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Thread: NFL Trends and Indexes - Week 8 (Thur. Oct. 25 - Mon. Oct. 29)

  1. #16
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    By: Brandon DuBreuil


    JOHNSON TRENDING UP

    There’s not much to be happy about for Arizona fans this season but this news should give them at least a glimmer of hope: new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said he plans to copy “everything” about how David Johnson was used under former coach Bruce Arians. “I sat shoulder to shoulder with B.A. every day I was here. There have been a lot of long nights sitting next to him, us nodding off together.”

    This is excellent news for Johnson’s fantasy owners and for football fans in general as the fourth-year back is a superstar when used correctly — which means getting him the ball in space and as a receiver. So far this season, Johnson has been used to slam the ball between the tackles and it has resulted in just 47.9 rushing yards per game and 23.7 receiving yards per game. Leftwich’s comments give Johnson backers hope and it also makes us think that he’s going to be a major part of the game plan on Sunday when the Cardinals host the Niners. We’re going to take a wait-and-see approach on his yardage totals but backing him to score a touchdown at any time seems like a smart play for Week 8.


    BERNARD STILL OUT


    Bengals running back Giovani Bernard is still out which means Joe Mixon will have the ball to himself in Cincy’s backfield against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Last week, we missed on backing Joe Mixon to go Over his combined rushing and passing yards total as the entire Bengals offense failed to show up in Kansas City. But we’re taking another swing at it this week.

    We’re going to write last week’s numbers off as an oddity and expect Marvin Lewis to get to what was working offensively and that included getting his lead backs a ton of touches. Before Week 7, Mixon averaged 21 touches per game and had turned them into 125.5 total yards per game. On Sunday, Mixon takes on a Tampa Bay defense that just lost middle linebacker Kwon Alexander and is still without defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in what looks to be a shootout with the total set at 54.5. We like Mixon’s chances of getting back near 125 total yards so we’re taking the Over on his combined rushing and receiving yards total for the second week in a row.


    JETS ARE HURTING


    The New York Jets are banged up offensively and they could be without both starting receivers on Sunday at Chicago as Quincy Enunwa (ankle) has been ruled out and Robby Anderson (ankle) is doubtful. If neither can go, it’ll leave Jermaine Kearse as their top receiving option and perhaps force Rishard Matthews (who was signed on Tuesday) into a heavy snap count. At running back, New York is without Bilal Powell (neck) and Isaiah Crowell (foot) is banged up but expected to play. Poor Sam Darnold.

    Darnold is coming off his worst passing game of the season in which he completed just 17-of-42 passes (40.2%) and threw three interceptions at home in the loss to Minnesota. In three road starts this season, the rookie is averaging just 178 passing yards and has three touchdowns and three interceptions. Chicago’s defense had a rough game last week in giving up 381 yards to New England, but Tom Brady does that to a lot of teams. Even with that performance, the Bears are still ranked No. 1 in the NFL in defensive DVOA. We’re 3-0 so far this season when fading Darnold and Sunday is looking like a prime spot to get a fourth winner. Take the Under on his passing yards total.


    NO BOUYE IN LONDON


    Jacksonville’s defense is struggling as it is but things got even worse on Thursday when it was revealed that Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye (calf) is out for Sunday’s showdown against Philadelphia in London. The Jags are also likely without D.J. Hayden and Tyler Patmon, leaving only three rookie corners to play alongside Jalen Ramsey.

    Jacksonville is usually a very tough matchup for opposing quarterbacks, ranking first in passing yards allowed (195.4) and second in passing yards per attempt (6.3). Likely for that reason, Carson Wentz’s passing yards total is set at a fair price of 252.5 for Sunday. Wentz has actually gone over that mark in every game so far this season, including 310 yards on 8.4 yards per attempt last week against Carolina. We usually wouldn’t test the Jags’ passing defense but these injuries at cornerback are a serious problem for Week 8. We like Wentz to have a big game and we’re taking the Over on his passing yards total.


    DENVER ‘HOPEFUL’ FOR FREEMAN


    The Denver Broncos are reportedly still “hopeful” that running back Royce Freeman (ankle) can suit up on Sunday at Kansas City, though he didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday. It appears as if he’ll either play hobbled or sit out altogether, meaning Phillip Lindsay should be in for a heavy snap count against the Chiefs.

    Lindsay is already the leader of the three-back committee in Denver, having led the backfield in touches in every game this season. He’s coming off one of his best rushing performances of the season where he gashed the Cardinals for 90 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Another thing Lindsay has going for him is that he’s likely to remain heavily involved if the Chiefs get up big — two weeks ago he received seven targets in the game where the Broncos fell behind 20-3 to the Rams. Lindsay has a big opportunity this week, especially if Freeman sits, and we’re backing the Over for his combined rushing and receiving total.

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    Bengals list LB Vontaze Burfict (hip), RB Giovani Bernard (knee), and WR John Ross (groin) as out for this Sundays match-up with the Buccaneers.
    Cincinnati opened at -6, now sitting at -3.5

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    By: Brandon DuBreuil


    NEWTON CLEARED

    Carolina left Cam Newton (shoulder) off of its injury report on Friday, meaning he’ll be ready to go on Sunday as the Panthers host Baltimore. But Newton is in a very tough spot in Week 8 against a Ravens defense that ranks second in the NFL in giving up just 190.4 passing yards per game. The Ravens also bring pressure on 37.2 percent of snaps, which is the second-highest rate in the league. It just so happens that Newton isn’t great when under pressure — in fact, he ranks 30th among quarterbacks in yards per dropback when blitzed. We’re not completely fading Newton as he’s always a threat with his feet but we don’t see a big day coming from him through the air. Take the Under on his passing yards total of 245.5.


