Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Underdogs That Will Cover Your Bet
Taking the underdog when wagering on an NFL game may not be the most accepted trend amongst the general betting public, but it is often the right choice to make.
Every week, a handful of teams expected to lose find a way to gain a straight up victory, while plenty of others keep it close enough to cover the spread.
Let’s take a look at the entire slate of Week 7 games, check out my predictions for the winner of each contest and highlight some matchups where the 'dog is too enticing to avoid.
|Away Team||Home Team||Line||Prediction (ATS)|
|Seattle Seahawks||Arizona Cardinals||SEA -6.5||Cardinals|
|New England Patriots||New York Jets||NE -4.5||Patriots|
|San Diego Chargers||Jacksonville Jaguars||SD -7||Chargers|
|Houston Texans||Kansas City Chiefs||KC -6.5||Chiefs|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Detroit Lions||DET -.2.5||Lions|
|Buffalo Bills||Miami Dolphins||MIA -10.5||Bills|
|Chicago Bears||Washington Redskins||PK||Bears|
|Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||DAL -1.5||Cowboys|
|St. Louis Rams||Carolina Panthers||CAR -5||Rams|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Atlanta Falcons||ATL -7.5||Buccaneers|
|San Francisco 49ers||Tennessee Titans||SF -4||49ers|
|Cleveland Browns||Green Bay Packers||GB -10.5||Packers|
|Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -2.5||Ravens|
|Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||DEN -6||Colts|
|Minnesota Vikings||New York Giants||NYG -3||Vikings|
Buffalo Bills (+10.5) over MIAMI DOLPHINS
The Bills used Week 6 to prove that they aren’t going to be a doormat in EJ Manuel’s absence, sparring with the Cincinnati Bengals throughout regulation and into overtime before losing on a late field goal.
Thad Lewis proved that he is actually a competent replacement quarterback. He completed 19 of 32 passes for 216 yards and two scores, while managing to avoid throwing an interception. The second-year man out of Duke did fumble one away and took five sacks, but it’s clear that Buffalo isn’t going to be a joke while he’s under center.
The Bills have a tough test against AFC East rival Miami this coming Sunday, but definitely have what it takes to cover the spread on the road.
As long as the Buffalo defense can make enough stops and avoid giving up too many early scores, there is a good chance the offense comes through by generating yardage and touchdowns.
The ‘Phins are coming off a bye and could get caught underprepared, as the team may be looking ahead to a potential division-defining contest against the New England Patriots in Week 8.
It would be a grave mistake, as the Bills are not only capable of easily covering this spread by keeping it close, but also have the talent to outright win down in South Beach.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7.5) over ATLANTA FALCONS
This NFC South showdown features the winless Bucs clashing with the 1-4 Falcons in a battle of disappointing teams.
While neither has lived up to lofty expectations in 2013, Atlanta is still being treated like a Super Bowl contender by the oddsmakers. Until the books stop offering the Falcons at a price they can’t back up, it’s wise and advisable to bet against the Dirty Birds.
Atlanta is coming off a bye and had some time to sort things out, but it has yet to show any signs that is the same dominant team it has been for the past few seasons.
On the other hand, the Buccaneers continued to make strides and weren’t terrible in a 31-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Quarterback Mike Glennon and top wideout Vincent Jackson clearly have a rapport, generating 114 yards and two scores on nine connections. Running back Doug Martin broke off a handful of decent gains and the rest of the offense looked more promising than in previous weeks.
As long as the defense can step up and make a few plays in the Georgia Dome, there is little doubt that Tampa can keep a divisional game closer than a touchdown. Remember, this team narrowly lost to the New Orleans Saints in a 16-14 defensive slugfest back in Week 2 and could provide a similar result on Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (+6) over Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis will be a must-see spectacle that is compounded by being on national television during Sunday Night Football.
The expectations are much lower for Denver in this contest compared to Week 6, when the Broncos were installed as a 28-point favorite against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Denver walked away with a convincing 35-19 win, but did have a few scares against a team with nothing to lose that played like it for every snap.
Manning threw an uncharacteristic interception and lost two fumbles, showing that an aggressive defense that can put pressure on the aging signal-caller is one way to slow down the Broncos offensive juggernaut.
Indianapolis possesses one of the league’s top defensive units and should follow the blueprint that AFC South rival Jacksonville laid out. As long as the Colts are pressuring Manning and creating turnovers, the Broncos offense won’t be out on the field long.
Which team will cover?
If that offense is not out on the field for long, then there cannot be a flurry of points scored.
If those points aren’t scored, then Denver will be susceptible to its first loss of the season, something the Colts have a better than average shot at delivering.
Getting six points is solid in a situation where the home team has a great chance of outright winning. It’s never fun to bet against Manning in a prime-time game, but you need to break the established rules here and get paid.
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