But even after that disastrous game, Rodgers is still the most valuable passer of 2020, according to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, so expect a bounce-back performance in Week 7 against the Houston Texans.
Here are this week’s prime picks against the consensus point spreads as of Wednesday morning.
Season best bets record: 9-8.
Green Bay Packers (-3½) at Houston Texans
Pick: Green Bay Packers -3½
The Packers are averaging three points per drive this year, the league’s third best scoring efficiency, and have tallied 11 points per game more than you’d expect based on the down, distance and field position of each offensive play, per data from TruMedia. Only the Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks are exceeding expectations by a higher margin.
The Texans, meanwhile, are allowing a league-high 13 points per game more than expected this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers (-8)
Pick: Los Angeles Chargers -8
Since Doug Marrone first became an NFL head coach in 2013, his teams are 5-16 on the road against West Coast opponents. Marrone’s teams have only a slightly better record against the spread (8-13) in those games. During his stint with the Jaguars, his team has scored the third-fewest points per drive against West Coast opponents on the road, averaging just 1.5 points per drive.
The last time Jacksonville covered an 8-point spread (or larger) as a road underdog against a West Coast opponent was in Week 6 of the 2013 season, when they were a 27-point underdog to the Denver Broncos.
Cleveland Browns (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Cleveland Browns -3
Over the past five years, the Bengals are 7-2-0 against the spread when playing the division rival Browns, covering by an average of four points. However, this season Cincinnati has been the third worst team in the NFL according to the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings, which measure a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent. Cleveland is also struggling by that metric, ranking 20th. But at least their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, has been average, according to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, ranking 17th, whereas Cincinnati rookie Joe Burrow ranks 26th out of 30 qualified passers.
The three games above represent our best plays of the week because our analysis shows the point spreads are the most divergent from what we expect to happen once the teams take the field. Below, you will find picks for the other games on this week’s schedule. However, trying to pick every single NFL game is something of a fool’s errand. The house wins so often partly because bettors try to make too many plays when the odds aren’t in their favor. Keep that in mind when evaluating the remaining games from the Week 7 slate.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-4½)
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles -4½
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons (-2½)
Pick: Detroit Lions +2½
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7½)
Pick: New Orleans Saints -7½
Buffalo Bills (-13) at New York Jets
Pick: Buffalo Bills -13
Dallas Cowboys (PK) at Washington Football Team
Pick: Dallas Cowboys PK
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) at Tennessee Tians
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -2
Seattle Seahawks (-3½) at Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Seattle Seahawks -3½
Kansas City Chiefs (-9½) at Denver Broncos
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -9½
San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots (-2½)
Pick: San Francisco 49ers +2½
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) at Las Vegas Raiders
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-5½)
Pick: Los Angeles Rams -5½