What better way to spend Christmas eve than to ignore your family and settle down for 9 hours of televised football! Our TV will have redzone on in the background for the entirety of the evening, and much of Christmas Day evening as well, and hopefully there will be a few random outbursts of celebration from Jay and I while we’re trying to guess what the hell our partners are trying to re-enact in silence, ah, you gotta love Christmas.
Unfortunately the weekend didn’t start too well last night, there was a hell of a lot of money for the Eagles, they went from 2.5pt underdogs to 1.5pt favourites, and it was justified as they beat the Giants 24-19. My gamble of playing the Giants D in two of my fantasy leagues failed, and Eli was picked off 3 times. Unfortunately as they Giants got in the hole early on, it ruined the Jennings rush attempts bet as they aired the ball out. Frustratingly I had Sterling Shepard anytime as well as Beckham and the double and thought it was a bit too much of a risk, so dropped the Shepard bet. Obviously he went and scored while Beckham didn’t despite his 150 yards. We landed the tribet as the Eagles only won by 5pts, so got 7/4 on that meaning we only lost 6pts on the night. Hopefully the rest of the weekend will go better and we can continue our good run of weekly winners. I usually do better on the main game slates as there’s obviously a lot more choice.
First up on TV on Saturday the Dolphins travel to Buffalo to try and got themselves a wild card spot. They’re currently at 9-5 and won comfortably against an awful Jets team last week. Matt Moore performed well at QB, he’s a capable stand in for Tannenhill and threw 4 TDs from just 18 attempts and 12 completions. Not a bad return! He even chucked in an Interception. Tight end, Dion Sims got himself 2 of the TDs (tipped up at 4/1 anytime, and I know a follower got on 2 or more at 35/1 as well…) He seems to have become a red zone threat for the Dolphins, but he’ll struggle a lot more this week against a Bills team who are pretty good against the tight end. Jarvis Landry took a slant pass 66 yards to the house last week, and will look to do that again as the Bills are prone to giving up big plays. Kenny Stills may be the better bet as he looks to get his usual big play for a TD, he’s always a risk, like Ted Ginn, DeSean Jackson etc… but he’s done well in recent weeks. Devante Parker is getting himself back to health as well. I think they’ll have to throw more this week, which may not necessarily be a good thing, but Matt Moore isn’t that bad at all and he’ll want to prove he can do it. Jay Ajayi has fallen off a little recently, but the Offensive line that tore teams apart during his 200 yard games has been a bit knocked up, they’re getting back to health and they’ll want to try and establish the run, Pouncey is out for the season and he’s a loss, but the rest of that line seem to be back to fitness, and Ajayi put up 214 yards on the Bills earlier in the season, so they’ll look to repeat that.
The Bills are at 7-7 so their season is over, and there’s various reports saying the Rex Ryan is a dead man walking in these last 2 weeks, he hasn’t got them to the playoffs, somewhere they’ve not been for 17 years now, but he has given them a chance of reaching 9 wins, something they’ve only managed twice since 1999. He’s a bit of a jackass, but he really hasn’t done that bad a job, I actually had them down to only win 4 games this season in my predictions. The big change in their season came when they changed offensive co-ordinator and focused on the run, they’re now the rushing leaders in the league, and LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy has himself 1,129 yards and 12 rush TDs, scoring in 4 of the last 5 games, with 2 multiple TD weeks in that span as well. Alongside Iron Mike Gillislee, who’s run in 3 in his last three as well they form a potent attack. Miami concede the 3rd most yards per game against the run, Buffalo have the most yards per game… This could be a run heavy match all round. Tyrod Taylor has come under some pressure in recent weeks from his coach and the media. Ryan said the other week he wasn’t even sure who’d be playing QB the following week, Tyrod is the best option they’ve got though and it seems crazy to me that they’re considering leaving him out of the starting line up. He has got a few of his targets back in recent week, Robert Woods, Justin Hunter, Marquis Goodwin have been his main guys all season with Sammy Watkins injured most of the season, he’s officially back now as well, but has still been struggling to overcome his foot injury. None of the guys above are trust worthy for any of my money, so I won’t be picking any for TDs or yardage. Miami are pretty good vs TE and Charles Clay isn’t great, so not much there either.
