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NFL Pro Football 2010 Week 7 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 7 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 24

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Sunday, October 24

Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons (-3 1/2, 42 1/2) 1:00 pm - The Falcons went up to Philly last week and basically got their fannies kicked all afternoon. Cincinnati hasn't quite lived up to the billing either and have lost their last two straight, to Cleveland and Tampa Bay prior to a bye last week, not exactly inspiring confidence.

To say that the Bengals needed a win badly would be an understatement. Trailing both Pittsburgh and Baltimore in their division, they face Miami and Pittsburgh at home before traveling to Indy for their next three games. Could the Ochocinco and TO circus be ending so early in the season? This game will go a long way toward determining that. The Falcons are statistically better on both offense and defense, and home field surely doesn't hurt. The only question is whether they win this by more than a field goal. Have to take that risk.

Prediction: Falcons 24 Bengals 19

Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears (-3, 40) 1:00 pm - Hard to believe, but the Bears currently reside in first place in the NFC North, and their two major combatants play each other later Sunday night, so the world looks good from their eyes. Washington came within a whisker of upsetting the Cowboys last week and are 1-1 on the road this season. The Bears lost in OT to the seahawks last week and look to rebound in their second straight home game.

Washington has already surpassed most people's expectations, and under coach Shanahan, have developed a positive attitude. Donovan McNabb has been solid all season, but has tossed five TD passes and an equal number of picks. Chicago's Jay Cutler is a little better with 6 TdDs and 3 INTs.

The Bears and Redskins are pretty evenly matched. Could be the beginning of home field advantage clicking into midseason form.

Prediction: Bears 24 Redskins 17

Philadelphia Eagles at Tennessee Titans (-3, 43) 1:00 pm - All indications are that the starting quarterbacks will be Kevin Kolb for the Eagles and Kerry Collins for the Titans, which gives neither team an advantage. Michael Vick and Vince Young, both notable for their running ability, will be in backup roles, both still nursing injuries. While Kolb has had a couple of strong outings, Collins brings experience and accuracy to the battle, making this game the most difficult pick of the week.

The offenses are nearly equal in terms of point production. Tennessee is clicking at 27.0 ppg, the Eagles, 25.5. Tennessee holds an edge on defense, though the Eagles have improved the past few weeks and appear to have all players on the same page. Philly's won four of their last five; the Titans have won their last two. Looks like a late field goal or TD could win this.

Prediction: Titans 30 Eagles 28

Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs (-9, 37 1/2) 1:00 pm - Coach Jack Del Rio is expecting either David Garrard or Trent Edwards to be ready to go by Sunday, but just in case, the Jags picked up Todd Bouman. Who starts for the Jaguars, so stay tuned.

Jacksonville's problems run deeper than who will start at QB. Their defense has vanished. In the last five games, they've allowed 38, 28, 28, 26 and 30 points, actually having won two of those games. It's unlikely that they'll score three or four touchdowns, no matter who starts. Garrard is still rehabbing from a concussion and Edwards stinks, so Bouman may be their best option.

After a 3-0 start, the Chiefs have dropped two straight. Both were tough losses, to Indy and Houston, so they look far superior here and the home crowd is beginning to believe that they can win the AFC West.

Prediction: Chiefs 31 Jaguars 10

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3, 40) at Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm - The Dolphins were supposed to lose at Greenbay, weren't they? Instead they won in OT. This one might be a little different as the Steelers are playing the kind of defense reminiscent of the "Steel Curtain" days.

The Steelers are also outscoring Miami at 22.8 per game to the Dolphins' 17.8. The double statistical edge is useful, and Pittsburgh is a perfect 2-0 this season on the road. They're also in the driver's seat in their division and surely would like to keep it that way. Could be a long day for the Miami faithful.

Prediction: Steelers 31 Dolphins 16

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Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints (-13 1/2, 43) 1:00 pm - Ouch. The Saints at home against these woofers? Who scheduled this car wreck? New Orleans should win this one handily as Colt McCoy learns what life as an NFL quarterback is all about. Tough lessons to be learned against the ball-hawking Saints.

Prediction: Saints 34 Browns 10

St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2 1/2, 38) 1:00 pm - Games don't get any tougher to pick than those between teams on the periphery. One can readily infer from the lines this week that there's not much sparation between much of the league and this is one of those coin flip games that could literally go either way on a turnover or a couple of key plays.

The Bucs were expectedly shut out by the Saints last week, but they are still 3-2 and capable of beating teams on the lower rungs of the NFL food chain. 3-3 St. Louis qualifies, though Sam Bradford's determination and overall attitude has been infectious for the Rams.

The Rams and Bucs rate 28th and 29th respectively on offense, but the Rams play better defense and the deficiency for the Buccaneers is against the run. Steven Jackson may run wild.

Prediction: Rams 27 Buccaneers 14


San Francisco 49ers (-3, 35) at Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm - The 49ers were supposed to run away with the weak NFC West, but now find themselves at 1-5, looking up at the rest of the teams in the division. Now that they actually have a win to their credit - 17-9 over Oakland last week - they have to travel all the way across the great expanse of the continent to play the Panthers.

Even discounting the effects of jet lag into a seven-point deficit, San fran should still be able to stuff the winless Panthers back into a corner and behead them. Not only is Carolina by far the least effective offense in the NFL (10.4 ppg, with the next lowest, Cleveland, at 14.7), their defense is also sub-par, allowing 22 points per expedition. For now, the 'Niners should be a confident pick, and, since they only have one loss in their division (Seattle, opening weekend), they still can believe in winning the conference.

Prediction: 49ers 30 Panthers 6

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens (-13, 38) 1:00 pm - If the Bills manage to score at all against the stellar Ravens defense, it will be a stroke of good luck. While the Ravens are averaging just about a point per game better than the Bills on offense, the level of competition is hardly the same, plus, Baltimore's defense is second-best at 15.8 ppg, while the Bills are dead last, allowing a whopping 32.2 per outing, on pace to allow 515 points this season.

It's a tough call as to whether the Bills or Panthers are this season's worst team, but the Bills are definitely very bad and looking ahead to the 2011 draft.

Prediction: Ravens 35 Bills 3

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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