So, as expected the Thursday night super-clash between the Broncos and the Colts by all accounts was not the most entertaining encounter and I’m glad I avoided tipping anything on it as the one thing I was looking at was Chester Rogers to get some yards. He finished with 0-0 from 3 targets. I had also picked the Colts to win on the OLBG blog, mainly because they were at home and I had to pick someone. Oh well. On to a couple of much more interesting looking games!
Chicago Bears (+5) at Detroit Lions – o/u 44
An NFC North clash which may have some relevance as the Lions kept themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot with a narrow win of the Bucs last week. They have a 7-6 record and the Bengals after this win those two and they’re in with a great chance of going into the final game of the season against the Packers with 9 wins knowing that a win will probably get them into the playoffs for the second year in a row. They haven’t been great at home though with just 2 wins from the 6 they’ve played there so far, and a QB Matthew Stafford suffered a hand injury against the Ravens a fortnight ago which could have ruined things for them, but he looked more than capable at the Bucs, throwing for 381 yards, unfortunately just the 1 TD and 2 INTs, but he was clutch when needed and set up a couple of short rushing TDs for his team.
Those TDs went to Theo Riddick who has been performing well in the absence of Ameer Abdullah scoring 3 rushing TDs in 2 games for the Lions. It is believed that Abdullah was actually ready to go last week but was left out possibly due to performances, although giving him an extra week was never going to be a bad thing in the long run. Riddick has usually been the pass-catching back, but has looked good between the tackles. In my opinion they should swap roles and have Abdullah as a pass catcher, he can break ankles with his cuts but it only takes a light breeze to get him down when amongst tacklers, we will need to keep an eye on team news on Saturday to see what happens with AA this week. Tion Green was the guy I was expecting to get goal-line carries last week, he’s bigger built than the other two, but he didn’t get many snaps at all last week (5 carries for 15 yards) so who knows what his situation is.
Eric Ebron has his one game of the season, although I seem to remember him actually impressing towards the end of last season as well so maybe he’ll manage two in a row, he is by no means trustworthy though so won’t be considered for any bets. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jnr may be considered though depending on the price, Jones especially has had a bit of a breakout season and looks like he should top 1,000 yards in a season for the first time in his career. He’s only had less than 54 yards once in the last 9 games, and has topped 100 in 3 of them scoring 6 TDs in that span. He is the outside threat and his the ability to beat any defensive player as shown by his 2 TD game against Xavier Rhodes. A best price of 13/10 on him, I actually like the look of his receiving yards on Paddypower, he’s o61.5 on there at 5/6 (or 64.5 10/11 on 365 if you prefer) as opposed to 85.5 on Skybet!. Golden Tate is the slot receiver and favourite target of Stafford and he usually plays his game, 8 receptions in each of the last 2 games, but he averages around 6 per game over the season. It’s tough to call when Tate will score, but he gets reliable usage and is usually worth a look at least. They have his yards and receptions lines pretty much spot on though at 5.5 and 60ish. The smooth smooth routes of Kenny G(olladay) have been quiet after he entered the league with a bang, whether he’s still feeling his injury or not, who knows, but he’s not in consideration for bets.
The Bears had a confident building destruction of the Bengals last week, a game which saw the 2 worst offences in the league face off with the statistical worst offence notching up 33 points. It was against a beaten up Bengals team missing a lot of players and coming off the back of a demoralizing defeat to the Steelers though so I’m not sure what to take from it.
BUT Mitchell Trubisky did have by far the best game of his fledgling career, throwing for 271 yards and running in a TD for himself as well. Given that he’s really not working with much in the passing game, it was a good performance from him.
The man who caught the lone TD pass thrown by Mitch was tight end Adam Shaheen, with the season over it makes sense for them to mix in the giant pass catcher. He finished with 4 catches from 5 targets, and the one that wasn’t caught drew a pass interference call in the end zone which he converted on the next play. With Zach Miller probably retiring from his horrific injury and Dion Sims being frankly, not very good, it could see Shaheen getting involved a lot more over the last few games and he’s a guy I’ve tipped up a couple of times. Frustratingly not last week! You can still get 8/1 at Bet365 on him, and as they’ve kept it that high I will have one last go on him this week! Other than that the pass catching corps is very tough to call, Inman was the man one week, Kendall Wright last week, it’s impossible to call so I won’t go much further into that area.
Jordan Howard should have himself a game though. The Lions have a good cornerback group, but haven’t defended the run well of late allowing TDs in the last few weeks to the position and Howard ran all over the Bengals last week for 147 yards, taking him over 1,000 for the second season and 2 TDs. He should be on for at least 1 this week and is the shortest odds scorer available at Evens, and 7/1 for 2 or more. Other than him they should try and mix in “the human joystick” Tarik Cohen. He had a good game against the Bengals as well and was unlucky not to get in the endzone himself, he’s been up and down with usage, so a little more risky, but if he gets in space he can beat anyone out there.
Chicago are 1-8 vs the Lions in their last 9 and I think it should be 1-9 after this. I’m not sure I would take the Lions on the handicap though, I think it should go over the total, but again I’m not entirely confident in that. So just a few prop bets for me on this match.
