NFL Week 7 Picks
Chris Raybon: Last week, I noted that the Packers didn’t match up well with the Jets defense due to their ability to get pressure, and it’s more of the same this week for Green Bay against the odds/washington-football-team”>Commanders. Washington ranks third in pressure rate (29.3%), and the fact that their ranking in pressure rate is seven spots higher than in blitz rate (28.4%, 10th) signals that they can get home with their four-man rush.
Without Davante Adams there to win quickly off the line, Rodgers is struggling under pressure, with his passer rating dropping from 103.2 from a clean pocket to 65.0 when under duress. Rodgers began to rely more heavily upon Robert Tonyan last week, connecting with him on 10-of-12 passes for 90 yards, but that might not be there this week, as Washington is third in DVOA on passes to TEs.
You would think that Matt LaFleur eventually would dial up more running plays given the presence of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, but that doesn’t figure to be a quick fix, either, as Washington’s defense ranks fifth in DVOA against the run.
Washington’s offense will be no worse with Taylor Heinicke than it was with Carson Wentz (IR, thumb) and should have success with its three-headed backfield of Brian Robinson Jr., Antonio Gibson, and J.D. McKissic against a Packers defense ranked dead last in DVOA against the run.
The Commanders also have a decisive edge on special teams, ranking fifth in DVOA while the Packers rank 30th, which could loom large in what is expected to be a low-scoring affair.
According to our Action Labs data, Week 7 non-divisional home dogs +7 or less in low-totaled games have gone 141-102-7 (58%) against the spread (ATS).
Despite facing the likes of Bailey Zappe, Daniel Jones and Zach Wilson for half of their games, the Packers still have only one win of more than 3 points this season.
Chris Raybon: The Giants are lucky to be 5-1, but they match up well with the Jags. The Giants play the third-highest rate of man coverage, and Jacksonville ranks 30th in yards per targeted pass vs. man (4.9) and 31st in yards per completion against man (7.5).
But due in large part to facing the Colts twice in six games, the Jaguars have faced the second-highest rate of zone coverage in the league, which is inflating their offensive numbers. In last week’s contest, the Colts didn’t even play one snap of man coverage.
And in the two games against Indianapolis, Trevor Lawrence completed 45-of-52 passes (86.5%) for 400 yards (7.7 yards per attempt) with three TDs and no interceptions. In his other four games, he’s gone 88-for-151 (58.3%) for 997 yards (6.6 YPA) with six TDs and four interceptions.
On offense, the Giants should be able to once again ride Saquon Barkley against a Jags defense that has allowed 155.3 scrimmage yards and 2.5 TDs per game to opposing backfields over the past three weeks. After starting his career as a turnover machine, Daniel Jones has quietly made ball security a strength, with only four turnovers through six games – half as many as Lawrence.
Per our Action Labs data, Jones is 12-4 ATS as a road ‘dog, including a perfect 10-0 ATS as a road dog by fewer than 8 points.
Chris Raybon: Pollard has posted at least 43 yards in four of six games this season. The two times he didn’t both came against top-flight run defenses that rank in the top-eight in DVOA in Tampa Bay (eighth) and Washington (fifth). The Lions run defense bears no resemblance to those units, ranking 31st in DVOA.
Pollard is one of the most efficient RBs in the league and sports a career average of 5.1 yards per carry on 372 attempts. That efficiency has helped Pollard rush for 41 or more yards in 13 of 19 games (68%) dating back to last season despite playing behind Ezekiel Elliott.
I have Pollard projected for 49 yards in this matchup.
Chris Raybon: Jaire Alexander shadowed for the first time last week, holding Garrett Wilson to no props/receptions“>catches on four targets as Wilson finished with just one catch for eight yards on the day.
This week, Alexander is a good bet to shadow McLaurin, who leads the Commanders with 387 receiving yards this season. McLaurin would be a good bet to go under this number even if he wasn’t in danger of being shadowed by Alexander, as he’s been held to four or fewer receptions in four of six games this season and nine of 15 Heinicke starts last season.
Overall, McLaurin has topped four catches in just eight of 23 games (35%) dating back to the start of last season. I’m projecting him for 3.8 catches and roughly a 67% chance of going under 4.5.
Chris Raybon: Hubbard will likely lead the Panthers backfield in passing-down snaps, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good bet to go over his receiving yardage prop.
The Bucs defensive front has erased RBs in the passing game, allowing a league-low 10.8 receiving yards per game to the position. With Lavonte David and Devin White flying around at linebacker, the Bucs are allowing just 2.4 yards per target and 3.4 yards per reception to opposing RBs, so Hubbard could catch a handful of balls and still hit the under. Through six games, Todd Bowles’ defense has yet to allow a RB to top 14 yards, with only one RB topping 12 yards.
The under is 10-0 for RB receiving yardage props against the Bucs this year.
Chris Raybon: Kirk started the season with three six-catch games but has been held to seven catches total over his past three games. He’s unlikely to bust out for big volume against a Giants defense allowing the fewest receptions per game in the league to WRs (9.67).
Kirk’s season average is 4.2 receptions per game, which is what I have him projected for. Even if I conservatively bump it up to 4.5, his true odds to go under 4.5 should be -111, and his true odds to go under 5.5 should be -244.
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