Looking at NFL Week 7 odds and the full schedule, it is heavy on divisional games. That can always make for an unpredictable slate. It began with an Giants vs. Eagles Thursday night affair in which Philly rallied to win by one point, while Sunday features Bills vs. Jets, Browns vs. Bengals, Cowboys vs. Washington, Panthers vs. Saints, Seahawks vs. Cardinals and Chiefs vs. Broncos matchups.
The marquee contest of the week is a clash between the class of the AFC South, the Titans, and the elite of the AFC North, the Steelers. The AFC’s last two remaining undefeated squads will meet in Tennessee in what could certainly prove to be a playoff preview.
NFL Week 7 odds
Thursday, Oct. 22
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-5) – 8:20 p.m. ET
The Giants finally snagged their first win of 2020 under new head coach Joe Judge by the slimmest of margins in Week 6, edging the Washington Football Team by a 20-19 score when Ron Rivera’s two-point conversion gamble in the closing seconds failed. The Eagles had a chance to take the Ravens into overtime following a furious fourth-quarter comeback from 16 points down. However, they also saw their hopes dashed on a failed two-point try.
New York has been beset by what appears to be a combination of a sophomore slump on the part of quarterback Daniel Jones and perhaps some growing pains with new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s schemes. New York’s defense does seem to be gelling, however, and the G-Men continue to have plenty of mostly untapped explosive potential on offense in the form of Darius Slayton and Evan Engram.
The Eagles started the season by stumbling against the Washington Football Team, and things haven’t gotten much better. As has often been the case with Philly over the last few seasons, an avalanche of injuries on the offensive side of the ball have been a major stumbling block. Alshon Jeffery (foot), DeSean Jackson (hamstring), Jalen Reagor (IR-thumb), Dallas Goedert (IR-ankle), and most recently, Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) have all fallen victim.
The Eagles will get Jackson back on Thursday, and the banged up Lane Johnson will also play.
Sunday, Oct. 25
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals – 1 p.m. ET
The Browns got a Week 6 wake-up call with respect to how far they still may be from competing with the AFC North’s elite thanks to a 38-7 thrashing from the Steelers. In contrast, the Bengals rose to the challenge against another AFC elite squad by nearly toppling the Colts before succumbing, 31-27.
The play and health of quarterback Baker Mayfield was one of the biggest stories coming out of Cleveland’s lopsided loss. Mayfield threw for a miserable 119 yards and two interceptions before taking one too many hits to his sore ribs. Coach Kevin Stefanski says Mayfield is still on track to start this contest. Given the third-year signal caller’s caliber of play Sunday, that may not exactly be good news for Cleveland’s fortunes.
Despite their disappointing loss, there were plenty of positives for the Bengals. Joe Burrow eclipsed 300 yards for the fourth time in five games. Tee Higgins continued his impressive rookie surge with a 6-125 line. And perhaps just as important, multi-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green was finally back in earnest Sunday, posting a season-best eight receptions for 96 yards.
In what seems to be a testament to how things played out Sunday, the Browns have initially been installed as narrower road favorites than they arguably would have been just a week ago.
Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans – 1 p.m. ET
The Packers went into Tampa Bay in Week 6 for a hotly-anticipated Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady showdown, but a stifling Buccaneers defense ensured only one of the two future Hall of Famers lived up to the billing in a surprising 38-10 Tampa Bay bashing of Green Bay. Meanwhile, the Texans appeared tantalizingly close to their second win of the season before squandering a 36-29 lead with 1:50 remaining.
While the 28-point gap between the Packers and Bucs is clearly an outlier, Green Bay does have pass protection issues to address after Rodgers took four sacks and a whopping 13 hits. Nevertheless, almost lost in the optics of the ugly defeat was Davante Adams’ setback-free return from his hamstring injury. The matchup against the Texans’ non-existent run defense also sets up perfectly for an Aaron Jones blow-up game.
