NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 7

Welcome to Week Seven, season nine, of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  For those of you who are new to our series, we follow four simple steps to make our picks.  While these are not hard rules (more like guidelines and suggestions), they have historically worked out well for us in the past.  We are happy to have you join our eliminator community and feel free to hit me up on twitter to give me your thoughts!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

With only three division matchups last week, we didn’t see any major upsets, not even a single game decided by one score.  This week, we have even fewer division matchups, but that just means more options for our weekly pick!

Every single year, one of the top teams gets upset by an underdog division rival.  The problem is you never know when it is going to happen.  Unless you can predict the future, I recommend avoiding this week’s division matchups:

  • New York Jets @ New England Patriots
  • Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

When one streak ends a new one begins.  While Week Five had no games decided by three or less points, Week Six had two of them, with one being decided in overtime on Sunday night.  In fact, the biggest margin of victory between the three prime time games this past week was only five points!  The NFL definitely deserves some kudos for great early season scheduling.

Prime time games are in prime time for a reason.  Expect close games where the unexpected can happen. Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid this week’s marquee games:

  • Denver Broncos @ Cleveland Browns
  • Indianapolis Colts @ San Francisco 49ers
  • New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Excluding the game in London, only four teams won in front of their home crowds out of 13 matchups.  This is officially a new low for home field advantage and will really make us second guess this rule in future seasons. That being said, one week is not enough of a sample size to scrap it yet, so on we go!

While home field advantage may not be what it used to be, the stress behind travel and being out of your comfort zone is still a real thing and something you should be careful with.  Be aware and avoid this week’s games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans
  • Atlanta Falcons @ Miami Dolphins
  • Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants
  • New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks
Step 4 – Make your pick!

MY PICK OF THE WEEK IS:

  • Arizona Cardinals over the Houston Texans

While it does make me a little nervous to pick the last undefeated team since it is rare a team goes all season without losing, I just find it hard to see the Texans breaking the streak.  This is the same Texans team that could only muster a field goal against the Colts last week.  If they can’t score on the Colts, I have no idea how they can keep pace with Murray and the red hot Cardinals.

Other alternate options I like this week:

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  • Los Angeles Rams over the Detroit Lions
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Chicago Bears

With so many good options this week, we don’t need a rule breaker pick.  Simply put, two of the best teams in the NFC are playing two of the worst teams in the NFC.  Both have spreads in Vegas that are double digits and if you haven’t used either of them yet this season, both are a safe pick.

Last Week’s Record = 2-1

Season Record = 13-5

Follow me on twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!

Thanks for reading!

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