So last week went well! In fact other than the Saturday matches, I ran the table on moneyline which would have given an over 150/1 winner had you been crazy enough to back them all! I wouldn’t expect that to happen this week obviously as it’s not an easy thing to do and it was 15-1 on the favourites last week, that’s not a regular occurence!
So no Thursday night game this week but a couple of Saturday nights for us, the Colts and the Packers games both taking place a day earlier.
Well, that sucked, the Colts put up a decent fight and I thought they may have brought home our Ravens u9.5 total wins season long bet, but it wasn’t to be despite having very good field position with their final drive. Jacoby Brissett just isn’t very good. Although it doesn’t help that his receivers don’t like catching the ball. And to wrap things up, Mike Wallace was half a yard short on his target line. And to make that even worse. His final catch… He decided to run backwards before getting tackled. HALF A YARD. Come on man! Would have had that line otherwise. Oh well.
Then the late game. Well, I’m glad I didn’t get up to watch it. It was pretty cold and no-one did anything, so safe to say it didn’t go very well for any bets. Or anyone starting Case Keenum at QB in their fantasy championships. Oh dear.
And on to Sunday night – Christmas Eve games!
Teams with things to play for –
- Carolina need to win to keep up their division challenge
- Lions need to win to keep in the hunt in the wild card race
- KC – a win would clinch the AFC West
- A Bills win would keep theoretically keep them in the race for wildcard
- Pats need to win out to ensure the #1 seed
- Saints and Falcons in the same situation, both need to keep winning
- If the Chargers win out and the Titans slip up they will sneak a wildcard
- Rams need the win to keep in the hunt for a top seeding
- Titans need to win to keep in the hunt for a wildcard
- Jaguars can theoretically get a 1st round bye if things land right
- Seattle and Dallas both need the win to keep in the wildcard hunt
- Steelers need to keep winning to stop the Jags leaping them
- Eagles need 1 win to seal the #1 seed in the NFC
Tampa Bay (10) at Carolina – o/u – 46.5
Another one-sided affair on the card for this one. The Panthers have quietly made their way into a very decent position on the season and need the win against the Bucs before facing the Panthers in a huge game in the final week. They got Greg Olsen involved a lot last week for the first time since his return from injury which meant less reliance on Funchess, which makes them more difficult to defend and McCaffrey looked good as well. Cam is having an up season as well and their pass rush and defence in general has been very good. The Bucs? They at least put some effort in at home last week, but I can’t see them doing much in Carolina, having said that it’s usually quite close for divisional matches and they will want to play spoiler Doug Martin was out through a disciplinary matter last week but should be available this week which mixes up the RB spot too much for me – PANTHERS – So injuries for the Bucs… OJ Howard on IR. DeSean Jackson probably out as well. That leaves Cameron Brate as the tight end he looks for and with their season over they may want to get a better look at rookie Chris Godwin who got quite a few targets a fortnight ago. He’s a nice 8/1 to score anytime against the Panthers – Chris Godwin anytime TD – 8/1 (Ladbrokes) – 1pt – with them being big favourites all the Panthers are too short with the exception of Damiere Byrd – 9/2 (365) – 2pts who scored 2 TDs last week and is the main downfield threat for the Panthers. 50/.1 to repeat his 2 TD antics if you fancy it!
Cleveland (6.5) at Chicago – o/u – 38
So the Browns are down to 2 games to avoid joining the Lions as the only teams to have gone through the season without a win. Lets be fair. It’s not been a good year for them. They’ve got the Steelers in the final game of the season, so that seems unlikely despite them sometimes playing down to their opposition. So. It has to be this week. Oh dear, the Browns are going 0-16 forever immortalising Hue Jackson in infamy before he inevitably rejoins the Bengals over the summer. The Bears are a surprisingly decent defence, especially at home and Jordan Howard should have a bounce-back after screwing over my dynasty team last week. – Apparently John Fox has lost all 7 games in charge of the Bears as a favourite. I do however think that the Browns could cover the handicap, and also the Overs in this game. BEARS – Tight ends score against the Browns, it’s what they do. With the health of Shaheen looking dodgy it could be worth looking at Sims or Daniel Brown to score anytime, they are bests of 15/2 (Skybet) and 10/1 (365) – 1pt respectively. Brown out-targeted Sims last week 4-1 with Shaheen out of the game. Shaheen was limited in practise on Friday and listed as doubtful so he has a chance of playing but we won’t know until 430pm-ish what the deal is there so a bit of a risky bet just on health.
