The Vikings defence is even better than I thought, they held the Cowboys to their lowest total of the season, just 17 points for Zeke Dez and Dak, it was the big two stepping up for the Cowboys, but if the Vikings had anything at all on offence, the Cowboys would of lost their second game of the season. They had a chance to level it up at the end of the game, but a false start penalty meant their 2 pt conversion attempts was from 7 yards instead of 2 and Bradford threw high when looking for Rudolph in the end zone. If they’d levelled it up, we would of probably at least got a push on Cowboys -3 points, but the 2 pt win fell short, so lost that bet. The 9/4 Request a bet came in though for 4.5pts profit, so only lost 5 and a bit overall.
Onto this weekend, I think they’ve made the right choice with the first match on TV this week, the Chiefs travel to the dome in Atlanta to take on the high flying Falcons (see what I did there…) It’s not easy to analyse though, and it’s not easy to write up anything different to last week seeing as they were both on TV then as well! The Chiefs have one of the best defences in the league, while the Falcons have the highest scoring offence in the league this year averaging 32.5pts per game, and putting up 38 vs a good Cardinals D last weekend. Quarterback Matt Ryan has been in great form this year, only a few yards behind Brees and Cousins in total passing yards, and his record vs the AFC West is 9-2, 2-0 vs the Chiefs, while I don’t think that counts for a huge amount as it’s different squads playing, it’s worth noting. Despite a few dud games where he’s received one catch, Julio still leads the league in yards, he’ll probably be up against Marcus Peters this week which is a blessing and a curse, he’s a play making defender, but that means he takes chances and can let guys get in behind him. If he looks tight in coverage, it could again be a Sanu game, his yards are currently 48.5, and i’m tempted to go with the overs there. Taylor Gabriel is the buzz name for the Chiefs at the moment, he got 2 identical TDs last week taking short passes to the house from 30ish yards out. He’s 5’8 so won’t get anything different to that again, but his pace makes him a great play. KC are average against pass catching RBs, giving up 4TDs to catches from RBs, there’s only one team who’ve given up more, but a lot of them on 4. Tevin Coleman, and Gabriel (essentially did the same thing last week) will work that area of the field, and could get a bit of luck. Coleman returned last week and did very little, but he did get into the end zone with one of his 10 touches, i’d expect to see more of him this week. Freeman got a couple of TDs last weekend, not a huge yardage score, and would be no surprise to see him do that again this week.
The Chiefs aren’t usually explosive on offence, BUT essentially, they can put up points when they need to, they managed 30 vs Denver last week to take the OT win, the third time they’ve made that mark this season. IF the Falcons get scoring, as I would expect then this could be a high scoring game. An amazing stat I heard earlier in the week is that Matt Ryan has played 1 more career game than Alex Smith at QB, and has an astonishing 10,000 yards more than him! (well, just under) Obviously that’s just mainly to do with how they play, but it’s an incredible difference, it certainly hasn’t been affecting the Chiefs over the last 21 regular season game where they’re 18-3 in that time. They’re not generally exciting, but they know how to win. One player they do have who is very exciting is Tyreek Hill, last week he was the first player in about 50 years to have a special teams, a rushing and a recieving TD all in the same game, to do that against the leagues best defence makes it all the more impressive. He’s got explosive pace and they were obviously trying to get him the ball as much as they could. HOWEVER,
Jeremy Maclin could return this week – He’s out. which would put a damper on Hills value in this offence, despite him being nowhere near as good at making plays. Travis Kelce is a man who needs to be mentioned, he had a huge game vs the Broncos last week, and as much as I hate his volatility, against this awful Falcons defence, he should have a big game once again. Their main RB is Spencer Ware, he’s been sneakily bad this season, getting himself just the 3 TDs, the Falcons are ranked 30th vs the run, and have given up by quite a way the most catches to RBs in the league this season, that’s an area I think the Chiefs could exploit, although they’ve not used him much there all season, a max of 3 receptions in all but the first game where he got 7. The Chiefs welcomed back Justin Houston last week, but were without Dee Ford who’s been a big piece of their D this season, he’s back this week which means the Chiefs have their 3 main guys back in defence.
