NFL Week 7 Betting Recap: Point Spread, Over/Under Results & Analysis (2020)

Week 7 Betting Recap

Todd Gurley scored the losing touchdown for Atlanta to keep their streak of losing close games going in 2020 (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

After Week 7, we are down to just one remaining undefeated team, Pittsburgh, after Seattle and Tennessee both lost for the first time (with Tennessee’s loss coming to the Steelers). Some other highlights of Week 7:

  • Tampa Bay rolled to another victory, on the road at Las Vegas, and has moved up to No. 3 in our predictive ratings. Solely based on quality of play through Week 7, the Bucs would actually be ranked No. 1 without “priors” (preseason ratings) being factored in.
  • The woeful New York Jets got their first point spread cover of the year, but a victory was not to be. After taking a lead into halftime, the Jets did not even log 10 total yards in the second half.
  • The Cowboys, meanwhile, remained winless against the spread, and were crushed 25-3 by Washington (a team we ranked at No. 30 coming into the week) in a game that hovered around a pick’em line all week.
  • San Francisco is 1-3 as a favorite of 7 points or more, but is now 2-0 straight up as a betting market underdog after crushing New England 33-6.

In this post, we’ll examine not only how teams performed against the point spread and over/under lines in Week 7, but also review some of the fluky outcomes that can make ATS records misleading.

This level of analysis sometimes provides hints as to which teams may be setting up well to cover the spread in the future. (To search for your own NFL betting trends, we invite you to use the beta version of our BetIQ Trend Finder Tool.)

NFL Week 7 By the Betting Numbers

  • Biggest upset: Arizona over Seattle (+3.5, +166 money line)
  • Biggest ATS cover margin: San Francisco over New England (+30, won by 27 points as 3-point underdog)
  • Most points above over/under line: Cleveland-Cincinnati (+21, 71 total points vs. O/U line of 50.0)
  • Most points below over/under line: Buffalo-NY Jets (-19, 28 total points vs. O/U line of 47.0)
  • Most points scored vs. team expectation: Tampa Bay (45 points vs. 27.5 expected)
  • Fewest points scored vs. team expectation: Dallas (3 points vs. 22.75 expected)

Close Game Luck Helps Some Teams, Not Others (cough *Atlanta*)

The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans came into Week 7 undefeated, with those records largely built by winning close contests late. Seattle had won four straight one-score games, including getting some key big plays at the end of several of them. The Titans also had four one-score wins, including big comebacks at Minnesota and against the Texans.

That streak of good fortune, though, ran out for both teams on Sunday. Seattle lost a shootout with Arizona after having a 10-point lead late, and suffered costly turnovers that allowed Arizona to prevail in overtime. Tennessee rallied yet again, but this time it came up short on a field goal attempt to tie the game that missed.

Meanwhile, teams suffering late-game bad luck this season didn’t all redeem themselves, as Atlanta lost yet another game where it was in a prime spot for a victory. The Falcons had already lost a big lead in part due to an onside kick gaffe (vs. Dallas), and lost a big lead to the Bears.

This time, the setup for yet another implosion was RB Todd Gurley realizing he should go down at the 1, but falling on the goal line with a minute left and Atlanta down 2 (and thus up 6 after a two-point conversion). That left just enough time for Detroit to go down the field for the game-winning score with just seconds remaining.

Saints and Panthers Keep Converting

The New Orleans-Carolina game may not stand out as an offensive slugfest, with a final score of 27-24. But it was a game dominated by both offenses, as there were only seven possessions each, if you include the Panthers getting the ball for one play at the end of the first half and the Saints kneeling out the clock to end it.

Carolina’s 283 total yards may seem low, but they averaged 47 yards a drive (throwing out the one play before half). The Saints, meanwhile, averaged 59 yards per drive.

The teams combined to go 18 of 23 on third down, and there was only one punt all game. The last third down for Carolina, though, was the decisive one, as Teddy Bridgewater was sacked and then the Panthers tried and missed a 65-yard field goal on fourth and long to try to tie the game.

Kansas City’s Scoring Explosion Due to Defense and Special Teams

The Chiefs put up 43 points on Sunday, but did so with only 286 yards of offense. A pick-six, a kickoff return for a touchdown, and lots of other Denver miscues set Kansas City up with advantageous field position, and the Chiefs were able to win again without a big offensive game.

The glass-half-empty take is that Kansas City’s offense hasn’t been as dominant or consistent as expected, at least so far. The glass-half-full take is that the other facets of the team have also contributed to victories so far in 2020, with two wins coming in games where the offense had less than 20 first downs (also the New England game), and by running the ball all over Buffalo.

NFL Home Field Advantage in 2020

One of the things we are tracking this year is how home teams are performing, with many teams playing in front of no fans to start the year. In Week 7, home teams went 6-8 straight up and 6-8 ATS.

Weekly NFL Home Team Records, 2020 Season To Date

WeekWLTWIN PCTATS WATS LATS TATS PCT
188050.0%97056.3%
2115068.8%88050.0%
369140.6%79043.7%
469030.8%510033.3%
595061.5%68042.9%
677050.0%68042.9%
768042.9%68042.9%
Overall5351151.0%4758044.8%

However, last year, home teams were only 43.8% SU and 37.5% ATS through the first seven weeks of the season, performing even worse than this year. When sample sizes of games are small, you can see more extreme trends such as this one.

Over the previous five seasons (2015-2019), home teams have won 54.2% SU and 47.0% ATS in the first seven weeks. So 2020 is a little below the overall season-long home team win rate from the last five years so far, but above the through-Week-7 rate from a year ago.

