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    Early NFL Week 7 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Impacts of Robbie Anderson, Kenneth Walker III, and Tua Tagovailoa

    If you're betting on 2022 NFL games -- whether props, DFS, point spreads, or moneylines -- here are our early NFL Week 7 predictions and picks.

    Here’s an early look at our NFL Week 7 predictions and picks for all 14 games, with the Bills, Eagles, Rams, and Vikings on byes. The following betting odds are for picks against the spread, as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

    NFL Week 7 Picks and Predictions

    Each week of the NFL season features the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

    What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting sub-plots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities.

    With that in mind, here are our preliminary assessments of how each game might proceed, including two major questions surrounding each team’s execution of its offense.

    Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) vs. New Orleans Saints

    • Date: Thursday, Oct. 20
    • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

    Since starting last season 7-0 (remember those days?), the Cardinals are 6-11, including the playoffs. They were 11th-best in points scored and points yielded in 2021. This year, they’re 22nd and 22nd, respectively. And now they could be without Marquise Brown for weeks.

    If they cannot defeat the injury-compromised Saints at home, then for all intents and purposes, their season might be lost. Fortunately, the return of DeAndre Hopkins — as well as Monday’s trade for Robbie Anderson — should help put them over the top.

    A healthy Saints offense realistically might have been 4-2 or better at this stage. Instead, they’re fighting for relevance in a surprisingly competitive NFC South co-led by the upstart Falcons.

    We don’t yet know which New Orleans receivers, if any, will return in Week 7. Chris Olave seems to have the best shot. Perhaps Michael Thomas can return. And, of course, Jameis Winston is poised to retake the QB helm. Still, they’ve yielded 20+ points every game this season, which doesn’t bode well against the presumably rebounding Cardinals.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Cardinals
    Moneyline winner: Cardinals

    Cincinnati Bengals (-6) vs. Atlanta Falcons

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Ja’Marr Chase finally got going, and Tee Higgins is healthy. Throw in Tyler Boyd, Hayden Hurst, and the almost inimitable Joe Burrow, and we’ve got one of the best passing attacks in the league.

    I believe this team is hitting its stride at a critical time, with their come-from-behind victory on Sunday restoring them to relevance. They’re better than their 3-3 record.

    MORE: NFL Extra Points: The Falcons Are Almost There

    Speaking of 3-3, Atlanta has shocked the heck out of me and perhaps some of you. I didn’t trust Marcus Mariota as a top-16 starting QB. But the 2015 No. 2 overall draft pick looks the part in an up-and-coming offense.

    Still, the running game remains a work in progress, and the passing game is largely muted, with Mariota on pace for under 3,000 passing yards. He’ll need to do even more against Cincy.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Bengals
    Moneyline winner: Bengals

    Dallas Cowboys (-7) vs. Detroit Lions

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    This betting line could change dramatically in the next few days, so we need to view it through that blurry lens. For Dallas, Dak Prescott might return. Although Cooper Rush has performed admirably in his place, the fact is that a Prescott-led offense could make the Cowboys a top-four team.

    Who else will Jared Goff and the Lions get back this week? A full plate of D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and even D.J. Chark clearly would maximize Detroit’s chances against Dallas’ near-elite defense. For now, I’m betting they won’t be able to keep pace, assuming Prescott returns.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Cowboys
    Moneyline winner: Cowboys

    Tennessee Titans (-3) vs. Indianapolis Colts

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    This will be quite a battle between two preseason favorites to win the AFC South. Both have underperformed at times, and yet the receiver-needy Titans remain atop the division, at least for now.

    Can Derrick Henry carry them? He has more carries (104) than Ryan Tannehill has carries plus completions (97). Tennessee’s fortunes run through their star RB more than ever.

    Matt Ryan is on pace for 5,001 passing yards, which seems like a typo even as I’m typing it. Despite taking too many sacks, committing too many turnovers, and often looking well past his prime, his performance on Sunday against the Jaguars reminds us what he can do, even without the team’s all-world running back, Jonathan Taylor.

    Backed by a capable defense, the Colts are good enough to win this one on the road, with or without Taylor.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Colts
    Moneyline winner: Colts

    Washington Commanders (+5) vs. Green Bay Packers

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    When I saw last weekend that these two teams were facing off in Week 7, I figured the Commanders would be two- or three-point favorites. Instead, Green Bay has a meaningful advantage, probably because Taylor Heinicke is back under center for the ailing Carson Wentz.

    This could be a very run-heavy contest on both sides, and particularly on Washington’s. But the advantage goes to Green Bay. The Packers aren’t employing Aaron Jones enough, and the lack of a true No. 1 receiver has come back to bite this once formidable franchise. However, I believe they’ll throw a lot more Jones into this game, and that should prove to be the difference.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Commanders
    Moneyline winner: Packers

    Carolina Panthers (+10) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    This is a tough betting line because I had planned to take the Bucs to cover if it was around 7-8 points. But 10? That seems like a lot for a slumping road team.

