Week 7 NFL Picks + Week 8 CFB Predictions

There’s no way the Arizona football teams, the Cardinals, Sun Devils, and Wildcats (and even you, NAU Lumberjacks) can top last weekend’s amazing performances, right? Four wins – three as underdogs (including ASU who was nearly a 3 TD dog)!

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This week, the stakes are even higher. Can the Cardinals and Sun Devils get to 4-3? Can the Wildcats win their third road game to advance to 5-2?

Last week wasn’t my finest work in terms of picks…6-8 in the NFL and 5-5 in college. This week’s theme goes against my norm…road teams!

Week 7 NFL Picks
Last Week: 6-8 Straight Up (SU), 5-9 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 54-37 SU, 50-40-1 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)

Kansas City 30, OAKLAND 24 (ATS: Chiefs -2.5)
The Raiders are losers of four straight and despite playing their third game in three weeks, they have problems on offense that won’t be easily corrected on a short week. Look for the Chiefs to bounce back and keep their grasp on the AFC’s top record.

Los Angeles Rams 23, Arizona 20 (ATS: Cardinals +3.5)
The game is in London and this might as well be a toss-up. I don’t feel confident in picking LA but if the Rams can contain Adrian Peterson and put pressure on Carson Palmer, there’s a good chance this pick will be correct.

Tampa Bay 23, BUFFALO 21 (ATS: Buccaneers +3.5)
Tough spot for the Bucs and as of this writing, QB Jameis Winston is very questionable with a shoulder injury suffered Sunday against the Cardinals. The Bills are well-rested coming off a bye but I’m picking the more talented team to get back on track in this spot.

Carolina 26, CHICAGO 17  (ATS: Panthers -3.5)
Bears rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky has looked shaky at best thus far and the cure will not be against a rock solid Panthers D. Cam Newton and company are undefeated on the road this year and that will continue in Week 7.

Tennessee 27, CLEVELAND 20 (ATS: Titans -6.5)
The Browns are significantly worse than I expected…which says something. They’ll struggle to win two games this season. While the Titans defense is leaky, there’s no way Cleveland will shut down Marcus Mariota and the two-headed running back monster of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.

Jacksonville 23, INDIANAPOLIS 13 (ATS: Jaguars -3.5)
It’s an odd week and the Jaguars defense has literally been amazing Weeks 1, 3, and 5. The trend continues with the Colts playing on a short week after a tough Monday night loss in Tennessee.

GREEN BAY 23, New Orleans 20 (ATS: Packers +5.5)
Being that I’m a Packers fan, is this a homer pick? Probably. But I expect the Packers’ D to play their best game of the season thus far, slow Drew Brees and the Saints potent offense down, and do just enough with new QB Brett Hundley to squeak by with the win.

MIAMI 21, New York Jets 17 (ATS: Dolphins -3.5)
The Jets have been among the most surprising teams thus far sitting at 3-3. The Dolphins won UGLY in Atlanta last week and have shown virtually nothing on offense for long stretches. What gives on Sunday in Miami?

MINNESOTA 20, Baltimore 13 (ATS: Vikings -6.5)
Two very good defenses square off in the home of Super Bowl LII in February. Sounds like a potential matchup for the big game? Not with these two offenses…especially Baltimore’s which is so hit or miss.

Dallas 22, SAN FRANCISCO 16 (ATS: Cowboys -5.5)
Look for a lot of field goals in this game. It will be interesting to see how Dallas adjusts without star RB Ezekiel Elliott, suspended for the next 6 games…but San Francisco is starting a rookie QB, C.J. Beathard, who I believe will struggle against Dallas’ D which had an extra week to prepare for this matchup.

(Late Tuesday, the Elliott suspension was delayed – again – so I feel even more confident about this pick!)

Seattle 21, NEW YORK GIANTS 13 (ATS: Seahawks -6.5)
The Seahawks’ offense hasn’t clicked all season and probably won’t this week in New York (technically New Jersey). But the Giants won’t be able to effectively move the ball through the air leading to a comfortable Seattle road win.

PITTSBURGH 31, Cincinnati 17 (ATS: Steelers -5.5)
The Steelers are much better offensively at home than on the road. I just don’t see how the Bengals will be able to contain LeVeon Bell on the ground and Antonio Brown through the air. PS – Pittsburgh -5.5 is an absolute gift from the oddsmakers.

Denver 24, LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 20 (ATS: Broncos +1.5)
The Broncos couldn’t have looked worse in losing to the previously 0-5 Giants on Sunday. But the Chargers are 0-3 in their new tiny Los Angeles stadium where their home field advantage is basically non-existent. I look for a strong game from Denver’s rushing attack en route to an upset win.

