For The Win: Week 7 - Footballguys

NFL Picks Against the Las Vegas Lines

Here we are again this year, back for more NFL picks. Just like last season, this article will still be picking all of the NFL games each week, but will also try and help some of you with some confidence and rankings of the selections - which also may assist those of you with Las Vegas trips. Games are rated based on preference for both the point spread and other angles (such as point totals, or Over/Unders) with 1-3 "Stars", which basically highlight the best bets for the week. Those games which have zero stars are not preferred one way or the other, but will still be covered, discussed and a winner will be predicted to help those trying to get some advice for their weekly office pools or other contests that they may be participating in either this week or this season.

Another successful week in the books with some crushing of the teasers in NFL Week 6, as all but the 9th pick were correct. Week 5 was tough to beat with an 80% win rate, yet the Best Bets were 39.8-7, or 85% accurate in Week 6. By any measure, this has been a very good streak over the past two weekends – but none of that matters for NFL Week 7. Stay humble, keep it all under control, stay methodical and make solid picks. That’s the plan. Let’s get started.

Note that the lines and Over/Unders are taken from VegasInsider.com.

BYE WEEKS: Green Bay, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle

TEAMS RETURNING FROM A BYE: Detroit, New Orleans

(Thursday) DENVER (-1 to 2.5) at ARIZONA (Over/Under 40.5 to 42)
Denver is 2-4 on the season - with four losses in a row - yet they are better than that record would indicate. They played the Chiefs well at home in the division and also showed reasonably well last week against a tough Rams team in Denver. The two road losses (at Baltimore, at the Jets) also look respectable with both teams at .500 or better. Arizona cannot point to their 1-5 record and hang their hat on anything but a fortunate win in Week 5 in San Francisco, where the 49ers more than doubled the Cardinals in total yardage (447-220) yet lost on the scoreboard. Arizona now hosts a Denver on Thursday, and the Broncos defense is not what it once was with Denver giving up 200 yards on the ground in consecutive weeks (Isaiah Crowell in Week 5, Todd Gurley in Week 6). Denver is giving up over 5.5 yards per carry, the worst average by far in the NFL. Could this be the week that David Johnson finally gets going? Denver will look to shut him down first and foremost to force Josh Rosen to beat them, and so far this year Rosen has not been up to that task. While it is tough for a team to go out on the road on a short week and win, a relatively short flight for Denver should not be a big hurdle to clear. PICK: Broncos

(London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-6.5) vs. TENNESSEE (Over/Under 45 to 45.5)
The Chargers continue to take care of business, moving to 4-2 with a big win in Cleveland (38-14). Los Angeles also made the smart move of staying in Cleveland after the game before heading to London directly from Ohio, which is way better than going back to California between contests. The Titans were shut out by the Ravens in Tennessee 21-0 last week and showed very little on offense. With the Chargers only losing this season to the Rams and Chiefs, this appears to be another likely victory for an underrated Los Angeles franchise that may actually be liking the lower profile this year. PICK: Chargers

PHILADELPHIA (-4 to 4.5) vs. CAROLINA (Over/Under 45 to 45.5)
The Eagles enter Week 7 at 3-3 with their toughest part of the schedule looming over the next five weeks (vs. Carolina, Jaguars in London, BYE, Dallas, at New Orleans). The Panthers took a tough loss in Washington last Sunday while the Eagles may have righted their ship (and offense) with a big 34-13 win over the Giants last Thursday. With extra rest and more momentum, and several big games coming soon, Philadelphia should be able to lock down a win by a touchdown or more to improve to 4-3. PICK: Eagles

CHICAGO (+3 to 3.5) vs. NEW ENGLAND (Over/Under 49 to 50)
This looks like a classic trap game waiting to happen for the Patriots. New England is coming off of a huge 43-40 win over the Chiefs. After three consecutive home wins for the Patriots, heading out on the road could easily pose a challenge. Visiting Chicago, a non-conference opponent, adds weight to a potential overlooked team. The Bears are very hungry to get another win, especially against a quality opponent, after dropping a very winnable game in Miami where Chicago had multiple chances to win prior to the 31-28 overtime loss to the Dolphins. Chicago as a home underdog in a prime spot to not just cover but to win outright screams like the upset of the week. Their defense, offense and even special teams are all above average and underrated, and a win over Tom Brady and the Patriots would bring the Bears back into playoff contender discussions. Chicago 30, New England 27. PICK: Bears

