Arizona Cardinals -7.5 @ Chicago Bears: 42.5
Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins should be back for the Cardinals. They’ve been winning games without them, with those two back this should be a cakewalk for the Cards. James Conner now sits second in rushing TDs as Taylor has blown up. He has scored in 8 of their last 9 games regardless of who was at QB.
The Bears will have Andy Dalton starting at QB again, I remain steadfast in the fact he’s the better QB at the moment, but this is a dead team walking. Allen Robinson again misses out, so look for Darnell Mooney to have another good game after 120+ in each of his last two, but this is a tough matchup against a solid Arizona defense.
Obviously liked this before it ticked over 7, but still have to lean to the Cards coming off their bye.
Indianapolis Colts -10 @ Houston Texans: 44.5
Jonathan Taylor should hit 150+ and a couple of TDs here, the Texans aren’t good against the run. Well, they’re not very good. TY Hilton has huge games against the Texans in his career, his first game back after injury this year, 4 for 4 and 80 yards vs. the Texans in a 31-3 win; his entire career? 101 catches for 1,798 yards and 11 touchdowns in 19 games.
The Texans are still playing games. Remarkably they have a winning record in division after beating the Jags and Titans. Poooooooop.
Colts win and cover.
Los Angeles Chargers +3 @ Cincinnati Bengals: 49.5
One of the more even games of the weekend, both teams fighting for a spot in the post-season in the AFC. The Chargers have been tough for me to call this year, they’ve been very up and down but they have a top 10 QB, RB and WR on the squad so there’s a chance in every game.
Herbert would have been a Bengal had they not picked at 1 and had the “no-miss” decision to take Joey, he’s got a stronger arm, is more mobile, and does everything you need from an NFL QB, I’d have been happy with either of them. Austin Ekeler has 14 combined TDs this year, 7 of each and has the main role in that backfield and has scored in 8 of their 11 games this year.
Keenan Allen is arguably the best route-runner in the league I love watching him work, it’s the same old story for him really, gets the yards, but not really the scores, 3rd in receptions, 7th in yards and just 2 TDs this season. The other side of the passing game, Mike Williams started on fire scoring 4 in their first 3 games, but he’s only scored in 2 games since then. Outside of those two it’s a bit muddled, they have a host of tight ends who can produce on any given Sunday led by Jared Cook.
They have the players and the coaching to be very good on defense but it’s not been working this year, they’re dead last against the run according to DVOA, 11th vs the pass but it’s seemed worse than that. Weirdly they’ve let up a TON of points to the AFC North this year, 42 to the Browns, 34 to the Ravens and even allowed Big Ben to put up 37 with the Steelers (although a lot of that was D/ST based).
The Bengals won at a canter last week, but it was only against the Steelers, this week should be an actual challenge. Joe Burrow has looked very good coming back from injury, poised in the pocket, he’s not going to blow people away on a week-to-week basis, but he’s just got “it” – His stats against the blitz are near the top, from a clean pocket (The Bengals do occasionally provide one) are level with Brady this year, he’s owns his game at the moment.
The offense is so balanced at the moment that it’s tough for oppsition teams to stop, Mixon has a TD in each of his last 8 games, with 2 in each of his last 4 as they’ve promoted the run game, but if you try and stop him they’ll just throw it to one of their WRs, whether it’s Ja’marr Chase who’s been slowed in recent weeks after bursting on to the scene, Tee Higgins, who stuffed some poor Steelers CB all game last week or Tyler Boyd in the slot, the abundance of talent on the offense is impressive. Oh, and CJ Uzomah at TE is a lovely chap who can pop up with big games if needed.
Defensively they’ve done well this year with a couple of blips; only the Patriots, Bills and Broncos have conceded fewer points in the AFC. Trey Hendrickson has a sack in 7 consecutive games, the most in Bengals history, they’ve even got Eli Apple making plays out there.
So… I genuinely believe the Bengals are the better team at the moment, I think Mixon should control this game, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Chargers put up 25 as well. This could be another 30-30+ slug fest. Should be a cracker.
Minnesota Vikings -7 @ Detroit Lions: 46.5
The Vikings are without Dalvin Cook, so Alexander Mattison deputises, fortunately he’s rather good at doing that; 4 games without Cook, 499 combined yards, 3 TDs, and this is not a tough defense to come in against. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are awesome as a partnership, Jeff has carried on last years form while Thielen always seems to be open.