As just alluded to, Houston is in especially dire straits on one side of the ball. That holds true even with one of the most respected defensive minds in recent NFL history, Romeo Crennel, at the helm. The Texans not only allowed 212 rushing yards and two TDs to Derrick Henry on Sunday, but they also managed to give up four touchdown passes to Ryan Tannehill. That’s about the worst possible way to tune up for a matchup against Rodgers and his teammates, especially on the faster track of NRG Stadium.
This contest notably carries the ledger’s second-highest projected total, while the Packers’ projected edge as road favorites has already grown slightly.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team – 1 p.m. ET
The Cowboys will check into this road divisional matchup reeling from a 38-10 drubbing at the hands of the Cardinals on Monday night, Andy Dalton’s first game as the starter. The WFT will be looking to get past the disappointment of a narrow one-point loss to the Giants, in which one of coach Ron Rivera’s trademark gambits – this time in the form of eschewing a game-tying extra point for a potential game-winning two-point attempt – failed to succeed.
The way Dalton looked for the majority of Monday night’s embarrassing defeat had to have elicited some concern, and perhaps even a little buyer’s remorse, from Jerry Jones. The long-time Bengal appeared indecisive and even borderline noodle-armed on some throws. While Dalton is likely to look smoother the more starter’s practice reps he takes, he has an underrated challenge ahead of him in a WFT defense that’s quietly yielding the sixth-fewest yards per game (337.0) thus far.
The WFT did make strides at a key position in defeat. Kyle Allen finished with a solid 280 yards and two touchdowns. However, he’ll have to improve his ball security. Allen threw one interception and also saw a lost fumble returned for what turned out to be a back-breaking touchdown. The WFT also is yet to settle on a lead back. Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic split rushing work almost evenly Sunday, as Rivera seems unwilling to hand the reins of the backfield to the former. This matchup could certainly be a prudent one to give the versatile rookie extended run, as the Cowboys own one of the worst rush defenses in the league.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets – 1 p.m. ET
The Bills check in trying to snap a two-game losing streak after dropping decisions to the Titans and Chiefs the last pair of Monday afternoons. However, they could hardly ask for a better opponent under the challenging circumstances than the already-one-eye-on-the-offseason Jets. New York’s latest embarrassment was a 24-0 road loss to the Dolphins, their second straight game without Sam Darnold (shoulder).
What’s perhaps most concerning for Buffalo beyond this very winnable Week 7 matchup is that Josh Allen has now come up short against a pair of teams the Bills could well have to go through to get to the Super Bowl. The third-year signal caller completed just 14 of 27 attempts for 122 yards against the Chiefs. While he did throw a pair of touchdowns and added 42 rushing yards, he’ll have to step up his play against quality teams as the season unfolds.
It’s possible the Jets have a new man at the top by the time this game rolls around. At this point, it’s hard to envision coach Adam Gase having many, if any, games left at the helm. Joe Flacco once again did the best he could with the talent around him against Miami, but he took three sacks and was hit 10 times overall in a brutal showing. New York’s receiving corps is serviceable with Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder at the top, but there’s little proven depth at the moment and Gang Green’s tight ends are offering next to nothing. With Le’Veon Bell now off the roster, 37-year-old Frank Gore is currently who New York primarily relies on for when it is attempting to create a ground attack.
Despite the back-to-back losses, oddsmakers have unsurprisingly made the Bills the largest favorites of the Week 7 slate to start the week.
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons – 1 p.m. ET
The Lions may have saved coach Matt Patricia’s job by emerging from the bye week looking like a prepared, efficient squad. They easily upended the Jaguars on the road, 34-16.
Meanwhile, the Falcons got their first game under new leadership off to a rousing start. Similar to how he sparked a defensive resurgence when he assumed play-calling on that side of the ball midway through last season, interim coach Raheem Morris had his team ready to deliver a 40-23 walloping of the Vikings that wasn’t even as close as the score implies.
One of Detroit’s bye-week tweaks was the expansion of rookie D’Andre Swift’s role. The rookie running back arguably should have been elevated sooner, but he demonstrated it’s better late than never by compiling 116 yards and two touchdowns on 14 rushes. Adrian Peterson still tallied 15 carries, however, so it remains to be seen if this was more outlier than long-term trend.
