NFL Line Watch Week 7
By Art Aronson
Each week during the pro football season, Art Aronson looks at the NFL odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out.
Game to bet now
Dallas at San Francisco (+6)
Call this one the National Anthem Bowl. The Cowboys, who have been ordered by owner Jerry Jones to stand for the anthem under penalty of benching (or worse), vs. the 49ers, who are the flagship franchise for protest and can stand or kneel depending on the depths of their beliefs. There will probably be a football game after said anthem, and it’s a big game for the Boys if not the out-of-it-already Niners.
Dallas is 2-3 (both SU and ATS), and staring down the barrel of a nasty October/November run that includes four straight winning teams (Washington, Kansas City, Atlanta, Philadelphia) after this Sunday. It’s possible that all the hay will be in the barn by Thanksgiving, so the Cowboys really need this one to get some momentum for their most important four-game stretch of the season.
Game to wait on
New Orleans at Green Bay (+4.5)
Pro Football Talk has suggested that it might be time to institute even more protection for quarterbacks after Aaron Rodgers was lost for the year when he suffered a broken collar bone when hit a split second after throwing a pass last Sunday. Maybe, maybe not. But Rodgers might be the best QB in the world, and losing him is bad for business.
The focus will now be on backup QB Brett Hundley, who has been holding a clipboard for a couple of years. Hundley threw 33 passes on Sunday and three of them wound up being intercepted, so there’s a large learning curve to scale in Green Bay.
The Saints no doubt are scrambling to find tape on the kid. The line could expand based on early betting.
Total to watch
Atlanta at New England (53.5)
A week or more of warm weather is predicted in New England, and that’s good news for both offenses in this Super Bowl repeat. The Falcons will welcome any help they can get after scoring just 34 total points in back-to losses to AFC East teams (Miami, Buffalo) – and the Patriots might just be the cure for what ails them.
Last Sunday vs. the Jets, New England’s defense gave up more than 300 passing yards for the sixth straight time this season. Every week fans figure that Bill Belichick will get it fixed, and every week it isn’t fixed. Matt Ryan is no doubt watching video of the Patriots today and liking what he sees.
Even with the high number, the over might be worth a long, hard look.