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NFL Week 7 picks: Giants deck Cards, Jets play Pats close; Eagles top Cowboys; Rams lock of week

Daniel Jones and the Giants should have success

Daniel Jones and the Giants should have success against a Cardinals defense that has allowed the most touchdown passes (16) in the NFL this season. Credit: Getty Images/Elsa

More than half of this week's games have point spreads of three points or fewer, and a handful are basically pick 'ems the lines are so low. Expect another week of close finishes.

Underdogs went 9-5 against the spread last week and are 55-36-1 this season. Road teams went 7-6 ATS to improve to 55-33-2 (not including London games).

My most confident picks ATS this week are the Rams, Giants, Jaguars, Raiders and Eagles. The first three mentioned, in fact, might be my most confident picks all season. Two games to avoid: Saints-Bears (too close to call) and Chargers-Titans (too uninterested to care).

CARDINALS (2-3-1) AT GIANTS (2-4)

Giants by 3; O/U: 50.5

TV: Ch. 5, 1 p.m.

This line suggests the Giants and Cardinals are evenly matched and I don’t buy it. Arizona is on a two-game win streak but beating winless Cincinnati and one-win Atlanta means nothing. Heck, the Little Giants could do that! Big Blue’s 35-14 loss at New England was way closer than the final score. Remember, the Giants had the ball down 21-14 before a Pats defensive TD. Daniel Jones will bounce back from a three-interception game as he faces a Cardinals defense that allows the fourth most points per game (28.5), third-most passing yards  (281.2), the most passing TDs (16) and, wait for it . . . is the only defense without an INT! Saquon Barkley’s return only opens things up more. The Giants allow a ton of yards through the air, too, so Kyler Murray should be able to put up 20-plus points himself. But the Giants held the Pats to 21 offensive points, and with defensive coordinator James Bettcher, Markus Golden and Antoine Bethea all having ties to Arizona, expect a spirited effort. Call it Giants 34, Cardinals 24.

The pick: Giants

MONDAY NIGHT

PATRIOTS (6-0) AT JETS (1-4)

Patriots by 9.5; O/U: 43.5

TV: ESPN, Ch. 11, 8:15 p.m.

This isn't the same Jets team that fell behind, 30-0, at New England in Week 3. This isn't the same Jets team that scored three points against the Browns on MNF in Week 2. So, what will Sam Darnold do for an encore after an upset win over the Cowboys? Expect a closer game than you might think, especially with defensive leader C.J. Mosley returning. The Pats are 6-0 but five of those wins are against teams with a combined 6-22 record and the offense has started slow the last three weeks. If the Jets can hit Tom Brady a few times and stop the run the way the Giants did, they'll also be able to keep this a one-score game in the fourth quarter. Gregg Williams' blitzing schemes and Darnold's ability to convert third downs will go a long way in earning a cover. Expect a defensive struggle, 20-16 kind of game.

The pick: Jets

1 p.m..Games

VIKINGS (4-2) AT LIONS (2-2-1)

Vikings by 2; O/U: 44

The Lions officially have the worst loss of 2019 after the refs robbed them of first place at Green Bay. Now, they're in last place. Detroit can’t sulk with a hot Vikings team in town. Kirk Cousins won’t be able to air it out against the Lions like he did the Giants and Eagles. Detroit held Patrick Mahomes to zero TD passes in their last home game (somehow, a 34-30 loss to the Chiefs). The Lions have covered in all four games since their Week 1 meltdown, and they'll get it done again —and also be on the right side of a close finish for a change.

The pick: Lions

RAIDERS (3-2) AT PACKERS (5-1)

Packers by 5.5; O/U: 47

After upsetting the Bears in London, can the rested Raiders shock the Pack at Lambeau? Maybe. It’s going to be close, just like Green Bay’s previous four home games. The way to beat the Packers is to run at them (see: Eagles’ win on TNF). Jon Gruden will feature rookie back Josh Jacobs (202 yards, 2 TDs during two-game win streak) early and often.  

The pick: Raiders

DOLPHINS (0-5) AT BILLS (4-1)

Bills by 17; O/U: 41

Buffalo hasn't been this big of a favorite since the Jim Kelly-Marv Levy days, when it gave 20 points (twice!) in 1992. This is a big number for a Bills team that averages 18 points. But they're off a bye and home, so 30 is doable vs. Miami (NFL-worst 36 points per game allowed). Buffalo allows just 12.8 and could register its first shutout.

The pick: Bills

TEXANS (4-2) AT COLTS (3-2)

Colts by 1; O/U: 47

When a team wins at Kansas City, you have to ride the hot hand. Only problem: The Colts AND Texans’ last victories were at Arrowhead. Indy was on a bye last week, when the Texans followed up the Colts’ 19-13 win at KC with their own 31-24 KO. Houston did lose an offensive lineman and cornerback in the process. The Texans won at Indy last season before the Colts won two in a row in Houston, including in the playoffs. Indy, led by its dominant offensive line and run game, makes it three straight in a close one.

