We have a new series on Full Press Coverage NFL. Every week, we will give three bets against the spread to monitor for that slate of NFL games: one we like (Bet It), one we love (Hammer It) and one we are staying away from (Don’t Touch). Without further ado, here are the best and worst bets for NFL week seven.
Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) over Carolina Panthers
One of the two most compelling games of the day, this could very well be an early round playoff preview. To a minimal degree, the teams are going in opposite directions; Carolina just lost a heart-breaker to Washington after a nice 3-1 starts, while Philadelphia is regaining its form with Carson Wentz under center. That is why I like the Eagles giving the points here. From my eyes, they are inching closer to the powerhouse 2017 Eagles we know and love, while Carolina is a good, not great team that has lost both its road games this season. They say bet the trends, so we are betting the Eagles.
Minnesota Vikings(-3) over New York Jets
The Vikings defense is starting to get its groove back. They have held opposing offenses down two-straight weeks, their pass rush is rounding out nicely and they are finding it while maintaining a strong offensive presence. Kirk Cousins and the passing attack have been excellent all year without a running game. Well, last week the Vikings rushed for almost 200 yards and two touchdowns. For the first time all season, they came close to a 50-50 balance of run and pass.
That said, the Jets did just have their finest offensive game of the year with 35 points. However, 21 of those points came from field goals. You will not beat a good defense multiplying by three, especially when you consider that the Jets also allowed the Colts to score 34 on their defense. I think the Jets are a shaky .500 team that has benefited from an extremely easy schedule. The Vikings, on the other hand, have had a rough schedule to open and have come out the other end still looking strong. Plus, Cousins has been arguably better on the road than at home, with big performances in Green Bay and Los Angeles this season. I expect them to win by at least a touchdown, probably more.
Buffalo Bills (+7.5) at Indianapolis Colts
Both of these teams are bad, yet capable of good performances. The Bills have gone into Minnesota and blown the doors off a good Vikings team, and then been shut out by the Packers a week later. The Colts have run with the Patriots and Eagles with a quarterback in Andrew Luck who can carry the team to 30 points. But the defense is suspect and the receivers have hands of whatever the opposite of gold is.
Are the Colts a decent 1-5 team? Yeah, maybe. They have a uniquely talented quarterback who can put a lot of points on the board. However, the Colts’ offense is so bipolar, not just on a game-to-game basis, but drive-to-drive. Their crisp passing game turns into unforced drop fests and ill-timed gamble throws at a moment’s notice. As such, while I believe the Colts are a better team than Buffalo, I am hard-pressed to give them 7.5 points in any situation, even at home against the Bills.
By the same token, Buffalo looks miserable offensively. And predicting their defense to show up is a fool’s errand; sometimes they are on their game, sometimes they are one giant sieve. Again, these two teams are completely unpredictable, and it is too many points to bet either direction. As such, I would stay far, far away from this one.