Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) hands off to Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) during an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Larry French)


Patrick Werkmeister

With six teams on bye for Week 7, this slate is somewhat limited with action. However, there are some fun matchups with big time locks to bet on this Sunday. Amazingly, this NFL regular season is almost halfway over, so don’t take weeks like these for granted. While most of this day is filled with large point spreads and uneven matchups, these are the best games to take advantage of.

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As the season rolls towards November, the playoff picture starts to become clearer which makes it easier to bet teams based on their general identity. Still, a primary data-based approach is the safest route to beating bookmakers. Nonetheless, here is what I like in this NFL slate

Jets (+7) @ Patriots
From Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, rookie quarterback Mac Jones and the New England Patriots host fellow first year QB Zach Wilson and the New York Jets. The Patriots opened as a seven-point home favorite, which is where the line currently stands at publication. Although the Jets come into this game 1-5 ATS this season, the Pats are a subpar 3-7 ATS in their last 10 contests. In Week 6, New England was narrowly defeated in overtime at home by the Cowboys, whereas New York was enjoying their bye. Although the Pats were able to keep it close on the scoreboard, the box score tells a different story. Dallas outgained the Patriots by 250 total yards of offense and 15 first downs. Even though the Cowboys offense was dreadful on third downs and had 12 punts, there’s only a certain amount rookie QB Mac Jones and the New England offense can produce. Right now, the Pats shouldn’t be favored by seven against anyone with their current identity. The Jets are going into New England fresh off a bye and are still riding high after their outstanding win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 4. They have had a ton of time to prepare for this one, and they should find success scoring on offense like many others have this season. Although they haven’t looked great this year, Zach Wilson has shown flashes of brilliance and I like them coming into this match well-rested and well-prepared. Take New York plus the points. 

Chiefs @ Titans (Over 57.5)
In this AFC matchup, Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs look to steal one on the road in Nashville vs Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans. After opening at 56 points, this total is listed at O/U 57.5. This year, the Titans have averaged 30 points per game at home, whereas the Chiefs have allowed 25 or more points in all but one of their games this season. Additionally, in Tennessee’s last 5 games the over is 4-1. While their offense is usually boom or bust, the Titans defense has been consistently bad where even the New York Jets scored 27 points against them. However, with King Henry, their offense usually has no problem keeping pace with the other team. With 10 TDs and 725 rushing yards in his past 5 games, Derrick has been an absolute nightmare for their past few opponents. Another obvious reason for liking this over is the electric offense of Kansas City. Pat Mahomes and the crew got back on track in their 31-13 rout of the Washington Football Team. Despite Washington’s intimidating defense, the Chiefs played a lot more focused following their loss to the Bills. Even though this is a high total, this game will be a track meet and the outcome may come down to whoever has the ball last. Take the over to slam in this matchup.

Colts @ 49ers (-4)
For this Sunday night primetime contest, Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts travel to Santa Clara to face off against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. This line opened at three and a half-points in favor of the 49ers and has moved slightly to San Fran -4. Last week, the Colts defended their home field and destroyed Houston 31-3, while San Francisco had their bye week. Although Indy had a sizable margin of victory, a majority of fans would say Houston is probably the worst team in football right now. The Colts are 2-4 and with Carson Wentz as their starting QB, I would expect nothing less. He is a decent game manager until he inevitably starts turning the ball over, which teams, like the Colts, tend to overlook in favor of his redeeming qualities. This game is in San Francisco and the weather is supposed to be wet and soggy. Whenever I imagine Carson Wentz playing in the rain, he is covered head to toe in mud after making a series of ridiculous bloopers. With the 49ers coming off of a bye and their QB Jimmy Garoppolo making his return, I like San Francisco at home in this spot. Take the 9ers to cover in primetime against a team that struggles outside of their dome.

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