Week 7 Pick’ em: Please keep in mind that by the time you’re reading this, the line may have shifted depending on breaking news during the week, or money flowing through the market. Good luck in Week 7!
Thursday 8:20 PM EST
Denver at Arizona, +2.5
The Broncos managed to keep it close in their Week 6 matchup against the Rams, but they are a vastly different team on the road. I have no faith that both Case Keenum and Vance Joseph make it through this season without being benched or fired, respectively. This line has already moved to 1.5/1 at most books. I don’t have a strong feeling on this game, but it’s Cardinals as home underdogs or nothing for me in this spot.
Sunday 9:30 AM EST
Tennessee at LA Chargers, -6.5
Both teams will travel across the pond to play the second of three London games this year. The Titans are coming off of the wrong side of a shutout to the Ravens, and the Chargers beat the Browns handily in their Week 6 matchup on the road. Keep in mind that this game will be played at 9:30 AM EST/6:30 AM PST, which slightly favors the Titans. I think this line is a bit of an overreaction, but Marcus Mariota was sacked 11 times in last week’s game. Until we see palpable improvement from their offensive line, it’s lay it or don’t play it for me with the Chargers in Wembly.
Sunday 1:00 PM EST
Carolina at Philadelphia, -4.5
A one-shoed Adrian Peterson was able to run all over the Panthers defense in a 23-17 loss last week to the Redskins. They’ll play their second game in a row on the road against an Eagles team that will have extra rest and time to prepare, having beat up on the Giants on Thursday night. Panthers are a sneaky team and could keep this close, but I like the Eagles to win and cover the spread.
Minnesota at NY Jets, +3.5
Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and the Jets put up more than 40 points for the second time this season against the Colts last week and will be home for the second game in a row to face the Vikings. I think Minnesota is a much better team, but this line suggests it would be a touchdown margin on a neutral field. This game could end up being high scoring, and the Jets could even win outright. With Darnold finding his stride, give me the Jets as home underdogs with the points.
Houston at Jacksonville, -4.5
The Blake Bortles experience continued into Week 6 with an embarrassing 40-7 loss to the Cowboys on the road. The Texans, on the other hand, are probably the least impressive team that has just won three straight games. They were gifted a win in Week 6 by way of an injury to rookie quarterback Josh Allen, forcing the Bills to put in Nathan Peterman. The Jaguars will play better, especially at home, and I think this can be a big bounce-back game for their defense. I am taking the Jaguars to win and cover.
Cincinnati at Kansas City, -6.5
Cincinnati is coming off of a tough loss to their divisional rivals and will have to face a Chiefs team that is 6-0 against the spread. The Bengals are a good team and their defense is one of their strengths, but I think Patrick Mahomes proved he could hang with the big boys in primetime in one of the toughest places to play. I think this line is a steal at under a touchdown, with Chiefs being the only way to go.
Detroit at Miami, +1.5
Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill sat out of last week’s game rather unexpectedly, and I think everyone, including myself, faded the Dolphins with little confidence in backup, Brock Osweiler. The Lions, on the other hand, had a bye last week and beat the Packers 31-23 in their previous game with a little help from five missed kicks from Mason Crosby. Since these lines came out, Osweiler was named the starter for this week’s game. Most lines are up to 3 in light of this news, but I think in both cases, I’m going with the Dolphins.
New England at Chicago, +3.5
The Bears may have gotten “Jordan shrugged” by Brock Osweiler last week in Miami, but they’ll head home to Soldier field to face the Patriots this week. Meanwhile, the Patriots beat the juggernaut Chiefs in a Sunday night football shootout in which 83 points were scored. The Bears have a good home field advantage and a good defense, but this line suggests the Patriots would only be touchdown favorites on a neutral field, which doesn’t feel like enough. Give me the Patriots to win and cover the spread.
Cleveland at Tampa Bay, -3.5
The Buccaneers almost eked out a win on a wild final play of last week’s game, but dropped to 2-3 and 3rd place in their division. They seem to be a much improved squad with quarterback Jameis Winston returning from suspension, but are still plagued with so many defensive woes that defensive coordinator Mike Smith was fired after only five games. Meanwhile, the Browns lost 38-14 to the Chargers last week, but I think this is a bounceback game for rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Give me the Browns to keep it close and cover the 3.5 point spread.
Buffalo at Indianapolis, -7.5
Rookie quarterback Josh Allen exited last week’s game with an elbow injury and will miss 2-3 games. Coach Sean McDermott announced that backup quarterback Derek Anderson will start this game. Without Allen, I think the Bills go back to being an absolute dumpster fire. I hate laying this many points with a team that’s 1-5 on the season, but with a huge unknown having Anderson under center, it’s lay it or don’t play it with the Colts with the caveat that I would probably just stay away from this game altogether.
Sunday 4:05 PM EST
New Orleans at Baltimore, -2.5
Baltimore picked up a 21-0 win in Week 6 against the Titans, sacking quarterback Marcus Mariota 11 times in the game. They’ll be home to face the Saints, who are coming off of a bye, but looked strong in their last game against the Redskins, winning 43-19. Baltimore is a much more well-rounded team, but Saints offense is incredibly explosive, especially with the readdition of Mark Ingram to their run game. I’m taking the underdog Saints to win and cover the spread easily.
Sunday 4:25 PM EST
Dallas at Washington, -1.5
The Cowboys pulled off an impressive 40-7 win against the Jaguars on Sunday and head into this week’s NFC east divisional matchup looking up at the first place Redskins. Their defense looked strong and Ezekiel Elliott and Cole Beasley combined for 218 yards and three touchdowns, but they are 0-3 on the road against the spread this year. The Redskins pulled off a 23-17 victory against the Panthers last week, and will be home for the second week in a row. I think this is a letdown game for the Cowboys, so it’s hail to the Redskins for me.
Sunday 8:20 PM EST
LA Rams at San Francisco, +10.5
The Rams come into this matchup undefeated and off a close 23-20 win against the Broncos last week. They’ll make the intra-California trip to San Francisco to face C.J. Beathard and the 49ers, who managed to keep it within a field goal in Lambeau against the Packers and put up 30 points with help from Matt Breida and Marquise Goodwin. This will be the Rams’ third straight game on the road, and 10.5 feels too high for a team whose last two games were decided by only 3 and 2 points, respectively. Give me the 49ers as home underdogs to cover the spread.
Monday 8:15 PM EST
NY Giants at Atlanta, -6.5
The 1-5 Giants come into this matchup in last place in arguably the worst division in the NFL with no shortage of drama. Having passed on a quarterback with the second pick of last year’s draft, they are stuck with an aging Eli Manning and a disgruntled Odell Beckham Jr. This said, they are going to Atlanta to face a defense that has been absolutely decimated by injuries all around. I expect all of Atlanta’s games to be high scoring this year, especially at home, and this shouldn’t be an exception (though, we said this of the NYG/NO game a few weeks ago). This line feels like a trap, but I think the Giants with the extra rest can bounce back from their Thursday night embarrassment. I’m picking the Giants to lose but keep it within the touchdown.