NFL Week 7 Breakdown

by Will Rogers

BEST GAME

Cincinnati at Baltimore (-6.5)

Cincinnati 4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS

Baltimore 5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS

Early showdown in the best division in the AFC;s North, and the Bengals figure to have their hands more than full against a Ravens team that has not lost in regulation this season, has five straight wins in its pocket, is coming off a dominating victory over the more-than-decent Chargers and will be playing at home. Hence the somewhat heavy line. Cincinnati has benefitted from a soft September/October schedule (only one game against a team with a winning record – Green Bay), but that comes to a screeching halt this coming weekend. Joe Burrow & Co. now go from as game against the worst team in the league (Detroit) to a road battle against possibly the best. They’ll more than have their hands full.


WORST GAME

Carolina at New York Giants (+2.5)

Carolina 3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS

New York 1-5 SU, 2-4 ATS

Three straight losses after three straight wins have taken the starch out of the Panthers, who should send a bottle of wine to the schedule-maker with the Giants next on the docket. But even a victory over the NYG won’t end questions about QB Sam Darnold, who has been mediocre at best and awful at worst during the skid – six interceptions and one fumble lost. Another dog game in East Rutherford, and the Panthers might be on the prowl for a replacement QB to save their season. Meanwhile, bettors have turned against the Giants big-time, and early money has been 4-1 heavy on Carolina. NY has just not been competitive since an early-October OT win over New Orleans, with back-to-back 24- and 27-point losses.


BIGGEST SPREAD

Houston at Arizona (-17)

Houston 1-5 SU, 2-4 ATS

Arizona 6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS

Teams like Houston say that they lack consistency. What they really lack is talent. This big number (Arizona) says as much about the Texans as it does about the unbeaten Cardinals. Since Week 2 the Texans have lost by an average score of 30-8, and playing on the road against a loaded-for-bear team like Arizona is not likely to help things. The Cardinals have four blowout double-digit victories this season, and it will be a shock if this one doesn’t make it five. The only concern in the desert is the status of Kyler Murray’s throwing shoulder, but it was good enough to torch the Browns with four TD passes this past Sunday, and should be plenty good enough against the Texans. Early bettors like Zona to cover the heavy number.


SMALLEST SPREAD

Atlanta at Miami (-1)

Atlanta 2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS

Miami 1-5 SU, 2-4 ATS

There’s no crime in losing to good teams, but now the Dolphins now are having trouble even with the truly bad ones, and a season that opened with such optimism is now circling the drain. Not even a decent effort from returning-from-injury QB Tua Tagovailoa could take the sting out of Miami’s field-goal loss to helpless and hopeless Jacksonville. The press in Miami, usually rather gentle, is now calling for (another) complete overall. The Falcons, meanwhile, are coming off a bye week where they nursed injuries and plotted for ways to emerge from the mushy middle and make a run at the playoffs. Pretty even game, pretty even early money. Everything points to a coin flip here.


BIGGEST TOTAL

Kansas City at Tennessee (56.5)

Kansas City 3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS, 4-2 O/U

Tennessee 4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS, 4-2 O/U

No, thanks. YOU explain how the Titans can lose to the Jets, then two weeks later can come back and knock off perhaps the best team in the conference. Guess it starts with Derrick Henry, who can scorch any defense on any gameday. How much is left in Henry’s legs six days after carrying 20 times against the Bills is anyone’s guess, but know this: The Chiefs have one of the weakest run  defenses in the NFL, so Henry will get his touches. Combine that with the knowledge that KC can be pretty much written in for at least 30 ppg, and even the high total of 56.5 looks attainable.


LOWEST TOTAL

New York Jets at New England (43)

New York 1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS, 2-3 O/U

New England 2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS, 2-4 O/U

Raise your hand if you thought Gillette Stadium would be a House of Horrors for the Patriots this season. Yet the numbers tell the truth – NE is 0-4 at home. But still a 7-point fave over the bewitched, bothered and bewildered Jets. Over bettors might want to take a hard look here. There are signs that the Pats are easing up on the choke chain with QB Mac Jones, who was more than just a game manager in NE’s OT loss to Dallas. And with a struggling Pats defense, even an offensively-challenged Jets team might be able to move the ball. If history is any guide, however, it’s usually a taffy pull when the Jets journey to Foxboro.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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