Nostrathomas Predicts: Beware the Road Dogs

When the 2020 season began how many thought the NFL would make it to Week 7? Not to say that there haven’t been some bumps in the road along the way but here we are and it’s been an exciting season to boot.

It’s also been a difficult one to predict. Through the first six weeks of the 2020 season Nostrathomas is 29-31 against the spread and 38-20 straight-up.

It’s time to peer through the crystal beer mugs, filled of course, and see what Week 7 holds for us.

Games of the Week

Pittsburgh Steelers +1.5 vs Tennessee Titans (1PM ET; Nissan Stadium; Nashville, TN)

These two teams are 5-0 and looking for a tiebreaker edge for the postseason if needed.

Ben Roethlisberger has the Steelers back on top of the conference after missing all but six quarters of the 2019 season due to a right elbow injury. One thing that he hasn’t done this season that was a strength of his game in the past is getting the ball downfield. Roethlisberger is twentieth in the NFL in net passing yards per attempt.

Despite that, the one thing Pittsburgh’s offense has been very successful at this season is in generating points. The Steelers are fourth in the NFL in points scored through six weeks.

For Tennessee, Ryan Tannehill has used the Titans first five games to demonstrate that his emergence last season as a top NFL quarterback was no fluke. Tennessee is second in the league this season in points scored. Unlike Roethlisberger, Tannehill has been getting the ball downfield regularly. He’s sixth in net passing yards per attempt.

It goes without saying that the Titans can run the ball as well as anyone in the game. Derrick Henry has been averaging 4.8 yards per carry with 6 rushing touchdowns.

The one disadvantage for Tennessee in this game is their defense. They’ve given up 126 points this season, sixteenth in the NFL. They are also facing a formidable defensive front led by T.J. Watt and Stephon Tuitt. That’s why Nostrathomas believes the edge in this game belongs to the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers 29 Tennessee Titans 26

Chicago Bears +6 vs Los Angeles Rams; Under 45 (Monday Night Football; SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA)

The formula for success in Chicago this season has been to sit on opposing offenses long enough to allow starting quarterback Nick Foles to find a groove. Although the Bears have only outscored their opponents by 12 points through six games they’ve driven that formula to a 5-1 record.

The Rams are looking to bounce back after a bad loss last week to San Francisco on the road. The 49ers defense held Jared Goff to 19 completions in 38 attempts for 198 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception for a 72.0 passer rating.

On Monday night, Goff is facing the defense that is second in the NFL in passer rating allowed. Chicago will match cornerbacks Kyle Fuller, who is making a case for being named a first-team All-Pro through the first six games, and rookie Jaylon Johnson against Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.

The one big advantage that Los Angeles holds in this game is that Goff gets the ball downfield successfully. He’s fourth in the NFL with a 7.7 net passing yards per attempt average. For the Bears, they’ve been winning games with Foles at quarterback but he only averages a net of 5.4 yards per attempt.

These teams have faced each other in each of the past two seasons. In 2018, the Bears won a Sunday night match-up 15-6 on their way to the playoffs. Last season in a Sunday night rematch, the Rams choked the offense out of Chicago in a 17-7 victory.

This is a tough game to predict because both of these teams are tough defensively. Neither of these teams is a good bet to win this game by more than one score. That’s why Nostrathomas believes the Bears +6 is an excellent bet here. It’s also why Nostrathomas recommends playing the under. Make sure to get the 45 before it gets bet down any farther.

As long as Nostrathomas is taking the road dog to cover, let’s go all the way and take them to win.

Chicago Bears 19 Los Angeles Rams 16

Best Bets

Buffalo Bills -10.5 vs New York Jets (1PM ET; MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ)

The Bills have dropped to 4-2 after facing two of the best teams in the AFC the last two weeks, The Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs. This week, Buffalo gets to travel to MetLife relaxation spa and resort for a game against the Jets.

New York has yet to finish a game within one score of their opponent and lost to the Bills 27-17 in Week 1 in Buffalo.

Normally, this is a big spread to expect a team that has lost two straight games to cover but Buffalo is still a good team playing one that may not win this season.