    Still, Carolina has Christian McCaffrey and . . . not much else. He accounted for 158 of his team’s 212 offensive yards on Sunday, or 75%. That’s insane, and it’s also the obvious key to Tampa Bay shutting down the Panthers.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Buccaneers
    Moneyline winner: Buccaneers

    Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) vs. New York Giants

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Can the Giants be stopped? Surely. But is Jacksonville good enough to do it? That’s the big question.

    After a heartbreaking loss to Indianapolis — their third straight defeat — the Jags begin a three-game homestand against tough-but-beatable teams. I like Jacksonville right the ship against a franchise that’s been punching above their weight, as New York has eked out a 5-1 record with four wins by five points or less.

    MORE: Trevor Lawrence is For Real

    In fact, in a scheduling oddity, the Giants have played only one road game all year (their other “road” game was on neutral turf in London). And that one legitimate road win was on a last-minute touchdown and two-point conversation, and then a last-second missed field goal by Tennessee.

    On paper, the Jaguars are better positioned to prevail. We’ll see if that’s good enough.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Jaguars
    Moneyline winner: Jaguars

    Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) vs. Cleveland Browns

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Baltimore has lost three heart-breakers by four points or less. They’re better than their 3-3 record, and perhaps the ascending Kenyan Drake and a (potentially) returning Rashod Bateman will be enough to beat Cleveland by double-digits.

    Regardless, I don’t expect Cleveland to have any answers for Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews. While Nick Chubb is having an incredible campaign, there’s only so much Jacoby Brissett can do to elevate the Browns’ passing attack, especially when playing from behind.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Ravens
    Moneyline winner: Ravens

    Denver Broncos (-3.5) vs. New York Jets

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

    Denver is like a funhouse mirror in that its attributes and deficiencies are accentuated depending on the game. Even without Javonte Williams, they should have enough firepower to mount long scoring drives while holding their opponents in check. And yet, they remain a team in flux.

    Meanwhile, the high-flying Jets are getting no respect, as evidenced by their continued underdog status. Although Zach Wilson continues his gradual development as a franchise QB, the running game and defense have been difference-makers compared to last season. Amazing what happens when a young and healthy unit gels.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Jets
    Moneyline winner: Jets

    Las Vegas Raiders (-7) vs. Houston Texans

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 4:05 p.m. ET

    While this looks like a trap game for the home team, the Raiders, in fairness, are already ensnared in painful losses in winnable games. While their season isn’t yet over, at 1-4, they must prevail against one of the league’s least-effective teams. I believe they’ll use this opportunity to get their defense back in order as they begin their slow march back to .500.

    Meanwhile, Houston is a lot like Carolina. It’s Dameon-Pierce-or-bust. Davis Mills doesn’t look like the answer. Brandin Cooks’ magic has faded. Nico Collins has taken a quality step forward, though there’s only so much he can do on three catches per contest.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Raiders
    Moneyline winner: Raiders

    Los Angeles Chargers (-7) vs. Seattle Seahawks

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    Let’s keep this simple: Both teams are very good. We expected this from the Chargers. Admittedly, I didn’t anticipate Seattle challenging for the NFC West lead. This should be a close game.

    I don’t think L.A. will have an answer for the Seahawks’ running game, led by rookie standout Kenneth Walker III. But I also don’t think Seattle can replicate their extraordinary defense effort displayed against Arizona.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Seahawks
    Moneyline winner: Chargers

    San Francisco 49ers (+3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 4:25 p.m. ET

    A fascinating game and one that could (perhaps) be a Super Bowl preview. That might seem like a stretch. But before Atlanta crushed them, San Francisco looked like the strongest 3-2 team in the league.

    This unit is good enough to capture the NFC West crown. Unfortunately, they’re running into what might end up being their toughest matchup of the year.

    MORE: The Next Great NFL Rivalry 

    Meanwhile, Buffalo did just enough to overtake the Chiefs. Kansas City played some of their best defense of the year. If that can carry over into next Sunday’s contest, then I’d give them a distinct advantage, even on the road.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Chiefs
    Moneyline winner: Chiefs

    Miami Dolphins (-7) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

    • Date: Sunday, Oct. 23
    • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

    Simply put, much depends on the status of Tua Tagovailoa and, to a slightly lesser extent, Kenny Pickett. We might see this betting line widen or narrow in the coming days.

    For now, I’m comfortable hedging on a close Miami victory, led by one of the best WR tandems in the league.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Steelers
    Moneyline winner: Dolphins

    New England Patriots (-7.5) vs. Chicago Bears

    • Date: Monday, Oct. 24
    • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

    The recently 1-3 Patriots are now 3-3 and poised to go above .500 ahead of two crucial contests against the Jets, sandwiched around a winnable home matchup versus the Colts.

    This Bears game should mark their easiest win among these next four games. Justin Fields’ erratic play aligns well with New England’s mistake-pouncing defense. I’d be on the Patriots at minus-12, so their current line makes this a no-brainer.

    Against-the-spread prediction: Patriots
    Moneyline winner: Patriots

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