Your boy got roughed up a bit last week. I went 6-8 and a few games were pretty ugly. I was doing well this year, but I didn’t adjust a few of my rankings. It didn’t help that injuries to quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Jameis Winston probably decided two of those games.
There are fifteen games on the schedule this week. The only two teams that are on bye are the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions
I may have had a down week, but I did accomplish something…I broke my Thursday Night Football streak of ineptitude. The Eagles bailed me out with their cover at Carolina.
Can the Falcons (+3.5) win in their Super Bowl rematch against the Patriots?
We pick ever NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (+3) – My pick is Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were a bit exposed on Sunday. The Steelers implemented a gameplan on how to beat the Chiefs. The gameplan was simple, get a lead and watch Kansas City fail at playing from behind. Kansas City learned this about themselves too, so they won’t look like fish out of water if this happens against the Raiders. Oakland QB Derek Carr is still dealing with an injured back, but he did just enough last week to not injury it further. The offense didn’t look great against the Chargers, In fact, the Raiders offense have been the same since Oakland’s Mac Dre Dance Party back in Week 2. The Chiefs will bounce back on Thursday and cover in Oakland.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3) – My pick is Miami Dolphins
This is the first game this season in which both teams already faced each other this season. The Jets beat the Dolphins 20-6 at Metlife Stadium in Week 3. Miami RB Jay Ajayi only had 16 yards on 11 carries. He left his quarterback Jay Cutler high and dry. He was left to shoulder all the work on offense. Well, I can’t say it was all him. Miami tried a fake punt and punter Matt Haack threw an interception. The Dolphins are in a better place here in Week 7. They are coming off back-to-back wins, one of them came at Atlanta, very impressive. Ajayi looks like he’s healthy for the first time all season. Cutler will need him to keep it up this week. I think they’ll cover at home
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills (-3) – My pick is Buffalo Bills
This line came out late this week. I’ve hit the Bills hard this year and I expect them to cover this small spread at home. I probably should explain myself a little more, but it’s an easy choice. The Bills have a much better defense and their offense is consistent.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (+3) – My pick is Jacksonville Jaguars
The Colts have only proven one thing all season…they only suit up to play three quarters. Maybe I shouldn’t have said this season, cause it’s been a trend since head coach Chuck Pagano’s first game. They always have one quarter that is beyond disastrous. Last week that quarter occurred when they allowed Tennessee to score 21 points in the fourth. They forget how to tackle and are careless with the ball. How does this relate to this week’s game against Jacksonville? Easy, they’ll blow this game too. Jax RB Leonard Fournette will have a very good game and CB Jalen Ramsey will blanket Indy WR T.Y. Hilton all day. I’m taking the Jags to cover in Indianapolis.
Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) – My pick is Minnesota Vikings
I mentioned this in my fantasy football sit/start post this week, but the Vikings are very good against the run. This means that Baltimore QB Joe Flacco will need to beat Minnesota’s stacked secondary. I don’t like those odds. The Ravens don’t have the big, physical wide receivers needed to match-up with the Vikings. Minnesota QB Case Keenum is a very good NFL quarterback when he limits his mistakes. He just needs to throw the ball away if no one is open. He has some ‘gunslinger’ in him and it can be his worst attribute. He will need both running backs (Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray) to contribute. They should cover this if they get production on the ground.
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (-3) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are shell of themselves when they can’t move the ball on the ground. The addition of RB Adrian Peterson proved that they needed to be less predictable. Arizona QB Carson Palmer has been hung out to dry since RB David Johnson went down with a long-term injury. Teams were just dropping linebackers into coverage or blitzing cause they knew they weren’t running the ball. The Rams won 27-17 last week in Jacksonville. Rams RB Todd Gurley added to his great numbers this season with another 100+ yard game. My pet peeve with the Rams is that they have weapons at wide receiver that teams would die to have, but they don’t even use them. Wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Tavon Austin have only one game in which they had any impact on the final score. Design plays for these guys! I’m taking the points due to Peterson’s fresh legs.
