NFL Week 7: Best Bets

By John Kaufman – NFL Betting Analyst

Holy moly. What’s that saying? When it rains it pours? Well ain’t that the truth.

Last week was gross. Three Best Bets, three losses. Not the way we drew it up. But hey, you’ll have those weeks. Betting on the NFL is difficult, as it turns out. No excuses, though. I must be better. Thus, it’s nose to the grindstone time. Let’s quickly recap week six and then move on to week seven’s Best Bets. Week Six Postmortem Results: 0-3 2019 Record: 10-7-1 58% win rate

Like we always do, we need to quickly recap week six and see how I did, where I was right, and where I can improve. Again, you’re getting this recap every week no matter if I go 10-0 or 0-10. I know this statement is repetitive, but it needs to be included here every week:

I don’t care what my record is in any given week. You’ll always get this recap. I will never run from a bad week. Nor will I get too big an ego because of a good one. It’s always about the process yielding good results. I was awful last week, no doubt. But let’s see if the process was poor or if I just got unlucky.

KC -4 (-110) vs HOU Result: LOSS (HOU 31-KC 24)

This game was incredibly frustrating to watch, especially with a Chiefs -4 ticket in my pocket. At the end of the first quarter, KC led Houston 17-3. But Houston stormed back with a 20-point second quarter and then spent the second half playing keep-away from Patrick Mahomes. Houston held the ball for 39:48 in that game, whereas KC only had it for 20:12. It was an impressive game plan and execution from Bill O’Brien and the Texans.

Kansas City’s rushing defense is a huge problem for them, and I failed to take this into account. Houston ran for 192 yards against them, which naturally contributed to keeping Houston’s offense on the field while preventing Mahomes from getting the ball. Until I see some major improvement from the Chiefs’ rushing defense, it’s going to be impossible to lay points with them. I won’t make that mistake again. LAR -3 (-110) vs SF Result: LOSS (SF 20-LAR 7)

Losing the Chiefs -4 bet was bad process by me. Losing this bet had a bit to do with the process with a dash of bad luck sprayed in.

This game was tight the entire first half as the score was tied 7-7 at the break. Two crucial plays – one just before halftime and one immediately after – really made all the difference. The final Rams possession of the first half ended with LA turning the ball over on downs after getting stuffed twice in a row on 3rd and 4th and goal from the 49ers’ one-yard line. If the Rams had managed to punch in a TD there, they perhaps would have led 14-7 at the break instead of being tied.

After halftime was worse for LA. They received the second half kickoff, but on their first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, disaster struck. Jared Goff turned to pitch the ball to running back Darrell Henderson, but he mishandled the pitch and fumbled the ball. The 49ers recovered and scored a touchdown just four plays later, pushing their lead out to 14-7. That was all that the Niners would need to win this game.

Those two plays were pivotal to my Rams -3 bet, and both plays obviously went against me. Yes, the 49ers have been playing incredibly well on defense, but I would imagine that giving the Rams two shots to score from the one is going to result in a touchdown more times than not. Additionally, if Henderson doesn’t fumble that pitch, or if he does but he manages to fall on it, who knows how this game ends?

Luck aside, in my write-up for this bet last week I did mention that Kyle Shanahan was on the short list of coaches who could overcome losing three offensive starters in one week and go on the road and win a game. So it’s not like the actual outcome of this game was some unknowable thing. I just failed to consider how good Shanahan could truly be in this spot. I also didn’t factor in how a ferocious San Francisco pass rush could really disrupt Jared Goff and render him ineffective all day long. Again, these are mistakes I won’t be making again.

Six Point Teaser of The Week: + 6 points, -110

Result: LOSS PHI +9 at MIN – Result: LOSS (MIN 38-PHI 20) NO +8.5 at JAX – Result: WIN (NO 13-JAX 6)

New Orleans went down to Jacksonville and won the game outright, so I got that half correct.

Philly, on the other hand, didn’t even come closing to covering even with the nine points we took in the teaser. The problem was Minnesota’s use of play-action passing and how it killed the Eagles’ depleted secondary. The worst part is, I knew that Philadelphia’s stout rushing defense would prevent the Vikings from having any success on the ground, thus forcing Kirk Cousins into situations where he’d have to throw a lot. Cousins ended up having a very successful passing day against an Eagles defense that is beyond injured. I didn’t consider how Philly’s pass funnel defense might actually be a good thing for the Vikings. Live and learn, as they say.

NFL Week Seven – Best Bets

We have 13 more games of NFL action ahead of us. Despite losing Patrick Mahomes early on with a dislocated kneecap, the Kansas City Chiefs whipped the Denver Broncos on the road this past Thursday night, 30-6. The Chiefs had a slight lead when Mahomes left the game, but Denver provided zero opposition the entire evening. It was an easy win for Kansas City.

The Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all have byes this week.

Oh, and one cool announcement to make here:

This evening I will be on the Across the Board Sports Podcast to further break down my Best Bets for week seven. You can find it wherever you typically find your podcasts. Just search for “The Lake Effect Podcast with Chandler Adams.” Also, I will post a link to it on my Twitter (@ClevelandSpyder). And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

Alrighty then. Let’s move on to the week seven action and see if we can’t make some money together!

NO (5-1) +4 (-106) at CHI (3-2) 4:25 PM on FOX

I believe that New Orleans is going to win this game outright. Yes, they are on the road. And yes, Chicago is coming off their bye week and Mitch Trubisky is on track to start this game. I believe that people who want to back the Bears in this game would present those points as reasons why the Bears will fare well against the Saints tomorrow.