INDIANAPOLIS (-7.5 to 9) vs. BUFFALO (Over/Under 43)
Two bad teams going nowhere fast square off in this one. Forget the point spreads – 80% of the time, they do not matter – and just take the home team to win. The Colts have Andrew Luck, and the Bills are starting a backup who is terrible. Move along. PICK: Colts

Update – the Bills are starting Derek Anderson, who was signed just over a week ago and was inactive last week. Taking Indianapolis for the win seems like the right call.

DETROIT (-1 to -2.5) at MIAMI (Over/Under 46.5)
Early lines had the Lions as low as -1, but since then it has moved to -2 or even -2.5. That is a strong indication that Ryan Tannehill will be out of this game, and that the line could even move through that crucial field goal margin – giving sharps a strong middle opportunity (Taking Detroit -2.5 or less, then taking Miami at +3.5 or more and hoping the Dolphins lose by only a field goal, making both wagers winners). That alone points to taking the Lions, but so does taking the team with an extra week of rest and preparation for the trip to Florida. Miami just won a back-and-forth overtime contest over the Bears that took a ton of effort and energy, so a letdown for the Dolphins against a non-AFC team is also a strong possibility. Take the Lions at -2.5 or less. PICK: Lions

MINNESOTA (-3 to 3.5) at NEW YORK JETS (Over/Under 46.5 to 47)
Here is a tough battle in Week 7 with the Vikings taking the trip to New Jersey to face off against the Jets on Sunday. Minnesota has had one poor showing this season (home loss to Buffalo) but their loss to the Rams and a tie to Green Bay look respectable after raising their record to 3-2-1 with two wins in a row. New York also has won two consecutive home games but the level of competition was not that high (Denver and Indianapolis). The deciding factor is likely to be the Vikings on defense as they pressure their rookie quarterback, Sam Darnold, with their #2 defense on third downs. The Jets will also be without Quincy Enunwa, who has been a key target and top receiver for Darnold through the early part of the season. Tougher call but Minnesota gets a close nod in what should be an exciting contest for all 60 minutes on Sunday. PICK: Vikings

TAMPA BAY (-3) vs. CLEVELAND (Over/Under 49.5)
Lost in the 34-29 loss for Tampa Bay to Atlanta last week was the outstanding return to full action for Jameis Winston, who completed over 70% of his passes for nearly 400 yards (30-41-395) and four touchdowns. The Buccaneers had over 500 total yards including 100+ on the ground (31 for Winston, 85 for Peyton Barber on a combined 18 carries – almost 6.5 yards a carry. Can Cleveland slow down that Buccaneer offense, or keep up with it? That is the challenge here, and Tampa’s soft defense should help this game to a ton of points, but the Browns are running out of wide receivers with someone named Damion Ratley catching 6-of-8 targets for 82 yards last week. Yes, the Browns are that thin at wideout. Tampa Bay 37, Cleveland 31. PICK: Buccaneers

HOUSTON (+4.5 to 5) at JACKSONVILLE (Over/Under 42 to 42.5)
The Jacksonville defense has not been what they are supposed to be – dominant – for the past two weeks. It is one thing for the Jaguars to lose in Dallas, but 40-7? Sure, giving up 30 points in Kansas City two weeks ago is almost respectable given how prolific the Kansas City offense has been this year, but the Cowboys and 40 points would have been a pipe dream for most anyone prior to last Sunday. Houston should be licking their chops with a chance to move to 4-3 and into first place with a road win at the Jaguars this week. The defense saved the day for the Texans in a tight 20-13 home win over Buffalo, but the Bills have been tough on defense of late. This should be a low scoring affair, adding more value to those extra five points that Houston starts with before kickoff. PICK: Texans

