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    NFL Picks Week 7

    Last Updated: 10/15/2014 at 8:00 PM ET
    NFL Picks Pages:
    Week 7 Analysis
    October 16: Predictalator Picks
    October 19: Predictalator Picks
    October 20: Predictalator Picks
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    See Predictalator Picks for this week. All trends created in the Trend Machine. Injuries noted are players who are usually active who did not play in the simulated games. Weather information this week provided by Charlie Schlott

    Thursday, October 16 at 8:25 PM ET:

    New York Jets +9.5 @ New England Patriots (Covers 51.2%), UNDER 46.5 (Covers 54.0%)
    ATS Play Type: Not Playable
    O/U Play Type: Light

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: New York 17.5 - New England 26.5
    SU Pick and Win%: New England wins 72.8%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #1
    ATS Pick and Win%: New York Jets +9.5 covers 51.2%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #13
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
    O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (46.5) 54.0%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #9
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $17

    The Teams: NYJ NE
    Straight-Up Record 1-5 4-2
    Against-the-Spread Record 1-5 3-3
    Over/Under Record 3-3 4-2
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 16.0-26.3 26.7-21.5
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #7 #20
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #30 #14
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #12 #21
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #21 #2
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #2 #17
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 58.5%/41.5% #56.3%/43.7%
    Turnover Margin -9 +9

    Injured Players: Josh Bush, S, New York Jets, Greg Salas, WR, New York Jets, Brian Winters, G, New York Jets, Dan Connolly, T, New England Patriots, Dominique Easley, DE, New England Patriots, Nate Ebner, CB, New England Patriots, Darius Fleming, LB, New England Patriots, Dont'a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots, Sealver Siliga, DT, New England Patriots, Bryan Stork, C, New England Patriots

    Weather Forecast: Rain (around 0.5 inches). 65 degrees. Light wind.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 28% New York, 72% New England; O/U Bets - 56% Over, 44% Under

    The Breakdown: The Jets participated in a game last week that was a "no pick" against-the-spread. It was a decent idea to stay away as a last minute interception returned for a touchdown (one of three in the last minute of a game in Week 6 in which the defensive player hurt his team's chances of winning by returning the ball for a score) did not alter the straight-up outcome, yet did flip the ATS winner. With a similar line, the Jets are again involved in a "no pick" ATS game this Thursday night. In this case, both teams are too banged up and inconsistent to trust one way or the other.

    Fortunately, there seems to be value in the UNDER 46.5. The two offenses in this game are averaging a combined 42.7 points and each defense ranks as better than the offense it is playing (especially given the recent injury to Patriots running back Stevan Ridley). Furthermore, this is likely to be the game most impacted by weather as heavy rains are forecast throughout the day and night in New England.

    Boxscore: New York Jets, 17 @ New England Patriots, 27

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET:

    Cleveland Browns -5.5 @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Covers 58.0%), OVER 45 (Covers 59.2%)
    ATS Play Type: Normal
    O/U Play Type: Normal

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Cleveland 29.5 - Jacksonville 21.1
    SU Pick and Win%: Cleveland wins 70.7%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #3
    ATS Pick and Win%: Cleveland Browns -5.5 covers 58.0%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #2
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $59
    O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (45) 59.2%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #2
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $72

    The Teams: CLE JAC
    Straight-Up Record 3-2 0-6
    Against-the-Spread Record 3-2 1-5
    Over/Under Record 4-1 3-3
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 26.8-23.0 13.5-30.8
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #25 #10
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #5 #29
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #14 #27
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #20 #28
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #26 #15
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 48.6%/51.4% #67.8%/32.2%
    Turnover Margin +3 -8

    Injured Players: Armonty Bryant, DE, Cleveland Browns, Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns, Alex Mack, T, Cleveland Browns, Ahtyba Rubin, DT, Cleveland Browns, Phillip Taylor, DT, Cleveland Browns, Billy Winn, DT, Cleveland Browns, Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 79 degrees. Light wind.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 87% Cleveland, 13% Jacksonville; O/U Bets - 27% Over, 73% Under

    The Breakdown: This is the first time in this version of the Browns franchise history that they have been a favorite of five or more points on the road. Even though, Cleveland has been one of the best teams in the last 15 years as a road favorite, this is mostly unchartered territory. Yet, Jacksonville is still terrible. Despite the Jaguars covering the spread at Tennessee last week and actually having the ball down two points in the final minute of the game, they were out-scored 16-7 until the last 40 seconds of the game, giving up four Titans scoring drives in the first 46 minutes of the game to Tennessee and allowing Charlie Whitehurst to throw for 8.3 yards-per-pass without any interceptions. Brian Hoyer is a better quarterback than Whitehurst and should be in a better position with a good team around him to build and keep a lead against Jacksonville. The Jaguars are below average in the league in each of our strength-of-scheduled-adjusted efficiency metrics, whereas Hoyer leads a Browns top ten pass offense that is complimented by an above average running game and adequate defense.