Tough one for betting, especially as i’m doing these write ups pretty early this week, as i’ve said in the write up, I think it will be run heavy, but the Bills give up a fair few long pass TDs, and Moore has an arm on him so… I’ve thought all week that the Dolphins will beat the 4 point spread, they need it more and they’ve been playing well, but I’m not confident enough to take it. A lot of prop bets aren’t up until the day of the match, so I’ll try and update this Saturday, but i’m working the morning and busy the afternoon so might struggle.
McCoy anytime – 11/10, McCoy and Stills to score – 8/1, Watkins u64.5 rec. yards – 5/6 (PP). If you wanted an even bigger longshot than that then Gillislee and Stills are 11/1
Second televised match over here is the Colts at the Raiders. Indy need to win to keep their chances of taking the AFC South alive, the Raiders made the playoffs last week, but will want to win to keep up their form, they’re still in with a chance to get the top seed and a bye week. Both teams are good offensively, the Colts hit the Vikings for over 30 points last week and they’re supposed to be one of the best defences in the league! So i’m hoping for an exciting and high scoring game. Andrew Luck has proved himself a good QB, he completed 21 of 28 last week, with 2 TDs, the Colts dominance in that game meant he didn’t need to pass too much as they also got their second 100 yard running game in 4 years with Gore racking up 101 yards. Unfortunately for him and his fantasy owners, Robert Turbin stole the TD runs, scoring twice. I can see that happening again this week as the Raiders have a decent defence so should be able to at least slow down the Colts in the red zone, if that happens and they have to punch it in, they’ll use Turbin. TY Hilton had a strangely quiet game in such a big win, but as I said, they didn’t need to throw it much, he’s been on fire this season and is now third in total receiving yards for the season only behind Julio and Odell Beckham. It looks like Moncrief will be back for the Colts this week too, he participated fully in practise, he’s their usual redzone threat, averaging just under 40 yards per game, but scoring in 6 of his 7 matches (I’m writing off his last game as he was injured after only a few minutes) They have a trio of tight ends who all get action, Dwayne Allen has been poor this season before getting 3 TDs in a game vs the Jets, Jack Doyle has been the better guy, but doesn’t get as much with Allen active, and Eric Swoope but up some good number on one drive last week, and got himself a TD at the end of it. Good for them as a team, sucks for gambling purposes though.
I wonder what The Raiders season would of been had Blackjack Del Rio not gone for the win in the very first game of the season, he called a 2pt conversion when they were 1 point behind, which they scored and won the game. That play alone moulded the course of their season, their record in the fourth quarter of games is frankly ridiculous, they’ve had 7 fourth quarter comebacks this season, second only to the Lions, and Derek Carr has been the mastermind behind most of them, they don’t know when they’re beaten and they know the coach has faith in them. However, since Carr dislocated his little finger taking a snap a few weeks ago, and hasn’t been the same since, he has had to play every snap from the shotgun which has thrown the rhythm of the team a little bit, and hurt the running game, which had been pretty good until then. Latavius Murray has had a cracking season though, he has 12 TDs on the season, and while he doesn’t put up huge yards, he’s been very effective for this team. Their other main TD threat seems to be Michael Crabtree, he’s got 8 TDs himself, scoring in 2 of the last 3, he and Amari Cooper have both been limited in practise this week, but expect both of them to play. Cooper has the higher yards on the year, but has half the touchdowns. Other players worth noting in the offence are Seth Roberts and possibly Jalen Richard, Roberts is a red zone target that Carr likes to use, and Richard is second in the running game behind Murray.
