Week 7 of the NFL season kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 20 with a matchup between the oldest rivals in the NFL in the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers from Lambeau Field. The week concludes with a Monday, Oct. 24 game in Denver between the Texans and Broncos. The Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers are both on bye weeks. Here are my two early picks in online NFL betting picks.
Closer Look at the Best Value NFL Week 7 Betting Odds
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (+4.5 in online NFL betting)
This series has been very lopsided over the years in the AFC South. Indy once again swept Tennessee last year, winning 30-24 at home in Week 17. With Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck both out injured, quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley each threw one touchdown pass in the first half, and Jerrell Freeman opened the second half with a 23-yard interception return. The Colts won to avoid their first losing season since 2011. They just didn’t get enough help to make the playoffs.
Quarterback Zach Mettenberger left in the third quarter for Tennessee with an injured hand after the interception made it 27-14. Mettenberger, 0-10 as a starter, was 5 of 13 for 38 yards, ran for one TD and threw an interception. He was released this offseason. Alex Tanney, who spent most of the season on Indy’s practice squad, finished the game and threw a late TD pass. Delanie Walker caught nine passes for 94 yards and became the first tight end in Titans history to top the 1,000-yard mark.
The Colts will play in the first preseason game of the season this Sunday and all eyes will be on Luck. Luck’s last real hit was in the fourth quarter of their Week 9 victory over the Denver Broncos last season. That’s the same game he suffered his season-ending lacerated kidney. The defense isn’t allowed to hit the quarterbacks in practice. As long as he’s healthy for this game, take the Colts.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-13.5 in NFL betting)
This has one of the biggest spreads of the season, and I’ll eat my shoes if the Bengals don’t sweep the season series again. The Bengals beat Cleveland at home last season 31-10 on a Thursday night. Andy Dalton connected with tight end Tyler Eifert for three scores and played the role of blocker on Mohamed Sanu’s reverse for a touchdown. Dalton finished 21-of- 27 for 234 yards with a passer rating of 139.8.
The Bengals dominated the Browns and Johnny Manziel in the second half. Manziel had some of his best moments in the opening half, which ended with Cincinnati up only 14-10. In the second half, the Browns managed only 32 yards and two first downs. Manziel finished 15 of 33 for 168 yards and was sacked three times, all in the fourth quarter. He’s now out of football.
The Browns did get some good news this week with the word that the team’s top returning receiver, tight end Gary Barnidge, should be ready to go Week 1. He had sports hernia surgery June 2. Barnidge is a significant player for the Browns. Last season he led the team with 79 receptions, 1,043 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. This season he will be one of the team’s prime targets in the red zone, which could give him the chance to increase his touchdown total.
Go Cincinnati on NFL odds here. It leads the Browns 8-4 this decade. The Bengals lead the series 46-39 overall.