    Updating a note we used last week that is applicable now and looked appropriate for almost all of last week's game, since the start of the 2010 season (when the Predictalator launched), the Jaguars are just 38% ATS as an underdog and just 11-22 (33%) ATS as an underdog of less than a touchdown, including 12 losses in those 32 games by 17 or more points. The Predictalator is 13-5 (72%) ATS with playable picks in games featuring Jacksonville as less than a touchdown underdog. Taking it a step further, the Jaguars are just 27% ATS in that span as a home underdog and 4-14 (22%) ATS as a home underdog of less than a touchdown in the last four-plus seasons.

    Boxscore: Cleveland Browns, 30 @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 21

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET:

    Miami Dolphins +3.5 @ Chicago Bears (Covers 57.0%), UNDER 49 (Covers 50.3%)
    ATS Play Type: Half-Bet
    O/U Play Type: Not Playable

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Miami 24.1 - Chicago 24.7
    SU Pick and Win%: Chicago wins 51.8%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #15
    ATS Pick and Win%: Miami Dolphins +3.5 covers 57.0%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #3
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $48
    O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (49) 50.3%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #15
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $0

    The Teams: MIA CHI
    Straight-Up Record 2-3 3-3
    Against-the-Spread Record 3-2 3-3
    Over/Under Record 4-1 3-3
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 24.0-24.8 23.8-24.0
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #21 #11
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #27 #19
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #4 #13
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #4 #19
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #10 #28
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 58.9%/41.1% #62.5%/37.5%
    Turnover Margin -3 +2

    Injured Players: Branden Albert, T, Miami Dolphins, Brandon Gibson, WR, Miami Dolphins, Shelley Smith, G, Miami Dolphins, Taylor Boggs, C, Chicago Bears, Jonathan Bostic, LB, Chicago Bears, Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears, Ahmad Dixon, S, Chicago Bears, Shea McClellin, LB, Chicago Bears, Sherrick McManis, CB, Chicago Bears

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 54 degrees. Light wind.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 24% Miami, 76% Chicago; O/U Bets - 70% Over, 30% Under

    The Breakdown: Miami has a good team in general and a great team to counter a pass-happy, yet flawed (particularly defensively) squad like the Chicago Bears (yes, we said something similar last week when the Dolphins covered +3.5 against the Packers and were winning with four seconds left in that game). The Dolphins have a top five run attack and a top five pass defense, which includes a well above average pass rush. Miami runs at a faster than league average offensive tempo, which can be taxing on a thin and relatively week defense like the Bears, especially considering Chicago has a bottom five NFL run defense and Miami out-gains its opponents by 1.2 yards-per-rush. Keeping control of the football and pressuring the opposing quarterback was successful enough against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week and should work similarly well against Jay Cutler and the Bears this week. Look for feature back Lamar Miller (averaging 5.2 yards-per-carry and leading the way with Knowshon Moreno out for the year) to have a big day in helping the Dolphins keep the game close (they even win 48.2% of the time) in Chicago.

    Boxscore: Miami Dolphins, 24 @ Chicago Bears, 25

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET:

    Baltimore Ravens -7 vs Atlanta Falcons (Covers 56.8%), OVER 49.5 (Covers 60.9%)
    ATS Play Type: Half-Bet
    O/U Play Type: Normal

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Atlanta 23.8 - Baltimore 33.3
    SU Pick and Win%: Baltimore wins 71.9%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #2
    ATS Pick and Win%: Baltimore Ravens -7 covers 56.8%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #4
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $46
    O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (49.5) 60.9%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #1
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $89

    The Teams: ATL BAL
    Straight-Up Record 2-4 4-2
    Against-the-Spread Record 2-4 4-2
    Over/Under Record 3-2 3-3
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 27.3-28.3 27.3-16.2
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #24 #19
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #6 #18
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #8 #10
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #30 #24
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #25 #4
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 64.6%/35.4% #57.3%/42.7%
    Turnover Margin -3 +2

    Injured Players: Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons, William Moore, S, Atlanta Falcons, Marlon Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens, Chris Canty, DT, Baltimore Ravens, Terrence Cody, NT, Baltimore Ravens, Will Hill, CB, Baltimore Ravens, Asa Jackson, CB, Baltimore Ravens, Timmy Jernigan, DT, Baltimore Ravens, Kelechi Osemele, G, Baltimore Ravens

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 57 degrees. Wind NW 10-20 MPH.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 35% Atlanta, 65% Baltimore; O/U Bets - 82% Over, 18% Under