Detroit (-3) at Cincinnati – o/u – 44
I have found my NAP. The only thing going for the Bengals that I can see is that it’s probably Marvin Lewis’ last game in charge at the Jungle. But they’re still decimated by injuries in the secondary and will likely be starting two rookies at linebacker as well as missing their cornerbacks. They’re also the worst team in the league on offense, especially in the second half. I have already backed the Lions at -3.5, that line went up to 5 but is now back in to 4.5. I still think that’s value. The Lions need to keep winning to be in with a chance of scraping into the playoffs. This week could be the first time for 7,000 years that they have a game with a 100 yard rusher, although with Riddick questionable with wrist injury and Abdullah out of form it may be a struggle. Matthew Stafford has 290 yards or multiple TDs in each of his last 10 games and I would be surprised if that streak stopped. I have absolutely zero faith in the Bengals this week. In fact we could see Jeff Driskel at some point. They’ll cover the spread and win – LIONS – So I am really confident on this one, but the Sharps and experts seem to be leaning towards the Bengals and it’s not usually a good move to go against them. I took the Lions -3.5 at the start of the week they went out to -5 and are now back into -3 and getting shorter, so I am flummoxed. It looks like Mixon and Burfict are probably going to be back which helps them on either side of the ball, and Dre and Dennard are both off the injury list as well. But still. The Lions need the win, the Bengals don’t. I just don’t know. The money for the Bengals has really put me off doubling down on the Lions.
Miami (10) at Kansas City – o/u – 43.5
Something I forgot until this week is that the Dolphins haven’t had a bye week. They’ve played 14 consecutive weeks now and that has to be taking a strain and they’ve not exactly impressed all season, well, except their Superbowl vs the Patriots a couple of weeks ago. Landry should get the ball a lot against a poor slot defence, and they should use Kenyan Drake a lot on the ground as well. But the Chiefs have gone 13 home games in a row without conceding more than 20 points at home. I can’t see the Dolphins snapping that. Kelce should have a good game this week, it’s all set up for him. CHIEFS – Kelce anytime TD – 4/5 (Trixie – 3/3)
Buffalo (+11) at New England – o/u – 47
The Patriots need to win their last two games to get home-field for the playoffs, if they slip up they may even lose the Bye-week to the Jaguars. They’ll be without Rex GOAT-head this week who is out until the playoffs at least with a knee injury, so that should mean more Lewis, White and maybe even Gillislee (10/11, 11/4 and 11/4) re-activated in a revenge game for him. He could sneak some goal line carries. The Bills run defence is probably their weakest area so I would expect Bill and Brady to target that in general. The Bills are in theory still in the hunt for the playoffs but that should end tonight. They will need Charles Clay to have the game of his career to stand any chance of keeping up with the Pats. I wouldn’t take them against the spread, but PATRIOTS – Gronk anytime – 4/5 (Trixie – 1/3)
Atlanta (+6.5) at New Orleans – o/u – 52.5
Another great NFC South encounter. This was the game that Alvin Kamara was knocked out of a couple of weeks ago which the Saints still would have won had it not been for a poor interception thrown by Brees. For the sake of excitement going into the final week I want the Falcons to win, but the Saints have been great to watch this year and deserve all the plaudits. Atlanta are one of the worst in the league against pass catching backs so looks for Kamara rec. yards if you can find that specifically. The Falcons should welcome back Tevin Coleman from his concussion, I’m not sure that’s necessarily a good thing as Freeman performed very well last week with a pretty much full workload. Julio will probably be up against Marshon Lattimore, so it could be a big game for Mo Sanu. I would expect the Saints to take care of business at home – SAINTS – Although it’s only a 3 game sample size. Michael Thomas has scored in every game against the Falcons so it seems sensible to put him in an anytime trixie for today! (He is questionable but expected to play so may be worth keeping an eye out on that) – Michael Thomas anytime – 11/8 Ladbrokes (Trixie – 2/3) So it looks like Skybet are offering Kamara receiving yards at 50.5 – I was looking for around 50 so I’ll be taking that – Alvin Kamara o50.5 receiving yards – 10/11 – 5pts – NAP. I do like Total Rush yards on bet365 at over 236.5 – 8/11 – 3pts – both teams have a very good 2 headed attack in the run game and they should be able to top 120 yards each rushing.
