So here it is, the end of the regular season, it’s come around far too quickly, but there it is, first of all, a warning for anyone betting this weekend, it’s a very tough weekend to call anything, so go easy on your stakes, no point getting yourself in the hole betting on a team playing their backups the whole game. For what it’s worth, I posted a good little infographic on twitter that I found on another account that shows you teams that SHOULD be motivated, and which teams definitely are not.
Now, Pittsburgh have already stated that Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Leveon Bell will not be playing in their game against the Browns, so Landry Jones will be in there, and running back will probably be shared between the returning DeAngelo Williams and Fitzgerald Toussaint, receiving duties, well… They’re trying to catch from Landry Jones, so may be best to ignore all of them.
Teams like Dallas are a little more difficult to guess, Jerry Jones has said that Zeke will be playing, and if he gets anywhere near the Rookie rushing record then he’ll keep on playing. He needs another 177 rushing yards, which is probably out of reach, and he only got 12 carries last week when chasing the target, so I’d imagine he, and Dak will make it through at best the first half before getting rested. It seems likely that Mark Sanchez will take over from Dak, rather than risk the media, and general idiots demanding that Romo plays in the playoffs rather than Dak. They do have the bye next week though which may mean a little more play from the main guys. When Zeke goes out, Darren McFadden will take over the reigns.
Miami vs New England should have most of the starters, for most of the game, The Patriots need to win to ensure homefield advantage, and they won’t want to repeat the mistakes of last year where they lost to Miami and gave that up. They then went on to face Denver and lost in Mile High. Miami could also do with winning so they might face the Texans rather than the Steelers. A far nicer prospect. The worry here would be if the Pats get a decent lead then they’ll likely let Brady sit out. With Matt Moore still at QB, and Jay Ajayi a little banged up with a shoulder injury from last week, that may happen.
The Giants have no motivation, they have their place locked up in the playoffs, and can’t move up or down, but the owner this week said everyone will be playing, I’m not sure this can be trusted though, they really shouldn’t risk Odell Beckham getting riled up by Josh Norman and risking a suspension. The Redskins need the win, and have the ability to put up big points against any team in the league. Vegas have the ‘skins as 8 point favourites, obviously expecting the Giants to rest their big guys. I think the Redskins can be trusted at least!
Atlanta vs the Saints has been set at 56 points! It’s in the Georgia dome and will be the Saints last trip there. The reverse fixture ended 45-32! 77 points total, so you can see why they’d expect a lot of points. Drew Brees will be playing, he’s leading the league in passing yards (we had that at 4/1) and they seem to have said that they want to get Mark Ingram to 1,000 yards, he doesn’t need much to do that. The Falcons defense has improved, but the Saints should be able to score a lot still. The Falcons are the highest scoring team in the league, and Matt Ryan is well in contention for the MVP race, so he’ll want to put on a show, he even got their back up tight ends involved last week, and one of them got a TD. He’s had a cracking season and leads the league in most measurables. Falcons could do with the win to try and get the no.2 spot in the NFC.
The Seahawks are the other team going for the second spot in the NFC, but they are seriously beaten up, Rawls picked up an injury last week, but is going to play, he hasn’t impressed like I expected since returning from missing half the season, but if you want to get right against anyone, then it’s the 49ers. They’re awful in every aspect of defending. The Seahawks also lost Tyler Lockett for the season, he’d been having a bit of a breakout, and snapping his leg was gutting. The Niners are without Carlos Hyde who went to IR last week, he was the only spark on their offence, so Seattle should deal with them fairly easily. Seattle are 10 points favourites, which if they put in half an effort they should beat.
The Texans have no motivation, and are awful for gambling/fantasy purposes, so I won’t give that game any more mention. Although if Alfred Blue is decent odds again, could be worth a look.
Tampa vs Carolina could be interesting, if 8 different things, including a draw go well for Tampa then they can sneak into the playoffs, they have a less than 1% chance… Anyway, Doug Martin this week checked himself into a clinic after it was announced he’s suspended for 4 games for taking Adderall, actually good for the Buccs as he’s now voided $7m of Guaranteed money and gives them a few more options. It does however mean that Jacquizz Rodgers will be the go to guy this week with Peyton Barber as his backup, so worth keeping an eye on their prices.
Raiders vs Broncos could of been a decider for the division, as it has happened, the Raiders are still in the hunt for homefield advantage, and need the win to ensure they take the division ahead of the Chiefs. The Broncos lack of a running game, and offence in general has hit them hard, and caused divisions in the locker room between the 2 units, not much will change against the Raiders this week who aren’t the best defensively, but should be able to get after Siemian, and Lynch when he takes over at half time. Lynch isn’t ready to play, so can see them drop off further in the second half. The Raiders unfortunately lost Derek Carr last week, a real shame as they might have been able to challenge the Patriots in the race to SB51, but without him, they’re seriously downgraded. McGloin isn’t an awful QB, but he’s a backup for a reason. Against the “no fly zone” in Denver, they’ll run the ball, run it again, then run it some more, and with Washington, Richard and Murray all having games last week, and Murray embarrassing the Broncos in the first match up, that seems the way to go. Good luck picking which will get the score(s) though. Basically avoid all Broncos, and check the prices, and yardages on the Raiders RBs, especially against a bottom 5 rush defence in Denver. Scratch that, 365 have them priced up already. I’d be tempted with a 1 point on each of them, Murray is 11/8, Richard 4/1 (Ladbrokes) and Washington a lovely 9/1.
