Week 7 NFL Picks
By: Grant Poarch
Last week’s predictions weren’t nearly as bad as the week before, but I’m still looking forward to getting back into the elite status for this week. A week ago, I went 9-6 on the money line and 7-8 on the spread. That brings my overall season record to 57-36 on the money line and 46-47 on the spread. As for this week, I really believe that I cooked. Take that how you will. With that said, fade me at your own risk and tail me at your benefit. The odds listed are provided by DraftKings.
10/19 (TNF): Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans Saints (-2.5, O/U 40), 8:15PM EST, Prime Video
The health of Trevor Lawrence is going to be paramount in the outcome of the game. According to espn.com, “Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence says knee has progressed really well”. If Lawrence plays, the Jaguars will win this game.
The Saints offense, despite having weapons across the board, has been unable to score effectively. They have put up an abysmal 18.2 points per game and frankly stink in the red zone. Whether the problem is offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael or the actual offensive players does not matter. What does matter is that there is clear ineptitude on that side of the ball for the Saints.
With that, given that Trevor Lawrence plays, the Jaguars will come out on top in New Orleans tonight.
Prediction: Jacksonville wins, Jacksonville covers +2.5
10/22: Las Vegas Raiders (-3) @ Chicago Bears, O/U 37.5, 1:00PM EST, FOX
Just when I thought it was a good idea to pick the Bears last week, Justin Fields gets hurt and the Bears lose to the Vikings. I do feel bad for Fields, though, as he has been almost snake-bitten with injury and struggles in his first few years in the league. According to rotowire.com, “Eberflus added that he has no updates on Fields’ health at this time, noting that the quarterback remains unlikely to play in Sunday’s game against the Raiders.”
If Fields is unable to play, the Raiders will win this game. Even if he could play, I would still pick the Raiders. The fact is that the Bears are simply not a good football team. Their sole win against the Commanders was an absolute fluke. They will have their hands full on Sunday trying to stop Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams. Don’t overthink this one. Vegas will come out on top.
Prediction: Las Vegas wins, Las Vegas covers -3
10/22: Cleveland Browns (-3) @ Indianapolis Colts, O/U 40, 1:00PM EST, CBS
Last week the Browns shocked the world as they upset the 49ers without having Deshaun Watson. This goes to show that if the Browns’ defense has a good day, they can beat anyone. As for this week, they will be facing Gardner Minshew. While Minshew mania has filled Anthony Richardson’s starting role better than expected, I don’t expect much success against Cleveland this weekend.
As for Cleveland, it is unclear whether Deshaun Watson will be playing. If he does, Cleveland will win and cover with ease. If not, this game could be more of a struggle than most people think. As for me, I see Cleveland leaning on their physicality and controlling the time of possession to win a low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Cleveland wins, Cleveland covers -3
10/22: Buffalo Bills (-9) @ New England Patriots, O/U 41, 1:00PM EST, CBS
This one could get ugly fast. Since Tom Brady left New England, the Patriots are 1-6 against the Bills. That trend is highly likely to continue as Josh Allen is due to bounce back after last week’s slow 14-9 win over the Giants. Furthermore, the Patriots offense doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with anyone and that has shown its ugly head time and time again this season.
In this matchup, look for Stefon Diggs to run wild. The only corner on the roster for the Patriots that might have a chance of covering him is Christian Gonzalez. The problem with that is he is projected to be out until at least November 5th. Finally, in all but one of the Bills six wins since Brady left New England, the Bills have won this matchup by more than nine.
Prediction: Buffalo wins, Buffalo covers -9
10/22: Washington Commanders (-2.5) @ New York Giants, O/U 39, 1:00PM EST, CBS
If this wasn’t a divisional matchup, I feel like the line would be more in favor of Washington. While the Giants did look tough a week ago, don’t forget that this season has not been kind. Daniel Jones has been banged up because he has been hit so much. With a team with as good as a defensive front as Washington has coming into town, I expect that trend to continue.
When you look at what Washington was able to do a week ago against Atlanta, it leads me to have confidence in this team this week. The Falcons and Giants have similar offenses with a star running back and a quarterback that is nowhere near elite. In the end, #HTTR (Good on you if you know what that means).
Prediction: Washington wins, Washington covers -2.5
10/22: Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5, O/U 37), 1:00PM EST, FOX
This is another case of ‘if this wasn’t a divisional game the line would be bigger’. Atlanta’s strength is running the ball. They are going against a Tampa Bay defense that is stout against the run and will more than likely box Desmond Ridder like Mike Tyson.
On top of that, I really like Tampa being at home in this matchup and getting the line for under a field goal. Expect a low-scoring game, but Tampa will lean on Atlanta over the long run and build on their NFC South lead Sunday afternoon.
Prediction: Tampa Bay wins, Tampa Bay covers -2.5
10/22: Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens (-3, O/U 42.5), 1:00PM EST, FOX
Detroit as an underdog looks tastier than a Caniac combo after a night out at Cool Beans. Yes, Baltimore is a good team and they are at home. However, they have shown signs of inconsistency whereas Detroit has not.
While a lot of casuals think Jared Goff is a bad quarterback, you cannot ignore how well he has done this year. In just six games, he has thrown for over 1,600 yards with a 11-3 touchdown to interception ratio. Beyond Goff, the defense is capable of biting anyone’s kneecaps off (Dan Campbell reference if you don’t understand).
Overall, Detroit is for real and they will show as such again in Baltimore.
Prediction: Detroit wins, Detroit covers +3
10/22: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Rams (-3, O/U 43.5), 4:05PM EST, FOX
While I don’t have as much faith in this underdog as I did in Detroit, I do like Pittsburgh in this game. The last time we saw the Steelers, they upset the Ravens 17-10 in a classic AFC North rivalry. I don’t see Pittsburgh making a playoff run, but that is the team I know they are capable of being. With a bye week in between their last matchup and this one, the defense will be well rested and prepared to slow down Stafford and the Rams.
The Rams don’t strike me as a team that is going to light up the scoreboard. That’s especially true when Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua are going against the caliber of secondary the Steelers are. A week ago, Nacua was held down as he only totaled four receptions with 26 yards. On the other hand, Kupp had a good game. However, the Rams were losing the game against the Cardinals 9-6 midway through the third quarter and from there they took over the game.
If that happens again this week, don’t expect Los Angeles to be as fortunate.
Prediction: Pittsburgh wins, Pittsburgh covers +3
10/22: Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (-7.5, O/U 44.5), 4:05PM EST, FOX
Outside of the shocking win over the Cowboys, the Cardinals just haven’t been a good football team. Sure, they have played a few teams tough. However, the preseason expectations of the Cardinals are beginning to become true. That will continue this week as Seattle is a solid team and should be able to handle the Cardinals.
At first I was thinking I would go with Seattle winning and Arizona covering. Now, however, after looked at what the Cardinals have done in the last three weeks my mind has changed. In the last three weeks, the Cardinals have lost by 14 or more each week. While divisional games are supposed to be close, don’t expect this one to be. I don’t like laying more than a touchdown in a divisional game, watch me do it now.
Prediction: Seattle wins, Seattle covers -7.5
10/22: Green Bay Packers (-1) @ Denver Broncos, O/U 45, 4:25PM EST, CBS
This line looks almost too good to be true. Maybe it is, but call me a sucker I guess. Denver is absolutely terrible and being able to take the other side for just a point seems like an early Christmas gift.
To make things better for Green Bay, they are coming off their bye week. Additionally, Denver lost a hard fought battle against their division rival (Chiefs) in their last game. While Jordan Love didn’t look good against the Raiders, he’s going to bounce back against this Denver defense that looks easier than… never mind I won’t go there.
Regardless, Packers take this one on the road thanks to Love having a field day against the Broncos’ secondary.
Prediction: Green Bay wins, Green Bay covers -1
10/22: Los Angeles @ Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5, O/U 48), 4:25PM EST, CBS
Mahomes against a divisional opponent… you know who I’m picking on the money line. Mahomes is 28-3 against the division in his career and that includes a 19-8 home victory over the Broncos a week ago.
Not only does Kansas City benefit from being at home, they also are coming off extra rest since they last played on Thursday Night Football a week ago.
Furthermore, I trust the Chiefs more than I trust the Chargers. Los Angeles had opportunities to win at home against Dallas on Monday night but failed to do so. As long as Brandon Staley is the head man of the Chargers, I will fade them every time against a quality opponent. However, the Chargers play the Chiefs close every year for some reason. So, expect a good game but a Chiefs victory.
Prediction: Kansas City wins, Los Angeles covers +5.5
10/22 (SNF): Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5, O/U 52), 8:20PM EST, NBC
You could go either way on this game and I wouldn’t argue with you too much. Last week, Philadelphia finally got caught while not playing at their elite expectation. If you turn the ball over four times, especially if the other team doesn’t turn it over at all, then you are more than likely going to lose the game. On the bright side, even with a negative four turnover rate, the Eagles only lost by six to the Jets. To me, that shows that Philadelphia is still extremely good and will continue to get better as the season goes on.
This week, they have a major challenger coming to town. This Miami offense looks unstoppable. While the Eagles do have a great defense, I see the offense coming out in this one. Until someone stops Miami, you’ve got to back them up. Yes, they did get slowed down against the Bills. However, the Bills play the Dolphins twice a year every single year. As for Buffalo, they have a great defense but their strengths are different than Philadelphia’s. In a close one, take the Dolphins.
Prediction: Miami wins, Miami covers +2.5
10/23 (MNF): San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) @ Minnesota Vikings, O/U 44, 8:15PM EST, ABC/ESPN
San Francisco will bounce back this week. A week ago in their loss to Cleveland, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Christian McCaffery was injured during the game and so was Deebo Samuel. The reports I’ve read are saying that it is possible that both come back this week. They do benefit from having one extra day of rest as this is the Monday night game.
Either way, if both are out or in, the 49ers will win this game. All around they are far better than the Vikings. To make matters worse for Minnesota, they will be without Justin Jefferson for a few weeks as he was recently put on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list.
It is usually hard to lay a touchdown as a road favorite in primetime, but I’m going to do that here due to the pure mismatch this game is.
Prediction: San Francisco wins, San Francisco covers -6.5