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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Week 7 NFL Picks: Every Dog Has His Day

Week 7 NFL Pick: Every Dog Has His Day

By: Jeremy "Puckhead" Shin

Betting the NFL last season was a chalk bettor’s dream come true. Double-digit road favorites covered like they were playing the Washington Generals every weekend. Seasoned bettors fully expected the books to adjust their opening lines and destroy the public the second half of the season. It never happened.

This season is different. Underdogs are 54-31-9 through six weeks, and double-digit road spreads on the road are rarer than a millionaire at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. Eleven out of fourteen games in the NFL were decided by a touchdown or less this past weekend. Six were by a field goal or less.

Parity is back in the NFL. Adjust your betting card accordingly.
Underdogs worth wagering this week:

CAROLINA PANTHERS (+3) vs San Francisco 49ers

CAROLINA: There’s no sugarcoating Carolina’s early struggles: the Panthers will finish in the cellar of the stellar NFL South this season. Still, getting three points is a gift here. Home team coming off a bye playing a west coast team in an early game always has great value. The good news is that Steve Smith is back this week. The two-headed monster of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart will keep the Panthers competitive in what will likely be a punt-a-thon decided by field position. Turnovers will be key in this game and having Matt Moore back at QB instead of rookie Jimmy Clausen is a plus in that department.

SF: Mike Singletary has given his team fire with his unbridled passion but what he hasn’t done is give them a competent offense. San Fran has weapons on offense but lacks a QB to execute and consistently get them the ball. Anyone who’s watched Alex Smith this season knows he consistently misses throws on crucial third downs. It doesn’t matter what defense Smith is facing if he can’t execute a simple 5-yard hitch or slant. It almost makes sense to drop back in coverage and let him make a mistake rather than send a pass rush the way he’s playing. Bottom line is that Frank Gore can’t do it by himself. The Niners D is legit but this team needs Alex Smith to put it together to have any shot of winning on the road. Don’t count on it.
Minnesota Vikings (+3) at Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY: Betting against the Pack in Lambeau has always been a big no-no. Don’t be afraid to fade them at home because this is nowhere near the same team that was undefeated and 4-1 Superbowl favorites a month ago. Since then, their injury report has grown longer than the Starr Report. The biggest loss is TE Jermichael Finley who was on his way to becoming the next Antonio Gates before he went down for the season with a torn meniscus. The offense has sputtered without Finley and RB Ryan Grant (also out for the season), averaging 15.5 points during their downward spiral back to .500. The D took another blow when they lost the perennially reliable Nick Collins to a broken wrist. Add that to losing half their secondary (Al Harris, Atari Bigby) and this team barely resembles the Packers who stormed out of the gates as legit Superbowl contenders.

MINNESOTA : Forget the tiresome Favre theatrics surrounding this game. The key to this game is getting pressure on Aaron Rodgers and the Minnesota DL still excels in this category (2nd in the league with 21 sacks). Rodgers needs to have a big day against a Minny pass defense (3rd in the NFL) has been solid all season long. Jared Allen and the Williams wall won’t make it easy for him.

On the other side of the ball, Green Bay is a team that Randy Moss has consistently shown up against throughout his career. Expect the Vikings to test the wounded Packer secondary early and find Moss for an early score. This offense simply has too many weapons to continue struggling. If they can get in a rhythm and build a lead in the first half, pounding Adrian Peterson in the second half will earn them a crucial division victory and put them back in the playoff picture.

For more great NFL football articles, NFL Picks, and live football betting odds check out the rest of Coopers Pick.


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