Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Christmas Eve and apparently that means football for us all, good luck and congratulations if you’re able to gain permission to watch the games tonights, fortunately for me I have a wife and child who are aware of my schedules and after playing a few hours of the daughters DnD campaign I have officially been granted freedom to watch the games from 6pm!
There’s 11 games today, culminating in the Raiders and Steelers, so no need to stay up, and a treble on TV tomorrow, none of which look particularly appetising.
Obviously with it being Christmas, go easy on the betting, don’t ruin your weekend by losing more than you can afford, especially with the WEATHER BOMB hitting the states this weekend, it’s incredibly cold and windy at the majority of games so there’s low totals on the board and some QB passing lines down around 140 yards. It’s going to be a very tough betting weekend, so go easy on it.
Also, if you are able to give to charity at this time of year then try and do so, it’ll make you feel good and might help someone out.
Preachy bits done, on to the fun stuff – Draftkings contest is, as always open now – $5 entry, top 3 paid
Bengals -3 at Patriots: 42 (Sky game again!)
Are the Buccs and Patriots comparable teams? The Bengals had the same line in Tampa last week as they beat Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Personally I think the Buccs are better, but this is Bill Belichick so I think we’re paying a little Billy tax here.
Weather isn’t great in New England which should help the home team. The Bengals are still a pass-first attack on the whole and last week each of their man guys scored, Chase, Higgins and Boyd finding the end-zone for the first time together in a game. If they do have to go run-heavy though they are capable with Mixon and probably more likely in this game, Samaje Perine who might be required to plow a path through a tough Pats defense.
The Bengals D has been out-standing and the return of DJ Reader has made them one of the best run defenses in the league. They may give up points in the first half but the half-time adjustments they make continue to impress.
I avoided Rhamondre Stevenson due to his injury last week and he didn’t start the game but ended it strong until his fudge on the final play. He will be the key to the game and while the Bengals have defended the run well they have allowed a fair bit to receptions by RBs, Steveo has been good there.
The passing game isn’t worth talking about Jonnu Smith seemed to get a bit last week, Jakobi Meyers is the main man, he’d be 5th in the Bengals offense. Defensively the Pats are obviously very good and the pass rush of red-shirt Matt Judon and Josh Uche does worry me as a Bengals fan.
Joe Burrow is 18-3 against the spread and obviously I’m leaning to the Bengals covering, but I like the under here, look for Perine rush yards (21.5) or Stevenson rec. yards. (28.5)
Saints +3 at Browns: 32
The lowest total in 14 years with sub-zero temperatures and gusts up to 60mph expected in Cleveland. Not great for the passing game for either but it could be argued that having Deshaun Watson and Andy Dalton at QB isn’t great for the passing game either. Dalton at least has experience of playing in the AFC North and had a good record in this stadium as a Bengal.
It’s more than likely 70% rushing though and the Browns have the edge there with Nick Chubb good to go after an injury scare in the week. It could be Kareem Hunts last game as a Brown, he should get a decent wedge of work in this one as well, Chernhoff liked him over his line which has ticked up due to him posting it. If they do pass then DPJ and Njoku look like the favored players.
The Saints have been poor this year but still have an outside chance of stealing the NFC South due to it being fucking terrible. They’re without Jarvis Landry who hasn’t done much anyway. Chris Olave won’t be getting any deep shots here though, so look for Juwan Johnson if you’re after anyone at all in the passing game. – The rush game should be Kamara, but they haven’t given him much work this year, David Johnson the RB2 there has looked poor. – They have said they’ll load up Taysom Hill in this one, so 11/4 (Skybet) or so for a TD isn’t bad for him.
It seems stupid to lean under the lowest total in a decade-and-a-half but it’s the way I’m going, and Browns cover, but it’s a no bet. Taysom Hill anytime – 11/4 (Skybet), 1 point on 2 or more at 25/1 for him (that’ll be in my 2+ trixie)
Texans +3 at Titans: 35.5
This was my best bet on the Full10yards.com betting pod this week (available here) I have to take the Titans only giving 3 points. So they haven’t got Ryan Tannehill at QB? So what, they didn’t when they beat the Texans in Houston earlier in the year, they were 3 point faves there too, on the road.
So they’ve been shit for the last month, so what? Derrick Henry has gone over 200 rushing yards against the Texans in FOUR straight games, sure it’s not easy to do that but you know he’s getting 30+ carries tonight, so there’s a bevy of RaBs on Skybet for him, 200 rush yards and 2+ TDs was 22/1, now 20/1 (I believe it was 25/1 in the first meeting between these teams)
Not much else to say on this game. I’m on Titans -3 and I’ve taken a few of the Henry based requests.
