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2018 SQ Insiders: Week 7

Austin Taliaferro

Our insiders pick the Week 7 games to help you beat Vegas and your pick’em league.

There are generally a couple really interesting match-ups in the NFL and this week is no different. One of the most intriguing games is the New Orleans Saints (who put up more than 40 on the Redskins in their last game) traveling to take on the Baltimore Ravens (who shut out the Titans in their last game). Our insiders are split in this one, with an average score of 27-27. That means stay away from the money line, but if you’re feeling itchy, maybe take a look at the Saints +2.5.

Matchup

Max V

Hunter B

Matt F

Adrian N

Denver at Arizona
Tennessee at LA Chargers
New England at Chicago
Buffalo at Indianapolis
Cincinnati at Kansas City
Detroit at Miami
Minnesota at NY Jets
Carolina at Philadelphia
Cleveland at Tampa Bay
Houston at Jacksonville
New Orleans at Baltimore
Dallas at Washington
LA Rams at San Francisco
NY Giants at Atlanta
Total Record

52-3954-3756-3566-25



Matchup

Conglomerate Score

ATS Winner

Pick’em Winner

Why the home team will win

Why the away team will win

Denver at Arizona20-17DEN-2.5Josh Rosen and the offense haven’t quite been able to get the running game going. Taking on a Denver defense that has allowed back-to-back 200-yard rushers will be the perfect opportunity for David Johnson to take control of the game. Denver’s offense hasn’t been nearly as productive as it anticipated. If Denver is going to keep its playoff hopes alive, this is a game it must win and dominate against a rookie QB on a short week.
Tennessee at LA Chargers17-22TEN+6.5The Chargers’ only losses have come to the 6-0 Rams and 5-1 Chiefs. They are quietly becoming the team that we all expected to see in the preseason behind their prolific offense. Once Bosa is back, this could be a team that challenges for the AFC title. The Titans’ offensive line was exposed last week, but good news is Joey Bosa is still out for the Chargers. If the Titans are going to win this game, they are going to need to get some better support from Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry in the rushing game.
New England at Chicago28-20NE-3.5Chicago’s front seven will be chomping at the bit to get a piece of Tom Brady, who is playing behind a restructured offensive line. The Patriots have hit their stride after a slow start and don’t seem to be letting their foot off of the gas pedal any time soon. The Pats can wear the Bears’ impressive defense down with their balanced attack.
Buffalo at Indianapolis12-27IND-6.5The Colts only have one win this season, but they feel like a much better team than that. They have been killed by injuries, but with TY Hilton most likely back this week, the offense should be able to manufacture enough points to beat a backup QB for Buffalo. Without Josh Allen this week, the Bills are going to have to rally behind Nathan Peterman or Derek Anderson. If they are going to win this game, they need to play turnover-free football and rely heavily on their defense.
Cincinnati at Kansas City27-34KC-5.5MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are ready to bounce back at home against a “meh” Cincy defense.Cincinnati has outplayed preseason expectations thus far, putting together several impressive performances against quality teams. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green will combine for a big day against a weak Chiefs secondary.
Detroit at Miami23-20DET-0.5Miami is 3-0 at home and its offense is riding high after putting up 31 points against Chicago’s defense.Detroit has a great opportunity to showcase its passing offense against a mediocre-at-best Fins defense.
Minnesota at NY Jets27-22MIN-3.5The Jets are a different team at home, scoring more than 29 points per game when at MetLife Stadium. The last two weeks, in which they scored 34 and 42 points, show they can keep up with the teams in this league. Minnesota has proven they can beat anyone, but also lose to anyone (see: Week 3). If the offense can stay hot at home, the Jets could surprise a few people.The Vikings look like they’re getting into a rhythm after defeating the Eagles and Cardinals back-to-back. Thielen is unstoppable, going for 100 yards in every game this season. The Jets’ secondary, although young and promising, doesn’t have the star power to match up with Diggs and Thielen. Look for Dalvin Cook to return and add a new element to this offense.