    NJOKU’S JUST FINE

    After being limited in practice all week, Cleveland tight end David Njoku (knee) was removed from the injury report on Friday and is a go for Sunday’s tilt at Pittsburgh. Njoku has been a solid offensive tight end since Baker Mayfield took over at quarterback, averaging 5.5 receptions for 57 yards on nine targets per game.

    On Wednesday, we backed Jimmy Graham with the analysis that teams target their tight ends at the second-highest rate when they play the Rams (25.1%). Well, the only team that has opponents who target their tight ends at a higher rate is the Pittsburgh Steelers (26.5%). In addition, 30.3 percent of passes completed against the Steelers have gone to tight ends, which is the highest rate in the league. Njoku is in a great spot on Sunday and we’re backing the Over 4.5 on his receptions total


    BRYANT GETS TALKED UP

    Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson had some encouraging things to say about receiver Martavis Bryant on Thursday when asked about Bryant stepping into a starting position now that Amari Cooper is gone. "I think it helps a player like Martavis Bryant because he’s got tremendous skills, tremendous size and speed, and he’s still really kind of learning the system."

    There’s no doubting Bryant’s talent and Sunday against Indy could actually be a decent spot to back Bryant while he’s cheap. The Colts do not have a good pass defense as they rank 31st in pass completion rate at 72.1 percent and are allowing 280.1 passing yards per game. We mentioned earlier in the week that we like the Colts to win big in this game and that would actually help Bryant’s cause as he’d be able to pick up a couple cheap completions late in garbage time. We’re backing Bryant while his price is still low and taking the Over 3.5 on his receptions total.


    STAYING AWAY FROM ENGRAM

    Earlier in the week, we talked about fading Eli Manning and the Giants in general, partly due to a tough matchup and partly due to the Giants throwing in the towel on the season. Today, we’re going to double down and fade New York tight end Evan Engram.

    Engram is talented but he’s having a rough season, partially due to injury as he missed Weeks 4-6. He just hasn’t gotten into a rhythm with the offense yet, as proven by the fact that he has received just 13.4 percent of targets from Manning in the games he has played. On Sunday he goes against Washington and a defense that is allowing just 5.93 yards per attempt to tight ends (best in the league) and hasn’t yet allowed a tight end to gain over 50 yards. It could be ugly for the Giants offense on Sunday and we’re taking the Under on Engram’s receiving yards total.


    TOUGH RUNNIN’ IN LONDON

    The Philadelphia Eagles have only allowed one running back 50 or more rushing yards this season and that was Saquon Barkley. The Jaguars head to London with questions about how they’ll use their backfield as Carlos Hyde makes his Jacksonville debut and T.J. Yeldon still around to take away some touches. But one thing is for sure: the outlook isn’t great for either one on Sunday at Wembley.

    Hyde had decent total numbers in Cleveland this season but that was only because of how often he got the ball. He rushed for 60-plus yards in four of six games this season but is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry on the season. At that clip, Hyde would need 18 carries to get near the 60-yard mark on Sunday, and he won’t get anywhere near that total on Sunday with Yeldon in the mix. We’re taking the Under on Hyde’s rushing yards total in his Jacksonville debut.

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    Top 6 picks in Week 8 of Westgate SuperBook NFL handicapping contest (3,123 entries)

    1) Packers, +9.5 (1,229)-

    2) Eagles, -3 (957)-

    3) Redskins, even (933)-

    4) Seahawks, +3 (889)-

    5) Bears, -7 (852)-

    6) Colts, -3 (844)-

    Season record: 19-20-3

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    Gridiron Angles - Week 8
    Vince Akins


    NFL PLAY ON ATS TREND:

    -- The Chiefs are 10-0 ATS (6.6 ppg) since Jan 01, 2017 coming off a win where they allowed fewer points than expected.

    NFL PLAY AGAINST TREND:

    -- The Broncos are 0-10-1 ATS (-9.9 ppg) since Dec 10, 2006 as a road dog of more than three points where they allowed less than 300 passing yards.

    TOP NFL PLAYER TREND:

    -- Teams are 0-10 ATS (-10.3 ppg) since Dec 13, 2015 coming off a loss where Alshon Jeffery had at least 75 receiving yards.

    NFL O/U UNDER TREND:

    -- The Jets are 0-10-1 OU (-4.6 ppg) since Nov 17, 2011 on the road off a home game where they failed to cover by at least seven points.

    NFL O/U OVER TREND:

    -- The Colts are 10-0 OU (15.1 ppg) since Nov 22, 2007 as a favorite off a game as a home favorite.

    NFL BIBLE ACTIVE TREND:

    -- The Colts are 13-0 ATS (+12.19 ppg) as a FG-plus road favorite over a team that is less than 500 and has a seasonto-date average rushing attempts per game of fewer than 25.

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    Total Talk - Week 8
    Chris David

    Week 7 Recap

    The ‘under’ produced an eye-opening 10-4 record in Week 7 and that’s the most lopsided total results we’ve seen in a week this season. The New Orleans-Baltimore 24-23 final could’ve and probably should’ve gone ‘over’ (49 ½) if it wasn’t for a missed extra point by Ravens kicker Justin Tucker but to be fair, that was a 10-7 game at halftime and ‘under’ bettors were on the right side. Late-night ‘over’ bettors on Sunday’s matchup between the Chiefs and Bengals could have a gripe too as KC pulled off the gas late but we’ve certainly seen that movie before.