Lions -2.5 at Panthers: 43.5
Another of our best bets on the F10Y pod, we love the Lions and we’ll take them to win the battle of the big cats. They have far too much for the Panthers on offense and defensively have got better through the weeks as well, a battling win in New York last week showed they can do it outside as well, although I need to do more research on who Sauce will be covering as that 36.5 line for Chark proved too much. They didn’t target Sauce Gardner at all in the game. A true shutdown corner it seems. I’m back in here though – OVER 35.5 rec. yards for DJ Chark.
Sam Darnold is the Panthers QB, he’s not good, DJ Moore will be his favoured target, but other than him there’s not a lot in the pass game, and on the ground they’ll look to get D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard going, if they can get yards there they might keep it close, otherwise it’s a blowout.
Lions win and Cover, Chark over on his yards. Weather should be fine in this one.
Seahawks +10 at Chiefs: 49.5
The Seahawks have surpassed expectation this year but they seemed to have peaked and it’s been downhill for them in recent weeks. They are without Tyler Lockett in this one who should really sit out the rest of the year after needing surgery on his finger, so Marquise Goodwin and Noah Fant probably get a bump with DK Metcalf the big man as always. Kenneth Walker is limping towards that OROY award hitting a high of 47 rush yards in the last month. Not great Bob.
The Chiefs are doing what they do, winning without too much stress and despite their game with the Texans going to OT last week they didn’t ever really seem in trouble, they nearly doubled-up their opponent in yards and Mahomes stat-line was typically pretty damn good. The emergence of Jerrick McKinnon as a fantasy league winner has been strange but very effective, with 5 TDs in his last 3 games, at least 1 rec. in each of them, and Pacheco is running well too. Kelce hasn’t scored for a few weeks so expect him to get one, and the rest of the WRs have mixed in when needed too.
Chiefs win, Seahawks cover.
Giants +4 at Vikings: 49.5
Safe to say I have no idea what’s going on with the Vikings each week, you can only have the biggest comeback in NFL history if you put yourself in such a shit position in the first place. So they could lose by a handful or win by a few in this one, in fact, the “Tri-bet” market might be the way to go, “Either team to win by under 7 points” – 10/11 (PaddyPower)
The Giants won against the Commanders last week to keep their chances of the playoffs alive with Saquon Barkley looking back to his best, they might air it out a little more here against a terrible Vikings defense, so I’ll be looking at my boy Darius Slayton over, although I was hoping for 49.5 at most, he’s at 53.5 – A little tight. The Giants still revolve around Saquon Barkley of course, but should be able to put up points here.
The Vikings secured the NFC North last weekend so they’re now looking to keep up the pressure on the Eagles atop the NFC rankings, although it seems unlikely, other than they they might be looking at getting Justin Jefferson the all-time season rec. yards record, he needs 115 or so per game to top that, very do-able for him, same as always for the Vikings otherwise, Hock, Thielen and apparently KJ Osborn who’s hat-trick won the game for them last week, I doubt we’ll see that production again.
Vikings win a close one, tempted by Slayton over but he’s very variable, longest reception o22.5 for him might be the more sensible bet, he’s hit that in 7 of his 10 games this year.
Falcons +6.5 at Ravens: 34.5
Safe to say that Desmond Ridder didn’t have the debut he’d have wanted last week, completing 50% of his passes for just 97 yards, although his mobility showed up with 38 on the ground. It is surely going to be a run-heavy scheme again with Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson getting the bulk of the touches on offense. For what it’s worth, Drake London had 11 of the 26 targets last week but he’ll be facing a tough Ravens D here.
The Ravens have Tyler Huntley starting again, so probably a lot of JK Dobbins who has returned from injury well in recent weeks. Gus Bus as well, and Huntley running himself. They have been hit by injury this year and fallen off a cliff offensively, so not a whole lot to talk about there, and one of the few bright spots, Devin Duvernay is done for the year now too.
Snorefest – Undeer on the total, and because of that leaning to the Falcons covering a close one. Dobbins o67.5 rush yards
Bills -8 at Bears: 40
The Bills aren’t the juggernaut we thought they were but are still in line to have the #1 seed in the conference after a battling win against the Dolphins last week gained them the AFC East. They spread the ball around with a random trio of TD scorers and if anyone can throw through wind and weather it’s Josh Allen who has probably the strongest arm in the league.
I’m still leaning away from the passing game on the whole though, I may be over-reacting to the weather in these games but I’d rather go that way than ignore it and look like a twat. Diggs – Good, Knox – Good, Davis – variable, hey, Cole Beasley is active for this one! I do like Isaiah McKenzie but he might have work stolen away from him by Beasles. The run game will be vital and Singeltary and Cook have looked a better 1-2 in the last few weeks, Cook the one I’d look for as the up-and-comer – Over 11.5 rec. yards would be the one I go for over his rush yards.
