Columns - Magazine

The Gambling Solution: Week 7

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Both Jeremy and Jeff started with a 1,000 unit bankroll as they go head to head all season long.

 

Jeremy came away with another solid week as he went 3-1.  He had winners on the Vikings, Panthers and Patriots/Colts over.  His only loss was on the Cardinals.  Jeremy finished the week plus 40 units.  Jeff split his selections as the Dolphins and Jets were easy winners, but both the Giants and GB/SD over picks came up empty.  Jeff finished the week plus 20 units.  Jeff continues to lead the season long contest by 70 units.  Can Jeff extend his lead on Jeremy?  Let's get to the picks for Week 7.

 

Editor's Note: Play against our writers in the Rotoworld Football Championship – a series of one-week fantasy contests on FanDuel with $20K in FREE prizes! Enter the Week 7 contest before it fills.

 

 

Jeff Baldwin

Record: 15-9

Units: 1,240

 

Jeremy Wardwell

Record: 16-8

Units: 1,170

 

Ravens at Cardinals (-7.5) - 35 units
Ravens at Cardinals (-7.5):  The Cardinals return home after a disappointing loss to the Steelers.  The Ravens dropped to 1-5 as they were defeated by the 49ers in San Francisco.  I think this is a real bad spot for the Ravens.  The Ravens just traveled to San Francisco, came back to Baltimore and now will head back out to the West Coast.  They are also facing a team that has a very good passing game which ranks in the top seven in the NFL as they average 284 passing yards/game.  The Ravens’ defense has had a lot of difficulty defending the pass this season as they rank toward the bottom of the league in passing yards allowed per game.  The Cardinals are coming off a bad loss in Pittsburgh so you know they'll be motivated to bounce back here in a big way.  It also doesn't hurt this game is in primetime on Monday night.  QB Carson Palmer is primed for a big game here as he'll lean heavily on his two favorite targets in WRs Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown.  The success of the passing game should create some opportunity in the running game with RB Chris Johnson and RB Andre Ellington.  As for the Cardinals’ defense, their focus will be to be contain RB Justin Forsett and prevent WR Steve Smith from hurting them in the passing game.  These are the Ravens’ best offensive weapons so they know if they do a good job containing them it will be a long day for the Ravens’ offense.  The Cardinals will put together a great all around effort in front of a national audience as they win this game by double digits. 
Pick: Arizona Cardinals -7.5

Jets (+9) at Patriots - 35 units
The 4-1 New York Jets travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots in an AFC East matchup. Both teams are coming off wins last week with the Patriots knocking off the Colts and the Jets taking down the Redskins. This will be a matchup of the top offense in the league against the top defense. New England is averaging 36 points per game and QB Tom Brady has thrown for 14 touchdowns and nearly 1,700 yards. He will square off against his former teammate Darrelle Revis and a very talented Jets’ secondary that is giving up only 186 yards per game through the air. On offense, the Jets have been a surprise, averaging 380 yards and 26 points per game. RB Chris Ivory ranks 3rd in the NFL in total yards rushing while leading the league in YDS/G with 115. I expect him to have a big game against the Patriots who are allowing 114 YDS/G on the ground with opposing RBs gaining nearly five yards per carry. The Jets also have some weapons at receiver with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker who has now caught a TD pass in each of his last five games.  New England is dealing with injuries on their offensive line after losing starting LT Nate Solder for the season to a torn biceps and backup LT Marcus Cannon is questionable for this game after leaving last week’s win with a toe injury. I expect Brady to be under pressure most of the game with the Jets’ talented front seven blowing through an injured and inexperienced offensive line.  These division games are very often close and I expect this one to be the same. The last four games between these two have been decided by three points or less. With a strong defense and an improved offense, I see the Jets keeping the score within the nine point spread with a very real chance to win outright.
Pick: New York Jets +9

