Don't let Davey get hot. I'm coming off back-to-back winning weeks after going 5-4 in Week 6, including 2-1 in prop bets and 1-0 in my "body part bet." I'm now sitting at 25-26 on the season, and I've got a great feel for the league. Not to mention; I essentially willed Carson Wentz to be injured in last week's column, that's how in flow I am. I am basically the football gambling equivalent of a Jedi, and this week we are going to use the force to acquire stacks of money. Week 7 is not the easiest slate I have ever seen, but never fear not young Padawan, for win we can and win we must.
We've got three Sunday prop bets, three games I love, two games I adore, and one game I would bet it all for. It's time to win big because in the world of gambling, it's do or do not. There is no try.
Three Sunday Prop Bets
Austin Ekeler over 39.5 Receiving Yards (-109): The Chargers offense is incredibly banged up at wide receiver and on the offensive line, which will lead to a ton of dump offs to Ekeler who was targeted 16 times last week. This yardage total is under Ekeler's season average and typically against Pete Carroll and the Seahawks Cover 3 defense, running backs get tons of pass catching opportunities against linebackers out of the backfield. Absolute lock.
Aaron Rodgers over 1.5 Touchdowns (-120): Despite a slow season on offense, Rodgers has thrown for two touchdowns in four of the Packers six games. The Commanders are tied for second-most passing touchdowns allowed with 12, and that includes a week where they played Justin Fields and the Bears who basically never throw. I expect plenty of points in this game and I think that means Rodgers will be giving us the "discount double-check" celebration after multiple scoring throws. Lock city 2.0.
Lamar Jackson under 218.5 Passing Yards (-114): The Ravens injury report is a mess this week and includes appearances by just about every single skill player on the roster, including Jackson. Baltimore is just really beat up so attacking through the air doesn't make a lot of sense. Jackson himself hasn't surpassed this passing yardage total since Week 2 and in this matchup against Cleveland, I expect both teams to lean heavily on the run game. I smell a 3-for-3 start with our prop bets.
Two Bets I Love
Packers at Commanders: Total Points Over 41.5
I told you I would never bet with Carson Wentz, but I didn't say anything about Taylor Heinicke. That's right baby we are right back on the wagon!!
The Commanders will rally around the franchise's last QB to throw for over 300 yards in a playoff game, and they will utilize the play action pass the Green Bay defense has struggled with. Heinicke has a strong connection with wideout Terry McLaurin, and that should pay dividends on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Green Bay is done with their post-London swoon. Rodgers and company have been listening to the world say they might have serious issues on offense following three poor performances in a row. He will respond with a dominant showing this week reminding everyone in Green Bay to R-E-L-A-X.
The Bears are the only opponent Washington has held to under 21 points this year, and with the Green Bay defense slumping, it's incredibly reasonable to expect this game to push into the high 40s. Wentz-less Washington can't hurt us anymore! Boom!
Bucs at Panthers: Bucs -11
This is an IDEAL spot to take the Bucs, trust me. Tom Brady is fired up and when that happens, he tends to torch teams. The Bucs are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Steelers that had Brady yelling at his offensive line on the sideline. The rumors are swirling that Brady can't focus on football, and that the Bucs might not actually be a good team. This is just patently false and the typical fodder Tom uses for motivation.
The Bucs are easily going to win their division, and by the end of the season, they will be playing their best football. An NFC South crown means Tampa Bay will only be four wins from another Super Bowl trophy. This team still has a ton to play for and their goal is to respond to these low moments and build up their mental toughness. Brady is now saying there is no retirement in his future, and while that might be said in jest, he is telling you he is all in on the here and now. They won't slow down this week even with a lead.
On the other side of the ball you have a team that has already given up. After firing their coach, the Carolina Panthers then traded away one of their top receivers in Robbie Anderson following a dispute with interim head coach Steve Wilks. While writing this column, the rumors of trading Carolina's All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey became reality, as he is now headed to San Francisco.
While Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold are back at practice, the Panthers will again trot out XFL legend PJ Walker at quarterback. Alarm bells should be ringing when a team is not starting players that give them the best chance to win, and it's typically because it's in their best interest to lose.
This is a simple bet here — one team is led by a man who has sacrificed everything to be the greatest ever, who wants to make a statement to the league that he is still not to be trifled with and that his roster can beat anyone on any given Sunday. The other team is just trying to make it to the off-season with a top draft pick to select a new quarterback, to pair with a new coach, to start over. They are just cashing checks.
The Bucs throttle the Panthers in the ultimate get right spot, by three scores. While I got this line Friday at -11, I would feel more than comfortable betting this all the way up to -14.5. If the Panthers are cashing checks then we should too. Boom!
Two Bets I Adore
Seahawks at Chargers: Seahawks +5.5
We went with the Seahawks last week at home and were rewarded with an outright win. Time to keep riding the hot hand.