While Atlanta’s defense was a big part of the story Sunday, the play of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones can’t be overlooked. Ryan threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns. A total of 137 of those yards and half those scoring tosses went to Jones. Naturally, these two will be key to complementing any improvement the defense may continue to demonstrate moving forward.
Despite these two squads allowing just 39 combined points in Week 6, oddsmakers aren’t sold. The projected total of 56.5 points at multiple sportsbooks is the highest of the slate as the week starts.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints – 1 p.m. ET
The Panthers couldn’t extend their winning streak to four games despite being at home in Week 6. They fell to a feisty Bears squad by a 23-16 score. Meanwhile, the Saints were on bye, giving their numerous key injured players a chance to heal and boost their chances of returning for this game.
The previously hot Panthers ran into a stingy Chicago defense Sunday that essentially shut down all avenues to success by picking off Teddy Bridgewater twice and also limiting Mike Davis to 2.9 yards per rush. It remains to be seen if Davis will be rejoined by Christian McCaffrey (ankle) for this game. The Pro Bowl back was already eligible to return from injured reserve last week but the team opted to hold off on starting the clock on his return by having him practice.
The Saints narrowly escaped with a win in their last game before the bye. They needed a comeback from a 20-3 deficit and a missed field goal to get past the Chargers, 30-27. That was likely New Orleans’ last game without Michael Thomas, who has presumably now overcome his Week 1 ankle sprain and served his punishment for a fight in practice before the game against Los Angeles. Jared Cook should also be further recovered from his groin strain, while Janoris Jenkins could be ready to return from his shoulder issue.
Despite the team’s similar records, oddsmakers have made the Saints sizable home favorites.
FRIDAY, 10/23 UPDATE: The Saints have announced that Thomas will miss another game with both his ankle issue and a new hamstring injury. Emmanuel Sanders has also been placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list and is expected to miss the next two games. These are seismic developments for New Orleans’ offense. Yet they have not yet resulted in a shift of corresponding proportions in the line. New Orleans has only lost a half-point from its projected advantage on both DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans – 1 p.m. ET
These two squads – the last remaining unbeaten teams in the AFC – warmed up for this Week 7 showdown with drastically different victories Sunday. The Steelers had little trouble with the Browns, thumping their division rivals by a 38-7 margin. The Titans had a much more stressful afternoon. They came back from a 36-29 deficit against the Texans with under two minutes remaining to send the game into overtime before prevailing in the extra period.
Sticking to a balanced approach that has Ben Roethlisberger picking his spots, the Steelers leaned on James Conner versus the Browns for 20 carries, which he parlayed into 101 yards and a touchdown. It was Conner’s third 100-yard effort in the last four games. Coming off serious elbow surgery, Big Ben has only eclipsed 36 pass attempts once in five games.
Tennessee continued to click through both the ground and air against the Texans. That makes this matchup against the Steelers’ elite defense all the more intriguing. Ryan Tannehill now boasts a 13:2 TD:INT courtesy of four more scoring tosses versus Houston. Meanwhile, Derrick Henry ripped off a 94-yard run on his way to a 212-yard, two-touchdown day. Tennessee should have Corey Davis back from the COVID-19 list for this game. Jonnu Smith also seems to have a good chance to bounce back from what was termed Monday as a minor ankle sprain that forced his early exit Sunday.
The Steelers were notably a narrow road favorite to open the week, making this a line to monitor.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders – 4:05 p.m. ET
The Buccaneers notched what was their best win of the nascent Tom Brady era with a 38-10 throttling of the Green Bay Packers in Week 6. The Raiders arrive to this interconference matchup with plenty of rest after a Week 6 bye. Las Vegas went into their off week with a tidal wave of momentum afforded by a 40-32 road upset of the defending-champion Chiefs in Week 5.
Brady threw for just 166 yards in his Sunday showdown with Aaron Rodgers. However, he had a pair of scoring passes, one which notably went to Rob Gronkowski. The former All-Pro enjoyed his best performance in Tampa yet with a team-best 5-78-1 line. Gronk has started to find his way in coach Bruce Arians’ offense by posting 15 receptions, 207 yards and Sunday’s touchdown over his last four contests. Meanwhile, a ground attack that’s seen Ronald Jones record three straight 100-yard efforts is primed to get Leonard Fournette back from an ankle injury for this contest.