But those factors either don’t matter or are seriously overrated. I’m going to break this down further on the podcast, so make sure you listen to find out why the Saints will win this game.

For now, suffice it to say that New Orleans is the much better football team, they have the coaching edge by a mile with Sean Payton, and their defense is playing incredibly well. And I don’t believe in Matt Nagy or Mitchell Trubisky at all. This is as much of a bet on New Orleans as it is against Chicago.

SEA (5-1) vs BAL (4-2) OVER 49 (+101) 4:25 PM on FOX

This game is going to be a lot of fun to watch. Both defenses are really struggling to stop anyone. Meanwhile, both offenses have been spectacular this season. I’m going to go over some intriguing stats on the podcast that will have you rushing to bet the over with me. But I’ll just talk about two interesting nuggets now.

The Seahawks have gone over the posted total in 12 of their last 15 games. And the only three games that didn’t go under were against three teams with lackluster offenses: 2019 week four vs Arizona, 2019 week one vs Cincinnati, 2018 week 14 vs Minnesota.

Another fascinating stat about Pete Carroll’s Seahawks is that in the past nine games when they’ve faced a running quarterback, the over has hit in all nine games. And of those nine QBs that Seattle has faced, Lamar Jackson will be the best of them by far, if only by rushing standards.

There’s going to be a lot of fireworks in this game, folks. Let’s have some fun by betting the over and rooting for all the touchdowns.

NYJ (1-4) FIRST HALF +6 (-115) vs NE (6-0) 8:15 PM on ESPN-Monday Night Football

It seems like a fool’s errand to bet on whomever is facing New England in 2019. But I believe that backing the Jets in the first half has a lot of value.

We know that Sam Darnold is back from his bout with mono, as he played tremendously in last week’s victory over the Cowboys. It also appears that the Jets will have C.J. Mosley back this week as well. They are getting healthy at a very important time, which will help our +6 bet a lot.

But most importantly, the Jets defense has actually been pretty good this year despite the fact that they’ve had to deal with being put in awful positions with Luke Falk as their starting QB. Through their first six games, the Jets’ defense is 12th in the league in yards per play against at 5.4. That’s impressive all things considered. Now they’re at home vs a division rival and they’re the healthiest they’ve been in a long time. All good signs for Jets backers.

Last, we’re not taking the Jets +10 for the game because we don’t want to mess with the uncertainty of what could happen late in the game. Perhaps the Jets are down six points in the fourth quarter and Darnold is trying to press in order to finish the comeback and in doing so throws a pick-six. The first half will be played a little tighter and should be much more predictable, which is why we’re placing this particular bet.

Six Point Teaser of the Week: +6 points, -110

DET (2-2-1) +8.5 vs MIN (4-2) 1:00 PM on FOX PHI (3-3) +8.5 at DAL (3-3) 8:20 PM on NBC-Sunday Night Football

(There is a teaser explanation below if you need it.)

Two very similar bets in this teaser, which is pretty typical for positive EV teasers. We’re taking two teams who are getting 2.5 points and moving the lines up through 3 and 7. Smart money.

Detroit has been impressive lately, even if their record doesn’t show it. We all watched the referees job them last week against Green Bay, calling two phantom illegal hands to the face penalties on the Lions which extended Green Bay’s game-winning field goal drive two separate times. It was embarrassing. Detroit won that game, plain and simple. I’m backing the Lions at home because I think this will be a tight game all the way through. They may lose a close game; that could happen for sure. And I’m done underestimating Minnesota. But I like the Lions to keep this one close for sure, and perhaps even win this home game.

I feel like I’ve either bet on or against Philadelphia every week in this column. Back to the well once more, I suppose.

The Eagles’ defensive secondary has been very banged-up lately, but good news is on the horizon. Philly CB Ronald Darby is expected to play this Sunday after sitting out multiple weeks with a hamstring injury. That should help Philadelphia out a lot with some of their coverage issues.

Dallas, it seems, has caught the injury bug as of late, which I believe will be a major factor in this game. Both starting offensive tackles (Le’el Collins and Tyron Smith) are going to try to play this weekend but are by no means guaranteed to do so. And even if they do start the game, the chances of them both finishing the game seem slim at best. Cowboys WR Amari Cooper is dealing with quad and ankle injuries, and he, too, is going to try to play. One wonders how effective he’ll be even if he does manage to play the entire game which is certainly no guarantee.

Last, Philadelphia has fared incredibly well in recent trips to Dallas. In their last five visits to Arlington, TX, the Eagles are 3-2 straight up, and both losses came in overtime. Philadelphia is very close to being 5-0 in Big D in the past five years. If they don’t win this game outright, I love taking the 8.5 points in this one.

Alright y’all, that’s it for week seven. Good luck to us all this weekend!! Let’s cash some tickets!!

(TEASER BET EXPLANATION: In case you’re not familiar with a teaser, it’s a bet in which you get six points to manipulate the point spread and/or game total in a favorable direction. For example, in week two this year Denver was underdog against Chicago, as the Broncos were getting +2 points. In a teaser, you get to add six points to Denver’s line and increase it from +2 to +8. Or instead, if you liked Chicago in that game you could have taken the six points and teased their line from -2 to +4. Teasers are great ways to manipulate lines so that they’re more favorable to you. Last, just like a parlay, teasers must include two bets or more, and you must win all the legs in the teaser to win the bet. If you lose one leg of the teaser your whole bet is busted.)

John Kaufman

Across the Board Sports

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