Nostrathomas Predicts: NFL Week 7 and the Invasion of the Monster Spreads

The major sports books have taken a beating the last two weeks with a lot of favorites that were bet heavy by the public coming in as winners on both money line bets and parlays. Because of that, we’re seeing some scary, Halloween quality point spreads across the Sunday/Monday night schedule.

There is currently one, two-score spread, with another on the border and two, three-score spreads. Nearly unheard of for NFL games.

Still, Nostrathomas has topped off the crystal beer mugs, peered through the suds, and made his picks for those games plus the rest of the Week 7 schedule.

Nostrathomas starts the week 1-0 both straight-up and against the spread after nailing how Thursday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos would play out.

Game of the Week

Kansas City Chiefs vs Tennessee Titans +4.5; Over 57.5 (1PM ET; Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN)

Amazingly enough, through six weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs are fighting to stay relevant in the AFC playoff picture. The bad news for them is, the Tennessee Titans put themselves back into the seeding discussion after going toe-to-toe last Monday night against the Buffalo Bills in a 34-31 victory.

Teams that Kansas City has tormented over their run of two straight Super Bowl appearances have been coming back to haunt them in 2021.

In the 2020 postseason, the Chiefs knocked Cleveland out of the Divisional Round, then barely outlasted a determined Browns effort in Week 1. Lamar Jackson had called the Chiefs, Baltimore’s kryptonite, before leading the Ravens to a 36-35 victory in Week 2. In Week 4, the Buffalo Bills took their revenge for last season’s Conference Championship Game with a 38-20 statement game.

Now the Chiefs travel to Nashville to face the team that they crushed the hopes of in the 2019 Conference Championship Game.

There is a lot that Kansas City has going for them in this battle. The Chiefs are fifth in the league in points scored and third in total yards on offense. Patrick Mahomes is third among quarterbacks in passing yards and first with 18 touchdown passes. Where Kansas City has gone wrong on offense is their 18 turnovers in six games, most in the NFL.

The major weakness for the Chiefs that Tennessee is well positioned to exploit is their defense. Kansas City shut down the football team in the second half of their game last week against the Washington but Ryan Tannehill is not Taylor Heinicke.

The Chiefs are 30th in the league in points per play allowed and dead last in points per drive allowed. Both A.J. Brown and Julio Jones are expected to play for the Titans this Sunday and help Tannehill take advantage of a defense that is 30th in the league in net passing yards per attempt allowed.

We also have yet to address the 250-pound running back in the room. Kansas City is giving up 5.2 yards per carry on defense, 31st in the league and they are going to be tasked with keeping Derrick Henry from planting them into the Nissan Stadium turf.

The Chiefs can hope that Tennessee is still coming down from their effort in beating the Bills last Monday night. I wouldn’t count on that though. Head coach Mike Vrabel is very good at keeping his team from riding peaks and valleys.

This Chiefs team is not as good as everyone seems to think and won’t be until their defense can shut down teams outside of the NFC East. The Tennessee Titans have an offense that can match Kansas City point for point.

It’s a high over/under total but I think both of these teams can blow it out of the water. I also think the home dog continues on a roll.

Tennessee Titans 35 Kansas City Chiefs 32

Best Bets

New York Jets vs New England Patriots -7 (1PM ET; Gillette Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ)

The New York Jets are coming off of a bye week after losing their Week 5 game in London to the Atlanta Falcons.

Zach Wilson still makes too many mistakes to get the Jets into the end zone consistently. One of his problems is he doesn’t have the talent around him to help minimize the consequences of some of those mistakes.

Mac Jones does have talent to help lift him in New England’s offense. Also, Bill Belichick isn’t asking Jones to do too much within that offense at this point. Jones is in the bottom half of the league in net passing yards per attempt.

What has helped the Patriots over the past couple of weeks is that they’re getting the ball into the end zone more instead of relying on field goals to finish drives.

New England is 0-4 at Gillette Stadium this season Bill Belichick will not allow this Jets team to drop that record to 0-5. Take the Patriots to win and cover.

New England Patriots 24 New York Jets 16

Atlanta Falcons -2.5 vs Miami Dolphins (1PM ET; Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL)

The Atlanta Falcons return to the field refreshed after their bye week reward for a Week 5 win over the Jets in London. Miami played in London in Week 6, losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-20, but elected to play this week instead of taking their bye.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, their catching Atlanta just as they are finally starting to gel within head coach Arthur Smith’s offense. In week 5, Matt Ryan targeted rookie tight end Kyle Pitts 10 times, completing nine for 119 yards and one touchdown.

Miami will have the advantage on offense, the Falcons have yet to figure out how to fix their struggling defense, which will be without defensive end Dante Fowler who has been declared out. The Question is, can they outscore a Falcons offense that is led by a future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and improving each week.

