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  • Gary Porpora

NFL 2023 WEEK SEVEN

Slept in after finishing--but not posting my column!!! Here it is, unedited and in full--I'll post on my website soon:


NFL 2023 - WEEK


***Please note: While writing these analyses, I get info from several sites and usually give credit when I rely on a specific site for a given week or a particular subject. I acknowledge my usual sites 2-3 times a season, and will do so now: My go to sites are: VSIN.com...oddsshark.com...teamrankings.com...pro-football--reference.com. This week I reference and rely on an article on Warren Sharps work at:


https://www.sharpfootballanalysis.com/analysis/nfl-offense-scoring-penalties-efficiency-2023/***


Just wanted to give proper credit, and let the reader know whatever data I share in this space is culled from thorough research and I base my analyses on fact***


Let’s get into this week’s games...


THE STEELERS


Steelers @ Rams (-3) Steelers +140; Rams -166 43.5 [U]


I really want to pick my Steelers here. This could be the week they get a ton of talent back from injury, the offensive line gels, and the defense makes more splash plays. The operative word is “could.”


Truth is head coach Mike Tomlin is beginning to show signs of frustration caused by the press essentially asking, “Why does your offense suck?”--and there is a sense the Men of Steel need a spark--or maybe a new head coach.


Cam Heyward is still out, which won’t help the defense even though the Big Horns are down to their 3rd string running back.


This one will be won or lost in the Steeler secondary.


Tomlin needs to start showing faith in the rookies he helped to draft--that means Joey Porter Jr.


Pat Freiurmuth, and Dionte Johnson in their first game back after long rides on the injury train, should give Kenny Picket more options in the middle and down field.


The Big Horns are not a good sacking team, even with Aaron Donald..The Steelers can make life difficult for Matt Stafford and are a constant threat to make defensive splash plays.


Under Tomlin, the Steelers are 12-8 after the bye, but just 3-7 on the West Coast. Bottom Line: This will be a close came all the way through; Steelers Cover, but the Rams win the game--barely under the Total


Rams 22

Steelers 21



GAME OF THE WEEk


Dolphins @ Eagles (-2.5) Dolphins +114; Eagles -135 51.5 GW [O]


A classic match-up between two of the NFL’s best team. Miami, number one all the way across the board on offense will face a better defense than will Jalen Hurts and the Bald Birds. The Eagles defense is coming off a giveaway loss to the Jets last week while the “Phins have spent most of he season roughing up some bad football teams.


We’re taking the Eagles at home and loving we are not laying more than 2.5 Point. Play the Over.


Eagles 33

Dolphins 25


LOCK OF THE WEEK


Cardinals @ Seahawks (-7.5) Cards +270; Seahawks -340 45 LW [O]


With the resilient RB, James Connor on I-R the RedBirds have looked tentative on offense. Josh Dobbs has tended to business while Kyler Murray rehabs a shredded knee, but the Red Birds have virtually nobody they can depend on to make a game-changing play.


Week Seven gives us no true Lock on the slate. This game is as close as we’ll get. My advice is to stay away from this contest; these divisional matchups come with a great unknown factor that says--”Who knows?”


Take Gulls, lay the points, and cross your fingers. I’m calling the Over.


Seahawks 31

Cardinals 15


UPSET SPECIAL Lions @ Ravens (-3) Lions +136; Ravens -162 41.5 US [U]


Both teams will run the ball and score a couple of touchdowns, but we believe Dan Campbell has his guys playing more consistent, quality football--and they don’t fold late in games.


The Crows will be getting some good talent returning from the IR, but they suffer more injuries than most teams and always seem to be struggling to play to their expected level.


The very underrated Lions win outright in a close one. Under the Number.


Lions 21

Ravens 20


OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK


Chargers @ Chiefs (-5.5) Chargers +200; Chiefs -245 52 O/U


We grabbed this Total on Monday. It immediately plummeted to 50.5 when a waterfall of money came in on the Under.


Right now several books are down to 47.5.


While it’s true divisional matchups tend to be close no matter the explosive potential of either offense, there is something different happening in the NFL.


In case you haven’t noticed scores have been lower this year.


Here are some Stats courtesy of Warren Sharp:


In 2023, teams are combining to score just 43.4 points per game, the lowest rate in fourteen years.


The 12.1-point margin of victory in 2023 is the largest we’ve seen since 2014. Underdogs have covered the spread in only 44.8% of games so far this year--remember 2022 was the year of the Underdog?


Through Week 6 in 2018, we saw 328 passing touchdowns scored in 186 games played. We’ve played 186 games this year.


Through Week 6 this year, we’ve seen just 245 passing touchdowns scored!


You can find Sharps entire in-depth article here:


https://www.sharpfootballanalysis.com/analysis/nfl-offense-scoring-penalties-efficiency-2023/


To add our 3-4 cents, we would point to the hybrid safety/linebaker most teams employ to cover a tight end or RB.


Also the Dick LeBeau conceived defense in which a DE or two will drop into the short zone as a safety or two blitzes is long gone in th NFL.


Much less man defense is played in the league because of the “new-fangled” prototype QB who can kill you with his legs. Zone defenses keep game-breaking scrambles to a minimum.


If defenders are playing man-to-man their backs are usually to the QB and the Mahomes and Jacksons of the NFL world can kill you.


THE PICK


The Chargers have either led or been tied in the fourth quarter in the last four meetings with Kansas City. Kansas City did win three of the four meetings, but all four were decided by six points or less, and the game the Chiefs won by six (12/26/21) was an overtime victory.


Kansas City fields the superior squad on both sides of the ball and the Zappers defense is not nearly the same level as the Chiefs


The Arrowheads are 6th best in the NFL, giving up 4.7 YPP The Chargers give up 5.8 YPP--3rd worst in the league-- ...and yield 10 more points per game than KC...


The Chiefs allow opponents only 5.3 Yards per pass, while the Bolts allow 7.7


Yikes!


Not a difficult choice. The Arrowheads have more talent at the skill positions, two freshly minted rings; the far superior defense--and a coach who plays the end of games with his gut, not some obscure algorithm.


Chiefs will hold the Bolts to 20 or less points--that’s why we’re hot on the Under.


Chiefs 30

Chargers 20


As usual. All my ATS and Totals pick are below in bold italics...


Date Spread Moneyline Over Under

Thurs, Oct. 19

Jaguars @ Saints (-1) Jaguars -102; Saints -118 40 [U]

Sun, Oct. 22

Commanders -2 @ Giants Commanders -125; Giants +105 40.5

Bills @ Patriots (-8.5 ) Bills -395; Patriots +310 42.5

Falcons @ Buccaneers (-2.5) Falcons +114; Buccaneers -135 39

Lions @ Ravens (-3) Lions +136; Ravens -162 41.5 US [U]

Browns (-2) @ Colts Browns -125; Colts +105 39.5

Raiders (-3) @ Bears Raiders -155; Bears +130 37.5

Cardinals @ Seahawks (-7.5) Cards +270; Seahawks -340 45 LW [O]

Steelers @ Rams (-3) Steelers +140; Rams -166 43.5

Packers (-2) @ Broncos Packers -130; Broncos +110 45

Chargers @ Chiefs (-5.5) Chargers +200; Chiefs -245 52 O/U

Dolphins @ Eagles (-2.5) Dolphins +114; Eagles -135 51.5 GW [O]

Mon, Oct. 23


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