With the Thursday Night Football game in the books, it’s time for gamblers to focus on the real meat of the Week 7 schedule: Sunday’s 13-game slate of NFL action.
There are plenty of opportunities and great teams to back against the spread this week, so don’t be afraid to let your winnings ride or bet big to recoup your losses.
Here’s a look at the latest lines and my picks for each contest, plus a closer look at two stone-cold locks you might want to wager the house on.
|Away Team||Home Team||Line||Prediction (ATS)|
|New England Patriots||New York Jets||NE -4||Patriots|
|San Diego Chargers||Jacksonville Jaguars||SD -7||Chargers|
|Houston Texans||Kansas City Chiefs||KC -6||Chiefs|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Detroit Lions||DET -.2.5||Lions|
|Buffalo Bills||Miami Dolphins||MIA -7||Bills|
|Chicago Bears||Washington Redskins||PK||Bears|
|Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI -3||Cowboys|
|St. Louis Rams||Carolina Panthers||CAR -6.5||Rams|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Atlanta Falcons||ATL -7||Buccaneers|
|San Francisco 49ers||Tennessee Titans||SF -4||49ers|
|Cleveland Browns||Green Bay Packers||GB -9.5||Packers|
|Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -2.5||Ravens|
|Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||DEN -6||Colts|
|Minnesota Vikings||New York Giants||NYG -3.5||Vikings|
New England Patriots (-4) over NEW YORK JETS
The Pats may not be the offensive juggernaut that most fans are used to, but this scrappy squad has been finding ways to win and cover the spread. The team has covered in three of its last four games, including a miraculous Week 6 win in which New England beat the New Orleans Saints on a last-second touchdown.
On the other hand, the Jets have failed to cover in two of their last three contests. It seems Gang Green is getting a bit too much respect from the linemakers and public, possibly stemming from the results of their Week 2 matchup against the Pats.
While New York kept things close in a 13-10 loss, these two AFC East rivals seem to be going in opposite directions. The Patriots have all the momentum in the world after the stunning victory over New Orleans, while the Jets sputtered on offense and generated just two field goals in a 19-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.
Expect those trends to continue in Week 7, as the Pats look to blow things open against a beatable opponent and cash tickets for their backers. The final score should be reminiscent of the rivals’ last meeting at MetLife Stadium, when New England won by 30 points in a 49-19 blowout back in November of 2012.
Even without superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski in the lineup—he remains in doubt for this matchup—New England is the right choice here, so back the chalk and get paid in this Sunday afternoon showdown.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (+6) over Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning’s emotional return to Indianapolis will be overshadowed by the Colts' impressive performance against his Broncos.
Denver is coming off a less-than-stellar victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with Manning coughing up two fumbles and throwing an interception during a 35-19 victory against the league’s worst team.
Indianapolis should take a lesson from its AFC South rival and put a ton of pressure on Manning, as it is imperative to disrupt his timing and put hits on the aging signal-caller.
Which team will cover?
With a much stronger overall defense than the Jags, the Colts should be able to not only force Manning into making a handful of uncharacteristic mistakes, but also hold for much-needed stops to keep this game close.
Andrew Luck should be able to do the rest, as the young quarterback has much to prove and has shown that he is capable of winning big games early in his career.
This contest should come down to a late field goal to decide the victor, but don’t be surprised if the Colts outright win this and reward moneyline backers who believed that they would do more than cover the spread.