loading...

The Opening Line: An early look at Week 7

The struggling Seahawks open the schedule after a Sunday on which many games went Over-board.
Hero Image

If you are inclined to play the Over, you might be over the moon with Sunday's results.

Teams benefited from a lovely autumn day across most of the country and piled up the points, with eight of 11 games exceeding the total.

Had San Diego not failed on four cracks from near the goal line at the end after throwing for 500-plus yards, the Overs would have gone 9-2.

One of the Unders, Arizona and Pittsburgh, unfolded in the rain.

Bring on Week 7, which features another "brunch" game for the Eastern time zone crowd. The numbers, updated at 9:15 p.m. ET Sunday, were provided by BookMaker.eu.

Games are scheduled for next Sunday unless otherwise noted.

Seahawks (-4, 41) at 49ers, 8:25 p.m. ET (Thursday): The spread shrunk a couple of points from the look-ahead line after two surprising results Sunday. With its third consecutive Super Bowl visit already in jeopardy, Seattle will take a pants-on-fire approach. That could spell trouble for San Francisco. But maybe Colin Kaepernick is not a hopelessly over-hyped quarterback after all.  

Bills at Jaguars (no line), 9:30 a.m. ET: The Jags should be growing accustomed to this  overseas trip. This season marks their third straight in London. They need some fast healing from running back T.J. Yeldon (groin), who sat out Sunday. As soon as Buffalo welcomed back receiver Sammy Watkins, he went out again (ankle). This line awaits an injury status on Bulls quarterback Tyrod Taylor (MCL), who was idled.

Vikings (-2, 44.5) at Lions, 1 p.m. ET: Lions win! On the heels of their first victory, the line dipped slightly. Detroit finally discovered a rushing game, which bodes well against pass-preventing Minnesota. Vikes running back Adrian Peterson (26 carries, 60 yards) seemed out of sorts in Week 6, which puts too much burden on young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Saints at Colts (no line), 1 p.m. ET: Andrew Luck started at quarterback Sunday night for Indianapolis. Until it is clear he comes out of the game in one piece -- or not -- no line will be set. New Orleans, having knocked off unbeaten Atlanta on Thursday, is afforded extra time to ponder why it's 0-3 ATS on the road.

Steeelers at Chiefs (no line), 1 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh begins the week with its quarterback situation one discombobulated mess. Michael Vick (hamstring) joined Ben Roethlisberger (MCL) on the sideline Sunday, leaving third-year clipboard holder Landry Fields to throw his first NFL pass. Big Ben's return here is doubtful. The Steelers get no sympathy from the Chiefs, who have lost five in a row ATS and straight-up, along with running back Jamaal Charles (knee).

Texans at Dolphins (-4.5, 43), 1 p.m. ET: Dan Campbell for Coach of the Year! OK, how about interim coach? Miami's change at the top worked wonders in the short term. The Dolphins had extra pep in their step, and the line shot from the look-ahead of 1.5. Houston has made the right call on quarterback Brian Hoyer over Ryan Mallett, and 4-5 points is a lot based on one strong Miami performance. 

Jets at Patriots (no line), 1 p.m. ET: Speaking of the right quarterback call, would New York had gone with Ryan Fitzpatrick had Geno Smith not been sidelined by a teammate's punch? Let's hope. Fitz had another solid game Sunday, though it's easy to hand off to Chris Ivory (146 rushing yards). It'll be interesting where this line opens after Sunday night.

Browns at Rams (-4.5, 42.5), 1 p.m. ET: Cleveland keeps 'em close, but its 4-2 record ATS is flip-flopped in the straight-up category. With the Browns' last two games decided in overtime and the past three by three points each, the underdog is inviting. They, too, are delighted with the quarterback call of Josh McCown over Johnny Football. St. Louis emerges from a bye week.

Falcons (-3.5, 48) at Titans, 1 p.m. ET: One defeat has knocked the bloom off the Falcons' rose. This spread originated at 5.5 before it was pounded down. Nevermind that Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota took such a beating Sunday that he was lifted. The Titans have lost eight in a row straight-up at home, so the point drop is welcome to Falcons believers.

Buccaneers at Redskins (-3.5, 44.5), 1 p.m. ET: Seventeen rushes and 44 passes is a recipe for disaster with run-minded Washington, which fell behind against the Jets and exited its comfort zone. An early lead is possible against Tampa Bay. Jameis Winston enjoyed Sunday more than his fellow rookie quarterback in Nashville. Winston and the Bucs were off.

Raiders at Chargers (-5, 47), 4:05 p.m. ET: San Diego's almost-upset at Green Bay bumped the look-ahead line up slightly. Oldie-but-goodie quarterback Philip Rivers might need a full week to rest his arm after 65 passes launched, and he might be distracted by the expected birth of his eighth child. Exhaustion will be no factor with Oakland, which was off Sunday.

Cowboys at Giants (no line), 4:25 p.m. ET: Dallas is contemplating several personnel changes, and one has been confirmed: Matt Cassel at quarterback for Brandon Weeden, whose losing streak as a starter has stretched to 11. Cassel could be throwing to Dez Bryant, absent since the opener after foot surgery. Dallas will be rested from a week off, while New York rushes back from a Monday nighter.

Eagles at Panthers (no line), 8:30 p.m. ET: Unbeaten Carolina deserves to be favored by more than 2.5, as the look-ahead line suggested, after the comeback win in Seattle. The public has overvalued Philadelphia all season. Maybe the Eagles will earn some of that love in their Monday night game against the Giants.

Ravens at Cardinals (-7, 49), 8:30 p.m. ET (Monday): Baltimore is 0-5-1 ATS -- and not much better, at 1-5, straight-up. The Ravens have been favored in every game since Week 2. That's about to change against Arizona, which returns to the desert after two challenging trips back east. The loss in Pittsburgh should not sound any alarms; the Cards gained nearly 500 yards.

Mike Tierney is a veteran sports analyst whose work periodically appears in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He's always on the prowl for dangerous underdogs.

Mike TierneyTop Dog