Close Matchups and Low Totals Headline the Week 7 NFL Betting Slate
It is hard to believe that the season is a third of the way complete, but here we are heading into Week 7 with a lot of things to consider. Unders are 56-36-1 this season, and NFL Totals as a whole seem to be quite streaky where one week will see a plethora of overs before the next two heavily end up going under. Favorites dominated last week, going 11-4 ATS, while favorites straight up this season are 61-32. Should we expect these trends to continue?
Vegas has already compensated for some of these expectations, with 6 of the 13 games this week having a total below 42. In fact, all 6 of those games either happen in the 1 o clock Eastern time slot or on Thursday night in the Jaguars and Saints game. Funny enough, the Dolphins hit the road for the second time on Sunday Night Football to play the Eagles in what will be the highest total of the weekend, despite Sunday Night games going 4-2 to the under this season.
A few things hold true as we head into the second-third of the NFL season. You can still find early value in a lot of these betting markets as things open up, and that can be seen with some of the line movement that has occurred over the last 72 hours. Jacksonville has moved from +1 to +3 and back again as news regarding Trevor Lawrence’s injury situation continues to circulate. The Dolphins have been bet down to +2.5 with Philadelphia’s loss weighing on the minds of bettors across the United States. Games like the Giants versus Commanders, Bills versus Patriots, and Packers versus Broncos have also seen some significant to insignificant yet actionable line movement since they opened back up after Week 6 action.
We have seen a lot of success with the NFL Early Best Bets column as well as NFL Betting as a whole this season. I ended up going 7-2-0 in Week 6, which capped off our fourth straight week of two units or more of profit. Surely there may be some regression on the way, and with Week 7 having nine of its thirteen games have a spread of 3 points or less, this could be the week that brings us back down to earth – so tread carefully! We are 36-23-1 this season for +9.56 Units, including plays I have given out on my Twitter, so let’s look to see how we can add even more to that this week. Let’s get into it:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons
While the AFC South has proven to be at least more entertaining than normal by their normal standards, their partner in crime down south in the NFC have not returned the favor. The NFC South offers us our lowest total of the weekend at 37 here in Tampa, as the Bucs play host to their division rival Falcons in the 1:00 PM EST slate. Baker Mayfield and company have the opportunity to bounce back against quite the back-and-forth Atlanta side that just can’t seem to get over the hump.
The Falcons have three wins this season: one against the winless Panthers in Week 1 with a score of 24-10, another in Week 2 hosting the Packers for a one point victory of 25-24, and a win in Week 5 versus the Texans who Atlanta defeated 21-19. At home against teams with a win in their record this season, the Falcons are winning by an average score of 1.5. They are winless on the road.
All of the stats on offense would suggest that this team should be a middle of the road side, and Desmond Ridder has slowly started to look better. However, this team through six weeks ranks 29th in points per game at 16.5 due to their lack of ability to convert, and you have to take into account that Ridder’s better games recently were against the Texans and Commanders defenses. The Buccaneers have a much more competent defense, and are great at defending the run which is the highlight of Atlanta’s offense with sensational runningback Bijan Robinson.
Sure, Tampa Bay has looked rough against the Eagles and Lions this season. However, they have done well against the shakier teams in the NFC like the Vikings, Bears, and Saints, which makes me feel a lot better that they can break apart this Falcons defense that has surprised my expectations but still has some holes. Jessie Bates has been phenomenal holding down that left side of the Falcons defense and in general at free safety, but I look for Chris Godwin and Baker Mayfield to break down the right side as Jeff Okudah has still shown some weaknesses along with Richie Grant. There is the possibility that Bates may need to overextend himself against Mike Evans or the Bucs two tight end set (which has not been great), which could open up more looks for Baker to throw or run which he has done a bit more this season.
I will take the Bucs here at -2.5, which is pretty on brand as I continue to fade them when the spot seems like it is good value. Tampa Bay should not have many issues stuffing the run and dealing with a more confident Desmond Ridder coming off of two of his better games. I do agree with the total being this low as the Falcons defense has been quite stellar at times, but the offense has not been able to return that favor when up against a competent defense which makes me trust Baker and the Buccaneers here.
