With some huge NFL games on the schedule in Week 7, Nick Ballistreri guides you to some betting winners.
Week 6 Record: 3-4
NFL Season Record: 22-12
Thursday Night Football Winner: Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) @ Denver Broncos
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins Preview
Raise your hand if before the season you had the 49ers starting 5-0 and in first place in the NFC West? If you did, congratulations, but I frankly didn’t see it coming. I expected some relative improvement from the team due to the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo was coming back from injury, but I did not see this dominance coming.
The 49ers are out-scoring their opponents 147-64, and while many could argue their opening schedule was weak, they obliterated the Rams last week, holding Jared Goff to a measly 78 yards passing. On the flip-side, the Redskins secured their first victory last week against the winless Dolphins…barely. They won that game 17-16 in the tank bowl, and very easily could have lost it at the final buzzer.
If the Redskins are looking to build a win streak, this is not the week to do it. They are 9 point underdogs on their home-field, and should be overmatched at almost every position. If you needed any more reason to fade the Redskins, take a look at 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan’s comments about his coaching tenure in D.C:
What was the best part of working in Washington?— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) October 16, 2019
“Being able to work with my dad & be around some other good coaches.”
What was the worst part?
Kyle Shanahan doesn’t mince words when speaking about time w/#Redskins pic.twitter.com/TJSP7Zc3uV
If you’re looking for some extra motivation to bet on the 49ers this week, you just found it. I have them winning this one big, easily covering 9 points.
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins Pick
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Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons Preview
It’s anyone’s guess what is going on in Los Angeles right now. This is not the same team from recent seasons, as the Rams have lost 3 in a row and their offense looks out of sync. Things are not much better in Atlanta, as the Falcons are 1-5 and are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals in which kicker Matt Bryant missed an XP to tie the game.
The big problem for the Falcons is that they can’t stop anyone. They are giving up an astounding 31 points a game, and their once proud offense can’t keep up anymore. Head Coach Dan Quinn, a supposed defensive mastermind, must feel his seat getting hotter by the second.
The Falcons defensive struggles work right into Sean McVay’s hands. As I said, the Rams have been struggling to move the ball, but nothing ails an offense like the Falcons D. With Todd Gurley looking like he is going to return, they should be able to put points in the bunches.
The Rams also just swung a trade for All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey from Jacksonville.
It’s happening: Former Jaguars’ CB Jalen Ramsey is being traded to the LA Rams for two first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, and a fourth-round pick in 2021, source tells ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2019
Trades like this tend to give struggling teams the spark they need to go on a run. With Ramsey in uniform to chase Julio Jones around the field, and a very generous -3 spread in favor of the Rams, this decision is too easy for me. Take the Rams with full confidence to cover.
Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons Pick
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks Preview
This one should be exciting. In a battle of two of the most electric Quarterbacks in the league, the 4-2 Baltimore Ravens head across the country to face the 5-1 Seattle Seahawks. If you gave me an MVP pick today, my money would be on Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, with his opponent, Lamar Jackson, not too far behind. These guys have been putting up big numbers to lead their teams to fast starts.
The Ravens are coming off a 23-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, ending a stretch of 3 straight divisional matchups. The Seahawks defeated the Cleveland Browns 32-28, their 3rd straight win. While the Ravens are 4-2, they don’t have any particularly impressive victories, with their wins coming against teams with a combined 4-17-1 record. They’re taking care of business, but they haven’t proven they can defeat the best of the best yet.
While the Seahawks may not be the best, they’re close. At 5-1 with some impressive victories, the Seahawks can consider themselves one of the league’s best teams. They are 3 point favorites in this matchup on their homefield, a venue they are historically dominant in. Combine that with the fact that the Ravens have to travel across the country, and Lamar Jackson having to play with that crowd noise, I expect the Ravens to make a few too many mistakes to win this game. I’ll take the Seahawks at -2.5, buying half a point to protect from a 3 point push.
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks Pick
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans Preview
The Marcus Mariota show is officially over in Tennessee. Good riddance. The former #2 overall pick stunk up the joint this year, only to finally get benched by Head Coach Mike Vrabel in favor of Ryan Tennehill. Remember him? Tannehill, the former Miami Dolphins QB, has been fighting injuries his whole career, but when healthy has actually been serviceable. I think this move will help spice things up offensively for the Titans.
Where did it all go wrong for the Chargers? Just a season ago, they were 12-4 and made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Now, they’re 2-4 just six weeks into the season, searching for answers in a rapidly approaching lost year. It could be argued that the problem for the Chargers this season has been injuries, and there has been plenty. But when Philip Rivers is your QB, the excuses should stop there, and being 2-4 is unacceptable.
With these two teams struggling to this point, I am going to stay away from the 2-point spread in favor of the Titans. Instead, I am going to target the total, which is set at 40, a very low number for any matchup. The side of the total I am picking is the OVER. I’m doing this for a couple of reasons. For starters, I believe the Titans offense will improve with Tannehill under center. He will bring a spark with his lively arm and running ability that Mariota simply could not do anymore.
For the Chargers, things have been weird since the return of Melvin Gordon from his holdout. They had to adjust their offense to get Gordon into a groove, and to this point, he just hasn’t found one. I look for the Chargers to utilize Austin Ekeler more in space in this one against a very good Titans defense. I’m taking the over on this one, as a 24-20 game seems like it could be brewing.
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans Pick
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Preview
If you said that Drew Brees would get hurt during Week 2, and the Saints would be 5-1 heading into Week 7, I would’ve called you a liar. Since Teddy Bridgewater has entered the starting lineup, the Saints have been impressive. In this stretch, the Saints have defeated the Seahawks, Cowboys, Bucs, and Jaguars without Brees. Even with Brees, that would’ve been an impressive run. They are doing it by relying on their defense and running game while letting Bridgewater take care of the ball and make timely plays. It’s proven to be a recipe for success.
The Bears are coming off a much needed bye week. In their last outing, they were defeated by the Oakland Raiders 24-21, in a disappointing finish across the pond in London. The Bears are down to their backup QB Chase Daniel, and while he isn’t the normal starter, he fills his role just fine for a team that relies on a dominant defense.
Because this game is being played at Soldier Field, I believe the Bears have a slight advantage, and so does Vegas, with the line being set at Bears -3. This game will be low scoring, with both defenses refusing to give up an inch. In the end, with the home crowd behind their backs, the Bears defense will make one game-changing turnover to not only win the game, but cover the spread. To be safe, buy this one to -2.5.