NFL Picks Week 7: Biggest Spreads & How to Place Your ATS Bets

Matthew Jordan

Friday, October 17, 2014 7:35 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 7:35 PM UTC

The biggest line of Week 7 was the Thursday night game between the Jets and Patriots, with New England barely winning, much less covering. Those short-week games are so unpredictable. Here are the Pinnacle top NFL spread odds for Sunday.

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams (+7)
I previewed this game here on the site on Monday before St. Louis had played the MNF game at home against the 49ers. The Seahawks were 7-point favorites then and the Rams' 31-17 loss to  San Francisco didn't change things -- although this has been spotted at 7.5 at some online sportsbooks. As mentioned Monday, the Seahawks are likely to be pretty ornery after getting pushed around in Week 6 at home by  Dallas. However, Seattle will officially be without excellent linebacker Bobby Wagner as well as center Max Unger and tight end Zach Miller. Cornerback Byron Maxwell looked doubtful on Monday but might play. Percy Harvin missed a few practices this week but should play. These are two teams that struggle to sack the quarterback. Seattle is 26th with seven and St. Louis is dead last with a shocking one. Seattle is probably frothing at the mouth after the 49ers got to Rams QB Austin Davis five times on Monday night. He was  under duress on 20 of his 45 dropbacks. Quarterbacks have a 3-12 record the last two seasons when throwing 15 or more passes under duress, according to ESPN. Seattle QB Russell Wilson has been sacked 11 times, an average of once every 12.7 pass attempts.

NFL free pick: Get Seattle before this line jumps up everywhere. The Seahawks are 4-0 ATS on NFL odds in their past four after a loss. The Rams have covered just once at sportsbooks in their past six against teams with a winning record.

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Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-7)
Here's a matchup of reigning division champions who also currently lead their respective divisions. That Green Bay is tied atop the NFC North is no shock as the Pack were solid preseason favorites at sportsbooks to win it yet again. Most expected a huge step back for Carolina this year after winning the NFC South last year, but the Panthers have sole possession of first. Two hot quarterbacks will be on display here. Cam Newton last week single-handedly nearly beat Cincinnati -- it was a tie -- by throwing for 284 yards and two scores while rushing 17 times for 107 yards and a touchdown. Newton is Pro Football Focus' highest-rated quarterback in the NFL right now. Remember when the Pack were 1-2 and Aaron Rodgers told Pack Nation to "Relax"? Green Bay has won three straight since and Rodgers has been great, throwing 10 touchdowns with no interceptions.

NFL free pick: Give the points with your NFL picks in this situation. Since the second half of the Jets game in Week 2, Green Bay has been dominant at home. The Panthers have been hit-and-miss on the road thus far. Carolina has covered just one of its past five on NFL odds after allowing 30 points or more in its previous game. In addition, the Panthers may be without top receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

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Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens (-7)
This game is interesting because it's matchup of 2008 first-round quarterback picks in Atlanta's Matt Ryan (No. 3 overall) and Baltimore's Joe Flacco (No. 18). Those two started right away and had success -- first two rookies in NFL history to start all 16 regular-season games and lead team to playoffs -- and it seemed to change the minds of NFL folks in terms of throwing rookie quarterbacks into the fire immediately. At least one rookie has started Week 1 every year since. Ryan is the better QB, I think most would agree, but Flacco has had more playoff success and has a Super Bowl ring. Ryan is struggling with seven interceptions this season, but that's because the Atlanta offensive line is decimated by injury and he's always under siege. Flacco has bounced back nicely from a very disappointing 2013 season and he threw five TD passes by midway through the second quarter against the Bucs in a blowout win last week. The Falcons have one of the NFL's worst pass defenses.

NFL free pick: Ravens. Atlanta simply isn't the same playing outdoors. The Falcons have lost all three road games by double digits this season. They have covered just three of their past 11 at sportsbooks on the road.

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Also review our writeup on Week 7's Largest Totals & How to Bet Them

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