That makes it hard to say for certain just how much of the reduced home field advantage is a function of fewer or no fans, versus a general downward trend in home field advantage in recent years.

2020 Point Spread Result Splits

Here’s how some of the more standard spilts look after Week 7:

TYPEATS WATS LATS TATS %
Favorites4758044.8%
Underdogs5847055.2%
Home Teams4758044.8%
Away Teams5847055.2%

2020 Scoring vs. Historical Seasons

Overs and Unders were evenly split in Week 7, and Overs are now 53-49-2 on the season (51.9%).  While the betting market has mostly caught up with higher scoring in 2020, scoring remains high compared to historical years, and large comebacks and big point swings seem to be becoming more of the norm.

We are now seven weeks into the season, and the current scoring average of total points per game is four points higher than any season average in NFL history (2013, 46.8). We’ll have to see if scoring comes down closer to historical norms over the second half of the 2020 season.

Here’s a running tally of how overall NFL scoring so far in 2020 compares to the full season averages of recent seasons, based on average total points scored per game.

Average Points Scored Per Game, By Season

20202019201820172016
49.845.646.743.445.6

Turnovers, Miscues & Failures: Week 7 Edition

In this section each week, we list a summary of drives that ended with turnovers, but not only official turnovers like interceptions and fumbles.

We also tally up other high-leverage events that likely led to either loss of points or great field position for an opponent. Safeties and blocked punts are included in turnovers, and blocked field goals are included in missed field goal attempts.

Week 7 Team ATS Records Based On Turnovers, Missed Field Goals, and Failed 4th Down Attempts

TeamTurnoversFG MissDownsTOTALATS Result
Denver4026Loss
Chicago2035Loss
Jacksonville1034Loss
New England4004Loss
Arizona2114Win
Buffalo1203Loss
Dallas2013Loss
Houston1113Loss
Philadelphia1113Loss
Seattle3003Loss
NY Giants3003Win
NY Jets2013Win
Pittsburgh3003Win
Atlanta1012Loss
Las Vegas1012Loss
Tennessee1102Loss
Cincinnati2002Win
Detroit1102Win
LA Chargers1102Win
LA Rams1102Win
San Francisco2002Win
Washington0112Win
Cleveland1001Loss
New Orleans1001Loss
Carolina0101Win
Green Bay1001Win
Kansas City1001Win
Tampa Bay0000Win

Tampa Bay was the only team to have no miscues; Green Bay’s only one was a blocked punt. At the other end of the spectrum, teams with 4 or more miscues ended up 1-4 ATS in Week 7. The only win/cover was Arizona, who got a rare three total interceptions of Russell Wilson to counteract their own mistakes.

Drive-Ending Miscues By Team: 2020 Season Tally

Here’s a summary of the full season so far showing the net number of drives ending in turnovers or miscues for each team.

The top of this list, where teams have created more turnovers or benefited from more miscues, features a lot of teams with winning spread records. On the other end, the Dallas Cowboys continue to bring up the bottom of the list and have an 0-7 ATS record.

Teams that are a net +10 or better on miscues so far this season are 21-9-1 ATS; teams that are a net -10 or worse are 7-20 ATS.

2020 Season Summary, Drives Ending in Turnovers or Other Failed Plays

TeamMistakesOpponentNetATS Record
Baltimore824163-2-1
Seattle820124-2
Kansas City820125-2
Pittsburgh718115-1
Miami818104-2
Tampa Bay91894-2-1
Green Bay61265-1
LA Rams121754-3
Tennessee101442-4
Arizona131635-2
New Orleans5833-3
Atlanta131632-5
Cincinnati131525-2
Chicago161714-3
Houston111101-6
Buffalo1514-13-4
Detroit109-13-3
San Francisco1615-14-3
Washington1715-23-3-1
LA Chargers1210-24-1-1
Indianapolis129-33-3
NY Giants1613-34-3
NY Jets1915-41-6
New England1813-52-4
Cleveland1611-53-4
Las Vegas103-73-3
Carolina146-84-3
Denver2213-94-2
Minnesota155-103-3
Jacksonville2312-112-5
Philadelphia2110-112-5
Dallas225-170-7

2020 NFL ATS & Over/Under Performance By Team

Finally, here are updated against the point spread and over/under records so far in 2020. You can check out more trends on our BetIQ NFL betting trends page.

2020 NFL ATS and O/U Records

TeamWLTStreak ATSOverUnderPushO/U Streak
Arizona520W3160O1
Atlanta250L1430U1
Baltimore330L1240O1
Buffalo340L3421U2
Carolina430W1340O1
Chicago430L1250U4
Cincinnati520W2430O2
Cleveland340L2520O1
Dallas070L7430U2
Denver420L1330O1
Detroit330W2330U2
Green Bay510W1330U3
Houston160L2430U1
Indianapolis330L2330O2
Jacksonville250L5430O1
Kansas City520W2340O1
LA Chargers510W3330O3
LA Rams430W1250U4
Las Vegas330L1501O2
Miami420W2240U1
Minnesota330L1420O1
New England240L3240U3
New Orleans240L2600O6
NY Giants430W1250U2
NY Jets160W1340U3
Philadelphia250L1430U1
Pittsburgh510W4321P1
San Francisco430W2340U2
Seattle420L2510O2
Tampa Bay430W2430O1
Tennessee240L1411P1
Washington430W2340U3

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