The NFL was back to what we expected in Week 7….
…and the odd week Jaguars took care of business. Unlike week 6, the teams who were supposed to win actually won. Favorites went 11-3-1 against the spread, and 13-2 straight up, a significant improvement from 3-11 and 5-9 the week before. Just like the favorites improved, I had a much better week as well. I went 12-3 straight up, and 8-6-1 against the spread. I was having an incredible Sunday against the spread before my picks didn’t cover in 4 of the week’s final 5 games. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):
Chiefs (-3) at Raiders
- Raiders 31, Chiefs 30- What a game. Obviously can’t be mad about losing that one when you get one of the greatest endings to a game in recent memory. Also, of course could have won this one both straight up and against the spread if one play was made, so sorry to anyone who bet Chiefs in this one.
Buccaneers at Bills (-1)
Panthers (-3) at Bears
- Bears 17, Panthers 3- The Panthers continue to prove to be the most inconsistent team in the league, especially offensively. This game said a lot about the Bears defensively as well, with two 75+ yard defensive touchdowns from Eddie Jackson.
Titans at Browns (+6)
Saints (-4) at Packers
Jaguars (-3.5) at Colts
Cardinals at Rams (-3.5) (London)
Jets at Dolphins (-3)
- Dolphins 31, Jets 28– Miami pushed in this one. They looked dead in the water to lose and not cover in the 4th, but ended the game with 17 unanswered points.
Ravens at Vikings (-5.5)
Cowboys at 49ers (+6)
- Cowboys 40, 49ers 10- Should I bet against the Cowboys more often so that they will say “Some Spread”? The close loss Niners were nowhere to be found, and the Cowboys exploded behind Dak, Zeke, and their improved pass rush.
Bengals (+5.5) at Steelers
- Steelers 29, Bengals 14– Despite the Bengals better play of late, this game showed just how much better the Steelers are.
Broncos at Chargers (-1)
Seahawks (-4.5) at Giants
Falcons (+3) at Patriots
- Patriots 23, Falcons 7– Was the Falcons playoff run just an extended Falcons hot streak? In 2012, they went 12-4, followed it up with a 4-12 record in 2013, and then a 6-10 record in 2014. In 2015, they started 5-0, only to finish 8-8. Last season, they started 4-1, fell to 7-5, and then went on a streak that concluded in the 2nd half of the Super Bowl. And this year, they started 3-0, and are now 3-3. This Falcons team could really just be a very streaky team, that is dangerous when hot, but below average when cold.
Redskins (+5) at Eagles
- The Eagles are much improved this year, and I don’t like it one bit. They will probably be headed into my trip to Dallas to see them play with an 8-1 record with home games against the 49ers and Broncos, and then a bye week before heading to Dallas.
2017 Straight-Up: 65-41, 2017 vs. Spread: 50-54-2
Onto Week 8.
Dolphins (+3) at Ravens
- The Dolphins have been tough to pick, but they have been pulling out wins, while the Ravens have been doing a lot of losing lately. Despite Jay Cutler’s injury, I think the Dolphins pull off the upset on the road behind a great night from Jay Ajayi against the weak Ravens’ rushing defense.
Vikings (-9.5) at Browns (London)
- The Vikings have been a solid team on both sides of the ball for the majority of this season. The Browns defense played better last week, but still cannot get the offense going. I think the Vikings win a low scoring game, but completely shut down the Browns offense and cover.
Raiders (+2.5) at Bills
- The Raiders incredible win last week proved that they are capable of returning to their early season form. The Bills have been impressive this year, but I see this game turning out similar to the Raiders Week 1 win over the Titans, and so the Raiders get the upset in Buffalo.
Colts at Bengals (-10.5)
- Jacoby Brissett has been decent for the Colts, but they really need Andrew Luck back if they are going to win on the road against better teams. I think the Colts will keep it close, but the Bengals will pull away in the second half to get the win and cover.
Chargers (+7) at Patriots
- Everyone is talking about how the Patriots are back after last weeks win. I’m not denying that, but it’s very easy to overlook how poorly the Falcons have been playing the last few weeks. I think the hot Chargers will bring a greater challenge, and the Patriots will pull out a close one similar to their Week 3 win over the Texans.
Bears (+9) at Saints
- The Saints have been one of the early surprises in the NFL, and the Bears also have played better than expected. The Saints offense is hot, and the same can be said about the Bears defense. I think the Saints win at home, but the Bears keep it close and cover.
Falcons at Jets (+5)
- The Falcons and Jets have been playing everyone close this year. Everyone knows the Falcons are the better team, but they have disappointed of late, and the Jets have played well as underdogs. I think the Falcons edge out a close one to get back in the win column, but the Jets cover.
49ers at Eagles (-12.5)
- The Broncos and Falcons have both lost as 11.5+ point favorites at home, and I really hope that happens in this one. However, I don’t think that will happen. The Eagles have been beating everyone, and the Niners just got crushed by the Cowboys. I think the Eagles win another game at home and cover.
Panthers (+2.5) at Buccaneers
- The Panthers have been really unpredictable this season. While they’ve looked terrible in losses, they are still 4-3. It’s also being under looked that their defense only gave up 3 points last week, as the Bears had two defensive touchdowns. I think the Panthers turn it around this week and get the upset win in Tampa (Note: Roberto Aguayo was just signed to the Panthers practice squad).
Texans (+5.5) at Seahawks
- The Seahawks seem to finally be finding their midseason groove. The Texans newly improved offense will have a huge test against this Seattle defense. I think the Texans keep it close all game and cover, but the Seahawks pull it out in the end.
Cowboys (-2) at Redskins
- The Cowboys looked ready to turn their season around during their blowout win in San Francisco. The Niners are winless, but have played everyone else very close, including the Redskins two weeks ago. The R-words were then easily handled by the Eagles. I think the Cowboys will be hot for another week and win and cover in Washington.
Steelers (-3) at Lions
- One reason the Steelers obviously stand out here is because of their success and experience in prime time games versus the Lions lack of that. However, I think the Steelers are hot right now, and their young defense is improving as well. They will win and cover Sunday night in Detroit.
Broncos at Chiefs (-7)
- Despite the Chiefs’ two consecutive tough losses, the Broncos have looked much worse the last two weeks. The Broncos suddenly cannot score at all, and their defense has not been able to save them. I think the Chiefs get back on track at home, and easily handle the Broncos to win and cover.
That’s it for this week, be back for Week 9. Will the Falcons lose to yet another AFC East opponent?