    The Breakdown: Given how much Baltimore struggled last season offensively, a touchdown spread may seem a little excessive, but three of the Ravens' four wins this season have come by 18+ points. Baltimore seems to be adept at preying on flawed teams, especially at home, where the Ravens have the league's second-best home field advantage by expected net points added (based on the last 15 years). The Falcons certainly can be categorized as a flawed team, especially on the road. All four of the Falcons' losses have come by double-digits and Atlanta has just one win away from home since December 22, 2012 (Atlanta defeated Buffalo, 34-31 in OT last December 1). These teams have played similar schedules in 2014 (Baltimore with the slightly tougher slate) and Baltimore has out-scored its average opponent by more than ten points a game, while the Falcons have been out-scored per game (removing a 56-14 win at home over the Buccaneers and the Falcons have been out-scored by an average score of 31.2-21.6). The Falcons rank last in the league in yards-per-pass allowed (8.3 - worse than Tampa Bay, which allowed the Ravens Joe Flacco to throw for five first half touchdowns and a total 10.6 yards-per-pass last week) and second-worst in sacks-per-pass-play. Flacco should have another stellar day in a fairly easy win.

    Boxscore: Atlanta Falcons, 24 @ Baltimore Ravens, 33

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET:

    Indianapolis Colts -3 vs Cincinnati Bengals (Covers 55.2%), OVER 49 (Covers 56.1%)
    ATS Play Type: Half-Bet
    O/U Play Type: Half-Bet

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Cincinnati 24.0 - Indianapolis 29.2
    SU Pick and Win%: Indianapolis wins 62.0%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #10
    ATS Pick and Win%: Indianapolis Colts -3 covers 55.2%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #6
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $30
    O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (49) 56.1%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #6
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $39

    The Teams: CIN IND
    Straight-Up Record 3-1 4-2
    Against-the-Spread Record 3-2 4-1
    Over/Under Record 2-3 4-2
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 26.8-22.6 31.5-22.7
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #22 #18
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #12 #3
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #24 #20
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #3 #18
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #27 #21
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 51.9%/48.1% #59.3%/40.7%
    Turnover Margin +2 +1

    Injured Players: Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals, A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, Emmanuel Lamur, LB, Cincinnati Bengals, Rey Maualuga, LB, Cincinnati Bengals, Kevin Zeitler, G, Cincinnati Bengals, Darius Butler, CB, Indianapolis Colts, Stanley Havili, RB, Indianapolis Colts, Arthur Jones, DE, Indianapolis Colts, LaRon Landry, S, Indianapolis Colts, Jack Mewhort, G, Indianapolis Colts, Xavier Nixon, T, Indianapolis Colts, Hugh Thornton, G, Indianapolis Colts

    Weather Forecast: N/A

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 18% Cincinnati, 82% Indianapolis; O/U Bets - 89% Over, 11% Under

    The Breakdown: In a potentially critical game for AFC playoff positioning, the Indianapolis Colts host the Cincinnati Bengals at a particularly advantageous time for the home team. The Bengals will likely be without at least one key starter at wide receiver, tight end, linebacker and offensive guard, including four standouts who were former first round draft choices of the franchise. Additionally, though the aggregate numbers on the season are still decent, the league seems to be catching on to first-time defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's play calling as opposing teams have thrived in the last two weeks when Cincinnati has brought extra pressure. If the league has caught up to Guenther that quickly, one would expect Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to be way ahead, especially playing at home with a completely healthy stable of weapons and extra days to prepare for the Bengals. Speaking of which...

    Home favorites who previously played on Thursday are 20-10 (67%) ATS since the start of the 2010 season, including being 26-4 (87%) winners straight-up. As a starting quarterback, Luck is 12-6-1 (67%) ATS as a favorite of a field goal or more, including four straight covers this season in such a situation. The Colts have actually lost just one of the last nine games against-the-spread in which they have been favorites of a field goal or more (against Philadelphia this year in Week 2, a game the Colts were winning by double-digits at halftime and covering the spread until 3:25 remaining). Early in Luck's career, the Colts lacked offensive depth and defensive talent to be considered true contenders. While Luck has improved, so too has a team that is a serious threat to the AFC and should illustrate that with a well-timed meeting against the Bengals.

    Boxscore: Cincinnati Bengals, 24 @ Indianapolis Colts, 29

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET:

    Green Bay Packers -7 vs Carolina Panthers (Covers 53.7%), UNDER 49 (Covers 50.4%)
    ATS Play Type: Light
    O/U Play Type: Not Playable

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Carolina 20.2 - Green Bay 28.5
    SU Pick and Win%: Green Bay wins 70.4%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #4
    ATS Pick and Win%: Green Bay Packers -7 covers 53.7%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #7
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $14
    O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (49) 50.4%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #14
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $0

    The Teams: CAR GB
    Straight-Up Record 3-2 4-2
    Against-the-Spread Record 4-2 2-4
    Over/Under Record 4-2 5-1
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 23.5-26.2 26.8-21.7
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #16 #12
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #9 #4
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #28 #16
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #9 #6
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #30 #22
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 60.5%/39.5% #59.0%/41.0%
    Turnover Margin +5 +9

