Week Seven is upon us and the outside of the usual suspect (yes you New England) the playoff field is far from certain with some divisions frankly being a bit of a mess (NFC East for one). We are down to two unbeaten teams now, and both have what on paper look like winnable games with the Patriots travelling to the Jets on Monday night, having had an extra day to prepare, while the 49ers also go on the road to Washington; who are fresh off their first win of the season. Will they both remain unbeaten – ask us again on Tuesday morning, however, we are predicting they will be.
The weekend is full of intriguing ties, with big divisional clashes in the NFC North & East, while the Texans – Colts clash will be for 1st place in the AFC South. We also have a nice clash of rookie QBs with No 1 pick Kyler Murry leading the Cardinals into NY to take on the surprise pick of the draft (for us anyway) Daniel Jones. Neither have had outstanding starts wins wise, but whatever this one should be entertaining. Not a term you would use to describe the Buffalo Miami game, which for the neutrals probably won’t be prime time viewing. Still, it is worth keeping an eye on as the Dolphins are still winless, while Buffalo looks to have a defense good enough to sneak them into the Wild Card conversation.
Anyway here are our predictions for the weekend.
Kansas City @ Denver
Thursday Night Football features a crunch game of sorts in the AFC West with Kansas City needing to halt their slide, while Denver with a win could put themselves right back in the title race. First season Head Coach Vic Fangio, seems to have finally figured out how to get the best out of Denver’s defense and this is going to be an interesting matchup – against KCs offense led by MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes. The spread is +3.5 to Denver and this is probably about right, given their shaky offense. Still, Joe Flacco is a Super Bowl winning QB and although he seems to consistently throw a pick a game he can still manage a game. Three of their opening four defeats were one-score games and this could be close too. We think KC will win but might not cover the spread.
Chiefs 23 Broncos 20
Miami @ Buffalo
The Dolphins may be a mess roster wise, however to their credit they battled back last week against the Redskins and could have won it had they not made such a hash of the final 2 point conversion attempt. It will be interesting to see if who starts at QB given Rosen was benched after a horrendous start. Buffalo is not that entertaining to watch (unless you like stifling defense), but they are 4-1 and gave New England a bit of a game in that loss. They should win this one but making them 17 point favourites seems a bit extreme to us.
Buffalo 21 Miami 13
LA Rams @ Atlanta
Two teams who stared the season with great expectations come into this game knowing the loser is going to struggle tom get back into contention. Between them, they are 0-7 in their recent games although both have had 1 point losses in this run, and Atlanta could have forced OT last week but for an uncharacteristic last gasp PAT miss. The Rams will be showing off their costly new Cornerback Jalen Ramsey who they ditched Marcus Peters ( a recent costly acquisition). Will this make them a better team – well a bit as Ramsey is a star, but their problems seem more on offense than defense. Still, hopefully, Todd Gurley will be back on Sunday. Assuming he is they should win this one and cover the 3 point spread.
Rams 27 Falcons 21
Minnesota @ Detroit
The big NFC North clash sees a revitalised Vikings team head to the Lions, who despite only having two wins look one of the most improved teams in the NFC this year. Minnesota are not great on the road, however, their defense seems to be improving game by game, and Kirk Cousins is coming off his best game of the season. the Lions have not had a lot of luck so far and no game they have played in has had a margin bigger than 4 points. They lost in Green Bay by a point on Monday night, and will point to a couple of bad calls, however, one of their TDs didn’t appear to cross the line and had Green Bay not given up a red-zone interception on a juggled ball the score could have been much more one-sided. Overall we think it will be close again but are going with the Vikings to cover the 1.5 point spread.
Minnesota 31 Detroit 28
Oakland @ Green Bay
Both have winning records, however, both also have flaws, with Green Bays offense still looking clunky and Oakland looking a bit suspect in their secondary. The Packers can, fortunately, rely on their defense a bit this year, which is just as well as most of their receiving corp is listed as questionable at this stage. The Spread is -4.5 to Green Bay and we think they can cover that and move on to 6-1.
Green Bay 24 Oakland 14
San Francisco @ Washington
San Fransisco look to have one of the best defenses in the NFL this year and are deservedly 5-0 at the top of the strong NFC West. However, this is a cross country trip and a three hour time difference. Things like this can affect how a team plays, so although we fully expect the Niners to march on to 6-0 it might be a closer game than the 10 point spread would indicate. Washington picked up their first win last week but looked anything but impressive in doing so, and it was against the worst team in the NFL.
