NFL Week 7 Betting Previews and Picks

The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks all maintained their places atop their divisions in Week 6 of the NFL season. Meanwhile the New Orleans Saints suffered their first loss of the year and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens endured a particularly discouraging defeat. Teams are moving up and down in the pecking order as we near the halfway point of the regular season.

Here’s the inside scoop on Week 7 of the NFL season.

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Game Line: Steelers -2, 40 O/U

The Steelers finally won their first game of the season this past Sunday, taking care of the New York Jets on the road while easily covering the NFL betting odds. The Steelers feasted on the bad decisions made by New York quarterback Geno Smith and they now get to face a Baltimore offense that looks similarly clueless. The Green Bay Packers do not have a particularly strong pass defense and yet that defense contained Baltimore, limiting the Ravens and Joe Flacco to only 17 points. Flacco, much like Eli Manning, is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback who just doesn’t play consistently during the regular season. The Steelers should be able to make a lot of plays on defense against Flacco. This should help them on their home field in Pittsburgh.

Free Pick: Take the Steelers -1 and the under. Steelers 20-17.

Cleveland Browns @ Green Bay Packers

Game Line: Packers -11.5, 46 O/U

The Green Bay Packers are losing more bodies. Receiver Randall Cobb will be out of the lineup for this game after suffering a knee injury this past Sunday against Baltimore. Cobb joins a number of offensive linemen on the shelf for Green Bay, a primary reason why the Packers aren’t lighting up the scoreboard. The Packers should be helped by a return home and they should also be helped by facing a Cleveland offense led by the struggling Brandon Weeden (a quarterback who threw one of the worst interceptions in the history of the NFL this past Sunday, a cross-field shovel pass that floated in the air for 10 yards before getting plucked by a Detroit Lion defender). Cleveland won’t win this game but the Packers’ inability to land a knockout punch should enable the Browns to cover the NFL odds in a game with a minimal scoring.

Free Pick: Take the Browns +11.5 and the over. Packers 27-20.

Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs

Game Line: Chiefs -7, 40 O/U

Those who think this is going to be a total blowout would have reason to think so. Houston’s offense is in a state of disrepair. Matt Schaub was injured this past Sunday, which could force TJ Yates into the starting role. Yates has won a playoff game with the Texans – as many as Schaub has – but he looked awful in a relief role this past Sunday against St. Louis and needs to prove himself once again. You don’t need expert NFL betting tips to presume that the Chiefs’ defense should have a field day against the Texans’ offense. The margin of victory for Kansas City will likely depend on the extent to which Kansas City’s defense scores points directly (or comes close to doing so).

Free Pick: Take the Chiefs -7 and the under. Chiefs, 24-10.

New England Patriots @ New York Jets

Game Line: Patriots -4, 43.5 O/U

In the second meeting of the season between the Patriots and Jets, expect a lot more offense. The defenses did so much in the Patriots’ 13-10 win over the Jets in Week 2 that the offenses should have their say in this game. Tom Brady looked horrible in Week 2 against New York. He’ll study film and tell his teammates what they can do to be better. The Jets could get blown out, but they’ll probably score just enough points to lift this game over the total. New England will still win and cover the spread, though.

Free Pick: Take the Patriots -4 and the over. Patriots, 30-19.

Home Dog with the Best Chance to Win is… The Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are the choice because Denver’s defense is so loaded with question marks. Think about it: Denver gave up 48 points to the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago and then were less than brilliant this past weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is a team that’s drifting along and begging for a loss given the way they’ve been playing. Indianapolis has steadily improved since a 1-1 start. Quarterback Andrew Luck has the Colts in first place in the AFC South Division primarily because he isn’t turning the ball over. Those who bet on the NFL know that Indianapolis should be able to move around Denver’s defense. Sure, the Broncos do get pass-rushing freak Von Miller back in its lineup this week but Miller can’t be expected to perform at a top level right away. He’s going to require a few weeks to adjust to the speed of live game action. The Colts should be able to score a lot of points against the Broncos this Sunday night and at least cover the NFL point spread. It’s going to be hard for Denver to win and really hard for Denver to win big.

Home Dog of the Week: Colts +6

Most Important Injury of the Week is…

Thad Lewis. Thad Lewis? Yes, it’s no joke. The Buffalo Bills just can’t catch a break at the quarterback spot. Lewis filled in for Jeff Tuel this past Sunday (after Tuel filled in for the injured EJ Manuel) and played well against the Cincinnati Bengals. Yet, Lewis absorbed an injury during the game and will not start this weekend against the Miami Dolphins. Buffalo could be a decent team if only it could establish some continuity at the most important spot on the field. Matt Flynn was brought in for this game and given his nonexistent track record in the NFL, it’s hard to see how Buffalo can beat Miami on the road.

7-Point Teaser of the Week: Falcons -2 & Rams +13

The teasers have been good to us as we’ve cashed in six-straight weeks. Let’s see if we can keep that momentum going.

For our first NFL online betting pick, let’s go with the Falcons. They are such a mess – and they’re without Julio Jones, their best receiver – but at home against the disgruntled and unraveling Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they should be just fine… for one week. For our second choice, we’ll shift the NFL lines in favor of the Rams. They blasted Houston but are still listed as 6-point underdog against the Carolina Panthers. Last week, the Rams looked like the team many had been expecting during the offseason and now they’ll play a Carolina squad that has not been particularly consistent in 2013. This game offers the Rams a real opening to move north in the NFC West standings.

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