The Seahawks‘ Week 7 win wasn’t easy per se, as the Cardinals stayed within one score for longer than anyone would have hoped. But it’s hard to watch Arizona’s play-calling on a late fourth down and then try to argue that the Cards are organizationally devastated by racking up losses to improve their draft standing – especially if Kyler Murray returns soon enough to accidentally win a few games in the back half of the season.
Until then, we can be comfortable fading the Cardinals, regardless of where the game is played. For as far as it feels like we’ve come, it’s seven down, 11 to go.
Every week until we get knocked out, we’ve mapped two paths to make it to the end of the season undefeated. As long as one of our entries still stands, we’ll use the moneylines for our picks to show the odds of making it the distance traveled along the path. Once we’re out, though, we’re out.
We could provide a series of theoretical rules to follow – like never taking a road team – but the moneyline reflects a club’s likelihood of winning each game. We can easily translate that into an implied win probability, listed in descending order in the chart below.
Week 8 moneylines
IMPLIED PROB (%).
Survivor Path A
Knocked out in Week 3. Thanks, Ravens. Baltimore destroying the Lions in the Ravens’ next home game felt great.
Survivor Path B
There was less than a one-in-four chance – via moneyline math – that we’d make it this far, so let’s not take it for granted. However, had we started with $10 and bet our pick on the moneyline for seven weeks, we’d have about $40 right now. Not exactly lottery-level winnings.
We say there are no set rules in picking your survivor team for the week, but I’ll admit that I hate picking a team that I don’t like to cover the point spread. We could try to thread the needle this week by taking the Chargers at home against the Bears on Sunday night – but who wants to lay over a touchdown with the Bolts?
You could hope for a Chargers win by 1-8 points, but if you think there’s value in betting a close game, you’d probably prefer to include Chicago in a round-robin underdog moneyline parlay this week.
Which brings us back to Baltimore again. The Ravens are healthier on the offensive line and at the offensive skill positions than a month ago. When the sun is shining and they’re not facing a defense that’s extremely familiar with Lamar Jackson, their talent will overwhelm lesser squads.
The challenge for Baltimore is a schedule that doesn’t feature many of those types of teams the rest of the way. Part of the reason we took the Ravens in Week 3 is a tough remaining home slate studded with playoff contenders – Seahawks, Browns, Bengals, Rams, Dolphins and Steelers. The matchup with the Rams projects out to a spread of just shy of a touchdown. Even though this is a road game, it’s now or nevermore to use the Ravens.
Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.