These are the lines to like in betting the NFL Week 6 and College Football Week 7. Here are our football locks of the week, as well as the numbers to know when picking games for Saturday and Sunday. This week’s locks include a shootout between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, an SEC East party in Nashville, the Raiders continuing to struggle against the Seahawks in London, and the Rainbow Warriors hanging 10 (or within 11) at QB-YU.
Chiefs (+3.5) at Patriots (Over 59.5)
Last season, Patrick Mahomes watched from the sideline as Alex Smith led Kansas City to a 42–27 win at New England in the season opener. This season, Mahomes arrives in Foxboro as a way-too-early MVP favorite, throwing for 1,513 yards, 14 TDs and two INTs for a 112.7 passer rating, while leading the Chiefs to a 5–0 start. The dart-throwing 23-year-old Mahomes was only six years old when 41-year-old GOAT Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl. Now, Mahomes leads the second-ranked scoring offense (35 ppg) against Brady’s ninth-ranked attack (26.6 ppg) in a game that should be a shootout between two teams with plenty of firepower but not nearly as much defense. Bill Belichick has had 10 days to prep for this Sunday night showdown, following a rout of the Colts last Thursday. But Andy Reid’s squad just dropped 30 points on the Jaguars and is firing on all cylinders.
Florida (–7) at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt has only defeated Florida twice over the last 30 years — at Gainesville in 2013 during James Franklin’s last season coaching VU and at Nashville in 1988 with Watson Brown on the sideline. Vandy coach Derek Mason is 0–4 against the Gators. This season started strong for the Commodores, with blowout wins over Middle Tennessee (35–7) and Nevada (41–10) before a close-call loss at Notre Dame (22–17). The last three games, however, the Dores have struggled with two SEC stompings — to South Carolina (37–14) and at Georgia (41–13) — and a crosstown nail-biter win against Tennessee State (31–27) in between. Meanwhile, Florida is fresh off a 27–19 win over LSU and looks to avoid a hangover prior to a bye week and the annual Cocktail Party against Georgia on Oct. 27.
Seahawks (–2.5) vs. Raiders (in London, England)
Jon Gruden was supposed to be the Raiders’ $100-million savior. Instead, it looks like THIS GUY is leading the team back to its Silver-and-Bleak days. The Raiders defense is arguably the worst in the NFL, ranking 30th in scoring defense (29.8 ppg), 30th in total defense (404.4 ypg), 28th in rush defense (127.2 ypg) and 23rd in passing defense (277.2 ypg). There is zero pass rush, with just six sacks in five games — following the trade of All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack, who single-handedly has five sacks, four forced fumbles and one pick-six in only four games. Seattle left for London on Wednesday, while Oakland left on Thursday night. Weird things have happened across the pond over the years. But the Seahawks should be able to take care of business against a 1–4 Raiders squad that needed admittedly bad calls to beat the Browns in their lone win this year.
Hawaii (+11) at BYU
There is a QB controversy for QB-YU, the school that has produced Steve Young, Jim McMahon and Ty Detmer. BYU senior Tanner Mangum might have to sit in place of backup Zach Wilson, who is looking to become only the seventh true freshman in school history to start a game. There is no such issue at Hawaii, where Cole McDonald has thrown for 2,100 yards, 24 TDs and just two INTs, while rushing for 227 yards and two scores for the 6–1 Rainbow Warriors — whose only loss came at Army in a game that kicked off at 6 a.m. Hawaii time and was played 5,000 miles from the islands. BYU has taken back-to-back losses at Washington (35–7) and to Utah State (45–20).