The NFL is nearly impossible to predict on a game-by-game basis, and Week 7 should prove to be no exception.
In gleaning over the spreads provided by Topbet, there are underdog teams being especially discounted by oddsmakers after some poor recent form. Three in particular are being underestimated to the point that they will cover their respective projected deficits.
Read on to find out which squads will at least cover and make their impending Sunday showdowns competitive, even if they don't win outright.
Cleveland Browns (+10) over Green Bay Packers
So that whole Brandon Weeden interception from last week is getting a lot of attention, and rightly so. It was just about the most anti-clutch "pass" fathomable and only added to Cleveland sports' misery.
However, there is reason to believe that Weeden can be competent enough for the Browns to cover at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
Cleveland matches up rather well with the Packers in that it features a playoff-caliber defense seventh in total yards allowed per game. Although Green Bay's rushing attack has shown improvement with rookie Eddie Lacy taking over as the featured back in the past two games, the beat up receiving corps is cause for concern.
Mike McCarthy gives Packers' James Jones a chance to return this week but Randall Cobb will miss multiple weeks with knee injury.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) October 14, 2013
Cobb is a dynamic returner as well as a threat to line up in the backfield at times, so his presence will be missed in more than just the passing game.
And yet more bad news is that last year's first-round pick Nick Perry, who stepped up nicely in lieu of Clay Matthews in Week 6, will be out:
McCarthy says OLB Nick Perry (foot) "will be (out) a couple weeks."— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) October 16, 2013
That should give time for Weeden to hold onto the ball as long as he needs to, but to ultimately capitalize on a pass defense that ranks 28th in the league.
Rodgers will do enough for Green Bay to secure a home victory, but it will be by fewer than 10 points.
Prediction: Packers 24, Browns 17
Buffalo Bills (+8) over Miami Dolphins
Maybe the Browns should have held onto Thad Lewis, who filled in well for first-round rookie EJ Manuel in last week's overtime loss.
Which underdog is likeliest to win outright?
But look for the Bills to rely on the great backfield tandem of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, because the Dolphins have a ferocious pass rush driven by defensive end Cameron Wake.
Then again, Miami is also in the bottom five in terms of passing yards allowed per contest, so maybe Lewis can attack the secondary with effectiveness.
The Dolphins are coming off of a bye, but divisional games are always a huge test. Buffalo will cover a disrespectful spread at Sun Life Stadium and win a close AFC East battle, handing Miami its third straight defeat.
Prediction: Bills 27, Dolphins 23
Houston Texans (+6.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
Don't run away in embarrassment just yet, Texans fans. All odds seem stacked against a reeling Houston team getting blown out at Arrowhead Stadium after a four-game losing streak.
Not so fast. Home fans cheered when QB Matt Schaub went down with an injury in losing last week's 38-13 blowout to the St. Louis Rams, which is never a good sign.
However, this Texans roster is too talented to roll over. Whether it's T.J. Yates or Case Keenum getting the starting nod under center—it hasn't been announced yet—the game plan won't revolve around them.
The two quarterbacks are splitting first-team reps, per the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith.
Arian Foster will be the workhorse back though, as the Texans seek to beat the undefeated Chiefs at their own game—a heavy emphasis on the run, short, safe passes and stellar defense.
There are also more dynamic weapons in the Texans' passing game in receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. All those factors working in Houston's favor will allow the Texans to hand Kansas City its first defeat of 2013 in this Week 7 upset special.
Prediction: Texans 21, Chiefs 20
|Away Team||Home Team||Pick (Spread)|
|Seattle Seahawks||Arizona Cardinals||Seahawks (-7)|
|Chicago Bears||Washington Redskins||Bears (PICK)|
|St. Louis Rams||Carolina Panthers||Panthers (-6)|
|San Diego Chargers||Jacksonville Jaguars||Chargers (-7.5)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Atlanta Falcons||Falcons (-7)|
|New England Patriots||New York Jets||Patriots (-4.5)|
|Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||Eagles (-2.5)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Detroit Lions||Lions (-3)|
|Buffalo Bills||Miami Dolphins||Bills (+8)|
|San Francisco 49ers||Tennessee Titans||49ers (-4.5)|
|Cleveland Browns||Green Bay Packers||Browns (+10)|
|Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||Steelers (-1)|
|Houston Texans||Kansas City Chiefs||Texans (+6.5)|
|Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||Broncos (-6.5)|
|Minnesota Vikings||New York Giants||Vikings (-3.5)|
Source: Odds are courtesy of Topbet