- Marvin Jones o61.5 receiving yards – 5/6 (PP) – 2pts
- Adam Shaheen anytime TD – 8/1 (365) – 1pt
- Jordan Howard anytime TD – Evens – 3pts (365)
- Jordan Howard 2+ TDs – 7/1 (365) 1pt
LA Chargers (-1) at KC Chiefs – o/u – 46.5
Man, I love the Chargers, they are my official second team in the league, they’re so much fun to watch. Phillip Rivers is great. He’s on fire in the last month (good for my top passer bet) with 1,348 yards in the last 4 games, throwing for 8 TDs in those 4 as well. He has a unique throwing style and I, for one would love to a re-match of the game he played on a torn ACL vs the Patriots in 2007. A Chargers and Patriots AFC championship game would be great! (and also mean the Steelers had lost somewhere along the way…)
Nearly half of those Rivers yards have been to Keenan Allen who became the first player in history to have 10+ catches, 100+ yards and 1+ TD in 3 consecutive games during this run. That was snapped this week, but he still topped 100 yards, his total in those 4 games? 547 yards. This week should be another good week for the Chargers as the Chiefs don’t have a very good secondary, especially against the slot where Allen predominantly plays, he also has a decent record against them historically as well which is a good sign. The Chiefs welcome back Marcus Peters, but he doesn’t travel with players, so he’ll Allen won’t play every snap up against him. The general advice is to take whoever plays the least snaps against Peters, but with the Chargers not really having a number.2 receiver it becomes a little more difficult. Last week Tyrell Williams had the big reception for a TD, other times this year it’s been Travis Benjamin. Because they have a similar role, it’s not worth risking either from a betting standpoint, and it’s not really worth mentioning top 10 draft pick Mike Williams either due to how injury prone he’s been this season. Tight end Hunter Henry is in a good spot as well, the Chiefs aren’t great against tight ends and HH is one of the best in the league in only his second year. The Chargers have only lost once this season when he’s had 5 or more targets, he’s topped 50 yards in the last 3 games with TDs in 2 of them. He’s 2/1 anytime today on Unibet, but over 35.5 receiving yards on Skybet looks like a cracking bet.
The running back position is mainly Melvin Gordon’s, he gets a lot of the carries but hardly blows the opposition away, only going over 100 yards twice this season. He has scored 10 TDs on the ground and through the air though, which is not a bad return so far on the season! He has been spelled by Austin Ekeler who has been a good addition to the super-chargers, he’s a pass catching back mainly and is explosive on 3rd downs, he only averages 5 carries a game over the last month and only 2 or 3 catches in each, but he’s put up big numbers with those limited chances, 247 yards from 27 touches. His odds are too short to be considered for me at a best price of 5/2.
One of the reasons that the Chargers would be a good match for the Patriots is the best pass rush duo in the league, Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa are unstoppable when they’re on their game, it’s a sight to behold! I’m not a defensive expert by any means, but they’re great to watch.
The Chiefs played a lot better in pretty much shutting down the Raiders last week, and in doing so provided a good game script that kept Kareem Hunt involved for the first time since week 3 really. It’s been painful for Hunt owners in fantasy as he scored his 1st TD he exploded onto the scene at the start of the season. He finished with over 100 rushing yards and 138 yards in total. It was the first time in 5 games that he’d gone over 20 carries, and it’s what they need to do if they want to try and win. This week may well be different though as the Chargers have been blowing teams away with first half performances in recent weeks, so it will be interesting to see how the Chiefs use Hunt.
Alex Smith had an impressive start to the season but had dropped off a little in recent months during their 6/7 losing run, looking at his stat-line over that time and it seems to show that it wasn’t really his fault that they weren’t winning, he hadn’t had an awful game in any of them, it was just that their defence fell apart. He’s also done well running the ball as well so o20.5 rushing yards (PP) looks good to me, he’s beaten that line in 5 of the last 6, and as I’m expecting it to be a tight, high scoring game, he may well be required to scramble tonight as well. Worth mentioning he only rushed for 9 yards in the first game between these two, but that was a game they won comfortably.
Tyreek Hill has some crazy home/road splits and for some reason it’s on the road where he looks far better! He is still yet to score a receiving TD at home this season and last week was the first time all season that he had got out of the 40s in yards gained at home, finishing with 75 yards against the Raiders. You all know who he is by now, he’s a speedster with decent hands and is great in space. Travis Kelce is the only other guy to really pay attention to in the passing game, the Chargers held him to 1 catch for 1 yard earlier in the season. I think I can quite confidently predict that he beats that mark today, he had his second highest targets of the year last week with 13, catching 7 of them, over 5.5 receptions is a little close to the line though, I think he’ll be between 4 and 6 so not bet there for me. Yardage wise I won’t be taking either Hill or Kelce who are 65ish and 55ish respectively on PP. I would lean over on the Kelce yards but won’t be taking it. Other than that it’s much the same as the Chargers, they have their 2 mains guys then it’s all a bit mix and match, good for them as a team, but not great for us. Albert Wilson is probably the 3rd best choice, but I can’t recommend anyone from the rest of them.
Overall I want the Chargers to win, and on form they should win, but history isn’t on their side. The Chiefs haven’t allowed more than 20 points in their last 12 home games and they dominate in the AFC West in general and the Chargers have lost their last 5 in this matchup. Interestingly the total has gone under in 7 of the last 8 Chargers games. – Without reading any of this I would have said that the Chargers will win and it will go over the total! Again I won’t be touching the spread of the total, but would lean towards those if I was being forced to select anything!
So, just the two selections for me on the second game of the night. It should be a beauty and I’m looking forward to a 120am wake up to watch it!
- Hunter Henry o35.5 receiving yards – 10/11 (Skybet) – 2pts
- Alex Smith o20.5 rushing yards – 5/6 (PP) – 2pts
Good luck if you’re following and with whatever you choose from today. It’s been a while since I’ve done a full write up on any games so hopefully it will pay dividends and provide some winners today.
In fact, sod it, there’s only two games on today – 1st Bears scorer – Howard 11/4 and 1st Charger scorer – Henry 11/2 – 22/1 double on PP – 0.5pt