Bigger than the Chicago Cubs reaching the World Series, it’s your weekly dose of NFL spread picks where my advice leads you not make or lose any money. Some spread pickers are like smart investment firms, some are Bernie Madoff, while I’m basically like hiding your money under a mattress. You won’t increase your funds, but the same amount will be there when you need it.
Last week I took the week off from writing as I watched my youngest sister run her first marathon, but I did go 7-7 in my picks making me an even 45-45 for the year. This week I’m looking to take that next step and actually help you earn some dough this week.
It’s Week 7, which for teams like the Bengals and Giants who were favored to win their divisions but have fallen a couple games back early, it’s do or die time. You can come back from a 2-4 or 3-3 record and still have a deep playoff run in January, but you can’t wait until the second half of the season to get things turned around.
New York Giants vs LA Rams(+3) in London- I love the Giants in divisional games and against bad defenses. This game is neither. The Rams match-up well against a poor Giants offensive and defensive line. Case Keenum will have time in the pocket and their front four should feast on Eli Manning today. I honestly don’t know why the Rams aren’t favored. Giving them 3 points feels like easy money to me.
Minnesota Vikings(-3) at Philadelphia Eagles- The popular pick in this one has been Philly, but I don’t love them against physical teams and nobody in this league is more physical than Minnesota. Yeah the Eagles defensive line should feast on the Vikings line without their two starting offensive tackles, but I don’t see the Eagles getting much on the ground and I have no idea how their receivers are going to get open against that Vikings defense.
Indianapolis Colts(+3) at Tennessee Titans- The Titans lack the pass rush and the explosion on offense to attack the Colts where they are their weakest. This is a season saver for the Colts who could climb to within a game of the division in the same week where the Texans play the Broncos.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins(+3)- What comes up most come down is one of the most basic laws of psychics and also applies to any Rex Ryan team. The Bills were 0-2, the sky was falling and Rex was firing up his resume. Four weeks later they are 4-2 and one of the two top wildcard teams in the AFC. You and I both know this can’t last forever. I like Miami in what should be a lower scoring and ugly win.
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets(-2)- The Ravens started out 3-0 after a really rough stretch against the Bills, Browns and Jaguars. Since then they have faced three teams with at least a .500 record or better(none better than 4-2 currently) and have lost all three. This isn’t a good Ravens team. Their defense is average and their offense lacks and threat whatsoever. I like the Jets at home in this one with a new quarterback and starring 1-6 right in the face.
New Orleans Saints at Kansas City Chiefs(6.5)- I don’t love the Chiefs getting 6.5 points over anybody, but I rarely pick against them at home, especially against a defense as bad as the Saints defense.
Washington at Detroit Lions(-1)- Really interesting game here. Neither team probably has a shot at winning their division, but this game could go a long way in determining a wildcard spot. Both these teams are pretty even. I don’t like either defense, but both these offenses can put up points in a lot of different ways. The smart bet here is to take the superior quarterback and the home team. Matthew Stafford doesn’t get the credit he deserves, if the Lions are a playoff team he is the league MVP.
Cleveland Browns(+10.5) at Cincinnati Bengals- I know the Browns are winless, but they are 4-2 against the spread this year. Giving the Bengals nearly 11 points seems insane to me, especially in a rivalry. The only times the Browns haven’t covered this season was in Tom Brady’s return and Carson Wentz’s debut. I don’t think the 2-4 Bengals add to that list, though they should win.
Oakland Raiders(+1) at Jacksonville Jaguars- Big game for both teams. Raiders need to keep pace with Broncos and the wildcard chase by bouncing back after a rough loss to the Chiefs last week, while the Jags have a chance to get back into the AFC South race with a win. I think both of these pass defenses stink and both teams can put up points, but the difference will be a much more stable offensive line with Oakland.
Tampa Bay Bucs(+2) at San Francisco 49ers- Why the hell is San Francisco favored in this one? What does Vegas know? Since their week 1 shutout of LA, the 49ers have lost five straight, four by double digits with the one close loss coming in a game against Dallas where they jumped out to a 14-0 lead(outscored 24-3 after that). This is a really bad 49ers team that may only win one more game this season. Taking Tampa Bay with 2 points is cake.
San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons(-6)- Really tough game to pick. The Chargers have held the lead for the third most amount of time in the league, they just can’t finish. The Falcons are still a really bad defense coming off an emotional loss against Seattle. I like Atlanta at home against a west coast team with one of the league’s best rushing attacks. That ground attack should be the difference in this game.
New England Patriots(-7.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers- Big Ben is out and Landry Jones gets the start for the Steelers which would explain the big line for New England. Jones was the worst red zone quarterback I ever scouting in college. I can’t remember a single red zone touchdown pass he ever threw. Watching him in preseason and I don’t think much has changed. The Steelers only chance at keeping this game close is if Le’Veon Bell has a monster game. Bill Belichick knows this and will game plan accordingly.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals(-1)- Arizona has figured out who they are over the last two games and has clawed back to a .500 record. They are targeting Larry Fitzgerald, relying on David Johnson and staying aggressive on defense. I like Arizona in this one because of the David Johnson factor. Right now he is a bigger version of Brian Westbrook which is simply terrifying for any defense who has to contain him.
Houston Texans(+9) at Denver Broncos- Brock Osweilier against a fired up Denver defense isn’t a match-up you want to bet on, but I do like Houston’s running game against Denver. It won’t be enough to win on the road, but it should keep this game close. With a 9 point spread that’s all you need to win this one.