The Vikings have led by 7 points in every single game this year.
The Lions will be without their one interesting player with D’Andre Swift missing out, Jamaal Williams is fine, but bleh. Actually don’t mind a punt on Jermar Jefferson or even Igwebuike as a long shot this week.
Vikings win, but do they cover? They don’t win any game by more than one score, I would not go near this spread.
New York Giants +6.5 @ Miami Dolphins: 40
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Glennon comes in for Daniel Jones with a poorly neck, he played a lot of the game vs. Dallas, finished with 1 TD, 2 INTs in a big loss. The Giants are as beaten up as ever, Shepard might play, Toney won’t.
The Giants D has an interception in 8 consecutive games now, the longest streak in the league.
The Dolphins are on a 4-game win streak, they’ve been really good recently mainly due to their defense which is getting near to last years levels. I really probably need to watch more of them as I still don’t rate them despite Tua statistically looking very good. 27 from 31 last week is impressive whether it’s 4 yard receptions or not. Jaylen Waddle ended with his biggest game; 137 yards and a TD from 9 receptions.
I said under 41.5, went down to 39.5, now at 40, CLV for the win. I still think the Dolphins cover.
Philadelphia Eagles -5.5 @ New York Jets: 43.5
So, it turns out they’re giving Jalen Hurts the week off after all, so Garnder Minshew at QB, now I might be wrong, but he was fairly mobile so while he’s not Hurts, he should be an ALDI version of him at least. It should mean more for Sanders in the run game, but who knows these days. Sirianni seems to detest Sanders. Jaelen Raegor can’t catch but Devonta Smith can, he and Dallas Goedert at the only reliable pieces of the passing game, and with Minshew coming in maybe not even them this week.
The Jets stink, Mimsy will be in with Davis out, he’s done very little but got talked up by the coaching staff this week. Elijah Moore has been fun, expect Darius Slay to be on him. Zach Wilson has not been good.
The Eagles are 11-0 vs the Jets in the history of the NFL. Line dropped 1.5 points on the news of Hurts being ruled out.
I still fancy the Eagles to cover even with the tash playing, and I was one of the few who didn’t jump on his bandwagon.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -10.5 @ Atlanta Falcons: 50.5
A big spread for a divisional clash. The Falcons actually sit second in division with 5 wins but there’s no real contest for the Bucs in the South this year. Brady has a brilliant record against the Falcons with or without the Bucs; 5 TDs in the game this season, 399/4, 390/2 in their games last season, and he played all right in that 28-3 game all those eons ago.
Antonio Brown is out for being an arsehole, but he’s missed the last few anyway, so Godwin, Evans and Gronk will keep on rolling and Lenny might be invovled in the passing game a lot as well as they fill ABs targets, 8,6,7 receptions in his past 3 games without Brown in the squad and that’s a guy with bricks for hands. Evans has quietly scored 10 TDs this year, Gronk led the team in rec. yards last week and gets a lot of redzone/endzone looks.
The Falcons have Cordarrelle Patterson, turns out he should be MVP for what he means to his team. They don’t have much outside of him, Kyle Pitts has all the talent but the situation is terrible for him.
Bucs win, cover and I like the over which has hit in 10 of the last 11 between these teams.
Washington Football Team +1.5 @ Las Vegas Raiders: 47.5
Both teams with playoff aspirations, Washington are somehow the 7th seed in the NFC with 5 wins after picking up 3 in a row with Taylor Heinicke proving just spunky enough to keep the team moving. JD McKissic scored a couple on Monday but misses out this week with Wendell Smallwood apparently getting that role, although it should just mean more for Antonio Gibson who is an adept pass-catcher.
Terry McLaurin is amazing, he’d be one of the best in the league with a good team.
The Raiders have had a horrible year, hadn’t scored over 20 in 3 games in a row after losing Ruggs but bounced back with a Thanksgiving day win against the Cowboys, with 10 days to rest the disparity between them and the 6 days that WFT have had should be telling.
Desean Jackson opened that win with a long TD, he’s had 34 TDs of 50 yards+ in his career and has 9 against Washington. He’s hit or miss but seems to like playing against this team.
