Look at the Lines: NFL Week 7

One of the tools long known to the daily fantasy sports (DFS) community, but not often used by the season-long fantasy sports player, is how to use the Las Vegas gambling lines for fantasy. The point spread, or “line,” on sporting events can help you as a fantasy owner when it’s time to build a DFS lineup or set your weekly roster in season long. In short, you can look at a projected game total and point spread and determine the points expected to be scored in any given contest.

For example, if team A is a 10 point favorite over team B and the game total is 48, you can expect that team A will score 29, and team B will score 19. This is in no way an exact science, nor is it accurate 100% of the time, but it will give you a general idea of what to expect from teams on any given week. That same week, team C might be a 7 point favorite over team D with a game total of 37, which gives team C an implied point total of 22 while team D is expected to score only 15 points.

This is a very simplistic breakdown, but using these examples, we can see that team A has an implied point total of 29 points while team D is looking at 15 points. Using these examples, more often than not, it would benefit you to use players from team A rather than team D.

Last season, we touched on every game, but this year Rick KernsJames HanmoreSpencer Scoled, and myself will be providing you with a short breakdown of only our favorite plays of the week for gambling purposes. We’ll also give a breakdown of each team’s projected point total and the point total for each game as well. That should help give you a nice foundation to work from as you make your start/sit decisions for the week. Thank you and good luck.



(last week: 0-1/season: 7-2)

Dallas Cowboys +8.5 @ Washington Redskins
I Love the Cowboys this week, so I’d pick them ATS and on the moneyline as well if you want to go beyond the teaser. I loved the changes they made to the offense last week implementing more QB run game and focusing on the strengths of their offense. Not a fan of what the Skins are doing at all.
New York Giants +11.5 @ Atlanta Falcons
Falcons aren’t going to blow anyone out with that defense, and their running game took a long-term hit with Freeman going on IR. It hasn’t been good anyway. Giants are having issues as well, but Barkley alone will keep them in this game and likely give them a shot to win it late if Eli doesn’t screw it up. No defense in this game so one could look closely at the over if they were so inclined.
Los Angles Rams -2.5 @ San Francisco 49ers
Gurley is a hot knife through butter right now to opposing defenses. This one will be no different. Not sure how you stop the Rams right now. 49ers are tough and scrappy behind the best QB on their roster including IR. Not enough though, Rams roll.
Los Angles Chargers +.5 vs Tennessee Titans
A rare neutral-site pick in my teasers here, but the Titans are just horrible on offense right now, and the Chargers are finding their stride a bit. Rivers, Gordon, and company will score with relative ease, and the Chargers defense should have little resistance getting to the QB and not allowing many points.
Cowboys +8.5  &  Giants +11.5  (teaser)
Rams -2.5 &  Chargers +.5  (teaser) 


(last week: 0-2/season: 3-8-1)

  • no picks this week


(last week: 3-1/season: 8-10-1)

Minnesota Vikings -3.5 at New York Jets (46.5)

Minnesota seems to be figuring things out on defense and haven’t looked like they’re missing Dalvin Cook too much on the offensive side. This feels like a coming out party for the Vikings team we all thought we were going to see to start the year. The Jets’ defense is game, and I think they keep the Vikes in check a bit, which will keep the total low. I look for a Vikings to win a low scoring affair in the neighborhood of 24-17.

Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (50.5)

The Browns have a stout defensive unit, and The Buccaneers just replaced their DC and should look to turn things around on that side of the ball. The Browns should hold the Bucs offense in check a bit, and the Browns offense has looked a little bit off.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs (58)

Death, taxes and the KC over. Every week I’m riding this into the ground as long as it’s set below 61. Especially when they’re facing a capable offensive unit and Eric Berry is still injured. Don’t overthink it.

Vikings -3.5 
Vikings/Jets under 46.5
Browns/Buccaneers under 50.5
Bengals/Chiefs over 58



(last week: 4-0-1/season: 8-12-1)

Los Angeles Rams 52 @ San Francisco 49ers +9.5
I’m seeing a similar kind of game as the 49ers vs the Packers. I don’t think this one will be a nail-biter like last week, but Beathard has been competent (good even), and the Rams defense has not been sharp.
The Rams’ defense is allowing an average of 26 points in their last four games. San Fran is allowing almost 30 points per game this season, but have been lighting up mediocre defenses. When healthy, the Rams defense is a juggernaut, but key injuries are forcing them to score a ton of points to win.
Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3
The Browns looked like a new team with Baker Mayfield, but it’s been a bit of a roller coaster in terms of play and results. A low scoring win against the Ravens is book-ended by a loss to the Raiders (45-42) and a loss to the Chargers (38-14).
The Bucs are scoring at such a high clip, and I don’t see Cleveland stopping them or keeping up on offense despite Tampa’s poor defense. It can’t possibly get any worse with a new DC, right?
Dallas Cowboys 41.5 @ Washington Redskins -2
The Cowboys have been awful on the road, losing every single road game so far this year. America’s team has averaged just under 13 points per game on the road. I think the Jags game was an anomaly.
If Thompson and Crowder are healthy and play, I like this line a lot. Crowder is unlikely to play, but I do need Thompson to be in this game for me to feel good about betting this one.
If both are out, I would lean the under being two underrated defenses and a division game.
49ers +9.5 
49ers/Rams Over 52
Redskins -2
Redskins/Cowboys Under 41.5



In no way should this be your primary go to when making lineup decisions, but this can be a great tool to target sleepers for DFS and as tie-breaker when deciding between multiple players in season-long leagues. The games and teams in green should be strongly considered; the yellow also shows a favorable game script for fantasy. White is middle of the road. Orange games and teams have much less upside regarding scoring opportunities, while red should give you some concern.


Another week with the Chiefs and Rams leading the way. The Falcons should also be targeted in their Monday night showdown. As usual, we also see the Saints, Patriots, and Bengals among the highest projected scoring teams too. Sticking with the theme of same-ole, same-ole… The Bills, Titans, and Texans are bringing up the rear. Not too much to break down this week, everything seems to be falling in line with what we expect through 6 weeks of game action.


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Chicagoan living in Las Vegas. Fantasy Football writer & Director of In-Season Analysis for Dynasty Football Factory, blogger for USFantasy and contributor to TheFakeHockey. Member FSWA.

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