Mike Ivcic’s Week 7 NFL Preview and Free Picks

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Mike Ivcic’s Week 7 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>


By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer


Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Sun, 1pm, CBS

Chicago Bears @ Washington Redskins
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Redskins by 1
As I’ve mentioned in this space previously, any line below 2 is basically a pick’em, and I like Chicago here. Yes, the Redskins are getting better as RG3 gets healthier, but Washington still isn’t good enough to go toe-to-toe with the Bears without a significantly better performance from their defense.
Pick: Chicago 31, Washington 21

Cincinnati Bengals @ Detroit Lions
Sun, 1pm, CBS

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Eagles by 3
Amazingly enough, someone will be over .500 in the NFC East after this game – barring a tie, of course. There will be a ton of points scored here, because both offenses are explosive and both defenses are atrocious. This could really be a case of “last-team-to-have-the-ball-wins,” but since I’m forced to make a prediction prior to the final possession, I’ll take the Eagles to protect their home field and claim a one-game lead in the division.
Pick: Philadelphia 41, Dallas 37


Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sun, 1pm, CBS

New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Patriots by 4
If you’ve read this column at all the last two years, you know how down I am on the Jets, so hear me out on this one. This season’s script – win some games that could have gone either way (Tampa Bay, Buffalo), get blown out (Tennessee), unexpectedly win a prime-time road game (Atlanta), and promptly lose at home a winless team (Pittsburgh) – is the regular life of a Jets fan. I can also play out the rest of the year for you, too. First, they’ll beat the Pats at home to move to 4-3 and give Jets fans hope yet again. Then, they’ll drop consecutive games at Cincinnati and home to New Orleans to fall to 4-5 heading into the bye week. That will give fans a somewhat bitter taste, but we’ll spend two weeks talking ourselves into still having playoff chances because of an easy closing schedule. But the Jets will open their second-half schedule by blowing a late lead in Orchard Park to go to 4-6 before getting blown out by Baltimore, at which point Jets fans will consider their season over at 4-7. It’s then that they’ll beat Miami at home and win two of the next three (Oakland, at Carolina, Cleveland) to enter the final game in Miami at 7-8, where the Dolphins will win to send the Jets to a 7-9 record – too good for a top 10 pick but not good enough to make the playoffs. Trust me on this – and it all starts with a win this weekend.
Pick: New York 23, New England 20

St. Louis Rams @ Carolina Panthers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Panthers by 6
Somewhat of a big line here for the Panthers, who come off a blowout win over Minnesota to face a Rams team that’s won two straight. Carolina could quickly jump into the NFC playoff race with Tampa and Atlanta to follow, but first they need to put together back-to-back quality performances. Playing at home should help, and I think they ride their ground game and solid defense to a cover here.
Pick: Carolina 24, St. Louis 16

San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Sun, 1pm, CBS


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Falcons by 7
The Bucs aren’t a good team – that much is clear. Still, they do have a good defense, and with both Julio Jones and Roddy White injured for the Falcons, I just can’t see them covering a full touchdown. Atlanta wins, but Tampa takes the line.
Pick: Atlanta 20, Tampa Bay 16

San Francisco 49’ers @ Tennessee Titans
Sun, 4:05pm, FOX
Line: 49’ers by 4
This could be a trap game for the Niners. They feel good after three straight wins, and maybe they find themselves lulled into thinking this is the easy portion of their schedule. Who could blame them, with at Jacksonville, bye, and home to Carolina standing between them and their visit to New Orleans on November 17. If they get caught thinking like that, Tennessee will do what they couldn’t do last week against Seattle and spring the upset. This should be a good battle, and I’m going out on the limb and taking home underdog outright.
Pick: Tennessee 23, San Francisco 20

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun, 4:25pm, CBS

Cleveland Browns @ Green Bay Packers
Sun, 4:25pm, CBS
Line: Packers by 10
I actually feel bad for Brian Hoyer and the Browns, because it looked like they finally had some momentum before he was injured against Buffalo. Now, they’re back to having a very good defense and a brutal offense – not a good recipe for winning at Lambeau Field. Expect a lot of short fields for Aaron Rodgers, which is impossible for any defense to withstand for a full 60 minutes. That’s why, despite the high-ish line, I think the Pack cover this spread.
Pick: Green Bay 34, Cleveland 15

Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Broncos by 6.5
Andrew Luck has already made believers out of almost every Colt fan with her performance through the first year and a half of his career. If he wants to cement his stature in the Indy, though, all he has to do is beat the most iconic Colt ever to play in the Hoosier state. I can make it sound quite simple, but it’s clearly not – and that was before Indy lost some credibility when they scored just nine points in San Diego on Monday. I think the Colts come ready to play and submit a tremendous performance, but if you think I’m going to wager against Peyton Manning in primetime in his homecoming, you’re out of your mind.
Pick: Denver 38, Indianapolis 31

Minnesota Vikings @ New York Giants
Mon, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: Giants by 3.5
I would give you some sort of detailed analysis here, but really… do you care? It’s 1-4 vs. 0-6. So the answer is no. You don’t. So just pick the game and find some old sitcom rerun to entertain yourself on Monday. Pick up a book. Play with your kids. Go for a run. Do anything but watch this game.

Besides, this way you won’t know if my pick was right or wrong!
Pick: New York 27, Minnesota 20

Straight-Up: 59-34
Against Spread: 45-46-2


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