I think the Raiders win and cover.
Baltimore Ravens -4 @ Pittsburgh Steelers: 45
One of the best rivalrys in football over the last decade or so, even with Big Ben being a big pile of shit this game should still be entertaining and probably closer than you’d expect.
The Ravens are somehow top of the AFC North, they just grind out wins regardless of who is out there for them. Lamar Jackson missed the Bears win with sickness and returned like he was still struggling from that illness throwing 4 INTs against the Browns last week, yet still they won the game. He said afterwards his arm wasn’t as strong as expected, got to hope he’s back healthier for this one.
Marquise Brown has had a good year, Mark Andrews does his stuff in the middle and Rashod Bateman has looked good in his games as a rookie, outside of those there’s not a whole lot as they’ve pieced together a backfield of Lat. Murray and Devonta Freeman which doesn’t exactly have much pop.
All five of their CBs are listed as questionable this week and their injury report as a whole is rather long.
The Steelers. Oh man, the Steelers. What an enjoyable evening it was last week as a Bengals fan even watching on my mobile while waiting for hugely delayed trains I was loving it. Big Ben really is terrible and “announced his retirement” for like the 15th time this week. I would love to see him return next year but I think this is the final season for him. He can’t move, his arm is weak and he’s just not very good now.
Diontae Johnson is good though and leads the team in targets but some way, Chase “Losing, never heard of her” Claypool hasn’t done a whole lot this year but has the athletisism to blow games up, while Pat Friermuth the rookie tight end is playing well and against a Ravens team which struggles against the position should do well.
Najee Harris had improved as the OL had but was inept last week as the Bengals shut them down, didn’t even do much in the short passing game where Ben now lives.
They’ll be without TJ Watt who’s on the Covid list, so defensively they’re not going to be as strong as they’d like, I mean they had him last week and still let up 41 points, so I’m not sure it makes much difference, thankfully gods gift to Safeties Minkah will be playing. That’ll help.
The Ravens should smash this lot, but these games are usually quite close, in fact Pitt have won the last two and Ben wasn’t good last year either, so despite my usual implied hatred of them, I wouldn’t be shocked if there was an upset. Would be typical of the Steelers tbh.
Jacksonville Jaguars +12.5 @ Los Angeles Rams: 47.5
There’s been very little chat about Trevor Lawrence flopping this year, it seems the situation with his coaching and the team around him means he’s impervious to critique. He has not been good. Even with time in the pocket he seems to constantly over-throw his receivers. I’m no QB judge but he just doesn’t look good.
I will admit though that the situation around him IS awful so I do agree to an extent that it’s tough to blame it on him when his players aren’t catching the ball, his OL is shit, his RB can’t get going, the coaching is dismal. They’re not very good.
The Rams STUFF shit teams. They might be without Darrell Henderson here who’s questionable with a thigh injury. They shouldn’t need to risk him here so might leave him out with Sony Michel taking the main role in the backfield instead.
Matthew Stafford has struggled for a while now and his record against teams with a winning record is terrible but if anything is a bounce-back spot it’s this, he does have 27 TDs this year, 2nd most and is 2nd in QBR still. They would probably like to get Beckham involved, he’s questionable with a hip injury but should play and was targeted a lot last week, Van Jefferson and he both had big TD scores in their loss to the Packers. Cooper Kupp is good.
Not a whole lot to talk about here, Rams win and cover. Jags score 14 at most.
San Francisco 49ers -3.5 @ Seattle Seahawks: 45.5
The 49ers have hit form at the right time after sticking with Jimmy G winning 3 games in a row now so come into this one on the up, but their recent record against the Seahawks is terirble. 4-16 in the last 20 games between the two, and under Shanahan they’re 2-7 in this matchup.
Jimmy is statistically very good but the eye test doesn’t really highlight that, it’s a lot of YAC from his players, the main one Deebo Samuel misses out this week, he’s been the most exciting player in the league to watch in recent weeks and will be tough to replace, but if anyone can AiyukCan… like Hadouken… from Street Fighter?…
Aiyuk has got out of the dog house though and finally shown up in games. The recent resurgence has correlated with George Kittle returning to the team, unsurprisingly having one of the best TEs coming back has been good for them. Without Deebo expect Jauan Jennings to have a bigger role and maybe Kyle Juszczyk to get a bit more invovled in the passing game.