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers (+5.5) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
Packers QB Brett Hundley will be making his first NFL start. He is at home against future Hall of Famer QB Drew Brees…no pressure. This job is Hundley’s for the foreseeable future. He’s been in the system for three years and the only thing new to him will be the physical contact from NFL bodies. One of the reasons why QB Aaron Rodgers is so good is his improv skills. If Hundley has 25% of those skills, he should be all right. That being said, I think the Saints will be much better. Brees hasn’t needed to win games with his arm this year. They have used running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara a lot more. Hell, a good portion of his passes are to those guys. Hundley may need a game or two to get settled in his job. I’m taking the Saints to cover in Lambeau.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears (+3) – My pick is Carolina Panthers
Last week, the Bears beat the Ravens 27-24 in overtime. They had to simplify their offense all the way down to the foundation. Rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky only targeted wide receivers three times all game. WR Kendall Wright caught two of those targets. The rest of the passes were to running backs and tight ends. I expect the same bare bones offense this week. Carolina may be without star LB Luke Kuechly due to concussion symptoms, but even if they are without him, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera should be able to stop the Bears. Chicago’s running backs will end the day with a lot of yards and catches, but as long as they keep them from getting into the end zone, they’ll be just fine. I’m taking the Panthers to cover in Chicago.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (+5.5) – My pick is Tennessee Titans
The Browns decided that they wanted to get another look at rookie QB DeShone Kizer after letting QB Kevin Hogan start in last week’s 33-17 loss at Houston. The Browns are struggling on both sides of the ball, but there is some hope in Cleveland, rookie LB Myles Garrett. He has three sacks in two games so far. Titans QB Marcus Mariota won’t be moving at top speed due to a lingering hamstring issue, so Garrett might add to his sack total this weekend. I expect a big game from Titans RB Derrick Henry since it looks like RB DeMarco Murray could be limited with his own hamstring injury. I have to take the Titans to cover on the road.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (+6) – My pick is Dallas Cowboys
I was shocked when Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan pulled QB Brian Hoyer and put rookie QB C.J. Beathard in the game. He did ‘okay’ in the loss and will start this game. I watched him play in dozens of games at Iowa and I never noticed anything special about him. I’m just being honest here. Shanahan could just be trying to see if he can switch things up and get a better end result. You can get a hint of it when he went with RB Matt Breida instead of starting RB Carlos Hyde late in the loss to the Colts. He knows this year is already a wash, so why not do some tinkering, yeah? It looks like the Cowboys staved off another effort to suspend RB Ezekiel Elliott. The NFLPA were able to buy another two weeks through stalling/appealing in court. Dallas really needed last week’s bye to rehab their issues. They have lost three of their last four games and the last-minute loss to the Packers must still sting a little (or a lot). Hopefully Dallas doesn’t overlook San Francisco since they have a game at Redskins next week. I’m still going to stick with the Cowboys to cover.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) – My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers
The Bengals started off the year 0-3 and only scored a total of 15 points in their first three games. They then forced overtime at Green Bay and then won outright at Cleveland and at home against Buffalo. They are also coming off a bye. I know Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has owned Ohio teams since joining the NFL, but this has all the ingredients for a possible upset…but it’s not going to happen! The Steelers will drape CB Joe Haden on Bengals WR A.J. Green. I have little faith in Bengals QB Andy Dalton to have a successful game without Green at his disposal. Cincy will commit a few costly turnovers and the Steelers will cover at home.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-2) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Man, this game could be a close one. I didn’t like how easy the Giants made it look getting to Denver QB Trevor Siemian last week. I didn’t expect the Giants to penetrate the Broncos offensive line so well. The Chargers have a better front-seven, so this is what is giving me pause. The reason I’m taking the Broncos here is because of their defense. Chargers RB Melvin Gordon won’t be able to run it as well as he has this month. Also, I could see them taking away QB Philip Rivers new favorite target, TE Hunter Henry. I’m glad this line is near pick’em, cause that’s how tight I expect this game to be on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants (+5.5) – My pick is Seattle Seahawks
The Giants defense was the reason they won at Denver last week. They gave up nearly 400 passing yards, but they forced three turnovers, which led to scoring drives. Unfortunately for the Giants, they will need a lot more offense if they hope to contend with the Seahawks. If the Giants only have 266 total yards this week, like they did in their 23-10 win, it will be a blowout in Seattle’s favor. Seattle doesn’t turn the ball over so easy and even though the Seahawks have had their issues scoring a lot in games, I still have to take them to cover due to the Giants expected offensive futility.
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (-3.5) – My pick is Atlanta Falcons
This game brings back a lot of bad memories for Falcons fans. I don’t want to pile on, but we all know about Atlanta’s epic collapse in last year’s Super Bowl. We will see replays of it over and over again all week. I used to deal with it as a Colts fan when the yearly Brady/Manning game would happen. They should show all of the Colts lowlights until they finally beat the Patriots to make it to the Super Bowl. Atlanta will come into this game on fire. I guess you could look at their 20-17 loss to Miami last week as a ‘trap game.’ The Pats already won the game that mattered the most, so the Falcons could win this one and no one is taking their Super Bowl ring back. This game is way more important to Atlanta than New England. The Pats defense already has major issues and playing a team gunning for blood could be a disaster. I’m taking the points on Sunday Night Football.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) – My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
I wonder how many straight NFL posts I can write with the phrase ‘Redskins WR Terrelle Pryor is bad at football.’ I feel the need to point it out every time I mention the team’s name. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins will be looking for RB Chris Thompson, TE Jordan Reed and WR Josh Doctson when he needs a home run. The Eagles have been great. Philly QB Carson Wentz has improved greatly this offseason. It also helps when you have one of the most versatile backfields in the NFL. Running back LeGarrette Blount will bruise you and the rest of the backs burn you around the corner. I would love, love this line if it were -2.5, but I’ll still take the Eagles to cover.
*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