    Injured Players: Frank Alexander, DE, Carolina Panthers, Bene Benwikere, CB, Carolina Panthers, Greg Hardy, DE, Carolina Panthers, Amini Silatolu, G, Carolina Panthers, Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers, Mike Tolbert, RB, Carolina Panthers, DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers, Sam Barrington, LB, Green Bay Packers, Jamari Lattimore, LB, Green Bay Packers, Sam Shields, CB, Green Bay Packers, J.C. Tretter, T, Green Bay Packers

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 50 degrees. Light wind.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 66% Carolina, 34% Green Bay; O/U Bets - 94% Over, 6% Under

    The Breakdown: Evaluating the efficiency metric ranks of these teams above, it is clear that the Panthers and Packers have eerily similar strengths and weaknesses. Both excel in the passing game and against the pass, yet struggle (relatively) against the run and on the ground. However, in each case, the Packers are notably better than the Panthers. Green Bay is also significantly healthier (a rare occurrence for the Packers to have far fewer impactful injuries than the opponent) and playing at home. The Packers also prefer to push the pace and more scoring overall tends to help a favorite. In this case, if the Packers can build an early lead, the running game should be able to ice the game if not extend the lead against the worst run defense taking the field Sunday (Panthers allowing 5.5 yards-per-carry). Someone has to win the NFC South. It may be the Carolina Panthers, but do not expect this to look like a matchup between two of the NFC's best throughout. The Packers are superior version of a similar team across the board and should win at home going away.

    Boxscore: Carolina Panthers, 20 @ Green Bay Packers, 29

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET:

    Minnesota Vikings +5.5 @ Buffalo Bills (Covers 52.7%), UNDER 43 (Covers 53.4%)
    ATS Play Type: Light
    O/U Play Type: Light

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Minnesota 18.3 - Buffalo 22.8
    SU Pick and Win%: Buffalo wins 62.0%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #9
    ATS Pick and Win%: Minnesota Vikings +5.5 covers 52.7%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #9
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $3
    O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (43) 53.4%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #10
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $11

    The Teams: MIN BUF
    Straight-Up Record 2-4 3-3
    Against-the-Spread Record 2-4 3-3
    Over/Under Record 2-4 1-5
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 17.3-23.8 19.7-21.0
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #8 #5
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #26 #23
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #9 #18
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #16 #12
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #12 #3
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 58.3%/41.7% #59.2%/40.8%
    Turnover Margin -5 +3

    Injured Players: Chad Greenway, LB, Minnesota Vikings, Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings, Marcus Easley, WR, Buffalo Bills, Aaron Williams, S, Buffalo Bills, Chris Williams, G, Buffalo Bills, Mike Williams, WR, Buffalo Bills

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 48 degrees. Wind W 10-20 MPH.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 19% Minnesota, 81% Buffalo; O/U Bets - 73% Over, 27% Under

    The Breakdown: Until recent line movement based mostly on public steam (see 81% of wagers still on Bills) shifted the line over night by 1.5 points (from Buffalo -4 to -5.5), this was not a playable pick. At the current spread, there is weak value in the Vikings as an underdog. The line may continue to steam after the Vikings struggled mightily in a 17-3 home loss last week to Detroit. As it stands, the Vikings have value mostly because Buffalo is not built to win easily. Two of the Bills' three wins this year and five of their last nine victories have come by a field goal or less. Though they are throwing at a higher percentage than they did last season, both of these teams are run oriented and play at a below average pace. They are also both above average defensively by almost all efficiency metrics. And they are similarly healthy, have played similar schedules and have similar statistical profiles by our numbers. Buffalo has the slightly better team with the better quarterback. Coupled with home field advantage that is worth a victory by just more than a field goal, yet it would seem the recent line movement has been too extreme.

    Boxscore: Minnesota Vikings, 18 @ Buffalo Bills, 23

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET:

    St. Louis Rams +7 vs Seattle Seahawks (Covers 51.8%), OVER 43 (Covers 52.5%)
    ATS Play Type: Not Playable
    O/U Play Type: Light

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Seattle 25.4 - St. Louis 19.1
    SU Pick and Win%: Seattle wins 65.9%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #6
    ATS Pick and Win%: St. Louis Rams +7 covers 51.8%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #10
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
    O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (43) 52.5%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #11
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $1

    The Teams: SEA STL
    Straight-Up Record 3-2 1-4
    Against-the-Spread Record 3-2 2-3
    Over/Under Record 3-2 3-2
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 26.6-22.6 20.2-30.0
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #2 #23
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #8 #15
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #2 #19
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #8 #22
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #1 #16
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 51.7%/48.3% #62.6%/37.4%
    Turnover Margin +1 -3

