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Colts -17 vs. Titans (MISMATCH OF THE WEEK)
Steelers -13.7 vs. Dolphins
Buccaneers -12 vs. Panthers
Jets -10 vs. Broncos
Texans -7.7 vs. Raiders
Indianapolis Colts -17 vs. Tennessee Titans
Let's start with the obvious: this game marks the return of Jonathan Taylor after missing two games with an ankle injury. When these two AFC rivals played during week four, Taylor was held to 42 yards rushing on 20 attempts. Although the Colts offensive line is relatively healthy (center Ryan Kelly full practice on Thursday), they still rank below average per our NFL Betting/Props Cheat Sheet. Pro Football Focus also ranks each individual starting offensive lineman from average to below average as run blockers.
The Titans, on the other hand, have done a great job this season stopping the run. Tennessee hasn't allowed much via the ground since Saquon Barkley ripped them in Week 1 for 160+ yards. Since then, however, they've held the likes of Devin Singletary (6 carries, 19 yards), Josh Jacobs (13-66), Taylor (20-42) and Brian Robinson (9-22) more than in check. The Titans are also coming off a bye and is healthier than Indianapolis' OL is currently. With a defensive line lead by Jeffery Simmons as their highest rated run stopper, the Colts offensive line could be in for a long day, ranking 25th overall in PFF run blocking.
The Titans rank #1 in ESPN's Run Stop Win Rate, #4 in PFF run defense and #8 in Football Outsiders' DVOA run defense metric. They are only one of four teams in the league to be 10 in each of those categories, while the Colts, conversely, are bottom in 10 in two of these three metrics when it comes to their OL run blocking grades. Targeting rushing unders once again for the Colts here, against this well-rested Tennessee front line, might not be such a bad idea in this Week 7 AFC South divisional clash.
OTHER NOTABLE MISMATCHES:
Pittsburgh Steelers -13.7 vs. Miami Dolphins
The Steelers have yet to have a running back rush for over 100 yards this season (we see you, Najee), while the Dolphins have not allowed an RB to rush for over 100 yards this season despite facing Dalvin Cook Breece Hall, Joe Mixon and the Patriots rushing attack back in Week 1. Miami has the number one ranked run-stopping interior defender in 6'6", 304 lb DE Zach Sieler, while also ranking 6th in ESPN's run stop win rate, #4 in DVOA run defense and #6 in PFF run defense. We've been betting Najee unders almost religiously in our Premium Discord, and it's hard not to go back to the well again here in Week 7 on SNF.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -12 vs Carolina Panthers
Carolina has three players in their front seven grading top 20 in run defense at their position per Pro Football Focus: Frankie Luvu, Derrick Brown and Shaq Thompson. Be aware, however, that Derrick Brown's name has been discussed in trade rumors, and he was a DNP for "personal reasons" on Friday. Tampa Bay, on the other side, has only one game where it has rushed for over 100 yards as a team in 2022, and the Bucs come into Week 7 putrid ranking 26th in DVOA run blocking and 19th overall in our cheat sheet's run-blocking consensus average. The Panthers will be hurting without both CMC and Robbie Anderson this weekend, but their defense remains relatively in tact, and it could be yet another week where we see Tampa's offense continue to struggle, especially with the ground game and starter Leonard Fournette.
Raiders +16.3 > Texans (MISMATCH OF THE WEEK)
Cowboys +13.3 > Lions
Ravens +12 > Browns
Commanders +12 > Packers
Las Vegas Raiders +16.3 vs. Houston Texans
Both teams are well rested off of a bye here, and the Raiders look to continue rushing the ball down their opponents throats as they have over the previous month with Josh Jacobs. There's nothing special about this Raiders offensive line - no player ranks in the top ten at run blocking, for example, but the scheme and opponent respect for the passing game has seemingly propelled Josh Jacobs to third in the NFL in rushing yards this season. Jacobs has over 100 yards rushing in each of the last two weeks before the bye and with no real handcuff to steal carries away, Jacobs has the potential to have another big game this week against a Texans defense ranking a lowly 31st in PFF run defense, 29th in DVOA run defense and 27th in ESPN's run stop win rate. Jacobs is surefire lock to be the weekend's highest owned DFS player, and for good reason. Taking a look at his rushing yards over, as well as his longest rush prop, are firmly in play.
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard have combined for over 100 yards rushing in each of the last five contests for the Dallas Cowboys, who in Week 7 have the second biggest run blocking advantage per our NFL Betting/Props Cheat Sheet. Only two players on the Lions front seven ranks above average at run stopping, according to PFF, and both of them are rookies in Aidan Hutchinson and Malcolm Rodriguez. The Lions are dead last (32nd overall) in Football Outsiders' run defense DVOA, while the Cowboys rank #1 in run blocking DVOA. It's tough to find more of a mismatch on any given week, compared to what we have here, and it puts both Elliott and Pollard both firmly in play for rushing props over, as well as for DFS.
Cleveland has allowed over 98 yards rushing in four straight games now, including massive performances to the likes of the Chargers (29 running back carries for 225 yards) and Falcons (30-199). The Browns' interior defensive line grades below average according to Pro Football Focus, while their star defensive ends Clowney and Garrett are still labeled as questions due to injuries and have been limited in practice all week. Getting those two stars back for Cleveland would certainly go a long way in helping to solve their run defense woes. This is a situation to monitor, until we receive confirmation on Clowey/Garrett.
By Ben Martinez & Chris Dell
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