NFL Week 7 betting takeaways: No one stuck in the middle
It's a rare Monday when we're well-rested after an especially dull NFL Sunday. I'm setting the total number of naps at 1.5 per football fan.
But how does that affect our ratings? With six teams on a bye, it's important to note how few teams should move up or down heading into Week 8.
Quoth the Raven nevermore?
The Baltimore Ravens had folks shaking their heads when they got trucked by the Cincinnati Bengals a week after putting it on the Los Angeles Chargers. Does that mean the Bengals would automatically blow out the Chargers? Of course not. So what do we do with each team's rating? I'll move the Bengals up a fair amount, but the focus needs to be on the range of each club. Cincinnati showed it can play to a level higher than we previously thought (60/100), whereas the Chargers and Ravens have enough back-credit results for us to brush off their losses as low-end performances on their range.
You may wonder why the Bengals aren't ahead of the Ravens. The answer is the small sample size; would the Ravens or Bengals be favored in a neutral-field matchup tomorrow?
Running out of excuses
We've heard the same thing all year: the issue for the Kansas City Chiefs is the defense.
However, if you can muster just three points against the Tennessee Titans' defense, you could lose to anyone in the league. That means the back end of the Chiefs' range has to drop, which pulls their average state down, as well. We're running out of reasons to think we'll see them play their best for 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, the problem for the San Francisco 49ers is the injuries.
Eventually, though, a team reaches a point when it is what its record says it is, whether those losses come due to rain, misfortune, quarterback injuries, or defensive penalties. Every game, there's a gaffe from the head coach, a turnover by the quarterback, and a few flashes of offensive brilliance.
The 49ers can now give Trey Lance all the starts he can handle for the rest of the season since they're pretty much toast in the NFC West. As a result, we drop San Francisco's rating down further, into the mix with the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, and New England Patriots.
The gap from average
It's becoming difficult to figure out who our standard-bearer is for league average (50/100) in the NFL.
The Titans are healthy on offense, and the injuries to the secondary didn't cause them issues against Kansas City, so there's good reason to move Tennessee up from 50/100 and over the other teams in the middle tier.
The Las Vegas Raiders followed up an emotional win over the Denver Broncos with an equally impressive showing at home against the Philadelphia Eagles, and it's hard not to wonder if they're better without their former head coach. Derek Carr found it nearly impossible to throw an incompletion, so they cross over 50 after a rare second straight quality performance.
The Green Bay Packers did it again. Though their straight-up record is fairly legit, their ATS record is something of a Lambeau Leap in its legitimacy. The Washington Football Team racked up 430 yards on offense to the Packers' 304 but seemed to be playing its own perverse game of seeing how close it could come to scoring without actually doing so. As usual, we leave Green Bay right where it always was, in a tight range of expectations.
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.