The bye weeks are hitting and there aren’t a bunch of marquee games on the Week 7 slate, but there is still plenty to wager on. The Cardinals, Rams and Buccaneers are all massive favorites, which can often be tricky, so I’m avoiding the spread on those.
Here is my favorite bet for each game this week. Odds courtesy of DraftKings on Oct. 22.
Washington (+8) at Packers
The pick: Scoring total (-110) over 48 points
The reason: The Washington defense has struggled all season long, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers should be able to take advantage. The lack of offense for Washington last week against the Chiefs was concerning, but the team has shown the ability to score points and could be aggressive late.
Bengals (+6.5) at Ravens
The pick: Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase (-115) under 71.5 receiving yards
The reason: Chase has been phenomenal through six games, with 27 catches for 553 yards and five touchdowns. He is No. 2 in the NFL in yards per catch (20.5) and No. 5 in yards per target (13.5). However, those numbers seem a bit unsustainable, and Baltimore will likely be intent on slowing him down on Sunday.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 22, 2021
Jets (+6.5) at Patriots
The pick: Patriots running back Damien Harris (-115) under 67.5 rushing yards
The reason: It’s really hard to know what kind of game plan New England will institute in a given week. Harris is coming off a nice game, but would probably need 15 or more carries in this one to have a good chance at surpassing the total. There are too many variables at play to have faith in the over.
Chiefs (-4.5) at Titans
The pick: Titans running back Derrick Henry (-115) under 117.5 rushing yards
The reason: Henry has rushed for an average of 145 yards per game over his past five, and the Chiefs come in with a woeful run defense. However, the volume might not be there in this one. The Titans are underdogs, which means they will have to throw late if they are trailing. Additionally, the game plan against Patrick Mahomes this year has been to play two safeties back and force short throws. That takes up time and will limit Tennessee’s offensive touches.
Panthers (-3) at Giants
The pick: Panthers (-105) to cover the spread
The reason: The Giants won’t have running back Saquon Barkely or wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay due to injury. Tight end Evan Engram, wide receiver Darius Slayton, wide receiver Sterling Shepard and wide receiver John Ross are all questionable. Carolina’s defense is already pretty good, and should feast in this one to help the Panthers cover.
Falcons(-2.5) at Dolphins
The pick: Dolphins (+115) on the moneyline
The reason: The Dolphins suffered a bad loss last time out to the Jaguars and cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones are both questionable, but this line seems off. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is back in the lineup and should be able to lead his team to victory at home.
Expected to play
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) October 22, 2021
Lions (+16) at Rams
The pick: Rams QB Matthew Stafford (+155) over 0.5 interceptions
The reason: Even when he’s playing well, Stafford has a tendency to throw interceptions because he takes so many shots downfield. In a matchup against his former team, there could be a subconscious pull to make plays, which could end up in a mistake. All it takes is one for this underdog bet to cash.
Eagles (+2.5) at Raiders
The pick: Eagles (+130) on the moneyline
The reason: These teams are very close statistically across the board. The Eagles wouldn’t cover if they lost by a field goal, so it’s smarter to take the more favorable odds on an upset.
Texans (+18) at Cardinals
The pick: Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (-125) anytime touchdown
The reason: I’m as statistics-focused as they come, but sometimes the human element has to be considered. Hopkins is facing his former team in a game the Cardinals are projected to win comfortably. He may score early, and if not, the Cardinals could intentionally call Hopkins’ number near the end zone when the game is in hand. It seems quite likely Hopkins finds paydirt in this game.
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) October 18, 2021
Bears (+13) at Buccaneers
The pick: Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (-115) over 300.5 passing yards
The reason: Tampa Bay has such a dominant passing game that even a solid defense like the one Chicago employs will not be able to slow it down. Brady leads the NFL in completions, attempts and passing yards and should put together another strong performance.
Colts (+4) at 49ers
The pick: Colts QB Carson Wentz (-115) over 203.5 passing yards
The reason: Wentz has been really good the past two games, averaging more than 11 yards per attempt against both the Ravens and Texans. The 49ers have a stout defense and that is reflected in the yardage total, but Wentz should be efficient enough to top it.
Saints (-4.5) at Seahawks
The pick: Seahawks (-110) under 18.5 points
The reason: The Saints have the third-best defense in the NFL, per Football Outsiders, and now have some tape on Geno Smith and the Seahawks. Seattle is going to struggle badly to move the ball, and will need some help via turnovers to put up points in this one.