The Raiders have their own formidable lead back in Josh Jacobs, who’s put in strong work as both runner and receiver. Meanwhile, Derek Carr seems to have truly hit his stride in what is now a third season under coach Jon Gruden’s tutelage. Carr is completing a career-best 73.1% of his passes, boasts an elite 11:1 TD:INT ratio and has thrown multiple touchdown passes in four consecutive contests.
San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots – 4:25 p.m. ET
The 49ers notched a much-needed win Sunday night, and over a quality divisional opponent by handling the Rams, 24-16. The Patriots looked decidedly sluggish at home against the Broncos in a game in which Cam Newton once again underwhelmed as a passer.
The Niners needed to see a much better performance from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after he was pulled from an embarrassing Week 5 loss to the Dolphins. Garoppolo made good on his word that his ankle felt much better this past week, completing 23 of 33 passes for 268 yards with three touchdowns against Los Angeles. A lot of that production came in conjunction with star tight end George Kittle (7-109-1), but Deebo Samuel also looked better than in his first two games since returning from a foot injury, posting a season-best 6-66-1 line. However, San Fran will have to once again make do without Raheem Mostert for the time being. The efficient running back appears headed for injured reserve due to a high-ankle sprain.
The Patriots have been challenged to consistently moved the ball through the air irrespective of who’s been under center. New England is averaging just 207.2 passing yards per game. Newton averaged just 6.3 yards per attempt against the Broncos while throwing a pair of interceptions, fumbling twice (losing one) and taking four sacks. While the San Fran defense isn’t at full health, this type of mistake-prone play could certainly lead to trouble against what remains an aggressive scheme.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos – 4:25 p.m. ET
The Chiefs bounced back nicely from a surprising 40-32 home loss to the Raiders in Week 5 to notch a road win against a quality opponent in the Bills on Monday afternoon by a 26-17 score. The Broncos will be riding the wave of a relatively unexciting but still notable 18-12 road victory over Bill Belichick and his Patriots in Week 6.
Kansas City notably leaned on the running game against Buffalo, leading to the Chiefs compiling their highest-ever rushing-yardage haul (245) in coach Andy Reid’s seven-plus seasons at the helm. A whopping 161 of those came from rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who clearly was playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder in what figured to be his last game as the clear-cut lead back with Le’Veon Bell set to debut.
The Broncos welcomed Drew Lock back to the fold following a two-game absence due to a shoulder injury. The second-year gunslinger understandably showed some rust while completing just 10 of 24 passes for 189 yards while throwing a pair of interceptions. Conversely, running back Phillip Lindsay looked like he hadn’t missed a beat in his first game since Week 1. Showing no effects of the toe injury that had sidelined him, Lindsay rattled off 101 yards on just 23 carries while Melvin Gordon stat out with strep throat. Speaking of Gordon, the Broncos have announced they won’t suspend the offseason acquisition for DUI and speeding citations he was recently issued. He could therefore be available for this contest against KC’s suspect run defense, as any league discipline isn’t expected before his initial court date in November.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers – 4:25 p.m. ET
The Jaguars continued to significantly spiral in Week 6, potentially putting coach Doug Marrone’s job into further peril. Jacksonville wasn’t very competitive while dropping a 34-16 decision to the visiting Lions. For their part, the Chargers took their bye week in Week 6 after a crushing 30-27 Week 5 Monday night overtime loss to the Saints in which Los Angeles blew a 20-3 lead.
Jacksonville appears to be at a loss for offensive identity. The struggles of its defense aren’t exactly helping generate opportunities to run a balanced attack. The Jags are now allowing 270.7 passing yards and 143.8 rushing yards per game. That ranks them in the bottom 10 in both categories. Gardner Minshew, James Robinson, D.J. Chark and Keelan Cole are producing some serviceable numbers on the offensive side, but the latter three are often at the mercy of the former’s inconsistent play. Minshew completed a season-low 56.8% of his passes in Week 6, and he’s thrown at least one interception in four of his last five games.
