It was a much needed week 6 for us, as we finished with a 5-2 run. That brings the season total to 20-19 as we're finally above .500 on the year. The picks have been on a solid run ever since I switched from giving out six picks to seven picks, so we'll keep that trend going for week 8. It's also important to add that my Fade of the Week actually hit in week 6 and is now 2-4 on the season, so beware if you decide to fade that play this time around.
Baltimore Ravens -6.5 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Lamar Jackson has been video game-like in recent weeks, and I don't expect that trend to slow down this week. Cincinnati has been pretty good defensively this season, actually, but in recent history, the Ravens have absolutely owned them. Their last three meetings have been decided by 35, 24, and 36 points in Baltimore's favor. While this Bengal team is much improved from those past squads, I think the Ravens are so red-hot right now that it's hard not to side with them against a seemingly inferior organization.
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans Over 57.5
I took the over in Kansas City's game last week expecting a much needed breakout performance, and while the over didn't hit, the Chiefs offense did its part to ensure that it could. Both teams here have explosive offenses and fairly lackluster defenses, and it should be a shootout in Nashville. The Chiefs desperately need a win to avoid four losses in their first seven games, and Patrick Mahomes and company should feast on Tennessee's secondary. Unlike Washington last week, the Titans will be able to put up several points themselves to reach this point total.
Carolina Panthers -3.0 at New York Giants
While their record isn't very impressive so far, the Panthers are a far and away better team than the Giants are. New York is still dealing with a plethora of injuries which I think will limit their offensive potential, and Carolina is looking to bounce back from three straight close losses. This is a get right game for the Matt Rhule and the Panthers, and despite being on the road for this one, they should win with relative ease.
Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins Under 48.0
This pick is purely in my lack of confidence in each team's offense, particularly with the Dolphins. Miami has been awful to start the season, and while having to play a few games without Tua hasn't helped anything, they haven't looked much better with their starting quarterback healthy. The Dolphins have only topped 20 points once all season in a 31-28 overtime loss to the Raiders in Jacoby Brissett's first start of the season. Even against a mediocre defense like Atlanta, I don't have any faith that Miami can actually score at a high level. I think these teams are quite evenly matched and that it will be a close game, but I think both teams end up at or around the 20-point mark by the game's end.
San Francisco 49ers -4.0 vs. Indianapolis Colts
Everything about this matchup hints that it should go San Francisco's way. The 49ers are coming in off a bye week where their team was able to rest up and prepare for Indianapolis. In that time, Jimmy Garoppolo was able to heal from his calf injury and is expected to start on Sunday night. Additionally, the Colts are dealing with so many injuries that I'm slightly surprised they're able to actually field a team this week. On top of the guys already hurt coming into this week, T.Y. Hilton has been ruled out after returning for just one game a week ago and Safety Julian Blackmon tore his Achilles in practice this week, ending his season. While Carson Wentz has looked good the last couple weeks and has only thrown one interception all year, I think the variables are stacked up in the 49ers' favor for this week and they'll be able to prevail at home in primetime.
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks Under 42.5
The Saints score more points in relation to their yards gained that any team in the league it feels like, which is a trend that can't continue forever. New Orleans' receivers have made some really big plays to make Jameis Winston look good, but Winston is not very efficient in actuality. With Seattle coming in with a backup quarterback, Sean Payton's defense should be aggressive and force a lot of pressure all night on Geno Smith. My biggest fear is that there will be some turnovers or special teams plays that put the under at risk, but reasonably, the under is the play for this one.
Fade of the Week: Chicago Bears +13.0 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I am far from a believer in Justin Fields, or the entire Bears offense for that matter. But I just can't trust the Bucs to beat anyone by 13-plus at this point, let alone a team with a solid defense. Tampa has only won two games by more than 6 points this season, and those were both against terrible opponents. I definitely think the Buccaneers are one of the best teams in the NFL this season and maybe the best bet to win the Super Bowl again, but it feels like they have the kind of attitude that says, "we'll coast to the postseason and then turn it on when it matters." And that's why I like Chicago to cover the 13 points they're being given in this matchup. We're likely going to need Fields to make a few plays on Sunday, which could be a bit of a concern. But I'm very confident that the Bears will find a way to cover.
Written by Nick Swatson