NEW ENGLAND 34, Atlanta 28 (ATS: Patriots -3.5)
A Super Bowl rematch so I might as well pick the same score as in last February’s big game. Both teams have shown significant weaknesses this year…the Patriots D has really struggled while the Falcons have lost their last two games at home to punchless AFC East opponents. Don’t expect any 28-3 leads in this one…

PHILADELPHIA 30, Washington 23 (ATS: Eagles -5.5)
Two very surprising teams meet in what should be an exciting Monday night game. Philly is playing on 10 days rest and at home. With a win, the Eagles will have nearly an insurmountable lead in the NFC East after Week 7.


This week’s guest picker is fellow University of Arizona alum and author of the popular Twitter account, @thespinzone, Lauren Joffe.

Last week’s guest picker, Dan Manucci, crushed the rest of us going 7-3 straight up and an astounding 8-2 against the spread! While the SU standings are close, it’s amazing that the guests have an EIGHT game advantage ATS over the closest competitor for our season-long competition.

Guest Picker Results
Week 1: Adam Green 9-1 SU, 5-4 ATS
Week 2: Mike Muraco 4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS
Week 3: Mike Bauer 8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS
Week 4: Jeff Dean 6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS
Week 5: Arnie Spanier 8-2 SU, 8-2 ATS
Week 6: Jason McIntyre 6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS
Week 7: Dan Manucci 7-3 SU, 8-2 ATS


Week 8 College Football Predictions

Eric Cohen Jon Bell Steve Malina Guest Picks (Lauren Joffe) 
Twitter: @eacohen83 @koshercoach @stevenmalina @thespinzone
Overall (Straight Up): 47-23 45-25 49-21 48-22
Overall (Against the Spread): 29-40 26-43 33-36 41-28
Last Week (SU): 5-5 4-6 6-4 7-3
Last Week (ATS): 4-6 5-5 2-8 8-2
Arizona (-2.5) at California  AZ 40-34  AZ 29-25  CAL 38-35 AZ 35-30
ASU at Utah (-8.5)  UTAH 30-20 UTAH 24-16  UTAH 24-17 UTAH 38-28
Louisville at Florida State (-6.5)  FSU 27-24  FSU 20-17 LOU 31-28 FSU 31-24
Oklahoma State (-7.5) at Texas OK ST 41-24  OK ST 31-28 OK ST 38-34 TEX 34-31
Oklahoma (-12.5) at Kansas State  OK 34-13  OK 31-10 OK 35-24 OK 36-21
Oregon at UCLA (-6.5)  UCLA 37-23  UCLA 31-30 UCLA 42-35  UCLA 38-34
Central Florida (-8.5) at Navy  UCF 38-27  UCF 42-20 UCF 41-31 UCF 38-35
USC at Notre Dame (-4.5)  USC 30-27  ND 21-17  ND 38-37 USC 32-31
Michigan at Penn State (-9.5)  PSU 27-10  MICH 27-21  PSU 24-20 PSU 27-17
Colorado at Washington State (-10.5)  WSU 44-24  WSU 42-14  WSU 40-20 WSU 35-24

This Week’s Bold Prediction:

EC: Predicting Khalil Tate to rush for 200+ yards once again would be just too easy, right? Same with expecting Tennessee to fire coach Butch Jones after getting destroyed by Alabama. So this week I’m calling for an uprising in Ann Arbor, Michigan after Penn State destroys the Wolverines on Saturday night. Though Michigan fans have been on edge after a home loss to rival Michigan State and overtime win at Indiana, this week’s defeat will send the Harbaugh to the NFL rumors (which won’t happen) into high gear.

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JB: Gone are the short lived days of Ohio State looking pedestrian. The Buckeyes are looking every bit as dangerous as they did at the end of the 2014 season. Penn State knows this and falls victim a week early, overlooking the Wolverines D while instead looking ahead to their showdown in Columbus the following week.

SM: Syracuse puts a major scare into Miami.  Coming off a huge win vs Clemson at home, Dino Babers’ bunch continues its good play vs Miami and takes a big lead in the first quarter.  Eric Dungey makes some people all across the country wish they paid more attention to him and offered him out of high school with two throwing TDs and one rushing in the first half.  Miami comes out strong in the second though and the South Florida heat just proves to be a little too much as Miami gets a field goal to go ahead in the final minute.  Dino Babers becomes a guy on everyone’s short list after this one though as he is proven to be one of the good coaches no one really knows too much about.


LJ: 
I think Wake Forest gives Georgia Tech a run for their money this weekend and wins outright. Georgia Tech is favored by -6 but just played a rough game against Miami, their top performing RB is out with an injury and Wake is coming off a bye.

For more thoughts and predictions on these games check out Friday’s Quick Hitters blog.

 

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