    Injured Players: Alvin Bailey, T, Seattle Seahawks, Byron Maxwell, CB, Seattle Seahawks, Zach Miller, TE, Seattle Seahawks, Tharold Simon, CB, Seattle Seahawks, Max Unger, C, Seattle Seahawks, Bobby Wagner, LB, Seattle Seahawks, Alex Carrington, DT, St. Louis Rams, Trumaine Johnson, CB, St. Louis Rams, Barrett Jones, G, St. Louis Rams, Brandon McGee, CB, St. Louis Rams

    Weather Forecast: N/A

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 94% Seattle, 6% St. Louis; O/U Bets - 87% Over, 13% Under

    The Breakdown: The Predictalator has a much different opinion on this game than the public in that it does not have a playable opinion on either side ATS, whereas the public is wagering on the Rams at a staggering rate. Seattle remains a top two team in our Power Rankings, but there are some concerns for this game and going forward. Most relevant to this game is that it is difficult to be expected to win by more than a touchdown on the road in the NFL. Home underdogs of a touchdown or more are 61.5% against-the-spread since the start of the 2010 season. The Seahawks are also not nearly as dominant in key areas as people may assume. Seattle is allowing 6.7 yards-per-pass this season, which is essentially league average. Injuries have hurt the Seahawks depth at cornerback and now top tackler and star linebacker Bobby Wagner is out for an extended period of time. And, though the team has overcome its issue with penalties to win in recent years, Seattle's opponents are averaging five percent fewer penalties per play than the Seahawks (Seattle is the worst in the league in penalties-per-play and penalties-per-play margin). Seattle should win this game and it should not come down to a field goal either way, yet it's also not obvious that the Seahawks are going to dominate with so many concerns.

    Boxscore: Seattle Seahawks, 25 @ St. Louis Rams, 19

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET

    Detroit Lions -3 vs New Orleans Saints (Covers 51.2%), UNDER 51.5 (Covers 54.3%)
    ATS Play Type: Not Playable
    O/U Play Type: Light

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: New Orleans 22.6 - Detroit 26.1
    SU Pick and Win%: Detroit wins 58.3%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #13
    ATS Pick and Win%: Detroit Lions -3 covers 51.2%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #12
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
    O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (51.5) 54.3%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #8
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $20

    The Teams: NO DET
    Straight-Up Record 2-3 4-2
    Against-the-Spread Record 1-4 4-2
    Over/Under Record 4-1 1-5
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 26.4-28.2 19.3-13.7
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #30 #27
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #10 #21
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #1 #29
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #29 #5
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #20 #7
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 63.4%/36.6% #59.1%/40.9%
    Turnover Margin -8 +1

    Injured Players: Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints, John Jenkins, DT, New Orleans Saints, Erik Lorig, RB, New Orleans Saints, Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

    Weather Forecast: N/A

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 58% New Orleans, 42% Detroit; O/U Bets - 23% Over, 77% Under

    The Breakdown: This is another game that has relatively lopsided wagering by the public, but seems to be appropriately priced with the spread (Detroit -3). New Orleans is coming off of a bye week and playing inside on turf, which should aid the Saints, yet they have also struggled to live up to expectations in general this season and will likely be playing without Jimmy Graham. Detroit has played with a great defense, yet an inconsistent offense and will also likely be minus its best weapon in the passing game (Calvin Johnson). There is enough uncertainty with the teams to stay away in general and the line looks "right" given our projections. We do have a slight lean UNDER. The Lions are allowing just 13.7 points a game this season, while Lions games have only averaged 33 total points. Detroit ranks as a top ten defense against the pass and the run (and its offense is a bit of mess with so many health issues and question marks). New Orleans' opponents thus far currently rank 32nd, 29th, 19th, 22nd and 25th in our overall defensive rankings. The Saints have only topped 24 points twice and averaged just 17.9 points a game in seven games against top ten defenses last season.

    Boxscore: New Orleans Saints, 23 @ Detroit Lions, 26

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 PM ET:

    Washington Redskins -5.5 vs Tennessee Titans (Covers 51.0%), OVER 46 (Covers 51.1%)
    ATS Play Type: Not Playable
    O/U Play Type: Not Playable

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Tennessee 20.4 - Washington 26.3
    SU Pick and Win%: Washington wins 64.0%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #8
    ATS Pick and Win%: Washington Redskins -5.5 covers 51.0%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #15
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
    O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (46) 51.1%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #12
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $0

    The Teams: TEN WAS
    Straight-Up Record 2-4 1-5
    Against-the-Spread Record 2-4 2-4
    Over/Under Record 2-4 4-2
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 17.3-25.5 22.0-27.7
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #14 #13
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #25 #16
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #11 #15
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #11 #25
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #11 #8
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 58.0%/42.0% #62.4%/37.6%
    Turnover Margin +2 -9

