Week 7 NFL Picks and Predictions
Last Week’s Picks:
Giants (+3): L
Vikings (-10): P
Colts (+3): L
Falcons (-3.5): W
Jaguars (-3): L
Patriots (-3): P
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Needless to say, last week was rough.
1-3-2 ATS drops me to 12-9-4 on my side picks, which is good but not great, for 56% since joining WagerTalk.
Still chipping away at those 4 over/under losses from a couple weeks ago, which are still weighing my overall picks record down at 12-13-4.
Just a week removed from a hard-fought 33-31 road loss the Panthers, the Giants get blasted 34-13 in prime-time, at home, to a division-rival. This team has caused me more stress than they’re worth, and thus, have been relegated to the Shit List until further notice. They’ll probably beat Atlanta now.
Jim Irsay hates Andrew Luck. Why else would he trot him out there every week with no o-line, and a receiving corps that was bad even before it was riddled with injuries? He fought through it all, but miscues and turnovers ultimately led to a 42-34 loss. Someone throw Luck a life jacket, and a razor for that neck-beard.
In case you missed the Cowboys/Jaguars game, congratulations, you missed one of the worst games of the season. Jacksonville was outgained 378-204, lost the turnover battle 2-0, and the TOP battle 38:50-21:10. That was a recipe for a ridiculous 40-7 Dallas win. I don’t care who you are, no one saw this coming.
After allowing the Bucs to narrow the deficit to 31-29, Atlanta gets the ball back with less than four minutes remaining. They take it just inside the 40, as well as the two-minute warning, but Tevin Coleman gets stuffed on a 3rd & 2 carry. With 1:34 to go, Matt Bryant nails a 57-yard insurance kick, making it 34-29.
This sequence of events felt nothing short of a godsend if you had the Falcons to cover. Tampa Bay went on to make you pay for that godsend, in sweat, as they drove 68 yards on 7 plays, inside the Atlanta red zone, in just over a minute. As time expired, it turned into a rugby match, and they fumbled it out of bounds, ending the Crab Shack Comeback.
New England’s D couldn’t hold on to a 40-33 lead and cover, and allowed KC to score a late TD. They got the ball back with just over 3 minutes to go, and as expected, Brady walks them into FG range, and Gostkowski hits a 28-yard dagger as the clock winds down, 43-40.
Minnesota dominated for 3 quarters, up 27-10 heading into the 4th, then just stopped trying. Arizona scored the only points of the final frame, leading to a 27-17 backdoor push, which is about as fun as it sounds.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete this article in time for Thursday’s game, where I loved the Broncos, who were inexplicable road favorites. Now everyone sees why. Von Miller called for an ass-whooping, and they delivered. Oh, and the Cardinals are absolutely awful.
That leaves us with:
Sunday NFL Picks
Lions (-3) @ Dolphins
The Dolphins underplayed the severity of Ryan Tannehill’s injury, giving little time for the Bears to prepare for Osweiler. His position players showed up behind him, and the Miami heat was a far cry from Soldier Field. Khalil Mack tweaked his ankle late, and didn’t look the same after returning. Everything went wrong for Chicago outside the 3rd quarter, where they outscored Miami 21-6.
Akiem Hicks stripped Kenyon Drake at the goal-line in OT, and Chicago recovered for a touchback. They then took it to the 35, but on 3rd & 4, Matt Nagy called a questionable Jordan Howard run, which gained nothing, and forced Cody Parkey to hit a tough 53-yard kick. He didn’t. Chicago’s D was gassed by then, and the Dolphins got into position for a still tough, yet more manageable, 47-yard game-winner, 31-28.
Detroit comes into this one off the bye, and I find a 2-3 team laying 3 on the road against a 4-2 team very intriguing. Especially since the line is supposed to be reflective of the QB situation in Miami, even though the backup just threw for 380 yards, and beat a solid Bears team. Because it’s Brock Osweiler, and Matt Patricia had plenty of time to prepare for this one.
