NFL Week 7 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread

Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m., CBS

Line: Chargers -7.5 | Total: 49

This is a matchup of very different one-win teams. The Jaguars (1-5) have lost five straight, have cooled off on offense after a strongish start and have the worst defense in the N.F.L. There is some reason for optimism in the distant future considering the potential of running back James Robinson and the wide receivers D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr. But that optimism turning into anything meaningful would involve replacing Gardner Minshew at quarterback and just about every player on the team’s defense.

The Chargers (1-4), meanwhile, have lost four in a row, but have an extremely bright future with quarterback Justin Herbert, who has kept each of those four games within a touchdown, twice going to overtime. Coming out of a bye week, Los Angeles has several winnable games lined up over the next five weeks, and the team could theoretically go from a basement-dweller to a fringe playoff contender should Herbert and his solid group of targets (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Hunter Henry) stay healthy.

Spotting a team with a few key injuries on defense nearly eight points, however, may be too bold. A narrower victory is more likely. Pick: Jaguars +7.5

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m., CBS

Line: Browns -3 | Total: 53.5

No one throws cold water on enthusiasm quite like the Browns (4-2). Cleveland got off to its best five-game start since 1994 and proceeded to get demolished so brutally by Pittsburgh in Week 6 that Case Keenum, the team’s backup quarterback, had his name trending on Twitter by halftime. Was that an overreaction? It will probably feel like one on Sunday, as Cleveland’s offense should feast on the Bengals (1-4-1), whom they beat by 35-30 in Week 2. But with four games of 32 or more points, and two games of 7 or fewer, it would be fair to label Cleveland as an exciting team that isn’t ready for true contender status. Pick: Browns -3

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Off | Total: Off

The N.F.C. East is so bad that even after last week’s humiliation at the hands of the Cardinals, the Cowboys (2-4) stayed in first place. And they can cement themselves there by beating the lowly Footballers (1-5) on the road.

There was a lot to not like about Dallas’s performance on Monday night. The pass protection was awful, which forced Andy Dalton into numerous throws he’d like back. And even the throws Dalton had time for didn’t look very good. Ezekiel Elliott made costly mistakes and the Cowboys’ defense made Arizona’s offense look like that of the Baltimore Ravens. There are even rumblings that the team is desperately unhappy with Coach Mike McCarthy, who is six games into a five-year contract.

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