    Through seven weeks, the ‘over’ holds a 55-52 (51%) mark and the oddsmakers should be applauded with their adjustments.



    Keep an Eye On

    -- Teams off the ‘bye’ have watched the ‘over’ go 5-1 in their following game and the one ‘under’ was the Saints-Ravens outcome mentioned above. Along with New Orleans, Detroit also won last Sunday with rest so teams playing off the bye improved to 3-3 straight up and 2-4 against the spread on the season. The four teams playing with rest this weekend include the Packers, Raiders, Steelers and Seahawks.

    -- The ‘under’ has gone 2-0 in the NFL International Series matchups played at London this season. The Jaguars and Eagles will meet this weekend from Wembley Stadium (9:30 a.m. ET). The final international game will take place on Nov. 19 from Mexico City when the Chiefs and Rams square off in a possible Super Bowl preview at Estadio Azteca. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook

    -- A trio (Packers, Buccaneers, Lions) of old-school NFC Central (Google it) teams have been the best ‘over’ teams (5-1) so far. Four clubs (Cowboys, Bills, Ravens, Titans) have all watched the ‘under’ go 5-2.

    -- Two systems I noted last week both came up as losers and while the final scores seemed close to ‘over’ tickets, the ‘under’ was the right side in both games. The “Thursday Night Total” system sits at 5-1 and the angle applies to the San Francisco-Arizona game this Sunday, since the Cardinals played at home on Thursday in Week 7. The “Road Total System” sits at 0-2 this season and will be in play for the final time when the Saints play their third straight road game at Carolina in Week 15.

    -- It took a while but we’re starting to see the defenses catch up with the offenses. There were four totals that closed in the fifties last week and the ‘under’ went 4-0 in those games. Through seven weeks, the ‘under’ owns a 13-12 mark in games that closed at 50 or higher. We’ll find out if last week was an anomaly with five games in Week 7 having totals listed in the fifties.

    Line Moves and Public Leans

    Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 8 as of Saturday morning.

    Philadelphia vs. Jacksonville: 41 to 43
    N.Y. Jets at Chicago: 46 to 44
    Denver at Kansas City: 55 ½ to 53 ½
    San Francisco at Arizona: 43 ½ to 41 ½

    Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 8 per the betting trend percentages as of Saturday morning.

    New Orleans at Minnesota: Over 93%
    Philadelphia at Jacksonville: Over 90%
    Indianapolis at Oakland: Over 90%
    Cleveland at Pittsburgh: Under 88%
    New England at Buffalo: Over 84%

    Divisional Matchups

    The ‘under’ went 3-0 in the divisional games last week and the low side is 16-13 in these contests on the season. This week’s batch has three rematches on tap.

    Cleveland at Pittsburgh:
    The pair played to a 21-21 tie in Week 1 and the late rally by the Browns helped the ‘over’ (41) connect. The high side is now 3-1 in the last four meetings. While rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield has shown some flashes, the offense (16.3 PPG) has looked pedestrian the last three weeks while the Steelers have scored 41 and 28 points in their last two wins and they’re coming off the bye.

    Denver at Kansas City:
    The Chiefs captured a 27-23 win at the Broncos in Week 4 and the ‘under’ (53 ½) slid in. Prior to that result, the ‘over’ was on a 5-0-1 run in this series. Denver exploded for 45 points last week at Arizona but two of the scores came from the defense. The Broncos had success running the football (159 yards) in the first meeting and I would expect them to push that game-plan again, especially against if you want to keep the league’s top scoring offense in the Chiefs (37.1 PPG) off the field. Even though KC has lit up the scoreboard, the ‘under’ is on a 3-1 run.

    Washington at N.Y. Giants:
    The ‘under’ has cashed in three straight and four of the last five in this series. Knowing that the Redskins have been winning games with their run offense and run defense this season, it’s hard to imagine a shootout here. Especially, when you factor in the Giants offense that is averaging 15.3 PPG at home. Washington (4-2) and New York (4-3) have both leaned to the ‘under’ this season.

    San Francisco at Arizona:
    A lot of heavy money has already come in on the ‘under’ in this game and it’s hard to disagree with the move based on the form for both clubs. Arizona captured a 28-18 win at SF in their Week 5 encounter and the ‘over’ (40 ½) connected, thanks to 26 combined points in the fourth quarter. Prior to that lucky result, the ‘under’ had cashed in the three previous meetings. We haven’t seen much from the Cardinals (13.1 PPG) offensively yet they have seen the ‘over’ cash in three straight games.

    New England at Buffalo:
    (See Below)

    Under the Lights

    After watching the Thursday Night matchup go ‘over’ in Week 7, the ‘under’ connected in the Sunday and Monday matchups. Including this past TNF outcome between the Dolphins and Texans, the ‘over’ holds a slight edge (12-11) through 23 games played at night. Make a note that we’ve seen the ‘over’ cash in five straight TNF matchups and the high side is 6-2 (75%) on the season in the midweek game.

