Rick Zamperin’s Week 7 NFL picks: Bills feast on Jets, Browns win Battle of Ohio

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates a touchdown pass during an NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Cleveland. AP Photo/David Richard

Week 7 of the NFL season is upon us and I am riding a bit of a high heading into this week’s batch of games because for the first time this season my picks against the spread were at least .500.

I’m feeling good after going 7-7 against the number last week, which boosted my overall record this season to 41-48-2. Room for improvement, yes, of course.

And 9-5 straight up wasn’t so bad either, which vaulted my mark to 58-35-1.

But enough about last week, it’s time to look forward.

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New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-4) Week 7 kicks off with an epic NFC East showdown. OK, epic is overselling this matchup between teams who are a combined 2-9-1. But whichever team wins this tilt will be in second place in the division and could be tied with Dallas for first place if the Cowboys lose to Washington this week. The Giants won their first game of the season last Sunday, but their winning streak will stop at one because the Eagles are way better than their 1-4-1 record indicates. Philadelphia 24-14

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (+2) One of the best offences in the NFL (Tennessee) goes up against one of the best defences in the league (Pittsburgh) on Sunday in a game that was originally scheduled for Week 4 but postponed due to COVID-19 positive tests in Tennessee. Both teams are 5-0, and along with 5-0 Seattle, are the only unbeaten teams remaining in the league. The Steelers will stay perfect by taking advantage of the Titans’ average defensive. Pittsburgh 21-20

Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) Detroit smoked Jacksonville last week while Atlanta picked up their first win of the year after hammering Minnesota. This game has all the makings of an offensive explosion with Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Lions QB Matthew Stafford leading the charge. I like what I saw out of Atlanta last week and think they continue to roll. Atlanta 34-28

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Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (+3) The Browns came crashing down to Earth in Week 6 thanks to a 38-7 pounding at the hands of Pittsburgh, so they will be motivated to prove that showing wasn’t who they really are. The cross-state Bengals let a 14-point lead against the Colts slip away last week and lost 31-27, so they too are wringing their hands. The Brownies have more offensive punch and should return to the win column. Cleveland 27-23

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7.5) This is a big NFC South showdown. New Orleans has won two games in a row and are refreshed after their bye week. Carolina’s three game-winning run ended with a thud against Chicago last Sunday and they didn’t look particularly good in doing so. The Saints, at 3-3, have yet to hit their stride and seem poised for a break out performance. New Orleans 31-20

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (+13) Oh, to be a fan of the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets! At 0-6, New York is the last team in the NFL to reach the win column and unless something extremely bizarre happens this Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, that won’t change. Buffalo could not keep pace with Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs last week but they will have no problem asserting their dominance against the Jets. Buffalo 34-13

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Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team (+1.5) Okay, so, the Andy Dalton experience didn’t start off the way he and the Cowboys were hoping. Following Monday night’s loss against Arizona, Dallas draws a much easier opponent in Washington this week. Aside from being a divisional game, you can’t blame 1-5 Washington for looking forward to their bye week next week. And will the Cowboys be looking ahead to next week’s big showdown against Philadelphia? Dallas 27-17

Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans (+3.5) Houston took the undefeated Texans to overtime last week before they were ultimately buried by the bulldozer-like running of reigning NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry. Green Bay’s season-opening four-game winning streak came to a crashing halt in Tampa Bay last week as Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and the offence struggled to find their groove. At 1-5, Houston may have an eye on their bye next week, which spells disaster. Green Bay 31-24

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (+4) It’s not quite Steelers-Titans, but the 5-0 Seahawks at 4-2 Arizona is a close second. Seattle is a legitimate Super Bowl contender that is coming off a bye week while the Cardinals are on a short week after playing in Dallas on Monday night. I’ll take the fresher and more talented team. Seattle 27-21

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San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots (-2.5) The Patriots find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they enter Week 7, that is under .500. New England fell to 2-3 after losing at home against Denver last week and now host an energized 49ers team that is feeling good after beating the L.A. Rams last Sunday. I know it’s a new era in New England with Tom Brady now in Tampa, but the Pats can’t lose three straight games, can they? New England 23-20

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (+9.5) A week after losing at home to Las Vegas, the Chiefs returned to the win column when they took down Buffalo on Monday evening and appear to be back on track. The Broncos are riding a wave after wins against the Patriots last week and Jets in Week 4. With Patrick Mahomes vs. Drew Lock at quarterback, give me the Super Bowl champ every day of the week. Kansas City 34-17

Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers (-8) One long losing streak is going to come to an end at SoFi Stadium on Sunday when the Chargers host the Jaguars. Jacksonville has lost five consecutive games and L.A. has dropped its last four. The point spread in this game says it all: the Jags are struggling mightily while the Bolts have been in every game this season. L.A. Chargers 30-20

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders (+3) At 4-2, Tampa Bay just took down the previously unbeaten Packers and 3-2 Vegas is coming off a bye week after spoiling K.C.’s dream of a perfect season. Raiders QB Derek Carr has 11 TDs, one interception, and a quarterback rating of 115.9 (second only to Seattle’s Russell Wilson) this season but hasn’t gotten the love that others have. The Bucs win a squeaker. Tampa Bay 31-30

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-5) The Bears lead the NFC North with a surprising 5-1 record entering Week 7 and are riding a two-game winning streak. L.A. is 4-2 after a setback last Sunday night in San Francisco in a game in which quarterback Jared Goff was below average. Both clubs don’t allow a lot of points so this will likely be a low scoring game, but the edge goes to the Rams’ multi-faceted offence. L.A. Rams 23-17

  • Overall straight up 58-35-1
  • Overall against the spread 41-48-2

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.