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NFL Week 7 predictions and picks: Fly with the Jets, fade the Giants

Both New York squads have been highly profitable this season. But only one will continue that trend in Week 7

Rookie defensive back Sauce Gardner and the New York Jets go for their fourth consecutive victory against the Broncos in Denver on Sunday. The Jets haven't had a four-game winning streak in seven years. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Rookie defensive back Sauce Gardner and the New York Jets go for their fourth consecutive victory against the Broncos in Denver on Sunday. The Jets haven't had a four-game winning streak in seven years. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Read moreStacy Revere / Getty Images

Not a terrible effort with our NFL Week 6 best bets. But not a profitable one, either.

While we nailed the Atlanta Falcons (outright upset of San Francisco) and Buffalo Bills (come-from-behind win at Kansas City), we got hooked on the Cowboys-Eagles Under and … well, let’s not talk about that dreadful effort by the Packers against the Jets at Lambeau.

Speaking of the upstart Jets, their game at Denver rounds out our four pack of NFL Week 7 picks. Also featured is the Jets’ Metlife Stadium roommate, which is also off to a shockingly strong start.

In fact, we’re riding one New York squad and fading the other in this week’s NFL best bets.

Note: Odds updated as of 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 21.

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New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars (via BetMGM)

  1. Point spread: Giants (+3) @ Jaguars (-3)

  2. Moneyline: Giants (+135) @ Jaguars (-160)

  3. Total: 43 points

  4. Prediction: Jaguars -3

As of Friday morning, this game had seen more action at BetMGM than any other Week 7 contest. Not only that, but BetMGM had written more tickets on New York than another team, and the Giants had attracted the second-most handle (trailing only the Chiefs, who are a 2-point favorite at San Francisco).

So of course we’re siding with Jacksonville — and not just to be contrarian. Although it certainly looks like that’s the case, given that New York is 5-1 straight-up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) with four outright upsets, while the Jaguars are in the midst of a three-game SU and ATS slide.

Really, this NFL Week 7 prediction boils down to one key stat: Both teams rely heavily on their running game, and successfully so. The Giants rank fourth in rushing offense (163 yards per game) while Jacksonville sits ninth (142 ypg). But only one squad stops the run. And that squad is not the Giants.

New York is 28th in rush defense, yielding 144.8 ypg. The Jags are third at 89.3 ypg. That tells us the Giants — who, let’s be honest, have been playing way above their talent level — will be relying a lot on quarterback Daniel Jones in this contest.

Jones has improved substantially this season. But he’s still not a guy you can trust to carry a team for four quarters. Not on the road. And not against a desperate Jacksonville squad that has had a lead in five of its six games and is better than its 2-4 record.

Lay the points with the Jaguars at BetMGM.

Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals (via Caesars Sportsbook)

  1. Point spread: Falcons (+6.5) @ Bengals (-6.5)

  2. Moneyline: Falcons (+228) @ Bengals (-285)

  3. Total: 47.5 points

  4. Prediction: Falcons +6.5

Who wants to step in front of the ATS freight train that is the Atlanta Falcons? Not us.

For the third consecutive week, Atlanta remains the only team in the NFL that has covered the point spread in every game. That 6-0 ATS mark comes with a 3-3 SU record, with those three wins all being upsets and all coming in the last four weeks.

The only thing standing being Atlanta and four consecutive upset victories? Referee Jerome Boger, who threw one of the most egregious roughing-the-passer flags in NFL history in an effort to protect 45-year-old China doll Tom Brady.

The Falcons ultimately lost 21-15 at Tampa Bay that day, but still cashed as a 10.5-point underdog. Now after crushing the 49ers 28-14 at home in Week 6, they travel north to face a Cincinnati squad that admittedly is on a roll. The Bengals have won three of their last four while going 4-0 ATS (including three straight covers as a favorite).

We’re not going to lie: This is a scary matchup for the feisty Falcons. Because their pass defense stinks, which, you know, isn’t ideal when you’re facing Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase.

Still, four of Cincinnati’s six games have been decided by four points or fewer. And a fifth likely would have if Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hadn’t gotten knocked out of a Week 3 Thursday night game in the first half.

Meanwhile, prior to last week’s rout of San Francisco, Atlanta had played five games decided by a total of 18 points. Whether the Falcons keep it close throughout Sunday or sneak in the backdoor with a late spread-covering score, we see the final margin being less than a touchdown.

Fly with the ATS ATM that is the Falcons one more time. Grab the points at Caesars Sportsbook.

Green Bay Packers at Washington Commanders (via FanDuel)

  1. Point spread: Packers (-4.5, -115) @ Commanders (+4.5, -105)

  2. Moneyline: Packers (-225) @ Commanders (+188)

  3. Total: 41.5 points (Over -105/Under-115)

  4. Prediction: Commanders +4.5

Guess we completely underestimated how messy the situation is in Green Bay. But now we know: It’s really messy — like newborn-baby’s-diaper messy.

A week after blowing a 20-10 halftime lead and losing 27-22 to the Giants in London, the Packers returned to Lambeau Field last week and got pancaked 27-10 by the Jets. Take out an intentional last-minute safety by the Giants, and Green Bay has produced 10 points in the last six quarters.

And let’s not forget: Prior to going to London, the Packers needed overtime to beat Bailey Zappe and the Patriots. At home. Which means Green Bay — whose quarterback is still Aaron Rodgers — is thisclose to having lost three straight games to Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson and Zappe!

So why can’t they lose on the road to Taylor Heinicke, who is taking control of Washington’s offense now that Carson Wentz is out several weeks with a finger injury? Heinicke started 15 games last season for a terrible Commanders squad and managed to post a 7-8 record. He completed 65 percent of his passes for more than 3,400 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

No, Heinicke isn’t Rodgers. But he’s no worse than Jones, Wilson (who threw for just 99 yards last week in Green Bay), Zappe or even Wentz. In fact, I expect Heinicke to provide a much-needed jolt to an underperforming Washington offense that has some explosive skill players.

The bottom line is the Packers, who have exactly one win this year by more than three points, have no business laying this kind of number on the road. Take the points with the Commanders at FanDuel — and don’t be surprised if they win the game outright.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

New York Jets at Denver Broncos (via FanDuel)

  1. Point spread: Jets (+1, -106) @ Broncos (-1, -114)

  2. Moneyline: Jets (+100) @ Broncos (-118)

  3. Total: 38.5 points (Over -105/Under -115)

  4. Prediction: Jets +1

While we’re on the topic of teams that are mess, may we introduce you to Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos?

Following Monday’s 19-16 overtime loss at the Chargers, the Broncos are now 2-4 SU and ATS. True, Denver did cover as a 3.5-point underdog in Los Angeles. Also true: Denver scored just six points in the final 47 minutes of game action.

The Broncos have been held to 16 points or less in five of six games; they’re averaging an NFL-worst 15.2 points per contest (yes, worse than the Bears!); and Wilson has thrown fewer touchdowns (5) and has a worse quarterback rating (83.4) than Jimmy Garoppolo, Daniel Jones, Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota and Wentz.

On the flip side, the Jets have won and covered three in a row (by the combined tally of 91-47) and four of their last five. During this stretch, New York is 3-0 SU and ATS on the road, all as an underdog.

Now, this point spread has “jumped the fence” at some sportsbooks, flipping from Broncos -1 to Jets -1. And because of the way these two teams are trending, I fully expect New York to be favored across the board before kickoff.

Still, so long as they protect the football against a terrific Broncos defense, the Jets should exit the Mile High City with their first four-game winning streak since 2015. Play New York at FanDuel.

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