Unless the Dolphins remember their recipe for creating turnovers that they used so successfully last season, the answer is no. Take Atlanta to take care of business.

Atlanta Falcons 29 Miami Dolphins 19

Detroit Lions vs Los Angeles Rams -16.5 (4:05PM ET; SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA)

Matthew Stafford gets to host his former team and the Rams former quarterback at SoFi Stadium this week.

Detroit had been competitive this season until last week when the Bengals dominated them in a 34-11 win. Was that performance a sign that Lions players were frustrated over the close games they’ve dropped, and in the case of Week 3 against Baltimore, were jobbed out of by the referees? Did head coach Dan Campbell’s emotional outburst after the Week 5 loss to the Minnesota Vikings play a part in Detroit coming out flat?

One issue that the Lions will have to deal with this week is how will quarterback Jared Golf react to Campbell calling him out after last week’s loss. Campbell said publicly that Goff had to “step up”. Goff definitely needs to up his game because there’s no doubt that Stafford is going out to prove a point this week.

Normally, when facing a three-score point spread, you need to worry about the favored team taking their foot off the gas pedal late in the third quarter and coasting to the finish. Do not expect Stafford to take his foot off the pedal at any point in this game.

Matthew Stafford wants to show the Lions what could have been if he’d had more talent around him in Detroit. He has that talent in Los Angeles and he’ll use it until the final clock reads 0:00.

Take the Rams to cover the big spread.

Los Angeles Rams 38 Detroit Lions 18

Best of the Rest

Cincinnati Bengals +6.5 vs Baltimore Ravens (1PM ET; M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD)

The Cincinnati Bengals have hit the field in 2021 determined to show the rest of the NFL that they aren’t on opponent’s schedules to provide them with a pushover win.

Both teams are coming into this game off of dominant victories, though Baltimore’s was more impressive. The Los Angeles Chargers were steamrolling their way to the best record in the AFC until the Ravens manhandled them last week 34-6.

What is surprising about that performance is that Baltimore only put up 327 yards of total offense and lost the turnover battle two to one.

Where the Ravens dominated was on the ground. They outgained Los Angeles 187 yards to 26 with 109 of those yards coming after contact. They were also facing a defense that is last in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt allowed. It won’t be so easy for Baltimore this week. Cincinnati is seventh on defense in that category.

I really want to pull the trigger on the Bengals to not just cover but to pull off the upset. Their playing the team with the best record in the AFC though. A team who has played some tough competition to get to that point.

Cincinnati is 4-2 but haven’t played the level of competition that the Ravens have faced so far this season. Nostrathomas is predicting that they battle hard but come up a little short on the road against their division rivals

Baltimore Ravens 25 Cincinnati Bengals 21

Washington Football Team vs Green Bay Packers -8 (1PM ET; Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI)

How does Washington forget everything there is to know about defense when Ron Rivera is their head coach? Whatever the answer, they are not prepared to face a Packers offense that is rolling through their competition.

It is possible to move the ball on Green Bay’s defense but I don’t see the Football Team doing it very well. Taylor Heinicke has been getting a lot of credit around the league for how well he’s stepped in as Washington’s starting quarterback but I don’t see it. Heinicke is playing like the career backup that he’s been in his four-year NFL career.

The Packers have a tough game coming up next Thursday night in Arizona but the fight for the top seed in the NFC is so tight that they can’t afford to look past Washington. Green Bay wins and covers.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Las Vegas Raiders -3 (4:05PM ET; Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV)

The Philadelphia Eagles made their game last week against Tampa Bay look closer at the end than it really was. They seem to be getting a lot of credit for that heading into this game.

The key for Las Vegas is keeping Jalen Hurts contained. Otherwise, the Raiders dominate the statistics sheet on both offense and defense against Philadelphia.

It will be interesting to see if the Raiders continue to play as strong for interim coach Rich Bisaccia this week as they did last week against Denver. My bet Is that they do.

Las Vegas Raiders 30 Philadelphia Eagles 17

Houston Texans +18 vs Arizona Cardinals (4:25PM ET; State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ)

If you read my picks for Week 6, you know what I thought of the football world underestimating the Arizona Cardinals before they went to Cleveland and beat up on the Browns. General manager Steve Keim has put together a damn good team that could easily finish the season playing in Super Bowl LVI (that’s 56 for you non-Romans).

Because the sports books have taken a beating by the public the last two weeks with so many favorites coming in as winners, we get a three-score spread in this game featuring the only undefeated team in the NFL against one that has been getting kicked in the teeth both on, and off, the field.

Unfortunately for the Texans, Tyrod Taylor won’t be back at quarterback until next week when Houston hosts the Rams. Rookie Davis Mills gets the start here.

