NFL Week 7 Circa and Westgate Las Vegas Football Contest Report
Week 6 featured a leaderboard shake-up in the standings in the Circa Million pro football contest. Perpetual leader Onebadmutha-1 dropped to 19th after going 1-4 in Week 6. Jwill-1 went 4-1 and took over sole possession of the lead with a 23-5-2 record (82%). Castlerocker-3 is in second place and avoided all the big upsets to go 5-0 and record a 23-6-1 mark on the season. My entry went 1-4 for a 19-11 record as I dropped to 312 place. The five consensus picks were 2-3 in Week 6: San Francisco -7.5 (43%), Cincinnati -2,5 (37), Baltimore -4 (29%), Tampa Bay +3.5 (28%), Indianapolis +4 (26.5%).
Underground-1 has leapfrogged into first place in the Westgate SuperContest after going 4-1 in week 6 for a season long 23-7 record. Professional sports gamblers and poker players, and winners of the 2020-21 SuperContest, the David Baker/Mark Gregorich (ODBMG3) entry is making another run at the lead as their entry went 4-1 this week and rose to 22-8, good enough for fourth place. Meanwhile, no lead is safe in the SuperContest as Calicraker-1 dropped to sixth place after going 2-3 in week 6. My entry went 1-4 for the second consecutive week and dropped my entry to 17-13 and 320 place in the standings. The five consensus picks were 2-3 in Week 6: San Francisco -7 (48.5%), Cincinnati -2.5 (35.5%), Baltimore -4 (30%), Indianapolis +4 (21.8%), New Orleans -1 (26%).
Bbissick retains sole possession of the lead with 26/30 (86.7%) correct online in the DraftKings $500 Main Event Pick ‘em. This entry went 4-1 with their only loss backing San Francisco and they earned wins on Baltimore, Miami, Minnesota, and LA Rams. Bmarks is in second place with 24/30 picks correct. My entry went 2-3 with KC and Baltimore as my only points on the week. The five consensus picks were 1-4 in Week 6: San Francisco -5.5 (73.76%), Cincinnati -2.5 (41.07%), Tampa Bay +3.5 (31.66%), New England +3.5 (31.52%), Indianapolis +4.5 (28.75%)
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Chicago Bears (+3, +3.5)
The Las Vegas Raiders (3-3, 3-2-1 ATS) are a 3/3.5 point road chalk in the contests this week as they take on the Chicago Bears (1-5 SU, 1-4-1 ATS) at Soldier Field. The Raiders will attempt to win their third consecutive game SU and ATS. However, it could be a battle of second-string quarterbacks since both teams might be without their starting quarterbacks. Despite the uncertainty at quarterback, the Raiders are taking 69% of the betting handle.
Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who grew up in Chicagoland, has his status as questionable after leaving the game last week with a back injury against the New England Patriots. Chicago QB Justin Fields got knocked out of the game last week in the third quarter with a dislocated thumb against the Minnesota Vikings. Neither quarterback practiced on Wednesday, and if both starters can’t go, Brian Hoyer will be under center for the Raiders and undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent will start for Da’ Bears.
How the Raiders won and covered the 3/3.5 number at home against the Patriots has less to do with the Raiders playing well and much more to do with the god-awful Patriots. Somehow, the Patriots managed to keep the game close and outscored the Raiders 14-8 once Hoyer came in for Garoppolo.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots engineered one of their better drives of the season, 17 plays for 75 yards in 9;30. The Patriots’ Rhamondre Stevenson scored on a 1-yard run to bring the score to 17-19 with 3;33 remaining in the game. The Patriots defense held the Raiders to 2- yards on the next possession and got the ball back at their own 9-yard line. Predictably, the Mac Jones (24/33 200 yards and 1 INT) led offense went -9 yards in three plays, resulting in a safety, which ensured the win and the cover for the Raiders.
The Bears’ failed to cover the spread in their 19-13 loss to the Vikings and are still looking for their first home win since last season. The score was 12-6 when Chicago QB Fields got sacked for the fourth time in the game and got knocked out of the game. Enter Tyson Bagent making his NFL debut. The Div. II undrafted rookie, who played at Shepherd College, managed to record 159 TDs in his tenure at the West Virginia university; the most TDs by any quarterback in the NCAA. Bagent connected on his first pass, but a few plays later he was strip-sacked and Justin Hicks took it 42-yards for a scoop and score. Those were the only points in the second half for the Vikings.
Bagent made up for this costly fumble by leading the Bears on a 77-yard touchdown drive where he went 4-4 for 55 yards and then scored on a 1-yard TD run. Unfortunately for the Bears, in the next series of downs they had the ball at the Vikings 35-yard line and Bagent did what rookies do in their NFL debuts; he under threw DJ Moore and it was intercepted by Byron Murphy Jr. This sealed the win and cover for the Vikings. The Bears defense played well and allowed only 12 offensive points and 220 yards. They also held the Vikings offense to 2 of 13 third down conversions.
The last time these two teams met was on October 10, 2021, with Chicago winning 20-9. I see a similar score and result this week. If this game comes down to a battle of second-string quarterbacks, Bagent is better than Hoyer, even if it's his first NFL start. The Raiders are banged up, and WR Devanta Adams (shoulder) was limited in practice on Wednesday. I think the Bears will earn their first home win of the season.
Take the Chicago Bears (+3, +3.5) in all contests.
