The sports betting sites have released their NFL odds for Sunday’s Week 7 games. Two games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in and those are Kansas City vs. Tennessee and the Jets vs. Patriots.
For reasons that I will explain below, you should play the spread for the first game and the moneyline for the second. Feel free to parlay both bets at the top sportsbooks in order to maximize your profit.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans
Sunday, October 24, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at Nissan Stadium
Kansas City's Run Defense
This year, defending the run has been a major problem for Kansas City's defense. The Chiefs defensive linemen struggle to set the edge. In general, they have problems controlling the line of scrimmage. They lack gap control, meaning they are not plugging in the gaps in the defensive line, which allows opposing running backs to have running lanes available to them so that they may reach the second level of the defense.
These issues on the defensive line often compel Kansas City to invest in its linebackers more heavily at the point of attack, which frequently doesn't help and, in fact, causes more harm because the pass defense thereby suffers more exposure. Particularly for the above reasons, the Chiefs rank 30th in limiting opposing YPC. They allow 5.2 YPC.
It is true that they have recently improved this figure. In the last three games, they've allowed 4.9 YPC. But even if they allowed 4.9 YPC all season, they would still rank 30th in limiting opposing YPC. Plus, they benefitted from facing a Washington offense that had to rely more on the pass than it wanted to as a result of how the game was progressing and because top Washington running back Antonio Gibson has been battling injury issues.
Before facing Washington, the Chiefs were blown out by a pass-heavy Buffalo team whose leading running back is a rather low-volume guy who isn't regularly productive on the ground.
Derrick Henry And Ryan Tannehill
The Titans do not have unexciting running backs as Buffalo does. In fact, they have arguably the NFL's top running back in Derrick Henry, who leads the NFL both with 783 rushing yards and ten touchdowns. Both in games and in the season as a whole, Henry is characteristically the type of runner who grows stronger. He uses his strength and physicality to wear down opposing defenses. Defenders find him uniquely difficult to bring down.
Therefore, he will do a lot of damage to the Chief defense when he reaches the second level, which he will often do partly thanks to Kansas City's issues along the defensive line. Henry has amassed 273 rushing yards and six touchdowns in his past two games combined.
There is a great reason for added hope in the Titan pass attack. In this aspect of the game, the Titans have been held back by injuries and rust suffered by their two top-level wide receivers, AJ Brown and Julio Jones. But both players are rounding form. Julio has four games behind him now and, last week against Buffalo, Brown achieved season highs in both receptions and yards.
Both receivers plus Tannehill will benefit from facing a much easier test in Kansas City's pass defense, which ranks 25 spots below Buffalo's in terms of limiting opposing pass yards.
Chiefs Offense Can't Keep Pace
Know for your sports betting that the Kansas City offense is disadvantaged in two key respects. One, it lacks a reliable running back. Leading rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has mustered 4.7 YPC while frequently struggling to be productive especially between the tackles, is still injured.
So the Chiefs really lack options between the tackles. They, therefore, lack the same kind of balance that the Titan offense brings. Plus, Patrick Mahomes continues to struggle at quarterback. His passer rating was lower than 91.0 in three of his last four games despite facing weaker defenses like Washington's, which is statistically worse than Tennessee's in limiting opposing passer rating.
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
Sunday, October 24, 2021 - 01:00 PM EDT at Gillette Stadium
What Could Change?
New England offers a great money-line addition to a parlay. I don't know what could happen differently from New England's earlier 25-6 victory at New York. Jet quarterback Zach Wilson is still growing while having limited support around him. He has yet to accomplish a 100 passer rating in a single game.
In fact, his second-highest passer rating this season is 82.9 against Carolina, which appears particularly bad when you consider that Wilson's last touchdown against the Panthers came when the game was already just about under wraps. If anything, Wilson should do worse in his second time facing Bill Belichick, who is famous for confusing opposing rookie quarterbacks.
The key trend to note for your best bets is that Belichick's Patriots are 13-0 at home when the opponent is led by a rookie quarterback.
Behind Henry and two top-level wide receivers, Tennessee has the offensive firepower to outpace favored Kansas City. Meanwhile, New England will prolong the Jets' struggles behind their rookie quarterback.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.