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NFL Week 7 picks: Bengals hang with Ravens, Titans-KC play thriller; Raiders lock of week

A Las Vegas Raiders fan watches play against

A Las Vegas Raiders fan watches play against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on October 17, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Credit: Getty Images/Justin Edmonds

Through six weeks, there have been only six games with a spread of 10 or more points. Week 7 alone has three double-digit lines.

Favorites of 10 or more are 5-1 against the spread (ATS). The Cardinals and L.A. Rams have to cover huge numbers, but they should do it rather easily thanks to extra motivation (more on that later).

Underdogs went 6-8 against the spread (ATS) last week, giving favorites back-to-back wins for the first time. Underdogs still lead, 48-44-2.

My most confident picks ATS this week are Las Vegas, Washington and Tennessee. I also like both underdogs in prime time. There isn’t a "stay away" game, but Panthers-Giants is close.



Baltimore by 6.5; O/U: 46.5 (1 p.m.)

There isn’t a true marquee matchup on the Week 7 slate. That’s what happens when six teams are on a bye (including Buffalo, Dallas and the L.A. Chargers) and there are three double-digit spreads. Cincinnati at Baltimore in years past wouldn’t be a big deal, but this is a battle for first place in the AFC North. Lamar Jackson is 5-0 in starts vs. the Bengals. But I’m going with Joe Burrow and a feisty Bengals team that has already matched its win total from last season. It’s hard to predict a team’s mindset, but Cincinnati should be amped for this game, a chance to show the AFC North that it should be taken seriously. The Bengals’ two losses were both by a field goal, including an OT thriller against Green Bay. Burrow & Co. will be able to hang and keep this under a touchdown . . . and maybe even win.

The pick: Cincinnati

1 p.m. Games


TV: Fox

Carolina by 3; O/U: 43.5

It’s Dave Gettleman’s old team vs. Dave Gettleman’s soon-to-be-old(?) team. That’s at the top of many Giants fans’ Christmas wish list. Speaking of teams regressing, the Panthers have lost three in a row after a 3-0 start. Sam Darnold already checked off "beating the Jets" on his list and would like to add "winning at old stadium" to it. Carolina’s offense isn’t the same without Christian McCaffrey (thanks, Captain Obvious). What have the Panthers done to be a road favorite? If this game were in Carolina, the Giants would be 8-9 point underdogs. That’s a similar line as Week 4 at New Orleans, when the Giants won an OT stunner. Here’s hoping the good Daniel Jones shows up and the Giants defense just flat out shows up in what feels like a down-to-the-wire, 20-17 type of game either way.

The pick: Giants



New England by 7; O/U: 42.5

Good bye: The Jets were the only AFC East team not to lose last week. The Patriots fell to 0-4 at home after an OT loss to Dallas. Had New England won, maybe I'd take a shot with the rested Jets. Zach Wilson can't play any worse than he did in the teams' first meeting, a four-INT debacle in Week 2. Still, give me a Pats team that always likes beating up on their little brother: they've won the last 11 meetings.

The pick: New England


Kansas City by 5.5; O/U: 57.5

Gone are the days of Kansas City being a sure thing. Sure, Patrick Mahomes can still beat any team, any day, anywhere, but it’s the KC defense that concerns me. Last week was the first time it held an opponent to under 29 points all season, but Tennessee has more weapons than Washington and this is likely going to be a high-scoring game like the Titans’ 34-31 win over the Bills on MNF. Derrick Henry (3 rushing TDs in each of the last two games) will open up play-action for Ryan Tannehill and KC won’t be able to stop it. Also, the spread is just too high, especially when Tennessee winning wouldn’t shock anyone. There has been at least one OT game in each of the first six weeks, and if that streak continues, this game could be a prime candidate.

The pick: Tennessee


Green Bay by 7.5; O/U: 48.5

The Packers are one of three teams to win five in a row after losing the opener (the Cowboys and Ravens are the other two). They're also on a 4-0-1 run ATS. They'll win, but I'll take a shot they don't cover the big number. Why? The Packers next play at undefeated Arizona on Thursday Night Football, and it wouldn't shock me if players overlook a two-win team and get caught looking ahead.