    Injured Players: Shonn Greene, RB, Tennessee Titans, Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans, Coty Sensabaugh, CB, Tennessee Titans, Craig Stevens, TE, Tennessee Titans, David Amerson, CB, Washington Redskins, Ryan Clark, S, Washington Redskins, Barry Cofield, NT, Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin, QB, Washington Redskins, Brandon Meriweather, S, Washington Redskins, Tracy Porter, CB, Washington Redskins, Perry Riley, LB, Washington Redskins

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 57 degrees. Wind NW 15-25 MPH.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 21% Tennessee, 79% Washington; O/U Bets - 70% Over, 30% Under

    The Breakdown: Given that these are two teams that the Predictalator likes a little bit more than the public (both have had major turnover issues recently yet also have positive yards-per-play margins), it is not much of a surprise that we see little value on either the side or the total when they meet. It's a no pick/no pick game with respect to picks. Washington should win and by just under a touchdown.

    Boxscore: Tennessee Titans, 20 @ Washington Redskins, 26

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 4:05 PM ET:

    Kansas City Chiefs +4.5 @ San Diego Chargers (Covers 53.2%), OVER 44.5 (Covers 58.1%)
    ATS Play Type: Light
    O/U Play Type: Normal

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Kansas City 23.3 - San Diego 26.5
    SU Pick and Win%: San Diego wins 57.4%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #14
    ATS Pick and Win%: Kansas City Chiefs +4.5 covers 53.2%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #8
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $9
    O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (44.5) 58.1%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #3
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $60

    The Teams: KC SD
    Straight-Up Record 2-3 5-1
    Against-the-Spread Record 4-1 5-1
    Over/Under Record 2-3 3-3
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 23.8-20.2 27.3-15.2
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #1 #29
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #24 #1
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #3 #30
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #10 #26
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #24 #23
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 53.8%/46.2% #52.4%/47.6%
    Turnover Margin -3 +7

    Injured Players: Donnie Avery, WR, Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Mays, LB, Kansas City Chiefs, Chris Owens, CB, Kansas City Chiefs, Brandon Flowers, CB, San Diego Chargers, Ricardo Mathews, DT, San Diego Chargers, Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers, Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers, Manti Te'o, ML, San Diego Chargers, Shareece Wright, CB, San Diego Chargers

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 72 degrees. Light wind.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 52% Kansas City, 48% San Diego; O/U Bets - 90% Over, 10% Under

    The Breakdown: There is some irony to this spread pick in that one of the biggest reasons that the Chiefs are favored to keep the game within four points is that the Chargers are dealing with impactful injuries in the secondary, most importantly to Brandon Flowers, whom the Chiefs (in)famously cut in the offseason. Flowers was having a tremendous season and will likely join Shareece Wright on the sideline as missing starters from the Chargers backfield. Add in injuries to Ryan Mathews, Eddie Royal, Manti Te'o and others and health issues appear to be (finally) catching up to San Diego.

    It's also worth noting a couple of other relevant trends to this game. Teams coming off a bye week and playing on the road are 90-70-4 (56% ATS) since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002. And teams that have won five games in a row and are home favorites are 42% ATS in the last ten years.

    The best value in this game comes in the total going OVER 44.5 points. Despite playing the toughest schedule in the league thus far, the Kansas City Chiefs are averaging 23.8 points-per-game. Collectively, the offenses in this contest are averaging 51.5 points-per-game. The most serious injuries are on the defensive side of the ball, making both offenses better than the defenses they are playing (a rare statement for the Chiefs, but San Diego is ranked as a bottom ten team against the run and pass). Like the Chargers faced last week in Oakland, expect another close AFC West shootout.

    Boxscore: Kansas City Chiefs, 23 @ San Diego Chargers, 26

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 4:25 PM ET:

    Arizona Cardinals -3.5 @ Oakland Raiders (Covers 59.6%), UNDER 44 (Covers 50.4%)
    ATS Play Type: Normal
    O/U Play Type: Not Playable

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Arizona 25.4 - Oakland 18.3
    SU Pick and Win%: Arizona wins 67.2%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #5
    ATS Pick and Win%: Arizona Cardinals -3.5 covers 59.6%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #1
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $76
    O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (44) 50.4%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #13
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $0

    The Teams: ARI OAK
    Straight-Up Record 4-1 0-5
    Against-the-Spread Record 3-2 3-2
    Over/Under Record 2-3 3-2
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 23.2-21.2 15.8-26.8
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #3 #17
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #17 #28
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #22 #23
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #17 #27
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #5 #9
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 60.5%/39.5% #67.4%/32.6%
    Turnover Margin +8 -5

    Injured Players: Calais Campbell, DE, Arizona Cardinals, Glenn Carson, ML, Arizona Cardinals, Troy Niklas, TE, Arizona Cardinals, Matt Shaughnessy, DE, Arizona Cardinals, Khalif Barnes, T, Oakland Raiders, Keith McGill, CB, Oakland Raiders, Rod Streater, WR, Oakland Raiders