The Bears are Justin Fields and not much else, his rush line is now up to 75.5 so not bettable for me, although he does tend to go over that, as shown by 4 of his last 5 games, he takes a ton of sacks, but he’s fun to watch! David Montgomery got both of their TDs las week but with Khalil Herbert back it could be a split there (Herbert has looked better for most of the year)
Bills win, Bears cover. 21/10 is too high for Fields to score, even the 7/4 at more mainstream books it too good, I’ll have to have a nibble.
Commanders +6.5 at 49ers: 37.5
Time is up for the Commanders, finally. They haven’t been good despite their winning run and the loss to the Giants last week basically killed them in the playoff run. They have a decent enough 1-2 in the run game who they should probably give 70% of their offense too, Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson. Terry McLaurin is stud even with terrible QBs. Christ, not much to say here.
The 49ers have carried on without missing a beat with Brock Purdy under center, 6 wins in a row is the longest active streak in the league and probably won’t come to an end here. Christian McCaffrey is amazing, and the return of George Kittle to TE-God status has been welcome for them as well. If in doubt chuck it to the big man.
49ers win, probably cover. Lean over in one of the few nice weather games.
Eagles +4.5 at Cowboys: 47
This line has been on a rollercoaster this week, opened at Cowboys -1, up to -6.5 when Jalen Hurts was announced out and now the money has come back as people have realised it’s Gardner FUCKING MINSHEW at QB for the Eagles and he’s not that bad at all. We all needed the mullet and tash back in our lives apparently.
The Eagles have dominant lines on both sides of the ball so the change of QB, obviously a big downgrade might not affect them too badly. They welcome back Dallas Goedert who should get a heavy workload with Minshew under center as well. AJ Brown is a beast, Devonta Smith is capable and Minshew can sling it, I definitely think the line move back down is the right direction.
Defensively they are the 2nd best pass defense according to DVOA so that might hurt Dak and the boys, although they aren’t great vs. the run…
The run game for the Cowboys is pretty darn good with Pollard and Zeke proving a more than effective 1-2, Pollard gets the chunk plays, Zeke does the short-yardage work. The passing game is always great for 2 quarters a game before Dak craps the bed and messes up, the tight ends seem to be the key for them, they’ve been playing 3 at a time a fair bit, Schultz and Hendershot seem to be atop that area.
The Cowboys defense ranks 3rd in DVOa, 10th vs. the rush, 4th against the pass, so you’ve gotta figure they’ll keep things tight.
A win for the Eaglers wraps up the NFC East and the #1, would secure the sweep on the Cowboys, but I don’t think they’ll get it. Lean to the Under on the total too. Dak Prescott o14.5 rush yards will be my play here though.
Raiders +2 at Steelers: 38
The only reason this game is in the highlight spot is due to the Immaculate reception, so it’s terrible news that Franco Harris, the man who turned the franchise around with that catch passed away this week just before the 50th anniversary and the celebrations around that catch, most controversial play of all time I can get behind and the significance it had to the Steelers was definitely impressive as they went on to dominate the 70s. Well done them and commiserations for Franco passing, it fucking sucks.
The Raiders should win here though, they’re hunting the playoffs and had a wonderfully batshit ending to their game last week. They are the better team on offense, Carr and Adams forming a great connection and with Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller back in the lineup they have more options there for once, Josh Jacobs has been brilliant in his contract year too. Defensively thye’re not amazing but Maxxxx Crosby is a stud.
The Steelers have Kenny Pickett at QB, who knows how he’ll cope with the cold in Pittsburgh in his rookie year (oh wait, he’s from here). He’s probably an upgrade on Trubisky although Mitch did play all right last week. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren ran well last week and with more sub-zero temperatures here should get a lot of work as well. Hopefully George “god” Pickens gets more targets but I’d imagine it will be more for the Muth in this weather, shorter passes generally required.
The Steelers need the win to try and retain Tomlins “no losing season” record, but it won’t be easy. The one negative for the Raiders – Derek Carr has never won in temperatures this cold. Should be a close game as many look this week. Go RAIDERS.
So, I usually have a 2+ TDs trixie from Skybet – Have only won it once this year, but it pays out big. – Taysom Hill 25/1, Derrick Henry 3/1, JK Dobbins – 13/2 my stab for this week.
Must admit I like the early treble on Skybet at the price too.
Packers +3.5 @ Miami – Lean Packers with AJ Dillon scoring and bringing home the o5.5 TDs.
Broncos -3 @ Rams – Terrible game. Rams the worst Super Bowl defense in history. Who cares
Bucs -9 @ Cardinals – Now that it’s so large I’d be taking Trace McSorley and the Caridnals covering. Bucs aren’t good but should win. Obviously.
Peace out. Enjoy your Christmas. (If you wanted to tip me for the year paypal.me/touchdowntips will do it)
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