BALTIMORE (-2.5) vs. NEW ORLEANS (Over/Under 49 to 50.5)
On the surface, this looks like the unstoppable force of the Saints’ offense against the immovable object in the Ravens’ defense as the best description of this matchup, but a bigger point of emphasis should be how Baltimore lines up against New Orleans when the Ravens have the ball. Baltimore is 10th in the NFL in scoring (25.5 points/game), 9th in total yards per game and – most surprisingly – third in the NFL in third-down conversions on offense. With Baltimore loading up on defense with 11 sacks of the Titans last week, this could be the statement game that the Ravens need to assert themselves as a legitimate playoff contender. PICK: Ravens

SAN FRANCISCO (+9.5 to 10) vs. LOS ANGELES RAMS (Over/Under 51.5 to 53)
The 49ers were so, so close to pulling off a major upset of the Packers on Monday Night Football, and now the disheartened team must head back home to face the toughest offense in the NFC with Los Angeles coming to San Francisco on Sunday. The Rams have been rolling and are at 6-0 after another win in Denver, but a late (and rather meaningless) touchdown by the Broncos made the 23-20 victory look much less dominating than it was. The Rams should win again over the 49ers on a tough, short week – but a big point spread is the tougher hill to climb. Given that the 49ers just put up 30 points of offense, injuries for Los Angeles (Cooper Kupp) and a Rams’ defense that has not been as dominant as it was earlier this year, San Francisco could cover this big number. Los Angeles 27, 49ers 20. PICK: 49ers

DALLAS (+1.5 to 2) at WASHINGTON (Over/Under 41.5 to 42)
This is a very tough one to call, as last week’s big win by the Cowboys really was a perspective changer when it comes to Dallas. Not just a win over Jacksonville, but 40-7? Washington survived a tough game hosting Carolina last week, but both teams winning makes this an even bigger NFC East contest for these long-time rivals. Dallas has more momentum right now and NFL teams are 6-0 in their final games before a bye week this season (if you do not consider the two matchups of teams facing each other before their bye). Dallas in a close contest on the road. PICK: Cowboys

KANSAS CITY (-5.5 to 6) vs. CINCINNATI (Over/Under 58 to 58.5)
The Chiefs just lost a heartbreaker to New England in Foxboro on Monday, 43-40. The biggest takeaways were that Kansas City was not that upset by the loss, as they realized that the team did not play well in the first half – yet the Chiefs still scored 40 points against the best AFC East franchise for the past decade. Now Kansas City heads home to regroup around their young quarterback with another tough test as the Bengals come to town for Sunday Night Football. Cincinnati comes off a tough home loss to divisional rival Pittsburgh and these two potential playoff foes are slated to go at it to close out Sunday action. This one should be another high scoring affair, but the Kansas City defense is getting after quarterbacks and are still a Top 10 defense on third down even after facing New England, while the Bengals are second to last. That will prove to be the deciding factor. Kansas City 37, Cincinnati 27. PICK: Chiefs

(Monday) ATLANTA (-5.5 to 6.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS (Over/Under 54 to 55)
The Giants will be well rested after playing last Thursday against the Eagles, but that is about the only thing in their favor as New York takes their 1-5 record to Atlanta for a Monday Night Football matchup to wrap up NFL Week 7. Atlanta may be a little banged up with no Devonta Freeman and Calvin Ridley possibly out, but Matt Ryan has enough on offense to take care of a Giants team already facing a long season with only Saquon Barkley being a bright spot for 2018. Falcons by double digits with another night game “ending early” for Giants fans. PICK: Falcons

BEST BETS

Once again this year this article will give out not only the "Best Bets" but also a rating of each one on a 1-3 "Star" scale. The more stars, the bigger the emphasis on that side of the game.

