• 14 Slides

NFL picks, predictions against the spread for Week 7

In our picks and predictions for Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season, the Steelers and Titans meet in a battle of undefeated teams in the 1 p.m. window, while there are seven divisional matchups, including a 4:25 p.m. showdown between the Cardinals and Seahawks.

When making our NFL picks and predictions against the spread for Week 6, there were some tough beats and a few nice surprises. That's the way the prognostication roller coaster goes, especially in a unusual, even more unpredictable season. 

For now, there are no games of Week 7 being rescheduled, so that helps to have some sense of normalcy in how to figure out how prepared every team will be for their matchups. But there's also that typical regression to the mean, where teams with either inflated or underachieving records will even out based on their true value.

Stats of the Week

Week 6 straight up: 8-4

Week 6 against the spread: 6-6

Season straight up: 58-30

Season against the spread: 57-32

Here's our latest fearless forecast based on the early Las Vegas lines which will be adjusted accordingly if there should be some key changes:

MORE: Week 7 NFL power rankings | Picks straight up

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Steelers' defense is playing very well against run and pass, but it lost a key piece in linebacker Devin Bush. That said, they are still loaded in the pass rush, defensive line and secondary. The key to stopping the Titans is containing Derrick Henry, because his presence also sets up Ryan Tannehill to deliver a highly effective downfield play-actionpassing game. Pittsburgh defeated Cleveland with the same formula. The Titans are also much weaker defensively and will struggle with both slowing down James Conner and handling the diversity of playmakers around Ben Roethlisberger.

    Pick:Steelers win 27-20and cover the spread.

  • Thursday, 8:20p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network and Amazon Prime Video

    The Giants got their first win and the Eagles, with their tie against the Bengals, are only a half-game ahead. New York is missing Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard and others to to squeeze their offensive potential with Daniel Jones. Philadephia has been ravaged by injuries around Carson Wentz, and now the latest are to running back Miles Sanders and tight Zach Ertz. The Eagles' defense can still get in Jones' face and make it easier on Wentz with key takaaways. But the Giants' defense is overachieving and can keep this short-week, short-trip game close.

    Pick:Eagles win 20-17 but fail to cover the spread.

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Saints know Teddy Bridgewater well and will bring the appropriate blitz packages against him. They also should be healthier in the secondary to improve their pass defense. They also will be improved in the passing game with MIchael Thomas and will be able to run well at will on the Panthers' weakened front. No Christian McCaffrey for another week hurts here on the fast track of the Superdome. Look for Alvin Kamara to be in the spotlight and carry New Orleans to victory, buoyed by a few timely defensive plays.

    Pick:Saints win 31-17 and cover the spread.

  • Sunday, 4:25p.m. ET, CBS

    The 49ers got healthier and grinded out a win against the Rams. Their offense is back to using unique skill players in creative play-calling, now that everyone is healthy. The Patriots' defense and will focus to take away one thing, but it's hard to do that because of the interchangeable, physical, quickbig-play nature of George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Eight years ago, the 49ers went into New England and won with Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick. Here's a similar result with Kyle Shanahan and former Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo. It's very hard to trust Cam Newton and the Patriots' offense against a still solid 49ers defense.

    Pick:49ers win 24-20

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

    Andy Dalton will be fine in his first road start for the Cowboys with plenty of help from Ezekiel Elliott in the running game and Washington not being able to slow down his receivers on deep routes. The Cowboys' defense will show some life going after Kyle Allen when working with a lead. Washington's limited weapons give the Cowboys' struggling coverage a break, too.

    Pick:Cowboys win 27-17 and cover the spread.

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    There's no line big enough for the Jets at the moment. They went through the motions in being shut out 24-0 by the Dolphins in Week 6. The Bills will be coming off two tough intra-conference matchups with the Titans and the Chiefs, looking to remind everyone they are about to finally reignover the AFC East competition for the first time in a long time. Josh Allen has a second big game on the Jets and ensures the Bills win comfortably again like they did in Week 1.

    Pick:Bils win 34-20 and cover the spread.

  • Sunday,1 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Packers want to forget about all the offensive issues that had in Tampa and a trip to Houston to face a Texans' defense that can neither hold up against run nor pass is just what the coordinator ordered for a get-well game. Aaron Rodgers will have a fun duel with Deshaun Watson as Green Bay's defense will continue to struggle on the road. But in the end, they can control the game better with Aaron Jones and the rushing attack.

    Pick:Packers win 34-27 and cover the spread.

