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Week Seven Picks

October 18th, 2012

Just 13 games this weekend. That’s lucky 13 for me. Less to get wrong. Here’s what not to expect.

Seattle (+7) at San Francisco
The Seahawks have a better defense than the team that held the 49ers to three points in San Francisco on Sunday. But the 49ers have a much, much better defense than the one that allowed the Seahawks to come back from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit in Seattle that same afternoon. The 49ers also have the better offense in this game by a huge margin. Add in the fact that Seattle is traveling on short rest following an emotional victory and I suspect you get a blowout. Niners by 17.

Tennessee (+3) at Buffalo
Neither defense can stop opponents from scoring. Neither offense can score. Should be interesting to see what gives. The Bills are bad, but the Titans are slightly worse, so I’ll take the home team straight up and look for a push with the points.

Arizona (+6) at Minnesota
You know why Kevin Kolb is hurt? No, it’s not just one big hit. It’s 27 sacks. More telling: 27 sacks in five starts. That’s 5.4 per game. And that’s brutal. Do you think John Skelton‘s likely to have much success behind an O line that allows that kind of pressure? I don’t. The Cardinals D will keep the team in the game, but Minnesota comes out ahead, if only by a point or two.

Cleveland (+3) at Indianapolis
If either of these teams had any ability to run the ball, the other one would be in a world of trouble. But they don’t. And that’s all I’ve got. The Colts are at home, so I’m taking them, but I wouldn’t give more than a point.

Baltimore (+6.5) at Houston
The only defense that you could find in Baltimore is hurt. Got that? The whole defense got hurt. That’s some lousy timing right there. Texans by a touchdown.

Green Bay (-5.5) at St. Louis
You know what happens when the Packers actually give their quarterback some protection? This. It’ll be interesting to see if the Green Bay offensive line can keep it up, or if it goes back to giving up four-plus sacks a game. I expect to see continued improvement. But I also expect to see a team playing its second straight road game. I’ll take the Packers, but I wouldn’t give more than four.

Dallas (-2) at Carolina
Jerry Jones can think whatever the hell he wants to think; the Cowboys aren’t winning a title. The way the Cowboys turn the ball over, it’ll take something of a miracle for them to win eight games. But they’ll win this one. Probably by a field goal (assuming it doesn’t go wide).

Washington (+6) at NY Giants
The Giants lead the NFC East with a record of 4-2. And they just pulled off an incredibly impressive win in San Francisco. But they’re also 0-2 in the conference. They can’t afford to fall to 0-3. The Native Americans won’t make this game easy to win, but the Giants should still be able to pull it off. I expect to see a lot of scoring by both teams, what with the Native Americans’ potent offense and impotent defense. But in the end Washington’s slipshod D will prove the difference as the Giants take it 31-27.

New Orleans (-3) at Tampa Bay
The Saints are done in the NFC South. Their 1-4 start has left them, less than halfway through the season, with no chance of catching 6-0 Atlanta. And if they’re to have any hope of overcoming the ongoing distractions and clawing their way into position for a wild card berth, they’re going to have to start with a win here. I can’t come up with one piece of concrete evidence to suggest that New Orleans will be able to pull off a win here (OK, well, there’s Josh Freeman, but that’s it). But, still, I have a feeling that they will. Saints by six.

NY Jets (+10.5) at New England
The New England secondary can make any NFL quarterback look like the second coming of Dan Marino. And it appears that’s going to be a problem all season. Luckily for the Patriots, the Jets don’t currently have an actual NFL quarterback on their roster. New England by 14.

Jacksonville (+4) at Oakland
One of these teams pretty much has to not lose this game. And … uh … yeah, that’s it. The Raiders are at home, so I’ll take them to not lose. By three.

Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Cincinnati
If the Bengals had any ability to hold onto the ball, I might be tempted to pick them in this game. (I wouldn’t feel that way if the game were in Pittsburgh, but in Cincy, just maybe.) But they don’t. So I’m taking the Steelers. By four.

Detroit (+6) at Chicago
The way the Chicago defense has been playing, even Jay Cutler hasn’t been able to find ways to manufacture losses. That will change eventually. But not this week. Bears by 10.

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