Well, last night didn’t go to plan, the Colts were blown out by the Chiefs, yet despite trailing seemed intent on running the ball with Marlon Mack for the entire game instead of handing it over to their rookie pass catching back who has looked explosive when he’s played. Weird game all round that one. And the Cowboys are out. Excellent.
2 games, 2 home wins and 2 covers.
Right, apologies for this one, it’s been a crazy week in our household involving far far more extended family time than usual so this one might not be as in-depth as Saturdays, in fact. It won’t but it’ll show you what I’m looking at anyway.
LA Chargers (+4) @ NE Patriots: 47.5
The Chargers have won all 9 games on the road, every team who has won 9 on the road in a season has gone on to win the Superbowl. The Patriots have won all 8 at home, Brady has won all 7 he’s played against the Chargers. They also seem to always win coming off a bye in the playoffs, however the QBs he’s faced in those have been a chump parade: See, Brock Osweiler and Matt Schaub,
Tom Brady hasn’t lost to the Chargers, he’s 7-0 in his career but he’s getting older by the day (no shit) and hasn’t looked quite himself this year, he’s over thrown wide open guys in the back of the end zone, underthrown throwaways, and seems to have the yips when trying to avoid pass rush more often than not these days, simply laying down to avoid contact. This weekend he’ll be facing the best pass rush duo in the league in Bosa and Ingram, Ingram in particular was a monster last week.
They have 3 active backs who all slightly different things, Sony Michel is the more traditional runner although wasn’t very effective when last seen, Rex Burkhead is more of a middle ground being adept on the ground and through the air, and James White is further towards a WR with rushing ability. Then you bring in full back James Develin randomly in goal line situations to smash his way through. It makes it very tough to figure out. I think they’ll probably lean on James White as they seem to in most playoff games, when crunch time comes they generally go to what has worked in previous years, the guys they trust. over 4.5 receptions for White looks too low, he’s had 5 in 10 of 16 games this year, and one way to slow down pass rush is with quick dump off passes to RBs. (5/6 on Redzone) In fact even over 2 receptions (5/6 on RZ) for Burkhead isn’t awful, he’s had at least 2 in 4 of 8 games this year.
The pass catchers are probably a little easier to figure out, It’s Julian Edelman.
They’ve been very well coached on defense as they usually are, they’re better than the Chargers at linebacker and Stefon Gilmore has had a good season shutting down WRs, I’m guessing he’ll be mainly on Mike Williams tonight.
Ok they do have a couple of other potential pass catchers. That Gronkowski fella is still there and despite looking 69 years old all season he’s still a beast and a bit of me thinks that after the bye week he might be looking fitter? I won’t be betting on him but still he’s massive and can box out defenders. Chris Hogan has had a bump in targets and yards since Gordon left, he’s set at 33.5 yards (10/11 on RZ, 5/6 on PP) and they welcome back Cordarelle Patterson from a knee injury, he’s electric and can create something from nothing, so a low line like 17.5 (only on RZ at 10/11) is tempting. And then there’s Phillip Dorsett who has 3 TDs on the year and has done a job when needed. 3/1, 4/1 and 9/2 for anytime scorers on Hogan, C Patt and Dorsett. I’m not going to be on any of them, arguably Patterson would be the choice of the 3 especially as he’s a kick returner as well.
The Chargers travel East once again, something that stereotypically trips teams up but they’ve had to do it so often this year and have done with success that I’m not sure it will detract from their performance too much.
Philip Rivers is awesome, he shotputs the ball better than anyone else in the league and remarkably had a career rushing game last week with 15 yards on the ground. He’s actually not thrown for 200 yards in his last 3 games, but they were against Baltimore twice and in Denver so not as bad as it originally sounds. He does need to re-find his form from earlier in the year, but he’s capable of hanging with anyone and throwing for 400 yards if required.
And that might be required in this one, Melvin Gordon has been great this season and utilised well by the Chargers, he’s officially off of the injury report but after dealing with MCL sprains for a few weeks he looked very rusty even before going off for a couple of drives last week. Obviously they’ll still use him as much as possible in a huge game but it’s a worry for me. Austin Ekeler stands to gain playing time should Gordon go out or be ineffective and possibly even Justin Jackson should the worst happen and Gordon be knocked out entirely. I think I’ve got to lean u15.5 rush attempts for Gordon on (5/6 on PP). I’m not sure the gamescript will allow it although I am surprised to see he had 17 last week in that blowout. Ekeler a best of 23/10 anytime.
They have the edge over the Patriots on wide receiver, Keenan Allen is one of the best in the league in the slot, Mike Williams has come on well this season and Tyrell Williams is capable of breaking off big gains. I said earlier I think Gilmore will go on Mike Williams, so in theory (if I’m right) Tyrell will get softer coverage. Maybe I’m just projecting again as I like the over 20.5 on Tyrell Williams receiving yards despite the fact he’s let me down in consecutive weeks I just think it’s too low, (5/6 on 365) Travis Benjamin is the wild card (17/2 anytime), usually only catches 1 per game but it’s normally way down the field – He says after seeing he caught 3 of 3 for 11 yards last week… (He averages 15.6 ypc on the season)
Tight end could see the return of Hunter Henry, the guy is brilliant but has missed the season with an ACL injury from training camp. I’m sure they’d prefer him to miss out and save him for next week but that might not be possible. Antonio Gates has been adequate this season, and definitely done well for a 38 year old. He used to play basketball don’t you know. Old reliable caught 4 of 4 last week, and a few of them were key plays, Rivers knows who he can trust.
Bosa and Ingram are brilliant as a pass rush duo, they constantly hounded the Jackson and the Ravens last week. Obviously that was against the least experienced QB in the league, it’s a little different this week, Brady will know exactly what to look for but they’ll get through the line at least. It will be interesting to see what they do at linebacker. They basically didn’t use any last week and played 6 or 7 defensive backs who are generally quicker and kept an eye on Jackson for the game. I doubt that will be the case this week but it was a show of a good defensive co-ordinator.
Right, I think the Chargers are the better team. The line basically has them as even with the Patriots who have a bigger home-field advantage than the usual 3 points. I think it will go under on the total, it’s going to be cold in the North east, there have been snow flurries and they were expecting some here but that seems to have passed now.
I would lean to the Chargers getting the points, but I can’t put money against Belichick coming off a bye week at home.
- James White o4.5 receptions – 5/6 (RZ)
- Tyrell Williams o22.5 rec. yards – 5/6 (365)
I think that’s about it to be honest. The prices on anytimes are skinny, I do like C Patt at the price and it might be worth keeping an eye out on Hunter Henry news as Gates is 5/1 anytime.
Philadelphia Eagles (+8) @ NO Saints: 51.5
I’ll try and get round to this one later, family stuff..
I like Darren Sproles over his rec yards on 365, think it’s 21.5.
Saints have a good run D and he’s had a lot of snaps in recent weeks.
I was tempted by Smallwood over 19.5 rush yards just because it’s such a small line, but not convinced enough without looking into it more.
Dallas Goedert anytime again? 6s on 365, might be bigger elsewhere but for some reason oddschecker doesn’t work on my phone at the moment.
Ted Ginn o49.5. He’s had 50 yards in the last 5 home games, sat out week 17 and a bit too short for anytime imo.
OK ill try and get into this a little more later but at least there’s something out on this game!