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All right, let's be honest. There have not been many big upsets in the NFL this season. If you're in a survivor pool, you're probably getting bored. I mean, it's Week 7 and even I'm still alive. This never happens. Over half of my 4,000-person pool is still alive. We didn't all turn into geniuses that could predict the future. There just hasn't been much in the way of big upsets.
Last week, we had seven favorites listed at -200 or larger. Of those seven favorites, six won their game outright, though the Steelers did need overtime to dispatch the Seahawks. The only favorite to go down on the moneyline was the Buffalo Bills. What does Week 7 have in store? All lines are courtesy of BetMGM.
Washington at Green Bay
The Green Bay Packers find themselves -400 favorites at home on the moneyline against the Washington Football Team. At this point, our preseason expectations and hopes surrounding the Football Team and especially its defense mean very little. They've been brutal, underperformed severely and it's hard to have any confidence in them as a unit. On the other side, the Packers have won five straight, but they haven't looked like their usual dominant selves. Green Bay is allowing opposing offenses to score touchdowns on 100% of their red-zone drives and has problems getting off the field on third down. Maybe Washington can take advantage.
Kansas City at Tennessee
All went right last week for the Chiefs against the previously mentioned Football Team, but I'm going to need to see more, and specifically against a good team. This isn't stopping oddsmakers from making the Chiefs a -225 road favorite against the Titans. Tennessee is coming off an extremely impressive win over the Bills on Monday night. There's no better opportunity to send a strong message to the rest of the league than back-to-back wins over Buffalo and Kansas City. The Chiefs' defense ranks 30th in yards allowed per rush, and it's allowing 1.5 touchdowns per game on the ground. Expect Derrick Henry to have a monster game, and it might come down to which team gets the ball last.
NY Jets at New England
The New England Patriots are -300 favorites against the New York Jets in Week 7. Bill Belichick could have a high school roster, and I'd still feel inclined to pick him to beat the Jets. We all know about Belichick's dominance over both the Jets and rookie quarterbacks in his career. Zach Wilson had no chance in his first game against the Patriots, but the Jets are coming off a bye week. That's often a jumping-off point for rookies. New England has been very inconsistent this season, losing to Miami and struggling with Houston but then hanging with elite teams like Tampa Bay and Dallas. Maybe we get the bad version of New England this week.
Cincinnati at Baltimore
The Ravens are -275 favorites at home against their divisional rivals. This is the game where we see just how real Cincinnati is. The Bengals have beaten the Lions, Jaguars, Steelers and Vikings, but none of those teams comes close to Baltimore in terms of quality. The Ravens looked dominant in their win over the Chargers last week, but it was the first time they’ve shown their top form this season. We've seen Baltimore struggle with teams like Indianapolis, Las Vegas and even Detroit. Cincinnati’s defense has been really good this season, and it's looking to send a message with a marquee win in the AFC North.
Detroit at L.A. Rams
Jared Goff revenge game. Need I say more? In all honesty it’s hard to see a path to a Lions victory here, as they are +650 on the moneyline for a reason. However, Detroit has pushed solid teams like the Ravens and Vikings to the bitter end before suffering heartbreaking losses. Detroit is hungry to get in the win column. Before last week’s brutal performance, the Lions have been a handful for opponents. I said it last week, but this Rams team always seems prone to a letdown spot every season. I doubt this is the week, considering the Matthew Stafford and Goff storyline, but you never know.
Houston at Arizona
All right, with the Cardinals a -1600 favorite, I can’t even try to make a reasonable case for the Texans to win this game outright. I used a similar argument when the Texans played the Bills, but what’s the value in Arizona here? You’re not going to risk $160 dollars to win $10. They offer little value in a parlay, teasing them isn’t a +EV move, and they will be the chalkiest selection in survivor pools. Maybe just leave the Cardinals alone and hope for chaos?
Chicago at Tampa Bay
Hey, remember last year when Tom Brady forgot what down it was on Thursday night football and the Bears beat the Bucs? Despite that, the Buccaneers are -750 favorites to win the rematch. It’s hard to envision a world where the Bears can hang with Tampa Bay if Justin Fields isn’t allowed to throw the ball. He hasn't completed more than 16 passes in a game or thrown for over 209 yards yet. Tampa Bay does not give up much on the ground, so Chicago will need to be able to move the ball through the air. Maybe the Bears defense pressures Brady into some mistakes and the rookie quarterback makes some plays with his arm.
Indianapolis at San Francisco
It’s been an unimpressive start to the season for both San Francisco and Indianapolis, which entered with reasonable expectations of being playoff teams. I’m about ready to have the conversation that Kyle Shanahan might be very overrated as a head coach. San Francisco made the Super Bowl in 2019, but in every other year under Shanahan, the 49ers have been pretty bad. Why are we so sure that 2019 wasn’t a complete anomaly? I see these two teams as pretty equal and can see this game going either way. At -200 on the moneyline, San Francisco seems valued off its reputation rather than reality.
New Orleans at Seattle
In the post-Drew Brees era, the New Orleans Saints have stayed afloat and been competitive, but they’ve also been decidedly mediocre. They lost to the Giants as two-score favorites at home. Despite that, New Orleans is a -225 favorite on the road. Geno Smith has looked somewhat competent in the game-plus he’s played in relief of Russell Wilson. The 12th man in Seattle during prime time is one of the few stadiums where I think home-field advantage might still exist. It’s a huge game for Seattle to keep its season alive as it looks to tread water until Wilson returns. A lot is made about Geno, but let's not forget that Jameis Winston always has the potential to implode as well.
Below is my ranking of the confidence I have in this week's favorites in descending order:
2. Los Angeles Rams
3. Tampa Bay
4. Green Bay
5. New England
7. New Orleans
8. Kansas City
9. San Francisco