Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season was a strange one for bettors. The first two games of the week — a “Thursday Night Football” clash and the Jaguars-Dolphins London game — were both covered by the underdogs. Then came the Sunday main slate, which saw the favorites put up a record of 8-2 against the spread. Finally, the last two stand-alone games of the week on “Sunday Night Football” and “Monday Night Football” saw both the underdogs cover again.
So, the favorites put up a record of 8-6 ATS as a whole, but bettors who were only in action for the Sunday main slate, saw the favorites dominate.
Either way, heading into Week 7, bettors have a lot of data and recent trends to trust. The sample size with each time is now large enough to know roughly what they are (save for the new-look Raiders), so gamblers will be able to identify lopsided spreads of which to take advantage.
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This week, there aren’t any bombshells impacting the NFL, as was the case last week when Jon Gruden resigned. However, there are six teams on bye this week, so that means there will only be 13 games on the NFL schedule this week. It also means that the league’s best team against the spread, the Cowboys (6-0 ATS) will be out of action. The Bills (4-2 ATS) and Chargers (4-2 ATS) will also be unavailable.
That could make this week a bit more a tossup from that perspective; there simply aren’t as many teams that have dominated against the spread playing this week.
Additionally, there are at least three spreads that will be double-digit one, and the Cardinals and Rams both seem likely to be favored by two-plus TDs. Betting those massive lines is tricky, as one bad turnover or garbage-time touchdown can result in a failed cover.
Knowing the latest injury news and trends will continue to be critical to bettors. That’s especially true during bye week season when some teams will be better rested than others.
For more expert NFL predictions, check out Sporting News’ picks straight up and against the spread for Week 7.
WEEK 7 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
NFL odds for Week 7
Below are the latest Week 7 NFL odds, including point spreads, money lines and over-under totals for every game, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Last updated: Tuesday, Oct. 19
NFL point spreads Week 7
NFL money lines Week 7
NFL over-unders Week 7
NFL POWER RANKINGS: Raiders, Steelers rise after Week 6 wins
NFL best bets for Week 7
Broncos (+3) at Browns
Last week, fading the Browns as three-point favorites against the Cardinals worked very well. We’ll continue to fade them here in what appears to be an immensely difficult spot.
The Browns are one of the most banged-up teams in football right now. They had 20 players listed on their original injury report Monday. On Tuesday, it was revealed that Kareem Hunt (calf) and Nick Chubb (calf) would both miss the game, knocking the team’s top two running backs out of the game. Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was also placed on IR while Baker Mayfield revealed that the injured labrum in his throwing shoulder was “completely torn.”
That will make it hard for Mayfield to play on Thursday and if he does, he obviously won’t be fully healthy. Making matters worse is that his offensive line is also banged up. Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin, his starting tackles, both missed last week’s game and the team’s swing tackle, Chris Hubbard, is on IR.
As such, Mayfield was under a lot of pressure. And when he’s under pressure, he tends to struggle. He holds a 3-13 record straight up in games where he has been sacked four or more times during his career. That includes the five-sack game he had last week against the Cardinals.
Denver is averaging 2.3 sacks per game, tied for the 10th-most in the NFL. If they can just get a bit more pressure than they normally do, they should have a good chance to rattle Mayfield or Case Keenum and make it hard for the Browns’ offense to move the ball. This is a good spot in which to fade Cleveland. They’re simply too beat up to be favored in this one.
WEEK 7 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Bengals (+6) at Ravens
I know, I know. The Ravens just crushed Justin Herbert and the Chargers, posting a 34-6 win on the road. Shouldn’t they be able to make life equally as difficult for the Bengals? Not necessarily.
Cincinnati matches up particularly well against Baltimore in one area. The Bengals are excellent against the blitz. Joe Burrow has completed 72.3 percent of his passes for 493 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception when facing pressure this season. His passer rating in those scenarios is 136.8.
The Ravens have been a blitz-heavy team under Don “Wink” Martindale. They have blitzed 32 percent of the time this season, which is good for the fifth-most in the NFL. That has helped them in previous matchups, including their Week 6 win over the Chargers and Justin Herbert, who has a passer rating of 96.1 when facing the blitz. But against Burrow, things might be a bit more difficult for the Ravens.
It’s also worth noting that the Bengals have kept almost all of their games close this season. Four of their games have been decided by exactly three points while the other two were wins of 14 over the Steelers and 23 over the Lions. So, they would have covered a six-point spread in all six of their previous games. That doesn’t mean that they’re guaranteed to in this matchup, but it’s a good sign nonetheless.
Also, the Bengals have lost all five games that Lamar Jackson has started against them during his career. That may seem like an advantage to the Ravens, but it also could mean that the Bengals will come into this one motivated to beat Jackson.
We saw that happen with the Ravens earlier in the year when they covered in Week 2 against a Chiefs team that Jackson and John Harbaugh had struggled to beat. They covered a 3.5-point spread and won outright. Perhaps Burrow and Zac Taylor will bring the same kind of energy to this one and spark a win or a cover.
Falcons (-2.5) at Dolphins
This seems like a terrible spot for the Dolphins. They just lost in heartbreaking fashion in a game against the Jaguars in London. Now, they have to return to Miami to take on the Falcons, a team that hasn’t been great this year but is coming off a bye week and will be well-rested for this game.
This is a massive rest advantage for the Falcons, and they’ve done well with that in the past. They are 4-2 against the spread when coming off a bye since 2016. They are 10-5 ATS when operating with any sort of rest advantage in that same span. That cover percentage of 66.7 percent is the third-best in the NFL since 2016.
Granted, that came under Dan Quinn’s leadership. The Falcons are now run by Arthur Smith, so he may run things a bit differently. Still, it seems like the Falcons should have the advantage here, especially with Calvin Ridley (personal) coming back.
That said, it’s worth noting that the Dolphins were originally scheduled to be 2.5-point favorites in this one, so the line has moved a whopping five points. It’s not always enticing to bet on massive line movements that aren’t caused by injuries, but in this case, this appears to be the right move — so long as the Falcons continue to be favored by fewer than three points.
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