With the 2019-20 NFL season underway, oddsmakers are constantly adjusting lines to account for the performance of players and teams in Weeks 1-6.
Injuries to star players such as Davante Adams (toe), Alvin Kamara (ankle), and Todd Gurley (quad) will play into the point spreads listed by US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook for Week 7 of the NFL season.
At PlayPicks, we feel confident with the information that we have to start making our picks against the spread.
In this weekly column, we will list three of our best bets against the spread with data to support our picks. Then, we will list the following games on the NFL slate in order of our confidence in analyzing the matchup. Keep in mind that lines can often shift due to weather or other unforeseen issues. Of course, injury news plays a huge role throughout the NFL season, and the status of specific players often bears monitoring until a couple of hours before kickoff.
NFL Week 7 Best Bets
San Francisco 49ers (-9) at Washington Redskins
With offensive line coach Bill Callahan taking over as interim HC, Washington earned its first win in Miami, although the Dolphins might have given the game away in order to continue tanking. The Redskins piled up 145 rushing yards, but totaled just 311 yards and 17 points against a team that ranks dead last in every defensive category and allows a league-high 36.2 PPG.
San Francisco allows the second-fewest PPG (12.8) with the second-rate defensive unit (per Football Outsiders’ DVOA) behind the Patriots despite playing a tougher schedule than New England thus far. Since Washington allows 27.8 PPG and the fifth-most rushing YPG (134), the run-heavy Niners should have little trouble controlling the clock and building a double-digit lead in this road game.
The one concern is the time difference for a west coast team playing a 1 p.m. game on the east coast. However, SF opened the season with consecutive victories in the eastern time zone (by 14 and 24 points) and are 3-0 against the spread (ATS) on the road this year. Washington is 0-3 ATS at home and somehow failed to cover a huge 16-points spread against the Patriots after going into the half down, 9-7, two weeks ago. This spread has actually dropped to -9 on DraftKings Sportsbook, which is great value for a cupcake matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) at Dallas Cowboys
While the Cowboys should be the more desperate team in this battle for NFC East supremacy, Eagles coach Doug Pederson ensured that his players will have as much to prove by more or less guaranteeing a victory on Sunday night. Pederson has out-manuevered Jason Garrett at every turn and Garrett should be coaching scared with his job on the line.
The Eagles have won seven of their last nine road games in Dallas since December, 2010. They dropped a 29-23 decision in Dallas last December thanks to a three-touchdown performance from Amari Cooper, but he’s doubtful to be at full strength (or even active) after suffering a bad quad strain in a loss at the Jets. Cowboys tackles Tyron Smith (ankle) and La’el Collins (knee) are also questionable, albeit back at practice, so the Eagles may be able to negate their deficiencies in the secondary by pressuring Dak Prescott.
Dallas started strong, but now ranks 23rd in DVOA pass defense and in opponent’s drive success rate, per Football Outsiders. Meanwhile, Philly ranks sixth in points per drive (2.37) and leads the NFL in points per red zone trip (5.70) this season. With the second-ranked rush defense in the NFL, the Eagles should be able to contain Ezekiel Elliott and force Prescott to make tough decisions with his lackluster receiving corps.
Houston Texans (+1) at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts pulled off a shocking win in Kansas City before their bye week, then watched as the Texans replicated that feat in a ball-dominant 31-24 win at Arrowhead. Now Houston looks to take control in the AFC South against a Colts team that is well rested. Yet Indy is only 1-3 with a rest advantage since 2017 and Houston is 3-2 with a rest disadvantage during that span.
The Colts earned two close wins in this rivalry last year, with Andrew Luck at quarterback. Their offense is much more ground-based with Jacoby Brissett under center and Houston is allowing the eighth-fewest rushing YPG (88) this season. The Texans are holding opponents to just 3.7 YPC with nine sacks over three very tough road games at the Saints, Chargers, and Chiefs this year.
Indy’s overrated defense ranks 22nd in DVOA pass defense and 28th against the rush this year. The Colts have allowed the second-most points per red zone trip (5.40) and rank 29th in time of possession allowed (3:10) per drive. Houston controlled the ball effectively with a strong rushing attack against KC and now ranks second in points per red zone trip (5.43) and TDs scored (.328) per drive.
NFL Week 7 Picks Against The Spread
New England Patriots (-9.5) at New York Jets
It took a fourth-quarter surge for the Patriots to cover another huge spread in a 35-14 win over the Giants. This number is far more reasonable following the Jets’ upset of the Cowboys, so take advantage in a clear-cut mismatch.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-4) at Cincinnati Bengals
Jalen Ramsey is finally gone and that should help the Jaguars defense come together for a juicy matchup against the injury-depleted Bengals. Cincy’s league-worst run defense should offer little resistance against Leonard Fournette.
Oakland Raiders (+4.5) at Green Bay Packers
The Raiders are shutting down the road this season and should have little trouble shutting down the Packers passing attack with Davante Adams (toe), Marques Valdez-Scantling (ankle), and Geronimo Allison (chest) all out or limited.
Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) at Detroit Lions
The Vikings have won three straight over the Lions and held Detroit to 9 points in each of their last two victories. Kirk Cousins and company are doing enough offensively to complete the job if Minnesota clamps down on the Lions mediocre offense.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Atlanta Falcons
Betting on Jared Goff is a terrifying proposition right now given how the Rams QB is playing. But with Jalen Ramsey added to a struggling secondary, expect the Rams to get back in the win column.
New Orleans Saints (+4) at Chicago Bears
With an injured Drew Brees, the Saints are somehow better built to win on the road with a conservative ground-based approach. Chicago also just placed top defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (elbow) and top offensive lineman Kyle Long (hip) on injured reserve. The line moved to 4 points with Alvin Kamara (ankle) out, but the Bears still might not cover.
Miami Dolphins (+16.5) at Buffalo Bills
This is the biggest spread for Buffalo since 1992, and the current Bills are nowhere near as proficient offensively. Even if Buffalo shuts out Miami, it’s hard to guarantee Josh Allen and company will put up 17-plus points.
Seattle Seahawks (-3) vs Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have struggled and failed to cover in consecutive conference games against relatively weak competition. Now they’ll travel to Seattle, where the Seahawks are 33-25-2 ATS this decade and currently getting MVP-caliber play from Russell Wilson.
Los Angeles Chargers (+2.5) at Tennessee Titans
Home field advantage is non-existent for the Chargers, so getting two points on the road against an inferior Titans team is a bonus. Marcus Mariota has looked lost over his past three starts and the Titans offense may take a step further backwards if Ryan Tannehill is given the controls.
Arizona Cardinals (+4) at New York Giants
This bet depends entirely on the status of Saquon Barkley (ankle), Evan Engram (knee), and Sterling Shepard. But even if all three skill players are a full go, Kyler Murray should find a way to keep his team in the game.