2014 Quick Hitters (Week 7 NFL Picks)
It’s about that time for Week 7 NFL Picks.Despite another winning 11-3-1 week, it was discouraging because the “Lock of the Week” didn’t hit and 11 wins was the average in most pick ‘em pools for the second week in a row. Field goal kickers are killing me on my most confident picks as both the Lions (week 5 versus Buffalo) and Bengals could have won their respective games without shanked kicks. Let’s move on and tackle a week with the surprising Philadelphia Eagles and sputtering Tampa Bay Bucs on a bye.
*Remember that my picks are straight up (MONEYLINE) and vegas lines are merely used to determine whether I’m choosing an upset, favorite or even pick.
Here are my results on the year:
Overall Record: 63-27-1
Last Week’s Record: 11-3-1
Record in Thursday Games: 5-1
Record in Sunday Games: 50-21-1
Record in Sunday Night Games: 1-5
Record in Monday Games: 7-0
Record in Upset Picks: 6-5
Record in Even Picks: 17-7
Record in Favorite Picks: 40-15-1
Record in “Toss-Up” Picks: 31-16
Record in “Moderate Confidence” Picks: 29-9
Record in “Lock of the Week” Picks: 3-2-1
*Even picks are classified as opening lines under 2.5 points.
Tennessee Titans at Washington Redskins
Vegas Odds: Washington (-3.5)
The Pick: Washington as a FAVORITE
Reason: I understand why Washington is favored in this game, but I’m a little surprised about the line moving all the way up to six or seven in some books. Kirk Cousins is not a good quarterback, evident from him throwing three interceptions in a single quarter on two separate occasions this year. I also have no trust in Charlie Whitehurst, so this could be an ugly game. Back the home team with minimal confidence.
Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars
Vegas Odds: Cleveland (-3)
The Pick: Cleveland as a FAVORITE
Reason: Sure, the Jaguars beat the Browns last year and they were a 55-yard field goal away from beating the Titans last week which could make you think they have a shot in this game. The Browns’ center Alex Mack is also out for the season with a broken ankle. Yet, I don’t care about any of that as the Jaguars are clearly the worse team in the league in my eyes. They’ve been fairly lucky the last two weeks and still couldn’t beat the Titans or Steelers for their first victory. If they can somehow pull out the win this week, I’ll re evaluate my strategy of always picking against the Jacksonville.
Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts
Vegas Odds: Indianapolis (-2.5)
The Pick: Cincinnati in an UPSET
Reason: Here’s an example of a game where the public will be all over the Colts because the Bengals have failed to notch a win the last two weeks as favorites. The reason I like the Bengals here is because I think they will be able to run the ball versus an Indianapolis’ rush defense that can be attacked. On the flipside, the Colts are a pretty formidable home team and are on a roll (four game winning streak), so I could see this game going either way.
Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears
Vegas Odds: Chicago (-3)
The Pick: Chicago as a FAVORITE
Reason: With as good as the Bears’ defense and offense looked against Atlanta last week, it’s an easy choice to back them here. The Dolphins’ defense was ok against Green Bay and the offense should have been much better against a weak Packers defense. Chicago is 0-2 at home with losses to the Bills and Packers, so let’s hope they can turn it around for their fans.
New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions
Vegas Odds: Detroit (-3)
The Pick: Detroit as a FAVORITE
Reason: If the Saints’ had a healthy Jimmy Graham, I would consider taking the Saints in an upset, but he’s likely out with a shoulder injury. With as bad as New Orleans’ defense has been, even a Lions offense without Megatron should be able to put up enough points to win this one. I wouldn’t be shocked by a Saints win, but I can’t back a team that’s been disappointing all season long.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
Vegas Odds: San Diego (-6)
The Pick: Kansas City in an UPSET
Reason: As you’ve seen the last couple of weeks, I’m a sucker for picking teams off a bye because they get an entire extra week to prepare for their opponent. While San Diego appears to be one of the best teams in the league, they’ve went up against some bad teams on their five game winning streak. They could also be without cornerback Brandon Flowers who’s been one of the best corners in the league this year. The Raiders had moderate success on the ground versus this team, so there’s no reason to think Jamaal Charles can’t have a good day and lead the Chiefs to a win.
