Just when you think you have the NFL figured out, a slate like Week 6 comes around and turns the game on its head. Justin Herbert and the high-powered offense of the Chargers were held to just six points, the Titans pulled off the upset over Buffalo, and the Jaguars won a game! Well, at least we know we're not totally in the Twilight Zone because Aaron Rodgers still owns the Chicago Bears.
Despite an overall slow week for us here in our little gambling corner, we were still able to stay hot with our five locks of the week by going 4-1 ATS, bringing us to a strong 20-7-3 ATS mark for the season. Below, we'll highlight a new crop of locks for Week 7 and give our predictions on how the entire slate is shaping out.
Locks of the Week ATS: 20-7-3
We all know that Baltimore's offense has the ability to break loose at any given moment with Lamar Jackson under center. What was impressive about their Week 6 win over the Chargers, however, was how well they were able to shut down Justin Herbert, who had just 195 yards through the air. When you combine that type of play on defense with an offense that ranks fourth in the NFL in yards per play, the Ravens become extremely tough to beat and create 28-point margins of victory like we saw them pull off last week. Cincinnati has been a surprise team in 2021 with Joe Burrow in his second season, but Jackson and company should clear this by a touchdown.
Projected score: Ravens 30, Bengals 21
The pick: Ravens -6
Don't look now, but Carson Wentz is starting to get hot. Over his last three games, he's completing nearly 69% of his passes, averaging roughly 285 yards through the air and has six touchdowns with zero interceptions. The 49ers look like they'll have Jimmy Garoppolo back for this game, but I still like Indianapolis to pull off the road upset here. San Francisco's bread and butter on offense is running the football, and stopping the run is what the Colts do best, ranking No. 1 in the NFL against the run in terms of DVOA.
Projected score: Colts 24, 49ers 21
The pick: Colts +4
I'm man enough to admit I was wrong about the Raiders last week. I envisioned a disjointed affair in Denver in the aftermath of the Jon Gruden scandal, but they were pretty resilient and dropped 34 points. I'll back them this week as they take on an Eagles team that continues to look lost offensively from play to play. While extremely talented, Jalen Hurts needs to be more consistent passing the football before truly feeling confident in leaning towards the Eagles on a week-to-week basis. Both of these teams are tied for second in the NFL in fewest yards per play allowed, so this could be low-scoring affair, but I'm fine with laying a field goal against this shaky offense.
Projected score: Raiders 27, Eagles 20
The pick: Raiders -3
Miami struggled in London and allowed the Jaguars to win their first game of the season, but I like this bounce-back opportunity at home against Atlanta. The Falcons defense ranks 30th in the league in DVOA, giving Tua Tagovailoa another soft opponent as he plays in his second game since coming back from injury. The second-year quarterback was solid against Jacksonville and should only get better as he continues to shake off the rust. The Dolphins have also played well at home against teams with losing records, owning an 8-1 ATS mark over their last nine games under that circumstance.
Projected score: Dolphins 24, Falcons 21
The pick: Dolphins +2.5
Both teams are limping into "Thursday Night Football," particularly at the quarterback position. Both signal-callers are expected to play, but Baker Mayfield has an injury to his left shoulder and Teddy Bridgewater reportedly has a foot injury. Cleveland has been especially banged up and will not have running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb because of calf injuries. Given how banged up the Browns are (20 players listed on the initial injury report), I'll gladly take the field-goal bump with Denver, which could very well pull off the upset as well.
Projected score: Broncos 23, Browns 20
The pick: Broncos +3
Rest of the bunch
Washington at Packers
Projected score: Packers 31, Washington 21
The pick: Packers -9.5
Chiefs at Titans
Projected score: Chiefs 28, Titans 26
The pick: Titans +5.5
So what NFL picks can you make with confidence? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $7,700 since its inception, and find out.