The Seahawks are terrible. It’s time for Pete Carroll to get some of that sweet, sweet college money and head off there for retirement. Russell Wilson has been poor since returning “in amazing superhero time” from his finger injury, they were better with Geno.
They signed Adrian Peterson this week. A player who was released from a team who had no running backs. Apparently he will “Help us win now” – Sure, sure. They always try and establish the run but the OL is crap and their RBs constantly injured.
They remarkably said this week they “need to get DK more involved” NO SHIT YOU FUCKING IDIOTS. After a rookie season of beasting defenders he’s been criminally under-used this year and Russ returning has made it worse for him. Whether they actually do get him more involved is beyond me, from history I’m guessing not. Tyler Lockett is good.
The 49ers should smash this team. I don’t know why the Seahawks have pissed me off so much but I really don’t like them. I hope the 49ers put up 40. – HOWEVER, history tells me not to bet it so I won’t be.
Denver Broncos +8.5 @ Kansas City Chiefs: 47
The battle for the AFC West will be broadcast live. The league quite rightly flexed Seattle vs San Francisco out of primetime and promoted a top of division clash between the Denver Broncos, coming off a win against the Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs watching happily from their homes over thanksgiving weekend as their run to the AFC #1 seed was made easier by the failures of others.
Personally I think the Chargers v Bengals should have been moved here, but as it’s a 120am kick off, I’m glad it wasn’t.
Remarkably the Broncos would go to the top of the division with a win here, but they’ll have to do it without Melvin Gordon who has been splitting carries pretty much 50/50 with rookie Javonte Williams. Is this the Williams blow-up game that fantasy fans have been waiting for all year? It’s a heck of a spot for him against this defense even if it has been better in recent weeks. He’s looked good in his spells, breaks tackles and runs hard (also happens to be my most owned player in fantasy this year). Erm, Mike Boone is fit and always seems to do something when he gets limited touches, he shouldn’t get 50/50 splits, but could be involved on the deck for them.
The passing game is fine, next year with a better QB it could be very, very good. Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim ‘no drops” Patrick is a very good trio who they’ve signed up for the foreseeable future, and Fant and Okwuegbunam are a decent enough TE duo as well. I don’t think Teddy can do enough to get the full potential out of them but it looks good for them.
Defensively it was Fangio and his system which has been the blueprint for the slowing the Chiefs this season, so if anyone should be able to confuse them it’s him, and them.
IT’S ANDY REID COMING OFF A BYE!!!!! Yup, 19-3 off bye weeks. Hilariously the Oddsshark.com database (a brilliant bit of kit) won’t even allow you to query the Chiefs coming off a bye. But his record is very good with extended rest.
They started the season poorly but despite that still sit one win off the #1 seed after 4 wins in a row. That has been mainly on the back of their defense improving as the offense still isn’t firing as we’d have all expected coming into the season.
The return of Clyde Edwards-Helaire at running back has helped them though, they seem more settled with him there. The passing game is still mainly Hill and Kelce, Kelce has a very good career record against the Broncos and will obviously be heavily involved here. 23 completions against the Cowboys, 14 of them to those two players.
The Chiefs should still win, but I think the Reid-record is baked into this number, I don’t have them this far apart. The offense will need to click after a week off, they’ve only scored more than 20 points once in their last 5 games. Chiefs win, Broncos cover, Under on total.
As always 2 point stake unless stated.
Some tough spreads this week.
- Colts -10
- Eagles -5.5
- Bucs v Falcons o50.5
- Joe Mixon – 4/5 (365/vBet) – NAP – 4 point stake at this price.
- Logan Thomas – 3/1 (Skybet)
- Logan Thomas and Foster Moreau – 14/1 (Skybet) – 1 point
- Mike Boone – 7/1 (Skybet) – 1 point (was hoping for a bigger price, but still worth a punt at this)
- Jonathan Taylor longest rush o20.5 – 20/23 (365)
- Joe Mixon longest rush o17.5 – 10/11 (365/PP)
- Fournette o4.5 receptions – 11/10 (PP)
- Antonio Gibson o3.5 receptions – 27/20 (365)
Quite a bit this week, I’m feeling good.
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