For years, the NFL was known as the league of parity, but this season, it seems that we have two tiers of teams—the haves and the have-nots. And in Week 7, the schedule looks like something from early in the college season, with the power teams feasting on mid-majors and directional schools.
Out of 15 games on the schedule, five have point spreads of a touchdown or more, and another three have spreads of 6.5 points. That’s more than half of all games on this week’s NFL odds board.
Are we about to see a day filled with blowouts or one filled with back-door covers? We’ll take a quick tour through some of the big spreads on the schedule to find out.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers
Sunday, October 23, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Bank of America Stadium
There may be no better example of a have-not than the Carolina Panthers. Just when it seems like they’ve hit bottom, they pull out a shovel. The team fired its coach prior to last week’s game, then proceeded to lose to the Rams, blowing an early lead.
After injuries to the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart, third-stringer PJ Walker hurt his neck last week, meaning that Jacob Eason, who doubled his NFL career total by throwing five passes on Sunday, may start. And the team traded away its second-best receiver, Robbie Anderson, after kicking him off the sideline mid-game following an argument with coaches.
Buccaneers vs. Panthers: The Betting Pick
The Bucs have lost three of four and struggled with Atlanta two weeks ago before losing to Pittsburgh this week. The Panthers should be the perfect get-well tonic for Tom Brady and company.
NFL Pick: Buccaneers -10.5 (-112) at FanDuel
Houston Texans vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday, October 23, 2022 – 04:05 PM EDT at Allegiant Stadium
This spread seems like a bit of a surprise since each team enters with just one win on the season. The Raiders have had some off-field distractions, but it looks like Davante Adams will play, despite the assault charge for pushing a cameraman.
Vegas has put up plenty of points, averaging 25 per game on the season, but the Raiders have allowed even more.
Texans vs. Raiders: The Betting Pick
They should get help from a Texans offense that can’t do much. Houston hasn’t scored more than 24 points in a game yet this year and have outings of nine and 13 points.
The bright spot for the Texans has been running back Dameon Pierce, but run defense has been the one area where the Raiders have done well.
NFL Pick: Raiders -7 (-108) at FanDuel
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, October 23, 2022 – 08:20 PM EDT at Hard Rock Stadium
It’s another eye-raising spread, as neither team seems to be world beaters at the moment. The Steelers snapped a four-game losing streak by reaching 20 points for the third time this season (and exactly 20 in each of the three). Miami is riding a three-game skid, and they are favored by a touchdown.
The Steelers might make the Carolina Panthers look almost functional. Back-up quarterback Mitch Trubisky had to enter the game to pull out a two-point win over the Bucs last week after Kenny Pickett went down with injury.
Pickett had been the quarterback since halftime of Week 4, and we just found out that the move was made after Trubisky got into a halftime fight with receiver Diontae Johnson. Pickett is in the concussion protocol, but coach Mike Tomlin has indicated he’ll be the starter if he’s healthy.
Steelers vs. Dolphins: The Betting Pick
Oh, and with the trade deadline approaching, the Steelers are reportedly considering dealing some of their top talent, including receiver Chase Claypool, adding yet another distraction.
Meanwhile, Miami has some quarterback uncertainty of its own. Tua Tagovailoa has spent the last two weeks in the concussion protocol. He cleared the protocol on Saturday and coach Mike McDaniel said he felt “really good” about Tagovailoa’s chances of starting.
NFL Pick: Dolphins -7 (-110) at FanDuel