Week 7 NFL Predictions

Posted: 10/20/2013 by levcohen in Football

It’s time for week seven picks.. We have 14 games to go through, as there are just two teams, albeit two of the more interesting and exciting teams (the Saints and Raiders) on BYE. We have a nice mix of likely blowouts and nail biters here.

Major games that could end up deciding playoff races include Philadelphia-Dallas, Cincinnati-Detroit, San Francisco-Tennessee, and the big one, Denver-Indianapolis.

*= upset pick

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5, 1-4 against the spread) at Atlanta Falcons (1-4, 1-4):
Line: Falcons favored by 6
Over/under: 42.5
My prediction: Falcons- 27, Buccaneers- 13.. Neither of these teams are good at all, especially with not just Julio Jones and Steven Jackson but also Roddy White out of this game. In fact, the Falcons have no players they planned on starting at any point this season at RB/WR/TE other than stalwart Tony Gonzalez (who they could well trade). Anyway, I’m quickly starting to regret my pick. But I’m going to stick with the Falcons. It’s Matt Ryan at home off a BYE against an 0-5 team. You have to like that.
Falcons cover

Cincinnati Bengals (4-2, 3-2-1) at Detroit Lions (4-2, 4-2):*
Line: Lions favored by 1
Over/under: 46.5
My prediction: Bengals- 26, Lions- 24.. We know the Bengals always play to the talent level of their opponent, and this time they might be playing up to a surprisingly good Lions team. This pick hinges almost entirely on the health of Calvin Johnson. He is probable, but was limited again in practice all week, so I’m not really confident that he’ll be 100%, which is probably what the Lions need him at to win this game.
Bengals cover

Buffalo Bills (2-4, 4-2) at Miami Dolphins (3-2, 3-2):
Line: Dolphins favored by 7
Over/under: 43.5
My prediction: Dolphins- 23, Bills- 17.. I was a Dolphins fan coming into the season, and that looks decent through five games and a BYE. With that being said, I’m actually less convinced than I was going into the season, mostly because their offensive line has been terrible and as a result they haven’t gotten much from their run game. The Dolphins are 1-1 at home, and barely beat a struggling Falcons team, so I don’t think they have a huge home field advantage.
Bills cover

New England Patriots (5-1, 3-3) at New York Jets (3-3, 4-2):
Line: Patriots favored by 3.5
Over/under: 43.5
My prediction: Patriots- 24, Jets- 17.. I thought about it. I really did. The Patriots have been riddled with injuries, and star cornerback Aqib Talib is also out this week. But then I thought about what Jets player could take advantage of the Patriots’ injuries, and I still don’t have an answer. Watch out for the Jets pass rush, but expect the Patriots to keep rolling against all odds.
Patriots cover

Dallas Cowboys (3-3, 5-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-3, 3-3):
Line: Eagles favored by 2.5
Over/under: 55.5
My prediction: Eagles- 31, Cowboys- 28.. I wrestled with it, and then I wrestled some more. And what really lead me to pick the Eagles were three major things, two of which are being used against them:
1. Nick Foles is starting. Vick gives the offense more options, but Foles is just more effective right now.
2. The Eagles have lost eight straight home games. This is fluke more than anything and is bound to end soon.
3. The Cowboys are without top pass rusher DeMarcus Ware (who has always given the Eagles fits) and running back Demarco Murray. The two best ways to beat the Eagles are by pressuring the quarterback and by running the ball. Consider this: in three Eagle wins, Philadelphia has allowed a combined 221 yards rushing. In three losses, they have allowed 413 yards rushing. So the Cowboys need an uninspiring Joseph Randle to have an inspiring game (or just an average game, in which case the Eagles porous run defense can do the rest for him). And they need a bunch of bench players to put pressure on Foles. If not, it might be a long day.
Eagles cover

