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We flew a little too close to the sun in Week 6, going 9-5 overall, but just 2-3 on upset picks. Still, it's another winning week in the books and that's all you can really ask for.
The lessons were obvious: The Los Angeles Chargers' run defense is an abomination, the Cleveland Browns are missing too many bodies, Aaron Rodgers still owns the Chicago Bears and Bill Belichick is too conservative for his underdog Patriots.
The 49ers put their feet up and relaxed in Week 6, but they return to the field for a primetime showdown with Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts. Win and they are back to .500 and squarely in the playoff picture. Lose, and perhaps Kyle Shanahan's seat gets a little toasty as we head toward the midseason point.
Let's get to the picks.
Record: 54-40 ATS (62-32 SU)
Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns
This has come down since it was announced that Baker Mayfield wouldn’t be starting due to his torn left shoulder labrum and that Cleveland would instead be turning to Case Keenum. Mayfield’s absence is notable, but the bigger issue for Cleveland is that it is likely to be without Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry, both starting offensive tackles and potentially Odell Beckham Jr. Give me the Ponies.
Pick: Broncos 23, Browns 17
New York Jets at New England Patriots
Line: Patriots -7.5
Bill Belichick terrorized Zach Wilson in Week 2 and I haven’t seen a lot from the No. 2 overall pick to make me think it won’t be the same story Sunday. Patriots are 0-4 at home this season. They won’t be 0-5.
Pick: Patriots 27, Jets 13
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
Line: Chiefs -5.5
The Titans’ secondary is banged-up and struggles at doing basic things like tackling and covering. The Chiefs rank 27th in the NFL in run defense. Whose weakness will be exploited more? The Titans are a dangerous team as long as they can stay close enough to feed Derrick Henry. They’ll be able to do that against the Chiefs. Kansas City. Close.
Pick: Chiefs 34, Titans 30
Washington Football Team at Green Bay Packers
Line: Packers -8.5
Washington’s defensive struggles have been a major surprise this season. Aaron Rodgers will exploit a leaky secondary. This one isn’t particularly close.
Pick: Packers 31, WFT 16
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants
Line: Panthers -3
Losers of three straight, the Panthers have been scuffling on offense and are finding out how it feels to have Sam Darnold under center when they aren’t playing with a lead. The Giants have been awful in all but one game this season and are expected to be without Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney. Panthers have to win this game.
Pick: Panthers 23, Giants 17
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Line: Ravens -6.5
We’re about to find out if the Bengals are for real. The Ravens are fresh off a thumping of the Chargers in the most impressive performance of the early NFL season. Baltimore can get after Joe Burrow, but the young quarterback thrives at making plays when the pressure is ratcheted up. The Ravens are due to drop the ball. Bengals on the field.
Pick: Bengals 26, Ravens 21 (UPSET OF THE WEEK)
Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins
Line: Falcons -2.5
Miami is in full free fall and reportedly could be close to a deal for Deshaun Watson, who, as far as I know, won’t be playing any time soon. The Dolphins also have injury questions at corner and elected not to take their bye week after traveling to London. Atlanta is coming off the bye and gets Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage back. Dirty Birds back to . 500.
Pick: Falcons 28, Dolphins 23
Philadelphia Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders
Line: Raiders -3
Does Nick Sirianni know he’s allowed to run the ball with Miles Sanders? The Eagles’ Week 1 win kind of threw us off the scent, but Philly is a bad team. The Raiders showed heart winning in Denver after Jon Gruden was ejected to parts unknown. Silver and Black keep it rolling.
Pick: Raiders 30, Eagles 24
Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams
Line: Rams -15
Jared Goff revenge game? I’m sure he’d like to think so. The Lions are winless and appear broken after numerous close losses to start the season. The Rams thrive when they can get a lot and pour it on. The ultimate front runners.
Pick: Rams 33, Lions 17
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Line: Bucs -12.5
Do the Bucs have any healthy corners? Will it matter? Probably not. Tom Brady and the Bucs’ offense are firing on all cylinders but I like the Bears’ defense to keep it close and give Justin Fields a chance to play hero.
Pick: Bucs 24, Bears 17
Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals
Line: Cardinals -17.5
I told you any team against Davis Mills and this Texans team has to be favored by at least 17. Here we are. Don’t overthink this one. Houston stinks out loud. The Cardinals are a Super Bowl contender. Desert Birds. Blowout.
Pick: Cardinals 34, Texans 10
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks
Line: Saints -5
If Jamal “The Best In The Nation” Adams could catch, the Seahawks might have left Pittsburgh with a win. It wasn’t meant to be and things are trending down in the PNW. New Orleans’ secondary forces a few turnovers and the Saints cruise. Two straight Geno Smith games in primetime is enough.
Pick: Saints 28, Seahawks 20
Indianapolis Colts at 49ers
Line: 49ers -4
Jimmy Garoppolo is back, and the 49ers need a win in the worst way coming off their bye week. Carson Wentz has been playing surprisingly well, but the 49ers’ defense limits the Colts’ passing game and Deebo Samuel finds the end zone twice as the 49ers get back to .500.
Pick: 49ers 30, Colts 23