Jared Smith's NFL Week 7 best bets and market insights: Brady batters Bears, Colts' resurgence continues

Tom Brady
Photo of Jared Smith

Jared Smith

NFL· 1 month ago

Show Bio

Jared Smith, a versatile host and analyst with over 10 years of experience in sports media and two decades as a sports bettor, has joined the Pickswise team as a lead betting analyst. Smith will serve as a full-time content creator, producing informative and engaging content every day across multiple platforms.

The Arizona Cardinals are the NFL’s lone remaining unbeaten team in 2021, they are also the biggest favorite on the board this week. Arizona is laying a whopping 17.5 points to the Texans on Sunday, but bettors are unafraid of the chalk. WynnBET is reporting more tickets for Arizona than any other team in the early stages of the market cycle. TwinSpires also is seeing the handle skewed towards the Cards.

“The bets we have seen on Houston have been pretty small,” said TwinSpires Trading Analyst Zachary Lucas. “I think this could be a good game to bet live if Arizona gets up 3-4 touchdowns and starts to rest players. With Green Bay next up on a short week, you have to figure they’ll play conservative.”

The Texans/Cardinals game is not on our list of best bets this week, but I’m not against a small play on Arizona, and to keep an eye on the live betting strategy for Houston, as mentioned above.

As for the official selections, last week was mediocre with a 3-3 record, and the Cowboys’ crazy overtime cover against the Patriots cost us a winning week. You might notice some of my picks this week are pretty chalky, and some might consider them “square,” but despite a small sample size, double-digit favorites are 5-2 ATS this season, so don’t judge a book by its “cover” (pun intended).

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers -12

*Bet Wednesday at SuperBook, line widely available at time of posting

This line moved very quickly off the lookahead of Bucs -10 as the smart money is showing strong support for the defending champs. It makes sense on paper, Tampa Bay is allowing an absurdly low 54.8 rushing yards per game this season and has the most efficient offense in the league according to DVOA. Tom Brady is also aging like the finest of wines. The reigning Super Bowl MVP leads the NFL in passing yards and is trailing only Patrick Mahomes (by one) for the lead in passing scores.

“How can you not be on Tampa Bay? Their opponents have all but given up trying to run against its stout rush defense and the Buccaneers have a handful of offensive weapons,” said WynnBet Senior Trader Grant Tucker.

It’s also easy to fade the Bears, who are 29th in Net YPP and might be without one of their best defenders, Robert Quinn, who was put on the COVID list Monday. I would also not be surprised if Justin Fields had another rough performance against a strong defensive line like he did in his first start against the Browns four weeks ago when Chicago failed to find the end zone.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Chicago Bears vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams

Rams -14.5

*Bet Tuesday at DraftKings, line widely available at time of posting

I know 14.5 is “a lot of points” but the talent gap in this game is truly massive, perhaps the biggest of any game this season. The media will hype up the Stafford vs Goff revenge angle, but bookmakers aren’t putting any stock in that. What they are putting stock in: the players around both quarterbacks.

“It’s intriguing that they are playing against their old teams, but I frankly don’t think of it as much of a revenge spot for either quarterback,” said Tucker. “Goff doesn’t have any wide receivers to throw to, and the Rams’ defense should have a field day. But, I’m sure Stafford will enjoy torching his old team with a bevy of options to connect with through the air. Simply put, I’ll go with Stafford.”

After the Bills’ lackluster performance on defense Monday, the Rams have pulled even with Buffalo at the top of the Net Yards Per Play rankings, while the Lions are dead last. Los Angeles is also 4th in DVOA, Detroit is 27th. The smart money quickly pushed this through the key number of 14 from a lookahead of Rams -13.5, and I think it’s playable up to 17.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Detroit Lions vs Los Angeles Rams

Washington Football Team at Green Bay Packers

Packers -9.5

*Bet Tuesday at SuperBook, line widely available at time of posting

The optics of this game certainly favor Green Bay, as Washington is off a bad loss to the Chiefs and their injury report is robust, with key pieces like RB Antonio Gibson and WRs Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin all missing practice with various ailments.

“The Washington offense currently ranks in the bottom third of the league in efficiency. I am not too high on the Packers’ defense, especially with the absence of Jaire Alexander. But, this could be a tough day for the Football Team,” said Tucker. “Interestingly, we took a handful of notable wagers on Washington earlier this week at +9.5.”

