Scully’s NFL Week 7 picks: Pack will bounce back against Texans

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October 21st, 2020

Favorites were not good in Week 6, with a 5-9 record against the spread, but I won’t overreact to the numbers.

After a 2-1 ATS record in Week 6, I will play three favorites with favorable matchups in Week 7.

Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans

Sun, October 25 2020, 5:00 PM

Houston Texans






O 57

Green Bay Packers






U 57

It's bounce-back time for Green Bay, which won and covered after a pair of lopsided road losses last year.

The Packers were dreadful in Tampa Bay, outplayed in every facet, and this week's game will be a matter of pride. Their top-ranked offensive line will be eager for redemption, after was made to look foolish last week. And Aaron Rodgers suddenly has something to prove, after he was the toast of the NFL when Green Bay opened 4-0.

Houston is ripe for a letdown, after it let a winnable game slip away in Tennessee. The Texans have star players on both sides of the ball but have lacked an identity since they opened with three consecutive losses against the league’s toughest schedule (Kansas City, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh).

Following a dreadful setback to Minnesota in Week 4, Houston fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien. The Texans responded with a much-needed win over Jacksonville, but they allowed Tennessee to drive 76 yards with less than two minutes remaining to tie the game last week.

Green Bay ran roughshod over opponents, covered its first four games, and averaged 40 points per game in its first two road tests. The Packers will easily outscore Houston.

Pick: Green Bay -3.5

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans

Sun, October 25 2020, 5:00 PM

Tennessee Titans






O 52

Pittsburgh Steelers






U 52

Pittsburgh is deep with firepower, and Tennessee is ripe for a letdown after a couple wild weeks.

The Steelers are averaging 31.2 points per game, the fourth-best number in the league, and they made it look easy last week, with a beatdown of Cleveland.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for only 162 yards, as running back James Connor carried most of the load. Since he played sparingly in the opener, Connor has scored in every game and rushed for more than 100 yards thrice behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

The Steelers can still bring it in the passing game. Rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool has made an enormous impact and the veteran team is hungry, after it missed the playoffs the last two seasons.

This is a statement game for a Pittsburgh squad that fancies itself as a Super Bowl contender.

Tennessee upset mistake-prone Buffalo (three turnovers and 10 penalties) in Week 5, and the Titans were fortunate to escape against Houston in Week 6. Right tackle Taylor Lewan is out with an injury, and they will miss him against Pittsburgh’s ferocious defensive front.

Tennessee will need to regroup after its first loss of the season.

Pick: Pittsburgh -2

Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

Sun, October 25 2020, 5:00 PM

New Orleans Saints






O 51.5

Carolina Panthers






U 51.5

Carolina had every chance to win against Chicago in Week 6, but its offense is struggling. New Orleans can exploit this matchup off a bye week.

Despite an average of 30.6 points per game, New Orleans has been inconsistent on offense. Running back Alvin Kamara has been the exception, but the passing game finally came together when the Saints rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat the Chargers in Week 5. Quarterback Drew Brees got the ball downfield to Emmanuel Sanders (10 catches for 122 yards), and Michael Thomas will be back for Week 7.

Carolina has exceeded my expectations, with a 3-3 record. The Panthers have been competitive in every game, but the dam will break this week.

The Panthers lost their best player, Christian McCaffrey, earlier in the season, and they’ve struggled to score more than 20 points in every game since.

Carolina’s 18th-ranked run defense will also get a heavy dose of Kamara.

With offensive momentum from the comeback win, New Orleans will hand Carolina its third double-digit loss of the season.

Pick: New Orleans -7.5

James Scully's 2020 NFL record ATS on BetAmerica heading into Week 7: 7-11