We are now over a third of the way through the NFL regular season, and it's still incredibly difficult to get a grasp on this league.
Just look to last week for proof.
The Denver Broncos were the biggest favorites in history against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that game turned out to be fairly well-contested. The Seattle Seahawks, playing at home, where they are nearly impossible to beat, struggled to hold off a Tennessee Titans squad with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.
The Houston Texans lost by 25 at home, Thaddeus Lewis and the Buffalo Bills took the Cincinnati Bengals to overtime, and San Diego stifled Andrew Luck and the Colts.
While it's an unpredictable league, Week 7 still features some intriguing lines worth betting on.
Let's take a look at those matchups, along with my picks for every game.
Cleveland Browns (+10 at Green Bay Packers)
I know, I know. Brandon Weeden on the road, especially at Lambeau, isn't exactly the most reassuring bet.
But my reasoning for this pick resides on the other side of the ball.
Electric wide receiver Randall Cobb is out, the ultra-reliable James Jones is iffy, and although Aaron Rodgers is capable of getting production out of just about anyone, there will be very little experience in the receiving corps outside of Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley.
Against an underrated Cleveland Browns defense, which is first in the NFL in yards per pass allowed, sixth in sacks, seventh in completion percentage allowed and eighth in passing yards per game allowed and boasts an elite corner in Joe Haden who can limit Nelson, the Packers could have trouble moving the ball.
Green Bay will still find a way to win at home—Eddie Lacy gives them more offensive balance than in past years—but Rob Chudzinski's squad has the makeup to keep it close.
Prediction: Packers win by a touchdown
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5 vs. Houston Texans)
The Texans are a mess right now.
Gary Kubiak's side is coming off an embarrassing 25-point home defeat to the 3-3 St. Louis Rams on Sunday, and now quarterback Matt Schaub sounds unlikely to play against the Kansas City Chiefs, via ESPN's Tania Ganguli:
Kubiak says Matt Schaub is an end-of-the-week decision as far as his health. He'll prepare Case Keenum and T.J. Yates this week. #Texans— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) October 14, 2013
Say what you want about Schaub, who has struggled immensely this season, but neither T.J. Yates nor Case Keenum will make things better, especially against this ferocious Chiefs defense.
The undefeated Chiefs lead the NFL (by a long shot) in sacks with 31, and in front of a raucous Arrowhead crowd, they are going to make life miserable for whomever is under center.
Houston still has a very good defense, but points are going to be extremely difficult to come by.
Prediction: Chiefs win by 10
New York Giants (-3 vs. Minnesota Vikings)
It doesn't get much better than this for Monday Night Football: major disappointment New York Giants hosting major disappointment Minnesota Vikings. Two teams, one win.
Which of these three is the best bet against the spread?
Even Eli Manning, who is playing arguably the worst football of his career, will be able to take advantage of this matchup.
The Vikings have been getting torched through the air, allowing the fourth-most passing yards per game while letting opposing quarterbacks compile a 95.7 QB rating on average.
It's hard to trust the younger Manning brother at this point, but against a soft defense with three talented weapons in the passing game, a running game that finally looked competent and a long week to prepare, he'll be able to put plenty of points on the board.
Prediction: Giants win by four
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Pick Against the Spread|
|Seattle Seahawks||Arizona Cardinals||SEA -6.5||Cardinals|
|New England Patriots||New York Jets||NE -4||Jets|
|San Diego Chargers||Jacksonville Jaguars||SD -7.5||Chargers|
|Houston Texans||Kansas City Chiefs||KC -6.5||Chiefs|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Detroit Lions||DET -3||Bengals|
|Buffalo Bills||Miami Dolphins||MIA -8.5||Bills|
|Chicago Bears||Washington Redskins||WAS -1||Bears|
|Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI -3||Eagles|
|St. Louis Rams||Carolina Panthers||CAR -6||Rams|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Atlanta Falcons||ATL -7||Falcons|
|San Francisco 49ers||Tennessee Titans||SF -4||49ers|
|Cleveland Browns||Green Bay Packers||GB -10||Browns|
|Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -1.5||Ravens|
|Denver Broncos||Indianapolis Colts||DEN -6.5||Colts|
|Minnesota Vikings||New York Giants||NYG -3||Giants|