NFL Best Bets: Week 7
With sports betting gradually becoming legal in more and more places across the country, NFL football is becoming one of the prime betting targets. Of course, there are surprises aplenty across the NFL every single week, so one has to be informed in order to make the right betting decisions. To help with that, let’s go through the five best bets you can make in Week 7.
1. Houston Texans (Pick’em) vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Texans just edged out an impressive 31-24 win against the mighty Kansas City Chiefs, while the Colts were on bye in Week 6. Houston is now 4-2, and starting quarterback Deshaun Watson is a hot MVP candidate.
Indianapolis dismantled Houston in last year’s wild-card round, 21-7, but that seems so far in the past with Andrew Luck retiring this summer. Still, Jacoby Brissett has put up impressive numbers since replacing Luck, including 10 touchdowns, only three interceptions, and a 3-2 record.
But Watson has been putting on a quarterback clinic, and that will continue against a middle-of-the-pack Indianapolis defense that allows 23 points per game. Marlon Mack is having a great season on the ground, putting up the seventh-most rushing yards in the NFL in only five games, but he will be stopped by J.J. Watt and the Texans defense, resulting in a close win for Houston.
2. New Orleans Saints (+3.5) vs. Chicago Bears
People lost hope in the Saints immediately after Drew Brees went down in Week 2 with Teddy Bridgewater coming in at QB, but the defense has certainly responded emphatically. The Saints have rattled off four in a row since Brees’s thumb injury, allowing only 13.3 points per game over the past three weeks.
The Bears, meanwhile, have a notoriously good defense, allowing only 13.8 points per game this season. Most of Chicago’s issues lie within Mitchell Trubisky’s inconsistency throwing the rock, and with his shoulder injury keeping him sidelined for a few weeks, Chase Daniel has struggled in relief.
The Saints have all the momentum coming off a 13-6 win at Jacksonville, while the Bears are coming off their Week 6 bye following a rough 24-21 loss in London to the Oakland Raiders. This game will be a low-scoring nailbiter. With two stingy defenses taking the field, it will come down to the kicking game. Wil Lutz edges out Eddy Piñeiro, resulting in a 3-point victory for New Orleans.
3. San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) vs. Washington Redskins
San Francisco is coming off of a dominant 20-7 victory over the Rams, while Washington just barely edged out the Dolphins, 17-16, in the “Tank Bowl.” This is the first time that the 49ers are 5-0 since 1990, and they’ve been doing it by pounding the rock at the league’s second-best rate of 179.8 yards per game.
It says enough about the Redskins that they were involved in the Tank Bowl. It was tough to get the team together just after Jay Gruden was fired the previous week, but Adrian Peterson turned back the clock and carried Washington to victory with 118 yards on the ground.
It is almost a guarantee the 49ers will stay undefeated as long as Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t turn the ball over. San Francisco will smash the Redskins at the line of scrimmage and will break their will by the end of the first half. The 49ers will be winning at halftime by at least 10 points against a hopeless Redskins team that is more focused on the upcoming draft than it is on winning football games.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (Pick’em) vs. Tennessee Titans
The Chargers and Titans, both with 2-4 records, might be the two biggest disappointments this season. Los Angeles was beat down by the Steelers last week, 24-17, in a home game that saw more Pittsburgh fans than Los Angeles fans in the crowd. The Titans benched Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill after he threw two early interceptions in the first half in a 16-0 loss to the Broncos.
Both teams are looking for a bounce-back performance this week. Philip Rivers and Marcus Mariota have struggled to keep the ball away from the other team, so both will offenses need to keep the ball on the ground.
The Chargers will have the edge in this matchup thanks to better offensive talent. If Melvin Gordon shows flashes of his 2018 season form, Los Angeles will run all over the Tennessee defense. The Titans won’t be able to score enough points to beat a turnover-prone Chargers team.
5. Baltimore Ravens (+4) vs Seattle Seahawks
Baltimore has been one of the NFL’s most electric teams, and Lamar Jackson's style makes the Ravens one of the most fun teams to watch as well. They beat the Bengals comfortably in Week 6, as Jackson became the only quarterback in NFL history with over 200 yards passing and 150 rushing in a single regular season game.
The 5-1 Seahawks won a close game at Cleveland, 32-28, as Russell Wilson strengthened his case for league MVP. The running game in Seattle is solid as well, with Chris Carson leading the charge under Pete Carroll’s aggressive mentality.
If Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram minimize the turnovers, the Ravens will run all over the Seahawks. Even though Seattle's defense is good on paper, the Baltimore ground game is unique and will be difficult for the Seahawks to figure out. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker will kick the game-winning field goal as the clock runs out to seal a Baltimore victory.
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Ben Geller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.