Team NESN is a part of the historic Las Vegas Westgate SuperContest this season.
Betting analyst Sam Panayotovich and digital content editor Mike Cole are teaming up to pick five weekly NFL games against the point spread. Each winning selection receives one point and ties earn a half-point. The guys went 4-1 in Week 6 and are tied for 586th place out of 1,968 entries.
The betting lines are released every Wednesday and selections are due by Saturday afternoon.
Here are Sam’s and Mike’s picks for Week 7 of the SuperContest:
Cincinnati Bengals +6.5 at Baltimore Ravens
MC: While the Ravens might have spent a lot of emotion and energy in last week’s throttling of the Chargers, this is the closest thing Cincinnati has had to a playoff game in a while. So they will definitely be fired up, but they also match up well with the Ravens. That’s especially true with Baltimore’s decimated secondary that has been torched by passing attacks like Kansas City and Las Vegas. As such, the Ravens try to blitz a lot (fourth in the NFL) to make up for the back end, but Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow owns a 136 passer rating versus the blitz. Just too many points in this spot.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -12.5 vs. Chicago Bears
SP: All Chicago can do on offense is run the ball and that plays directly into the strength of Tampa Bay’s stingy run defense. I don’t love this spot for Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields, either. The keys to making things interesting against the Buccaneers are protecting the pocket and carving up the secondary. The Bears offensive line is absolutely dreadful, which will severely limit their ability to score a lot of points.
Houston Texans +18.5 at Arizona Cardinals
SP: Woof. We’re going to plug our noses and play the Texans getting all those points. Does Arizona even care about winning big this Sunday? Will the Cardinals take Houston seriously? Who knows. At this point it’s about principle. You can’t float this big of a number and expect us not to bite. Sharp money at the SuperBook knocked the current line down to +17.5, so we’ll ride with the wise guys as painful as it is.
Kansas City Chiefs -5.5 at Tennessee Titans
MC: The Titans had a fine win last week against Buffalo, and Tennessee should certainly be able to move the ball on KC. How the Titans get stops, though, is the big question. The secondary already was in shambles before they lost first-round pick, cornerback Caleb Farley, for the season last week. It’s hard to see how they can match KC’s weapons here, and if Patrick Mahomes can find a groove and build an early lead, that should take away some of Tennessee’s effectiveness on the ground.
Philadelphia Eagles +3 at Las Vegas Raiders
SP: There seems to be a three-point underdog that wins outright every single week in the NFL. The Eagles have plenty of team speed to counter the Raiders’ aggressive defense and if Jalen Hurts protects the football, anything is possible in Vegas. Literally and figuratively. Expect Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni to dial up some creative play-calling that will give Philly every chance to win outright.
SUPERCONTEST RECORD: (15-13-2, +16 points)