Week 6 had some more Covid-19 drama but ultimately saw all of the games go off exactly as they were scheduled to begin the week. The change of pace was refreshing in a way but we still saw some teams struggle to deal with the changes. New England missed a lot of practice time last week and had a QB in Cam Newton who wasn’t able to practice for the most part during their bye due to his own Covid diagnosis. The Pats ended up as one of the biggest upset victims of the week, losing as -9.5 favorites to the Broncos and ending lots of people’s Survivor pool hopes for the year.
A lot of games came down to the wire in Week 6, with Tennessee and Houston seeing overtime in the highest scoring game of the week–where Tennessee eventually prevailed 42-36. Indianapolis also avoided disaster, coming back from a three TD deficit to win 31-27.
Overall, underdogs had a great week, as the favorites only went 6-8 ATS with five underdog teams pulling out straight up wins.
After seeing coaches fired each of the last two weeks, we haven’t had any movement on that front yet for Week 7 although the watch is definitely on in New York after the Jets got shutout in their six straight loss on the year. For once, the news on the injury front was actually pretty quiet. The Eagles suffered another big loss when it was announced that Miles Sanders would likely miss at least one game (knee) and that Zach Ertz (ankle) is out even longer. Raheem Mostert (ankle) of the 49ers was the other big name that went down last week, reports on the severity of his injury have been vague thus far but a three-week or more trip to the IR is expected.
From a totals perspective, the unders finally had their day as over bettors were brutalized in Week 6 with just 4 of the 14 games hitting the over total for the week. It was the first week of the year thus far that the overs posted a losing record.
Week 7 preview (lines and totals)
- New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5, 42.5)
- Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5, 50.5)
- Dallas Cowboys at Washington (-0.5, 46.5)
- Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5, 56.5)
- Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7.5, 51.5)
- Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (+13.5, 45.5)
- Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans (+3.5, 55.5)
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (+2.5, 51.5)
- Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (+3.5, 56.5)
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angles Chargers (-7.5, 49.5)
- San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots (-2.5, 44.5)
- Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (+9.5, 48.5)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders (-3.5, 52.5)
- Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-5.5, 45.5)
Both of these teams rate out in the bottom-10 of the league in Defensive DVOA (via Football Outsiders) but in the top half of the league in pace of play–Atlanta is third. Even though Atlanta won their first game last week, their secondary continued its near historically bad play, allowing Kirk Cousins to throw for 343 yards and three TDs. Detroit’s top wideout Kenny Golladay should absolutely feast here and with Julio Jones back and healthy, expect Atlanta to be able to keep pace. This number feels too small at first glance.
Seattle is coming into this week off a bye, while Arizona is on short rest having played Monday Night. That shouldn’t be a huge factor though as the Cardinals barely broke a sweat vs. Dallas. Russell Wilson has been nearly unstoppable this year and Seattle comes into this game as the league leader in points per game. The Cardinals defense is back to full strength with Budda Baker back in the lineup and has looked solid in its last two games. The defenses here could surprise a bit but with Seattle still allowing an insane 370 passing yards against per game, expect an up-tempo, points-filled battle.
This is the Thursday Night game and, as sad it sounds, one of these teams will move into first place in the NFC East with a win here. The Giants finally put a W up on the board last week, needing to survive a late two-point conversion attempt by Washington to hold on for a one-point win. Philadelphia continues to suffer huge injuries and has now lost starting RB Miles Sanders and TE Zach Ertz for this game and the near future. We’ve seen a couple of TNF games go the high scoring route and this one does feel like it could surprise. The Eagles have allowed 27 or more against in four of six games now so perhaps this is where Daniel Jones finally gets on track?
San Francisco bounced back nicely last week, with QB Jimmy Garoppolo throwing for 3 TDs vs. the Rams vaunted defense last Sunday Night. New England looked completely out of sync against the Broncos last week after a strange leadup which saw them miss a bunch of practice time due to the Covid-19 situation. San Fran got back some important bodies on defense last week too and are getting near full strength. The Patriots should be better prepared here too and, with both of these teams ranking below average in teams of pace of play, we should expect a low scoring, close game here.
The Jets continued their death spiral last week, managing exactly zero points against Miami, a team that was competing for the worst team in Football around this time last season. The Bills have looked out of sorts themselves through the last two weeks, managing just 16 and 17 points against the Titans and Chiefs, respectively. Josh Allen has averaged an under 65% completion rate the last two games and the Jets could have Sam Darnold back at QB here. If Darnold is back, this game could be somewhat closer than it appears on paper.