Why take Houston and the 18 points? First, it’s not easy for a team to keep up the same intensity after opening a large lead over a team they know they should dominate. Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals have opened up a lead greater than 18 at some point in this game.

Second, Arizona is looking at a Thursday night matchup to start Week 8. That game will provide a strong challenge to their hold on the top postseason seed in the NFC. If the Cardinals begin to coast a bit as the game progresses, they become vulnerable to an easy backdoor cover.

I loathe to do this but my pick for this game has to take Arizona and watch them cruise to an easy 14 to 17-point victory.

Arizona Cardinals 34 Houston Texans 17

Chicago Bears vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers -12 (4:25PM ET; Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL)

Week 7 marks the continuation of an old NFC Central rivalry as the Chicago Bears travel to Tampa to face the Buccaneers. However, we’re long past the days when these games featured the likes of Mike Tomczak facing-off against Steve DeBerg. This week 7 contest features Tom Brady against rookie Justin Fields.

Chicago still plays football like it’s the late 1980’s/1990’s. It all comes down to defense and a bulldozing running game. That can only take a team so far in 2021 though. The Bears are currently 3-3 while averaging 16 points scored per game.

The Bears caught Tampa Bay early last season and came away with a 20-19 win. After that game, Tampa Bay began to come together on offense with Tom Brady leading the way and on defense under coordinator Todd Bowles.

The Buccaneers are superior on offense and defense but there’s another reason why the Bears might not be able to keep this game close. Tampa Bay head coach took it personally when the Bears passed on him and hired Marc Trestman as their head coach in 2013.

In 2015, The Arizona Cardinals came to Chicago to play the Bears in Week 2. Despite Arizona being ahead by a comfortable 20 points in the fourth quarter, Arians kept throwing until Carson Palmer hit Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown pass with 2:49 left in the game to extend the Cardinals lead to 48-23.

If the Buccaneers get off to a fast start, they won’t be calling off the dogs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36 Chicago Bears 20

Indianapolis Colts +4 vs San Francisco 49ers (Sunday Night Football; Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA)

The Indianapolis Colts aren’t dead yet. After opening the season 0-3, they’ve beaten up on Miami, lost to the Ravens in overtime and crushed the Texans last week. You can even excuse their first three losses, against Seattle with Russell Wilson, against the Rams by three points and the third against division rival Tennessee.

For San Francisco, they are on a three-game skid before hitting their bye week. If they lose to the Colts it could put them in too big of a hole to climb out of in the tough NFC West.

For Indianapolis, Carson Wentz has been on a tear at quarterback. Against the Dolphins he threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns, against Baltimore he was at 402 yards and two touchdowns and threw for two touchdowns again against the Texans last week.

Actually, Wentz has thrown for two touchdowns in four of the Colts first six games. He’s also getting excellent protection from his offensive line.

For the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo has recovered from his calf injury and will start at quarterback. Trey Lance has been declared out for this game. Another key injury for San Francisco is left tackle Trent Williams, who is doubtful with ankle and elbow injuries.

These teams are very close to each other statistically, except Indianapolis is on the rise and the 49ers have been sliding. One big difference between these two teams is that San Francisco has a problem with turnovers that has plagued them all season.

Other than that, with all things being equal, take the better quarterback. Carson Wentz has been playing like his career has been reborn in Indianapolis. Take the Colts to win outright.

Indianapolis Colts 23 San Francisco 49ers 20

New Orleans Saints -4.5 vs Seattle Seahawks (Monday Night Football; Lumen Field, Seattle, WA)

The New Orleans Saints are on a 9-3 run coming off their bye week, but that was with Drew Brees as their quarterback. We’ll see what Sean Payton dials up for Jameis Winston. For the Seahawks, Geno Smith gets the start for the second straight week.

Both teams need this win to stay relevant in the NFC playoff chase.

New Orleans went into their bye week with a strong performance against Washington, putting up 33 points and 271 passing yards. For the 2021 season, the Saints are ninth in the NFL in points scored and fourth in points allowed.

The one thing the Seahawks did well last week with Smith at quarterback was run the ball. Alex Collins rushed 20 times for 101 yards and one touchdown. The going for Seattle’s running game will be tougher this week though. The Saints are first in the league on defense in yards per carry allowed.

Without Russell Wilson at the controls for the Seahawks, I can’t see them coming out on top in this game. Take New Orleans to win and cover.

New Orleans Saints 26 Seattle Seahawks 20

Game of the Weak

Carolina Panthers -3 vs New York Giants (1PM ET; MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ)

I have no doubt that the New York Giants would continue the process of exposing Sam Darnold as the quarterback he really is except they are dealing with too many injuries. Daniel Jones won’t have Saquan Barkley, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney to work with on offense. That is too many key players missing to pick New York to win and cover.

Carolina Panthers 24 New York Giants 20

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