NFL Week 7 has several intriguing matchups that may entice bettors to pony up the cash. However, like always, it’s important to exercise caution when throwing money at these types of matchups.
The Green Bay Packers are fresh off an offensive outburst against the Houston Texans. However, this week, a six-point line may be too much for them to cover against a vastly improved St. Louis Rams defense.
There are also other would-be “gimmes” out there right now that you should avoid when placing your bets this week. Let me explain them to you with a little bit of detail.
Green Bay Packers (-6) at St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams have surprisingly found themselves at 3-3 and in the middle of a battle in the equally as surprising NFC West division. They’ve done it with an excellent pass defense that’s limited opposing teams to just over 200 yards per game through the air (fifth-best in the NFL).
Green Bay, on the other hand, has struggled with consistency and establishing a running game on offense. This road matchup may prove to be too much for the Packers offense despite their outburst against the Texans.
It’s a short week for the Packers and the Rams defense will do a good job of bottling up the Pack’s vertical game with a solid pass rush and improved coverage downfield. Look for a close, low-scoring game, but one the Packers will ultimately squeak out. Just not by seven or more points.
Minnesota Vikings (-7) vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are not the team they were a couple weeks ago. John Skelton is the starting quarterback and running backs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams are both on the injured reserve.
Minnesota’s star running back Adrian Peterson is also slowed by an ankle injury. Expect a very low-scoring and defensive battle that will end in a narrow Vikings victory.
But seven points?
It’s understandable that the Vikings are getting the spread in their favor but seven points is a little too much against a tough Cardinals defense. That’s especially true if the burden of moving the football rests on Christian Ponder if Peterson is inactive or slowed by his nagging injury.
New England Patriots (-11) vs. New York Jets
The New York Jets aren’t as bad as it may have initially seemed. Despite the huge losses of Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis, the Jets are still at 3-3 and convincingly blasted the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6.
They have their work cut out for them this week, though, against a motivated New England Patriots team. The Pats lost a close game to Seattle last week on a last-minute touchdown pass by QB Russell Wilson.
If Wilson can do it, why can’t Sanchez?
The 28th ranked Patriots’ pass defense is looking worse and worse each week and the Jets will be able to make this game more interesting, or at least a lot closer, than they’re being predicted to. Sanchez will have his full arsenal, minus Holmes, at his disposal.
New York’s key to victory is the physicality of their offensive and defensive lines. The game will be won in the trenches and the Jets will set the pace of the game by matching the physicality of the Pats.
Mike Hoag Jr. is a Breaking News Team writer with Bleacher Report and also covers the NFL and the Cleveland Browns for the site.