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 63 degrees. Light wind.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 78% Arizona, 22% Oakland; O/U Bets - 81% Over, 19% Under

    The Breakdown: Arizona is 4-1 straight-up despite playing the third most difficult schedule in the NFL to-date. Oakland is 0-5 against a below average schedule. The Raiders have lost 11 straight games and only one of those was decided by three or fewer points. In the team's last 19 contests, Oakland has 15 losses by more than a field goal. The Raiders looked decent last week at home coming off of a bye with new head coach Tony Sporano, but that appears to be what is giving this line some value as the market seems to be giving the overmatched Raiders too much credit this week. Oakland is clearly in the bottom two in the league in terms of talent, depth and on field performance. Arizona has played well enough and is deep enough to be considered a top ten team in those respects. Even in the NFL, where it is tough to win easily on the road, extreme mismatches should lead to easy, usually blowout, wins.

    The Raiders specifically are just 35% ATS as home underdogs in the last decade, 7-23-1 (23% ATS) as a home underdog of less than a touchdown in that stretch. Oakland only ranks above average in the NFL in run defense and the Cardinals throw the ball more than 60% of the time. It's difficult to make a case for the Raiders remaining competitive that is not entirely based on just one performance last week in a three point loss to a team that ranks last running the ball and is one of the most injury-riddled in the league.

    Boxscore: Arizona Cardinals, 25 @ Oakland Raiders, 18

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 4:25 PM ET:

    New York Giants +6.5 @ Dallas Cowboys (Covers 51.0%), OVER 48 (Covers 55.8%)
    ATS Play Type: Not Playable
    O/U Play Type: Half-Bet

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: New York 23.0 - Dallas 29.1
    SU Pick and Win%: Dallas wins 64.2%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #7
    ATS Pick and Win%: New York Giants +6.5 covers 51.0%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #14
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
    O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (48) 55.8%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #7
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $36

    The Teams: NYG DAL
    Straight-Up Record 3-3 5-1
    Against-the-Spread Record 3-3 4-2
    Over/Under Record 3-2 3-3
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 22.2-23.0 27.5-21.0
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #15 #9
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #22 #7
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #26 #5
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #13 #14
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #13 #29
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 53.3%/46.7% #50.1%/49.9%
    Turnover Margin +1 -2

    Injured Players: Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants, Spencer Paysinger, LB, New York Giants, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, New York Giants, Geoff Schwartz, G, New York Giants, Bruce Carter, LB, Dallas Cowboys, Jack Crawford, DE, Dallas Cowboys, Doug Free, T, Dallas Cowboys, Amobi Okoye, DT, Dallas Cowboys

    Weather Forecast: N/A

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 21% New York, 79% Dallas; O/U Bets - 71% Over, 29% Under

    The Breakdown: Yet another game with significant recent line movement (Dallas opened as a 3.5 point favorite and is now a 6.5 point favorite) and lopsided wagering for this week has sapped the value in either (we actually would have liked the Cowboys as a smaller favorite earlier in the week). As it currently looks, the spread is appropriate, yet there is some value in the OVER (48). These teams are averaging a combined 49.7 points a game on offense and each ranks within the top ten in plays-per-game. In what has been a competitive series recently, the OVER is 7-3 in games between these two NFC East opponents in the last five seasons. The combined average points in those games is 57 points.

    Boxscore: New York Giants, 23 @ Dallas Cowboys, 29

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Sunday, October 19 at 8:30 PM ET:

    San Francisco 49ers +6.5 @ Denver Broncos (Covers 55.4%), UNDER 51.5 (Covers 57.8%)
    ATS Play Type: Half-Bet
    O/U Play Type: Normal

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: San Francisco 20.9 - Denver 25.3
    SU Pick and Win%: Denver wins 61.4%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #11
    ATS Pick and Win%: San Francisco 49ers +6.5 covers 55.4%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #5
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $32
    O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (51.5) 57.8%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #5
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $57

    The Teams: SF DEN
    Straight-Up Record 4-2 4-1
    Against-the-Spread Record 2-4 2-2
    Over/Under Record 1-5 2-3
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 23.5-20.5 29.4-20.8
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #6 #4
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #11 #2
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #6 #25
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #1 #7
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #14 #6
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 51.0%/49.0% #59.9%/40.1%
    Turnover Margin +5 +1

    Injured Players: NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco 49ers, Anthony Davis, T, San Francisco 49ers, Marcus Lattimore, RB, San Francisco 49ers, Marcus Martin, C, San Francisco 49ers, Trey Millard, RB, San Francisco 49ers, Keith Reaser, CB, San Francisco 49ers, Aldon Smith, LB, San Francisco 49ers, Brandon Thomas, G, San Francisco 49ers, Patrick Willis, LB, San Francisco 49ers, Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos, Lerentee McCray, LB, Denver Broncos, Danny Trevathan, LB, Denver Broncos

