Thursday, October 19, 2006

NFL: DegenerateGambler’s Week 7 Picks

After 6 weeks, we are starting to get a feel for what all of the teams are about. Everyone has played at least 5 games, including at least one divisional game. Predicting the outcome of an NFL game is definitely not an exact science, so it is always nice to have that info in your back pocket. This is a tough week, but let’s take a look at what I went with –

(Home teams in CAPS; Picks are in Red)
Lines as of 12:01 a.m., Thursday October 19th

Lockdown Picks

Chargers -5 CHIEFS

With a top-tier offense and arguably the best defense in the league, the Chargers look to put the
Chiefs in a deep hole in the AFC West. San Diego’s front seven is a nightmare for any opposing offense, and this is magnified when that offense is in Kansas City. The losses of Al Saunders at offensive coordinator and Trent Green under center have been quite apparent, going from a top scoring offense to only managing 17 points per contest in 2006. With an inexperienced QB in Huard and a pedestrian offensive line, the Chargers D could have a field day. The O-Line will be forced to stay inside to contain two of the best defensive players in the league in Merriman and Castillo. This should mean Tony Gonzalez will act as a sixth lineman for most of the game to protect the outside rush of an underrated linebacker crew. Oh… and did I mention a man named L.T.?

Bottom line: I’m looking no further than the defense. The Chargers are holding their opponents to nearly 70 rushing ypg. Once they shut down Larry Johnson and if they take an early lead, they should have no problem tormenting Huard.

The Pick: Lay the 5 points and take the CHARGERS

Eagles -4.5 BUCS

Coming off an emotional loss to the upstart Saints, the Eagles can’t waste any time getting back in the win column. Starting QB Donavan McNabb is having a career year, while Tampa Bay’s opening day QB is having a hard time holding onto his organs. The Bucs will likely put the rest of their season on the shoulders of rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski, who led the team to their first win of the season just a week ago. With a defense that is showing it’s age, the Bucs could have a hard time controlling an Eagles attack that is racking up over 400 total ypg.

Bottom line: With the scoring defenses nearly identical, I am focusing on offense. The Eagles are scoring about 30 ppg to the Bucs 12.5 ppg.

The Pick: I don’t think this one is close. Give up the points and take the EAGLES.

Panthers +3 BENGALS

This is a tale of two cities. Cincinnati is coming off two straight losses, each of which they have scored only 13 points. Carolina, on the other hand, has won 4 straight since getting Steve Smith back from his hammy problem. Rudi Johnson can’t find any running lanes, rushing for an average of 55 yards over the last three games. With Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the Bengals always pose a big threat through the air, yet they are only putting up 183 passing ypg. The Panthers on the other hand have a very balanced offense, making plays through the air and rushing for 165 ypg.

Bottom line: The Panthers need a win this week to keep pace with the Saints in the NFC South. They have one of the best teams top to bottom in the NFL and can play just about any style game that they are faced with.

The Pick: I would take them straight up, so if you are going to give me 3 points, I will take the PANTHERS every time.

Jaguars -9.5 TEXANS
Patriots -5.5 BILLS
Steelers -3 FALCONS
Packers +5 DOLPHINS
Lions +4 N.Y. JETS
Broncos -4.5 BROWNS
Redskins +9.5 COLTS
Vikings +6.5 SEAHAWKS
Cardinals -3 RAIDERS


Sorry Bill… stop yelling at me!!! There is a link at the bottom if you have a comment about my picks… Some guys have no respect.

In any case, good luck to everyone this week and don't forget to check back every Thursday.

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