Last week didn't go as planned. I went 1-2 with my three picks, and the Bengals did everything in their power to try and blow their cover despite jumping out to a 21-0 lead on the Colts. Thankfully, they weren't successful in their attempt to fail, and I didn't go winless on the week.
That means I've gone 2-4 the last couple of weeks, and my hot start to the season is cooling off a bit. But don't worry, I have been back in the lab crunching the numbers to make sure there isn't something out there I'm missing, and I'm ready to get back on the winning side of things this weekend.
You can also be sure that no matter what the numbers tell me, I remain steadfast in my decision never to bet the Jets again while Adam Gase is in charge. Yes, it was a little harder this week with the Jets getting nearly two touchdowns at home against a division rival, but we are maintaining our discipline. Much like the Jets maintain being terrible and keeping Adam Gase around to ensure they get the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Onto this week's picks.
Who'll win and cover the spread in Week 7? Pete Prisco, R.J. White and SportsLine's Kenny White join Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to make their best bets and break down every game; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
My favorite play of the weekend by far. The Steelers opened as 1.5-point favorites in this matchup, and now the line has moved to Pittsburgh getting points. Well, you know what? The original line was right! But all people see is a 5-0 Titans team getting points at home, and they think they're getting a steal. They're not. The Titans are a good football team, but they are not nearly as good as their 5-0 record suggests. The combined record of the five teams Tennessee has beaten this year is 9-20. Of course, you can say the same things about a lot of the teams Pittsburgh has beaten, but the difference is the underlying metrics tell a much different story about the Steelers than the Titans. And that story is the Steelers are better. Steelers 27, Titans 23
2. Browns at Bengals: Under 50.5 (-110)
We've seen a bit of a course correction in the NFL. Through the first three weeks of the season, overs went 29-19. This caused the books to adjust as everybody in the world began pounding overs, and as a result, overs are only 17-22-1 the last three weeks. The totals haven't changed, though, as the public doesn't seem to have caught on yet. So I went hunting unders this week, and this was the one that stood out to me. That's an awful high total for a game like this. The implied score in this game is Cleveland 26.75, Cincinnati 23.75. Well, despite their performance last week against the Colts, I'm not as confident in Cincinnati's ability to score 24 points in this game. As you'd expect of a rookie QB, Joe Burrow's performance suffers when pressured, and only Carson Wentz has been sacked more often this season. While not elite, Cleveland's pass rush ranks 9th in the NFL in PFF's Pass Rush Pressures metric. I think they put enough pressure on Burrow this Sunday to limit Cincinnati's offensive ceiling and keep us comfortably under the total. Browns 24, Bengals 20
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Listen, I know that everybody loves Justin Herbert when he makes ridiculous throws because he has amazing arm strength, but don't let them distract you from everything else. The Chargers were last seen on a Monday night against New Orleans when Herbert made some great throws, and that's having an impact on this line. The Saints pass defense is average at best this year, and Herbert took advantage of mistakes on their end. He deserves credit for that. But he's also in charge of an offense that is still without Austin Ekeler. While I think he's more than capable of leading the Chargers to a win here, I am nowhere near ready to start trusting him as this heavy a favorite against anybody. Not even the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chargers 28, Jaguars 21