The Play: Buccaneers -2.5 (-110) – 1 Unit
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HAPPY HOUR NFL TEASER FOR THE WEEK 7 NFL Betting Slate
6-Point Teaser (-120) – 2 Units
Following two weeks in the red to start the NFL season, we have had a lot of success the past four weeks. However, my Week 6 Sharpen the Public Teaser and Week 6 Early Best Bets Teaser both saw defeat as the Eagles lost and Bucs couldn’t keep the Lions away from a blowout victory. This week we look to back Detroit in a peculiar underdog spot, while we also back another road side in Buffalo as they take on a division rival on the road.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
The Bills look like they have returned to dominance following a slip up in Week 1’s Monday Night Football game against the New York Jets. Their only other loss was against the Jaguars in London which was quite the flukey game for the Bills, and I still feel like they should have flown in a bit earlier than they did into England to take on that Jags team who had been there for over a week by that point. I am here to tell you right now folks – this Week 7 matchup will not be one of those two flukes.
Mac Jones ranks as the 29th QB according to PFF, and has no support whatsoever from the supporting cast as the O-Line only has one player ranking above average and the receiving corp leaves so much to be desired. The Bills defense has been solid, but I worry about them against top level competition as we saw them exposed a bit last season towards the end. On the other side of the ball, I look for both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis to tear this defense to shreds.
Bill Belichick and Mac Jones days are numbered in New England, and if their corners and defensive line continue to put out subpar performances then this is going to be an arena filled with boos once again in New England. I know that there is always the division rival narrative with matchups like these, especially with Belichick playing a role historically in these types of games. Don’t overthink this one and grab the Bills down to a less than field goal spread by teasing them here. This spread has started to hit 9 in some spots, but other books are a bit behind as Bovada was still at -7.5 earlier tonight. Be sure to line shop here!
Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens
Behold! The only total that is above 41 points in the 1 o’ Clock NFL slate on Sunday. It is pretty remarkable that a Lions game has a total this low, especially with the Ravens flying back in from London after their game against Tennessee last week. My main concern here for Baltimore is not about coming back from London, as I believe that gets a bit overhyped despite the jetlag, but rather the amount of injuries this defense still has that can play a much bigger factor than travel heading into Sunday’s game.
The Ravens will be playing host to one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses, with many on Twitter calling for Jared Goff to have his name thrown into the MVP race through six weeks. The return of Jameson Williams is only going to continue to help the Lions, and it is clear that the star tandem of Amon-Ra St. Brown and David Montgomery is going to continue to carry this team along with young standout Sam LaPorta. Paired with a great offensive line, not much can go wrong when the Lions are on offense.
This makes me fear greatly for the Ravens who have a long list of significant players on the injury report that make up their defensive unit. The Ravens also have the 27th most difficult strength of schedule according to PFF, which is not super impressive and makes it even harder to gauge who this squad is when they have not been nearly as battle tested as the Lions were the first couple of weeks. I do think that this offense can give the Lions a really big test as Nelson Agholor and Zay Flowers could both get some favorable matchups. However, is it enough to bank on if the Lions may dominate the time of possession against a banged up Ravens defense?
Give me the Lions here with a 9-point cushion. This would be a MASSIVE statement win if the Ravens can pull off a victory over the Lions by more than a touchdown and a field goal, which they have only been able to do against the Texans and Browns so far this season. I’ve got this one circled for the early games on Sunday, as the rest should prove to be more defensive battles than this one. I also lean the over here, but will lock that one in on Twitter or on the Sharpen the Public podcast, so stay tuned!
NFL WEEK 7 GAMES TO MONITOR:
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans Saints
There is a lot sitting in the balance for this Thursday Night Football matchup as we await any injury news we can get on Trevor Lawrence. The spread in this game has moved up +3 at times but has for the most part sat at +1 as uncertainties surround this game. As badly as I want to tease the Jaguars up from +1 to +7 with such a low total at 39.5, I am going to sit this one out and wait for more news to come out. The Saints have a strong rush defense, although I hold my doubts that maybe they won’t fare as well against a better running back in Etienne compared to the rest they’ve seen this season. Be on the lookout!
THIS IS AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY ANDY CHASE
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