NFL Week 7 Lookahead Lines Report

Oct 14, 2021
NFL Week 7 Lookahead Lines Report

Week 6 is the week of the home underdog, preventing some of the early lines from getting steamed. Week 7 is the opposite, it's the week of home favorites, including three teams laying double-digits.

Trying to predict where each game's line is going to re-open isn't complicated, but it's invaluable. Friends don't let friends bet NFL sides on game day. I understand the appeal of getting action down on a game that's about to kick off, but please, for the love of all things sacred, don't do it. I know that the majority of the casual bettors out there don't have time to comb through every news blurb and injury report the moment it comes out. It's difficult for most bettors to feel informed early in the week, or even more, right when next week's line is posted on Sunday evening for the following week's games.

In my opinion, the only way to consistently put yourself in a position to gain positive expected value (+EV) while betting on NFL sides is to beat the closing line. Sportsbooks gradually increase the limits they let bettors get down as the week progresses, which is an indication the book feels they've priced the game correctly. Unless you're waiting later in the week because you're betting five to six figures on a side, your +EV increases if you can get down on a number before it's sharpened by the whales.

Each week of the season, I provide a first glance at the upcoming NFL slate through the lens of lookahead lines. This brief lookahead window provides a sneak peek at how teams are valued by bookmakers prior to the start of the week. It's also an opportunity to act before the games are posted and sharpened on Sunday evening after the previous week's games are complete. These lines are a true indicator of how bookmakers value each team, without the influence of the recency bias that comes after watching eight hours of football earlier in the day. Depending on the bookmaker, and bettor for that matter, you may or may not be able to get the type of action down that you'd like, depending on your unit sizing. The key is understanding where the value is on the board in any given week, and that is easier to do once you know what the opening number was.

When I take a position on a lookahead line, I believe the current number will beat the closing line. At times, it ends up being the best of the number, which is ideal. Basically, I'm parlaying my handicap. In essence, if I'm right in my Week 6 evaluation of the team and market, I'm going to have an advantage in predicting where the line movement will come first in Week 7.

For reference, I'll be using the initial odds released by Westgate back in May to show you how the game opened. You can use the game tiles below to find the best number, and the spread listed is based on the home team. You can also reference our weekly odds table.

Week 7 Lookahead Lines
GAME CURRENT LINE (10/14) PRESEASON LOOKAHEAD LINE (5/18)
Broncos @ Browns -6 -7
Panthers @ Giants +2.5 -3
Jets @ Patriots -7 -6
Chiefs @ Titans +3.5 +4.5
Football Team @ Packers -7 -4
Falcons @ Dolphins -2.5 -3.5
Bengals @ Ravens -6.5 -10
Lions @ Rams -13.5 -12
Eagles @Raiders -2.5 -3.5
Texans @ Cardinals -14 -10.5
Bears @ Buccaneers -10 -10
Colts @ 49ers -5 -4.5
Saints @ Seahawks +3 -3

Week 7 Lookahead Lines Takeaways

I'm always on the hunt for scheduling and travel advantages. For the most part, these quirks are already baked into the number, but there are instances each week that aren't accurately accounted for in the market.

Bye Weeks: Bills, Cowboys, Chargers, Vikings, Jaguars, Steelers

Jets @ Patriots (-7)

The Jets travel to New England off a Week 6 bye, while New England stays home for the second consecutive week after hosting Dallas in Week 6. In the court of public opinion, which matters greatly in the context of predicting line movement, the Jets can't do anything to sway this line either way. On the other hand, the outcome of the Patriots and Cowboys tilt could move this line, and a subtle movement, either way, is a big deal since this is sitting on the key number of 7. If Dallas comes out and destroys the Patriots, there's a chance this dips into the 6-6.5 range quickly, before inevitably getting bet back up to 7. A Patriots win or even strong showing/cover versus Dallas, and this re-opens at 8.5, minimally.

Chiefs @ Titans (+3.5)

I'm not a believer in this Titans team. After the Bills destroy Tennessee on Monday night and the Chiefs win in Washington, this comes back to us on Sunday night at Chiefs -5.5 or 6.

Falcons @ Dolphins (-2.5)

I know Miami chose to forgo the traditional post-London bye week to have a bye later in the season, but they're going to be at a severe rest disadvantage compared to their opponents over the next couple of weeks. They host the Falcons here, fresh off a bye after their own Week 5 trip to London. The short travel and bye week rest works in Atlanta's favor. Miami is a slight favorite in their Week 6 matchup against Jacksonville. To get a bettable line here, I'm hoping for a Miami win, then I'll look to back Falcons if this moves through the 3.

Lions @ Rams (-13.5)

Jared Goff returns home to see another man sleeping in his bed! Unfortunately, the other guy is significantly more attractive and obviously much larger and stronger, so Goff is forced to walk out with his tail between his legs, wondering what almost was and what could've been. You might think 13.5 is a lot, but this needs to be 14.5 for me to even consider the Lions.

Texans @ Cardinals (-14)

Another two-touchdown favorite. We talk about the Texans every week on Move The Line, and the discussion is always the same: "What would the number need to be to consider backing the Texans here?" It's possible Tyrod Taylor is back under center for this matchup, and in that scenario, you could get me to consider taking the points. I'm certainly not laying 14, though.

Bears @ Buccaneers (-10)

Here's a spot where I'm okay laying double-digits because I believe it ends up being the best of the number. The Bears aren't equipped to take advantage of Tampa Bay's depleted secondary. Through the first five weeks, the Bears are 31st in passing DVOA and dead-last in explosive pass (15+ yards downfield) rate. They're also allowing the highest rate of quarterback pressures in the league, complicating things for Justin Fields, who's already working from behind because his coach gave the preseason QB1 reps and the first few starts of the season to Andy Dalton. With the Buccaneers coming off extra rest due to their Week 6 Thursday night game, they'll have extra time to prepare and make up for last season's notorious 'what down is it?' game. Tom Brady and the Bucs won't get caught looking ahead.


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