I’m hoping this will be a high scoring, close encounter. Everything seems set up for that, but it depends on which Colts team turns up, they can under-perform at times, but are more than capable of putting up big numbers. Vegas have it at a crazy 52.5 points!
Moncrief anytime – 7/4 (Skybet), Moncrief and Murray – 4/1
Last game on Christmas Eve… well, 130 Christmas Day morning over here, and Santa should of been delivering me a Bengals win to take them to the division title, but things haven’t gone as planned for Cinci and they’re out of the playoffs for the first time in 5 years. Instead it’s the Texans who could clinch the division should results go their way earlier on tonight. Despite being hampered by one of the worst QBs in the league for the whole season, they’ve somehow scraped 8 wins, and top the South. Brock Osweiler was replaced by Tom Savage (yes, he’s real) to rapturous applause from the Houston fans last week, Osweiler probably went home and cried into some of the $18m he’ll be getting this year for being complete guff. Savage had a good game, in replacement of him, and led them back from 13-0 down. 23 completions from 36 attempts and 260 yards. More importantly for the Texans, no INTs after Osweiler had thrown 2 from 11 attempts earlier in the game. Seriously, he’s awful. If anyone ever tells you that you can’t do something in life, just remember Osweiler is an NFL Qb and you’ll believe you can achieve anything. Anyways… The Bengals always seem to face a Houston team with a new QB, last season they lost to TJ Yates. This year Savage will probably lead the Texans to a win. Another plus to come from Savage getting the nod, was the return of Nuk Hopkins, he caught 8 for 87 in the end, his second best numbers of the year, he got a season high 17 targets, and i’d expect that to happen again. He hauled in a cracker vs the Bengals last season, and is one of the best receivers in the league when he’s involved. Will Fuller was also a but more involved again, and can put up big numbers if he gets some space, he’s also electric on kick returns. CJ Fiedorowicz looks like he’ll return this week, which spoils the guy I was looking at picking, Ryan Griffen, as they’ll likely share the spoils at tight end, which is a shame for bets, as the Bengals are second worst in the league covering the tight end. Lamar Miller is their main back, but he once again picked up a knock last week, likely a sprained ankle, he’s been playing hurt all season, so hasn’t excelled, but he carries the load fairly well. In backup to him is Alfred Blue who’s done well enough too. This isn’t a team to usually get excited about on offence though, but with a different QB there, who knows.
The Bengals had the chance to spoil things for the Steelers last week, and were up by 17 points at one point in the game. Unfortunately, they did as the Bengals do and fell apart completely throwing the game away and letting Big Ben throw the winning score to Eli Rogers. I was massively pissed off with their indiscipline, at one point in the 4th quarter they gave up 4 penalties in a row to keep the Steelers moving down the field. Fucking ridiculous. Enough of that anyway. Andy Dalton has done pretty well this year without a lot of last seasons talent, after losing Marvin Jones and Mo. Sanu in free agency, they then started the season without 13 TD man Tyler Eifert. They got him back then lost AJ Green with a hamstring injury. He’s saying that he wants to be back for this week, and he’s 36 yards short of being only the second player to start his career with 6 1,000 yard season, so he’ll be desperate to get on the field for a few plays at least. Hopefully he’ll get those yards then leave the game and sit for the rest of the season, there’s no point in him risking further injury. Eifert has done well since he came back, and quickly became the main red zone threat in the air, he’s scored 4 in his last 4. On the ground Jeremy Hill has put up his usual ineffective, but decent TD scoring season. He’s been a disappointment to be honest, but has still got 9 TDs, and i’m pretty sure he crossed the plane last week despite the officials not giving it, would of been his second of the game (It was against the steelers after all and they don’t get decisions against them) he’s averaged less than 4 yards a carry. Since the loss of Gio Bernard for the season, Rex Burkhead has stepped into the RB2 position and has looked pretty good. Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell were the guys to take over when Green went down, and have pretty similar numbers in those week, Lafell is the the more trusted, not surprising given he’s been in the league a lot longer than Boyd.
