Well, the only thing with more parity in the NFL this season is the AC NFL pick ’em contest. About the entire league is three games within each other after last week’s strong performances from the players who were at the bottom of the rankings. Heading into Monday Night, I’m currently at 8-5 for week 6.
Visit my website HERE throughout the week for plenty of weekly NFL prediction links from 10 other Associated Content writers.I keep their records throughout each week so you know who’s been streaky and who to follow each week. Stats are from NFL.com
UPDATE 10-20-10: I’ve updated the final three games. The site I use for lines still hasn’t updated their odds so I’m going to use the odds that Todd Jacobs uses for his picks (Las Vegas Hilton Superbook) for those three games on the spread. Jacobs picks and lines can be found HERE
I’ve also updated the analysis of the Bengals and Falcons game. With the injury to Dunta Robinson, I’m now leaning on Cincinnati. I’ve also updated the rest of the lines on these games. In addition, I’m also taking the Saints (-13) instead of the Browns on the spread. Good luck!
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)
The Cincinnati Bengals have a solid defense that should complicate matters for Matt Ryan. The Bengals have had two weeks to prepare for this critical game for the Bengals. The Bengals need to avoid 2-4 in an AFC North that maintains the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The Atlanta Falcons lead the NFL in defensive interceptions, although they’re 24th in passing defense.
The Falcons have been one of the NFL’s best home teams since 2008. The Bengals have played in many close games this season, but Carson Palmer’s interceptions have cost them. The Atlanta Falcons are two game clinching field goals away from being 2-4. The Falcons haven’t been dominant overall, but they’re still one of the NFC’s better teams.
I believe this game could go either way. I have a difficult time picking against the Falcons at home and I did originally pick the Falcons, but I’ve changed my view of this game with the injury to Dunta Robinson. The Falcons were already 24th in passing defense and will find it even more difficult against a 2-3 Bengals team who has had two weeks to prepare with Ocho Cinco and Owens. Must win for the Bengals here, and I think Palmer gets it done.
Straight & Against the Spread: Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Miami Dolphins
The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Miami Dolphins 30-24 after holding off a resurgent Dolphins squad in week 17 of 2009. Despite playing with their fourth string QB, the Dolphins remained competitive throughout the game.
It’s difficult picking against a good team playing at home, especially when they’re the underdog. However, I don’t think Chad Henne is quite good enough to exploit the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. If Ben Roethlisberger can avoid major mistakes, the Steelers should get a close victory.
Straight & Against the Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens (-13)
The only thing that the Buffalo Bills have going for them is that they’ve had two weeks to prepare for this game. The one reason you might consider the Buffalo Bills is because they covered the New England Patriots spread a few weeks ago. Even then, those are divisional rivals who have familiarity with one another.
Expect a 10-17 victory by the Baltimore Ravens. I’m putting my faith in the Ravens and I’d guess most people would, too.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Baltimore Ravens (-13)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints (-13)
The Cleveland Browns failed to cover their last spread of similar significance (last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers). There is no way that the Saints should lose this game when Colt McCoy is playing. However, they did have difficulty in a close game against the Carolina Panthers under Jimmy Clausen. It’s not a guarantee that the Saints would blow out the Browns here as I’d see the Saints scoring 27 points at maximum against the Browns defense, and I’d forecast more like 24. Then again, the Saints did have the NFL’s 5th ranked passing defense. The Browns are 21st.
The Cleveland Browns have played pretty good defensively and have a running game that could eat up clock against the Saints defensive trenches. Saints win easily, but I wouldn’t guarantee that they’d cover the spread. Depends on how well they can handle Brees (probably not well).
Straight & Against the Spread: – New Orleans Saints (-13)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: San Francisco 49ers (-3) Carolina Panthers
This game would have been so much better had they both been winless. Regardless, the Carolina Panthers have had two weeks of preparation. Alex Smith should have difficulty against one of the NFL’s better passing defenses.
Look for the San Francisco 49ers defense to smother the Carolina Panthers 32nd ranked offense. Unless the Panthers can find their rushing offense (20th), they’d be fortunate to score ten. Rodney Southern of Associated Content also picked the Panthers. That alone nearly guarantees that they’re going to lose.
Straight & Against the Spread: – San Francisco 49ers (-3)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
After winning four games combined in 2009, one of these teams will have four wins just seven weeks into the season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have feasted on inferior teams while getting blown out by better competition. The St. Louis Rams have played better at home this season with a good, young defense.
The Buccaneers are 3-2, but they rely heavily on an opportunistic defense. Keep the turnovers at a minimum, and you’re beating the Buccaneers. That could be a tad difficult for the Rams with a rookie quarterback.
Should be a low scoring game that comes down to turnovers. Also, the Buccaneers have the 2nd fewest total penalties in the league. The Rams have the 9th most. Home field, discipline, and the potential for a big play from their defense or special teams give the Buccaneers a slight edge over the Rams here.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-5.5)
The Arizona Cardinals are playing a Seattle Seahawks team who notched a major road victory in Chicago this week. The Cardinals have had two weeks to prepare, but they’re going to find it difficult with rookie Max Hall making his first road start in “False Start City.” The Cardinals were blown out in road losses to San Diego and Atlanta this season, so look for a decent sized victory for the Seahawks… about 10-14 points.