LA Chargers (-6.5) at NY Jets – o/u – 43
LA need a win to keep up their … CHARGE… for a playoff spot in the AFC. It’s not easy coming from the sunny warm west coast and heading up to 40 degrees in NY, but even without Hunter Henry who has a lacerated kidney, they should have more than enough for the Bryce Petty led Jets. In fairness the Jets did well to hang with the Saints last week but it did look like the Saints could have stepped up if needed. CHARGERS – Unfortunately the HH news was too early in the week to get us any value on Antonio Gates who is a measly 2/1, the Jets give up the second most big plays in the league (receptions of over 20 yards) so I like the look of Travis Benjamin to get some action, although 10/3 is a little on the short side. It could also be worth a look at Branden Oliver at 5s with Austin Ekeler breaking his hand last week there could be a spot for Oliver to get involved again. He’s a best price of 5/1
LA Rams (-6.5) at Tennessee – o/u – 47
The Rams destroyed the Seahawks on their own turf last week and should be able to take care of the broken Titans on their own turf as well. They’ve been lucky with their lack of injuries this year, and have one of the best special teams units in the league (see the NFC pro-bowl team for confirmation there!) Their offensive line was creating huge gaps for Gurley to speed through last week and I couldn’t believe his pace on the last of his 4 TDs, I never knew he had that in him! Robert Woods was back for them and immediately took the highest share of the passing pie. This could be a Cooper Kupp week against the Titans poor slot coverage. From the Titans side of it, Mariota isn’t playing well so their team isn’t playing well. It’s been noted that they’re one of the slowest operating sides in the league, whereas Mariota was drafted so high because he ran such a high-paced offense under Chip Kelly in college. They’ve made him change and it’s not working. Delanie Walker is the only guy worth mentioning from them. I have taken the Rams to cover the spread, I’m not as positive on it now, but they looks great – RAMS – Cooper Kupp o46.5 receiving yards – 5/6 (PP) – 2pts
Denver (3) at Washington – o/u – 40.5
Who will be at QB for the Broncos this week?! Does anyone really care? Not really, although CJ Anderson might do, he’s 142 yards away from 1,000 yards and Vance Joseph hinted that they’d try and get him to that mark. This game has nothing riding on it. I prefer the Redskins, they’re the more entertaining team and I despise Aqib Talib. Also, Kapri Bibbs is the man! He gave Chris and myself a 22/1 winner last week (a mighty 7/4 this week…) so I have to back them, also Kirk Cousins should want to put on a show for his prospective bidders given that he’s up for a contract renewal again in the summer – WASHINGTON – The Redskins have been decimated at running back, it looks like they’ll be going with Kapri Bibbs and someone signed off the streeets – Dare Ogunbowale?! Even though he’s only been signed this week he’s still in at 4/1 so an obvious no bet. And while the Redskins have had their RB room hit, the Broncos have had their WR room ruined. They’ll be using Demaryius Thomas and a group of bums. One of said bums is Jordan Taylor, I’ve had a dart on him at 20/1 on Unibet 0.5pt.
Jacksonville (-4.5) at San Francisco – o/u – 42
The Jaguars are chasing the top 2 seeds in the AFC, we all predicted that at the start of the season didn’t we? And Blake Bortles may well start for me in fantasy football championship week. It’s a horrible situation to be in, but he’s been brilliant this last month! They visit the 3-0 49ers who have been transformed with Jimmy G under centre but this will be by far the biggest test he’s faced, he has been brilliant and seems to have full confidence in his ability. It will be a very good test of how good he actually is this week and one I actually think he’ll do fairly well in. But I don’t think he’ll be able to score enough to keep up with the Jags (I can’t believe I just wrote that) – The spread has actually come in, so there’s money for the Niners, I would (and will) take them to beat the spread – JAGUARS
NY Giants (+3) at Arizona – o/u – 40
The Giants seemed to have revived their offense last week putting up 29 points against one of the best defences in the league. They have a new coach which could have given them the spark for last week, whether they can carry it across the country to take on the Cardinals is a different thing. Without a proper #1 WR they actually match up OK with Arizona as Sterling Shepard will be in the slot and should largely avoid Patrick Peterson it could help them move the ball. The Blaine Gabbert era is over. Drew Stanton is back in at QB. Meh. It doesn’t mean a whole lot to be honest, but if he manages to convert at least one red zone trip it will be an upgrade on what they’ve done in recent weeks. Mainly due to the home-field advantage i’ll go for the – CARDINALS – Stanton targeted Jermaine Gresham a lot when he was playing last time, he scored 3 games in a row, but missed out last week through illness, so he should be back today, it’s a tough call as he’s now sharing the role with Troy Niklas and Ricky Seals-Jones, one of them should score against the Giants who are one of the worst in the league against the tight end. 4/1, 5/2 and 13/2 respectively for those guys. I won’t be tipping one, but may have a go on one of them later tonight. Wayne Gallman is probably the guy to look for in the Giants team, they are trying to see what the rookie has got and gave him a lot of touches last week. He’s 4/1 so I’ll have a go on him. – Wayne Gallman anytime – 4/1 (Ladbrokes) – 2pts
