These are the lines to like in betting the NFL Week 7 and College Football Week 8. 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 betting on the home team in low-scoring games at Michigan State and at LSU, and riding the hottest QBs in football with New England’s Tom Brady and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes II.
Patriots (–3) at Bears
A tale of two teams headed in opposite directions — New England is fresh off of a thrilling 43–40 win over Patrick Mahomes and previously undefeated Kansas City, while Chicago suffered a 31–28 loss to Brock Osweiler and Miami (following a bye week to prepare). Early season defensive player of the year favorite Khalil Mack is day-to-day with a sore ankle. Plus, he’s not “in Lawrence Taylor’s class,” anyway, according to Bill Belichick’s hot takes and tepid delivery during a mid-week press conference. Osweiler was able to throw for 380 yards and three TDs against Chicago last week. Imagine what Tom Brady can do against the same defense, especially with added offensive firepower in the form of rookie runner Sony Michel, recently acquired deep threat Josh Gordon and back-from-suspension slot hustler Julian Edelman.
Michigan State (+7) vs. Michigan (Under 41)
MSU is 8–2 against U-M over the past 10 meetings, including last year’s 14–10 win on the road at the Big House in Ann Arbor and three of the last four meetings overall. Meanwhile, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is just 1–2 against Sparty and a combined 1–5 against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. The Wolverines are also currently on an 0–17 losing streak on the road against ranked teams (U-M is ranked No. 6; MSU ranked No. 24). This should be a defensive battle. Michigan is the Big Ten’s top scoring defense (15.4 ppg) and MSU is sixth (22.3 ppg). Both teams stuff the run, with MSU (62.3 ypg) and U-M (108.9 ypg) ranking first and third in Big Ten rush defense. This rivalry’s 111th meeting should be low and slow, take the under and the cover in East Lansing.
LSU (–6.5) vs. Mississippi State
LSU will honor World War I veterans and the “Silent Season” of 1918 with new uniforms on Saturday night. The Bayou Bengals have a 63–25–3 record on Homecoming, reeling off 16 straight wins prior to last season’s disappointing 24–21 upset to Troy. This year, coach Ed Orgeron’s club is attempting to bounce back on Homecoming AND avenge last year’s embarrassing 37–7 loss to Mississippi State in Starkville. LSU has looked particularly good in Death Valley lately, with an eye-opening 36–16 win over No. 2 Georgia and a 45–16 statement against division-rival Ole Miss in its last two home games. LSU’s defense — led by sledgehammer linebacker Devin White and heir to the DB throne Grant Delpit — is nasty. Expect Tiger Stadium to be rocking and LSU’s D to overwhelm an MSU offense that will need Nick Fitzgerald to play like Dak Prescott.
Chiefs (–6) vs. Bengals (Over 58)
Kansas City is riding a sweet Kool Aid wave of 10 straight wins against the spread (ATS) and the Chiefs are 4–1 ATS when favored by six points or more in regular season games since the start of last season. Andy Reid’s offense has transformed into an unstoppable force after switching QBs from “Captain Checkdown” Alex Smith to “Showtime” Patrick Mahomes II. The Chiefs are the No. 2 scoring offense (35.8 ppg), No. 5 total offense (418.5 ypg) and No. 6 in third-down efficiency (28-of-63). Mahomes has been less impressive at home (3 TDs, 2 INTs in two games) than on the road (15 TDs, 2 INTs in four games). But the K.C. defense has been ridiculously bad, regardless of venue, allowing 28.7 points per game. Expect a Sunday night shootout, as the nation continues to fall in love with Mahomes and his band of fantasy football playmakers led by Tyreke Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce.