It’s getting ugly earlier than usual.
Through six weeks, I’ve opened up a nine-game lead over MDS in our head-to-head picks competition.
For Week Six, we disagreed on five games. I went 3-2. I was 8-6 for the week; he was 7-7.
For the year, I’m at 57-36-1. MDS is 48-45-1.
This time around, we disagree on four games. In theory, MDS could cut the margin from nine game to five. Or, I could run it to 13.
Scroll to see all picks for Week Seven.
Saints (+2) at Cardinals
MDS’s take: The Thursday night slate has not been a good one this season, and I’m expecting another fairly dull game, which the Cardinals will win.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 20, Saints 16.
Florio’s take: Sometimes, the question is who do you trust more? For this one, it’s who do you trust less? I trust the Cardinals less.
Florio’s pick: Saints 23, Cardinals 20.
Falcons (+6) at Bengals
MDS’s take: The Falcons are 6-0 against the spread this year, and they’ll make it a perfect 7-0 as they continue to play more competitive football than people expect.
MDS’s pick: Bengals 21, Falcons 20.
Florio’s take: The Bengals are starting to get things together.
Florio’s pick: Bengals 28, Falcons 21.
Lions (+7) at Cowboys
MDS’s take: Dak Prescott returns against a terrible Lions defense. Should be a nice way to ease himself back into it.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, Lions 20.
Florio’s take: Dak is back, and the Cowboys are ready to reel off some more wins. It could be a long day for Jared Goff.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 34, Lions 21.
Colts (+2.5) at Titans
MDS’s take: The AFC South race is wide open, but if I had to pick a winner right now I’d go with the Titans, who will take a big step toward a playoff return by getting this key division win.
MDS’s pick: Titans 24, Colts 20.
Florio’s take: The Colts have overachieved. The Titans have underachieved. This is one of those weeks where things start to even out.
Florio’s pick: Titans 23, Colts 20.
Packers (-5.5) at Commanders
MDS’s take: The Packers have looked pretty terrible for two weeks in a row, but with Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders next on the schedule, they can’t help but win this week.
MDS’s pick: Packers 20, Commanders 17.
Florio’s take: It’s a get-right game for Green Bay, against a team that can’t get much right.
Florio’s pick: Packers 28, Commanders 14.
Buccaneers (-11) at Panthers
MDS’s take: Last week the Buccaneers lost as 9.5-point favorites in the biggest upset of this NFL season. Will they suffer an even bigger upset on Sunday? No.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Panthers 10.
Florio’s take: It’s another get-right game. The Bucs get things under control, at least for one day.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 34, Panthers 16.
Giants (+3) at Jaguars
MDS’s take: This is the ultimate “no one believes in us” line: Vegas has the Jaguars favored against the 5-1 Giants. I think Brian Daboll will make the most of it as his team continues to play hard and pulls off yet another upset.
MDS’s pick: Giants 17, Jaguars 14.
Florio’s take: This would be a prime spot for the Giants to step in a trap. Brian Daboll isn’t about to let that happen.
Florio’s pick: Giants 24, Jaguars 17.
Browns (+6.5) at Ravens
MDS’s take: The Ravens are struggling to finish games against teams they should beat, and I’m tempted to pick the upset, but I suspect Lamar Jackson will just have too much for the Browns’ weak defense.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Browns 20.
Florio’s take: Deshaun Watson can’t get reinstated soon enough.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Browns 17.
Jets (+1) at Broncos
MDS’s pick: Broncos 13, Jets 10.
Florio’s take: Short week, sluggish offense, starting quarterback with bad shoulder and bad hamstring. Why are the Broncos favored?
Florio’s pick: Jets 24, Broncos 21.
Texans (+7) at Raiders
MDS’s take: The 1-4 Raiders are one of the NFL’s more disappointing teams, but a visit from the Texans can cover up a lot of the bad smell coming from Josh McDaniels’ team.
MDS’s pick: Raiders 28, Texans 17.
Florio’s take: The Raiders have been close in several of their losses. They could be getting ready to make a run.
Florio’s pick: Raiders 31, Texans 21.
Seahawks (+6.5) at Chargers
MDS’s take: Geno Smith has been phenomenal this season, but at some point he’s going to come back to earth, and I think that point might be Sunday in Los Angeles.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 20, Seahawks 10.
Florio’s take: The Chargers are too inconsistent. The Seahawks are gradually improving.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 27, Chargers 24.
Chiefs (-3) at 49ers
MDS’s take: It’s strength against strength when the Chiefs’ offense meets the 49ers’ defense, and I think Patrick Mahomes will make a few of his trademark plays that no defense can stop.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 24, 49ers 17.
Florio’s take: The Chiefs will be feeling just desperate enough after losing to the Bills. And the Chiefs are just good enough to get the win.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 28, 49ers 21.
Steelers (+7) at Dolphins
MDS’s take: With Tua Tagovailoa coming back, I expect the Dolphins to turn things around and end their three-game losing streak.
MDS’s pick: Dolphins 30, Steelers 20.
Florio’s take: The Steelers have a habit of surprising people, and they’ll want to win this one for former Miami coach Brian Flores.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 20, Dolphins 17.
Bears (+7.5) at Patriots
MDS’s take: Justin Fields against a Bill Belichick-coached defense could be ugly for Chicago.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 20, Bears 3.
Florio’s take: The Bears just aren’t good enough to compete with the Patriots.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 23, Bears 13.