    New Orleans at Minnesota:
    The rematch of the ‘Minnesota Miracle’ is easily the top game of the weekend and bettors are expecting the Saints (-2) to get revenge over the Vikings, who have some key injuries all over the field. The total (53) seems a tad inflated when you consider the two meetings last season (Week 1, Playoffs) closed at 46 ½ and 47 ½. The Viking have improved offensively with QB Kirk Cousins but he’s been sloppy at home this season and against weaker opponents. The Saints offense (34 PPG) remains a machine under QB Drew Brees and even though the defense (27.2 PPG) is still suspect, the unit has been a tad better on the road.

    New England at Buffalo:
    When the Patriots went 16-0 in the 2007 regular season, they were listed as 16-point road favorites over the Bills and destroyed them 56-10. Fast forward to this Monday and New England is once again a double-digit road favorite (-13 ½) at Orchard Park. While this Patriots team isn’t on the same level of the 2007 squad, Buffalo could be worse. The Bills (11.6 PPG) can’t move the football and the QB situation is a mess. Even though New England has scored 38-plus points in four straight games, this is the lowest total (44) that it has seen this season and it’s hard to imagine Buffalo helping the cause. I expect a business trip for the Patriots with a lot of ground and pound action, especially with a tougher test (Green Bay) on deck next week at home.

    Fearless Predictions

    As we all know, catching breaks is a big part of the business and the missed PAT in the Ravens game kept our deficit ($10) to a minimum. Through seven weeks and 28 wagers, we remain up on the season ($340). As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

    Best Over: Green Bay-L.A. Rams 56 ½
    Best Under: N.Y. Jets-Chicago 44
    Best Team Total: Over 28 ½ Steelers

    Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105)
    Over 41 Seattle-Detroit
    Under 51 Washington-N.Y. Giants
    Over 45 ½ New Orleans-Minnesota

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    NFL Underdogs: Week 8 pointspread picks and predictions
    Jason Logan

    People watch boxing for the knockouts, the same way they watch NASCAR for the crashes and bull riding for the gores.

    And while nothing gets the old caveman blood pumping through the veins like witnessing one dude turn another dude’s jaw into confetti, my favorite KOs are the body blows. Perhaps it’s the element of mystery behind a devastating body shot that makes those knockouts most impressive.

    When a fighter gets clocked on the jaw, you see his eyes roll back, the halo of sweat, the dart of snot, the complete shutdown of all extremities as the brain goes into survival mode. The trama is evident.

    But with a booming body blow, the carnage is below the surface: crushed kidneys, bruised liver, ruptured spleen. And while you don’t see the catastrophic damage, watching a fighter crumble to the mat with that level of panic and pain on their face, you know something is seriously wrong.

    Body shots add up. Just ask the Carolina Panthers. They run one of the most punishing and physical offenses in the NFL, starting with Cam Newton, who trucks linebackers like road kill on the regular and completes passes as would-be tacklers bounce off his 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame. Carolina picks up more than five yards per carry, with a lot of those gains coming after contact, and has some beefy receiving options that can toss their weight around against smaller defenders.

    The Panthers throw a lot of body blows, which might not pay off early into games (and we’ve seen them fall behind big the past two weeks) but is a solid investment when the second half rolls around. Over the last three weeks, Carolina has averaged just 8.7 points per first half but erupted for an average of 15 points in the final two quarters. Those numbers aren’t overly impressive – compared to the other offenses in the NFC South – but they’re a perfect plan of attack versus the Baltimore Ravens Sunday.

    Baltimore comes into this game with the No. 1 defense in the land – a defense puffed up by weak-ass offensive opponents like Buffalo (32nd in points), Denver (19th), Cleveland (23rd), and Tennessee (30th). And, sure, the Ravens looked good against the Saints’ sensational scoring attack last Sunday, but Week 8 is also this team’s fourth road game in five weeks and there will be very little gas left in the tank once Cam & Co. start landing those body blows, like Bernard Hopkins vs. Oscar De La Hoya.

    This spread opened Carolina -1 and has jumped over the fence as far as Baltimore -2.5. I don’t know if it will reach a field goal by Sunday, but I do expect buyback on the home side at the discount.

    Pick:
    Carolina +2.5


    Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions (-3, 49.5)

    One of the craziest betting trends out there has to do with teams coming off a bye week following a game in London England. That’s the spot we see Seattle in, heading to Detroit Sunday after beating Oakland inside Wembley Stadium in Week 6, then enjoying some time off in Week 7. Since 2015, teams off a bye following those UK appearances are 13-1-2 ATS – covering the spread 93 percent of the time.

    I’m not taking the Seahawks +3 due to that trend, because…well… it’s kinda bullshit. But, 10 of those 16 teams in that strange London/Bye spot played on the road, going 8-1-1 ATS, and in that same span (since 2015) road teams off a bye are 32-19 ATS – covering almost 63 percent of the time.

    The Seahawks enter Week 8 having won three of their last four, with the one blemish being a 2-point loss at the hands of the undefeated L.A. Rams. Seattle is effectively running the ball, which is something the Lions have struggled against, allowing opponents 4.9 yards per carry. This could also serve as a lookahead spot for Detroit, which travels to rival Minnesota next week for a huge NFC North showdown.

    Pick:
    Seattle +3


    San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+1, 42.5)

    The Arizona Cardinals are a team only an underdog bettor could love. At 1-6 SU on the season, Arizona looks like the worst team in the NFC – and probably is – but there are a few things to like about this team entering Week 8:

    • The Cardinals fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and gave the playbook to Byron Leftwich, so expect some extra life from this attack Sunday (and hopefully more David Johnson).

