On occasion, things simply don’t go your way in the NFL handicapping space and Week 7 of the 2020 season was a prime example. Bad breaks (like the Eagles floundering in the red zone) were the rule and, when combined with a couple of wrong-side decisions (ahem, Patriots), the results were not ideal in this space. Fortunately, the impotent offense of the Chicago Bears saved us from full-fledged disaster and, as Week 8 arrives, our resolve is strong.
Before diving into a fascinating slate of games and finding five selections, here is where we stand for the balance of the 2020 campaign.
- Week 7: 1-4
- 2020 Season: 19-15-1
Come get these winners.
TEASER: Atlanta Falcons (+8) over Carolina Panthers AND Green Bay Packers (-0.5) over Minnesota Vikings
I’ll just say this. Many teasers, maybe even most teasers, are not good value investments. However, “Wong teasers” are actually strong historically when you can get them at -110 (full explainer here) and, essentially, the premise is to bypass enough key numbers on both sides to make sense. On Thursday, taking the Falcons from +2 to +8 accomplishes that while also taking advantage of the negative perception on Atlanta right now. Yes, they are performance artists in how they blow leads, but four of their losses this season came by seven points or less. Given that I’m a touch lower on Carolina and the fact that the Panthers will have a hard time stopping the Falcons, I like that side. To cap it off, the Packers are simply better than the Vikings and, while I wouldn’t be enthused to lay a full touchdown in a game between rivals, Green Bay is a big favorite to win outright at home.
Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens UNDER 46.5 points
It would’ve been cool to hit this number at the opener of 49 and, if you did, I salute you. That isn’t available at the time of this post, though, and I still like the Under at this number. Pittsburgh’s defense is virtually unassailable at this point and, while the Ravens are stellar on offense, they do churn clock with their ground-based attack. On the other side, the Steelers shouldn’t be able to thrash the Ravens offensively in the way they did to the Titans, and this series has featured some incredible rock fights over the years. Give me punts and field goals.
Miami Dolphins (+3.5) over Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are dealing with another tough schedule spot, with travel to Miami on the heels of a Monday night game. From there, Los Angeles is probably a tad bit overvalued in the market and, in general, I am higher on the Dolphins than some. The Rams are the better team here, but I flatly don’t think they should be laying more than a field goal on the road. Give me Brian Flores and company in their home building.
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) over San Francisco 49ers
Make no mistake, Kyle Shanahan put on a show last week and embarrassed us as a result. I’ll own that. It was a masterclass. I do think this number is an overreaction, however, to Seattle (narrowly) losing and San Francisco thrashing New England. This implies that these two teams are even and, with San Francisco’s injuries, I just don’t buy that. It is concerning that the Seahawks are genuinely bad defensively, but I trust Russell Wilson to move the ball, even without Chris Carson in uniform. Give me the small home favorite against a trendy underdog, and 2.5 is still available at multiple shops.
New York Giants (+11.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We profited from the perception not quite catching up to the Bucs a few weeks ago but, after their recent results, it’s going the other way. Tampa Bay is (very) good, but this line opened 8.5 and has steamed through a couple of key numbers at this point. Given the change from the look-ahead and the principles we hold about double-digit home underdogs (other than those coached by Adam Gase), this is a play we just have to make. The Giants likely won’t win, but they are the side on Monday.