NFL Betting Odds: Week 7 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
Has anyone ever had a stretch of back-to-back games like New Orleans Saints quarterback and lock first-ballot Hall of Famer Drew Brees might come Sunday in Baltimore?
On Monday night in Week 5 in a home blowout of the Washington Redskins (Saints were off Week 6), Brees passed Peyton Manning for the most passing yards in league history - and Brees is going to put that record completely out of reach if he plays a few more years. What was interesting about that with about seven minutes left, the Saints were up 33-13 and had first-and-goal at the Washington 4-yard line. Brees was one touchdown pass from joining Manning, Brett Favre and Tom Brady in the 500 TD club.
One might have thought Sean Payton would want Brees to also get that mark at home and make the night unprecedented. The Saints ran the ball on first down, which resulted in a penalty. Brees threw a short pass to tight end Benjamin Watson on first-and-goal from the 9 that never had a chance of resulting in a TD, but a penalty made it first-and-goal on the 1. How about a little play action from Brees for No. 500? Nope, Payton called a gimmicky play for backup QB Taysom Hill, who scored on a run. I suppose Payton wanted opponents to see that so they have to prepare, but I think you have to at least give Brees a shot.
I'm presuming Brees will throw No. 500 on Sunday, although he's facing a terrific Ravens defense. Baltimore, off an 11-sack day of Marcus Mariota, has yet to allow a second-half touchdown and is a 2.5-point favorite . That the Ravens finally do allow a second-half TD is -330 on Bovada's NFL specials with no at +215. They are given an "over/under" of 2.5 sacks, with both at -120. I'm a bit surprised there's not a prop (at least at Bovada) on who catches Brees' 500th TD pass because there was one available last week on who caught the record-breaking yardage throw. Brees, incidentally, is the +450 second-favorite to win his first-ever MVP Award. Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes (+300) continues to lead the way.
Finally, should the Saints pull the upset, Brees would join Manning and Favre as the only quarterbacks to beat all other current 32 teams in the NFL. Obviously, someone like Brady can't do that because he has always been a Patriot and always will be. Brees got some of those wins back when he was with the Chargers. Manning went from the Colts to Broncos, and Favre from the Packers to Jets to Vikings. That Manning did it is most impressive in a way because he never played in the NFC. Brees is 0-4 vs. the Ravens.
Here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 7.
Bills at Colts (-7.5, 43): We touched on this Monday when the Colts were 6.5-point favorites, and the number has grown no doubt because Derek Anderson will be starting for the Bills at quarterback. Rookie Josh Allen is going to miss a while with an elbow injury, and as I surmised Coach Sean McDermott simply couldn't throw awful Nathan Peterman out there again or he'd have a revolt on his hands. For his career, Peterman's interception rate of 11.4 percent ranks as the highest by any player since at least 1975. Anderson was just signed off the street about two weeks ago and got into two games briefly last year with Carolina. Anderson was a long-time backup to Cam Newton with the Panthers, and McDermott also came from Carolina. The Colts are likely to see the return of top WR T.Y. Hilton after he missed the past two games with a hamstring issue.
Lions at Dolphins (+3, 46.5): A couple of books put up an early Lions-Dolphins line Monday with Miami at -4, but most didn't while waiting for Ryan Tannehill's status. Fins coach Adam Gase clearly was playing games last week by not ruling out Tannehill until Sunday morning, which pissed bettors off everywhere and has drawn an NFL investigation. Gase at least let us know early this week that Tannehill is out again and Brock Osweiler gets the call. I promise you he won't throw for 380 yards like he did in the upset of Chicago. The Lions are off their bye and thus pretty healthy. There's actually a pretty clever prop asking on whether Miami's Kenyan Drake gets a carry from the opponents' 1 the rest of the season: yes is -175 and no +135. He fumbled at the 1 in overtime vs. Chicago, which should have led to a loss but didn't. Frank Gore would have gotten the goal-line carry but was gassed. I would think Gase would give Drake another shot since Miami did end up winning.
Vikings at Jets (+3.5, 46): Not much movement here, but Minnesota receiver Adam Thielen can tie an NFL record with his seventh straight 100-yard receiving game to open a season. Who would have thought this guy would be the NFL's best receiver in 2018!? Thielen is given an "over/under" of 99.5 yards vs. the Jets (over -125 favorite) and then a +350 price to break the mark next week vs. New Orleans. The Jets haven't been good against the pass, allowing 272 yards per game. They could be shorthanded again in the secondary after defensive backs Trumaine Johnson (quad) and Buster Skrine (concussion) sat last week and are very iffy this. Running back Isaiah Crowell hadn't practiced through Thursday, but the Jets beat writers think he's playing. Crowell had that franchise-record 219 yards rushing in Week 5 vs. Denver but did little last Sunday vs. the Colts.
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