Welcome to the NFL edition of Best Bets for Week 7. If those college picks didn’t work out, hopefully we can get back to even. If they did work out, well, now we have to double down. Nevertheless, here are five great bets for this Sunday’s Week 7 NFL slate. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Saturday morning.
Buccaneers at Panthers UNDER 39.5 (-110)
The Bucs are heading to Carolina to face the hollowed out shell that was once the Panthers. Over the past few weeks, Carolina has jettisoned head coach Matt Rhule, wide receiver Robbie Anderson, and star running back Christian McCaffrey. Oh, and they are down to their third-string quarterback in PJ Walker.To call this team a hot mess would be an understatement. Tampa Bay is not nearly as good as the last two years, but they are still a competitive football.
The Bucs have struggled to put up a lot of points this year, only. eclipsing 30 once in a loss the Chiefs. In wins this year, Tampa Bay is only averaging 20 points per game. They likely won’t need any more than that this week. Carolina has not broken 20 since week one. Their offense is missing a lot of the pieces that contributed to that score.
Under 40 feels low, but this should be comfortable. Expect Tampa Bay to cruise to an easy 24-10 victory. They should cover -13, but I like the UNDER more.
Falcons at Bengals: Falcons +6.5 (-110)
This matchup pits two teams that are playing some of their best football as of late. The Falcons are coming off an impressive win over San Fransisco, and the Bengals have won three of their last four games. This should be a good, tight contest. A touchdown spread feels like a lot.
This seems like a situation where the oddsmakers are setting the line based on last year’s Bengals. While they have been playing well lately, the Bengals have been inconsistent on both sides of the ball. Looking at Atlanta, Arthur Smith’s ball-control offense has allowed them to play with just about everyone. Expect this to be a close game and take the points.
Colts at Titans: Titans -2.5 (-110)
After a slow start, Tennessee is rolling now. They key to their three game winning streak has been getting Derrick Henry going. As long as he is running well, the Titans are a tough team to beat. That is bad news for a Colts team that just allowed Jaguars running back Travis Etienne to rush for 86 yards on just 10 carries.
What really throws a wrench into things is the fact that these two teams just played each other three weeks ago. The Titans won that game by a touchdown. Typically, the second meeting tends to benefit the team that lost because they can adjust, and they also might be playing the second game at a better point in their season.
With these games so close together, there is less time for things to change. For that reason, I like the Titans enough to lay 2.5 points.
Jets at Broncos: Broncos -1 (-110)
After three straight losses, the Broncos are completely desperate for a win. Dropping to 2-5 would make their postseason hopes look more like a fantasy than a reasonable goal. The whispers that the Russell Wilson trade was a disaster would become screams. Wilson also might not play this week. On the other side of the field, the Jets are trying to keep an improbable three game winning streak going.
Despite things going well, New York is dealing with a disgruntled receiver in Elijah Moore. The Jets have refused his trade requests and now he is going to sit out this week. This could mean trouble against a stingy Denver secondary.
Also, if Wilson does not play, that could work out in Denver’s favor. Are we certain that Brett Rypien is a downgrade right now? If he can just guide this offense to 20 points, it could be enough to win. You can lay a measly point on the Broncos.
Chiefs at 49ers: 49ers Moneyline (+100)
The Chiefs are looking to bounce back from a tough loss to Buffalo last week. Despite that being their only loss in the last three weeks, they don’t seem as imposing as usual. Their defensive struggles are a big reason for that. The Niners are also looking to get back in the win column after an embarrassing two touchdown loss to Atlanta. It was so bad the that San Fransisco decided to shell out a bunch of draft picks for Christian McCaffrey.
We probably won’t see too much of the former Panther, but his addition only exacerbates an advantage that already existed. The key to beating the Chiefs (for everyone that doesn’t have Josh Allen at quarterback) is to run the ball and keep Patrick Mahomes off the field. That is Kyle Shanahan’s bread and butter.
The combination of a run-heavy offense and a stout defense should be too perfect of a mismatch for Kansas City to overcome.