Top 3 to Bet: NFL Week 7 Against the Spread Picks

I’m taking a step back this week and risking six units after putting nine units into play last week. If you followed those picks last week you basically broke even as the three selections resulted in a win, a loss and a tie.

Six units just also happens to be the number of total units I am down this season. So if I’m able to muster up a perfect weekend, we’ll enter week 8 with a clean slate.

Let’s take a look at who I think you should invest your cash into this week.

Week 6 results: 1-1-1; -1 unit
Year-to-date results: 7-10-1; -6 units

 

Minnesota Vikings -3 @ New York Jets

Last week I said that I felt like the Vikings were about to go on a mini run. Three weeks ago they beat the Eagles, last week they took down the Cardinals, and now they get a road test against the Jets. After pushing on my Vikings’ bet last week, I’m going to stick with them this week as long as this spread stays under 3.5.

The ability to run the ball made a welcomed return to the Vikings last week as Latavius Murray went off for 155 yards and a touchdown as the team totaled nearly 200 yards on the ground. If the Vikings can continue to run with success, it may turn into a long day for the Jets’ defense as their biggest weakness actually comes against the pass, allowing over 270 yards per game.

By this point in the season we know that the Vikings’ strength on offense has become the passing game as Adam Thielen has become a lock for at least 100 years per game, while Stefon Diggs possesses legit big-play potential.

We’ve also seen a recent improvement from the Vikings on the defensive side of the ball. After holding a potentially-explosive Eagles’ offense to 21 points, the Vikings really only allowed 10 points last week to the Cardinals as one of their touchdowns was scored on a defensive fumble recovery.

The Jets had a nice offensive outburst last week against the Colts, but keep in mind that Indianapolis has been a defensive garbage fire allowing 37, 38 and 42 points each of the last three weeks.

I’m not minding what rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has been able to accomplish so far this season, but I don’t envision him being able to keep the Jets within three points of the Vikings with the potential they possess to score in bunches along with a defense that seems to be improving by the week.

We’re about to see the Vikings improve to 4-2 this season with a win by more than a field goal over the Jets – I’m throwing 2 units on it.

Carolina Panthers +5 @ Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles took a step in the right direction last week by putting away a team of a much lower caliber in the New York Giants. On the other end of the spectrum, Carolina wasn’t able to put away Washington in what was a rather lackluster performance by the Panthers.

While I’m a believer in the Eagles this season and I think they’ll be a team to contend with when it’s all said and done, I think it’s going to take some time for everything to come together for them with Carson Wentz coming back to form, piecing together the right mix in the backfield now that Jay Ajayi is out, and working Alshon Jeffery back into the offense after missing the beginning of the season.

Despite the disappointing loss to the Redskins last week, Carolina is still a 3-2 football team and we’ve seen them have these hiccup games in the past, only to come back the next week and look like the top team in a competitive NFC South.

Carolina’s top playmaker this year has been running back Christian McCaffrey, and while the Eagles are very good against the run, you know that CMC is going to get it done similar to how Saquon Barkley did last week against Philadelphia – by mixing him into the passing game.

The bad news for the Eagles is that their pass defense isn’t getting it done so far this season, allowing over 270 passing yards per game. And while Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense is a bit limited on playmakers to expose this weakness, keep in mind that this will be Greg Olsen‘s second week back after his latest injury and he should help provide another weapon for Newton to utilize.

This game has the makings of the last team to possess the ball having a chance to decide the outcome, and while I’m not confident enough to predict an outright win, I like the team getting more than 3.5 points when the two teams are fairly equal.  I’m taking the Eagles for 2 units.

 

Chicago Bears +3 vs. New England Patriots

Once again I’m going with the the team on the losing end of last week’s game against a team coming off a big victory. Prior to last week the Bears’ defense has been strong. I’m expecting a big bounce-back week for this defense after allowing Frank Gore to run for over 100 yards, Brock Osweiler to throw for 380 yards, and recording no sacks for the first time all season.

We’ve seen the Patriots’ offense catch some fire in recent weeks but this game could turn into a bit of a stumbling block if the Bears can find a way to get back on track.

Last week, the Patriots allowed Chiefs’ running back Kareem Hunt find success both on the ground and through the air. This is where Tarik Cohen comes into play as he has become one of the league’s most dynamic running backs with his unique ability as a pass catcher in space. In addition to Cohen, we’ve seen the likes of Allen RobinsonAnthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel come on recently, and Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy will definitely find ways to utilize these playmakers to exploit the Patriots’ weaknesses on defense.

I’d like this spread a lot more if I could get it at 3.5, but as long as it stays at 3, I’m taking the Bears for 2 units.

 

For a complete NFL Week 7 preview, but sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys discuss their against the spread gambling picks as well as provide their daily fantasy sports bargains and stacks of the week!

Ben Morgan is a co-host and blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook

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