Best Spot Bets for NFL Week 7: Can Bengals Put an End to Falcons' ATS Dominance?

The Atlanta Falcons have gone a perfect 6-0 against the spread this season and have become a bettor's delight each week. Now, however, they get a Cincinnati Bengals team that has seemingly found a groove, going 4-0 ATS since Week 3.

Jason Logan: Senior Betting Analyst at Covers
Jason Logan • Senior Betting Analyst
Oct 18, 2022 • 11:18 ET • 4 min read
Ja'Marr Chase Cincinnati Bengals NFL
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The 2022 NFL schedule is in full swing, with the grueling slate and chilly fall temperatures taking their toll on teams as we size up the Week 7 odds.

If this past Sunday taught us anything, it’s that we need all the help we can when it comes to beating the bookies. A handy tool beyond the advanced metrics and analytics is situational handicapping — AKA spot bets. 

We dig into the NFL Week 7 calendar and single out some scintillating spots: Letdowns, look-ahead, and scary schedule spots to consider when capping NFL spreads and totals.

Letdown Spot: Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals (-6, 47.5)

The Falcons turned out another ATS winner in Week 6 and did you one better by upsetting the San Francisco 49ers as home underdogs.

Atlanta remains the perfect “against-the-spread” team and drew crazy gameday action on Sunday, slimming that spread from Atlanta +5.5 to +3.5 before kickoff. Granted, it was a tough spot for the Niners (two straight road games out East — highlighted in last week’s article) and the 49ers defense was the walking wounded.

We’ll see if that ATL money comes back in Week 7 with the Falcons on the road in Cincinnati and facing a looming letdown after stunning San Francisco. 

The markets are showing Atlanta some respect with this spread currently under a touchdown (and dropping from +6.5 to +6 at some shops) against a Bengals team building momentum with three wins in their last four games, going a perfect 4-0 ATS in that span.

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Look-Ahead Spot: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (+10.5, 40.5)

It’s safe to say the NFC South is the most chaotic division in all of football, and this matchup between the Bucs and Panthers could live up to that schizophrenic standard in Week 7. Carolina is crumbling before our eyes while Tampa Bay just lost outright as 9.5-point chalk at Pittsburgh. What is happening?!

Tom Brady’s sideline spit-fit broadcast on Sunday personifies the frustration of Bucs bettors, with the team failing to cover in four straight outings while going just 1-3 SU. Despite that downward spiral, bookies are backing up a dump truck full of points for this trip to play the Panthers — setting Tampa Bay as a 10.5-point favorite.

That double-digit spread says more about the chaos in Carolina than anything, with the team under an interim coach, trapped in QB hell (P.J. Walker or Sam Darnold or practice squad-promotion Jacob Eason) and just trading away a disgruntled receiver. 

All that said, beware laying the lumber with the Bucs. Tampa Bay has a quick turnaround in Week 8, hosting Baltimore on Thursday Night Football. This team has been plagued with injuries since the summer, so if the Buccaneers build a big lead and start yanking starters on Sunday, the backdoor swings wide up for Carolina to cover with all those points in hand.

I wouldn’t blame anyone for forgetting this game even exists, given all that uncertainty and messiness. 

Schedule Spot: New York Jets at Denver Broncos (-3, 40)

Gang Green is soaring high heading into Week 7 but may have trouble at that altitude.

The Jets have won three in a row and four of their last five, most recently stealing a win in Lambeau Field as 7.5-point underdogs this past Sunday. New York now must climb the mountain to battle the Broncos in Week 7.

While Denver is playing on a short week after losing on Monday, this could be a nasty situational sandwich spot for the Jets. Not only are they running the risk of a letdown after punishing the Packers (they did avoid that spot last week…) but this trip to Mile High will be their second straight road game and third away tilt in the past two weeks.

On top of that, Denver’s thin air is always a challenge for visiting teams. New York showed up here in Week 3 last season and took a 26-0 beating at the hands of the Teddy Bridgewater-led Broncos. I love the Jets' energy and swagger but nothing saps the batteries like a road-heavy sked coupled with altitude. 

The captain has now turned on the seatbelt sign...

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