Week 7 of the NFL season is upon us, starting with a Thursday Night Football clash between the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns—two teams who started the season with high hopes, but have stumbled out of the gate to 3-3 records. There are several other interesting games this week, and I’ll be paying particularly close attention to CIN vs BAL, KC vs TEN, and ATL vs MIA.
I know Week 7 is a bit of a strange time to start a weekly picks series, but better late than never! Read on for my picks and predictions for this week’s slate of games.
Thursday Night Football: Denver Broncos (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (3-3)
The pick: Broncos (-105)
Spread: Browns -110 | Over/Under: 40.5 | Moneyline: Broncos -105, Browns -115
This game is looking like an injury-plagued mess, as Browns’ QB Baker Mayfield will miss the game with his shoulder injury. Case Keenum will start in his place. Broncos’ QB Teddy Bridgewater is also ailing, but expected to play. This is one of the hardest games to predict of the week, but I’m going with my gut and taking Bridgewater over Keenum in what could be an ugly game.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) at Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
The pick: Ravens (-260)
Spread: Ravens -6.5 | Over/Under: 46.5 | Moneyline: Bengals +210, Ravens -260
I think this could be one of the best games of the week, with an entertaining and ascending Bengals squad taking on one of the best teams in the AFC in the Ravens. It’ll be a tall order for Joe Burrow and company to take down Baltimore, though I believe they’ll put forth a strong effort. Going to stick with the home team and the favorites in this one.
Washington Football Team (2-4) at Green Bay Packers (5-1)
The pick: Packers (-425)
Spread: Packers -7.5 | Over/Under: 48.5 | Moneyline: WFT +320, Packers -425
This one has the makings of a blowout, as the Packers get to take on one of the NFL’s worst defenses in Washington. The Football Team has played mostly close games, but their offense failed to generate anything against a poor Chiefs defense last week. Green Bay should handle their business in Week 7.
Atlanta Falcons (2-3) at Miami Dolphins (1-5)
The pick: Falcons (-145)
Spread: Falcons -2.5 | Over/Under: 47.5 | Moneyline: Falcons -145, Dolphins +125
It’s odd to see the Falcons as a road favorite considering their slow start to the season, but the Dolphins are coming off a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Miami saw the return of Tua Tagovailoa in Week 6, but it wasn’t enough to get them out of their losing streak. There’s lots lining up for the Falcons in this game: Atlanta is getting back top receivers Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage, and they’re coming off a bye. Naturally, this fills me with trepidation, but I’m still picking Atlanta in this one.
New York Jets (1-4) at New England Patriots (2-4)
The pick: Patriots (-350)
Spread: Patriots -6.5 | Over/Under: 43 | Moneyline: Jets +270, Patriots -350
It’s weird to be writing about a 2-4 Patriots team, but that’s where we are six weeks into the 2021 NFL season. Luckily for New England, they get to face a Jets team that is one miraculous overtime win over the Titans from being 0-5. While I think the Jets make this one somewhat close in the end, I trust the Patriots to come away with the victory.
Carolina Panthers (3-3) at New York Giants (1-5)
The pick: Panthers (-150)
Spread: Panthers -3 | Over/Under: 43.5 | Moneyline: Panthers -150, Giants +130
This one was actually surprisingly hard to pick. The Panthers looked like one of the biggest surprises in the NFL after starting 3-0, but they’ve quickly fallen back to earth. Meanwhile, the Giants have paired a few close games with several blowouts in recent weeks. The play of Sam Darnold and Carolina’s offense without Christian McCaffrey makes me wary, but I still trust them more than a banged up Giants team.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) at Tennessee Titans (4-2)
The pick: Chiefs (-220)
Spread: Chiefs -5 | Over/Under: 58 | Moneyline: Chiefs -220, Titans +180
I actually think bettors are underestimating the Titans here, as Tennessee is coming off a very impressive win over the Buffalo Bills. However, the Chiefs are going to turn things around—and a “get right” game is coming very soon. With the Titans on a short week following MNF, things are lining up nicely for Kansas City. This is likely to be an offensive fireworks show, and I’ll take Patrick Mahomes in that scenario every time.
Detroit Lions (0-6) at Los Angeles Rams (5-1)
The pick: Rams (-1125)
Spread: Rams -15.5 | Over/Under: 51 | Moneyline: Lions +700, Rams -1125
Not much to say about this one. One of the best teams in the NFC takes on one of the worst, as the Rams have steamrolled just about every team in their path—except the Cardinals. The Lions, meanwhile, have more often been on the receiving end of that streamrolling. Rams by a lot.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (4-2)
The pick: Eagles (+140)
Spread: Raiders -3 | Over/Under: 49 | Moneyline: Eagles +140, Raiders -160
I have to make a spicy pick at some point, and this is the perfect game for it. I think both of these teams aren’t represented well by their record. Three of Philadelphia’s losses have come against playoff-caliber opponents in Dallas, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, two of the Raiders wins have come in overtime—including one against the lowly Dolphins—and they were blown off the turf by the Bears. The Eagles are getting healthier, and I think they pull out the win this week.
Houston Texans (1-5) at Arizona Cardinals (6-0)
The pick: Cardinals (-1500)
Spread: Cardinals -17.5 | Over/Under: 47.5 | Moneyline: Texans +850, Cardinals -1500
I can’t remember the last time I saw a spread as lopsided as this in Week 7 of an NFL season, but here we are. The Cardinals are one of the most entertaining—and best—teams in the NFL, and they get to face a miserable Texans team this week. Don’t overthink this and enjoy the offensive spectacle that is Kyler Murray.
Chicago Bears (3-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-1)
The pick: Bucs (-600)
Spread: Bucs -12 | Over/Under: 47 | Moneyline: Bears +435, Bucs -600
While Tampa Bay has looked rather mortal in recent weeks, they’ve still been making the plays they need to win games. Chicago, meanwhile, has once again found themselves with a mediocre record due to a bad offense weighing down their quality defense. The Bears can always make things interesting, but the Bucs are the clear favorite here for a reason.
Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts (2-4) at San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
The pick: Colts (+170)
Spread: 49ers -4.5 | Over/Under: 44 | Moneyline: Colts +170, 49ers -200
This is another underdog pick for me. The Colts started off quite poorly, but they’ve rebounded in recent weeks on both offense and defense. Meanwhile, the 49ers have been going back-and-forth between QBs Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance due to injury and lackluster play. I like Indianapolis to pull off the upset here, and think this is a team on the upswing.
Monday Night Football: New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (2-4)
The pick: Saints (-225)
Spread: Saints -4.5 | Over/Under: 42.5 | Moneyline: Saints -225, Seahawks +185
It pains me greatly, but I have to pick the Saints in this one. While Geno Smith certainly hasn’t played terribly for Seattle, I don’t trust the combination of a backup QB and one of the worst defenses in the league. New Orleans has been far from the juggernaut they’ve been in recent seasons, but they’re still a competent team with a very good defense. I think they take care of business on Monday Night Football.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.