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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Picks For Week 7


The NFL season is much like the stock market, as there are some buy low candidates while others should be sold high. Somehow the Broncos continue to win despite an offense that struggles to get things going consistently. NFL fans are now having arguments in sports bars about how elite Andy Dalton is and how overrated Joe Flacco may be. It's a weird place this current NFL, and every week there's a new storyline. Congrats to the Lions who were the last to get a victory on the year. Last week was my first losing card in a while. 

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Record: 14-8-1

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)

There's no solid line yet on this game with a whole host of players that are questionable including Ben Roethlisberger and Jeremy Maclin. The Chiefs have been awful since an opening at Houston and are struggling without Jamaal Charles. Maclin being out will not help an offense that is lacking weapons outside of tight end Travis Kelce. Somehow the Steelers have won the last two weeks while managing to give up 768 yards through the air. Everything points to a Pittsburgh win, but that's why I like the Chiefs. Pittsburgh has a home game against Cincinnati next Sunday, which starts a stretch of three straight there. It's funny to say, but I almost like this pick more with a rusty Big Ben then Landry Jones. I can't make an official pick in this one yet as there is no line. SELECTION: Under 43

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New York Jets (4-1) at New England Patriots (5-0)

What else can be said about the Pats, who have been rolling through opponents for the most part, as they've covered three of five with a fourth game being a push. New England's offense is averaging 422.4 yards per game while the Jets are allowing 269.2. New York has two great cornerbacks in former Patriot Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. The Jets’ offense has shown the ability to move the ball on the ground with Chris Ivory and through the air with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. This isn't a Rex Ryan-led group that would possibly be too hyped and undisciplined for a big divisional game like this. Things have changed in New York with Todd Bowles as head coach. The Jets have covered 15 of their last 25 games in New England and four straight in the series overall. They also have covered nine of their last 13 games against divisional opponents: SELECTION: New York Jets +9

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Atlanta Falcons (5-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-4)

The Falcons are no longer amongst the undefeated after losing in New Orleans last Thursday night. Atlanta will have had 10 days to prepare for a Titans team that could be without Marcus Mariota. Tennessee can't run the ball very well and will struggle if Zach Mettenberger is under center. The Titans’ defense is very mediocre and should struggle against a healthier Julio Jones and a rapidly rising Devonta Freeman. Normally I'd be concerned about focus for the Falcons, but the loss last week should get them in the right mindset. It also should be noted that this is the fourth straight home game for the Titans. They have only covered three of their last 19 home games and 21 of their last 37 overall. SELECTION: Atlanta Falcons ML

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Dallas Cowboys (2-3) at New York Giants (3-3)

The Cowboys come out of their bye week to play the Giants, which are coming off an awful effort Monday night against the Eagles. Matt Cassel gets the call at QB, which is an upgrade over Brandon Weeden. Dallas also has discussed letting Christine Michael take over at RB for the ineffective Joseph Randle. The Giants are vulnerable in the secondary, but if Dez Bryant doesn't play, I don't think the Cowboys can take advantage of it. Dallas' defense played pretty well against the Patriots all things considered. New England managed just 356 yards of total offense in their 30-6 road win. The bye week came at a good time for the Cowboys, giving them more time to integrate Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain into the defense. Because of that, New York should struggle. This one should be a field position battle. SELECTION: Under 45.5

Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-0)

It is the start of three straight home games for Carolina, as the Panthers host Philly, Indy and Green Bay over the next three weeks. The Panthers are coming off a huge win over the Seahawks on the road. Cam Newton is putting up great numbers without a single solid WR and only TE Greg Olsen to depend on. Things could be difficult against an Eagles team that is real tough on the run. Philly's offense has perked up a bit the last two weeks, but they haven't played defenses at the level of Carolina. The Panthers have clamped down on several good offensive teams including Seattle and New Orleans. It's hard to trust Sam Bradford to do anything positive after several INTs against the mediocre Giants. Carolina has gone under in 13 of its last 20 home games including five of six with a total between 45.5 and 49. SELECTION: Under 46.5


- For the second straight week the home team is an underdog on Thursday night. For the second straight time it seems logical to take the home team, but I can't quite pull the trigger. Pardon me if I'm not a believer in Colin Kaepernick even after two solid weeks of action. Carlos Hyde isn't at 100 percent and this is a wounded Seattle team that is going to be out for blood. Can San Fran get enough pressure on Russell Wilson to make things difficult? My guess is no, which is why I'm not taking the bait and the home underdog.

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- In a matchup that won't send many ripples throughout the league, the Redskins host the Buccaneers. I'd be on Washington very easily if not for the many injuries that have beset the team. The fires are getting hotter for a change at quarterback so Kirk Cousins will need a good performance with the bye week coming up. Tampa Bay had allowed 68 points to their last two opponents before their bye. Jameis Winston has had an up-and-down season with three games of fewer than 200 yards passing while the other two are over 260. Last year in this situation, the Bucs came to FedEx Field and won 27-7 with a worse team.

- A couple of conflicting situations are in play with the Colts hosting the Saints. Indianapolis is coming off a horrible home loss to the Patriots in one of its biggest games of the season. All the talk this week is about the fake punt play that went wrong and head coach Chuck Pagano's job security. In comes a New Orleans team that suddenly discovered its offense and beat the Falcons in a desperate situation last Thursday. Now they hit the road to take on another really good offense. If you want to wager on this game, you are deciding if you want the wounded home team fresh off a rough loss or the road team whose defense will continue to struggle and will probably give up a boatload of points. Your best play is probably the over although it's really high. Indy has played in five home games with a total of at least 49.5 with four of them going over.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.