The Best Bets for week 7 and what we learned in week 6
It’s time to bounce back after a losing week of NFL picks. As I mentioned in my Betting 101 columns, things like this happen. You have to recognize your mistakes, grind through, and move on.
Things We Learned in Week 6…
The Rams line is atrocious. For all the criticism that Jared Goff is due for his inadequacy at pre-snap reads, no one can get a pass off when the interior of the offensive line is getting crushed on a regular basis. I don’t buy the storyline that McVay is still psyched out from the Super Bowl, I diagnose it as his offense not being able to operate because the line cannot block.
At first, I was a little critical of the Jalen Ramsey trade because the Rams have such glaring needs along the offensive front, but it’s not like DC is going to trade Trent Williams anytime soon and every team in the league is dealing with offensive line issues. Guards and centers don’t grow on trees and while Marcus Peters is a home run corner, he’s inconsistent and Jalen Ramsey is probably the best cover corner in the league. Still not sure I would have made that trade, but I am going to trust that the guys who do talent evaluation for a living know a hell of a lot more than I do and have a wait and see approach.
The Niners are legit. I still have questions about Jimmy Handsome, but the running game rules and their defense is really good. I’ve hit a couple nice bets fading them as bigger favorites, but if you can somehow bet them catching points, do it.
The Seahawks are going to be a legitimate challenge for everyone just because Russell Wilson can win games all by himself. Their defense is … not good and the offense is predicated on Wilson basically saving their bacon on a regular basis. As long as he avoids injury they are a dangerous team.
Barring an epic collapse, Buffalo is going to the playoffs. They may not make a deep run, but they have a legit shot at nine or 10 wins.
Houston is on a nice mid-season streak. Is now the time to keep riding the lighting? Their next three games are against Indy, Oakland, and Jacksonville and they will be either a short dog or favorite in all of them, right?
Onward and Upward to my NFL WEEK 7 Picks…
All lines for this week’s picks are from Caesars
Sean’s Picks #1 – Niners minus 10 points at Redskins – Over/Under 41.5
I said it a couple weeks ago and I stand by it, the Redskins are the worst organization in football. Unfortunately, this will be the case until Dan Snyder sells the team.
Just a short while ago Jay Gruden’s coaching staff had both Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan on it. Both of them are now in charge of resurgent teams. Meanwhile, Gruden was humiliated by some suspiciously leaked footage of him doing what everyone who goes to Bourbon Street does. Seriously, if that’s how you’re going to give yourself some breathing room to fire a coach who’s had to deal with a rash of injuries and his best assistants getting head coaching jobs while the team president, the idiotic Bruce Allen, is countermanding his head coach at every turn, then maybe it’s time anyone with any aspirations of being a head coach stay away from this dumpster fire of a team.
This isn’t to say that Jay Gruden is all all-world coach. He got railroaded. Now, Bill Callahan has taken over and all the team did was almost lose outright to the Dolphins who are actively trying to lose. Adrian Peterson actually shouted Case Keenum out of an audible and gained a first down himself. Trent Williams is holding out and the Redskins won’t trade him. They are either looking to maximize his trade value in the off-season or are just doing it out of spite. I would not put it past Snyder and Allen to be doing the latter.
The Niners are coming off a season-affirming win against the Rams. To be fair, the Rams basically gave the game away on the first play of the second half. Darryl Henderson fumbled a pitch, but the Niners just demolished the interior of their line, suffocated their running game, and locked things down on third and fourth downs. The Niners have been good on the road and good at home and Kyle Shanahan has been openly talking about how miserable things were when he was in DC. There isn’t going to be much of a chance for a let down here since Shanahan is going to want to stick it in Snyder and Allen’s face all day long.
Sure, this goes against the basic rule of not fading a home dog at double-digits, but I feel like the line is way too low. I was actually surprised when I didn’t see it come out at Niners -14 until I remembered that -10 is implying that the Niners are 13 points better than DC. Now, I assume Vegas is right because they always are. However, I have a gut feeling the Niners come out and win by two scores. However, you have to be careful with picks on any double-digit spread for a road team.
The Pick: UNDER 41.5 total points in the game
Sean’s Picks #2 – Texans plus 1 point at The Colts – Over/Under 47.5
Houston is red hot and Indy is coming off the bye. Houston completely blew up Kansas City after the first quarter and Indy figured out a way to slow KC down and drag the game out.
Indy’s big thing is ball-control. They want to keep the ball out of your quarterback’s hands and dominate time of possession. They are built for it, from the offensive line to their running backs. Even if Luck were in there you can tell that this was their plan all along: Grind and not really air it out unless they need to.
Meanwhile, Houston is so talented and their offense is so good. With Watson that they can blow you up from anywhere on the field. Watson can move out of the pocket and create space and find open guys downfield. But that’s against bad defenses. Remember that Luck and company put Houston to sleep in the playoffs by suffocating the Texans offense. Even without Luck, the Colts have more talent on both sides of the ball, especially on the offensive line.
So, I have to give the edge to Indy. There is no way that if Indy goes up 17-3 in this one, that they just hand the game back to Houston a-la Kansas City. KC doesn’t know how to deal with a mobile quarterback, the Colts do.
Bottom line, that Houston coaching staff is not good and the Colts, led by Frank Reich, are very adept at formulating solid game plans and making in-game adjustments. This is one where it’s hard for me to fade Indy at home in what is essentially a pick ‘em.
The Pick: Indy -1
Sean’s Picks #3 – Raiders plus 4.5 points at Packers – Over/Under 43.5
Last night I was talking to some friends and laying out how Jon Gruden has been doing a great job with the Raiders. He’s on the same page with Carr, they have a nice running game going, and they have the ability to dominate a half, especially in the first.
My best friend says to me, “for 15 years you’ve been talking shit about Jon Gruden. You’ve HATED him. You hated him when he was announcing and you hated him when he was coaching Tampa.”
“Yes,” I said. “But he’s got something going right now and it’s probably because he’s just coaching instead of thinking about the roster.”
You have to give credit where credit is due. The Raiders are 3-2 in a season that most people thought would see them at about 1-4 right now. They’ve beaten quality teams on the road and handled business in London. Now they are handling a brutal stretch of road games really well. That does not happen with poorly coached or under-prepared teams. The offense has a pretty nice balance of run versus pass. Then the defense, while not great, does pretty decent in pass defense and against the run. Even though they can’t rush the passer to save their lives. Plus, Josh Jacobs is tearing shit up out of the backfield.
Now, numbers-wise, the Raiders are where you’d expect a 3-2 team to be: 5.7 yards per play on offense, only 101 first downs, and 4.9 yards per run, Nothing spectacular in there, but nothing that jumps out and tells me that the Raiders won’t be a live dog every week.
Now, as far as the Packers are concerned I’d say they have a horseshoe shoved up their collective asses. They should have lost to Detroit and Matt The Flower is a crap play caller. Let’s just stop with the instant coaching tree off of Sean McVay, okay? Also, the Packers line is quietly aging before our eyes. They go with whomever is the hot hand at running back, and are signing wide receivers off the street. Let’s not forget that Jimmy Graham forgot how to catch. As well as the fact that their run defense is not as good as their pass rush.
Here’s one where the coaching staff is what breaks it for me. Yes, I know Rodgers will be starting and he’s aces at home. However I think Gruden comes up with a superior game plan, putting the Raiders in position to win it outright.
The Pick: Raiders +4.5
Feeling Frisky Play: Raiders ML +185
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