Whole Nine Sports

Week 7 NFL Locks of the Week

Dan Ambrosino
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I’ve pulled off consecutive winning weeks and now I’m going for the trifecta. After the Vikings dominated the Eagles last week and the Cardinals upset the Falcons, I was able to stay steady at 2-1 and build on my win percentage.

Obviously, going undefeated in a week is ideal and the ultimate goal. However, it’s all about coming out ahead. I am never going to say “no” to winning. That would be like saying you won’t take $100 since you missed out on winning $150. I’ll happily take my 2-1 record every week.

I do strive to give you the best betting analysis and advice I can, so while the results are positive, there is room for improvement. I hope to hit the 3-0 mark at least one week this year, and I think Week 7 might be the ticket.

Here are my Week 7 Football Locks of the Week (Odds courtesy of FootballLocks.com).

Last week: 2-1

TOT: 9-8-1

Jacksonville -3.5 at Cincinnati

Gardner Minshew

I don’t care that the Jacksonville Jaguars looked abysmal versus the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have an underrated defense and have made explosive offenses like Seattle and Dallas look mediocre. But now, Gardner Minshew and company get the cure to all of their offensive woes….the Bengals defense.

The Bengals defense has been one of the worst in the league through six weeks. They are 32nd against the run and 16th against the pass, and have given up 26.5 PPG. They only have 7 sacks (32nd in the league) and 6 takeaways on the season. Meanwhile, Gardner Minshew has looked electrifying in a majority of his starts this year. He has thrown for 1,442 yards and a 9:2 TD:INT with a completion percentage of 64%. He also has one of the best young running backs in the league, Leonard Fournette, who has averaged 95 YPG and 5.1 YPC through six weeks. His main targets, Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark, are both reliable weapons in the passing game. I expect the Jags to have massive success against this Bengals secondary.

Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton, on the other hand, is showing that he should have been ousted a while ago. He is averaging 275.5 YPG and has a 7:5 TD:INT ratio. Joe Mixon cannot get anything going on the ground, averaging 3.4 YPC. Tyler Boyd has been decent, but has a tough matchup with AJ Bouye likely shadowing him. Many people will overreact to Jalen Ramsey being traded to the Rams, but this transaction does not decimate the Jags’ defense. The Jaguars are giving up 21.8.PPG (12th best in the league), so I can easily see this Jags team limiting any Bengals offensive production.

I am taking the mustached Minshew with confidence to cover the spread. This may be a close, low-scoring game for the first half, but the Jaguars will run away with it by the 4th quarter. Take the Jaguars to win by about a touchdown on the road in Cincinnati.

Jaguars 23 Bengals 14

San Francisco -9.5 at Washington

Nick Bosa

The San Francisco 49ers defense is legitimate. As I mentioned in my “Defenses win (Fantasy) Championships” article, they are a top three defense in almost every important category (PPG, YPG, takeaways, etc). They face a Redskins team with a rotating door at quarterback, aged and injured core of running backs, and decimated offensive line. The only true weapon on this Washington team is Terry McLaurin, who must matchup with Richard Sherman on most of his routes. The Redskins will struggle to score against a 49ers defense that shut down one of the most potent offenses in the NFL, holding the LA Rams to 7 points in the Colosseum.

The Redskins were only able to score 17 points against the Miami Dolphins, who have given up 36 PPG on the season. They also gave up 16 points to Miami, who has averaged 8.4 PPG on offense. They clearly underwhelm even against the most abysmal of NFL franchises, and now they must contend with an undefeated juggernaut.

Landon Collins

This Redskins defense will struggle to stop Kyle Shanahan’s run-scheme. Matt Brieda, Tevin Coleman, and Raheem Mostert are dynamic running backs and will continue to excel. The 49ers run game has totaled 900 rushing yards and 8 TDs on the season. The Redskins defense is 5th worst against the run. Jimmy Garropolo has also been efficient throughout his career and can easily be productive against this horrendous defense. George Kittle will be a matchup nightmare who the Redskins will not be able to cover.

I think the 49ers come to the East Coast and blow out Kyle Shanahan’s former team. The Redskins will try to establish the run to no avail and then be forced to play catchup with only one good receiver. Take the 49ers to win and cover against Washington.

49ers 33 Redskins 13

NY Giants -3 vs Arizona

Kyler Murray

This may sound like a surprising pick, as we have seen Kyler Murray explode and this Cardinals offense become one of the most dynamic in the NFL. However, this Giants team is also up-and-coming on both sides of the ball. On offense, Daniel Jones has been decent as a rookie. If we take out his stinker against the best defense in football (the Pats), he has a 6:3 TD:INT ratio and a 61% completion percentage.

We have seen this Arizona defense be vulnerable through the air and on the ground. They are allowing 281 pass yards per game, 133 rush yards per game, and 28.5 PPG. While they get Patrick Peterson back from suspension, there is no clear number one receiver for him to shadow on this Giants offense. I think Arizona continues to struggle defensively and Daniel Jones takes advantage.

Saquon Barkley

The Giants are also getting some elite talent back from injury, mainly Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram. Arizona’s weakest spots on the season have been against versatile running backs and tight ends. Last week, they gave up 118 total yards and 2 TDs to Devonta Freeman and 117 yards and 1 TD to Austin Hooper. I expect them to struggle once again as Barkley and Engram return with a vengeance. Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard should also be able to do enough to beat their coverage often.

The Arizona offense will still be electric and score on the Giants’ 27th ranked defense, but I think they come out sluggish. This is their second trip to the East Coast this season for a 1:00 EST start time. The Giants are coming off extra rest and are getting healthier. I believe the Cardinals start out slow, and by the time they pick up the pace, it will be too late to cover the spread. Kyler Murray and David Johnson will run on this defense, but their red zone efficiency will suffer like it has all season. The Cardinals have only converted 37.5% of their red zone trips into touchdowns.

I will take the New York Giants to cover by more than a field goal and beat a young team travelling cross-country. The legend of Danny Dimes will continue to grow after what I believe will be his best game as a pro so far.

Giants 35 Cardinals 31