2016 NFL Week 7 Bettor’s Guide
Overall, a pretty solid, standard week — at least with money lines — on par with career handicapping. However, the spreads are a veritable dice game nowadays with the NFL. There were quite a number of last minute swings that affected the call against the spread, and it shows in the numbers; even in the games where the money lines were accurately handicapped.
Week 7: (Packers covered and won straight up 1-0 in both categories)
New York Football Giants vs. Los Angeles Rams
9:30 AM EDT
My Call: NYG -3
Over/Under: Over 44
Robert Quinn is questionable for this game, after already missing the past two. William Hayes is also questionable. However, they both practiced this week, and appear to be on track to play on Sunday. Michael Brockers and Trumaine Johnson, however, are both out. Odell Beckham has mostly been limited by a hip pointer, and held out of practice as more of a precautionary measure than any real threat of missing Sunday’s game.
The Rams are as enigmatic as any team in the NFL, and it is difficult to gauge which team you will see from week to week. The Giants’ pass rush finally showed up in Week 6, but in large part, they have been unable to generate consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They should be able to stuff the run and force Case Keenum to beat them with his arm.
The Giants still have not fully gotten untracked offensively, and the Rams defense isn’t generally one against which you look to accomplish such things. That said, with Johnson out, the Rams have one less option to slow down Beckham, and the Giants have the better quarterback.
NY Giants 26
Los Angeles 20
Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field
My Call: MIN -3
Over/Under: Over 39
Carson Wentz mania has ceased, defensive coordinators have film on Wentz and have adjusted, and Wentz looks like an average, run-of-the-mill quarterback; having struggled mightily in back to back games. The Eagles defense has fallen off, as well. The Vikes are coming off a bye and look to get a few guys healthy in the near future, including Sharrif Floyd (who still did not practice this week and is not on track to play). The Vikings’ defense will prove to be too much for the Eagles.
New Orleans Saints vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City, Missouri
My Call: KC -5.5
Over/Under: Under 50.5
Everyone knows the book on the Saints when on the road (and particularly against a good defense in an open-air stadium, no less).
New Orleans 15
Kansas City 27
Washington Redskins vs. Detroit Lions
My Call: DET -1
Over/Under: Over 49.5
This is a critical tipping point for the Redskins.
Their next seven games are the toughest games they will play all season, and after skirting by narrowly in the past four, this loss could be the start of a rough two-month period for them. The Lions will do enough offensively, while the Redskins are without Jordan Reed (concussion), and will be without Josh Doctson now for an additional eight weeks (Week 15 earliest return), while Desean Jackson is questionable.
Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Brown Stadium
My Call: CLE +10
Over/Under: Over 45.5
If Tyler Eifert plays, the Bengals cover. If Tyler Eifert does not play, the Browns cover.
Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins
Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
My Call: BUF -3
Over/Under: Under 43.5
Take nothing away from last week for Miami.
Ryan Tannehill is still the Fins’ QB and the Bills are kicking other teams’ offenses asses and taking names over the past month.
Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
My Call: JAX -1
Over/Under: Over 47
The Jags are on a bit of a roll, if you will, and the dystopian Raiders seem to play far better on the road than at home. The Jags should still be better than they are offensively, but Blake Bortles’ shortcomings are hamstringing the offense. The Raiders will score points, but the question is whether their defense can get enough stops. The Jaguars’ defense is far more capable of such.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans
My Call: TEN -3
Over/Under: Under 47.5
The Titans are better than some think. The Colts (particularly Andrew Luck) aren’t nearly as good offensively, as others think. The Titans defense is capable of giving Luck fits. The Colts are coming off a massive choke job on Sunday night in Houston, against a team (particularly QB Brock Osweiler) who couldn’t get out of their own way for three quarters.
Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets
East Rutherford, New Jersey
My Call: BAL +2.5
Over/Under: Under 40
You don’t really believe that Geno Smith will beat the Ravens, do you?
NY Jets 12
San Diego Chargers vs. Atlanta Falcons
My Call: SD +5.5
Over/Under: Over 54
This is when the Falcons get to prove whether they are for real, or the team that front runs their way through half of the season and falls apart midseason. The Bolts defense has been surprisingly good. We’ll treat this as a pick ’em, and we feel the Bolts have enough on both sides of the ball to get the job done; even on the road.
San Diego 31
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers
Santa Clara, California
My Call: TB +1
Over/Under: Over 46.5
Colin Kaepernick remains the QB for the 49ers, and he will have opportunities to make plays against a weak Bucs secondary. Tampa is coming off its bye and look to get healthy on the offensive side of the ball, where they are down to Jacquizz Rodgers at RB. Doug Martin had a setback in his injury recovery, and therefore will not play.
In short, San Francisco really does not possess enough to slow the Jameis Winston connections with Mike Evans and Adam Humphries, while he also have Cecil Shorts and Louis Murphy returning from injuries for this game.
Tampa Bay 30
San Francisco 22
New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK
My Call: NE -7
Over/Under: Over 47.5
Who cares now with Ben Roethlisberger out, and Landry Jones — who looked as bad as Ryan Nassib (if not worse) and Jared Goff during preseason and in spot duty on Sunday — is in against the AFC’s best defense?
New England 41
Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: SEA +1
Over/Under: Over 43
We are not sold on the Cards, just to get that out of the way early on, in terms of handicapping this game.
Russell Wilson is playing magical football. And it’s not just recent. No Marshawn Lynch and no consistent run game (something his detractors who refused to acknowledge that he is a Top 3 QB in the NFL, and arguably, in some circles, the best in the NFC, and even overall to some), and Wilson’s winning games with downfield passing. Consistently.
The Cards have been up and down more than Luther Vandross’ weight during his singing career. It is difficult to gauge what they are. Against the NFL’s best defense, it will be even more difficult to find their game. One thing that you can count on, the Seahawks’ front seven will be all over Carson Palmer and stop the run with David Johnson, and Richard Sherman will take away Michael Floyd and the few times Larry Fitzgerald lines up outside. It will be incumbent on the Seahawks to keep Smokey John Brown under wraps. He is about the only player who can threaten Seattle’s defense for big gains.
Jimmy Graham should have a huge game, should Seattle look to exploit what Arizona will give them, which is anything Wilson and Graham want over the middle of the field, deep crossers and up the seams. And they will get it when they need it.
Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: DEN -9
Over/Under: Under 40.5
The storyline about Brock Osweiler leaving Denver, receiving a late (and lucrative) offer from Broncos’ GM John Elway, but refusing to pick up the phone, then taking the Texans’ $72 Million contract (with about $35 Million guaranteed) will be played up all pregame and throughout the game.
The bottom line postgame storyline will be:
John Elway is a great GM (save for the fumbled facsimile fiasco — +3 alliteration) and Rick Smith is not. Even if the Osweiler move was an ownership decision.
BYE: Carolina (1-5), Dallas (5-1).