Look, I think incredibly highly of the Chargers. I placed a big bet on the over for their season win total climbing above 10, and if they are fully healthy at the end of the season I expect Los Angeles to be right up there with the Bills and Chiefs competing for the AFC title. However, at this moment they are a bit of a mess and this is a horrendous spot for them.
First, LA is coming off a short week after playing an overtime game on Monday night. Their offensive line is significantly injured and hasn't been able to recoup since losing stud left tackle Rashawn Slater for the year.
Next, Keenan Allen likely will remain out, but even if he plays I expect the Chargers to proceed incredibly cautiously with his snap count. Wide receiver Josh Palmer is dealing with concussion symptoms that have kept him out of practice, so the Chargers are incredibly thin on the outside. Look for the Seahawks to place a massive emphasis on covering wideout Mike Williams, including using rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen, who has been one of the best under-the-radar stories of the young season.
While Pete Carroll defenses give up plenty of passes out of the backfield, Seattle does bring the pressure, as they showed last week by sacking Kyler Murray six times. In addition, there will be a cap on explosive plays the Chargers can pull off against the Seahawks zone defense. We are looking at a Chargers team that like last week, will be ending more drives with field goals than touchdowns.
On the other hand, the Seahawks offense thrives on big plays. Geno Smith is putting his 108.1 QB rating up against a Chargers pass defense that has underperformed. J.C. Jackson has struggled so much since coming over from New England he was even benched in the Denver game last week. The Chargers are also feeling the impact of missing pass rusher Joey Bosa. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have put up 32 or more points in their last two road games and Smith has thrown for five scores and zero interceptions in those contests.
5.5 points is just too many for a Chargers team that is this unhealthy and struggling this severely to protect their quarterback. While I am not certain the Seahawks will win, they will cover, and in the gambling world those two are the same thing. Boom!
Texans at Raiders: Raiders -7
It is stunning that the Texans actually have a better record than the Raiders, but they certainly are not a better team. Before the bye week, the Raiders were one-point and a Davante Adams toe-drag away from beating the Chiefs in Arrowhead. But they didn't, and that led to the shove seen around the league by Adams. Everyone on the Raiders is frustrated, and they will take it out between the lines this week, shoving the Texans right out onto the Las Vegas strip.
There is no one on the Texans roster that can lock down the Raiders offense, which I expect coach Josh McDaniels to have humming out of the bye. There is no way the Texans can block Maxx Crosby, who has six sacks on the year and at least one in his last four games.
The Raiders have a top 5 rush defense when it comes to yards per game, too, which will force a poor Texans passing offense to attack through the air.
Meanwhile, Houston is 30th in the league in rush defense, and Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is coming off back-to-back contests with over 144 yards on the ground. That means when the rout is on in the second-half, Jacobs will be able to keep Houston off the field and keep putting points on the board. Las Vegas wins this one in front of their home fans going away, and we make some money along the way. Boom!
One Bet I Will Wager My Intestines On
Well it took a minor miracle last week, but with only seven points scored in the second half, the under held on in heroic fashion to win our big bet in the 49ers-Falcons contest. It's not the way we drew it up, but we will take it.
This week I am putting my intestines on the line, because this bet is an absolute gut check, and if doesn't win we might as well rip them out. I knew in my belly all season long who would win the AFC South, and now it's time for me to go with that feeling, in a beautiful spot, and get paid for what I know deep down to already be true.
Colts at Titans: Titans -2.5
The Titans will remind everyone this Sunday that the AFC South still runs through Tennessee, just like you knew in your gut at the beginning of the season they would.
The Titans are coming off a bye week and coach Mike Vrabel is 4-0 after a regular season bye and 8-1 on weeks with extended rest. He will use the extra time to scheme up a plan to keep Matt Ryan running for his life. While Ryan has impressive passing yardage stats, he has been sacked the fourth most in the NFL this season and leads the league with 11 fumbles (four more than anyone else). This is a recipe for the Titans to win the turnover battle by a significant margin, which correlates directly to winning in the NFL.
While Jonathan Taylor will be back in the lineup for the Colts, have no fear because in the first meeting between these teams, which Tennessee won on the road 24-17, the Titans held Taylor to just over two yards per carry on 20 touches.
On offense for the Titans, Derrick Henry was just starting to heat up before the bye, with back-to-back 100 yard rushing games, including 114 yards and a touchdown against the Colts in their first meeting. Indianapolis just gave up 243 yards (7.4 yards a carry) to the Jaguars last week. And now you expect me to think they can handle Derrick Henry off a bye? No way.
A few well-timed Ryan Tannehill play-action passes and the Titans are going to put their stamp on this game and the division. Frankly it will rip my intestines out if they don't. But I'm a gutsy man and I intend to stay that way. Titans win by double-digits! Boom!
***Small Bonus Bet (call it the "small intestines bet")***
- The Colts haven't led at the half yet this season, so feel free to throw some money on the Titans first half line -1.
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