Bye weeks started last week, and due to some health-related issues, I decided to take my bye as well. So now it’s time to get back at it. Like the Panthers, I’m off to a very disappointing start to the season. But, unlike the Panthers, I’m not going into tank mode. We’re going to grind our way out of this hole, so let’s get right to it.
Another sub-par effort, but at least there were only a few games to pick, so things don’t look that bad. The only thing keeping my ego from crawling into a hole and assuming the fetal position is the analytic picks have been almost as bad. Seriously, I’m at the point where if I had picked against myself, I’d be up serious money. It’s as hard to be that bad as it is to be that good—kind of.
Last week: My picks, 1 – 2; Analytics, 1 – 2; Best Bets, 0 – 1
Seattle at New Orleans – “These two teams feel like they would be a pick ‘em on a neutral site, so 5.5 feels like too big a line.”
This was a one-score game. It just turned out that the score was a touchdown instead of a field goal. Unless you saw Taysom Hill having the game of his life, I stand by the process.
Philadelphia at Arizona – “Philly has to go cross-country this week, then go back for a huge game with Dallas next week. So this might be a letdown spot for them.”
Philly had their way in the first half, then took their foot off the gas and allowed the cover. So I’ll take that W.
Detroit at New England – “Detroit hasn’t played a game with a final point total under 52. The over/under for this game is 45.5.”
…and they went out and got shut out, killing any chance to cover and my Best Bet Over.
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Season: My picks, 12 – 25 – 1; Analytics 14 – 23 – 1; Best Bets, 2 – 7 – 1
NFL Lines Week 7
(Standard disclaimer – All opinions are my own and may or may not reflect those of this website. “Analytic Lines” are ELO point spreads from fivethirtyeight.com, and “Vegas Lines” are courtesy of thelines.com, current as of the writing of this article. Predicted Line (“PL”) is my early week estimate of where the Vegas line would be set. Chosen games are those with a multiple-point variance between the Vegas and Analytic Lines.)
Five games with multiple-point differences this week. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step.
Game of the Week
Detroit at Dallas – Analytic Line: DAL (-11.5), Vegas Line: DAL (-6.5), PL: DAL (-9.5)
The biggest line spread this week is a massive five-point spread here. Dallas completely shut down the Rams on the road. I don’t see how they don’t do the same thing to Rams-lite at home. The shine has come off this Detroit offense. This feels like a game Dallas wins by running the ball, playing great defense, and minimizing the number of throws Dak Prescott needs to make coming off the injury.
Pick: Dallas (-6.5); Best Bet: Under 49
Make It A Parlay
Tampa Bay at Carolina – Analytic Line: CAR (+9.5), Vegas Line: CAR (+13), PL: CAR (+10)
Carolina’s implied total is 13.25. Without CMC and with PJ Walker, I can’t make a case to go over that number. However, Tampa probably wants to vent some frustration after last week’s mess in Pittsburgh, so I’ll lay the number even though I generally don’t like doing so when it gets that high. With all that said, Carolina is +500 on the money line. That’s worth laying a unit on, just in case Tom Brady trips and sprains an ankle stepping off the bus.
Pick: Tampa Bay (-13); Best Bet: Under 39.5
New York Giants at Jacksonville – Analytic Line: Pick ‘Em, Vegas Line: Jax (-3.5), PL: Jax (+2.5)
I mentioned in a previous column that whenever I think the wrong team is favored, Vegas almost always knows something I don’t. I’m leaning into that here. Feels like the Giants should be favored, but after two signature wins against Green Bay and Baltimore, this is a letdown spot.
Pick: Jacksonville (-3.5)
Green Bay at Washington – Analytic Line: WAS (+2.5), Vegas Line: WAS (+4.5), PL: WAS (+3.5)
You can make all the narrative-based calls you want about Green Bay hitting rock bottom and being primed to turn things around, but the bottom line is this team shouldn’t be a road favorite of more than a field goal against anyone. I’m betting on what I see, not what I hope to see. On the plus side, the Packer defense did look pretty good last week, and with Taylor Heineke coming off the bench for the Commanders, I love the Under.
Pick: Washington (+4.5); Best Bet: Under 41.5
Cleveland at Baltimore – Analytic Line: BAL (-8.5), Vegas Line: BAL (-6.5), PL: BAL (-7.5)
It feels like everything is falling apart in Cleveland, but they probably were playing over their heads when it was going well. Jacoby Brissett is who he is, after all. Baltimore has alternated wins and losses every week this season. They lost last week.
Pick: Baltimore (-6.5); Best Bet: Baltimore Money Line (-275)
Are you looking for some more fantasy content? Then, check out our Week 7 rankings!