The pick: Colts

JAGUARS (2-4) AT BENGALS (0-6)

Jaguars by 3.5; O/U: 44

Jacksonville struggled against New Orleans’ defense in a 13-6 loss. This week will be the exact opposite as Leonard Fournette has a field day against the Bengals' NFL-worst rush defense, which allows a whopping 184.5 yards per game.

The pick: Jaguars

49ERS (5-0) AT REDSKINS (1-5)

49ERS by 9.5; O/U: 41

San Francisco allows the second fewest points (13.0) and yards (237.4) per game, so whoever Washington starts at quarterback is in for a long day. The letdown theory is in play here for the 49ers after back-to-back dominant wins (31-3 over Browns on MNF, 20-7 at the Rams), but I don’t see it. Led by one of the most animated coaches I’ve ever seen in defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, and Kyle Shanahan returning to Washington, 5-0 won’t overlook 1-5.

The pick: 49ers

LOCK OF THE WEEK

RAMS (3-3) AT FALCONS (1-5)

Rams by 3; O/U: 54.5

If the Rams thought they looked bad after watching video from their 20-7 loss to the 49ers, imagine what they thought after seeing tape of the Falcons. Atlanta is reeling after four straight losses (all non-covers). L.A. has lost three in a row for the first time under Sean McVay, but luckily for the Rams, this is the "get right" game to end all "get right" games. Especially for a beleaguered offensive line and Jared Goff (held to just 78 yards passing by the 49ers). He will have extra time to find open receivers against a Falcons defense that is tied for last in the NFL with five sacks and allows the second-most points per game (29.7). In the Falcons' last home game, they allowed Marcus Mariota and the Titans to score 24 points in the first half alone. Expect the Rams to have a big start as well, and look for big games from McVay, Goff and receiver Cooper Kupp as the Rams put up 30, maybe even 40 points, to get back on track.

The pick: Rams

4 p.m. GAMES

SAINTS (5-1) AT BEARS (3-2)

Bears by 3; O/U: 38

New Orleans is 4-0 without Drew Brees and its defense has dominated, so seeing the Saints as underdogs for the second straight week might be an odd sight at first. Take a closer look, though, and the Bears are the correct play: a) It’s in Chicago; b) The Bears have a great defense themselves; and c) They'll be rested and hungry after a bad loss in London two weeks ago. The Bears are 8-2 at home under Matt Nagy. This feels like a 17-13 kind of game.

The pick: Bears

RAVENS (4-2) AT SEAHAWKS (5-1)

Seahawks by 3; O/U: 48

Seattle goes for the AFC North sweep after close wins over Cincinnati (21-20), Pittsburgh (28-26) and Cleveland (32-28). The Seahawks allow 92.8 rushing yards per game so they should be able to contain Lamar Jackson just enough. Baltimore’s four wins are against teams with a combined 4-18-1 record, and its defense won't stop Russell Wilson (14 TDs, 0 INTs, 72.5 completion percentage).

The pick: Seahawks

CHARGERS (2-4) AT TITANS (2-4)

Titans by 2.5; O/U: 41

To borrow a line from a famous radio show host: I wouldn't watch this game if it was played in my backyard. I have to pick it, though, so I'll go with the better defense and (gulp!) Ryan Tannehill at home.

The pick: Titans

SUNDAY NIGHT

EAGLES (3-3) AT COWBOYS (3-3)

TV: Ch. 4, 8:20 p.m.

Cowboys by 2.5; O/U: 49

The winner is in first place with a fourth ‘W’ while the loser gets a fourth ‘L.’ Dallas has lost three straight, but this will be close with a lot on the line. The last time the Eagles lost, they followed it up with an impressive TNF win at Green Bay. Simply put: I trust Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson more in a big spot. “We’re gonna win that football game,” Pederson told a radio show. I agree, Coach.

The pick: Eagles

STAFF STANDINGS AND PICKS

(best bets in bold)

JOE MANNIELLO

53-38-1 overall, 5-1 best bets

Last week: 10-4

Giants Jets Lions Raiders

Bills Colts Jaguars

49ers Rams Bears

Seahawks Titans Eagles

BOB GLAUBER

37-54-1, 0-6

Last week: 4-10

Giants Jets Lions Raiders

Dolphins Colts Jaguars

Redskins Falcons Bears

Seahawks Chargers Eagles

TOM ROCK

42-49-1, 3-3

Last week: 6-8

Giants Jets Vikings Raiders

Bills Colts Jaguars

49ers Rams Bears

Ravens Chargers Eagles

AL IANNAZZONE

46-45-1, 2-4

Last week: 7-7

Giants Jets Vikings Packers

Dolphins Texans Jaguars

49ers Rams Bears

Seahawks Titans Cowboys

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