Before the season began online sportsbooks were convinced of the New England Patriots impending success. Of course, the odds also thought that the Carolina Panthers were a solid choice for Super Bowl contenders. But now, heading into Week 7, it’s obvious that the prediction about the Patriots is much closer to reality than the one about the Panthers. So far this season the Panthers have been one of the biggest disappointments since, well the 2004 Carolina Panthers. But on the other hand, the Patriots have been playing better football than arguably all the other 31 teams within the NFL. Even without Brady the Patriots were impressive, and now that they’ve gotten Brady back under center, there might not be a team capable of beating this year’s Super Bowl favorites. New England will get a chance to assert their dominance when they take on the Steelers in Week 7. How much are the odds favoring New England in this pairing?
Week 7 – Sunday, October 23rd
New England Patriots -7 (-105) 46 (-110)
Pittsburgh Steelers +7 (-115) 46 (-110)
Obviously most online sportsbooks are going to side with the Patriots on this one. After all, of all 32 teams in the NFL New England has been the one to consistently prove itself as the safest bet on NFL’s money lines. And this Sunday, the Patriots are likely to prove that once more.
In his first game back under center, Tom Brady carved the Cleveland Browns secondary for over 400 yards and finished the day with an impressive 127.7 passer rating. There’s no question about it, Brady is livid about his suspension and is ready to let loose on the entire NFL. While some critics thought that Brady let loose some of that pent up rage against the Browns, Brady’s performance against the Bengals this past weekend proves there’s plenty of indignation left in the tank. Brady only carved up Cincinnati for 376 yards, but he finished the day with a passer rating of 140.0 after failing to complete only 6 passes for the day. The Bengals don’t have the best pass defense in the NFL (they currently rank as the 17th best defense against the pass) but in all likelihood it wouldn’t have mattered. No matter who lines up opposite of the enraged Brady, they are going to get carved up. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the Steelers have the 30th worst pass defense in the NFL. In other words, Brady’s going to have another tremendous outing.
Now just because Brady will run up the score on the Steelers, it doesn’t that Pittsburgh is incapable of keeping up with the Patriots. At least that would’ve been the case, had it not been for Ben Roethlisberger’s injury. Roethlisberger underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the quarterback’s left knee. While it’s uncertain when he will return, one thing is for certain: the Steelers will be without their star quarterback this Sunday. Without Roethlisberger shedding blocks, keeping plays alive, and delivering beautiful throws 40+ yards down the field, it’s very unlikely that Pittsburgh will be able to outscore the Pats. With this in mind, picking the Patriots over the banged up Steelers might be one of the easiest predictions fans can make for Week 7. Honestly, it’s surprising to see most online sportsbooks give the Patriots a 7-point spread instead of a 14-point spread.