Chicago Bears (4-2, 1-4-1) at Washington Redskins (1-4, 1-4):*
Line: Bears favored by 1
Over/under: 49
My prediction: Redskins- 30, Bears- 27.. This one one also tough to pick. We have RG3 at home against a struggling Bears defense. But then I realized that the Redskins just aren’t very good, and the Bears are decent. But then I realized that the Redskins are going to end up turning it around and ruining the Eagles division chances, so why not start here? This was my thought process. Sad, I know.
Redskins cover

St. Louis Rams (3-3, 2-4) at Carolina Panthers (2-3, 2-3):
Line: Panthers favored by 7
Over/under: 42
My prediction: Panthers- 23, Rams- 17.. I’m not convinced. That’s the theme for these two teams, who are both coming off big road wins and have lost just one game between them in October.
Rams cover

San Diego Chargers (3-3, 4-1-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6, 1-5):
Line: Chargers favored by 9.5
Over/under: 45
My prediction: Chargers- 28, Jaguars- 24.. The Chargers have to fly across the country after winning a Monday Night Football game against the superior Colts (why does the NFL make them do this?) That’s why I think this is an easy cover for the Jaguars, but I can’t bring myself to pick them to win the game.
Jaguars cover

San Francisco 49ers (4-2, 4-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-3, 4-1-1):
Line: 49ers favored by 3.5
Over/under: 41
My prediction: 49ers- 23, Titans- 20.. I don’t know how they’ll do it with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, but I believe a slight let down is coming for the 49ers, who are 4-2 but are playing more like a .500 team than an elite one. I still think that the 49ers will win this game and many more, but I just have a feeling here that the Titans could somehow cover this spread if not win the game outright.
Titans cover

Cleveland Browns (3-3, 3-3) at Green Bay Packers (3-2, 3-2):- Lock of the Week
Line: Packers favored by 9.5
Over/under: 45.5
My prediction: Packers- 28, Browns- 14.. No Randall Cobb, no problem. Even if James Jones is out, the Packers are going to find a way to win this game at home, because this is still a top three QB at home against a bottom three starting QB. If the QB’s were swapped, the Browns would be a bona fide Superbowl candidate, but unfortunately for Cleveland that isn’t the case.
Packers cover

Houston Texans (2-4, 0-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-0, 5-1):*
Line: Chiefs favored by 6
Over/under: 39.5
My prediction: Texans- 17, Chiefs- 13.. I really, really, really hate the Chiefs. And this would be a mega-shocker, especially with undrafted rookie Case Keenum making his NFL debut at a place that is incredibly hard to play. But I still believe in the Texans defense, who are the best defense in the NFL in yards allowed per game but have given up so many points because of pick-6 after pick-6 from Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates. Go Houston. Texans cover

Baltimore Ravens (3-3, 3-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4, 1-4):*
Line: Steelers favored by 1
Over/under: 41
My prediction: Ravens- 19, Steelers- 16.. Is it possible that people put too much stock into the Steelers win over the Jets? That must be it, because at least in my view the Ravens are still clearly a better team than the Steelers are. I think they edge out their rivals here.
Ravens cover

Denver Broncos (6-0, 4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (4-2, 3-3):
Line: Broncos favored by 5.5
Over/under: 56
My prediction: Broncos- 41, Colts- 27.. With all the talk about Jim Irsay this and Jim Irsay that, the fact of the matter is that the Broncos are a much better team than the Colts. They should also be favored by at least six points against almost any team in the NFL (the exceptions would be: @Seattle, @New Orleans, @New England, @San Francisco (barely).
Broncos cover

Minnesota Vikings (1-4, 2-3) at New York Giants (0-6, 1-5):
Line: Giants favored by 3.5
Over/under: 47.5
My prediction: Giants- 24, Vikings- 17.. I think the Giants will finally win a game here, at home against a bad Vikings team on Monday Night Football with an extra three days of rest.
Giants cover

Upset picks:
Bengals over Lions
Redskins over Bears
Ravens over Steelers
Texans over Chief

Lock of the week:
Packers over Browns


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