Going Back to What Works for Week 7 NFL Picks


October 23, 2009

Going Back to What Works for Week 7 NFL Picks Once upon a time, a Philadelphia Eagles team that had outscored opponents 105-38 in its three wins flew to Oakland for an easy blowout victory ? and lost.

It was around that same time that a New England offense that had looked incredibly disjointed and out of sync all season was polishing off a 59-0 victory. In the snow.

That was the moment I lost faith in reason and logic. That was the moment I decided numbers, statistics and history are all well and good, but when it comes down to it, you can't know anything.

Thanks to that revelation, I've begun a new journey to the top: I'm going back to what worked.

When I started the season, I checked the numbers, but ultimately, I went with the pick that I knew was right. The results? A healthy 30-18 record against the spread.

Then I tried (and failed) to get "smart." With back-to-back 6-8 weeks followed by last week's 7-7 performance, it's time to rediscover the glory.

In these picks, you won't see meaningless information — you'll just see the correct choices.

I think.

(Home team in Caps.)

Green Bay (-9) over CLEVELAND
Please. The Browns' putrid season got even worse with the swine flu reports this week. Green Bay shut out the Lions last Sunday and shut out the Browns in Week 1 of the preseason. It's safe to say nine points won't be enough.

San Diego (-4.5) over KANSAS CITY
The Chargers are pretty bad this year, but they're not that bad.

The only thing that worries me here is that both teams are riding entirely different momentum waves. The Chargers got beat on Monday night, eliminating them from realistically winning the AFC West. The Chiefs are coming off their first win of the season, after which Todd Haley essentially said his team couldn't be feeling better.

That's still not enough for me.

Indianapolis (-13) over ST. LOUIS
The Colts have had two weeks to prepare for the worst team in football. A win by a margin smaller than 28 points will be a genuine shock.

Minnesota (+4) over PITTSBURGH
The Vikes exposed a number of flaws in their skin-of-their-teeth victory over the Ravens last week, but the Steelers have been exposing their own flaws all season.

Ultimately, the Vikings will have to lose a game at some point, and this game seems to provide the perfect opportunity — there's no shame in losing to the defending champions by three points, is there?

New England (-14.5) over Tampa Bay (London)
The only concern here is that Tom Brady forgets his sleeping pants on the plane and messes up his internal clock. If he's off a few hours on the inside, how can he hit those timing patterns?

Easy, he throws them at the Bucs' defense.

We may not see 59-0, but this one will be ugly. Enjoy, British people!

(Side note: I genuinely don't understand why the Buccaneers have to sacrifice a home game for this event. Why can't both teams that are chosen to play in England play eight home games and seven road games, with the "home team" in London chosen by a coin flip? I understand it makes the task of creating schedules a bit harder, but there are folks whose jobs are to create schedules. I think they can handle it.)

San Francisco (+3) over HOUSTON
This is a huge bounce-back game for the Niners, since the Texans are due for a loss after a win last week. The Texans have been the model for inconsistency, sandwiching every "W" with a big fat "L" so far this season.

New York Jets (-6.5) over OAKLAND
If Oakland's silly upset last week was good for anything, it's that this week's line is even sillier.

Yeah, Richard Seymour's talking all sorts of smack, saying the Raiders are going to make the playoffs and the Giants deserved to lose last week, but if the Raiders don't know that talk is cheap by now, they'll never learn.

The Raiders are just what Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan need to regain their footing — though most football fans wouldn't mind seeing Ryan's face after a loss to Oakland.

Buffalo (+7) over CAROLINA
If any game wants me to delve into some numbers, it's this one. That's mostly because I don't understand how the Panthers can be a seven-point favorite to anyone. Did Jake Delhomme not throw two picks en route to barely beating the Buccaneers last week? After the Panthers barely beat the Redskins the week before?

Wins against the Skins and Bucs do not constitute a winning streak.

(OK, I peeked at some stats. Delhomme is tied for the league lead with 10 picks. The Bills are third in the league with 10 interceptions on defense. Both numbers could double this week.)

Chicago (+1.5) over CINCINNATI
I've missed on the Bengals the past two weeks, plus Chad Ochocinco Twitters too much. So obviously I need to pick against them. Next.

Atlanta (+4) over DALLAS

I'm starting to get the feeling that maybe I'm picking too many underdogs here, but Dallas is another team that doesn't deserve to be a favorite over most of the NFL, let alone a 4-1 Falcons team.

New Orleans (-6) over MIAMI
The Dolphins' performance inspired me to spend 818 words gushing about how good they are. It almost inspired me to pull off an upset over the Saints.


NEW YORK GIANTS (-7) over Arizona

I don't understand Giants fans. After losing to the best team in the NFL in Week 6, it's been panic mode in New York.

Yeah, it looked ugly last week, but the Cardinals are traveling east this week. I'd look it up if I were allowed to do so, but I'm pretty sure the Cardinals went 0-25 on the East Coast last season, capped off with a 100-0 loss in snowy New England.

Philadelphia (-7) over WASHINGTON
Last week I wrote, "It's Philly over Oakland. I don't care what the spread is."

This week, I do care what the spread is. And I'm happy with it.

Last week: 7-7
Season: 49-41

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