Not lost in yet another heartbreaking defeat for the Chargers in Week 5 was the continued strong play of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. The Oregon product has thrown seven touchdowns against just one interception in his last pair of contests and has been seemingly unflappable against the quality defenses of the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Saints. This matchup is much more appealing for Herbert, who should have Keenan Allen back in action after he exited the Week 5 contest with back spasms.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals – 8:20 p.m. ET
The Seahawks will be coming off a Week 6 bye in this contest after pulling off another one of their trademark heart-stopping victories. Seattle bounced back from a scoreless first half to edge the Minnesota Vikings, 27-26. The Cardinals check into this divisional road battle after routing the Cowboys by a 38-10 score on Monday night.
Seattle has gotten to 5-0 with victory margins of 13, five, seven, eight and one point. The defense continues to be a concern, with the Seahawks having given up between 23 and 31 points in each contest. The ‘Hawks have been particularly vulnerable through the air, allowing an NFL-high 370.4 passing yards per game. That weakness could be exploited by the Cardinals’ fast-paced, high-powered offense.
The Cardinals revived a moribund running game, for one game at least, against the Cowboys’ highly porous run defense Monday night. Kenyan Drake rumbled for 164 yards and two touchdowns, punctuating the performance with a 69-yard scoring scamper late against what looked like a disinterested Dallas front seven. That helped offset Kyler Murray‘s atrocious 37.5 percent completion rate. Besides Drake, the story of the night for Arizona was an excellent defensive effort that they’ll be challenged to replicate against Seattle, one that featured three sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Monday, Oct. 26
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams – 8:30 p.m. ET
The Bears rolled on in Week 6, notching a 23-16 road win over a Panthers team that had come in with three straight wins. The Rams squandered a chance to make a statement against the defending division/conference champs in the 49ers as they came up short on the road, 24-16.
Chicago’s Nick Foles is once again living up to his reputation as effective in-season replacement and game manager. Foles’ numbers against Carolina won’t jump off the page – 23-for-39, 198 yards, one TD, one INT – but he was able to lead a 10-play, 62-yard drive early in the fourth quarter that culminated in a key field goal. The Bears defense has also been highly effective, allowing the seventh-fewest yards per game (337.2) while notching eight takeaways (five INTs, three fumble recoveries) through the season’s first six games.
The Rams ran into a feisty Niners defense Sunday night and weren’t really up to the task. Jared Goff threw for just 198 yards and Los Angeles was already down 21-6 by halftime. Coach Sean McVay has had trouble settling on a lead back between Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown. Henderson was the clear pace-setter Sunday with 14 carries, but the matchup against Chicago will be thorny no matter who’s toting the rock.
Notably, despite the Bears sporting a better record, the Rams open the week as comfortable home favorites.
Week 7 Opening odds vs. current odds
|Matchup||Lookahead line||Current line (Oct. 24)|
|New York Giants at Philadelphia||Eagles -7||Eagles -5|
|Buffalo at New York Jets||Bills -10.5||Bills -10.5|
|Carolina at New Orleans||Saints -7||Saints -7|
|Cleveland at Cincinnati||Browns -5||Browns -3.5|
|Dallas at Washington||Cowboys -4.5||Cowboys -1|
|Detroit at Atlanta||Falcons -1||Falcons -2.5|
|Green Bay at Houston||Packers -3.5||Packers -3|
|Pittsburgh at Tennessee||Titans -1||Titans -1.5|
|Tampa Bay vs. Las Vegas||Buccaneers -2.5||Buccaneers -4.5|
|Jacksonville at LA Chargers||Chargers -7||Chargers -7.5|
|Kansas City at Denver||Chiefs -10||Chiefs -7.5|
|San Francisco at New England||Patriots -5.5||Patriots -3|
|Seattle at Arizona||Seahawks -3.5||Seahawks -3.5|
|Chicago at LA Rams||Rams -6.5||Rams -6|