Sportsbooks took a rare loss in NFL Week 7. Not only did many favorites cash, but the lack of a major upset to wipe out teaser and parlay bets left books vulnerable to being on the wrong end of a blowout against the bettors. If you read this column and tailed accordingly, you swept the board, which means one thing — time to work even harder. In betting, focus needs to be sharpened when you’re having success to guard against complacency.
Anytime favorites cash at an alarming clip, bettors need to beware. Lines will typically get jacked up in the following weeks. The positive reinforcement of winning on favorites will cause bettors to come back to the buffet table for another helping. In this league, a week of predictability is the most unpredictable result of all. Will Week 8 be the revenge of the dogs?
Lions (+ 3) over Colts
The Lions are a good bet anytime they’re getting points, as they seem incapable of playing an ordinary game that isn’t in doubt in the final seconds. Throw in Philip Rivers’ propensity for being involved in dramatic finishes and you get the makings of a wild ending with someone losing in heartbreaking fashion. Watching Rivers closely this year makes me refuse to lay points with him, as his lack of arm strength and mobility are a lot to ask any coach to cover up. The Lions’ pass rush is improved, and much like last week when they were getting three early in the week, this line will be closer to pick-’em by kickoff. Lions win this one and get to 4-3.
Dolphins (+ 3.5) over Rams
Already the fourth west-east trip for the Rams this season. They also are off a Monday night game in a short week after playing a good, physical defense. None of us can know what to expect from Tua Tagovailoa, but having watched Ryan Fitzpatrick be careless with the football for the first six weeks, I don’t think the bar is very high. (Tagovailoa needs to be really good for the Dolphins to avoid buyer’s remorse, as they passed on drafting stud rookie Justin Herbert). Miami has played well on defense the last few weeks, shutting out the Jets and pummeling the 49ers, which looks more and more impressive each week. The Dolphins have a huge rest advantage and are getting 3.5 at home. Bet it fast because 3.5 will likely not be around for long.
Vikings (+ 7) over Packers
When these teams met in the opening week, I gave out the Packers 3, citing the Vikings having to incorporate 15 rookies into a complex scheme after no preseason. As bad as the Vikings have been, a 10-point swing is too extreme. They are off a bye, and Mike Zimmer is proficient at covering spreads as well as performing with time to prepare. The Packers are highly susceptible to the run, and the Vikings will have star running back Dalvin Cook healthy for this matchup. The other stud running back, Aaron Jones, missed last week vs. Houston and will be out or likely not 100%. Somehow the Packers spent a second-round pick on a running back who got only five carries on a day when the starter was inactive. Any fleeting speckles of playoff hope will die for the Vikings with a loss here, so give me the points with the more desperate team.