Arizona Cardinals at Oakland Raiders
Vegas Odds: Arizona (-4)
The Pick: Oakland in an UPSET
Reason: Close losses to New England and San Diego has me biting on the Raiders this week. To get ahead in pick’em pools, sometimes you have to take risks. Carson Palmer is not playing like Philip Rivers and Oakland’s defense has some nice young developing players. Additionally, Arizona’s defense is pretty banged up right now, so I’m going to go out on a limb and take the Raiders.
San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos (Sunday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Denver (-7)
The Pick: Denver as a FAVORITE
Reason: Sunday Night games have been brutal to me as I have a 1-5 record. I’ll try to turn it around this week with the Broncos who are quietly racking up wins on the road and at home. The 49ers started very slow in St. Louis last week and they cannot afford to do the same versus a much better Denver team. I think the 49ers will make it competitive, but they don’t have a good enough offense to pull the road win in this spot.
Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers (Monday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Pittsburgh (-4)
The Pick: Houston in the UPSET
Reason: Pittsburgh has played four of their last five on the road, so they will be glad to return home. They’ll attempt to rebound from a bad loss to the Cleveland Browns by taking on the pesky Texans who could have top-pick Jadeveon Clowney back. The Texans are a scrappy team who has the pieces to pull the upset, so I’m siding with them here. I don’t know if it matters, but I am 7-0 on predicting Monday Night games.
MODERATE CONFIDENCE PICKS
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Vegas Odds: Dallas (-3)
The Pick: Cowboys as a FAVORITE
Reason: I think this game is close to a toss-up because the Giants are likely better than their shutout loss to the Eagles and the Cowboys are likely worse than their road victory at Seattle. However, Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys’ defense have some kind of magic working with unheralded players while the Giants will have to adjust to life without Victor Cruz. Give me the Cowboys in a pivotal NFC East game.
New York Jets at New England Patriots (Thursday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: New England (-8.5)
The Pick: New England as a FAVORITE
Reason: Thursday Night games have been good to me at a 5-1 clip. Geno Smith killed the sportsbooks last week by ruining a cover against the Denver Broncos. Not only can this team not cover right now, they can’t contend in games. I don’t expect them to go in to New England on a short week and surprise the Patriots who have actually played well since a bad trip to Kansas City. Look for the Patriots to gain some breathing room in the AFC East division.
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers
Vegas Odds: Green Bay (-7)
The Pick: Green Bay as a FAVORITE
Reason: A concern for Green Bay is how good Cam Newton looked last week while running for 107 yards on 17 carries in a tie at Cincinnati. The Packers have been known to struggle against running quarterbacks and a healthy Newton is not something they would prefer to see. On the other side, the Packers offense has been sharp and the Panthers defense the complete opposite. Give me a confident Packers offense at home.
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams
Vegas Odds: Seattle (-6.5)
The Pick: Seattle as a FAVORITE
Reason: I’m going to go ahead and assume Russell Wilson is the type of player who will be ultra-motivated to make sure his team doesn’t lose two games in a row. The Rams did look impressive in going up 14-0 on the 49ers on Monday Night, but they blew that lead and lost any kind of positive momentum they may have gained. It’s a shock how bad their defensive pressure has been. I’m not too worried about the Seahawks after their loss at home, they’re still a good team.
Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills
Vegas Odds: Buffalo (-3.5)
The Pick: Buffalo as a FAVORITE
Reason: The only reason I have Buffalo in this spot is because I’m confident their defense can give rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater trouble. I’m not as confident about the Buffalo defense putting up points against an underrated Vikings defense. If Kyle Orton and the Bills can put up 22 against New England though, they should be able to score enough to win on Sunday.
LOCK OF THE WEEK PICK
Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens
Vegas Odds: Baltimore (-6)
The Pick: Baltimore as a FAVORITE
Reason: If the Ravens do not win this game because of a missed field goal, I might have to give up on the Lock of the Week section of this article. Anyways, I really like the Ravens in this spot because they’re typically a solid team at home. Moreover, they have a legit defense while the Falcons could have the worst defense in all of football. They made the Bears’ Jay Cutler look like an elite quarterback last week. Joe Flacco and the Ravens should be able to win this game easily.
Week Seven Pick Summary: 11 Favorites, 4 Upsets and 0 Even Picks
Let me know where you agree and disagree in week seven. Good luck and most importantly enjoy the games!