This may be a record for parity.
The NFL launched Week 7 with a whopping nine point spreads of a field goal or less. That’s nine out of 13 games, a remarkable percentage for competitive matchups and a far cry from the loaded double-digit betting odds from Week 6.
Gamblers can jump in on these lines from either side.
Favorite bettors love avoiding the hook and dog backers can take shots with desirable moneyline payouts.
Here’s Bontempo’s NFL Week 7 betting beat, an overview of gambling insights, considerations, and possible picks for wagering consideration.
The one game that already took place was a beauty, with the Jacksonville Jaguars (+2) topping the New Orleans Saints, 31-24, Thursday night.
Jacksonville’s first win over New Orleans since 2003 also meant just the second time in 17 games that a Saints’ game went Over. This one easily topped the 40.5 barrier.
Jacksonville notched its fourth straight win and cover, while Trevor Etienne’s two early touchdowns opened the bank for bettors.
Public Loves the Bucs, Browns, and Niners in NFL Week 7
On Friday morning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the league’s most highly-supported team for handle percentage. They had 89% at DraftKings for their home matchup against the Atlanta Falcons at -2.5.
This is excellent support for Tampa Bay, considering it scored a league-low six points last week in a 20-6 setback to the Detroit Lions.
This game has the earmarks of a pound-it-out-by-the-yard affair, with a league-low total of 37.
The San Francisco 49ers sport a formidable 87% backing at -7 against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.
Sportsbooks and bettors are speculating about whether Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, two key cogs for San Francisco, will play.
The Cleveland Browns had 83% handle support at -3 on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. Cleveland may still be playing without injured QB Deshaun Watson, so this is a testament to a tough Cleveland defense.
Bettors also weigh prominent matchups like the Baltimore Ravens (-3) against the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) against Tua Tagovailoa’s Miami Dolphins in Sunday night primetime.
What a competitive week.
There are no gimmes, but every game has something to consider.
NFL Week 7 Tightest Point Spreads (DraftKings)
Eagles vs. Dolphins
In the game of the week and one of the top matchups this year, gamblers are beginning to lean more toward Philadelphia. They backed the Eagles at 68% handle on Friday, giving separation to a game that initially had split betting.
Dolphins’ backers will look for hefty yardage and scoring totals from receiver Tyreek Hill, running back Raheem Mostert, and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Philly bettors may lean on running back D’Andre Swift, receive AJ Brown, and perhaps an anytime scoring prop from quarterback Jalen Hurts.
This matchup seems ripe for him to run one in.
One major intangible that Eagles’ bettors know more than the nationwide audience is the condition of right tackle Lane Johnson. He is a key to the Eagles’ running game.
Johnson left Week 6 with an ankle injury and the Eagles did not notch a second-half touchdown.
Johnson returned to practice on Thursday, a sign that he may start. Eagles’ bettors who follow the team closely will wager more money on them if he is healthy.
Best Bets to Consider
- Hill and Jaylen Waddle, 200 or more combined yards (+200)
- Haason Reddick, 2 sacks (+300)
- AJ Brown, 125 yards (+350)
- Hurts to score first and anytime (when markets go up)
Ravens vs. Lions
An angle for bettors fading Detroit is that this is the Lions’ second straight road game and their backfield is banged up. David Montgomery battles a rib injury and Jahmyr Gibbs has a hamstring problem.
This may send prop bettors scurrying to speedy receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and rising tight end star Sam LaPorta.
The Ravens utilize Justin Tucker, one of the top field-goal kickers of all time. They go for risky fourth-down conversions less than most teams and just put the game on his foot.
Tucker notched six field goals as the Ravens topped the Tennessee Titans 24-16 in Week 6. Sure, the Ravens have only had one TD in the last seven quarters, but Tucker is a wisely-used wild card. He notched 18 points.
The field-goal prop for his game is Over 3.5 total field goals at +100.
Tucker’s scoring totals, when they are posted, are always worth a look. He is a threat to hit double digits every week. Sometimes his scoring total is a good price. Sometimes it’s not.
Best Touchdown Scoring Props
- Craig Reynolds (750 first, +125 anytime). He is the backup for Montgomery.
- Aman Ra St. Brown (+750, +130)
- Lamar Jackson (+800, + 140)
- LaPorta (+1200, +235)
Commanders vs. Giants
No timetable is established for the return of “Danny Dimes” Jones for the Giants. Big Blue’s $43 million man already sat Week 6 with a sore neck, one of the slowest healing injuries. He looks more no than go this week, leaving the stage to Tyrod Taylor.
The Giants rallied around Taylor in nearly defeating the Buffalo Bills last week at +15.5. It’s not guaranteed they can rally again.
“A big thing that happens in many sports, not just the NFL, is that a team can have a great first game when someone steps up for an injured player,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today. “But after that burst, the team drops off a bit. They can’t keep that going.”
That will be an interesting dilemma for the Giants, who have struggled, especially at home.
They have scored only two field goals in two home games this year. They also have not scored a first-half offensive touchdown all year.
The hopes for Taylor and the Giants died at the Buffalo 1 at the end of the first half and the game in Week 6. Better communication and clock management would go a long way for the Giants.