Jets at Patriots (-9) - 35 units
The Jets come off a solid home win against the Redskins and now travel to Foxboro to take on the undefeated Patriots.  The Patriots took care of the Colts at Indianapolis by the score of 34-27.  The Jets are a big underdog here as they are getting over a touchdown in this AFC East showdown.  The two keys for the Jets in order to keep this game close is effectively running the ball while controlling the clock, and second, getting a pass rush on QB Tom Brady.  The Jets currently lead the NFL with 146 yards rushing/game.  RB Chris Ivory is going to be very busy on Sunday.  The Patriots have a mediocre rush defense so there will be opportunity for the Jets to excel in this department.  QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will need to be sharp in this matchup as he'll once again look to his two favorite targets in WR Brandon Marshall and WR Eric Decker to make plays down the field.  As for the defensive side of the ball, the Jets need to put pressure on Brady.  They simply can't allow him to sit back in the pocket and have time to pick them apart.  They need to get some sacks and force hurried throws in order to disrupt this potent offense.  The Jets will have to play their best game of the season on both sides of the ball if they are to have any chance to upset the Patriots.  I'm expecting the Jets to play well here and keep this game relatively close.  The Jets have covered the last four games in this series.  The Patriots win the game, but the Jets will keep this game inside the number as they'll lose by a touchdown.
Pick: New York Jets +9
Texans (+3.5) at Dolphins - 35 units

In their first game under new head coach Dan Campbell, the Miami Dolphins’ defense finally showed why many in the preseason thought they would be one of the top units in the league in a 38-10 win over the Titans. DE Cameron Wake had four sacks, Ndamukong Suh was disruptive and the secondary recorded two interceptions off rookie QB Marcus Mariota. In addition to a strong showing by the defense, the running game showed signs of life as Lamar Miller rushed for more than 100 yards for the first time this season and also scored his first rushing TD. Houston, meanwhile, is coming off a 31-20 road win over the Jaguars in which WR DeAndre Hopkins grabbed 10 passes for 148 yards and two TDs.  He now has four 100 yard receiving games in a row. Despite having the league’s leading receiver and the return of RB Arian Foster, the Texan’s offense has struggled to find any consistency as they have juggled QBs but seem to have settled on Brian Hoyer (at least for the time being). On the other side, Miami QB Ryan Tannehill has been a major disappointment this season ranking near the bottom of the league in completion percentage and quarterback rating while throwing seven interceptions to only nine touchdowns. I expect Miami to remain committed to the run under Campbell which should take some of the pressure off Tannehill allowing him to improve those numbers.  Despite having never beaten the Texans, I like Miami to win this game. They have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball and will be playing hard under a new coach. How long that intensity lasts remains to be seen but for this game which will be Campbell’s first at Sun Life stadium, take Miami giving 3.5, 24-20.  
Pick: Miami Dolphins -3.5

Raiders at Chargers (-4.5) - 30 units
The Raiders come off their bye week looking to snap their two game losing streak.  The Chargers put up a great effort in Green Bay only to come up short by a touchdown.  I think it is very possible the Chargers come out sluggish in this game.  WR Keenan Allen had to leave the game last week due to an injured hip.  Allen didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday so he is questionable to suit up on Sunday.  If he does suit, you have to wonder how effective he will be.  RB Melvin Gordon was benched after a fumble against the Packers so you have to wonder about his confidence at this point.  Gordon has clearly been a disappointment so far this season.  As for the Raiders, they enter this game well rested as they'll look for the upset in this AFC West contest.  Look for the Raiders to keep this game close as their offense shouldn't have a problem moving the football against a suspect Chargers defense.  The Raiders want to get the ground game going with RB Latavius Murray.  Murray needs to be bounce back here after two very disappointing efforts against the Bears and Broncos.  QB Derek Carr will be the main reason why the Raiders keep this game close.  Look for Carr to target WR Amari Cooper heavily in this matchup.  The Raiders will give the Chargers all they can handle here as this game has the making of a three point game either way.  The Raiders have covered three out of the last four games in this series.  The Chargers have dropped six straight games against the spread versus division opponents.  Look for these trends to continue this weekend.
Pick: Oakland Raiders +4.5