Matthew Stafford has been solid since that brutal Week 1 game against the Jets, throwing for 9 TDs and just one pick in that stretch. He and this receiving corps are more than capable of exploiting a Dolphins secondary that’s 24th in the NFL against the pass.
Detroit will remind the world of the 6’8″ junker that Osweiler is.
If you need a stat:
Lions are 5-1 SU & ATS in their last 6 off a bye.
Brock Osweiler is starting at QB for the Dolphins, and the opponent has more than 2 hours to prepare for the team with him.
Pick: Lions (-3)
Final Score Prediction: 27-13 Lions
Browns @ Bucs (-3.5)
Cleveland goes on the road after a 38-14 thrashing at home by the Chargers. Baker Mayfield continues to get by on inflated stats due to overtime games, and everyone seemed to play down to them until last week. Their first 5 games were decided by 4 points or less, including 3 overtime games, where they’ve gone 1-1-1
I’ve already covered the the Bucs failure to cover late against Atlanta, and while that’s a tough loss, the Falcons really needed that one. Tampa Bay needs this one. They fired their defensive coordinator, which usually leads to a big effort from the players.
Jameis and these receivers will have similar success to the Chargers last week, alongside a better effort from their defense.
If you need a stat:
Browns have lost 23 straight on the road.
Bucs are 6-1 in their last 7 at home vs. teams with a losing record.
Pick: Bucs (-3.5)
Final Score Prediction: 27-17 Bucs
Panthers (+5) @ Eagles
We’ve been over Philly beating up on the Shit List Giants.
Carolina didn’t really show up against a Washington team that can be tough when it wants to be. Cam had a chance to steal the game late. Down 23-17, he led the Panthers’ offense down inside the Redskins’ red zone, but couldn’t convert a 4th & 5 from the 16, sealing their fate.
I feel like Carolina was looking ahead last week, and now the game is here, and they’re going to throw the book at an Eagles team they nearly beat last year.
This is a statement game for the Panthers, and Cam knows it.
If you need a stat:
Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 after a loss.
Panthers are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 as an underdog.
Pick: Panthers (+5)
Final Score Prediction: 26-24 Panthers
Vikings (-3.5) @ Jets
Again, both these teams’ previous games have been covered. Minnesota quietly dominated Arizona, then took a nap in the 4th quarter. New York took advantage of another banged up and inept team, and I’m seeing right through their 3-3 record.
Minnesota has more talent at just about every position, and is starting to shape up the last couple weeks. Despite a 1-1-1 record in three tough road games at the Packers, Rams, and Eagles, Cousins has played well, averaging 383 yards a game, with 8 TDs and only one interception in those contests.
New York’s defense is giving up an average of 355 yards per game through the air over their last 3, along with 8 passing TDs. They’re also battling injuries to their secondary, and their receiving corps. Trumaine Johnson remains out, Marcus Maye has now been ruled out, and Buster Skrine is unlikely to play after suffering a concussion against Indy.
For a secondary that’s already bottom-10 against the pass, with Cousins and arguably the best receiving tandem in football coming to town, that’s not ideal. Quincy Enunwa is set to miss this one, while Terrelle Pryor could as well. Again, for a passing offense that ranks bottom-5, and last in the league in redzone TD percentage, not ideal.
Minnesota plays a complete game here, and gets a dominant win.
If you need a stat:
Vikings are 4-1 in their last 5 against rookie QBs.
Pick: Vikings (-3.5)
Final Score Prediction: 30-16 Vikings
Texans @ Jaguars (-4)
Up 10-6 late in the 3rd quarter, an injury to Josh Allen gifted Houston the Peter Man, who managed to actually keep Buffalo in the game. With the game tied at 13, and just over a minute and a half on the clock, the Peter Man had a chance to lead his team to a victory. To silence the Twitter roasters. To blur the memes. To save his name from becoming a punchline for the rest of history.
He throws a pick-6.
Jacksonville comes into this off back-to-back absolutely horrible games. Last week was the first time they failed to bounce back after a loss to anyone not named the Titans, since the beginning of last season.
