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  • Among The MMQB's best Week 7 bets, multiple staffers are taking the same side in a couple very intriguing interconference games.
By The MMQB Staff
October 17, 2018

Of The MMQB staff's seven best bets in Week 7's action, six are backing road teams, including multiple staffers taking the same side in a couple very intriguing interconference games.

New England Patriots (-3) at Chicago Bears

We're seeing what always seems to happen around this time of year: the Patriots are rounding into dominant form. Plus, the return of Julian Edelman from suspension, the emergence of Sony Michel and the addition of Josh Gordon have served to boost the offense's potency. Despite a strong Bears defense, the Patriots will be too much for Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears to keep up with. — Jenny Vrentas

New England Patriots (-3) at Chicago Bears

Three points seem like a small amount for the Patriots, even if it is on the road. The Bears offense is unsteady right now; Mitchell Trubisky has been up and down reading the field. I'll pick Bill Belichick and his crew to exploit that. — Andy Benoit

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New Orleans Saints (+2.5) at Baltimore Ravens

Kudos to the Ravens, who are one of the last teams in organized football still playing defense. However, keep in mind that aside from Ben Roethlisberger's Steelers, the Ravens haven't exactly shut down a Murderers' Row of offenses this year (aside from Pittsburgh, it's been Buffalo, Denver, Cleveland and Tennessee). And as far as the chess match goes, between Drew Brees and a diverse rushing attack, the Saints certainly have the goods to counter Baltimore's expansive, exotic defense.

There's also something of an old narrative being used against the Saints on the road, but this team has been different since the arrival of Alvin Kamara, joining Mark Ingram in the thunder-and-lightning backfield. There's the fact that they've scored 76 points in their two road games this season. Also, New Orleans is also 6-3 against the spread over its last nine road games, and two of those losses came in a meaningless Week 17 game in Tampa and a Thursday nighter in Atlanta (and TNF is not real football). So, in other words, the Saints have covered in six of their last seven real, meaningful road football games.

But mostly, offense is what wins in the modern NFL, and there is an appropriate betting system working against the Ravens: Over the past 10 seasons, favorites who are outscoring opponents by 10 or more points per game, after allowing 14 points or less in each of their last two games, are 10-34 against the spread. — Gary Gramling

New York Giants (+5.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Remember that totally embarrassing performance by Eli Manning and New York at home last Thursday—Eli Manning's 3.2 QBR showing? Well, it's time to forget it. At 1-5, the Giants will have spent nearly two weeks waiting for a chance to change the narrative before they take the field in Atlanta Monday night. And depending on how things shake out Sunday, a win could keep them within two games of the NFC East lead. Having played Carolina and Jacksonville close, New York actually ranks above the banged-up Falcons in Football Outsiders' DVOA. Atlanta is now also without running back Devonta Freeman and kicker Matt Bryant. Even if the Giants lose, I expect them to keep it close this time around. — Jacob Feldman

Cincinnati Bengals (+6) at Kansas City Chiefs

I fully expect the Chiefs to win this game, but this line treats the Bengals as though they’re some average team, and that just isn’t the case. If we follow the conventional wisdom that home field is worth three points, than the oddsmakers would have this as a pick’em game if it were in Cincinnati. That’s not giving enough respect to the Bengals, particularly their offense, in a game against a team that’s surrendering 468.2 yards and 28.7 points per game, and 6.6 yards per play. Andy Dalton has this offense in too good of shape, especially with a healthy Joe Mixon joining him in the backfield, for it not to threaten or surpass the 30-point threshold against a defense as bad as Kansas City’s. Dalton may not outduel Patrick Mahomes, but I’ll bet that he keeps this game within a touchdown, and that will almost certainly be good enough to win with the points. — Michael Beller

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Cowboys vs. Redskins Betting Preview: Will Road Games Continue to Haunt Dallas?

New Orleans Saints (+2.5) at Baltimore Ravens

Here we have a great test of what football is in 2018. An elite offense against what’s been the league’s best defense. I’m taking the offense.

The Saints have moved the ball at will in most of their games this year, scoring 40, 21, 43, 33 and 43 points in their five games. The Ravens have allowed just 77 points in six games, easily the lowest average in the league. But they’ve also lost games already to Cincinnati and Cleveland, and I don’t think they can slow New Orleans down enough to keep up.

The Saints and Rams have separated themselves as the two best teams in the NFC thus far, and the offense looked even more dangerous with the return of Mark Ingram. I’m going to pick them to win straight up against Baltimore, even on the road. So if you’re offering me 2.5 points, I’ll take them. — Mitch Goldich

Washington Redskins (-1.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys

One of the key mantras in NFL betting is no team looks as good or as bad as it was the previous week. The Cowboys trounced the Jaguars 40-7 last week. Before that contest, it appeared the sky was falling in Dallas after losing to the Texans 19-16 in overtime. But now the Cowboys are considered back by the public and mainstream media, and this is where we strike.

So why are we taking the Redskins? First, the Cowboys have been much worse on the road this season than at home. In three road games this season, Dallas has mustered a combined 37 points in its losses to the Panthers, Seahawks and Texans. In three home games, the Cowboys have scored 86 points in their wins vs. the Giants, Lions and Jaguars.

Last week against the Jaguars, the Cowboys exploited backup slot corner Tyler Patmon (who started his career with the Cowboys) by targeting Cole Beasley. Beasley finished with 101 yards and two touchdowns on nine grabs. That was Beasley’s first game with nine catches and/or 100 receiving yards since the 2015 season. No other Cowboys player finished with more than two catches or 27 receiving yards.

The Redskins have slot cover man Fabian Moreau to throw at Beasley, so don’t expect an offensive explosion there. Washington also has a strong defensive line, which could have its way against a Dallas offensive line that hasn’t been nearly as strong this year.

On the offensive side of the ball, Washington will likely have Chris Thompson back, and he adds a receiving element out of the backfield that no other tailback can. Between him and Jordan Reed, who has historically torched the Cowboys, this could be a tricky matchup for a Dallas defense that could be without linebacker Sean Lee.

The Redskins as a short home favorite here provides good value, as I personally think Washington should be laying at least a field goal in this rivalry game. We’ll take advantage here of the public willing to ante up on the Cowboys. — Max Meyer  

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