NFL Spreads Week 7: Examining Favorable Early Lines to Exploit

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2013

Oct 13, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. The Steelers defeated the Jets 19-6.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

It is never too early to look ahead at the upcoming week's lines when it comes to the NFL.

In fact, many fans can gain a serious advantage in the odds department by examining lines and their early standings before more knowledge about the matchups is revealed, causing the lines to shift as a result.

Week 7 is on the horizon, and several lines already represent favorable spreads just begging to be exploited by fans.

Pay attention to the following lines, because as far as Week 7 goes, they are as good as it's going to get.

New York Jets Cover vs. New England Patriots (-4)

This is as ridiculous as it gets for Week 7 lines.

We already saw this stellar AFC East showdown in Week 2 when the New England Patriots visited the New York Jets and hardly escaped with a 13-10 victory.

A lot has changed since then.

For one, New York is hot, albeit a bit inconsistent under rookie quarterback Geno Smith. He propelled the Jets to a huge road win on Monday Night Football over the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago via three touchdowns, but came out and tossed two interceptions last week in a loss.

The good news is Smith is backed by the No. 4-ranked defense and Tom Brady is two weeks removed from being held without a touchdown pass for the first time in 52 games. Not only that, but it took a last-second touchdown from Brady (his only score of the day) in Week 6 against New Orleans to escape with a victory:

New York held Brady to just 185 yards and a score in Week 2. Regardless of whether Rob Gronkowski makes his return (he'll be rusty if he does), Brady is in a slump and the Jets will come close to beating the Patriots, if not pulling off the upset outright.


Cincinnati Bengals Shock Favored Detroit Lions (-2.5)

Oct 13, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) runs the ball against Buffalo Bills defensive end Alan Branch (90) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bengals beat the Bills 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Cre
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati has been the definition of inconsistent the past two weeks despite two straight victories.

The Bengals were the aforementioned team to hold Brady without a touchdown pass two weeks ago, but then allowed a furious Buffalo 14-point comeback last week by Thad Lewis in his second career start under center.

In other words, it makes sense Detroit would be favored at home.

Then again, Detroit has not been the definition of consistent either. Matt Stafford and Co. scored a big win over Cleveland, but a week before that the team was exposed without Calvin Johnson in a humbling loss to Green Bay.

Cincinnati owns a victory over Green Bay already this season and touts an offense that can put up points in a hurry. The Bengals also have an elite defense, coming in at No. 8 overall while surrendering less than 20 points per game.

Detroit's defense ranks just No. 25 overall and will have little answer for A.J. Green, not to mention Bengals rookie back Giovani Bernard:

On the road for the second straight week, expect Cincinnati to outgun the Lions and prove the oddsmakers wrong.



Buffalo Bills Cover vs. Miami Dolphins (-7)

The Buffalo Bills put up an admirable fight last week in an overtime loss to Cincinnati despite the aforementioned Lewis being as green as it gets.

Lewis had a great performance with 216 yards and two passing touchdowns against one of the NFL's best defenses (he added a third rushing), and it sounds like concerns about an injury he suffered during the contest were premature based on a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

Behind the duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, Buffalo touts one of the NFL's most dangerous rushing attacks, which averages just short of 150 yards per game. With Lewis under center, the Bills will once again ride the rushing attack in a close contest.

Spiller and Jackson combined for 90 yards on just 20 carries last week against a top-10 run defense. Miami is coming off a bye and riding a two-game losing streak while having serious issues protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill (he's already been sacked a league-leading 24 times in five games) and running the football (just 69.6 yards per game).

This has all the makings of a trap game, so the smart money is with Buffalo here in what should be a close game in a division rivalry.


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