NFL Confidence Pool Picks Week 7
Welcome to Doc's Sports NFL Confidence Pool Picks, where we analyze the slate of NFL games each week and give you both the selections to make and the corresponding "confidence value" to go along with the pick.
And then there were none. Hours after the second-to-last unbeaten team, the San Francisco 49ers, fell on the road to Cleveland, the last undefeated team, the Philadelphia Eagles, also lost to the New York Jets. With that combo of losses also went my top two selections for the week: San Francisco was 15, and Philadelphia was 14.
Crazy weeks like this make the NFL captivating as a fan and frustrating as a handicapper. Nobody could have envisioned the devastating injuries that befell the Niners and, to a lesser extent, the Eagles. While sports teams, especially professional ones, are supposed to have the "next man up" mentality, it's evident that a critical injury or two can drastically alter a team's game plan and the execution of said plan.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
13 points- Buffalo over New England: Even though they struggled last week with the New York Giants, the Bills have a decade and a half of frustrations from the "Brady Days" in New England. They've been slowly settling that score, going 6-1 SU in their last seven games against the Pats.
12 points- Seattle over Arizona: While last week proved that there isn't a single dominant NFL team this season, there are plenty of rotten ones, and the Cardinals fall squarely in that category. Arizona is 1-12 SU in their last 13 games and 0-6 in their previous six road games.
11 points- Kansas City over L.A. Chargers: Since their season-opening loss to Detroit, Kansas City is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS. Everyone knows about their high-powered offense (currently 4th in the NFL in total yards), but their defense has been equally capable (6th in the NFL in total yards allowed.) The Chargers have been one of the more disappointing teams this season and are 2-5 SU in their past seven games, dating back to last year.
10 points- Cleveland over Indianapolis: The Colts' rookie QB is out for the foreseeable future, but that's not why I'm going with the Browns here. Cleveland has the league's top-rated defense in yards allowed and the NFL's No. 1-ranked passing defense. It's tough to win games when you can't score, and I see Indianapolis having difficulty putting points on the board here.
9 points- Los Angeles Rams over Pittsburgh: The Steelers come out of their bye week traveling cross-country to take on the Rams. Pittsburgh has struggled in Los Angeles, going 2-5 SU on the road in their previous seven games against the Rams.
8 points- Las Vegas over Chicago: This could be a battle of the backup QBs, as the Raiders' Jimmy Garoppolo is listed as questionable and the Bears' Justin Fields is listed as doubtful. While neither inspires a great deal of confidence, I'll take the Raiders' Aidan O'Connell over the Bears' Tyson Bagent, an undrafted rookie out of D-II Shepherd University. Bonus points if you can name the state where Shepherd University is located.
7 points- New Orleans over Jacksonville (Thur. night): Another game where a young star QB is banged up and potentially out, as Jacksonville's Trevor Lawerence is questionable with a knee injury. While the Jaguars have been an ATS darling over the past couple of seasons, those wins have mainly come from their AFC foes, as they are 2-18 SU in their last 20 games against NFC teams.
6 points- Tampa Bay over Atlanta: Atlanta's offense has been anemic this season, ranked 29th (of 32) in scoring offense with 16.5 ppg. Falcon's QB Desmond Ridder has had trouble with turnovers, throwing six INTs to six TDs. Tampa Bay's QB Baker Mayfield has shown greater care with the ball, tossing only three INTs over their first five games. The Falcons are 1-5 SU in their last six meetings with the Bucs.
5 points- New York Giants over Washington: A classic NFC East battle, this sees Washington playing their second-consecutive road game. Even though the Giants lost last week to Buffalo, it marked the return of star running back Saquon Barkley, who went for 93 yards on 24 carries and 5 yards receiving on 4 receptions. Washington is 2-6-1 in their last nine games taking on the Giants at MetLife.
4 points- Baltimore over Detroit: Detroit, the trendy non-favorite SuperBowl pick, has lived up to their billing, beating Kansas City on the road on opening night and running off a 5-1 record with the third-best offense in total yards. Baltimore is 4-2 with the second-best defense in yards allowed. The Lions have not fared well in Raven-Land, going 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS in their last six games in Baltimore.
3 points- Denver over Green Bay: Looking at Denver’s remaining schedule, they don't have many more chances for home wins after the Packers visit. Maybe the Patriots on Christmas Eve. Russell Wilson's stats (122-185 65.9%, 1,305 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs) don't deserve a 1-5 record. Like most teams in the NFL, Green Bay hasn't played well in Denver, going 1-6 SU in their last seven trips to the Mile High City.
2 points- Miami over Philadelphia: Philadelphia's poor play finally caught up to them last weekend in their loss to the Jets. Now, they host one of the hottest offenses in the game, with a potentially greatly weakened offensive line. The Dolphins have done quite well when visiting the City of Brotherly Love, running up an 8-4 SU record in their last 12 games in Philadelphia.
1 point- Minnesota over San Francisco: The two biggest offensive weapons in the San Francisco arsenal are questionable. Without them, an offense that had been averaging 402.6 yards per game could only muster 215 yards. Minnesota's QB Kirk Cousins hopes to be able to win a prime-time game at home.
Here is my record for the season so far:
Week 1: 9-7 59 total points
Week 2: 12-4 119 total points
Week 3: 10-6 79 total points
Week 4: 10-6 97 total points
Week 5: 6-8 69 total points
Week 6: 11-4 84 total points
Total: 58-35 (62.4%) avg. 84.5 points per week
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