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Week 7 NFL picks: Can Cowboys get back on track against 49ers?

Our football writers pick the winners and losers for the Week 7 NFL action.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl odds for the Cowboys have gotten longer with every passing week this season. The Cowboys started out with 10-1 odds heading into this season and have since dropped to 25-1.

Those Super Bowl odds have all sorts of assumptions built in, like a potential Ezekiel Elliott suspension, the strength of schedule, and perhaps most importantly, the amount of money being wagered on the Cowboys.

Similarly, when you look at the playoff odds provided on numerous websites, they all contain various assumptions about the strength of the team, the schedule, and many other things.

The Cowboys currently sit at 2-3 and can advance to 3-3 on Sunday against the 49ers or drop to 2-4.

What I want to look at today is what that means from a strictly historical perspective. And for that historical perspective, I looked at all teams since realignment in 2002 to find out how many teams made the playoffs based on their respective records after six weeks. This is what I found.

Playoff odds after six games, 2002-2016
Record after six games 6-0 5-1 4-2 3-3 2-4 1-5 0-6
Playoff Teams 21 37 70 41 10 1 0
Total Teams 23 48 114 119 100 56 20
Percentage 91% 77% 61% 34% 10% 2% 0%

For the Cowboys, these numbers mean that the 49ers game has clear playoff implications. If the Cowboys win, they advance to 3-3, which historically has meant about a 1-in-3 chance of making the playoffs. Not great, especially considering the games the Cowboys have to play after that, but still a lot better than the alternative: If they drop to 2-4, their historical odds of making the playoffs drop to 1-in-10.

Our panel likes the Cowboys' chances in San Francisco, but is split on what will happen at the top of the NFC East. Six writers like the Eagles for the win on Monday Night Football, four like the Redskins for the upset.

How do you think Week 7 will play out? Let us know in the comments section below.

Game Cole Dave Danny Joseph Michael OCC RJ Strawn Tom VaFan Consensus
KC (-3) @ OAK KC KC OAK KC KC KC KC KC KC KC KC
TEN (-6) @ CLE TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN
JAC (-3) @ IND JAC JAC JAC JAC JAC JAC JAC JAC JAC JAC JAC
CIN @ PIT (-5.5) PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT
BAL @ MIN (-5.5) MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN BAL MIN
NYJ @ MIA (-3) NYJ MIA NYJ MIA MIA NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ MIA NYJ
TB @ BUF (-3) BUF BUF TB BUF BUF BUF TB BUF BUF BUF BUF
CAR (-3) @ CHI CAR CHI CHI CAR CAR CAR CAR CAR CHI CAR CAR
NO (-5.5) @ GB NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
LAR (-3.5) @ ARI LAR ARI ARI ARI LAR LAR LAR LAR ARI ARI ARI
DAL (-6) @ SF DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL
SEA (-5.5) @ NYG SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA NYG SEA SEA SEA SEA
DEN @ LAC (-1) DEN LAC LAC LAC DEN LAC LAC DEN DEN LAC LAC
ATL @ NE (-3.5) NE NE NE NE ATL NE ATL ATL ATL ATL NE
WAS @ PHI (-5) PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI WAS WAS WAS WAS PHI PHI

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