    • They’ve had a mini bye to work with Leftwich and also get the taste of a 45-10 loss to Denver on Thursday Night Football out of their mouths.

    • This defense is overshadowed by the overall crappiness of the team. Arizona has 20 sacks – tied for seventh – and 12 takeaways on the year. San Francisco has allowed 27 sacks – second most in the NFL – and has given the ball away a NFL-worst 18 times.

    • The Cardinals had five turnovers in the loss to Denver – 15 total on the season – but face a toothless 49ers defense that’s recorded just three takeaways all season.

    • The Niners have notable injuries up and down the roster, including RB Matt Breida and veteran WR Pierre Garcon on the offensive side of the ball.

    Pick:
    Arizona +1

    Last week: 1-2 ATS
    Season: 14-7 ATS

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    Public pounding underdog Packers' odds in NFL Week 8 clash vs. Rams
    Patrick Everson

    Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and the Packers face a huge road test Sunday against the unbeaten Rams. However, Green Bay money has lowered Los Angeles from 9.5-point favorites to -8.

    NFL Week 8 has several intriguing matchups, and bettors are engaged on a few of those fronts. Covers checks in on the action and line movement for four games, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas, and Scott Shelton, sportsbook supervisor at The Mirage on the Vegas Strip.

    Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams – Open: -8.5; Move: -9.5; Move: -9; Move: -9.5; Move: -9; Move: -9.5; Move: -9; Move: -8.5; Move: -8

    Green Bay doesn’t have the perfect record, and in fact is only a tick above .500, but is getting plenty of support for this 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff. The Packers (3-2-1 SU, 2-4 ATS) are coming off their bye week, following a 33-30 shootout home victory over San Francisco as a 9-point home favorite in Week 6.

    Los Angeles is the lone unbeaten team in the NFL, sitting at 7-0 SU (4-3 ATS). The Rams are also coming off a win over San Francisco, though in much easier fashion, 39-10 as 8-point faves last week.

    “The public is all over the underdog Packers in this game,” Murray said. “If the betting holds up, we will actually want to see the Rams cover as a big favorite.”

    The Mirage and other MGM sportsbooks opened L.A. -9.5 and were down to -8 by Saturday morning.

    “This one is kind of surprising, because we’re getting a lot of Packers money,” Shelton said. “There are twice as many Packers tickets as Rams tickets. I thought it would be the exact opposite.”


    New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings – Open: -1.5; Move: -1; Move: Pick; Move: +1; Move: +1.5

    New Orleans is looking to exact a little revenge, after the well-documented wild play that cost it a win in last season’s NFC divisional playoff round. The Saints (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) have won five in a row SU and four in a row ATS, edging Baltimore 24-23 as 2.5-point road underdogs last week when the Ravens missed an extra point off the upright.

    Minnesota got out of the gate a bit bumpy at 1-2-1 SU through four weeks, but has since strung together three consecutive wins. The Vikings (4-2-1 SU and ATS) thumped the New York Jets 37-17 laying 3.5 points on the road last week.

    “That game is a complete flip,” Shelton said, noting a large NFL bettor who’s hitting MGM books regularly this season is on New Orleans in this 8:20 p.m. ET start. “The big bettor is once again on the Saints. He’s got +1.5 and +1. Right now, we’re a six-figure loser on the Saints. But the ticket count is really close. I expect we’ll get some Vikings money (today).”


    Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs – Open: -9; Move: -10; Move: -9.5

    Kansas City looks to beat AFC West rival Denver for the second time this month, after opening October with a Monday night road win. The Chiefs (6-1 SU) have cashed every week this season, boatracing Cincinnati 45-10 as 6.5-point home favorites in Week 7.

    Denver had perhaps its best showing of the year in Week 7, albeit against a lackluster opponent. The Broncos (3-4 SU, 2-4-1 ATS) also won by a 45-10 count, giving 1 point at Arizona in the Thursday nighter.

    “Sharp money on the Broncos at +10, but the public is all over the Chiefs, and we will need the Broncos big,” Murray said of this 1 p.m. ET contest.


    Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders – Open: +1.5; Move: +1: Move: +1.5; Move: +2; Move: +2.5; Move: +3

    Oakland seems intent to start planning for next season, after trading wideout Amari Cooper to Dallas in the past week. The Raiders (1-5 SU, 2-4 ATS) are coming off their bye week, following a 27-3 home loss to Seattle getting 3 points in Week 6.

    Indianapolis isn’t much better at 2-5 SU (3-4 ATS), but bettors seem to think Andrew Luck and Co. are the play this week. The Colts enter this 4:05 p.m. ET matchup off a 37-5 blasting of Buffalo as 7-point home faves in Week 7.

    “Everyone is on the Colts in this game,” Murray said. “The perception of the Raiders is that they are starting their rebuild this week. We will need Oakland.”

    MGM books also opened Indy -1.5 and moved to -3 in short order.

    “Our big bettor is on the Colts, pointspread and moneyline, and the public is all over the Colts too,” Shelton said. “That could get really ugly for us.”
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 10-28-2018 at 11:14 AM.

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    INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT

    Four Jacksonville Jaguars were detained Friday night in London, England, in an apparent dispute over a bar bill. The players reportedly tried to leave the London Region Showclub without paying their tab. While the team didn’t reveal who the players were, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that it was Barry Church, Ronnie Harrison, D.J. Hayden, and Jarrod Wilson. The Jaguars also said the players would be disciplined internally. The Jags are currently 3.5-point underdogs in their home-away-from-home game in London.