Seattle (+4.5) at Dallas – o/u – 47
Zeke is back! And he returns in time to face a Seahawks team which gave up 4 TDs to one RB last week! He’s seems to have been working hard during his 6 weeks break and looks in better shape now than at the start of the season, the Cowboys will however be without Tyron Smith who is injured again which could affect their offensive line, but with the running game they want back in play it won’t hurt them as much as earlier in the season. The Seahawks were a hot mess against the Rams last week who dominated them on both sides of the ball and not even the brilliance of Wilson could save them. He’ll have an easier time against a crappy Cowboys defence. This could turn into a shootout as I expect both teams to be able to score quite easily. The line is pretty high but I may take the overs still, as for the win? Home-field again – COWBOYS
Pittsburgh (-9) at Houston – o/u – 45.5
The Steelers suffered an brilliantly heart-breaking defeat to the Patriots last week which was fully deserved after Juju deemed it hilariously funny to mock giving someone concussion, I get the feeling he’s a bit of a dick. They still should have taken the game to overtime, but they knew that Belichick would out-coach them so felt they had to go for the win which Ben magnificently screwed up completely. Juju should however have a good game with Antonio Brown missing out, but the main beneficiary will probably be Lev Bell in the passing game. The Texans have DeAndre Hopkins who is chasing down AB at the top of the receiver rankings. He needs 220 in 2 games to get to the top. Given that he’s pretty much the only player they target, he might be able to get there even with TJ Yates under centre. I won’t be touching the handicap here, it’s Christmas day, the Steelers suffered that crippling defeat in their last game, this is a trap game with regards to a near double digit spread, they should still win though – PITTSBURGH
Oakland Raiders (+9) at Philadelphia Eagles – o/u – 47
The Raiders are out of contention for anything and again have doubts over both of their main WRs. They’ve not been good this season on either side of the ball and Carr seems to have regressed after a breakout year. This isn’t a good spot for them. But this match seems like it will depend on the result of the Packers v Vikings match. IF Brett Hundely somehow leads his team to a win then the Eagles clinch the #1 seed and have suggested they’ll rest the apparently “blessed” *wink wink* Nick Foles and a host of other starters which could change how much they win this match by. I’m going to assume the Vikings win anyway, Foles threw for 4 TDs in a surprising shootout, this could possibly be high scoring as well, but with it being Christmas Day evening, and probably rather chilly. I may lean to the unders on the totals. EAGLES
- Chris Godwin anytime TD – 8/1 (Ladbrokes) – 1pt
- Damiere Byrd – 9/2 (365) – 2pts
- Daniel Brown anytime TD – 10/1 (365) – 1pt
- Kelce, Gronk, Michael Thomas trixie (best priced at Unibet) – 1×4 – 4pt total
- Alvin Kamara o50.5 receiving yards – 10/11 – 5pts – NAP
- Saints v Falcon Total rush yard o236.5 – 8/11 (Main props – Bet365) – 3pts
- Cooper Kupp o46.5 receiving yards – 5/6 (PP) – 2pts
- Jordan Taylor anytime TD – 20/1 (Unibet) – 0.5pt
- Wayne Gallman anytime TD – 4/1 (Ladbrokes) – 2pts
Also, make sure you join the draftkings league! Hopefully someone other than Derrick500 will win it this week! – https://dkn.gs/r/LOYkrK-f-EK5O-pQQpglFg to join the league, and if you don’t have a draftkings account and want one then sign up through my refer-a-friend link and I might eventually get something from it. I’m not entirely sure what or when or how to be honest, but I think it’s an entry to a different comp. – https://www.draftkings.co.uk/r/cavey007 – I’ve had three sign ups through it so far and got nothing from it, so god knows!
So a mixed bunch for Christmas Eve, don’t go too crazy and don’t bet what you can’t afford to lose. Don’t let it ruin Christmas for you! – But hey, if you win, hit me up on twitter and paypal me some beer tokens 😉
Thank you for reading all year and for any and all comments and interaction I’ve had with a lot of you on twitter. I try and reply to everything I see on there, apologies if I don’t!