The Sunday Slate’s Core Four: Week 7

Short of it being Week (lucky number) 7, I’m not feeling too lucky. We’ve batted .500 or worse on six straight core fours to start the season, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up. There’s more than enough time to turn this shit storm around, and I say there’s no time like the present.

Four best bets for NFL Week 7

Lions +3 @ Ravens (-110)

If you’ve paid any attention to this program in the past three years then you know the Lions are in the weekly parlay when they’re dogs. Dan Campbell’s iteration of Detroit football is a pack of wild dogs first, and a covering machine second.

Jared Goff & Co. have won four straight by at least 14 points. That streak is at risk with a stout Baltimore defense lined up this week, but I’m riding with my guys. The days of “getting right” against the Lions are long gone, and this week’s core four is starting right by taking DET with the points. Thank you, Vegas.

Drake London OVER 4.5 receptions (+136)

The Falcons are in Tampa Bay as 2.5 point dogs this week, but that doesn’t matter. I took the Bucs to cover +3 against the Lions last week as my BDPOTW, calling out anybody who was fading Baker Mayfield and took my medicine. I won’t be betting on Tampa Bay again, and I damn sure won’t be looking for the Falcons—as a team—to make me any money. The lack of discipline and inability to communicate that Atlanta put on display en route to pissing away a victory against Washington in Week 6 was enough to scare me off for good.

The success of the team aside, however, I am interested in the construction of the Falcons’ roster. The list of playmakers on the offense holds weight, and while Arthur Smith wants to pound the rock, their second-year wideout is manufacturing his own spotlight. Drake London has emerged as Desmond Ridder’s favorite target even with the myth of Kyle Pitts finally emerging as reality. He has accrued 7, 9, and 12 targets in the past three games, and has hauled in 15 receptions over the past two; 9 last week in his first 100-yard performance of the season.

Positive odds on London reeling in 5 balls this week feels like a gift considering the growing narrative around him. Further, the Bucs are 29th in the league in completions per game (25), and rank in the top-10 in opponent rushing yards and attempts per game. Look for ATL to open the playbook and for Ridder to bounce back a bit as a passer.

Chargers @ Chiefs OVER 47.5 (-115)

Chiefs games have gone over 47 points just once this season (41-10 vs Bears), and the Chargers had played nothing but shootouts up until the past two weeks where scoring slowed. Those two points may shy you away from betting on a high scorer in Week 7, but I truly don’t think any of this year’s context matters.

There are different types of divisional rivalries for the Chiefs. The physicality that surfaces on Broncos week is consistent, the hatred on Raiders week is tangible, and the competition on Chargers week is flashy. The motivation of the entire AFC West is to dethrone Patrick Mahomes, and the closest unit to doing so is the Justin Herbert led Chargers.

Ayers said a couple weeks back that Mahomes has ruined evaluation of quarterback play by setting such a high standard for what is “greatness.” Herbert is lauded as the next best thing on an annual basis, and it seems as if a personal grudge match between the two breaks out each time they meet. Kansas City’s defense has emerged as a legitimate top-5 unit, and has played a crucial role in the team’s overall success, but Herbert will find a way to fight, and Mahomes will maintain his position as top dog in the West. Shootout loading for the afternoon slate.

Dolphins +3 @ Eagles (-115)

Gut says Miami outright, heart says Eagles can’t lose two in a row. Hanging three points for the Dolphins here as a security blanket, because I think this will be a blood bath and could go either way. I’m submitting a vote for this to be the Sunday Night Football game of the year and we should all be a little extra hyped to see Carrie Underwood this evening.

The Dolphins have every offensive record in history in their sights, and the AFC needs to keep it’s head on a swivel. This team can run past anybody, and while the Bills kept them under wraps a few weeks back, I like them to come out guns blazing against Philly.

Jalen Hurts and the Batmen are in need of a bounce-back performance after forking up their first loss of the season to the Jets last week—a first in franchise history. The middle third of the Birds’ schedule is an absolute gauntlet, and kicking it off with a hard-earned victory on SNF is the perfect way to take it on.

This game has all the fixings to be an absolute heater, and I simply can’t wait.

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