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    Essentials - Week 8
    Tony Mejia

    Sunday
    Philadelphia (-4/44.5) at Jacksonville in London, 9:30 a.m. ET, NFLN
    : It’s premature to say seasons are on the line today, though it’s definitely fair to say that the loser of this one will be stuck in a 3-5 nightmare at the season’s halfway point. Even though they’re in divisions that no other team is running away with, there will be little room for error for whatever team is traveling back to the States having packed that ‘L.’ Jags QB Blake Bortles has been impressive in London, coming in with a 3-0 record in games played overseas, but he’s turned the ball over 11 times in the last three games and was benched in favor of backup Cody Kessler in last week’s loss to Houston.

    Counterpart Carson Wentz is coming off a rocky performance in last week’s loss to Carolina, which saw the Eagles blow a 17-0 lead in finishing with their lowest scoring total of the season. With defensive regulars Corey Graham and Sidney Jones missing from the secondary, Wentz will have to pick up his level of play in taking advantage of the Jaguars’ issues in the defensive backfield. They have had just one sack in the last three games.

    Jacksonville’s Jalen Ramsey got into a war of words with Kansas City Tyreek Hill, ran more than he ever has in a football game trying to cover and stay with him in a 30-14 loss at Arrowhead and then hasn’t been the same since in losses to Dallas and Houston, physically looking less formidable. He’s been playing through an ankle injury that has been a major issue that could be magnified here since so much of the Jags’ secondary is injured. A.J. Bouye (calf), D.J. Hayden (toe) and Tyler Patmon (neck) have been ruled out and a defense that has surrendered 30 points per game during their losing streak is counting on Tre Herndon (hamstring) stepping up to help cover an Eagles receiving corps led by a now healthy Alshon Jeffery. Barry Church, Ronnie Harrison, Jarrod Wilson and the injured Hayden were detained for nine hours by British authorities over a bar tab and a fight with bouncers at 4 a.m. Showers are expected in the London area, but shouldn’t hang around long enough to play a large role at Wembley. RB Carlos Hyde will debut for the Jags alongside T.J. Yeldon in attempting to replace Leonard Fournette, who is still out with a hamstring issue.

    Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-8.5/48), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Week 1 meeting was played in wet conditions and went to overtime, producing a tie after multiple missed field goals in regulation and the OT. Tyrod Taylor started that opener for Cleveland, which has since moved on in the kicking department too. All but one of the Browns’ games have been decided by more than four points and they’ve played four extra sessions, so if nothing else, the team trying to rise up from doormat status has proven to be competitive. Pittsburgh has had more time to prepare for Cleveland, who it should know well since it studied its personnel all preseason in preparation for Week 1 and have now had an extra week to examine.

    The Browns lead the NFL with 20 takeaways and 31 sacks but still rank 28th in total defense since Gregg Williams relies so heavily on the blitz, which creates opportunities for big plays. The Steelers are second in the NFL in sacks with 22, which could pose problems for Baker Mayfield, who can be accused of holding the ball too long in the infancy of his pro career. This will be his first look at the Pittsburgh defense. The Browns have covered the last three meetings but will be looking to snap a 24-game road losing streak despite coming in 3-0 ATS this season, covering in three separate three-point OT losses. The week off allowed Steelers safety Morgan Burnett to get healthy so he’ll be back today, but tackle Marcus Gilbert (knee) won’t play. RB Le’Veon Bell remains away. The second half of this game may be affected by weather with heavy rain and winds in the forecast.

    Denver at Kansas City (-9.5/53), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Broncos QB Case Keenum missed on what would’ve been a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of a 27-23 loss to the Chiefs at home on Oct. 1 that would’ve handed them a loss that would have made the AFC West race much closer than it currently is. The Broncos have been difficult to figure out but have been extremely competitive against the NFL’s top teams, losing one-possession games against the Chiefs and Rams. They also come off a 45-10 rout of Arizona in Week 7’s Thursday night game so they’ll be well-rested for this one and know what to expect from Kansas City, which will put its perfect record against the spread on the line but need a double-digit win to extend it to 8-0.

    Chiefs LB Justin Houston, one of the NFL’s top pass-rushers, is dealing with an hamstring injury and will again be absent. Center Mitch Morse and safety Eric Berry will miss another contest but weren’t missed at all in last week’s rout of Cincinnati. The Broncos were only able to sack Mahomes once in their Oct. 1 defeat at home against the Chiefs, so it’s great news that Von Miller will be able to play through an ankle injury that had his status in question earlier in the week. Corner Adam Jones (thigh) and safety Dymonte Thomas should play, but LB Shane Ray and safety Darian Stewart are out again. With perfect weather expected outside of some mild wind gusts, we should be able to see whether Kansas City’s offense can be slowed down the second time around. The Chiefs are perfect in their last eight divisional home games, while the Broncos have won only one of their last six AFC road games (1-5 ATS).

    Baltimore (-2.5/44) at Carolina, 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Panthers QB Cam Newton has been dealing with an injured shoulder but was never going to sit this one out, relishing the challenge of squaring off against such a respected, effective defense. Baltimore hadn’t surrendered a second-half touchdown before being caught from behind last weekend by Drew Brees and the Saints. The Ravens have surrendered just 8.0 points per game in victories and are first in the NFL in points allowed (14.4).

