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Through six weeks of the NFL season, there are no more undefeated teams, and it’s anybody’s guess as to which squad is best. Covers checks out the opening lines on four Week 7 games, with insights from Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu.
Kansas City tumbled from the ranks of the unbeaten with a sluggish Week 6 offensive performance, failing to put up touchdown until the fourth quarter. The Chiefs (5-1 SU and ATS) lost to Pittsburgh 19-13 as a 3.5-point home favorite.
Oakland welcomed the return of star quarterback Derek Carr, then promptly mirrored KC with a lackluster effort. The Raiders (2-4 SU and ATS) had just one second-half score – a fourth-quarter touchdown after which they missed the extra point. That proved critical when the Raiders, 3-point home faves, lost 17-16 on a last-second San Diego field goal.
Both teams now have a short week, playing in the Thursday nighter.
“What a change in perception between these teams from the offseason to the present,” Cooley said. “The Chiefs finally put up a dud, but that’s expected at some point, while Oakland looks like it’s already left for Vegas. But as we’ve seen in recent weeks with teams that look disoriented, expect the Raiders’ best effort Thursday night.”
Early bettors apparently think so. Although the Raiders were still 3-point home pups late Sunday night, the price to get those points was up to -125.
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (-4.5)
It’s a rematch of the Super Bowl, though neither team seems to be in championship form, particularly Atlanta. The Patriots, bettors will remember, were 3-point faves in the Super Bowl against Atlanta and needed a miracle to overcome at 27-3 second half deficit to win and cover the spread.
The Falcons (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) won their first three games, trying to put that incredible Super Bowl meltdown behind them. But they’ve now dropped the last two, including Sunday’s shocking 20-17 home loss to Miami as hefty 14-point chalk.
New England (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS) spotted the New York Jets 14 points on Sunday, not exactly looking like a 9-point road favorite. However, the Patriots scored the next 24 points and hung on for a 24-17 victory.
“Sharps loved the Falcons in the last matchup between these teams, and they’re lining up again here,” Cooley said of early action for this Sunday night clash. “We’ve already moved the spread down to -3, but it’s doubtful we’ll see it dip under the key number. The Falcons look flat of late, but it’s not as if the Pats have been world beaters the last three weeks.”
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5)
Heading into Week 7, Philadelphia surprisingly holds the lead in the NFC East. The Eagles (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) played in the first game of Week 6 and dropped Carolina 28-23 catching 3 points on the road Thursday night.
Washington (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) blew all of a 17-0 lead Sunday, but held on late to move above .500. The Redskins edged the 49ers 26-24, falling well short as 12-point home faves.
“Early money has been on Washington, which is somewhat of a surprise,” Cooley said of the Week 7 Monday nighter. “We’ve moved down to -4 already, but it’s highly unlikely it will head further south. You have to like what both of these squads are doing on the field, but Philadelphia is a few pegs ahead of where Washington is.”
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers (+4)
Green Bay was 4-1 SU and appeared to be rounding into form after a big road win at Dallas. Then Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in the first quarter Sunday against Minnesota, and poof! The Packers (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) lost 23-10 giving 3 points on the road, and will be without their stud QB for the foreseeable future, perhaps the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, New Orleans cracked the 50-point barrier in a wild Week 6 home victory. The Saints (3-2 SU and ATS) went off as 6-point faves against Detroit, led 45-10 midway through the third quarter, then held off a furious rally for a 52-38 victory. Drew Brees and Co. have won and cashed three straight.
Cooley said Bookmaker.eu wasn’t quite ready Sunday to post a Saints-Packers line, with Green Bay now relying on unproven backup Brett Hundley.
“We’ve got to do some additional assessment with Hundley under center in Green Bay before posting a line,” Cooley said. “The public will line up to fade a team sans Aaron Rodgers, but we’ve seen this Packers bunch blow out opponents without him. We’ll open the Saints as short road chalk.”
The Wynn sportsbook in Las Vegas opened with the Saints as 4-point road favorites, while offshore sportsbook Pinnacle installed the Saints as 4.5-point chalk.