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Week 6: Hammer staff picks

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Rob Pizzola’s pick

  • Cardinals +7 (-110)
    • Good to +6 (+100). This has nothing to do with me fading the Rams, who I think are a good team, but there is not this big of a gap between these two NFC West rivals. I also do not think the Rams profile well as a team that can win by margin. The Rams are just not generating pressure on defense - just eight sacks so far, to go along with the sixth lowest pressure rate. Their defense also ranks fourth worst in EPA, which is not a good recipe to win by margin, which they would have to do here to cover against a Cardinals team that has been very competitive against a lot of good teams this season.

Fabian Sommer’s pick

  • Vikings -2.5 (-115)
    • Good to -3. Vikings are 1-4 but better efficiency wise than they were last season when they finished 12-5. Kirk Cousins, when you strip out the variance of the turnovers, he ranks sixth in EPA/play. Bears secondary is bad and banged up. Minnesota should have plenty of success moving the ball on the ground and through the air, and I'm not upgrading the Bears too much after games against the Broncos and Commanders.

Hitman’s pick

  • Vikings -2.5 (-115)
    • Good to -3. Positive turnover regression is coming for this team. Offense still grades very well, and even without Justin Jefferson they should have success moving the ball against the league's worst defense. The Vikings were just -5 against the Panthers a couple weeks ago - a team power rated above Chicago - and while Minnesota should be downgraded a bit, and the Bears should be upgraded slightly after last week, I can't get to anything under a field goal here.

ClevTA’s pick

  • Colts +4.5 (-115)
    • I was higher on Indy and lower on the Jags during the offseason, and both are playing out. The Jaguars are off an unprecedented back-to-back London trip, and with no bye they could have weary legs.

CFB bets from Brad Powers

  • San Diego State -5 (-110)
    • Good up to -6.5. I made this -7. I don't necessarily like San Diego State this year. My power rankings have not said to bet on them much this year, but they do here which is telling. The Aztecs have lost four straight games but all against good opponents, and while I've been anti-SDSU this year they have impressed me of late and are taking a major step down in class here against Hawaii. I was on Hawaii in their last game against New Mexico State and while we got the cover, we were very lucky. It was a lucky win and I was hardly impressed, so there's a lot of value on the Aztecs here.


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