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Browns held off the Bengals in a higher-scoring affair in Week 2 in Cleveland. That was coming off Baker Mayfield being battered and struggling against another, mightier AFC North foe in the Ravens. They will need to dig deep to respond well from the Steelers loss. Luckily they can keep it simple by running the ball well with Kareem Hunt and containing the running of Joe Mixon. Joe Burrow grinds through another matchup in the Battle of Ohio while the Browns get back on the winning track by going back to taking a game out of Mayfield's hands.

    Pick:Browns win 26-23 but fail to cover the spread.

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Falcons came to life under interim coach Raheem Morris, sparked by the explosive return of their best player, wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones has made the entire passing game red-hot again for Matt Ryan and now it's time save some face at home. The Lions looked good on the road in Jacksonville with more of D'Andre Swift, who returns to Georgia to duel fellow former Bulldog Todd Gurley. But with Jones, Calvin Ridley and others, Ryan has more support than his good friend Matthew Stafford, who also returns to Georgia. This is a friendly shootout but Atlanta holds another lead while Detroit gets closer to parting ways with its coach, Matt Patricia, too.

    Pick:Falcons win 38-34and cover the spread.

  • Sunday, 4:05p.m. ET, Fox

    The Seahawks will be coming off a bye while the Cardinals will be returning home on a short week, having played the Cowboys in Dallas on Monday night. Seattle should get significantly healthier offensively and defensively. where Russell Wilson will have his full skill and blocking support and Jamal Adams should return to clean up for the defense. The Cardinals don't have their most impactful defender, Chandler Jones, to pressure Wilson. Kyler Murray isn't facing worrisome rushers from the Seahawks, but they'll just make enough plays on his receivers to preserve victory in another high-scoring affair.

    Pick:Seahawks win 31-27 and cover the spread.

  • Sunday, 4:25p.m. ET, CBS

    Gardner Minshew might be hitting a second-year wall. He's been a great story, but different types of defensive looks have started to get to him. Facing a well-rested Chargers defense capable of confusing with zone schemes featuringJoey Bosa and a strong secondary isn't a formula to break out of a slump. RookieJustin Herbert, his old Pac-12 QB rival, is off to a sizzling start making better use of all of his diverse weapons than Minshew is at the moment.

    Pick:Chargers win 35-20and cover the spread

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Chiefs had a close call against the Chargers and lost to the Raiders. The first team did it with defense while the second team finished the job with offense. The Broncos don't pose many obstacles or resistance either way. Drew Lock's breakout is on delay because of injuriesto him and elsewhere. The Broncos are good against the run, but the Chiefs' passing game with Patrick Mahomes will open things up all over the field and eventually set up Le'Veon Bell for immediate impact.

    Pick:Chiefs win 30-14 and cover the spread.

  • Sunday, 8:20p.m. ET, NBC

    Remember when Tom Brady was rumored to be going to the Raiders? Well, he found the right fit with the Buccaneers, while Derek Carr has been driven to put up more efficient and explosive numbers in 2020. The Bucs' defense is deep and asserting itself with its strong run-stopping and pass-rushing baseline. They're putting it together offensively with Brady, andtheir solid running with Ronald Jones will continue to be a factor here. The Bucs' defense is also built to contain Carr's key cogs, running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller. Jones and the Bucs' wideouts will have more success.

    Pick:Buccaneers win 34-27 and cover the spread.

  • Monday, 8:15p.m. ET, ESPN

    The Bears are playing excellent pass defense because of Khalil Mack and the secondary. The Rams are playing excellent pass defense because of Aaron Donald and the secondary. Both teams are vulnerable against the run and it comes down to who you can trust to pound the ball more effectively and which QB will face less pressure as a result. It's a clear advantage for a rebounding Jared Goff with Darrell Henderson vs. a shaky Nick Foles with David Montgomery. Bigger advantage, Sean McVay over Matt Nagy.

    Pick:Rams win 24-17and cover the spread

Latest News

Christian McCaffrey injury update: Panthers RB to miss several weeks, Chuba Hubbard to start
McCaffrey ruled out of Panthers-Texans game with hamstring injury
Josh Gordon reinstatement: Reports say NFL has reinstated the former All-Pro receiver
Why NFL could lift suspension of Josh Gordon
Will Odell Beckham Jr. play on Sunday? Update on Browns wide receiver's injury in Week 3
Will Odell Beckham Jr. play on Sunday? Update on Browns wide receiver's injury in Week 3
Fantasy Injury Updates: Latest news on Odell Beckham Jr., Diontae Johnson, Amari Cooper affecting Week 3 start-or-sit calls
WR Injury Roundup
Panthers' Sam Darnold keeps rolling in win against Texans, Jets' tenure 'in the past for me'
Sam Darnold: Jets' tenure 'in the past for me'