The Cowboys have fallen from favorites to win the division at the start of the year to now being rated as slight underdogs against Washington. Andy Dalton was terrible in his first start under centre for Dallas, throwing two INTs and was likely lucky not to have double that total. The Football Team features a D-Line that is third in adjusted sack rate on the year (eighth in total sacks) and should be revved up for this game as a win puts them in at least a tie for first in the division.
Week 6 early conviction play
- Week 5 results
- Detroit -3.5 over Jacksonville O
- Season record 2-0
The Steelers and Titans meet each other next week in a battle of the last two undefeated teams in the AFC and to me it looks like a clear opportunity to take advantage on the betting side. As good as Ryan Tannehill and company have looked at times, there’s no doubt that the Titans are a team with some flaws. They rank last in adjusted sack-rate on the season on defense while also featuring a secondary that has been busted up of late by opposing WRs, allowing 6 TDs over their last three games to the position. The Titans were lucky to escape with a win last week and their defense also nearly blew a big lead to the bottom-dwelling Jacksonville Jaguars early in the year.
Tennessee’s lack of a pass rush here could be a huge factor as the Steelers elite trio of WRs in Chase Claypool, Juju Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson could be free to roam at will against a sub-par secondary. As good as the Titans have been on offense, they’re going up against a defense rated second in DVOA and first in adjusted sack-rate (and actual sacks). If this line stays under -3 or goes lower, I like the Steelers here as a team to target ATS in Week 7.
Week 7 NFL game props
- Week 6 results: 1-2
- Minnesota Vikings (to lead) Halftime/Fulltime (-102) X
- Colts/Bengals over 3.5 FGs (+135) X
- Bears over 20.5 Team Total O
I like the Steelers above as an Against the Spread bet, but I like targeting them for points even more. As I mentioned above, the Titans don’t have a pass rush to slow down Ben Roethlisberger, who comes into this game with a 109.1 passer rating and a 69.1 completion rating, two marks which would be the highest of his career if the season ended today. The Steelers have weapons galore on offense with the emergence of Chase Claypool at WR, have scored 28 or more points in three straight games, and have the fourth-highest points per game average of all teams in the league. The matchup here stinks for Tennessee on defense which means Pittsburgh should rack up enough points here to hit the over.
Despite the small betting line here, I still think there’s some value in taking the Saints to dominate this week’s game against the Panthers. New Orleans is at -7.5 ATS and -400 on the moneyline right now so an overall win is obviously expected. Carolina has been scrappy against weaker defenses but were held to just one TD and 13-points last week against the Bears. The real mismatch here though is on the other side of the ball where the Saints rushing game should be poised for a massive game against one of the worst rush defenses in the league. The Panthers have allowed 4.9 YPC and will be facing a rested Alvin Kamara with the Saints coming off the bye. The Saints weakness of having a 41-year old QB who can’t throw downfield anymore should be concealed here, they shouldn’t have an issue dominating here from the get-go.
Both of these teams feature solid FG kickers as Harrison Butker and Brandon McManus rank in the top-10 in FGs attempted and made this year, and sport just a single miss each through six weeks. While KC has one of the most prolific offenses in the league, it’s worth noting that they kicked a total of 7-FGS last year vs. the Broncos (in two games) and that these two teams have averaged 3.5 FGs per game total in their last four meetings. With the game also being played in the thin air of Denver–where coaches tend lean towards taking a shot at longer FGs vs staying aggressive on fourth-down–taking the plus money odds on the over here seems like a solid play.
Week 7 NFL players props
- Week 6 results 1-2
- David Montgomery over 3.5 rec -140 O
- Matt Brieda over 34.5 rush/rec yards -110 X
- Ben Roethlisberger over 1.5 Passing TDs -175 X
The Titans have one of the worst secondaries in the league in terms of yards given up to opposing WRs and have now allowed five different wide-outs to go over this total in their last two games. Claypool leads the league in yards per reception and is going to have a great shot at hitting the over here even if he only sees four or five targets. The Titans don’t have much of a pass rush either so the over for most of Ben Roethlisberger’s totals this week are also in play.
The Raiders have given up a healthy 4.8 YPC to opposing RBs thus far, the eighth worst mark in the league. Despite Jones averaging 20 carries over his last three games, and rushing for over 100 yards in three straight games, his totals here remain low. Leonard Fournette did practice this week and will likely take some work but Jones has such a good matchup that hitting this should be easy enough if he sees even 70% of his normal workload. The Bucs are big favorites against a short-handed Raiders team here too so it should be a run heavy game plan on offense for Tampa.
The Jaguars are terrible at covering the TE, allowing the 7th-most receiving yards against, to the position thus far in 2020. Henry has averaged 6.75 targets thus far per game with Justin Herbert as his QB and has hit this over easily in two of his last four games, when matched up with soft defenses. He gets another soft matchup here, which makes this total look far too low and ripe an over bet.