The undefeated Denver Broncos will look to keep it that way when Peyton Manning goes to where it all began, in Indianapolis. The Broncos take on Andrew Luck and the Colts for a Week 7 matchup of potential AFC title hopefuls.
In the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Eagles will turn to Nick Foles once again in order to beat the hated Dallas Cowboys in a matchup between longtime NFC East division rivals.
Last but not least, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will square off against Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams in a Week 7 pairing that features both teams looking to record consecutive wins.
Okay, with the weekend quickly approaching, let’s get started with the breakdown on all three contests.
NFL Betting Picks Week 7
St. Louis at Carolina
The St. Louis Rams (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) and Carolina Panthers (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) will both be looking to record consecutive victories and keep their slim postseason hopes alive when they meet for this Week 7 battle on Sunday.
St. Louis has won two straight games, including their stunning 38-13 smackdown of Houston in Week 6. The Rams cashed in as a 9.5-point road dog to move to 2-0 ATS over their last two games.
The Panthers also recorded their own blowout win in Week 6, spanking Minnesota 35-10 to easily cover the spread as a 2.5-point road dog.
Analysis: The Rams may be coming off an absolutely huge win over Houston last weekend, but I’m not putting much stock in that victory simply because of all the problems the Texans are having right now.
Combined with the fact that I believe that St. Louis is mediocre at best – and Carolina is desperate to even its record seven weeks into the season – and I can easily see Cam Newton and company winning this contest and narrowly covering the spread.
While St. Louis won and covered in the last meeting between these NFC rivals way back in 2010, Carolina won each of the previous four meetings and I simply believe they are the better team this time around, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford had his way against the Texans a week ago, but now he’s going to face a Panthers defense that is ranked second in the league in points allowed defensively (13.6).
The Rams average just 1.7 points per game more than the Panthers but allow 12.1 points per game more than their rivals defensively for a 10.4-point scoring differential and more than enough room to cover the small spread in this Week 7 showdown.
Last but not least, the Home team in this rivalry is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings and St. Louis is 04- ATS in their last fur road games against the Panthers.
The Pick: Carolina Panthers -5.5 Points
Dallas at Philadelphia
The Dallas Cowboys (3-3 SU, 5-1 ATS) and Philadelphia Eagles (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) both looked very good in taking down their overmatched opponents in Week 6, but they’ll each have a tougher time in getting the win in this NFC East battle.
Dallas bounced back from its crushing Week 5 loss to Denver to beat a Washington Redskins team still trying to get on track, 31-16 and cash in as a 5.5-point home favorite and improve to a near-perfect 5-1 ATS on the season.
Philadelphia man-handled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their 31-20 Week 7 win while easily covering the NFL betting line as a 2.5-point road favorite.
Now, both teams have plenty of reasons to win this matchup.
Analysis: The Philadelphia Eagles are my pick in this contest – and I have to say that I am a bit surprised that Dallas is favored seeing as how both of these teams have identical SU records.
The Birds and Boys have both scored at least 31 points in each of their last two games, but Dallas is slightly better statistically on both sides of the ball.
Nevertheless, I like the Eagles to get the win here because of the play of quarterback Nick Foles and the fact that the Birds are playing at home.
Philly has compiled impressive 12-8 SU and 13-7 ATS marks in its L/20 games against their NFC East divisional rivals while the Cowboys have managed to go just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games against their NFC East division rivals.
The Road team in this series may be 4-1 ATS in the L/5 meetings, but the Cowboys have been horrible when trying to cover as a slight favorite. Dallas is 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS in their last five games as a favorite of two points or less and they will be without their defensive leader DeMarcus Ware for the foreseeable future.
I like the streaking Philadelphia Eagles to extend their winning ways by getting the outright win at home.
The Pick: Philadelphia +1.5 Points
Denver at Indianapolis
Stop the presses…Peyton Manning returns to Indianapolis!
The Denver Broncos (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS) will look to remain unbeaten while the Indianapolis Colts (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) look to bounce back from their surprising Week 6 Monday night loss when the two AFC title hopefuls square off in a prime time thriller on Sunday night.
Denver is coming off a convincing 35-19 win over Jacksonville in Week 6, though they never came that close to covering the spread against the lowly Jaguars as a whopping 26.5-point home favorite.
Indianapolis had its three-game SU and ATS winning streaks emphatically snapped in its surprising 19-9 Monday Night Football loss to the Chargers the last time out. The Colts failed to cover the NFL betting line as a 1-point road dog to even their ATS record after six games.
Analysis: Now, prior to Monday night’s loss against the Chargers, I was expecting the Colts to really give the broncos a tough way to go in this intriguing matchup – and they still could.
However, I think the more likely scenario is that Manning and the Colts simply outscore the young Colts en route to a solid win and narrow ATS cover.
Denver averages 21.5 points per game more than Indianapolis, making the 10.0 points per game more that they allow defensively, a nearly moot point. I know the Broncos are 0-5 ATS in their L/5 games against the Colts and 0-4 ATS in their L/4 road games against Indy, but most of those losses came when Manning was leading Indianapolis.
Now that he’s changed uniforms, NFL gridiron gamblers can expect Denver to begin turning these ATS trends around as well, starting with this contest.
Besides, the Colts are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games against their AFC counterparts while Denver has gone 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
This game has star value with Manning returning to his former city and Luck looking like a superstar in the making, but right now, the Denver Broncos are playing at an entirely different level than the Colts.
The Pick: Denver -6.5 Points