They notched their first cover of the year last week.
Best Bets to Consider (Touchdown Scorers)
- Saquon Barkley (+750 first, +150 anytime). He was handed the ball at the 1 last week but did not get in. It would have paid bettors +1200 on average at major books for scoring the first TD.
He will still be getting the mail if the Giants get deep into the red zone.
- Darren Waller (+1500, +340). The Giants looked for him on the final play against Buffalo, just missing.
- Washington defense (+2500, +750). A little more remote with Taylor, who protects the ball better than Jones, but this is still a possibility for a great payout.
- Sam Howell TD Passes 1.5 (Over +114, Under -145). He has proven to be a playmaker. The Over is in reach.
Broncos vs. Packers
Denver -1 makes this a big moneyline betting game. Just win, baby.
Best Bets to Consider
- Christian Watson to score touchdown (+900 first, +145 anytime)
- Jordan Love 1.5 passing touchdowns (Over +105)
- Love pass yardage, 234 (Over and Under -115)
- Russell Wilson passing yardage, 218 (Over and Under -115)
The synergy between Love and Watson remains a little under the radar. It may not stay that way for long.
Watson is one of the better receivers in the league. He was hurt early in the season but has emerged lately.
Bucs vs. Falcons
There could be some value in the quarterback touchdown pass totals if they can hit their targets in the red zone.
- Baker Mayfield, Over 1.5 touchdowns (+165)
- Desmond Ridder, Over 1.5 (+185)
The price is more attractive for Mayfield and Ridder than for most quarterbacks because their teams don’t score much. This is within reach at a good return.
Best Touchdown Scoring Props
- Mike Evans (+700 first, +155 anytime)
- Drake London (+1200 first, +275 anytime)
- Bijan Robinson (+600 first, +130 anytime)
Rams vs. Steelers
The Steelers are ahead of projections, going 4-2. Although the Steelers fashion low-scoring games, this matchup features enough high-profile players to attract props.
Touchdown Scorers (First and Anytime)
- Cooper Kupp (+650, +110)
- Puka Nacua (+900, +190)
- George Pickens (+1100, +170)
Pickens is a real under-the-radar player just breaking into his own. The recent bye may have put him further under the radar. But he’s been Pittsburgh’s best receiver.
- Kenny Pickett (+2800, +500). He has been able to score and throws in a surprise occasionally.
Raiders vs. Bears
Tough one for bettors. The health of Jimmy Garoppolo and Davante Adams is key. They are game-time decisions. A healthy Adams would clean up in this type of game, but he is battling a shoulder injury.
Browns vs. Colts
There are fewer viable targets here too. Indianapolis has a handcuff backfield with Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss is excellent, but will 10-15 touches a game feed the prop yardage and scoring bank?
Gamblers may look at team totals.
NFL Week 7 Specials Lineup (FanDuel)
Bettors have an array of interesting choices on high and low games, and high- and low-scoring teams.
Highest Scoring Game: Dolphins-Eagles +310
The number is about as low as it will ever be for this prop. Two explosive teams in primetime.
These teams often end up in the neighborhood of 50 points. Is that enough?
The Broncos once gave up 70 points this season, while the Packers have sputtered after an encouraging start.
The Seahawks could bust out after being frustrated in the red zone last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. The question is how much the Cardinals can score?
The Steelers are slowly improving offensively, but defense remains their calling card.
Lowest Scoring Game: Falcons-Buccaneers +500
Two close-to-the-vest teams give this one a chance.
The Bears have a slow-tempo offense without Justin Fields.
The Browns play tough defensive football and are always a threat to cash this prop.
The Giants’ home offensive woes put this one in the mix.
How times have changed? You usually see these teams vie for high game.
Highest Scoring Team: Eagles +750
Does Lane Johnson return?
A threat every week.
The matchup is primed for them to go off.
The key is Allen’s shoulder.
Tua is always in the mix.
Lowest Scoring Team: Patriots +700
Blanked by New Orleans in the last home game.
Tyson Bagent? Yes, you have a shot with this.
Facing a tough Bucs’ D.
Six points in two home games.
Red zone struggles hurting them.
Other Interesting NFL Betting Considerations
Kupp and Nacua to reach 200 yards. That’s +300. They are capable of reaching that number, although Pittsburgh has a stingy defense.
Travis Kelce and Keenan Allen, 15 combined catches. It’s +165, fair enough odds for two good games by the team’s premier receivers.
Patrick Mahomes or Justin Herbert to throw for 350 yards. This is +240 and a fun wager. Either QB is capable of going off. This may depend on either being pass-happy in the second half.
So much for what’s coming.
Week 7 already sports winners in highly-played props.
E Is for Extra: Travis Etienne Notches Multiple Touchdowns
Nationwide bettors cashed in on big names at solid prices.
Jacksonville running back Travis Etienne became a cha-ching machine by scoring two first-half touchdowns.
The first notched a +550 return for gamblers at DraftKings and BetMGM. The bet was especially popular at BetMGM. It was the third most popular prop.
The second rewarded an avalanche of bettors. It paid +600 at DraftKings. Gamblers had an angle as this was the third straight game he has tallied twice.