It was a solid Week 7 betting on the largest spread picks as mine finished 2-1. This has been a very high-scoring season, and I leaned 'over' on all three games last week. I'm sensing a trend coming.
Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (56 at sportsbooks)
I believe this is the highest total thus far this season on NFL odds. Just as we never see totals under 40 in college football these days, I am starting to wonder if we might see an NFL number at 60 in 2014. I am doubting it as the Broncos don't face the Colts, Eagles or Packers, the three highest-scoring teams behind Denver. The Packers were good to me last week as I took the 'over' 50 points on NFL picks in their game against the Panthers and Green Bay won 38-17. The Saints are almost always a potent offense at home and have totaled 57 points in two games at the Superdome this year. New Orleans also tends to really blow up in home prime-time games -- at 2-4, it also has to win here (although the NFC South is a joke and could be won at 7-9). Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have faced off three times as starters. The result? A total of 211 points. Brees has 10 TD passes in the three games and Rodgers nine. The lowest-scoring game was the last meeting, a 28-27 Packers win in 2012 when Brees threw for 446 and three scores while Rodgers had 319 and four TDs. In addition, the Packers are averaging 36.3 points in their past four games, all wins and covers at sportsbooks. This Sunday night game should be fun and it wouldn't shock me to be the highest-scoring game of the season.
NFL Free Pick: 'Over' at 5Dimes. The 'over' is 6-1 in Green Bay's past seven on the road at sportsbooks and 6-0 in its past six following a win of more than 14 points. The 'over' is 5-1 in the Saints' past six overall.
Chicago Bears vs. New England Patriots (51 on NFL odds)
It will be very interesting to see how the Bears play this week. There was a ton of sniping and finger-pointing after last week's inexplicable 27-14 home loss to Miami dropped Chicago to 0-3 at Soldier Field in 2014. The Bears were No. 2 in scoring last season and were supposed to be better this year with Jay Cutler healthy and presumably playing all 16 games, but the Bears rank just 18th at 22.4 points per game. The Bears have yet to top 30 points. Most of the blame is landing on Cutler, who was ripped all over the national media this season -- including by former teammate Brian Urlacher. When Cutler has thrown at least one pick this season, the Bears have lost. The good news for Bears backers is they are 3-1 on the road (also 3-1 ATS at sportsbooks) and Cutler has nine TDs and two picks (both in one game, a loss at Carolina) with a rating of 104.6, way better than his home numbers. New England has been a different team since losing 41-14 in Kansas City in Week 4. The Pats have averaged 34.0 points in a three-game winning streak. They also have won 12 straight against the NFC North, although obviously only face that division every four years.
NFL Free Pick: 'Over.' The 'over' is 5-1 in Chicago's past six NFL betting games on the road. The 'over' is 15-3 in New England's past 18 at home vs. teams with a losing record.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (49 at sportsbooks)
You know things in the NFL have changed when a Steelers home game has one of the highest totals of the week. Teams never used to be able to score much there, but that defense is a shell of what it used to be. Pittsburgh has allowed 27 points at home to both Cleveland and Tampa Bay and probably should have allowed more than 23 Monday night against Houston, but the Texans imploded with turnovers in three-plus minute stretch in the second quarter. Behind Andrew Luck, who is 13/2 to win NFL MVP on Bovada's NFL odds, the Colts' offense is humming along. Indy has been held under 27 points just once in a five-game winning streak. The Colts have been pretty good on the road as well, averaging 33.6 points in three away games (2-1 record). Luck may not have one of his top targets, receiver Reggie Wayne. He is dealing with an elbow injury and didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday. A total of 26 of Wayne's 38 catches have gone for first downs in 2014. Running back Trent Richardson is banged up but should play. You always have to check the weather this time of year in a city like Pittsburgh, but it looks very nice.
NFL Free Pick: 'Under.' Call it a hunch on NFL picks. The 'under' is 7-1 in Pittsburgh's past eight October games.
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