During the NFL season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will break down every single point spread using lines as of Thursday morning. Here are his thoughts on the Week 7 slate.
Note: Nate will discuss all of his college football and NFL bets on the Sharp Lessons podcast that drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.
Sides I’m Considering
Lions (+7) over Cowboys: This appears to be the week that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is returning from an injured right thumb, and I want to bet against him. I’m expecting rust from Prescott in his first game back — and the market is pricing this game like he’s fully healthy.
On the other side, the Lions have struggled due to offensive injuries and poor defensive play, but they are coming off a bye week. We know that Dan Campbell’s teams will fight hard for 60 minutes and are always live to cover the spread. The Cowboys just had a divisional primetime game against the Eagles, so I can see a slow start from Dallas against a rested Detroit. I’m going to definitely bet on the Lions if Prescott starts.
Jaguars (-3) over Giants: Not only are the 2-4 Jaguars a favorite over the 5-1 Giants, but Jacksonville took money early in the week at -2.5 to reach the key number of -3. It’s pretty telling — and fair — that oddsmakers and bettors still have their doubts about the Giants. Last week, New York was totally dominated in the box score by Baltimore in their 24-20 comeback victory. The Ravens outgained the Giants 7.0-3.8 on a yards per play basis. While Brian Daboll has done a great job getting the most out of the the Giants roster, winning this way isn’t sustainable.
The Jaguars looked poised to be one of the surprise teams of the season, but back-to-back division losses to the Texans and Colts have set them back, and they need a win to stay in the AFC South race. I just need to decide if I’m comfortable laying a field goal with this Jacksonville team, so I’m willing to wait to see if this line goes back down to -2.5.
Colts (+2.5) over Titans: I gave the Colts one more chance last week and they came through with a dramatic win over the Jaguars. It wasn’t a convincing victory, but Matt Ryan and the offensive line looked better, as he wasn’t sacked a single time during his 58 drop-backs. Now the Colts have another division rematch against Tennessee after facing the Titans just three weeks ago. The Colts closed as a four-point home favorite in that game but lost 24-17 (despite outgaining the Titans by over 100 yards).
I have a lot of doubts about the Titans, even though they’ve won their last three games before hitting their bye. Tennessee is second in the league in first-half scoring, but last in second-half scoring with only 14 points recorded in second halves this season. In their most recent win against the Commanders, the Titans were outgained 6.6 to 3.9 on a yards per play basis and needed a goal-line interception of Carson Wentz to preserve the victory. Tennessee is a team to fade going forward, but Mike Vrabel’s squads have a track record of playing better than their stats would indicate. Right now, I’m just considering the Colts in a revenge spot, so I hope the line goes up to -3. The Titans’ strong starts are just holding me back from being more involved before the game kicks off.
Bengals (-6.5) over Falcons: The Falcons have been the point-spread darling this season, covering all six games they’ve played. This is the spot where I think the point-spread tax is too high on Atlanta, resulting in line value on Cincinnati. I personally made this game Bengals -7.5, so there’s enough of an edge to at least consider the Bengals at -6.5 or better.
The matchup also should suit the Bengals’ offense, as Falcons CB Casey Hayward was placed on injured reserve while CB A.J. Terrell left last week’s game with an injury. That’s not an ideal spot to be in against the Bengals’ pass catchers, and Atlanta also doesn’t have a good enough pass rush to pressure Joe Burrow.
Commanders (+5.5) over Packers: I initially didn’t have interest in betting on either team. The Commanders are coming off a win last Thursday against the Bears where their offense only had 214 total yards. As for Green Bay, I’ve lost bets on the Packers the last two weeks, making it clear that their offense might need time to fix their issues.
But the only reason I’m considering the Commanders in this game is Taylor Heinicke will start at QB for the injured Carson Wentz. Heinicke started most of the 2021 season for Washington, so I don’t see him as a downgrade and he has chemistry with players like WR Terry McLaurin. I believe the players will be motivated by his presence this week.
49ers (+2.5) over Chiefs: I looked forward to betting the 49ers as a short underdog in this game, as it set up perfectly with the Chiefs coming off their biggest game of the year against the Bills. But the reason we are currently at Chiefs -2.5 is because of the dire injury situation for the 49ers. They entered last week’s loss to the Falcons extremely beat-up and they picked up more injuries in Atlanta on Sunday.
I want to bet on San Francisco to bounce back in what should be an advantageous matchup for their run game, but I’m worried about the 49ers facing Patrick Mahomes while down numerous defensive starters.
Saints at Cardinals (-2.5): Here’s another Thursday game I have no interest in betting on, although it’s mostly related to the injuries on both teams. Unless something drastically changes in the point spread, this game is a pass.
Browns at Ravens (-6.5): I want to make a case for the Browns, especially if they get up to +7 in this game. But the Ravens are coming off a loss where they dominated the stats against the Giants, and they could take it out on Cleveland.
Buccaneers (-11) at Panthers: This game would be Buccaneers or pass for me because the Panthers are completely un-bettable. I’m not sure who will start at QB for Carolina in this game, and they’re also in the process of trading players for future draft capital. What is keeping me off the Buccaneers is not trusting their offense to cover a big point spread.
Jets at Broncos (-1): This line crashed from Broncos -3 on Tuesday with the news that Broncos QB Russell Wilson had a hamstring injury. Let’s monitor his status for this game, but I would be tempted to bet on the Broncos as home underdogs if backup Brett Rypien started this game.
Texans at Raiders (-7): The Raiders are a team I haven’t been high on the last few seasons, but I think you might want to buy Las Vegas going forward. They are coming off a bye week, and before that they outplayed the Chiefs in a loss in Kansas City. The 1-4 Raiders only have a point differential of -5, so maybe they’ll start winning some of those close games, and it could start this week against the Texans, although having to cover over-a-touchdown point spread is a much larger task than just asking them to win the game. Both teams are coming off a bye, so I’m going to stay away.
Seahawks at Chargers (-6): If you factor in no real home-field advantage in this game for the Chargers, this line is probably right. The Seahawks are coming off a win against the Cardinals in which their offense was grounded, but their suspect defense held the Cardinals offense from reaching the end zone. Maybe Justin Herbert and the Chargers can exploit the defense, but I don’t trust LA to cover big numbers as favorites in their own building.
Steelers at Dolphins (-7): This number indicates that QB Tua Tagovailoa will start this game, and all reports back it up. He missed the last two games while in concussion protocol, and Miami lost both with a combination of Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson under center. The Steelers are dealing with a QB injury of their own with rookie Kenny Pickett in the concussion protocol. Whether or not Mitch Trubisky starts for Pittsburgh, I don’t have interest in betting on this game.
Bears at Patriots (-8): I downgraded the Patriots quite a bit after Mac Jones’ ankle injury in Week 3, but I’ve now upgraded New England because rookie QB Bailey Zappe has been very impressive in his two starts. We won’t know who New England will start at QB until later in the week with this being a Monday night game, but I don’t think there’s a difference right now between Zappe and a potentially hobbled Jones. I’ll stay away because this number is spot on for a night game in Foxboro, and Bill Belichick has a successful history of scheming against young quarterbacks.