Feels good to have another 3-0 week…believe it or not, after the afternoon games, I was sitting at 10-0-1 before I ended up choosing wrong on the Sunday and Monday night games.
Let’s hope my good fortune continues into Week 8!
LOCK PICK OF THE WEEK
Los Angeles Rams (-4) @ Miami Dolphins
I have no idea why Miami is choosing now to hand the ball over to Tua. They have a legitimate shot at winning their division and they are basically rolling the dice with someone who has two career passes in the NFL. Maybe they know something I don’t, but if you are only going to make me lay 4 points against a rookie with the defensive player of the year on the other side…I will take that every time.
What is crazy about this line is that when I first saw it (been hanging around 4 points the entire week), I was thinking that the Dolphins will probably win this game and I was ready to take them and the points. But with the Rams taking care of the Bears rather easily, I do not think that Miami will get much going against this defense. The Bears are a better defense than Miami, and Chicago allowed them to score 24 points. The only thing Miami has going for them is that Los Angeles has to travel across the country to play…but warm weather is warm weather. I do not think it will be much of a factor in this one. I see this game about the same as the Bears game was…24-10 Rams.
UPSET OF THE WEEK
Las Vegas Raiders (+2.5) at Cleveland Browns
Of all the teams who have a record .500 or better, the team that has played the toughest schedule is the Las Vegas Raiders. They have beat 3 good teams (Panthers, Saints, and Chiefs). They have also lost to three good/decent teams (Buccaneers, Bills, and Patriots). All the other teams have been beating up on the lower half of the league.
The stats don’t usually lie…these two teams are almost identical in all stats across the board. Even their QBs are similar. Both teams have had up and down seasons, and both have a legitimate shot at making the postseason depending on how well they finish the season.
Browns lost their No.1 WR Odell Beckham for the season last weekend. They have some other good options, but he WAS their playmaker and allowed the other receiving options to get more looks. Kareem Hunt will again be the lead back in Cleveland. If Nick Chubb were planning to play, that might have persuaded me to go the other way.
Las Vegas passes the ball and allows the run to feed off the pass. Miles Garrett is questionable and that is a big deal…They have a star running back who will have a big day if Garrett does not play. Defensively, both teams will have issues and this total should go well over the total of 51. With that said, I am completely comfortable taking the underdog when it comes down to the wire with whoever has the ball last winning. With Cleveland being a bit banged up, I think Las Vegas wins the game in a close one.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5) at Baltimore Ravens
Interestingly enough…I have the Ravens winning the AFC this year, however I do not think they will beat the Steelers this weekend.
Lamar Jackson has not shown he can beat anyone through the air. His inconsistency to hit the open receiver is what is keeping them from being the #1 team in the NFL. We know he can run. We know that the Ravens use the run to set up the pass. So the fact that they are unable to capitalize (so far) on the pass opportunities with last season’s MVP, I have to lean towards the Steelers, who are playing really well right now. I think Steelers with the game outright. The fact I get 3.5 points as well is the icing on the cake!
On defense, both teams are in the Top 5 in the league. Pittsburgh just shut down the league’s best rusher the week before, so it is unfortunate that Baltimore is not great with their passing attack.
The two things I think that could prove me wrong are that Baltimore is coming off a bye and will be much more rested, and they are playing at home. Since there are no fans, this will not be a huge advantage but is still a home game nonetheless.
I think this will be a defensive battle and the UNDER 46.5 should hit. I expect this to be a 20-17 type of game. If that is the case, either way I win!