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Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS
NFL Week 7 Betting Angles
Another action-filled week in the NFL has come and gone, and here we are already in Week 7. Teams will be halfway through their year in the matter of a couple of weeks, and that's if the schedule remains relatively normal for all involved.
Division races will dominate the discussion from then on out, and it is something that at least should be acknowledged in your handicapping of those games.
And if what we've seen already from divisional matchups in 2020 already, there may be much more to digest for these matchups, including the seven of them that are slated to go in Week 7.
1) NFL home teams in divisional games are 18-7 SU overall this year; 12-4 SU since the beginning of Week 2
2) NFL divisional favorites (no matter the site) are 17-8 SU this year overall, and 13-3 SU since beginning of Week 2
These look like some conflicting runs for some of the divisional games in Week 7, as there are numerous divisional road favorites this week. Those recent runs since Week 2 have more or less lined up with just having the home team deserving of laying chalk, and it is the run related to the home teams I do want to lean on here.
Week 7 NFL Division Matchups
N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (-4)
Cleveland (-3) at Cincinnati
Dallas (-1) at Washington
Carolina at New Orleans (-7.5)
Buffalo (-13) at N.Y. Jets
Seattle (-3.5) at Arizona
Kansas City (-9) at Denver
As you can see above, five of the seven games actually have road favorites this week, so one of these runs is likely to be tough this week.
During that 18-7 SU run for NFL home teams in divisional games, those same teams have gone 16-9 ATS, so taking the points with some of those ugly home underdogs should definitely be worth a look.
Who Do You Follow?
But this is still more about the outright wins here, and with Cincinnati, Washington, and Arizona all catching about a FG or less at home this week, an outright win by at least one of them shouldn't be all that far fetched.
Expecting Denver or the New York Jets to pull off an outright upset – it would be two in a row for the Broncos as big dogs – are far less likely, but you just never know in this league.
Of the two divisional home favorites this week, Philly and New Orleans definitely come with their share of warts this season, but the Eagles showed a lot of character in fighting back against Baltimore like they did and New Orleans is coming off their bye week.
Philly continues to get hit hard by the injury bug everywhere on their roster, and the fact that their game this week is the TNF contest on a short week, you can understand why that opener of Philly -6 has been bet down the way it has. But outright wins by home teams in divisional games are what make up the bulk of both of those runs, so maybe a ML option on the Eagles is worth considering if you've got enough faith in the starters they are putting out there.
But Week 7's divisional games in the marketplace will be decided overall by what these home underdogs do in those five contests, which brings me to...
1) NFL divisional road favorites are 0-5 ATS and 2-3 SU this year
The Los Angeles Rams were the latest victim of this trend last week on Sunday Night Football when they lost to the 49ers, as they joined Kansas City not covering (Week 2 vs LAC), Buffalo not covering (Week 2 vs Miami), Philadelphia not covering (Week 1 vs Washington), and Indianapolis not covering (Week 1 vs Jacksonville) in their opportunities as divisional road favorites.
Only the Chiefs and Bills were able to escape with a "W" in the win column for those games, and we've got five games that fit this scenario in Week 7 to potentially fire on?
Who do you Fade?
To start with, just like last week's “Not” run giving the market yet another reason to fade Dallas again (and successfully doing so vs Arizona), going against the Cowboys pops up again this week in a game that's already been bet down to a pick'em.
Tough to like anything you're seeing out of the Cowboys these days, but despite all that, they are still in first place in the division and remain the favorites to win the NFC East. If that's the line of thought you generally subscribe too, it means you must believe the rest of the NFC East to really be that bad, which makes holding a Washington ATS/ML ticket at this current price a little tough to really get behind.
Tough to go with Dallas for sure, but this winless run for road divisional favorites aside, if you didn't grab Washington at the opener of +3, they are probably one home division dog that's easier to pass on this week.
Of the rest of the games, Cincinnati is in a rematch spot after losing 35-30 to Cleveland on a Thursday Night Football game back in Week 2.
That was one of those SU wins but ATS losses for divisional home favorites that day, and if you go on what you saw from Cleveland in Week 6, fading them here in Week 7 with a Bengals team with revenge, is 4-2 ATS, and having both of these runs working in their favor. Seems quite an attractive home underdog to me.
Which leaves plays on Arizona (+3.5), NYJ (+13), and Denver (+9) to consider, and as ugly as it will feel, perhaps taking the points with those two big underdogs at least are something to think about.
Denver played well enough to get the win in New England on Sunday, but that was likely more to do with everything the Patriots have dealt with in recent weeks.
A Broncos cover will only come with another strong day from this defense – and likely a surprisingly productive one from the Broncos offense – but the Chiefs have been flirting with more ATS losses than their 4-2 ATS record actually shows.
Kansas City was able to just sneak over the number against the Bills on Monday Night – partly because KC's RB ran out of bounds late in the game – KC lost outright to the Raiders, covered a -11 number vs New England thanks to a pick-six off of Edelman's hands among a multitude of errors for New England that day, throttled Baltimore as a small road dog, and needed OT to knock off the Chargers.
That's four games with the Chiefs listed as a favorite that they could have easily gone 0-4 ATS rather than the 2-2 like they did, and it was the perceived two worst teams of that group (Las Vegas, L.A. Chargers) that arguably gave KC the most trouble.
But those two organizations are also the only two division rivals of KC on that list, so it does suggest there is plenty to know about Mahomes and this Chiefs offense and what to expect. Denver's right there in that same boat.
I don't need to mention how bad the Jets are, and after getting shutout 24-0 in Miami, the Jets are probably going to be the most faded team this week in straight bets, survivor pools, teasers, and ML parlays.
New York deserves every part of that reputation right now, but there does come a point where the points a team is getting is too far ballooned away from reality because of the market perception/reality being what it is on a team.
Is that the case here with New York catching nearly two TD's at home versus a Buffalo team that's a little unsure of what day of the week they are even supposed to be playing on right now? I'm not sure. But as gut-wrenching as it is to write these words for my bankroll, taking the points with the Jets is the only way I'd look in this game.
But let's see just how high this line climbs as Sunday approaches. After all, Buffalo's gone through all those rescheduling dates lately and has this Jets game sandwiched between home games against the Chiefs and Patriots.
Very easy to overlook a brutal team like the Jets have shown they are this season.