Carolina at Philadelphia19-26PHI-4.5The Eagles dominated the Giants on the road on Thursday and looked more like their Super Bowl champion selves in the process. As mentioned in past weeks of this segment, the Eagles are a much better team at home, specifically on defense. If they can contain Cam Newton and get in his face, it’ll be hard for Carolina to outscore the Eagles. Wentz and Jeffery have been locked in since the receiver’s return, and Carolina doesn’t sport the secondary to slow that down this week.The Panthers lost a crushing game to a Washington team that looks like it could compete for the division. For Carolina to pull off the upset, it has to establish a running game. Last year, Carolina couldn’t run the ball against this defense, ultimately abandoning it for good in the second half of their loss. A running game will go a long way towards giving Carolina the upper hand in this one.
Cleveland at Tampa Bay18-24TB-3.5If not for poor execution, the Bucs would be all over ESPN this week for the greatest game-winning play call in NFL history. OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but Tampa Bay had a chance to execute on the last play of the game and pull off the upset against Atlanta. Winston looks comfortable in the offense after returning as the starter. Tampa has some of the best weapons in the league and is going up against one of the worst offenses in the Browns. If the defense can do its part, expect a win for the home team.Even though they were embarrassed last week, those games happen for a young team. Baker Mayfield should bounce back against one of the worst defenses in the league, who just fired its defensive coordinator. Jarvis Landry and Carlos Hyde should get back on track and it should be a shootout in Tampa Bay, one that Cleveland has a good chance of winning.
Houston at Jacksonville16-23JAC-4.5The Jaguars didn’t play great last week in Dallas. Although that’s the understatement of the year, there should be optimism for Jaguar fans. First, they return home with the best defense in the league to face a Texans’ offense that got bailed out last week by the most generous quarterback in the league, Nathan Peterman. Also, TJ Yeldon is proving he can make a difference in any game, especially if Bortles continues to play poorly. The Jags can win by leaning heavily on their run game and defense, not Blake Bortles.The Texans still have a good defense, which was evident against the Bills. This should be a low-scoring game, and the turnover battle could be the deciding factor. After a week of three turnovers for Deshaun Watson, protecting the ball should be his top priority. With that in mind, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Texans take advantage of a couple Blake Bortles turnovers, setting the offense up nicely for points.
New Orleans at Baltimore27-27NO+2.5TiedBaltimore bounced back from a loss to Cleveland with a 21-0 romping of Tennessee on the road. The Ravens’ defense may be the first to stall Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense.The Saints have one of the most productive offenses in the NFL and will be well-rested after a bye week.
Dallas at Washington19-22WSH-1.5Although the team as a whole has been wildly inconsistent, one thing the Skins have done is stop the run. They are ranked sixth-best in run yards allowed per game. If they can stop Zeke, then they’ll be position for a win on Sunday.While Washington can stuff the run, so can Dallas. They are ranked one spot behind DC at seventh in rushing yards given up per game. In their wins, the Skins have averaged 160 rushing yards and in losses it’s been 52. If Dallas puts the game in Alex Smith’s hands, it could make for a win for them.
LA Rams at San Francisco34-23LAR-10.5San Francisco ranks third in the league in rushing yards per game. The formula for beating the Rams is ball control and keeping Sean McVay’s offense off the field. The 49ers must commit to the run and run the ball effectively to have a chance against the Rams.The Rams are the league’s only remaining undefeated team for a reason; they rank third in points scored and seventh best in points against. And while the 49ers are third in rushing, the Rams are first. If Gurley has another game like he’s been having, it could be a long day for San Fran.
NY Giants at Atlanta20-29ATL-6.5The Falcons can score the damn ball. They’ve scored more than 30 points in five of their last six games. Conversely, before two weeks ago, the Giants hadn’t scored more than 30 since 2016. If the Falcons can capitalize of their offensive prowess, the Giants likely won’t be able to keep up.The Falcons are beat up on defense and are giving up the second most points in the league. In a classic NFL matchup of a stoppable force and a movable object, the Giants and their sixth-fewest-points-per-game offense may have a chance to get right.


Edited by Emily Berman.

SQuiz
True or False? The Saints and Ravens have both won Super Bowls in seasons starting in the 2010s?
Created 10/17/18
  1. TRUE
  2. FALSE
  3. MAYBE
  4. MAYBE NOT

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