NFL Betting Preview: Huge AFC North battle, plus high-scoring showdown between Lions and Rams

Week Seven means we’re almost at halfway stage of the NFL season and the big games just keep on coming.

Get your popcorn out, put on your seatbelts and get ready for a huge AFC North match-up in Baltimore.

If that wasn't enough, the unbeaten Cardinals and Super Bowl winners Tampa Bay are both playing in winnable home games.

There's also the game of the big trade as the Detroit Lions face the Los Angeles Rams after the two teams effectively swapped quarterbacks in the offseason.

Matthew Stafford and the Rams have been huge winners of that transaction so far, but could Jared Goff throw a big spanner in the works?

Here's the pick of the Week Seven action.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens seem to be involved in big games every week and after they dispatched the well-fancied Chargers last week they now get AFC North rivals Cincinnati, who have lost their last three against Baltimore by a combined 114-19.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is back in MVP form, with over 1,500 passing yards and over 300 rushing yards proving he's a true dual threat and not just a running back under centre. Stopping him will be priority number one for the Bengals.

At 4-2 Cincy have been impressive with Joe Burrow having a brilliant connection with rookie wideout Ja'Marr Chase, who is having one of the best debut campaigns of all time.

Baltimore Ravens WR Devin Duvernay (13) in action during a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on October 17, 2021.

Their big-play ability will keep any defence on its toes and means they will stay in the game even if they're under severe pressure.

Burrow was sacked seven times in his only game against Baltimore so will have to get over those demons, while Jackson usually feasts on the Bengals as he's 5-0 with an average winning margin of just over 20 points.

The Bengals look too good to get blown out again this time, as their defence hasn't allowed over 25 points this season.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wyatt Ray (93) waits on the field after a play during an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, October 17, 2021.

Five of Cincy's six games have gone under the points total including all three on the road so a reasonably low-scoring defensive fist fight looks on the cards.

I expect a Ravens win but am not happy about the points spreads, so instead let's pick some value out of the TD market with Bengals running back Joe Mixon being a nice price at 6/4.

He's had two rushing TDs but also had a receiving score last week with a long catch-and-run, and his new dual threat status increase his chances greatly of scoring.

Best bet: Joe Mixon to score a touchdown at 6/4

Houston Texans @ Arizona Cardinals

In one of two revenge-type games, there are a couple of big players on the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals who will want to show up against former employers Houston.

JJ Watt left on decent terms but receiver DeAndre Hopkins less so and he'll especially want to put up some big numbers.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) celebrate after Kirk scored on a 21-yard touchdown pass during the first quarter of the National Football League game between the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns on October 17, 2021,

Hopkins has been held under 100 receiving yards for eight straight games, but he's got six touchdowns so far so is still a top target of Kyler Murray - it's just that the Cards have a number of top options in their attack.

It's those options, and Arizona's all-round excellence, that should see them ease past the 1-5 Texans without too much trouble, especially given the way they marched into Cleveland and gave the Browns a kicking all without head coach Kliff Kingsbury - who may again be absent after getting Covid.

Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) passes the ball during NFL football game action between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Arizona need to be taken seriously now after starting 6-0 for the first time since 1974 and are one of 40 teams to get to that mark in the last 30 years - 38 of those have made the playoffs and the Cards are looking every bit a Super Bowl contender, let alone a playoff side.

There are some lofty points spreads on this one but although Arizona are well capable of blowing out the Texans, they've got Green Bay on Thursday and if a healthy lead builds up then they could well rest a few star players. They've scored over 30 points in all but one game so should get well over it for a much safer bet.

Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can get to 6-1 for the first time in franchise history if they can beat the Chicago Bears, which they're big favourites to do even with their injury list continuing to lengthen.

Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Richard Sherman and Lavonte David have all been ruled out and while Tom Brady still has plenty of attacking options, the team's secondary is now paper thin.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) in action during the NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia

Whether rookie QB Justin Fields can take advantage behind an offensive line that's allowed the most sacks in the NFL is the big question.

Chicago can also get after the QB though as the Bears have the joint-most sacks themselves with 21 so Brady could be in for an unusually uncomfortable night after only being sacked nine times this season.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks on during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on October 17, 2021,

Brady has the most passing yards in the league this term as he continues to defy time and stay on pace for one of his best campaigns ever.

The Bears should give Brady plenty of problems and if they can run the ball with Khalil Herbert then they should be able to keep this one a bit closer than the 12.5-point spread, especially with all of Tampa's injuries.

Detroit Lions @ Los Angeles Rams

That blockbuster trade between two former No.1 picks makes this game one to watch as Jared Goff returns to LA after he was traded away by the Rams to bring in Matthew Stafford, who wanted to leave the Lions after 12 struggling seasons in Detroit.

And you have to say Rams coach Sean McVay was right to make the move, as Goff and the Lions remain winless while the Rams are 5-1 with Stafford's 16 touchdown passes the most ever by a QB in his first six games for a new team.

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell (58) takes with his teammates after a play during an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, October 17, 2021.

Goff did lead the Rams to a Super Bowl, but he was always more of a system QB while Stafford has much more star quality, a bigger arm and the ability to play off the cuff, and he's already shown that the Rams are a more potent attacking force with him.

LA are naturally big favourites with Detroit not managing to score more than 17 points in five straight games and a second successive blowout looks on the cards - unless Goff and emotional coach Dan Campbell can produce their very best to keep it close.

Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during a game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks on October 7, 2021,

One way or another I think Goff can at least get some points on the board and show some pride, but it won't be enough to stop the Lions from slipping to yet another defeat.