There is one danger in this game. The Bills host the New England Patriots next week. They can’t get too comfortable here. Still, Buffalo should be looking at this game as a chance to re-establish themselves as a power in the AFC East. That’s bad news for the Jets.

Buffalo Bills 30 New York Jets 13

Green Bay Packers -3.5 vs Houston Texans (1PM ET; NRG Stadium, Houston, TX)

The Packers got humiliated by Tampa Bay last week but they’re still one of the best teams in the league and hold nearly all the statistical advantages in this game. The Texans will put up points against Green Bay but the Packers still have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback and Houston’s defense isn’t on the same level as the Buccaneers.

One last thing, Green Bay has never lost two straight games under head coach Matt LaFleur and the Texans are on a 4-10-1 run against the spread.

Green Bay Packers 32 Houston Texans 26

Seattle Seahawks -3.5 vs Arizona Cardinals (Sunday Night Football; State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ)

The Cardinals have won two straight games, against the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets. Now they come off a short week and play Seattle, who were on their bye in Week 6.

Arizona has a tough defense but won’t have Chandler Jones on the field against the Seahawks. In the meantime, Russell Wilson is tops in the NFL in passer rating. Also, with Wilson at the controls Seattle is the best team in the league in points per play.

Take the rested Seahawks to win and cover.

Seattle Seahawks 34 Arizona Cardinals 26

Best of the Rest

Cleveland Browns -3 vs Cincinnati Bengals (1PM ET; Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH)

Can the Browns bounce back after being ground into the Heinz Field turf last week? This would be the spot.

Cincinnati looked to be on the rebound last week when they took an early 21-0 lead on the Indianapolis Colts but the Bengals stopped scoring and fell apart defensively in a 31-27 loss.

Cleveland beat the Bengals in Week 2. This is one time where we won’t be seeing a split in the divisional series.

Cleveland Browns 27 Cincinnati Bengals 21

Carolina Panthers +7 vs New Orleans Saints (1PM ET; Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA)

New Orleans has ruled wide receiver Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders has been placed on the reserve/Covid-19 list. This is also a Saints team that hasn’t been as formidable in 2020 as the others we’ve known in the Drew Brees era.

Carolina is still a tough team on defense. The Saints will be having a tough time moving the ball on them without their top two wide receivers available. Here’s another road dog for your Sunday parlay if you’re brave enough to take it.

Carolina Panthers 25 New Orleans Saints 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3.5 vs Las Vegas Raiders (4:05PM ET; Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV)

The Buccaneers may not be as good as they showed last week against Green Bay but Las Vegas is 31st in the league in points per play allowed and 30th in points per drive allowed.

Tampa Bay has enough offense and more than enough defense to fly away from Vegas with a win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 Las Vegas Raiders 17

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Los Angeles Chargers -7.5 (4:25PM ET; SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA)

Jacksonville has been slowly sinking to their proper level after beating the Colts in Week 1. If the Chargers can keep this from becoming a one-score game they should be able to win and cover.

Los Angeles Chargers 25 Jacksonville Jaguars 14

San Francisco 49ers +2.5 vs New England Patriots (4:25PM ET; Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA)

Nostrathomas tried to pick New England to win and cover but unless they can begin to turn it around this week, this Patriots team may not be very good. Until they prove otherwise, this shapes up to be Jimmy Garoppolo revenge week.

San Francisco 49ers 24 New England Patriots 21

Kansas City Chiefs -8 vs Denver Broncos (4:25PM ET; Empower Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO)

Don’t look for the Chiefs to trip-up in a divisional contest again like they did two weeks ago against Las Vegas. Also, Denver isn’t as good as they looked last week against the Patriots.

Kansas City Chiefs 33 Denver Broncos 20

Games of the Weak

Detroit Lions vs Atlanta Falcons -2.5 (1PM ET; Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA)

When in doubt, take the team with the better quarterback. That’s still Matt Ryan.

Atlanta Falcons 29 Detroit Lions 22

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Football Team Pick ‘em (1PM ET; FedEx Field, Washington DC)

Andy Dalton may not be as bad as the Cardinals made him look last week but the Football Team has been playing some quality defense this season. The game opened with Dallas favored by three but was bet down to a pick ‘em. Pick Washington to win.

Washington Football Team 22 Dallas Cowboys 21

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