Most Bet On Week 7 NFL Games: Books Look To Bounce Back
Week 7 marks a milestone on the 2021 NFL betting schedule in that it lacks, for the first time all season, a singular “must-see” game for bettors and fans.
Don’t get too discouraged, however. Week 7 is a pivotal difference-maker – believe it or not – when it comes to determining the Super Bowl champion. Of the 51 NFL champions since the 1970 merger, only one has won the Super Bowl after starting 3-4. That team was the 2001 New England Patriots. They were “Cinderella” meets “Miracle.”
Seven teams are currently 3-3. Having a .500-or-better record after Week 7 has been a benchmark in reaching the postseason. Since 2011, a total of 107 of the 122 teams that made the playoffs (87.7%) were either .500 or above through the first seven weeks of the NFL season. A 17-game schedule will skew those numbers a bit this year, but crunch time has clearly arrived for those stuck in the Middle Earth of the league.
So what are the games to watch in terms of expected steep betting handles? Here are two pivotal clashes that could a long way in determining the two teams playing for the AFC Championship.
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First, the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. The two-time defending AFC Champion Chiefs (3-3 overall and 2-4 ATS) were pegged for 12.5 wins before the season started. If you took the over on that prop, you have only one more loss to give on the 17-game schedule.
The Titans (4-2, 4-2) are in first place in the AFC South. They toppled the AFC East-leading Bills in a 34-31 thriller on Monday night. A win over Kansas City gives the Titans bragging rights over both teams that played in last season’s AFC title game and thrusts them into the Super Bowl 56 discussion.
Chiefs-Titans Two-Way Spread Play
Early bettors have turned this showdown featuring Derrick Henry and Patrick Mahomes II into a two-way spread play. Overall, 52% of the spread handle on this game is backing the favored Chiefs at -5.5, according to our consensus analysis of the action at Caesars, BetMGM, bet365, Resorts, PointsBet, SugarHouse, 888, FOX Bet and DraftKings.
The Chiefs are -225 at DraftKings , absorbing just 35% of the moneyline handle. The Titans, meanwhile, are +190 at bet365 . The game total is up to 58, with both sides getting -110 odds at BetMGM . This is the most lopsided play, with the over hauling in 82% of the money wagered thus far.
The AFC North has again emerged as a competitive division, but this time, it’s Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals who are challenging the Ravens for the title. The Bengals are a surprising 4-2 straight up, while the Ravens have the best record in the AFC at 5-1. Both teams are 3-3 ATS. Burrow has junked the Sophomore Jinx. A Cincy win leaves the orange and black Cats in first place due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Ravens are a touchdown favorite.
Our consensus analysis has 56% of the total spread handle and 67% of the moneyline handle on the Ravens, who are -6.5 and -260 at DraftKings , respectively. The best price on the Bengals moneyline is +230 at bet365 . The total is 46.5, with 52% of the public’s money riding with the over.
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The Great 2021 Squeeze Play
Overall, betting sites dominated four of the first five weeks of the 2021 season, before getting demolished in Week 6.
Last week, 8 of the 12 favorites who played on Sunday covered. Among the winners were heavily-backed teams like Dallas, Green Bay, Arizona and the LA Rams. Those covers left the books battered, bruised and with red ink on their balance sheets.
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NFL betting underdogs hold a 51-43 (54.2%) edge ATS over favorites after 94 games, but that gap continues to shrink. The real stressor continues to be a bunch of crazy-close games, roiling spread, moneyline and in-game bettors each week.
Of the 94 NFL regular-season games thus far, 23 have been decided in the final minute of regulation or in overtime. That’s a post-merger record after six weeks. Ten of those games went to overtime. In all, 24 games have decided by three points or less.
Public Plays – Week 7
Biggest Spread Liabilities
|NYJ at NE||NE||-7||96%|
|DET at LAR||LAR||-14.5||88%|
|CAR at NYG||CAR||-3||85%|
|WAS at GB||GB||-7.5||81%|
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Major Line Movements
Bears at Buccaneers
Opening Line: Buccaneers -10
Current Line: Buccaneers -12.5
The Buzz: The Bears beat Tampa Bay last season, leaving us with the infamous Tom Brady “four fingers” GIF. Chicago was considered an NFC North contender before the season but Andy Dalton and several other key players are hurt and rookie QB Justin Fields has a steep learning curve. Meanwhile, Brady leads the NFL with 2,064 yards passing. The Bucs are 5-1, winning three straight without Rob Gronkowski. One caveat as this spread number widens, Tampa Bay is just 2-4 ATS this year. The public has shoved money Brady’s way. He is the counter to the trite maxim about “great teams covering” given that he has seven Super Bowl rings.
Texans at Cardinals
Opening Line: Cardinals -14
Current Line: Cardinals -17.5
The Buzz: The Cardinals are 6-0 and arguably the best team in the NFL. The Texans are 1-5 and arguably the worst team in the NFL. The Bills routed the Texans 40-0 earlier this season and crushed a 19-point line. So big lines like this are no longer uncommon. With thousands of newbie Arizona sports betting fans online in the Grand Canyon State eager to back their undefeated team, this movement is not a surprise.
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Chiefs at Titans
Opening Line: Chiefs -3.5
Current Line: Chiefs -5.5
The Buzz: The success enjoyed by the Chiefs last week over Washington appears to have muted whatever betting momentum the Titans might have gathered after upsetting the Bills on Monday. Kansas City sits just 4-13 ATS in its past 17 games. The public has yet to let up in its support of the Chiefs, who did appear to fix many of their problems last week.
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