expected, do you really trust them to rely on their defense, which ranks in the bottom-ten in PFF coverage grade and yards allowed/play, to carry the load? This is less about me being in favor of New Orleans, and more so me looking to pick against Seattle. That opportunity presents itself here, so why not capitalize on it?
NE (-1) vs NYJ
BAL (PK) vs CIN
When you can tease games to a pick-em or near a pick-em, and have confidence in them winning, it makes sense to do so. That’s what we see here. We saw what happened the last time the Patriots played the Jets, and even after a bye, I have little confidence in the Jets producing any sort of offense here. Meanwhile, Baltimore continues to pass every test with wins against the Chiefs and Chargers this season, while the Bengals have yet to pass the same tests with their 4-2 record. Trust these two teams to take care of business this week.
Parlay (Four Games and Eight Games)
DET at LAR (Under 50.5)
NO (-4.5) at SEA
CIN at BAL (Over 47)
NE (-7) vs NYJ
NYG (+3) vs CAR
IND at SF (Over 44)
MIA (+2.5) vs ATL
HOU (+18.5) at ARI
For the rest of the season, I’m forcing myself to deliver an eight-game parlay, which is a worse option than the four-game parlay this week. This week, the pickings are slim with six teams on a bye week. The Bengals and Ravens have each increased their passing frequency as of late, and I’m confident in their quarterback play enough to overlook two slower offenses. Meanwhile, Sam Darnold hasn’t eclipsed a 53.5 PFF passing grade over his past three games, so I’ll take the points with the Giants, who have the better quarterback here. Furthermore, 44 seems a bit too low for Colts/49ers given the recent success of Indianapolis’ offense and Kyle Shanahan off of a bye week, while it’s hard to trust the Falcons as a road favorite. As for the Texans/Cardinals game, those are just a lot of points!
ARI vs HOU
LAR vs DET
You might have picked the Rams against the Giants last week, and they’ll face the Texans this week. However, it’s hard to see them not winning as a 15-point favorite this week. The Cardinals still will face the Lions, but that’s the only other matchup to consider playing them in. Thus, I’d highly recommend them this week.
Parting Bold Predictions
Lions Get Shutout
The Saints Win By Three+ Scores
Alvin Kamara Has More Total Yards Than The Seahawks Offense
Remember, these are BOLD predictions! All of these align with my previous betting picks, but allow us to get a bit spicy here. Enjoy an exciting week of football, and please remember to bet responsibly!
Various Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)