NFL Picks Week #7 (2020 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #7)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Thursday October 22nd, 2020 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
This week we’ve got just our second 5-star play of the 2020 season!
The only other one was Arizona +7 against the 49ers in Week #1, a bet that easily covered since the Cards won the game straight up by a margin of four points.
Such picks rated 5 stars have done very well since I started this “Professor MJ” brand a few years ago.
That being said, I’m not suggesting to bet your house on it. You’ll never hear me talk about “the lock of the century” or “100% guaranteed winner” or any similar bull$$hit. There is always risk involved. Bet at your own risk and never bet an amount that you cannot afford to lose.
PICK #1 (5 STARS): NEW YORK JETS +13 VS BUFFALO BILLS
Wow, picking the lowly Jets as a five-star play is pretty bold, isn’t it?
Adam Gase’s team is 0-6 both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) this year.
Since 1985, six teams have started the season with six straight losses both SU and ATS. How did these teams fare in the remainder of their season? They went 34-24 ATS, a 58.6% win rate.
I like the Jets for many other reasons.
The rest factor is in favor of New York since the Bills are coming off a Monday night game. Also, NFL teams tend to do very well in the rematch against a division rival after losing the first meeting of the season. In this case, Buffalo won 27-17 in Week #1, which makes the Jets a good play based on this betting angle.
Finally, the Bills have been struggling a lot recently. They blew a 25-point lead against the Rams before escaping with the win, thanks to a questionable pass interference penalty on fourth down in the final drive. They got hammered 42-16 against a depleted Titans team two weeks ago.
Last week, losing 26-17 against the Chiefs may not look bad on paper, but if you watched the game you know what I’m talking about. The Bills were out of sync on offense, where Josh Allen looked more like the 2018 or 2019 version of himself. And their defense was gashed on the ground by allowing 5.3 yards per carry. This unit was supposed to be among the league’s best, but they an average of 28 points per game.
Meanwhile, Sam Darnold has a shot to be back under center. He is a big improvement over Joe Flacco, and he would finally have some weapons around him with Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman and maybe rookie Denzel Mims who could make his NFL debut.
Some bookies have already lowered their spread to 12, but at the time I’m making this video BetOnline still has 13. This is where I placed my bet. I really like New York to cover in this one!
PICK #2 (3 STARS): KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -9.5 AT DENVER BRONCOS
Over the last nine meetings between these two clubs, Kansas City holds an 8-1 record ATS. If you focus on games played in Denver only, the Chiefs have beaten the spread on six consecutive occasions.
Sure, Kansas City loses one day of rest after playing the Monday nighter. But in my opinion, elite teams fare well when facing adversity. They are a well-coached team and it won’t affect them that much.
The Broncos are coming off a nice upset win in New England. Quarterback Drew Lock made two incredibly bad decisions that almost gave the game away, but he should be thankful that his defense saved the day.
Denver’s offense struggled most of the day and couldn’t score more than 18 points despite the Pats turning the ball over three times. They won’t be able to keep up with KC’s offense, who are unlikely to take them lightly, considering it’s a divisional game.
PICK #3 (3 STARS): LAS VEGAS RAIDERS +4 VS TAMPA BAY BUCS
I feel like the public is getting overexcited following Tampa’s convincing win over the Packers. It was indeed an impressive outing where emotions were high, which makes this non-conference matchup a trap game for them.
Las Vegas is also coming off their bye week, which is always a nice advantage.
Tampa’s top three receivers (Evans-Godwin-Miller) are all likely to play, but are nursing injuries. On the defensive side of the ball, the loss of nose tackle Vita Vea for the rest of the year was a big blow and is an underrated loss for this squad. They also have three good guys on defense who are listed as questionable: LB Lavonte David and DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and William Gholston.
The Raiders have beaten the Chiefs, the Saints and the Panthers, while losing to Buffalo and New England. In other words, there wasn’t a single easy opponent (Carolina was expected to be weak, but they are off to a nice start).
I’m taking the Raiders as home underdogs here.
PICK #4 (1 STAR): SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -3 AT ARIZONA CARDINALS
Seattle is coming off their bye week, while the Cards lose one day of preparation after playing the Monday night game. Arizona also had to travel on three straight weeks prior to this week, which isn’t easy.
I’m pretty sure the Seahawks remember the last time they faced Kliff Kingsbury’s squad: a 27-13 home loss in Week #16 that hurt their chances of clinching a first-round bye. Payback time!
Over the last 11 meetings between these two rivals, the road team has a 9-1-1 record ATS. Please note that the “under” was a winning bet in each of the last five matchups.
As mentioned last week, I also like to back road favorites coming off a bye week. A reminder that such teams showed a jaw-dropping 15-1-2 ATS record over four seasons (they went 1-1 last week though).
Best of luck with your plays and I’ll see you again next week!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)