NFL Week 7 Predictions: Initial Vegas Odds, Lines, Spreads and Projections

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 15, 2018

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 14: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs leaps by Duron Harmon #21 and Patrick Chung #23 of of the New England Patriots in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium in October 14, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Week 7 NFL slate looks like the most competitive set of games this year. Per OddsShark, only one matchup has a spread of seven or more points, and half of the contests have spreads of four or fewer points.

We'll see if the results hold true to that form, but until then here's a look at the early Week 7 odds (per OddsShark), in addition to some analysis on a few games featuring two teams with winning records.

             

Week 7 Odds and Picks

Denver Broncos (-1.5, 40 O/Uat Arizona Cardinals: ARI 17, DEN 16

Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5, 45 O/U) at Wembley Stadium in London: LAC 27, TEN 10

New England Patriots (-2.5at Chicago Bears: NE 24, CHI 23

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3, 49.5 O/U): CLE 24, TB 23

Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5, 45 O/U): PHI 27, CAR 24

Minnesota Vikings (-3, 47 O/U) at New York Jets: MIN 20, NYJ 13

Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins (No Line): MIA 24, DET 20

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts (-6.5): BUF 17, IND 16

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5, 42.5 O/U): HOU 17, JAX 13

New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5, 50 O/U): NO 27, BAL 24

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-1.5, 41.5 O/U): DAL 24, WAS 20

Los Angeles Rams (-11) at San Francisco 49ers: LAR 31, SF 13

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-6): KC 34, CIN 27

New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons (-5.5, 54 O/U): ATL 34, NYG 24

                  

New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens

Both teams are coming off strong wins: The New Orleans Saints crushed the Washington Redskins, 43-19, while the Baltimore Ravens sacked quarterback Marcus Mariota 11 times in a 21-0 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

The Saints offense looked unbeatable with the return of running back Mark Ingram off a four-game suspension, as the ex-Alabama star had 73 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns against the 'Skins.

He offers another weapon for New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees to find alongside running back Alvin Kamara, wideout Michael Thomas and breakout rookie sensation Tre'Quan Smith, who had three catches for 111 yards and two scores in his second career start versus Washington.

However, the team faces its toughest test of the year against a Ravens defense that has dominated five of its six opponents. Baltimore struggled in a 34-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but its opponents have averaged just 8.6 points per game in five other contests. In particular, linebacker Za'Darius Smith is enjoying a breakout year, as he's already matched his career high with 5.5 sacks.

That has helped Baltimore jump into a first-place tie with the Bengals (who currently hold the tiebreaker) at 4-2 in the AFC North. The Pittsburgh Steelers are just a half game back in the division, and Baltimore is only one game behind the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs for the conference.

Therefore, this is a huge contest for Baltimore. If they win, the Ravens will stay within striking distance of the AFC's best and maintain a first-place tie in the division at minimum. If not, they could fall to third.

This should be a close game, but the difference may be the rejuvenated Saints defense, which has played well in the last two games (18.5 points per game allowed) after struggling in the first three (32 points per game allowed). Give the slight edge to New Orleans.

                                    

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs and Bengals are trying to knock the New England Patriots and Steelers off the AFC perch they've been sitting on for the better part of the last two decades, but they each suffered losses en route to that mission on Sunday.

Still, the Chiefs (in a 43-40 defeat to the Pats) and the Bengals (in a 28-21 loss to the Steelers) played admirably and have 5-1 and 4-2 records, respectively, heading into their own Week 7 matchup.

It's a big game for both squads, obviously. The Bengals are tied with the Ravens for the AFC North lead and have just a half-game advantage on the Steelers. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are trying to hold off the surging Los Angeles Chargers, who are one game back in the AFC West.

The edge goes to the Chiefs given their fantastic offense. The team have scored between 31 and 42 points in all of their six games and present opposing defenses with too many diverse weapons to cover. If you try to take away wideouts Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins deep, then tight ends Travis Kelce and running back Kareem Hunt can do damage with short and intermediate routes (or vice versa).

That being said, the Kansas City defense has not performed outside its 30-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5. Given how poorly the Jags offense looked in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys in a 40-7 loss, that outing may have lost its luster. The Chiefs will have their hands full against the Bengals, who can throw running back Joe Mixon and wideouts A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd at the opposition.

Still, the Chiefs have more firepower and are home. They should pull away with another high-scoring win.

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