Week 7 NFL picks: Best bets, odds for every game

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

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Welcome to another exciting weekend in the NFL.

With 11 games on Sunday's slate, there are plenty of betting opportunities. Our VSiN experts -- Adam Burke, Wes Reynolds, Dave Tuley, Will Hill and Matt Youmans, along with Ben Brown from Pro Football Focus -- combine to give their opinions on every game.

Note: Lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday night.

Here are our Week 7 best bets:

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-6, 46.5)

Burke: The early window on Sunday has some real duds, but all of the sudden the game between the Bengals and Ravens looks very intriguing. First place is on the line here, as the Ravens could take a two-game lead in the division or drop into a tie with the Bengals. That should be enough to keep the Ravens fully focused on the task at hand, but the bye week is a pretty attractive pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow.

A lot of teams have battled through adversity on the injury front already this season, but the Ravens really stand out as one of the biggest examples. Baltimore took a very banged-up defense into the game against the Chiefs and came away with a monster win. The Ravens probably should have lost to the Lions, but found a way to win that game and then throttled the Broncos on the road.

Week after week, we’ve seen something impressive from the Ravens. The last two weeks have featured the huge Monday Night Football comeback against the Colts and then the blowout of the Chargers, which was Baltimore’s best defensive showing of the season.

Consistently playing at that high of a level, or making just the right plays in the fourth quarter or overtime, is a skill that few teams possess. The Ravens are one of them, but they’re being asked to do a lot this week against the Bengals. The spread is big at six points with a fairly low-scoring expectation and with Baltimore having gone through the ringer for six weeks already. That bye week is definitely a lookahead factor, especially since we know that Lamar Jackson is not 100 percent.

Cincinnati has certainly played well enough to keep this game close. The Bengals have played a weak schedule and this is a step up in class, but Joe Burrow has taken good care of the football in five of the team’s six games and the defense has been very stout, holding opponents to just 1.6 points per drive, which ranks third in the league. When you consider that the Bengals entered this week 20th in turnover percentage, it is even more impressive.

Six points just feels like a couple too many here and there are even 6.5s out there in the marketplace if you shop around. Baltimore really played down to the level of competition against Detroit and Indianapolis and, while the Bengals are better than those two teams, it wouldn’t be stunning to see the Ravens at less than their best here.

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals + 6

Tuley: Who had this Week 7 game circled for first place in the AFC North? Believe it or not, that’s that we have here with the Ravens (5-1) hosting the Bengals (4-2). The advance line was Ravens -6.5 and it has stayed pretty solid, though a few books went to Ravens -7 before getting bet back down. But I think it’s set a little high based on the reputation of these teams and should be closer to a field goal. The Ravens are certainly flashier with Jackson’s high-flying act, but Burrow is having just as good a season and should be able to spread the ball around to his weapons in RB Joe Mixon and WR Ja’Marr Chase, among others. This might be early to be calling for a new favorite in the AFC North, but I give the Bengals a great chance to pull the outright upset. However, I’ll still gladly take as many points as they’re willing to give us.

Pick: Bengals + 6 or better

 

Carolina Panthers (-2.5, 43) at New York Giants

Burke: The Carolina Panthers have been in freefall mode in the eyes of the betting market ever since the 3-0 start. The Panthers have dropped three straight to the Cowboys, Eagles and Vikings and scored 28 points in two of those three games. The defense, which was so strong against paltry offenses like the Jets, Saints and Texans, has faltered against offenses with more firepower.

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