Week 7 offers some more challenging contests, but as has been emphasized the past two weeks, not every game needs to be played. With a focus on just a few games, here are the Best Bets this week:

* ONE STAR GAMES *

  • CHICAGO (“FOR THE WIN” +150) vs. NEW ENGLAND
  • HOUSTON (“FOR THE WIN” +210) at JACKSONVILLE
  • (London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-6.5) vs. TENNESSEE
  • CHICAGO (+3.5) vs. NEW ENGLAND
  • CHICAGO vs. NEW ENGLAND (Over/Under 49)
  • DETROIT (-1) at MIAMI
  • MINNESOTA (-3) at NEW YORK JETS
  • TAMPA BAY (-3) vs. CLEVELAND
  • HOUSTON (+5) at JACKSONVILLE
  • KANSAS CITY (-5.5) vs. CINCINNATI
  • (Monday) ATLANTA (-5.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
  • 6-POINT TEASER: CHICAGO (+9.5) vs. NEW ENGLAND (Over 43)
  • 6-POINT TEASER: KANSAS CITY (+0.5) vs. CINCINNATI (Over 52)
  • 6-POINT TEASER: (Monday) ATLANTA (+0.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS (Over 48)
  • 5-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (4.1-1 ODDS):
    • (London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-0.5) vs. TENNESSEE
    • (Monday) ATLANTA (+0.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
    • KANSAS CITY (+0.5) vs. CINCINNATI
    • INDIANAPOLIS (-1.5) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-3.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
  • 6-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (6.1-1 ODDS):
    • (London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-0.5) vs. TENNESSEE
    • (Monday) ATLANTA (+0.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
    • KANSAS CITY (+0.5) vs. CINCINNATI
    • INDIANAPOLIS (-1.5) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-3.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • CHICAGO vs. NEW ENGLAND (Over 43)
  • 7-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (8.9-1 ODDS):
    • (London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-0.5) vs. TENNESSEE
    • (Monday) ATLANTA (+0.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
    • KANSAS CITY (+0.5) vs. CINCINNATI
    • INDIANAPOLIS (-1.5) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-3.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • CHICAGO vs. NEW ENGLAND (Over 43)
    • PHILADELPHIA (+2) vs. CAROLINA
  • 8-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (12.75-1 ODDS):
    • (London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-0.5) vs. TENNESSEE
    • (Monday) ATLANTA (+0.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
    • KANSAS CITY (+0.5) vs. CINCINNATI
    • INDIANAPOLIS (-1.5) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-3.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • CHICAGO vs. NEW ENGLAND (Over 43)
    • PHILADELPHIA (+2) vs. CAROLINA
    • CHICAGO (+9.5) vs. NEW ENGLAND
  • 9-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (18.25-1 ODDS):
    • (London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-0.5) vs. TENNESSEE
    • (Monday) ATLANTA (+0.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
    • KANSAS CITY (+0.5) vs. CINCINNATI
    • INDIANAPOLIS (-1.5) vs. BUFFALO
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS (-3.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
    • CHICAGO vs. NEW ENGLAND (Over 43)
    • PHILADELPHIA (+2) vs. CAROLINA
    • CHICAGO (+9.5) vs. NEW ENGLAND
    • HOUSTON (+11) at JACKSONVILLE

** TWO STAR GAMES **

  • 4-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (2.65-1 ODDS):
    • (London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-0.5) vs. TENNESSEE
    • (Monday) ATLANTA (+0.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
    • KANSAS CITY (+0.5) vs. CINCINNATI
    • INDIANAPOLIS (-1.5) vs. BUFFALO

*** THREE STAR GAMES ***

  • 3-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (9-5 ODDS):
    • (London, England) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-0.5) vs. TENNESSEE
    • (Monday) ATLANTA (+0.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
    • KANSAS CITY (+0.5) vs. CINCINNATI

PICK(S) OF THE WEEK: Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Atlanta

RESULTS

Last Week

  • OVERALL: 8-7 (53.3%)
  • BEST BETS (STARS): 39.8-7 (85.0%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 3-3 (50%)

Season

  • OVERALL: 38-50-5 (43.2%)
  • BEST BETS (STARS): 143.2-62.5 (69.6%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 17-19-2 (47.2%)

Good luck this weekend!

Questions, suggestions, and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com

Follow @JeffPasquino


More articles from Jeff Pasquino

See all

More articles on: picks

See all