On this eve of Halloween week, there were definitely plenty of delightful treats along with a bevy of treacherous tricks in NFL betting action. Week 7 will certainly go down as one of the strangest weeks that we have seen in quite some time.
We'll begin with the 1:00 p.m. (ET) games, in which there was not a single 300-yard passer in the bunch. In fact, of the 14 starting quarterbacks in the seven games, only four threw for more than 250 yards, and two even failed to get to 110 passing yards.
The end result was a slew of 'under' contests. Four of the seven failed to reach the total, including the 6-3 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Cleveland Browns, which proved to be the lowest scoring game of the entire season.
Only three of the 14 teams exceeded 24 points, and only one team (the San Diego Chargers) lost after scoring at least 20.
The good news though, is that a number of games were tight and came down to the final drives of games. Sure, the Houston Texans wiped the floor with the Tennessee Titans 41-7, but the average margin of victory in the other six games was a mere 6.33 PPG.
Tim Tebow looked like he was going to be a trick against the Miami Dolphins, as the former Heisman Trophy winner failed to put a single point on the board in the first 57 minutes against a defense that has resembled a slice of Swiss cheese over the course of the year. Instead, he turned out to treat us all.
Tebow accounted for two touchdown passes in the final three minutes of regulation, and he ultimately helped the Denver Broncos record their second victory of the season 18-15. It was the first time in nearly 30 years that a team came from a deficit of greater than 14 points with three minutes or fewer remaining in regulation to win a game.
And then the floodgates opened in the 4:00 p.m. (ET) games. The Pittsburgh Steelers got 340 passing yards from Ben Roethlisberger en route to a 32-20 victory over the team that they beat in the Super Bowl three seasons ago, the Arizona Cardinals, making them one of the three road teams in the afternoon that were able to win games outright.
The Oakland Raiders probably thought that they were going to be the biggest trick of the day, as they debuted Carson Palmer off of the bench in a miserable 28-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Remember, this was the same Kansas City team which was beaten down by the aggregate score of 89-10 in its first two games of the season.
Instead, the big trick would come on Sunday Night Football, where the New Orleans Saints recorded a whopping 62 points in a romp over the Indianapolis Colts. It was the most points allowed by the Colts franchise, and the previous high was back in 1962 (57 points). It is also the first time that Indianapolis is 0-7 since 1997. That year, they went on to get the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and picked none other than Peyton Manning.
Week 8 isn't necessarily the sexiest slate of games in the world. There are five games in which the favorite is getting the nod by at least 9 ½-points, and that doesn't including the duel between the Saints and the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome, which will also likely feature a double-digit spread when the NFL betting lines for that game get released later in the week.
The showcase game pits the New England Patriots against the Steelers at Heinz Field. The hosts are 2 ½-point underdogs on their home turf against arguably the best team in the AFC. Tom Brady and the gang were on bye last week, and they are going to try to start another streak of games in which they score 30 or more points. That streak lasted 13 games until a Week 6 narrow escape against the Dallas Cowboys.
Those Cowboys will be highlighted on Sunday Night Football in a game of utmost importance against the Philadelphia Eagles. The host Eagles are favored by 3 ½-points.
Finally on Halloween night, we will probably learn whether the Chargers are tricks or treats in the AFC West. This division features three teams that are separated by just a game in the standings, and should the Kansas City Chiefs pull off the upset as 3 ½-point underdogs at Arrowhead Stadium, these two teams and Oakland will all be deadlocked at 4-3.