NFL Week 7 Betting: Best spread, over/under bets before lines move

2T1X9JJ Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) gives the play call in a huddle during an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Oct. 15 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

• Bet the Lions (+120) to move to 6-1 against the Ravens: Baltimore returns from London to take on their most difficult opponent thus far by a comfortable margin.

• Bet the Dolphins (+120) to hand the Eagles a second loss: Injuries have decimated the Eagles' secondary, and that may be too much for the team to overcome against Miami's explosive offense.

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Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you are betting on NFL spreads, you better do it early. After reviewing each line on the PFF Forecast Podcast, we are here to share our favorite early bets to make before the market catches on and lines move.

We went 39-30-4 last year and are sitting at 10-10 (-2 units) on the year so far. Make sure you don’t miss anything by joining in on the action with the PFF Betting Discord.

If you are wondering why we bet early, here is a great primer.

Detroit Lions (Moneyline, +120) @ Baltimore Ravens

At a glance, this is a matchup between great teams on both sides of the ball, but the Ravens' slate of opposing quarterbacks to this point leaves a bit to be desired. (We’re not saying they don’t have a good defense, but defensive performance is often dictated by the opposing quarterback and offense faced.)

Baltimore has played C.J. Stroud in his NFL debut without four starting offensive linemen, a less-than-100% Joe Burrow, Gardner Minshew, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Kenny Pickett and Ryan Tannehill. Stroud has the highest PFF passing grade of this group through Week 6 and ranks 14th.

The Lions rank fifth in expected points added per play on offense, whereas the Ravens are 20th. Detroit should benefit from a healthier Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta, plus the offense will return Jahmyr Gibbs and potentially left guard Jonah Jackson. On defense, the Lions will likely get defensive back Brian Branch back in the fold. Speedster receiver Jameson Williams is also coming along slowly and caught a vintage 45-yard bomb for a touchdown in Week 6.

Baltimore returns from London to take on their most difficult opponent thus far by a comfortable margin. The Lions' run defense ranks fifth in the NFL in success rate allowed (31.7%), and the defense overall places eighth in expected points allowed per play.

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Teaser: Atlanta Falcons (+8.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers & San Francisco 49ers (-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (-120)

This is a semi-Wong Teaser, which happens when each side you tease crosses both the numbers three and seven, as is the case here with the Falcons moving from +2.5 to +8.5 and the 49ers moving from -7 to -1. We don’t cross seven all the way, but three is more of a key number here, so we still like the bet. Because three and seven are the most common end-of-game point differentials, crossing those numbers gives the bettor more outcomes for which each side wins.

The Bucs and the Falcons are similar: lots of talent at the skill positions, some playmakers on defense and question marks at quarterback. Given this, getting one team out to 8.5 makes a lot of sense.

The 49ers had their worst game of the year playing in the wind and rain against a Cleveland Browns defense featuring strong coverage players. San Francisco now plays in a dome against a team that blitzes at a top-five rate and ranks 20th in expected points allowed per pass blitz (the Browns ranked second).

Miami Dolphins (Moneyline, +120) @ Philadelphia Eagles

The Dolphins trailed 14-0 at one point this past week but ended up winning by 21 over the Carolina Panthers. Miami ranks first in almost every offensive efficiency or explosiveness metric. They have the ability to beat man or zone because of their speed and their pre-snap motion, which causes chaos for opposing defenses.

Injuries have decimated the Eagles' secondary. Darius Slay could return for this game, but that would mean Philadelphia is starting two 30-plus-year-old cornerbacks against the NFL's fastest wide receiver duo. If Slay doesn’t come back, it’s even worse news, considering the Eagles would likely be playing Eli Ricks or Mario Goodrich in his stead.

The Eagles' pass rush is playing closer to average compared to last year, as they rank 19th in overall pressure rate. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s quick time to throw requires defenses to get pressure quickly, which is also something the Eagles struggle at, ranking 16th in quick-pressure rate.

Philadelphia's offense has performed well overall this year, but it’s a step down from last year when Hurts was an MVP candidate by the end of the season. While the Dolphins' defense is not as good as the Jets' unit, it’s slightly concerning to see Hurts throw three interceptions against a New York defense down four of its top five cornerbacks. Plus, tackle Lane Johnson left Week 6 due to injury, so there is some concern about how effective the Eagles will be against Miami.

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