I love the Chalk: My Week 7 NFL Picks

Raiders @ Packers -5
So this game has bounced all over the place. Started at -5.5, came down to -4.5 and now it sits at -5. I don’t usually like taking favorites of 5 points but I will make my case why I like the Packers here. The Raiders are coming off a bye after their London game. Now in case you don’t remember, the team traveled from Oakland to Indy and then went straight to London after the Indy game. So they had some team bonding time and didn’t have to worry too much about travel affecting their play. I always say that becomes an issue for the following game. Even with the bye week, players still have to get re-acclimated to every day life and getting their everyday affairs in order. Nobody comes home after a long hiatus with nothing to take care of. So although they are coming off a bye I see that as somewhat of a disadvantage. Also the Raiders last two opponents rank 17th and 14th in passing efficiency (side note: how the fuck do the Bears have the 14th most efficient passing offense? That seems preposterous) and Jacoby Brissett and Chase Daniel can be considered average at best. This week the Packers 10th ranked passing offense led by one of the best QBs in the league Aaron Rodgers. On the other side the Raiders pass defense is ranked 26th. I can see the Packers scoring early and often here which will force the Raiders to try and move the ball through the air, which is not their specialty. I’m taking the Packers -5 at home

49ers @ Redskins +10
I usually stay away from games with spreads this large. But in this case with the huge difference between these two teams, it makes a lot of sense for me to lay this number. Another thing to keep in mind is how much Fed-Ex field has been filled with opposing teams fans this year. Washington’s fans are not happy with the current state of affairs with their football team and they are not coming out to support their team despite low ticket prices. This is driving opposing fans to their stadium and the 49ers have one of the largest fan bases in the NFL. So this will be like a home game away from home for the 49ers. Looking at these teams efficiency metrics 10 points may not even be high enough. The 49ers are ranked 2nd overall (12th OFF, 2nd DEF, 26 ST) and the Redskins are ranked 30th (28th OFF, 31st DEF, 8th ST). The Redskins have a game against the Dolphins in there too and their efficiency is still terrible. This game should easily cruise to a blowout victory. I’m taking the road chalk 49ers.

Jaguars @ Bengals +4.5
Another game where I love the road chalk. Look the inactives just came out and the Bengals are going to be without Carlos Dunlap and Dre Kirkpatrick. This is a defense that is already graded out as the 2nd worst in the league. The Jaguars defense has not been as dominant as it has been in years past. They have been especially poor against the run this year where they rank last in defensive rushing efficiency. But they get a break this week facing the Bengals rushing offense that is ranked 2nd worst. So that should not be an issue for the Jaguars today. I’m leaning under in this game also. I don’t see the Bengals scoring much. Their offensive line is very banged up and they are severely missing any explosiveness without AJ Green and John Ross. I like the Jags on the road here.

Saints @ Bears -4
I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. This is the one game I do not like the chalk. I do not see how the Bears can be 4 point favorites against anybody at this point, never mind the Saints who have been playing very well on the road this year. They are 2-1 on the road with their only loss coming in at the Rams in the game Drew Brees got hurt. The bears on the other hand, whether Mitch Trubisky is starting or not have not been that good. They fave another dominant offensive line this week and we saw what happened with the Raiders ground and pound attack against the Bears a couple weeks ago. To put it simply, the Saints are better at playing the way the Bears want to play than the Bears are. So I like the Saints here and a sprinkle on the moneyline too.

The Picks:
Packers -5 (2 units)
49ers -10 (4 units)
Jaguars -4.5 (1 unit)
Jaguars/Bengals Under 43.5 (1 unit)
Saints +4 (1 unit)

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