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Derrik Klassen gives his five best bets for Week 7 of the NFL season including against the spread, point totals, and props.

NFL Picks and Predictions: Derrik Klassen's Top 5 Bets To Place For Week 7

Washington Football Team @ Green Bay Packers (-7.5) at -110

Perhaps this is oversimplified, but there is a clear reason to be in on this bet: the Packers cover, the Football Team doesn’t. Through six weeks, Washington has covered just a single game against the spread. The Packers, on the other hand, are 5-1 against the spread this season. The only time the Packers fell short of covering was their wonky Week 1 loss to the Saints, which was so clearly below their expected caliber of play that it can just be chalked up to Week 1 weirdness.

On a more granular level, this is a fantastic matchup for the Packers offense. The Packers offense continues to build on their success each week and find new ways to unlock their offense, most recently with a more fluid use of their two-headed backfield of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Their passing offense, in particular, has really been cooking with Aaron Rodgers, Davanate Adams, and their solid group of role players to support them.

The Washington defense, on the other hand, has been horrific at patrolling the skies. They rank 28th in pass defense DVOA through six weeks, ranking ahead of just the Colts, Falcons, Chiefs, and Jaguars. Not only are they low on talent outside of Kam Curl and Kendall Fuller, who has actually been miscast as a slot defender too often this season, but the secondary is prone to blown coverage and miscommunications. Against a quarterback as sharp as Rodgers, that is not a good spot to be in as a defense. Expect Rodgers to impose his will in this one.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, Over 234.5 Passing Yards at -115

Lamar Jackson may be playing the best football of any quarterback in the league right now. Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott, etc. are all worthy candidates as well, but Jackson belongs in that conversation as much as anyone else. It’s not hard to put faith in him hitting overs.

There is also the simple idea that Jackson has cleared this mark in all but one game this season — a 34-6 beatdown of the Los Angeles Chargers in which the Ravens were finally able to relentlessly run the ball against one of the weakest run defense fronts in football. Jackson has generally been asked to throw the ball often this season and has performed exceptionally well.

Jackson will probably be asked to throw a lot versus Cincinnati. The Bengals do boast an effective secondary right now, but they also have one of the better run defenses in the sport. DVOA rates them as the fourth-best run defense in the NFL. The Ravens’ rushing offense, both in volume and efficiency, has lived and died solely on the quality of opponent they face in a given week, and this week will be as difficult a time as they have had running the ball all season. Their offensive line still is not very good, in large part due to injuries, so these stout defensive fronts have bottled up the Ravens run game more often than not this season.

The Bengals are also a good pass defense (8th in DVOA), but with Jackson playing the way he is, I am willing to bank on him making good on all the chances to throw the ball around that he will likely get.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee, Under 3.5 Receptions at -105

Tyler Higbee’s usage has been all over the place this season. In some games, he shows up as a core part of the passing offense, but nearly disappears in others. That is not to say he has been a bad or inconsistent player, necessarily, but the Rams can win in so many ways that they do not ever need to force him the ball. This week may be one of those games.

To this point in the season, the Detroit Lions have not given up many passes per game to tight ends. Football Outsiders has the Lions defense at just 4.9 attempts to tight ends per game, second-lowest in the league. Granted, they rank dead-last in DVOA when tight ends do get targeted, but the volume of opportunities against this defense typically does not show up.

The Rams also generally love to use Higbee as a screen player, odd as that may sound. While that could be effective here, it is not something they should feel compelled to pull out of their bag of tricks against a horrific Lions pass defense. Between the Lions generally not giving up attempts to tight ends and with how quickly the game script could allow the Rams to just run the ball to kill clock, Higbee’s chances may be limited.

Rams WR Cooper Kupp to Score Two TDs at +330

This one is a bit of a longshot, but I like Cooper Kupp’s chances to punch in a couple of scores here.

The obvious reason is how often the Rams target Kupp in the red zone. Kupp not only leads the team with 12 red zone targets and nine receptions, but he also has a whopping six touchdowns. Robert Woods ranks second on the team with just three. Kupp has a wonderful feel for soft spots in zone, as well as rare agility and quickness for a 6-foot-2, 204-pound guy.

Considering how often we might expect the Rams to end up in the red zone against the Lions in this matchup, the conditions are there for Kupp to have a multi-score game against a bad secondary.

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks, Under 42.5 at -117

One of these teams wants to run the ball. The other may have to in order to protect their backup quarterback.

The Saints are the former team. New Orleans has the lowest pass percentage in the league this season at 45.26%, making them and Chicago the only two teams below 50%. Quarterback Jameis Winston has been solid, but the Saints play this way because they want to force-feed their run game, coax defenses into heavier boxes, and beat them over the top with shot plays. Offensive line injuries have not allowed the Saints rushing attack to be as efficient as it strives to be, but that clearly has not deterred them from hammering that play style anyway.

The Seahawks are the latter team. Seattle opened the year trying to be a bit more of a passing team, but eventually started working towards a more run-centric approach even before Russell Wilson was sidelined by injury. Now that Wilson is out and backup Geno Smith is in, the offense should want to run the ball more than they throw. Against the Steelers, that was clearly the plan, at least up until the final quarter and overtime period where Smith led a game-tying drive and tried to win with his arm in overtime.

With both teams likely looking to grind it out and milk the clock, there is a solid chance this game falls below the under even if both offenses look like they are playing well. If either of them stumble, which the Seahawks may against a Saints defense that is top-five by DVOA, then things are for sure looking good here.

NFL Week 7 Top 5 Bets

Washington Football Team @ Green Bay Packers (-7.5) at -110

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, Over 234.5 Passing Yards at -115

Rams TE Tyler Higbee, Under 3.5 Receptions at -105

Rams WR Cooper Kupp to Score Two TDs at +330

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks, Under 42.5 at -110

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Article Author


You've seen his breakdowns and football analysis on Twitter and elsewhere. Now, Derrik Klassen brings his unmatched knowledge of the game to OddsChecker to give us his NFL picks each and every week.


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