    Weather Forecast: Dry. 69 degrees. Light wind.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 38% San Francisco, 62% Denver; O/U Bets - 54% Over, 46% Under

    The Breakdown: San Francisco is expected to be without Patrick Willis at linebacker this week, is already playing without Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman and, yet ranks first in defensive efficiency against the pass in the league. The 49ers are deep, talented and well-coached on both sides of the ball. In a matchup of the #1 (Denver) and #3 (San Francisco) teams in our NFL Power Rankings, defense appears to win, which ultimately gives value in the underdog and the under. The 49ers have played a top ten schedule and are allowing just 5.7 yards-per-pass on the season. They also slow the game down and keep the opponent guessing with an even run/pass ratio and a league-average pace. Denver actually plays at a league-average pace as well and has an elite defense that ranks in the top ten against the pass and the run this season. The UNDER is a combined 8-3 (73%) O/U in games involving these teams this season, with just 46.8 average combined points scored in those 11 contests. A lower scoring game between two elite and well-rounded teams generally gives value to the underdog, which is amplified by the fact that this spread is almost a touchdown. Since September 22 of last year, the 49ers have only lost once by more than a touchdown and have not lost by double digits. In the last two calendar years, spanning Colin Kaepernick's entire career as a starting quarterback and 32 total games, the 49ers have only lost by more than a touchdown four times (interestingly, though it may not be relevant, tight end Vernon Davis either missed or left due to injury for each of those four games).

    Boxscore: San Francisco 49ers, 21 @ Denver Broncos, 25

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

    Monday, October 20 at 8:30 PM ET:

    Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 vs Houston Texans (Covers 51.4%), OVER 44.5 (Covers 58.1%)
    ATS Play Type: Not Playable
    O/U Play Type: Normal

    The Vitals:

    Projected Score: Houston 22.7 - Pittsburgh 26.7
    SU Pick and Win%: Pittsburgh wins 59.8%
    Week 7 SU Confidence Rank: #12
    ATS Pick and Win%: Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 covers 51.4%
    Week 7 ATS Confidence Rank: #11
    ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
    O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (44.5) 58.1%
    Week 7 O/U Confidence Rank: #4
    O/U Wager for $50 Player: $60

    The Teams: HOU PIT
    Straight-Up Record 3-3 3-3
    Against-the-Spread Record 4-2 2-4
    Over/Under Record 3-3 3-3
    Avg. Points For vs. Against 22.0-20.0 20.7-23.2
    Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #26 #28
    PM Passing Efficiency Rank #20 #13
    PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #17 #7
    PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #15 #23
    PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #18 #19
    Actual Pass/Run Ratio 48.3%/51.7% #58.6%/41.4%
    Turnover Margin +4 -1

    Injured Players: Brandon Brooks, G, Houston Texans, Jadeveon Clowney, LB, Houston Texans, Darryl Morris, CB, Houston Texans, Jarvis Jones, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers, Brett Keisel, DE, Pittsburgh Steelers, Steve McLendon, NT, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ryan Shazier, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ike Taylor, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers, Shamarko Thomas, S, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Weather Forecast: Light rain. 44 degrees. Wind 10-15 MPH.

    Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 81% Houston, 19% Pittsburgh; O/U Bets - 24% Over, 76% Under

    The Breakdown: Ben Roethlisberger is 40-33 (55%) ATS as a home favorite of a field goal or more in his career (though it's worth noting that this is the first time Roethlisberger and the Steelers have been less than a six point home favorite on Monday night). The Steelers have succeeded this season and are projected to succeed in this game not because of Roethlisberger but due to the running game. The Steelers are averaging 4.9 yards-per-carry on the year and project to average 4.8 against Houston in this game. That edge is enough for the victory, but it is still relatively close, especially relative to the Steelers being 3.5 point favorite (heavy action on Houston may drive this spread down to Pittsburgh -3, which would give some value to the Steelers minus the points - a very interesting trend related to that pick is that the 20 road teams that have played on Thursday and then Monday in NFL history are just 7-13 ATS and 2-9 ATS in last five years).

    The value in this game against a line is in the OVER (44.5) as we project essentially 50 total points to be scored. In our overall defensive rankings from the NFL Power Rankings, Pittsburgh ranks 27th and Houston 17th. The Texans are average against the pass this season (J.J. Watt is anything but average, so the rest of the team can be considered below average) and well below average against the run. The Steelers are below average against the run and pass making both offenses better than the defenses they are facing (not something we expected to say just two years ago).

    Boxscore: Houston Texans, 23 @ Pittsburgh Steelers, 27

    NYJ @ NE CLE @ JAC MIA @ CHI ATL @ BAL CIN @ IND CAR @ GB MIN @ BUF SEA @ STL NO @ DET TEN @ WAS KC @ SD ARI @ OAK NYG @ DAL SF @ DEN HOU @ PIT

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