Houston has lucked it’s way into a 3-game winning streak thanks to late-game blunders by the Colts (failed on 4th & 4 from their own 43 in OT), the Cowboys (punted on 4th & 1 at Houston’s 42 in OT), and the Bills (Peter Man pick-6).
Jacksonville has got to be pissed after two blowout road losses, and a home game against a division-rival they’ve dominated lately (29-7 & 45-7 last year), might be just what they need. They’ve played much better at home, ranking 2nd in the NFL in net yards per play there. The Texans don’t have Zeke to eat clock, and that will leave Watson against Jacksonville’s top-ranked secondary that’s yielding a mere 187.8 yards a game.
I know I’m going back for thirds here with the Jags, but I have to like them here. They get back on track with a much needed win at home.
If you need a stat:
Texans are 0-5 in their last 5 as an underdog.
Texans are 15-25-1 ATS as a dog under Bill O’Brien, just 37.5%, worst in the NFL over that span.
Jags are 8-1 SU in their last 9 at home.
Jags are 5-2 SU & ATS following a loss since the beginning of last year, outscoring opponents 162-38 in their 5 wins. Jags are also 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following consecutive losses.
Pick: Jaguars (-4)
Final Score Prediction: 27-16
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Saints (+2.5/3) @ Ravens
Baltimore got back on track last week with a 21-0 shutout of the Titans, who never got off the bench.
New Orleans comes in fresh off their bye, and look to keep a 4-game winning streak alive.
I don’t believe in this Ravens defense just yet, as they have yet to contain a team not in absolute flux. Not to mention, this offense has leveled out as of late, totaling just 30 points over the past two games.
Coming off bruising matchups against the offensively weak Titans and Browns, where they went 1-1, they’re getting the most complete team they’ve played so far, and I just feel like the Saints have more than Baltimore is ready for.
The Saints have looked better each week, and there’s no reason to think extra rest and prep won’t work in their favor.
Saints are getting 3 in some places, but if it’s 2.5 and you care to buy it up to avoid getting Tuckered, no one would blame you, although I think you’ll need it. Saints win outright.
If you need a stat:
Saints are 8-2 SU & 9-1 SU in their last 10 after a bye week.
Since 2016, the Saints are 10-5-1 ATS as an underdog, and 12-5-1 ATS on the road.
Pick: Saints (+2.5/3)
Final Score Prediction: 24-20 Saints
Cowboys @ Redskins (PK)
Washington stays home after handling the visiting Panthers last week, 23-17.
As previously mentioned, the Cowboys crushed the Jaguars, but that was more about Jacksonville, and I won’t be fooled by this Dallas offense that can slip back into the basement in one game.
Under Alex Smith, the Redskins play a more mistake-free brand of football. Their defense has also made strides this year, and over their last 6 games at home, they’ve surrendered just 15.17 PPG.
Zeke has run well this year, but most of yardage came in an insane 240-total-yard game against an awful Lions D, at home. He has struggled on the road, failing to crack 69 yards rushing, or 86 total yards in 2 of 3. He’s faced just two top-15 teams against the run (Carolina and Houston), and combined for 123 rushing in those games. Now he gets a tough road test against a Washington defense that’s 6th against the run.
The road has been a tough place for Dallas, where they’ve gone 0-3. Dak, like the rest of his team, has been bad in those 3 road games, throwing for 546 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs, and 74 yards on the ground, including a fumble. That’s quite the contrast to his home performances, where he’s thrown for 598 yards, 5 TDs, with another 129 and a TD on the ground, and zero turnovers.
A lot of talk about the Redskins’ inability to win back-to-back games, a bunch of crazy stats about their unbelievable mediocrity, etc. This isn’t the old Redskins, though. Alex Smith is a smart veteran, and he understands the importance of this game.
Road Dak meets Home Skins Defense, and a Dallas turnover decides this one.
If you need a stat:
Like I said, the Cowboys have been brutal on the road, going 0-3, and being outscored 59-37.
Pick: Redskins (PK)
Final Score Prediction: 20-13 Redskins
He’s an overview of my NFL Picks for this week:
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Thanks again, and best of luck!