Tough one to call, everything suggests that the Falcons will have too much firepower for the Chiefs, but the Chiefs strength is their defence. I think that the Falcons will still get to around 25 points, however the Chiefs will be able to get near to them as well, if not surpassing them. I think the Chiefs points set to 3 TDs is low, they’re more than capable of getting that on defence alone. I’d lean towards the Falcons to win, and the Handicap has them favs by 5.5pts, which I think is probably a bit big, but I’ll be leaving that alone. Only 3 teams give up more TDs to tight ends than the Falcons (7 on the season)…
Chiefs team points o20.5 – 5/6 (365) Kelce anytime TD – 21/10 (365)
Next up is the 8-3 Giants taking on the 6-5 Steelers at Heinz Field. The Giants have probably been the least impressive team with that record in the league, they haven’t blown anyone away all season, but have been getting the results. They’ve even managed to get their running game going after it being their big weakness for most of the season, Rashad Jennings is finally the main man there; he did the same thing in December last year when they realised he should be the feature back, and his numbers greatly improved going into the run-in last year, however, going up against a free-scoring offence like Pittsburgh could means a little less play for him this week, and when you’ve got players like Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and even Victor Cruz in your passing game, you don’t mind airing it out a little. Beckham is doing what he’s done the past couple of years, being awesome in the second half of the season, after 3 TDs in his first 7 games, he’s on 5 from the last 4, strangely the game vs Chicago the only one in that span he didn’t manage to get a score in. I can easily see him getting 2 TDs and 90+ yards in a game they’re going to have to keep up with their opposition, and against a middle-ing secondary. If they do manage to shutdown Beckham to a certain extent then Shepard and Cruz should be able to get at least a score between them. Eli Manning hasn’t been playing well this year, 20 TDs and 10 INTs isn’t great, however, as you’d expect, with OBJs uptick, his figures have improved in the last month as well, after 8 TDs in his first 7 games, he’s thrown 13 in the last 4. There’s no point of talking about their tight end, he couldn’t even have a game against the Browns so won’t in this match either. There’s a few other guys on the offence who have a slight chance of doing something, Harris, Lewis, Perkins, but there’s no way I can pick any of them to do anything week in, week out.
The Steelers are a much much better team at home than they are away. Ben, Brown, Bell are one of the best triplets in the league if not the best. In recent weeks they seem to have decided to just let LeVeon Bell do it all after his 3 game rest at the start of the season, that seems to make sense, he’s such a unique runner it makes him fun to watch, he walks to the line of scrimmage, waits a little then explodes through a gap. His pass catching is one of the main things that sets him apart from most other RBs though, frequently lining up out wide to be Big Bens no.2 receiver behind Antonio Brown, he’s caught at least 6 in 6 of his 8 matches this season, last week was his lowest against an awful Colts D, but they didn’t need to use him, and shut up shop in the second half, thankfully for our under pts bet. Antonio Brown blew up for 3 TDs last week, breaking ankles with his moves and taking full advantage of Vontae Davis carrying an injury. I drafted him no.1 in one of my leagues, and i’ve been disappointed with his return, but he’s quietly made his way to 10 TDs for the season, and scored in 3 of the last games he’s played in. Ladarius Green is a name i’ve mentioned for 3 weeks in a row now, he caught 2 from 3 targets last week for 65 yards, but only played a handful of snaps again, on the season he’s caught 5 from 7 for 97 yards, so unless he’s 5/1 again i’ll probably give him a miss, but they say every week they’re going to get him more involved, and one of these weeks they will and he’ll get his TD! Other than the main three it’s a bit of pot luck picking who’ll be involved otherwise, Cobi Hamilton in recent weeks seems to have been involved the most of the peripheral players, Eli Rogers is there, Sammie Coates doesn’t appear to be trusted at the moment, and is still hampered by his hand injury, so that figures.
Everything is pointing towards o48.5 points in this game. Steelers usually put up a lot at home, and the Giants have the ability to keep with them
Total point over 48.5 – 10/11 (most places)
The late late match is the Seahawks hosting the Panthers in a re-match of last years NFC championship game where the Panthers leapt out to an unassailable lead which the Seahawks very nearly pulled back but ran out of time. This season has been a big disappointment for the Panthers, they’re essentially out of the race this time around at 4 and 7, and had a strange week last week, they had less than 20 yards of passing at half time against the Raiders before coming out on fire in the second half ignited by an 88 yard TD by Ted Ginn. As mentioned last week, he’s been the most targeted player for them in recent weeks, and that seems like it will continue, although against this Seattle defence with key players returning, i’m not sure that will mean too many. I’ll be checking his yardage again and if it’s the same as last week i’ll still be seriously tempted, it only takes one play for Ginn. Kelvin Benjamin has looked a beast in some games this season, but just hasn’t performed as well as expected, he usually gets over 50 yards, but scored his first TD in 7 games last week, his yards are usually set quite high too, and he’s carrying a knock. Devin Funchess is the only other name worth mentioning in the passing game, but that’s pretty much all he’s worth. Tight ends usually do comparatively well against the Seahawks, probably because their corners are so good, and Olsen is one of the best in the league, so it could be a game to look for him, but the bookies usually set his yards pretty high, and I wouldn’t trust any of this offence to get into the end zone. Jonathan Stewart had a good week last week, 96 yards and 2 TDs, but it’s tough week in, week out, to call whether it will be him or Cam Newton who’ll get the goal line plays, I went for Cam last week and was wrong, so again, i’ll be giving that a miss.
