Sunday, October 22, 2017

Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

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With that said, here are my Week 7 NFL picks against the spread:

Carolina Panthers -3 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

Making his NFL debut, Mitchell Trubisky threw the ball only 16 times as the Bears relied heaviy on their ground game -- 36 carries for Jordan Howard and 14 for Tarik Cohen. Few teams have a receiving corps as bad as Chicago's so it would make sense to try to rely on their running backs and take pressure off their rookie signal-caller, but Trubisky should expect a lot of eight-men boxes this week. So far this season, the Panthers have allowed only two running backs (and Tyrod Taylor) to rush for 50-plus yards against them and no back has more than 67 rushing yards (LeGarrette Blount). It was a nice start for Trubisky, but I expect things to be much more difficult this week.

San Francisco 49ers +6.5 over Dallas Cowboys (2 Units)

The 49ers are 0-6, but aside from their 23-3 loss in the season opener, they have lost five consecutive games by a field goal or less. Following this week's game, the Cowboys have Washington, Kansas City, Atlanta and Philadelphia over the next four weeks. In other words, it wouldn't surprise me if they are looking ahead a little bit, which makes this a dangerous trap game. I could see this turning out to be another field goal type of game for the 49ers as they keep it close enough to (at least) cover.

Seattle Seahawks -4 over New York Giants (3 Units)

Nearly two-TD underdogs on Sunday Night Football, the Giants looked much better than anyone could have expected as they blew out the Broncos on the road. They now return home to face another tough defense and are small road underdogs this week. Eli Manning threw only 19 times for 128 yards against the Broncos, but even if Sterling Shepard returns (a game-time decision), he has limited weapons around him given the team's injuries and a poor offensive line. I expect tough sledding for the Giants offense overall and like that the Seahawks don't have to start at 1 PM ET, which can be tough for west coast teams traveling east.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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