San Francisco 24 Washington 17
Jacksonville @ Cincinnati
Cincinnati are the NFL’s only other winless team at 0-6, however, four have been one-score games, and they might have AJ Green back which would be a huge boost. They are hosting the Jags, who are not exactly flying at 2-4, but like the Bengals have had a few one score losses and in Gardner Minshew may have found their future QB. The Jags defense is still their strength though and they should be able to lean on them to edge this one, but not by the 3.5 point spread.
Jacksonville 19 Cincinnati 17
Houston @ Indianapolis
A huge AFC South clash, the winner of which will be top of the division. Houston had offensive line issues coming into the season but after giving up 18 sacks in the opening four games, they seem to have settled down thanks in no small part to the shrewd Laremey Tunsil trade and they have not given up any in their last two. This could be key in this one and with the Colts likely to be missing Malik Hooker, Deshaun Watson could have a big night. The spread is -1 point against Houston, however, they should be able to cover that in what should still be a close game.
Houston 23 Indianapolis 20
Arizona @ NY Giants
The clash of the rookie QBs should be fun to watch, however, given the dearth of talent in other areas this will not be one for the purist. Murray looks better every time we see him however the Cardinals two wins have not been easy and both were against pretty poor teams. We think that with a few of his weapons back Daniel Jones will take the bragging rights. They should just cover the 3 point spread.
NY Giants 20 Arizona 16
LA Chargers @ Tennessee
Two teams who started the season with high expectations, but have failed to live up to them, with both languishing at 2-4. The loser in this one will face an uphill struggle to get back into contention so expect a hard-fought game. The Titans benched Marcus Mariota last week after a poor start and it will be interesting to see if Tannehill keeps the starting job. Whatever we expect the Chargers to finally stop self-destructing with their season pretty much on the line and edge this one.
Chargers 34 Titans 30
Baltimore @ Seattle
Possibly the game of the week with the dual-threat QB sensation Lamar Jackson facing arguably the NFL’s best QB in Russel Wilson. Seattle are really hard to beat at home and their defense looks to be getting back to something like the old feared “Legion of Boom”. Still quite a way to go before they are the finished article but they should be good enough to keep Lamar Jackson quiet and that will be enough to win the game. Seattle should cover the 3.5 point spread.
Seattle 27 Baltimore 20
New Orleans @ Chicago
The Bears could welcome Trubisky back this week, and boy will they need him, as the Saints defense has really stepped up of late. Still, the Bears have a mean one of their own, and this is probably going to be a low scoring game. Drew Brees is definitely out and although Bridgewater has been competent in his absence he hasn’t faced a defense of this calibre yet. We think the Bears can edge this one but maybe not by 3.5 points which is the spread.
Chicago 17 New Orleans 14
Philadelphia @ Dallas
The battle for supremacy in the NFC East pitches these two 3-3 behemoths in a battle to see who goes a game clear in what is shaping up top be a close division. The Cowboys are on a three-game skid after their bright start, while the Eagles were back on track before being somewhat outclassed by the Vikings last week. The Cowboys start 3 point favourites, however, they have a host of offensive players questionable, still, Ezekial Elliot should start and they still have “Mr Reliable” Jason Witten and Tavon Austin may not be a No.1 wideout but he is still a decent weapon for Dak to aim at. The Eagles are pretty beaten up too so homefield advantage should prevail.
Dallas 27 Philadelphia 20
New England @ NY Jets
New England are 6-0 and have the best defensive stats in the NFL this year only allowing an average of 8 points per game. Having said that only of their opponents to date only Buffalo has a winning record, and they struggled a bit on offense in that one. Still, they beat the Jets easy enough in their first meeting and despite this being on the road they should win. So the question is can they cover a 10 point spread? That’s a lot in a road game and the Jets do have Sam Darnold back and are fresh off their first win of the season. Both his starts have been real close affairs a one-point loss to the Bills and a 2 point win over Dallas. We think the Jets will lose but keep it within the spread.
New England 20 NY Jets 12
Bye Week Teams:
The following are on a bye, which means that Kyle Allen will remain undefeated for another week – will Cam get back into the team?
Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay
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