NFL Week 7 line moves: What to do with massive point spreads
The haves and the have-nots. For a league that does everything it can to foster parity and unpredictability, once in a while you still get a week like this. Four games are lined above a touchdown and two more appear to be headed in that direction. Let's take a look at how some of Week 7's lines got to where they are, and if there's any value to glean before their respective kickoffs.
This game won't be pretty, and that's not merely due to the various shades of orange that will be on the field. Injuries are piling up for both sides, and the market's decided that the Browns' ailments are more significant. It's hard to argue against that. Dropping the Browns from -6 down to -3.5 may not be enough before Thursday night's kick.
The Panthers have moved from -3 to +3 since the lookahead lines were released over the summer, but it would have made a lot more sense three weeks ago. However, it's hard to take Sam Darnold seriously as a field-goal favorite at MetLife Stadium, regardless of what uniform he's wearing at his former home. We'll wait and see if the line can creep any higher before coming in on the Giants plus the points.
The Packers were 6.5-point favorites in the first look this summer and then opened Sunday as 10-point faves. Early money has hit Washington to bring this number into the single digits. If you like that side, you may see +10 again, as the usual flood of Packers money should be on the way.
This one will likely just feature two unstoppable forces and no immovable objects. The market and I actually like the Titans less than we otherwise would despite Tennessee's upset win over the Bills on Monday Night Football. It felt like the Titans got injured on every second play, and that's not what you want with the Chiefs coming to Nashville, so you can excuse a move from -4.5 to -5.5 toward a K.C. team that has been the worst ATS bet in sports for the last year or so.
The game we'll all be excited for on Sunday has encountered somewhat of a peculiar move, with the favorites flipping from as recently as last week. The movement toward the Falcons must be based entirely on rest.
Atlanta took the usual post-London bye last weekend, while the Dolphins strangely opted not to take the bye this weekend. They might be regretting that now. However, I'll wait for this to creep up to a flat +3 and take my chances in a game with two equally poor teams.
Now, let's dig into the really big numbers. The recipe for an over-two-touchdown point spread usually involves a good team blowing out a team the week prior and a bad team getting blown out themselves, and then those two squads meeting the next week. So, here we are. That said, this is a bit too much of a change for me, as I have the Rams -12.7 in my numbers, which is closer to where this number was last week than where it is now.
I'm less into the Bears here, even though they're getting a couple more points than would be considered appropriate prior to this week. Justin Fields gets the task of taking advantage of the Bucs' lackluster secondary group, but he's not the guy we want on the job.
Davis Mills or the return of Tyrod Taylor? It probably won't matter to the point spread. That's actually a compliment to Mills, as he acquitted himself well again last week in Indianapolis. This number was at 10.5 in the summer when we all thought the Texans would be awful. They are. So the extra seven points can be attributed to Cardinals fever, which seems to be at an all-time high, and since they're not required to win by 18 points to stay undefeated, we'll bet against them doing so.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.
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