LOS ANGELES RAMS vs Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5, +3)
The Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) are fresh off their bye-week and travel across the country to play the Los Angeles Rams (3-3 SU, 4-1 ATS). The Steelers upset the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 as 4.5-point home underdogs going into their bye-week, while the Rams had to rally in the second-half, scoring 20 unanswered points against the Arizona Cardinals to win 26-9 and cover the -7.5 point spread. Currently, the Rams are taking 67% of the betting handle at -3 points. Depending upon which contest you are playing, you might have to lay the hook if you like the Rams in this game.
The big question for the Rams is who will carry the rock? Los Angeles RB Kyren Williams had 158 yards rushing last week against the Cardinals, 154 yards of which came in the second half. But Williams is out at least four weeks due to an ankle injury he sustained in the second half. Back-up RB Ronnie Rivers is also out with a knee injury, so the Rams are going to have to lean on rookie Zach Evans from Ole Miss. That sound you hear is Pittsburgh’s all world linebacker TJ Watt licking his chops.
This dearth in running backs will definitely put the onus on Rams’ QB Mathew Stafford, who got back stud WR Cooper Kupp last week, and has benefited from WR Puka Nacua’s standout rookie campaign. The Rams offense averages 367 yards a game and averages 5.8 yards per play, good enough for 8th in the NFL. Pittsburgh defense, by contrast, allows 389.4 yards a game and 5.8 yards per play, both higher than the league averages in these categories.
The San Francisco 49ers are these teams’ common opponents. Pittsburgh got trounced at home 30-7 as one-point underdogs in their first game of the season, while the Rams lost 23-30 at home as 7.5-point favorites. The 49ers benefitted from two late-game turnovers. The cover for the Rams came, however, thanks to a 38-yard FG as time expired. This move had people asking if HC Sean McVay pays attention to the betting spread. McVay’s response was he was trying to score as many points as possible in case of a division/playoff tie breaker. Uh-huh.
Pittsburgh’s other loss was a 30-6 road loss to the Houston Texans, and the Rams other losses were to the Eagles at home 23-14 and on the road at Cincinnati 16-19. Pittsburgh beat Cleveland 26-22 at home and then Las Vegas on the road, 23-18, while the Rams beat Seattle on the road 30-13 and the Colts at Indianapolis 29-23. The Rams have yet to string two consecutive wins this season.
My big question for this game is the play calling of Pittsburgh OC Matt Canada. Under Canada, the Steelers’ rushing is ranked 28th in the NFL (80.4 yards a game) and the passing attack is 27th in the league (187.8 yards a game). HC Mike Tomlin thinks he’s turned the corner and said offensive improvement is on the way. Against the Rams this week, it might be the case. Los Angeles DT Larrell Murchison and OLB Ernest Jones both missed practices on Wednesday with knee injuries.
The Steelers are getting healthy and will return WR Diontae Johnson, who hasn’t played since week 1. The Steelers will also get RB Anthony McFarland (knee) and RG James Daniels (groin); both players were full participants in practice on Wednesday. This season it’s been hard to handicap which Steelers team will show up on any given Sunday. One thing I am confident about is that this week the Steelers’ defense should show up and give the Rams fits. The Steelers have 11 takeaways, five of which are from interceptions, this season.
On the Rams side of the ball, QB Stafford has thrown five picks and will be without the benefit of a running game, which will make the Rams one dimensional on offense. And then there is the X-factor. The Rams’ HC McVay is expecting a child at any moment. He has said that his soon to be kid knows better than to be born on game-day. We will see.
Take: The Pittsburgh Steelers +3, +3.5 in all contests
Last week 0-2, 6-6 on the season
SAINTS (-2) vs Jaguars
BUCCANEERS (-2.5) vs Falcons
Raiders (-3) vs BEARS
Browns (-3) vs COLTS
RAVENS (-3) vs Lions
Bills (-8.5) vs PATRIOTS
Commanders (-3) vs GIANTS
SEAHAWKS (-7.5) vs Cardinals
RAMS (-3) vs Steelers
CHIEFS (-5.5) vs Chargers
Packers (-1.5) vs BRONCOS
EAGLES (-2.5) vs Dolphins
49ers (-7) vs VIKINGS
SAINTS vs Jaguars (+1)
BUCCANEERS vs Falcons (+2.5)
Raiders vs BEARS (+3)
Browns vs COLTS (+2.5)
RAVENS vs Lions (+3)
Bills vs PATRIOTS (+8.5)
Commanders vs GIANTS (2.5)
SEAHAWKS vs. Cardinals (+8)
RAMS vs Steelers (+3)
CHIEFS vs. Chargers (+5.5)
Packers vs BRONCOS (+1)
EAGLES vs Dolpins (+2.5)
49ers vs VIKINGS (+6.5)
NEW ORLEANS (-1.5) vs Jacksonville
BALTIMORE (-3.5) vs Detroit
TAMPA BAY (-2.5) vs Atlanta
Washington (-1.5) vs NY Giants
Las Vegas (-3.5) vs CHICAGO
Buffalo (-8.5) vs NEW ENGLAND
Cleveland (-1.5) vs INDIANAPOLIS
LOS ANGELES RAMS (-3.5) vs Pittsburgh
SEATTLE (-7.5) vs Arizona
KANSAS CITY (-5.5) vs Los Angeles Chargers
Green Bay (-0.5) vs DENVER
PHILLADELPHIA (-2.5) vs Miami
San Francisco (-6.5) vs MINNESOTA
*Favorite listed first home team in CAPS
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