    Joe Flacco will look to become the fourth passer in five games to throw for over 300 yards against the Panthers defense, which has clamped down against the run but has been middle-of-the road against aerial attacks, giving up 260.3 passing yards (17th) and 11 TD passes (15th)

    Indianapolis (-3/51) at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Raiders traded Amari Cooper to Dallas and will likely deal a few more pieces before the trade deadline as the pre-Vegas fire sale continues. Jon Gruden audibled to a complete rebuild pretty quickly after the franchise’s financial woes contributed to moving on from Khalil Mack. That can’t be lost on the team’s veterans. While we should see plenty of guys engaged and ready to play coming off a bye week following an embarrassing loss in London, there will be some who will remain stuck in ‘off’ mode.

    Marshawn Lynch was placed on IR with a groin injury, so he won’t be a factor going forward. Doug Martin and Jalen Richard will handle backfield duties while Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant will be Derek Carr’s top receiving targets alongside tight end Jared Cook. There are enough playmakers to do damage with if Carr gets time and finds a rhythm, so even the trading of a former No. 4 pick and reports of a “fractured” locker room can’t be considered deal breakers for a 1-5 football team if the offensive line holds up. Centers Rodney Hudson and Jon Feliciano, guards Gabe Jackson and Denver Kirkland, and tackle Kolton Miller were all limited in practice this week, which is bad news considering the team will be back in action on Thursday night for a Bay area battle with the 49ers. Indianapolis has gotten healthier with RB Marlon Mack and TE Jack Doyle upgrading the offensive talent with their return, but there are issues in the secondary with Malik Hooker (hip) and Clayton Geathers (concussion) questionable. If neither plays, Indy will be quite vulnerable. The Colts are 1-3 in outdoor road games this season.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 10-28-2018 at 11:17 AM.

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    MNF - Patriots at Bills
    Kevin Rogers

    LAST WEEK

    The Patriots (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) are back in control of the AFC East after holding off the Bears, 38-31. New England was able to score a pair of non-offensive touchdowns as Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score and Kyle Van Noy picked up a blocked punt and brought it back for the tie-breaking touchdown in the third.

    Tom Brady did his thing for the Patriots for throwing three touchdown passes, the fourth time this season the future Hall-of-Famer has posted a trio of touchdown tosses. Running back James White hauled in a pair of touchdowns from Brady, while recently acquired Josh Gordon picked up his first 100-yard game since joining New England in Week 4. Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed the victory with a back injury but is expected to suit up on Monday.

    The Bills (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS) have been an utter disaster at times this season, as Buffalo seemed to be moving in the right direction with rookie quarterback Josh Allen. However, the former Wyoming standout suffered an elbow injury in a 20-13 loss at Houston in Week 7. So Buffalo had to turn to journeyman quarterback Derek Anderson against Indianapolis, who was intercepted three times in a 37-5 drubbing to the Colts.

    Running back LeSean McCoy left early after only two carries for one yard due to a head injury, but should play on Monday. Since scoring 27 points in a rout of Minnesota in Week 3, the Bills have scored a total of 31 points in the last four games, while ranking last in the NFL with 81 points on the season.

    UNDER THUNDER

    Due to Buffalo’s lack of offense, the Bills are turning into a solid team to back on the UNDER on a weekly basis. The Bills are currently on a five-game UNDER streak as none of those contests have closed with a total of higher than 43 ½, while not busting the 13-point mark in each of the past four weeks.

    The last OVER for the Bills cashed in Week 2 at home against the Chargers in a 31-20 loss on a 41 ½ total. Monday’s total will be the highest for the Bills this season at 44 ½, while this is the lowest total for New England since Week 2 against Jacksonville (also 44 ½).

    PATS GOING TO PAT

    Although New England is currently on a three-game OVER streak, the Patriots have lit up the scoreboard since a 1-2 start. After getting blasted at Detroit in Week 3, the Patriots have scored 38, 38, 43, and 38 points the past four weeks. To put this scoring run in perspective, New England never scored 38 points or more in four consecutive games back in their undefeated regular season run of 2007, a year that they finished with the second-most points in a season in NFL history with 589.

    SERIES HISTORY

    Since getting shut out at Buffalo in the 2003 season opener, the Patriots have won 13 of the past 14 matchups at New Era Field. Buffalo’s last home win against New England came in 2011 as a seven-point underdog, 34-31. Since that upset, the margin of victory for the Patriots in western New York has been 24, 2, 15, 8, 16, and 20. Last season, the Pats blasted the Bills as 7 ½-point road favorites, 23-3.

    The Bills have dropped five of the past six meetings overall with the Patriots since 2015 as the lone victory came in 2016 at Gillette Stadium, 16-0*. Yes, there is an asterisk next to that score as Brady was serving the final game of his Deflategate suspension. In the next meeting in Buffalo, the Patriots ripped the Bills, 41-25 behind four touchdown passes from Brady.

    MONDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

    The Patriots have appeared on Monday Night Football once in each of the past five seasons, compiling a 2-3 SU and 1-3-1 ATS mark. All three losses have come on the road at Miami (2017), Kansas City (2014), and Carolina (2013), as New England’s last Monday night away victory came in the 2011 opener at Miami.

    New England and Buffalo last met on a Monday night at Gillette Stadium in 2015 as the Patriots held off the Bills, 20-13 as seven-point favorites. The Bills are 0-5 on Mondays since 2007, but Buffalo has compiled a 2-1-1 ATS mark as an underdog, while hosting a Monday game for the first time since 2008 against Cleveland.