Vikings (-3) at Lions - 30 units
The 3-2 Minnesota Vikings travel to Detroit to take on the Lions in an NFC North matchup. Detroit is coming off their first win of the year against a bad Bears team. Minnesota is also coming off a win after knocking off the Chiefs 16-10. The Vikings’ defense has been solid all season giving up only 17 PPG while holding opponents to 350 total yards. This game lines up well for them as Detroit has struggled offensively this season especially in the running game where they are averaging a pitiful 67 yards per game. Despite having a huge game last week against a weak Bears’ defense, QB Matthew Stafford has been unable to develop any consistency with his receiving corps.  Other than last week, he hasn’t thrown for more than 300 yards in a game and has now thrown 10 TDs to 9 INTs. The Vikings have a significantly stronger secondary than Chicago and despite not having a huge sack total; they also put a ton of pressure on opposing QBs. Minnesota will be led on offense by RB Adrian Peterson who had 134 yards rushing when these teams met in Week 2. QB Teddy Bridgewater has been unspectacular most of the season but has managed games and not done too much to hurt his team as they rely mostly on Peterson and the defense. I expect he will have a solid game against the Lions defense that is giving up 29 PPG. Minnesota is 4-1 ATS this season while the Lions are 1-5. Combine that with the fact that the Lions are a bad team playing out the string in another lost season and will have an eye on a trip to London next week, I like the Vikings to win 24-17 and cover.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings -3

Eagles at Panthers (Total: 46 points) - 20 units
The Eagles come off an impressive 27-7 victory over the Giants as they dominated the line of scrimmage as they pressured QB Eli Manning the entire game.  The Panthers return home after upsetting the Seahawks thanks to a late touchdown catch by TE Greg Olsen.  This matchup features two solid defenses going up against each other.  I don't see this game coming near the 46 point total.  I think it will be tough for both offenses to establish any consistency running the football as the Panthers and Eagles hold their opponents to under 100 yards rushing a game.  RB Jonathan Stewart and RB DeMarco Murray will find it tough going on the ground Sunday night.  QBs Cam Newton and Sam Bradford will see a lot of pressure from the opposing defenses making it difficult to get the passing game into any type of rhythm.  In the Eagles’ six games so far this season, five of those games stayed under the posted total.  In the end, this game could have more field goals made than touchdowns scored as the Panthers will look to stay undefeated and at the top of the NFC South.  Look for this game total to finish in the mid- to upper-thirties.
Pick: Under 46
Ravens at Cardinals (Total: 48.5 points) - 20 units
One week after an awful 25-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in which QB Carson Palmer passed for more than 400 yards but his team was held to only one offensive touchdown, the Cardinals return home to host the hapless Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore is coming off a 25-20 loss to the 49ers and now sits at 1-5 on the season. Arizona is averaging 34 PPG this year and has scored more than 40 points in half their games. They should be in line to have another high-scoring game against Baltimore’s defense that is giving up 27 points and more than 380 yards per game. I expect their secondary, which is giving up 286 yards per game, to struggle against the talented trio of Cardinals receivers. Offensively, Ravens QB Joe Flacco has been inconsistent all year, throwing almost as many picks (7) as touchdowns (8). They are averaging 24 points per game and certainly have the weapons in Steve Smith and Justin Forsett to put up some points. Arizona has been stingy on defense holding opponents to less than 20 points per game while limiting them to 330 total yards. This game lines up very well to clear the posted total of 48.5. Arizona is loaded on offense and has a strong but not overpowering defense that can be scored on. Baltimore has a weak defense, especially the secondary that the Cardinals can take advantage of and an offense that can put up points. Five of Arizona’s games and four of Baltimore’s have gone over the posted total and I expect this one to as well.
Pick: Over 48.5

Editor's note: Both Jeremy and Jeff started with 1,000 units as they go head to head all season long.

You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffBaldwin4 and Jeremy @jdwardwell5.


Source URL: https://www.nbcsports.com/edge/premium/football/draft-guide/article/columns-magazine/gambling-solution-week-7-0