Week 7 NFL Picks: Underdogs Guranteed to Beat the Spread

Steven GerwelContributor IIIOctober 21, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets gestures against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on October 14, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

During last week's action, we saw seven underdogs step up and come away with unlikely victories, which serves as a reminder that the NFL is wildly unpredictable. 

We likely won't see the same type of uprising from the underdogs for a second consecutive week, but there's bound to be a handful of teams capable of upsetting their favored opponents. 

So, with Week 7 nearly underway, which underdogs are up for the challenge? 

Here are four underdog teams that will step up and make things interesting. 


Dallas Cowboys Over Carolina Panthers (-2)

When the Dallas Cowboys handed the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants a defeat on opening night, many thought this would be the season where the Cowboys finally turned the corner and made a run. 

Unfortunately, they've only won one other game since, and that was against Tampa Bay. 

But fortunately for Dallas, the one-win Carolina Panthers provide a perfect opportunity to turn the season around. 

The Panthers' 19th-ranked pass defense will give Tony Romo an opportunity to pick apart the secondary and build some confidence. 

Meanwhile, Dallas is fielding the second-best defense in the league (285.2 yards per game), which doesn't bode well for Cam Newton, who has been coughing up fumbles and interceptions all season long. 

Dallas is only a slight favorite over Carolina, so this isn't an earth-shattering prediction. However, the Cowboys should find a way to win. 


New York Jets Over New England Patriots (-10.5)

For as much criticism as the New York Jets take, an outside observer would assume that they're in last place and haven't won a game all season. 

In reality, the Jets are 3-3 and in first place in the AFC East, even if it's a four-way tie. 

The defense is modestly ranked 18th overall and their offense is ranked in the bottom five with only 295.5 yards per game, but they're capable of finding ways to win. 

The Jets are big time underdogs in this game and are in serious trouble if the New England offense picks up any momentum whatsoever, but they have more of a chance than people think. 

In a worst-case scenario, the game will at least be somewhat entertaining with Tim Tebow possibly playing running back (according to ESPN via Twitter).

Tim Tebow playing running back on Sunday vs Patriots? It could happen - es.pn/RJOoya

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 18, 2012


Baltimore Ravens Over Houston Texans (-7)

The Houston Texans boast a ferocious defense and an aggressive run game, while frequently being pegged as the No. 1 overall team in power rankings. 

But have they really been put to the test?

None of the teams they've played this season currently have a winning record. And in the first five weeks, Denver was really the only above average team they faced.

The Texans went up against a real challenge with Green Bay a week ago, and they were handed their first loss of the season.

The Baltimore Ravens (5-1) are tied with Houston for the best record in the AFC and will be the best opponent the Texans have faced this season.

At the very least, the Ravens are too good to be seven-point underdogs.  


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Over New Orleans Saints (-3)

The New Orleans Saints were able to pick up their first win of the season against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football, and now they've had a week to rest thanks to the bye week.

Regardless, it's difficult to believe that the Saints will suddenly start to play winning football after their disastrous four-game losing streak to start the season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offer more of a threat than people think. They handed the Chiefs a 38-10 loss a week ago and are 2-1 at home.

With home-field advantage on their side, the Buccaneers have a shot at handing the Saints their fifth loss of the season.