    HANDICAPPER’S CORNER

    Expert Joe Nelson checks in with his thoughts on this AFC East matchup. As mentioned earlier, the Bills’ offense has continued to struggle, but Nelson notes that Buffalo’s defense hasn’t been too bad, “Buffalo has held four of the last five opponents to 22 or fewer points as the defense has been capable. Buffalo is third in the NFL in yards per pass attempt allowed surrendering only 6.7 yards per attempt to only trail Baltimore and Jacksonville in that category. Buffalo has allowed 13 passing touchdowns, but has 19 sacks and five interceptions. Buffalo’s offense has given away 16 turnovers however including a league-high 12 interceptions from a trio of marginal quarterbacks.”

    The Bills are a heavy underdog as expected, but Buffalo has history on its side according to Nelson, “Since 2007, NFL home underdogs of 10 or more points are 40-20 ATS including going 4-0 ATS (and 2-2 SU) last season. The past six NFL home underdogs of 14 or more points have all covered as well going back to November of 2009. The Patriots have been a double-digit road favorite 11 times under Belichick going 5-6 ATS including losing SU twice in the past four attempts since 2016, both times in Miami.”

    LINE MOVEMENT

    The Patriots opened up as 14-point road favorites at the Westgate Superbook last week. There hasn’t been much movement on the side as the Westgate has New England at -13 ½, while many books have kept the Pats at -14. The total has also been steady at 44 ½, the lowest between these teams with Brady starting since 2015, won by the Patriots, 40-32 in Buffalo.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 10-29-2018 at 01:12 PM.

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    Early bettors hit Patriots' odds, but line stable for NFL Week 9 battle vs. Packers
    Patrick Everson

    Josh Gordon, Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots still have their Week 8 game Monday night at Buffalo. But New England was installed as a 6.5-point home favorite vs. Green Bay in Week 9.

    Week 9 of the NFL season features a battle between two of the best quarterbacks ever to play. We check in on the opening lines and early action for that clash and three other contests, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

    Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots (-6.5)

    Green Bay gave the undefeated Los Angeles Rams all they could handle, but came up just short in a big Week 8 matchup. The Packers (3-3-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) led 27-26, gave up a field goal with 2:05 remaining, then fumbled the ensuing kickoff in a 29-27 loss as 7.5-point road underdogs.

    New England still has Week 8 work to do, playing at Buffalo in the Monday nighter. The Patriots (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) have won four in a row, cashing three times, including in a 38-31 Week 7 victory at Chicago as 1-point road favorites.

    “We took some bets on the Patriots, but left the number at -6.5 so far,” Murray said of next week’s Sunday night game. “The public will be all over Aaron Rodgers as a ‘dog again.”

    Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (+1)

    Los Angeles took a few punches in Week 8, but escaped with its perfect record still intact. The Rams (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS) got a late field goal to pull ahead of Green Bay, then forced a fumble on the kickoff and ran out the clock for a 29-27 victory laying 7.5 points at home.

    New Orleans lost in Week 1, but hasn’t been beaten since, grabbing six consecutive SU wins while cashing in its last five games. The Saints (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) went to Minnesota as 2.5-point faves and emerged with a 30-20 Week 8 victory.

    “We opened this game Rams -1 and immediately saw money come in on L.A. and push the line to -2.5,” Murray said. “The Rams finally looked beatable, and now they have arguably their toughest game of the year on the road at the Saints.”

    Per The SuperBook’s policy, the line on Rams-Saints was only on the board until kickoff of the Saints-Vikings game. It will be reposted Monday morning.

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)

    Pittsburgh might just be putting things together, despite the continued holdout of stud running back Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers (4-2-1 SU, 4-3 ATS) have won and cashed four of their last five, including a 33-18 victory over Cleveland giving 8.5 points at home in Week 8.

    On the flip side, Baltimore has lost three of its last four SU and ATS while dropping back to .500. The Ravens (4-4 SU and ATS) tumbled to Carolina 36-21 as 2.5-point road pups in Week 8.

    These AFC North rivals met in Week 4, with Baltimore nabbing a 26-14 victory as a 3-point ‘dog at Pittsburgh.

    “We took a couple bets on the Steelers +3 right when we opened the game, but so far, we haven’t moved the number,” Murray said. “This is a must-win game for Baltimore, after losses to the Saints and Panthers, and we expect the Ravens to respond accordingly.”
    Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (Pick)

    Houston is one of the hotter teams going right now, with five straight victories after an 0-3 start. The Texans (5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS) kept rolling in the Week 8 Thursday nighter, pounding Miami 42-23 as 7.5-point home favorites.

    Denver won its first two games, but has just one victory since then. In Week 8, the Broncos (3-5 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) couldn’t keep up with high-powered Kansas City, although they did cash as 8.5-point road underdogs in a 30-23 setback.

    “Not much action on this game,” Murray said. “I do expect the public to heavily back the Texans, who are on a five-game winning streak and will have three extra days to prepare for this game.”

    That said, the Broncos actually moved to -2.5 later Sunday night at The SuperBook, but it was a market-driven move, as there were no significant bets on the game.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 10-29-2018 at 01:13 PM.

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    Patriots' TE Rob Gronkowski (back, ankle) will reportedly be active tonight @ Bills on Monday Night Football.
    Pointspread: Pats -14
    Total: 44.5

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