The Seahawks put up a stinker last week, scoring only 5 points against the Buccaneers, their offensive line which has been an issue all year really struggled to protect Wilson and open up lanes for Thomas Rawls at RB, a result that killed my Seahawks heavy fantasy team for the week. Rawls may struggle again against the Panthers, who are very good against the run, but he’s been running with anger and i’m hopeful he can get going this week. Keuchly looks likely to miss out again for the Panthers with concussion which is a big loss. I think this may be a Doug Baldwin week, i’d imagine the Panthers will get pressure on Baldwin and he’ll have to drop short passes to the slot, without Keuchly there, there should be a good chance the ‘hawks are successful, and Baldwin is a good receiver. Jimnmy Graham could also get success in the middle of the park. Tyler Lockett is one to look for this week as a more downfield threat, he’s currently 3/1 although there’s not many sites with prices up at the moment.
The seahawks should win this one, the Panthers aren’t good this year, and with Earl Thomas returning for the Seahawks, they should be far too good on defence to allow the Panthers to score, especially at home. Standard home field advantage for a team in the NFL is around 3 points on the handicap, the Seahawks up that to around 4.5pts, so for the spread to be set to 7 means they think that Seattle are a field goal better than the Panthers. I think they’re better than that, but I won’t be tipping that handicap anywhere. This could either be a 25 pts total, or a 75pts total. So obviously i’ll be avoiding that too, I’m hoping for the second. Random fact – The Seahawks are 10-1 in home primetime games since Pete Carroll became the head coach in 2010, beating opponents by an average score of 28-14.
Ted Ginn anytime – 7/2 (WillHill) Lockett anytime – 3/1 (PP, Hills)
Various others from around the league .
San Diego face an apparently tough Tampa defence, but they have Phillip Rivers at QB so I don’t think they’ll be stopped getting a couple of TDs through the air, Tyrell Williams is banged up with a shoulder injury, so i’d expect Dontarelle Inman 2/1, Hunter Henry 2/1 and the old man Antonio Gates 6/4 to get some targets, and at least one of them to get in, i’ll be going with Inman at 2/1.
Devante Parker looks likely to miss out for the Dolphins with a back injury, that means the downfield guy will be Kenny Stills 3/1, with them facing the best rushing Defence in the league they may have to air it out a bit more which give him a chance at fairly decent odds. I was looking at going on the unders for Ajayi as well against that D, but the Dolphins have a couple of offensive line men back which may open it up still, if he was around 90 i’d of gone under, but his line is at 71 and that’s a little tight in my eyes
The Bears and Niners could turn into a bit of a shootout, with neither team very good in defence, the Bears are banged up and lost another defensive player in the week, Vance McDonald has emerged as a go to guy for Kaepernick he’s 9/4, Kap himself is 7/2 to get on the scoresheet, and Marquess Wilson looked like he was Matt Barklays favourite guy last week too (5/2)
Eifert was another I was looking at the unders for, his line is at 59.5, The Eagles are very good vs tight ends, and haven’t given up more than 60 yards to one all season, but Eifert is pretty much the only reliable target for Dalton, so i’d expect him to get the ball often. I actually think the Bengals will sneak a win in a low scoring game, with Boyd scoring for them, he’s 23/10 so i’ll give him a shot.
Latavius Murray is 11/8 vs the Bills, anything above evens is good enough for me, they seem to be using him more now it’s getting colder, and he gets the goal line work, so go on him too.
Summary – 2 pts on each unless stated.
- Chiefs team points o20.5 – 5/6 (365)
- Kelce anytime TD – 21/10 (365)
- Steelers game – Total points over 48.5 – 10/11 (most places)
- Ted Ginn anytime – 7/2 (WillHill)
- Lockett anytime – 3/1 (PP, WillHill)
- Inman anytime – 2/1 (WillHill)
- Still anytime – 3/1 (PP)
- McDonald anytime – 9/4 (Skybet)
- Tyler Boyd anytime – 23/10 (365)
- Latavius Murray anytime – 11/8 – NAP – 5pts (WillHill)