Straight & Against the Spread: Seattle Seahawks (-5.5)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers (-3)
The San Diego Chargers are 2-0 at home, but they’re 0-4 on the road. Phillip Rivers has orchestrated the NFL’s #1 passing offense, but penalties and special teams play have prevented them from winning very capable road games. The truly baffling thing about the Chargers is how they’d rid themselves of a coach that gets them to 14-2 and have let Norv Turner stay this long. They’ve really ruined what could have been at least one Super Bowl, if not two.
The New England Patriots are 28th in passing defense. Yeah, this could be one of those blowouts that makes people think the Chargers are back for another ten-game winning streak to end 2010. Chargers win by double digits.
Straight & Against the Spread: – San Diego Chargers (-3)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears (-3)
The Seahawks defense was able to harass Cutler all day. The Washington Redskins are 11th in sacks. With Orakpo and the Redskins 3-4 blitz schemes, the Redskins defense should be able to create pressure on the NFL’s worst offensive line.
I think the Washington Redskins are the slightly better team right now. They’ve been competitive in almost every game outside of St. Louis, and while the defense has given up yardage, they don’t surrender too many points because they’re pretty strong in the red zone. Right now, 3-3 in the NFC East is more impressive than 4-2 in the NFC North.
I expect this game to come down to the final minutes. Then, I’d take McNabb over Cutler, especially behind that horrendous offensive line and Mike Martz’s stubborn play calling. Right now, Cutler just needs to worry about his long-term health.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Washington Redskins (+3)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-2.5)
The Green Bay Packers have performed below expectations, and it’s more than just injuries. The team has lost their last two games in overtime. They have no killer instinct and appear completely incapable of putting teams away. They’ve really had this problem since their entire 2008 season was ruined from losing numerous games in the last minute. Unless they can get out to a decent lead, they don’t win close games. The only times I can recall them making a comeback victory since 2008 included the Detroit Lions game that clinched them at 0-16 and the Chicago Bears game with the long touchdown pass to Greg Jennings.
The Packers need to win two of three before going into the bye. I’d love to think this team would play lights out against Brett Favre after getting humiliated by him twice last season, but I don’t expect that to happen. The Minnesota Vikings are 2-3, but their three defeats could have been victories with a little better quarterback play. The Vikings also look more committed to winning when they’re adding guys like Greg Camarillo and Randy Moss while Ted Thompson is relying on James Starks and Dimitri Nance (why did they pick this guy up if he isn’t going to play?) instead of acquiring Marshawn Lynch for a third or fourth.
This game will determine their season and they should be getting a handful of defensive starters back from injury. Still, look for the Vikings defense to tee off on Aaron Rodgers. Jared Allen should be able to exploit the Packers weak offensive line play like last season. It’ll go down to the final minutes but, as usual, they’ll blow it AGAIN.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Minnesota Vikings (+2.5)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
How many 1-4 teams are three point favorites against division leaders? The Cowboys produce stats, but they don’t produce victories. Tony Romo has cost the Cowboys the past two games after throwing some baffling interceptions. The Cowboys special teams are essentially spotting teams seven points per game. Mike Jenkins is spotting opponents two interference calls per game, and the Cowboys are one of the NFL’s most penalized teams along with the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions. Tony Romo also has a thumb injury.
This is their season. A loss puts them at 1-5 and 0-2 in the division. In a season of parity, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt this week. The Giants were in a close game with another often penalized team (Lions) and I don’t think they’re as good as a desperate Cowboys team. Going to give the Cowboys one final grasp, but will take the points.
Against the Spread: New York Giants (+3)
Straight: – Dallas Cowboys
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)
I’ve watched the Jacksonville Jaguars twice this season. Those games were against the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans. They were outscored 58-6. Their 3-3 record is baffling to me… maybe it’s just something about me watching them?
The Jaguars will be playing a Kansas City Chiefs team in one of the NFL’s best home field advantages. They’re also on a short week. Love the Chiefs here, and I think the Chiefs have a better opportunity for a big victory than the Jaguars have of winning.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Philadelphia Eagles at Tennessee Titans (-3)
Both teams have injury concerns to their quarterbacks, but I don’t think it’ll make too much of an impact in this game for the Tennessee Titans. The Philadelphia Eagles could use Michael Vick because their depleted offensive line is going to have difficulty with the NFL’s best pass rush.
There are a few reasons I like the Titans in this game. Home field is one of the minor reasons. The Titans 4th ranked rushing offense goes up against the Eagles 22nd ranked rushing defense. The Eagles are a blitz happy team. If Chris Johnson gets by the Eagles on any of their pass rushes, he’s probably gone. Basically, there is potential for huge plays and an overall huge game for Chris Johnson.
The Titans have fared very well against NFC East opponents this season as they’ve beaten the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. The biggest reason I like the Titans, however, is they’re #1 in defensive sacks with 24. The Eagles have given up 20 sacks, 2nd most in the NFL. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles are going on a third QB in this game because they don’t match up well with the Titans, especially without DeSean Jackson.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Tennessee Titans (-3)
Week 7 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-6)
I thought the Oakland Raiders had an opportunity to turn their season around after defeating the San Diego Chargers. Last time I’m putting any confidence in them. The quarterback situation is undetermined in Oakland, but I believe the Broncos will benefit from home field advantage. Oakland might keep it close, but they’ll probably get blown out.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Denver Broncos (-6)
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Cooper’s Picks. http://www.cooperspick.com/odds.asp?league=NFL October 18, 2010.
NFL Stats from October 18, 2010.