Saturday, 23 October 2021 20:05 EST
NFLbets probably shouldn’t complain about what appears to be a proliferation of sucker bets amidst the point spreads and over/unders in week 7 NFL betting. After all, one of the NFLbets Primary Rules of Betting™ is the old cliché reserviced: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. And sure enough, every time NFLbets thinks easy wagers are everywhere in a given week, that’s exactly when we’re whiffing on picks and blowing three previous weeks’ worth of wins.
So with some not-necessarily-judicious application of reverse logic (“Always do the opposite” is not among NFL Bets Primary Rules of Betting, but, hey, we’re on a cold streak), we’ve found at least three bets to make – not guaranteeing victory here, mind you…
Best bet: Philadelphia Eagles +3 at Las Vegas Raiders
Definitely the WTF line of week 7 here. Last weekend, the Raiders played liberated ball, airing grievances as freely as Derek Carr aired the ball out (18-of-27 for 341 yards and two TDs against zero interceptions) at once-feared Mile High. All the Raiders did was take care of business against the Broncos, well outscoring their last two games of the Gruden Era combined.
Racist coach or no, Las Vegas has nevertheless brought one of the league’s top offenses this season, including top ranking in turnovers surrendered and a no. 3 ranking in passing yards. This is particularly bad news for Philadelphia against whom teams have generally been moving the ball at will: The Eagles are dead last in rushing attempts allowed, 29th in pass attempts allowed and 31st in time of possession.
On top of this is the trade sending Zach Ertz to Arziona. Sure, Ertz is merely a TE who’d gotten just over 5 targets a game this season and Dallas Goedert is ready to take over the TE1 spot for the Eagles – but the Philly front office may have metaphorically chosen the wrong week to stop sniffing glue, as Goedert will miss the Raiders game “thanks” to Covid protocols. Some may be confident enough that the reasonably good Jalen Hurts playing behind a pretty terrible OL can overcome this one more minus, but NFLbets is not among them. Take the Las Vegas Raiders -3 vs Philadelphia.
Risky bet of the week: Detroit Lions -16 at Los Angeles Rams
NFLbets has had this one marked down for the betting since the release of the 2021 NFL schedule and after watching this point spread rise from Rams -14 to -16 (and likely -16½ or -17 by game time), we’ve got to admit regret on not betting this one months ago.
Because here’s the thing: Jared Goff is a bad quarterback. Whether or not it’s fair to declare the former no. 1 has always been terrible, but Goff’s devolution from the Kyle Boller Line – i.e. just competent enough to get a good team into the Super Bowl – at very least is apparent. And no one still working in the NFL knows this better than Sean McVay.
NFLbets has little reason to believe that McVay is a vindictive, vengeful sort but as evidenced by a fair amount of success, appears to be quite the clever head coach. And McVay has been admirably diplomatic in the months post-Goff trade regarding his, likesay, disappointing former starting QB. McVay stretched that diplomacy to breaking point in mid-April when, geeked by the early look at new Rams QB Matt Stafford, he told the Rich Eisen Show that with Stafford…
“You’re able to execute your play-actions, your movements, and those things, but when you get into third down and those known passing [situations] … the two-minute drills at the end of the half, end of the game… The way that [Stafford]’s able to move and manipulate the pocket … to recognize and understand coverage and make all five eligibles come alive, the way that he can create off-schedule in the pocket, out of the pocket, and just the overall competitiveness and command…”
So here’s McVay, bringing probably the NFL’s best defense against a taped-together OL protecting a quarterback *who can’t read defenses properly.* Whether or not McVay smells blood, here’s to thinking that Donald & Co. will feed. The best thing for the Lions to do in this game will be the yank Goff after the first two turnovers – but it may already be too late. Talk about the Lions’ resilience and heartbreaking losses all you want, but this one could get very ugly very quickly. Take the Los Angeles Rams -16 vs Detroit.
Longshot: Cincinnati Bengals +6½ at Baltimore Ravens
Before this one starts, NFLbets will say “This is why they’re called ‘upsets’”…
After absolutely manhandling the Chargers last week, the Ravens for the first time looked like the AFC’s cream of the crop in 2021. Fair enough, but Baltimore still runs one seriously one-dimensional offense; mind you, this is possibly the most impressive one-dimensional offense ever with the miraculous Lamar Jackson at the helm.
The Ravens currently stand at 5-1 SU (3-3 ATS), with the sole loss coming in the increasingly fluky-looking opening week loss to Vegas. They’ve held opponents to 17 points or fewer in three of the previous four games and are playing their third consecutive in Baltimore. About the only reason to go against the Ravens in this one is to, well, bet on the upwardly mobile Bengals.
After coming out slightly low-watt (if clutch) in weeks 1-3, the Bengals offense has awoken to go for 395.0 yards per game over the second three, up from 292.3 over the first three. And thus far, the Bengals boast a top-10 rushing defense – of course, they’ve yet to face up against a force like Jackson, either. Also of note: The under has hit in 5 of 6 Cincinnati games due to the stingier-than-expected Bengals D.
But if one factors in the sole meeting Joe Burrow’s offense against Baltimore – a 27-3 drubbing in 2020 – there’s little reason to expect the unexpected – except, have you seen JaMarr Chase lately? Plus, like NFL said (wrote?): That’s why they call them “upsets.” Take the Cincinnati Bengals +6½ at Baltimore, and maybe even take the Bengals money line (ML) at +230 as well…
–written by Os Davis
Os Davis has been covering sports for longer than he’d care to admit. For personality, check his Twitter feed; for professional acumen, here’s his Linkedin profile.