Back to the Futures: Best NFL futures bets, odds & predictions following the Week 7 NFL action from betting expert Jared Smith

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) hands the ball off to running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (22) in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High.

Now that we are in season, the goal of this column each week is to sift through the risers and fallers and identify value opportunities in the market by implementing a “dollar cost averaging” strategy. These smaller investments over time should reduce the impact of volatility on our portfolio over the long haul. I will also identify teams to avoid who might be peaking at the wrong time or falling off the radar completely.

Just like prior columns, we will be aided by the insight of Zachary Lucas, the head oddsmaker at TwinSpires. Any official wagers I make will be clearly stated and added to the official portfolio at the bottom and as always you can track all futures bets in real time on my spreadsheet.

Stock up: Baltimore Ravens

A team that won and their odds are still in a reasonable range to buy

We are about to enter a crucial 10-day stretch in the Ravens season starting Thursday in Tampa Bay and concluding next Sunday in New Orleans. Baltimore finally got over the hump in a close game Sunday against the Browns, which perhaps is a positive sign the 2nd half curse is slowly lifting.

“What is that now 7 games where they’ve held a 10+ lead at some point in the game? If this team can get over choking big leads they’ll be just fine,” said Lucas.

It’s been a volatile season for Lamar Jackson, after being responsible for 12 touchdowns in the first three weeks of the season he’s found the end zone only 3 times in the last four. Two weeks ago I recommended betting over 10.5 on the Ravens in-season win total and they have gone 1-1 since with the odds staying relatively stagnant.

Personally I’m a little concerned with Jackson’s decline in productivity, so I will not be adding to my position this week.

Sell high: New York Giants

A team that won but we are not convinced they are for real just yet

Deja vu all over again. The Giants played mistake-free football and defied the market once again, winning outright as an underdog for the 5th time already this season despite allowing 7 yards per play to the Jaguars.

“They will keep being added here until further notice,” Lucas commented. “Giants luck will soon run out.”

Jacksonville had drives reach New York’s 9, 5, 20 and 1-yard lines, which only resulted in a total of 3 points. Overall the Giants defense is 24th in EPA/play and is below average against both the run and the pass.

Eventually the dam will break and Daniel Jones will be put in a negative game script. When that happens, probably this week in Seattle, the Giants offense is not built to come from behind with limited weapons at WR and Jones ranking 33rd out of 35 qualifying QBs in air yards this season.

The offense could be even more limited this week due to injuries. More on that later this week in my best bets column….

Buy low: San Francisco 49ers

A team that lost but we are still high on overall, thus creating more value in the market long-term

The Niners got a ton of sharp love in the market last week against the Chiefs but the challenge of slowing down Patrick Mahomes proved too much. The loss dropped San Francisco from +100 to +130 to win the NFC West at PointsBet, which is about a 6.5% drop in win probability.

“I think Wilson/CMC duo could be great,” Lucas added. “Defense had a really bad game which usually happens vs Mahomes, but I think they can bounce back and string a few wins together.”

Considering the Niners are a week healthier and favored against the Rams, it makes a lot of sense to continue to add to our current position on them to win the division — which I first recommended after Week 3.

Free fall: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A team that lost in such a catastrophic way that it’s hard to see them recovering in the short-term

The Bucs have looked awful on offense despite playing one of the easiest schedules in terms of opposing defenses so far. Tom Brady looks fine physically, but there’s obviously some disconnect with the rest of the offense and OC Byron Leftwich.

“Brady is washed and Todd Bowles shouldn’t be a head coach in this league,” Lucas argued. “Their defense is exhausted.”

Tampa Bay’s defense has trended significantly down since leading the NFL in EPA/play after the first three weeks. Over the last four, the defense has dropped to 27th in EPA/play and 20th in success rate against the run.

This Week’s Portfolio:

49ers to win NFC West +130 (0.5u at William Hill)

Season Portfolio:






May 3rd

Jets o5.5 wins


2.5 units


May 18th

Eagles o8.5 wins


3.0 units


Aug 18th

Trevor Lawrence u14.5 INTs


3.0 units


Aug 28th

Jets u5.5 wins


1.88 units


Sept 13th

Bengals to win AFC North


0.5 unit


Sept 13th

Vikings to win NFC North


0.5 unit


Sept 27th

Eagles to win NFC


0.5 unit


Sept 27th

49ers to win NFC West


0.5 unit


Oct 11th

Ravens o10.5 Wins


1.4 units


Oct 18th

Bengals to win AFC North


0.5 unit


Oct 18th

Chiefs to win Super Bowl


0.5 unit


Oct 25th

49ers to win NFC West


0.5 unit

William Hill

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