Week 7 of the NFL season is here. Time to place your bets. Which games should you pick and which should you avoid? Jimmy Traina and Tom Mantzouranis break down everything you need to know entering this weekend’s NFL action.
Jimmy Traina: Broncos -6.5 at Colts. This is strictly based on Peyton Manning returning to Indianapolis and beating his former team. I can't see him losing this game. Do I think he'll be extra motivated to beat Jim Irsay, who earlier this week lamented the fact that the Colts only won one Super Bowl during Manning's tenure in Indy? I don't know, but it can't hurt.
Tom Mantzouranis: Chiefs -6.5 vs. Texans. It was announced Thursday that Case Keenum would be starting for the Texans, leapfrogging T.J. Yates in replacing Matt Schaub. Despite being a preseason darling the last two years, Keenum has never thrown a regular-season pass and hasn't even been active since getting signed as an undrafted free agent. That's not ideal going against a Chiefs defense that's in the top five in total defense and against the pass, and ranks first (by a fairly wide margin) with 30 sacks through six games. The Chiefs are also 5-1 against the spread this season, while the Texans are 0-6. Oh, and by the way, the game's in Arrowhead.
NFL Week 7 Betting Odds
Stay Away From
Traina: Giants -3.5 vs. Vikings. New York has burned me so many times this year, so I can't recommend playing them. However, this is Josh Freeman's first start with Minnesota, so who knows how he will look or how the team will play around him.
Mantzouranis: Broncos -6.5 at Colts. I was on point last week telling you not to bet on the historic Broncos-Jags spread, and I'm back to temper enthusiasm on everyone's favorite Mile High heroes. Peyton Manning might be motivated after Jim Irsay's ill-advised outburst this week, Von Miller is coming back and Champ Bailey got his feet wet last week returning from injury in anticipation of being fully back to speed for this game. So why don't I like the Broncos to cover the spread? Behind Andrew Luck's good-natured exterior lies elite competitiveness, and I'm sure he's not loving getting second billing in this one. He's made Lucas Oil Field his house. There's also the fact that the Colts' defense is really good, better than most people really know. They'll be good enough to keep it close in the fourth quarter, and that's when Luck shines. The Broncos might win a shootout, but it'll be close.
Patriots -4 at Jets. You can forget the overall quality of these two teams whenever they meet; Rex Ryan has a knack for thwarting the Patriots. It's essentially been his life purpose since taking over as the Jets coach. And with Jerod Mayo joining Vince Wilfork on the shelf, the middle of the Patriots' defense is going to be awfully susceptible.
Best Of The Rest
Traina: 49ers -4 at Titans. Tennessee got lucky with a cover at Seattle last week. It won't happen this week. As long as Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing quarterback for the Titans, I will bet against him every time he faces a very good defense.
Jaguars +7.5 vs. Chargers. Jacksonville hasn't been as brutal the past couple of weeks. Justin Blackmon's return has given them a legit weapon on offense, and I think all the talk about them going winless could provide some extra motivation. San Diego is coming across the country after a short week. A sluggish game here wouldn't be shocking.
Patriots -4 at Jets. New England doesn't lose to the Jets that often. I can't see Bill Belichick losing to a rookie quarterback with no weapons.
Mantzouranis: 49ers -4 at Titans. You can't necessarily say the 49ers look like they're back after pedestrian losses to the Colts and Seahawks (a blowout over the Texans -- see above -- and allowing the Cardinals to stay close for three quarters isn't the sign of a dominant team), and the Titans haven't lost a game by more than nine points (and that was to the Chiefs -- again, see above). So why should you feel good about the 49ers? They're trending in the right direction. Oh, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's got back-to-back games with two interceptions, and the 49ers have the third-most interceptions in the league so far.
Ravens at Steelers, under 41. Have you seen these two offenses this season? Together, they're averaging 39.9 points scored per game, and six of their last 10 matchups haven't reached 40 points.BURKE: Who are the NFL's best and worst red-zone offenses?