The Chiefs go into San Diego, for possibly the Chargers last game in the city, needing a win to try and take the division from the Raiders. They finally have an offence, and arguably the most explosive player in the league in Tyreek Hill, he’s great to watch, and gives the Chiefs some real options, whether it’s returning, running or catching the ball. He really adds to their previously plodding efficient offense. Since going 0-5 at the start of last season, the Chiefs are a frankly ridiculous 21-4 in the regular season, and probably deserve a lot more respect than they have received. They’ve also swept the AFC West so far this season. They need to get their running game kick started, but with all pro defenders, Travis Kelce having a career year, and Tyreek now giving an extra dimension on the offence, they could go far. The Chargers could of been a playoff team if they didn’t suffer huge injuries seemingly every week. It really has been a horrible year for them, and is looking like it will cost Mike McCoy his job. They’re again without Melvin Gordon, agonisingly short of 1,000 yards on 997, and lost Kenneth Farrow last week, meaning that Ronnie Hillman is the main man in the running game. That’s never good. Antonio Gates got a touchdown last week, meaning he needs just 1 more now to tie the Tight end TD record. He really wants to retire, but i’m guessing he may be back next year for at least a few games if he doesn’t get that 1 TD this week. I don’t think they’ll be resting players, mainly because there can’t be many more there to play, but it’s tough to go with anything from them.
Very nearly missed the biggest game of the weekend! The Packers vs the Lions. This one will be all the starters, all the game, winner takes the division. The loser, could possibly miss out on the playoffs altogether. The Packers at the moment, are just a much better team than the Lions, they’re clicking everywhere, Rodgers is probably the MVP for the second half of the season. Jordy Nelson has quietly had a cracking season, and he and Adams are the best 1-2 in the league TD-wise. With Darius Slay still carrying a knock, both of those guys should get some action. Although Adams can’t be trusted as he had his big week last week, therefore, trend states he’ll have a poor one this. Ty Montgomery is still looking good at RB despite not scoring last week. The Packers did however, still concede 25 points to a blunt Vikings team last week though, so are exploitable. The Lions will again probably be without Riddick, so Zach Zenner again?! He did get 2 TDs last week at least. Golden Tate has received 5 or more catches in his last 11 games! So is always worth a look at, Marvin Jones seems to hardly have received that many since going for over 200 against the Packers earlier in the season, will they finally look for him again? Matt Stafford is carrying that finger injury, but ran one in again last week (at 14/1 which I mentioned but didn’t tip!??!) Ebron had himself a game last week too, 93 yards from 8 catches, but their longest play of the whole game was 21 yards. That won’t be good enough this week, but they do face a much worse secondary. The Packers only being 3 points favourites, to me is far too short, and seeing as this is the only match I can practically guarantee the starters playing the whole game, i’m going to have to NAP it. Packers – 3 – 5/6 everywhere – 5pts. I’d be looking at overs on the totals in this match too, the Packers score a lot, and aren’t great at defending. They’re set at 49.5. Anything over 50 I usually avoid so it’s on the cusp. I’ll probably put the totals in a treble with the Bears and Washington games.
That’s pretty much all my thought on the games on the list above. Without wanting to get overly complicated, it could be a week to look for odds on 1st half markets. It’s definitely a week to watch your stakes, and play it safe.
I’ll be updating this post later this evening, or tomorrow morning with a few bets. There’s not many markets available at the moment, as well, the bookies themselves probably don’t even know who’s going to play and obviously they don’t want to screw themselves over.
I’ll also try and put up a bit on the other matches around the league, but they’ll be even harder to figure out. – The other couple of things on my shortlist are. Pittsburgh game unders. Cardinals beat the handicap. Steve Smith – ALL THE YARDS vs the Bengals, it’s likely his last game. Bilal Powell depending on odds and yards. Annoyingly there’s not many markets for the 1800 matches, so narrows down a lot.
- Golden Tate o5.5 receptions – 4/5 (365)
- Desean Jackson o62.5 rec yds – 8/11 (365)
- Baldwin anytime – 11/10
- Steve Smith anytime – 11/8 (Skybet)
- Overs in the Bears, Redskins and Packers games around 6/1
- The Raiders guys 1 pt on each
- NAP – Packers -3pts – 5/6 – 5 pts
18 pt total for tonight
I Iposted a couple on Twitter. DeAngelo Williams and Darren McFadden error badly mispriced. 10/3 and 7/2 but that price has long gone now.
I’m actually looking forward to next week, playoff previews and my season long bets/records reviews will be up, interesting to see how close I was to what actually happened. I think i’m around 50/50… possibly… Maybe.
Hope this has helped and given a little information, it’s all from what i’ve listened to during the week, and what I project myself.
Happy new year everyone. Adam. TouchdownTips.