I don’t love the idea of being on the other side of “notable wagers” but my eyes tell me Washington struggled to score against a weak Chiefs defense last week even with Patrick Mahomes gift wrapping two interceptions, so it’s hard to see them putting up a big number on the road against the Packers. The backdoor will likely be open at Lambeau, but I’m not sure Taylor Heinicke (3 INT in last 2 games) will be able to get through it.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Washington Football Team vs Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers

Colts +4.5

*Bet Sunday at Unibet, line widely available at time of posting

The Colts have covered three straight and have looked very impressive doing so, erasing a lot of doubts about Carson Wentz in the process. The defense is banged up with three starters missing practice Wednesday (LB Darius Leonard, DE Kwity Paye, CB Rock Ya-Sin), and Julian Blackmon going down with an Achilles injury. However, DeForest Buckner is healthy and will get a crack at the team who traded him away for a first-round pick two years ago. Despite an 0-3 start and lots of injury concerns, the smart money continues to favor the Colts. 

“The sharps were on the Colts last season as well,” said Tucker. “At this point, I feel like they have a bias toward Frank Reich. They have a great rushing attack and an above-average defense.”

On the other side, the 49ers limp in having covered just once in their first five games, with major concerns at quarterback. It looks like Jimmy Garappolo will be healthy enough to play this week, but it will be his first action in three weeks, and he will be without security blanket TE George Kittle, who remains on IR. Up front, T Trent Williams and DT Javon Kinlaw both missed practice Wednesday, so despite coming off the bye, San Francisco is still relatively banged up.

6-point Teaser -120

Giants +9

Patriots -0.5

The Giants are in desperate need of a strong performance at home after getting blasted by the Rams last week, but they “have shown they can compete with the middle-to-bottom-tier teams,” according to Lucas. They’ll welcome the Panthers to MetLife Stadium in a homecoming of sorts for Sam Darnold. Carolina has lost three straight after a 3-0 start, and the former Jets quarterback is facing the first real adversity with his new team. It’s not easy backing the Giants, who have looked truly dreadful at times, but in a low total game (42.5 at DraftKings), it is appealing to move the underdog through two key numbers.

The Jets offense has been wildly inconsistent this season with rookie gunslinger Zach Wilson wowing us at times, but also failing to do a lot of the little things well. That lack of attention to detail will likely cost him Sunday against a resurgent Pats defense ranked 11th in DVOA. It’s also hard to forget Wilson’s 4 INT performance in Week 2 against New England, continuing a trend of utter domination for Bill Belichick against rookie quarterbacks. In fact, a rookie has never won at Foxboro while Belichick has roamed the sidelines (13-0), and I can’t see that happening this week.

Bonus 6-point Teaser -120

Packers -1.5

Colts +10.5

I detailed the specifics on the Packers earlier in this column, so I won’t go into too much detail, but similar to the Jets and Zach Wilson, I just can’t see Taylor Heinicke strolling into Lambeau and getting a win, so getting Green Bay under a field goal is an attractive option.

Also, please scroll up if you want to read again why I like the Colts in their matchup against the Niners, but I’ll add that this game has a relatively low total in the mid-40’s,  which makes it an ideal candidate for teasing through two key numbers.

Last week: 3-3, -0.30u (Sides: 2-3 / Totals: 0-0 / Teasers: 1-0)
2021 season: 20-16-1, +2.10u (Sides: 13-11-1 / Totals: 1-3 / Teasers: 6-2)

Pickswise is the home of free NFL Picks and NFL Odds. Check out the latest NFL Prop Bets and NFL Parlays as well as expert NFL Underdog Picks and NFL Computer Picks.

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$50

Get $50 Free - No Deposit Required!

Register for a FanDuel Sportsbook account

Receive $50 in site credits to use on Sportsbook

No Deposit Required!

Winnings paid as CASH. 21+ and new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$100

Win $100 if any team scores a point in any NFL, NBA, CFB, or CBB game!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $1+ any NFL, NBA, CFB, or CBB game Money Line

If your team wins, you will be issued a $100 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,001

Get a $1,001 Free Bet!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,001

Win or lose, you'll receive a free bet matching your initial stake - up to $1,001!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$400

Get a $400 Risk-Free Bet on the Breeders' Cup!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code PICKS400

Place a bet on the Breeders' Cup

Receive a refund if your first bet loses up to $400

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.