I think this will be a fairly low scoring affair in which the Texans will grind out a narrow win.
DeAndre Hopkins anytime – 17/10 (365), Hopkins and Hill (not available at time of writing, but i’m guessing around 4/1)
Both players to score trixie on the three listed above.
My shortlist is surprisingly short this week from around the league, i’ve not had time to listen to as much as I usually would during the week, so I think i’ll play it fairly safe and go for a few more likely TD scorers.
The Falcons vs the Panthers looks like it’ll be a high scoring affair and there’s plenty to choose from, I think i’m going to go back to my mate Ted Ginn, he’s available at 21/10 anytime.
Redskins at the Bears should be more competitive than a lot of people think, the Bears have done well at home since Barclay took over at QB, and the Redskins slipped up on Monday (incidentally they’re now 2-14 on MNF in their last 16 games) I like Fat Rob to get into the endzone again, 21/20.
Davante Adams has had a strange season of peaks and troughs, last week was a trough, meaning this week he’s going to score against the Vikings, he’s 7/5 at Paddypower to do so. May well be worth going for Montgomery and Adams both to score as well. He’ll either get a score, 100 yards, or both. Over 60.5 is 5/6 on Paddypower.
You can get 7/2 on Dion Lewis at Paddypower, which in my eyes is good value, he got all the play last week and scored, but it wasn’t given and they didn’t review it. If they’re keeping Blount as fresh as possible for a playoff run then Lewis should get the action against a tough Jets run D which lends itself to playmaking RBs.
Antonio Gates is 2 TDs away from the Tight end scoring record. It’s been touted all season that the team will be trying to get him those two TDs, but that hasn’t come to fruition and he’s hardly been targeted in the red zone, but their season is done, and this week they face the Cleveland Browns, the only team worse than the Bengals vs Tight ends. If they can’t get him in against this rabble then he’s never getting that record. 9/5 at Ladbrokes for one TD, nothing about for 2 or more yet, but I’ll be on it. Love a good narrative… So 2 or more is 12/1 on 365. Chuck half stake on it on the off chance.
I will try and update this tomorrow but i’m not sure when i’ll get the time. Can only find the yardage bets in a couple of places at the moment and PP won’t let you put them in multiples, i’ll be looking on 365 tomorrow for Adams over on his yard, Watkins unders and probably someone else to make up a treble.
Looking at a 4 fold on team touchdowns, Miami o1.5, Redskins o2.5, Saints o2.5 and Bengals o1.5, works out at 4.25/1 – 3pts on there.
Ok major update from me today. I have no idea why the chargers are now in to just 4 point favourites against the Browns. I understand the Browns will be desperate not to go 0-16. But the Chargers will be desperate not to be the team they get that win against. Gordon is out again which may be a reason, but even without him, their WRs and Rivers have more than enough to beat the Browns by at least 4. And Joey Bosa could have a field day against the Browns defensive line. And that’s why… I’m gonna LOCK IT UP!!!! NAP for the night. But only a 5 pts one…
- McCoy anytime – 11/10 (365)
- Watkins under 64.5 rec. yards – 5/6 (PP)
- McCoy and Stills to score – 8/1 (trixie)
- Moncrief anytime – 7/4 (365)
- Moncrief and Murray – 4/1 (trixie)
- DeAndre Hopkins anytime – 17/1o
- Hopkins and Hill – 4/1-ish? (trixie)
- 0.5 pt trixie on the three above – 2pt total.
- Ted Ginn anytime – 21/10
- Rob Kelley anytime – 21/20
- Davante Adams anytime – 7/5
- Lewis anytime – 7/2 (PP)
- Gates anytime – 9/5
- Gates 2 or more – 12/1 (1pt 365)
- San Diego -4 pts – NAP – 10/11- 5pts
- Jordan Howard anytime – 11/10- NB – 3 pts
- Nap/NB – 3/1 – 3pts
- Team TD 4fold
2 pts on each of the above unless stated – 25 pts so far…