I don’t feel like there are as many ‘landmines’ or sucker bets in this week’s lines. Last week was a rough week and took a lot of research and scouring injury reports.
I did about the same amount of work this week and ended up falling in love with a lot of road teams.
NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 7 of the 2016 NFL season.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5) – My pick is Chicago Bears
The Green Bay Packers were horrible against the Dallas Cowboys last week. It didn’t help that they couldn’t hold onto the ball and that QB Aaron Rodgers had accuracy issues all game. RB Eddie Lacy injured his ankle and is expect to miss several weeks. The Packers traded the Chiefs for RB Knile Davis, but he is dealing with a concussion issue, so he may not suit up on Thursday. I have a feeling the Packers will play WR Ty Montgomery at running back for most of the game again. The Bears have their own injury issues, but QB Brian Hoyer and WR Cameron Meredith are thriving in their roles replacing injured players. The Packers may still win this game, but the Bears will keep it close, so give me the points.
New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams (+2.5) – My pick is New York Giants
The Los Angeles Rams played a pretty damn good game last week and still lost to the banged-up Detroit Lions. Rams QB Case Keenum had his best game as a pro, but his late interception sealed the game up for Detroit. The reason I think the Giants will cover is due to the Rams being unable to stop Detroit WR Golden Tate. If they can’t stop Golden Tate, they won’t be able to stop Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. I think OBJ will have a very good game and who knows where his relationship with the kicking net will go next…give me the Giants to cover on the road.
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets (pk) – My pick is Baltimore Ravens
Oh man…I hate both of these teams. The Ravens and Jets are BOTH 0-4 ATS in their last four games. I thought the Jets defense would be much better than this. The Jets will start QB Geno Smith instead of the Human Turnover Machine, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. If their defense plays as poorly as they have the last few weeks, the average Ravens offense should be able to score enough to win this game, so I’m taking Baltimore.
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) – My pick is Minnesota Vikings
I love the Vikings this season. Their defense is so damn good and they are fun to watch. Philly QB Carson Wentz has looked like a rookie the last two games and he will have his toughest test on Sunday. The Vikings will cover on the road.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (+3) – My pick is Buffalo Bills
Their are a lot of bad home underdogs this week. I realize Miami smoked Pittsburgh, but they need to do more to change my mind. The Bills have been running a ground game clinic on their opponents. RB LeSean McCoy looks like the MVP-caliber player the Bills thought they were getting from the Eagles. The Titans ran all over the Dolphins just two weeks ago…so the Bills should have a lot of success this Sunday. I’m taking the Bills to cover on the road.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3) – My pick is Tennessee Titans
The Colts handed the game to the Texans late Sunday night. Indianapolis can’t seem to play four full quarters of football. They either don’t show up in the first or completely give up in the fourth. I think this is a head coach issue and Indy’s Chuck Pagano is sitting on a very warm seat. The Titans will be able to run on the Colts this season, which they had trouble at times doing a year ago. The Colts are a loss or two away from bailing on their coach. I’m taking the Titans to cover at home.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-9.5) – My pick is Cincinnati Bengals
The Browns are a team I wish were better. They have a lot of likable guys on the team, but injuries have taken away any hope for them this season. The Bengals aren’t the same dominant team they were last season. They do expect TE Tyler Eifert to make his season debut this weekend, which is great news for QB Andy Dalton. I think Eifert will be the next boost the Bengals need to cover, since the Browns have been horrible against good tight ends this year. I’m taking the Bengals to cover at home.
Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions (-1) – My pick is Washington Redskins
Washington is on a nice four game winning streak while also 4-0 ATS. They are going through a pretty average stretch of their schedule, but they are taking care of business. Detroit is banged up and they were lucky to get out of last week’s game against the Rams with a win. The Redskins don’t have a great run defense, but the Lions are running on fumes in that department with starting third-string RB Zach Zenner. I’m taking the points in this game.
New Orleans Saints at Kansas City Chiefs (-7) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
I really don’t want to underestimate the Chiefs, but this line is a bit bonkers, yeah? The Saints are on a roll on offense and have scored at least 32 points in four of their five games. Their defense doesn’t leave a very good taste in your mouth, but they they have been solid enough. The Chiefs are starting to get some guys back healthy, like RB Jamaal Charles, but RB Spencer Ware is doing well enough that Charles can be eased back onto the field. I have to go with the points here because I don’t see the Chiefs as that much better than the Saints.
Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars (-1) – My pick is Oakland Raiders
I’ve been betting pretty opposite of the norm when it comes to Oakland. The Raiders are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games…and they 0-3 ATS at home this season. RB Latavius Murray has missed the last two games, so Oakland will get him back this game. They are a much different team when he is not on the field. The Raiders aren’t great against the run this season and facing the Jags is a nice change of pace. Jacksonville is horrible running the ball and I don’t see them taking advantage of Oakland’s poor run defense. I’m taking Oakland in this game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers (+2) – My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I really want nothing to do with San Francisco right now. They are just trying to figure things out and things got ugly last week. QB Colin Kaepernick wasn’t exactly the ‘jolt of adrenaline’ the offense needed. Tampa Bay is coming off a bye, but come into this game pretty banged up. They just found out WR Vincent Jackson tore his ACL and RB Doug Martin is still dealing with a hamstring issue. I’m taking Tampa Bay on the road.
San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) – My pick is Atlanta Falcons
I keep writing off San Diego and they have won against the spread the last two weeks. I honestly don’t know how they are doing it. The injuries on that team are insane and the ‘next man up’ fills in. Atlanta is a surprise team and their offense is bananas. Who knows if they could have won last week’s game against Seattle if the blatant pass interference was called late in that game. I have to take Atlanta to cover in this game, they have just impressed me too much for me to pass this line up.
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (+7) – My pick is New England Patriots
Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger tore his meniscus last week and will be out for four to six weeks. I don’t think the Steelers can keep this game competitive without Big Ben. QB Landry Jones hasn’t shown in the past that he has the skills to win big games. The Patriots have been covering big point spreads since QB Tom Brady returned from suspension and I think they will cover another one on Sunday…give me the Pats.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-2) – My pick is Seattle Seahawks
The Cardinals come into this game 3-3, but in the preseason, I thought both teams would come into this game very strong. Arizona QB Carson Palmer has not been very good this season. He has hurt the team and their defense hasn’t lived up to last year’s numbers either. I think this game will be very close, but Seattle has been sneaky good on third downs this year. I think they will keep pulling those off, so I’m taking the points.
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (-7) – My pick is Denver Broncos
This is the most troublesome line of the week. The Broncos haven’t been very good the last two weeks, but either have the Texans. Houston should have lost last week’s game against Indy by two touchdowns. QB Brock Osweiler will come into this game with HUGE chip on his shoulder. I don’t think it’s that huge of a game for Denver since they feel like they made the right decision for the future…unless you’re Denver LB Brandon Marshall, then you want to harm Mr. Osweiler. I’m going to take Denver to cover, but it will be close.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob