This is an interesting week in the NFL in that no game features two teams with winning records. We've got teams like the Texans and Jets who are .500 facing winning teams, but that's as close as we get. It just seems to be one of the quirks of the schedule with teams like the Giants, Patriots, Bills and Bengals all having bye weeks that there's just a shortage of teams with winning records. However, that doesn't mean we don't have some intriguing matchups.
The aformentioned Jets will host the San Diego Chargers in a game with massive playoff implications. The Jets need a win there to get to 4-3 and keep pace with the Bills and Pats in the AFC East. The Chargers meanwhile, will be looking for some respect and could solidify themselves as a real contender in the NFC. Falcons at Lions is a very similar matchup. The Falcons currently sit in third in the NFC South and can ill afford to lose another conference game and fall below .500. The Lions on the other hand want to avoid two straight home losses that would surely start talk that their hot start was maybe just a fluke.
So without further ado, here are our week 7 NFL picks against the spread.
Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns (-3) - This is a very interesting game because the Seahawks have a lot going for them. Last time we saw them, they beat the Giants 36-25 and they're coming off their bye. Typically, that's a good spot for teams. Also, teams like the Seahawks have covered 63% of the time in games like this. Pick: Seattle
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions (-3.5) - This should be a great game that tells us a lot about each team. The Falcons can finally beat a team with a winning record and the Lions can prove that last week wasn't a sign of regression. Thing is, all the trends favor Atlanta to cover here fairly significantly. Pick: Falcons
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-3) - The trends here really favor the Texans, but they don't account for the circumstances. The Texans are seriously beat up and facing a Titans teams at home coming off their bye. I like the Titans here. Pick: Titans
Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins (-1) - You know things are bad in Miami when the opposing QB will probably have more fans that the home QB. In fact, the Dolphins will be honoring Tim Tebow, who is making his first start, along with the rest of the national title winning Gator team. I think that fires Miami up and luckily the trends and simulations strongly agree. Pick: Miami
San Diego Chargers at New York Jets (+1) - It's interesting to see the Jets as home dogs here, especially since the Chargers haven't really looked all that impressive despite their decent record. This will probably be a pretty tight game, but I actually really like the Chargers to win and cover here. Pick: San Diego
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1) - I can't understand this line at all. Not only are the Bucs a flat out better team than the Bears, but they're at home. They should be three point favorites in this game. This is absolutely the pick of the week. Pick: Bucs
[Note by JasonB, 10/20/11 2:57 PM EDT ] As reader Marcel pointed out, this game is in fact in London. So while the Bucs are technically the "home" team, in reality this is a neutral site game. Having said that, while I'm not as head over heels in love with the Bucs as a result, I still think this is a strong play.
Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (-1.5) - The Redskins QB situation makes this one pretty interesting. But according to the trends, it's really not. In similar games with a 1.5 pint spreads, teams like the Panthers have covered a whopping 85.7% of the time. Pick: Panthers
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (-3.5) - This suddenly becomes the hardest game of the year to forecast. The Chiefs are coming off a bye and playing a little better and the Raiders were really hitting their stride... Then Jason Campbell gets hurt and Carson Palmer is going to walk in off the street to start for them. Who knows what to expect? Good things, the Raiders run more than any team in the NFL, so it's not a bad place for a new QB to figure it out. Pick: Raiders
Pittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals (+3.5) - The Cards are coming off a bye and the Steelers were unconvincing in a win over the Jags, which probably explains this relatively low line. But the thing about the Steelers is that their performances from week to week have no correlation to one another. The trends here do favor Arizona, but I like the Stillers. Pick: Pittsburgh
St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-13) - Obviously the important thing to know in this game is whether Sam Bradford starts. If AJ Feeley takes that field on Sunday, the Cowboys are going to win and cover, but Bradford could at least keep it close. The trends are heavily in favor of the Rams here. In fact, teams like the Rams have covered a 13 pt spread 75% of the time. Pick: Rams
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+9) - It may sound crazy to say this about a 9 point road favorite, but this looks like a value pick. The Packers are humming and they'll be facing Christian Ponder in his first career start. I'd be all over the Pack here. Pick: Green Bay
Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints (-14) - NBC probably thought they had a real winner with this one on the schedule. A matchup of the 2010 Superbowl... only Indy is the worst team in the NFL. Still, this is a huge line and 25 historical games, teams like Indy have covered 68% of the time. Pick: Colts