The pick: Washington

ATLANTA (2-3) AT MIAMI (1-5)

Atlanta by 2.5; O/U: 47.5

Miami chose not to have its bye week after the London game, which may be beneficial. Would you want two weeks to stew about being the first team to lose to Jacksonville in 21 games? The Falcons beat the Jets in London two weeks ago, but they also lost at home to Philadelphia and Washington so a loss at one-win Miami wouldn't be surprising.

The pick: Miami

4 p.m. Games



Las Vegas by 3; O/U: 49

The NFL is unpredictable. Just like my picks record so far this year. The first two weeks, I was 21-10-1 ATS but 0-for-2 on my "lock of the week." The last four weeks: 25-36-1 . . . but 4-0 on locks. The Raiders’ 34-24 win at Denver was an inspiring one considering all the team was dealing with. The players rallied around each other, and it could be a springboard to a playoff run. The Eagles just traded their beloved tight end, don’t run the ball and really have no identity on offense. Sure, Jalen Hurts could engineer a late comeback like he did in Carolina in Week 5, but it’s more likely Derek Carr and the resurgent Raiders will have already put the game away by then.

The pick: Las Vegas

DETROIT (0-6) AT L.A. RAMS (5-1)

L.A. Rams by 16; O/U: 50.5

When the NFL's lone winless team is in town, it's easy to overlook them. When that team is the former longtime home of your new star QB? There won't be any overlooking. Matthew Stafford will pick apart a defense that failed him so many times in close games and old Ram Jared Goff (called out by coach Dan Campbell last week) will be California Dreamin'.

The pick: L.A. Rams


Arizona by 17.5; O/U: 47.5

Houston has lost five in a row, including defeats by 28 points (last week at Indianapolis) and 40 points (at Buffalo in Week 4). DeAndre Hopkins may cover this number himself, as the receiver will be extra-motivated against a franchise that traded him. Maybe former Texan J.J. Watt will get in on the action, too. Cards by 20-plus. In fact, don't be surprised if this is 38-0.

The pick: Arizona



Tampa Bay by 12.5; O/U: 47

This is the third big spread in the 4 p.m. window, and while Tom Brady and the Bucs can cover it, I'd rather not be on the chalk side in all three. The Bears can clean up in garbage time.

The pick: Chicago



TV: NBC, 8:20 p.m.

San Francisco by 4; O/U: 44

This prime-time battle of two-win teams is surprisingly intriguing. The 49ers are an enigma, but they’re off a bye and maybe they’ll snap a three-game skid. I feel as if the Colts are much better than their record suggests. If not for that Monday night meltdown at Baltimore, they’d be looking at a chance to go 4-3 instead of 3-4. Carson Wentz has T.Y. Hilton back and that could be the difference in a close one.

The pick: Indianapolis



TV: ESPN, 8:15 p.m.

New Orleans by 4.5; O/U: 42.5

New Orleans has alternated wins and losses its first five games, so the pattern says a loss is next. But wait: It was on the bye last week, so does that mean it's time for a win? Picking NFL games is exhausting! The Saints are well-rested but I'm going with the home team and the points. Look for the 12th Man to play a role, and don't forget: Weird things happen in Seattle on Monday nights.

The pick: Seattle


(best bets in bold)


46-46-2, 4-2 best bets

Last week: 7-7

Denver Giants New England Cincinnati Tennessee

Washington Miami Las Vegas L.A. Rams

Arizona Chicago Indianapolis Seattle


45-47-2, 3-3

Last week: 5-9

Cleveland Giants New England Baltimore Kansas City

Green Bay Atlanta Las Vegas Detroit

Houston Tampa Bay San Francisco Seattle


54-38-2, 3-2-1

Last week: 10-4

Cleveland Giants Jets Baltimore Tennessee

Green Bay Atlanta Las Vegas L.A. Rams

Arizona Chicago Indianapolis Seattle


41-51-2, 3-2-1

Last week: 8-6

Denver Carolina New England Cincinnati Kansas City

Green Bay Miami Las Vegas L.A. Rams

Arizona Chicago Indianapolis Seattle

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