The NFL season rolls on as we are nearing the midpoint of the 2021 season.
Six teams are on bye in Week 7, resulting in three less games on the schedule. Five of the 12 remaining games feature teams favored by a touchdown or more, with three of them (Cardinals, Rams, and Buccaneers) favored by double-digits.
It’s a dangerous game to lay that many points whenever two professional teams take the same field, but the oddsmakers at SI Sportsbook expect the Texans (+17), Lions (+16) and Bears (+11.5) to take a pretty big beatdown Sunday.
Most of our betting analysts are cautious when it comes to those three matchups. Frank Taddeo is the only one to take the heavy favorites Against The Spread (ATS) in all three, and also the only bettor to touch the Rams (-15) and Cardinals (-17.5).
Three of our analysts are on the Bucs laying the 12.5, but Richard Johnson is standing firm by taking the other side with the Bears +12.5.
There are three other discrepancies among our analysts with Taddeo and myself on the Eagles getting three points, whereas Casey Olson is on the Raiders. Taddeo and Olson also differ on the Ravens and Bengals. Johnson and Olson are on opposite ends for the Monday Night game between the Saints and Seahawks.
As for similarities, three of our seven analysts are on the Packers, Patriots and Colts, and two are on the Panthers, Titans, Patriots and the Over in the Bengals-Ravens tilt.
Cheers to another weekend of profitable picks!
Week 7 Best Bets
Here's our criteria for picking games:
• All odds from SI Sportsbook
• Each analyst must pick five games
• Three of the bets must be against the spread or over/under
• The remaining two picks (if all five aren't ATS or O/U) can be on the moneyline (but at least one of those picks must be on an underdog)
• We believe transparency is paramount in the world of sports betting, which is why we entrust Sharp Rank to keep track of all our picks/performance
Jennifer Piacenti's Best Bet: Panthers -3
I’m taking Carolina -3 versus a Giants team missing Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and now…Andrew Thomas. That’s a big blow. Also, Sterling Shepherd was limited in practice this week and Engram was out on Thursday. Both are questionable for Sunday.
And though Sam Darnold has struggled lately, he should connect with DJ Moore against the Giants' secondary. Chuba Hubbard has filled in admirably for CMC, and this week he gets a soft NYG run defense. Carolina is scoring an average of 24 points per game to New York’s 19, and the Carolina defense is allowing only 20 points per game to New York’s 29.5. It’s Carolina for me, and maybe we will even get a Robbie Anderson sighting.
Jen's season record: 25-12
Casey Olson's Best Bet: Patriots -7
Looking over my records, it appears I like to pick on the Jets. Here we go again.
The Patriots are coming off a tough loss against the Cowboys last week, and I expect them to cover and more against a lesser foe in the Jets. In the previous matchup, New England was also coming off a loss to the Dolphins yet didn’t look phased at all, routing the Jets, 25-6, while picking off rookie Zach Wilson four times in front of his home crowd. The Patriots visit the Chargers and Panthers the next two weeks, so Bill Belichick and co. won’t want to cut this one close if they plan to get above above .500 and contend for a playoff spot.
Statistic to note:
-Jets are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games
-Jets are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games in New England.
-The favorite is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings
-Patriots are 21-9 ATS (L10Y) at home after a SU loss.
Casey's season record: 15-16-1
Richard Johnson's Best Bet: Chiefs/Titans UNDER 57.5
This is more about the game's pace than anything else. We know that punishing Titans' running game against a pretty soft Chiefs defense is a good matchup. Patrick Mahomes & friends have scored plenty this season, but Tennessee should have enough to control the game's tempo. It's even better for the under if the Titans can't put it in the end zone.
Richard's season record: 10-19-1
Will Laws' Best Bet: Packers -7.5
In their two games at Lambeau this season, the Packers beat the Lions by 18 and the Steelers by 10 as Aaron Rodgers marches on his multi-season "eff you" crusade against Green Bay's front office. Meanwhile, Washington has lost three of its last four games by double digits (average margin of defeat: 17 points), with two of those routs unfolding at home.
Taylor Heinicke couldn't top 200 yards last week against a Chiefs defense that had previously struggled to stop anyone. Even in a game where WFT's underachieving defense put up a fight against Patrick Mahomes for a half, they still allowed 499 total yards of offense.
Furthermore, Green Bay is 5–1 ATS while Washington is 1–5 ATS. That this line has moved down from -10 to -7.5 feels like a gift to be taken with open arms.
Will's season record: Week 7 is first week of making picks
Frank Taddeo's Best Bet: Packers -7.5
Three double-digit spreads this week make this a very difficult landscape. Let's instead focus on Green Bay at home hosting Washington. The Packers have been extremely profitable to back this year, posting a 5-1 ATS mark that also includes two consecutive ATS wins at home.
On the flip side, the Washington Football Team has been tough to trust by posting a 1-5 ATS mark. Aaron Rodgers, with all his weapons both in the passing game and on the ground, should win this game by double-digits against a banged up Washington squad.
Lay the wood with Green Bay.
Frank's season record: 15-16-1
Bill Enright's Best Bet: Colts +4
The 49ers enter this game on a three-game losing streak and have been dreadful ATS this season (1-4). Meanwhile, the Colts are 4-2 ATS and despite their fourth quarter collapse against the Ravens in Week 5, seem to be trending in the right direction of getting back into their playoff-caliber form we saw from Indianapolis in 2020.
While 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo is expected to start, his calf injury will force him to play at less than 100%.
I like the Colts in an outright road upset in primetime, but don't want to get greedy. If SI Sportsbook wants to spot me a point more than a field goal, I'll gladly take it.
Bill's season record: 17-17-1
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