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Thread: NFL Trends and Indexes - Week 12 (Thur. Nov. 22 - Mon. Nov. 26)

  1. #16
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    Thanksgiving Essentials
    Tony Mejia

    All three Thanksgiving Day contests will be played in closed structures, and the weather in Dallas is expected to be nice enough that they may open the roof, so there will be no mention of weather below. May your turkey be as delightful as the conditions. Enjoy the day. Here's a preview of what variables to be aware of in Thursday's tripleheader:

    Chicago (-3/43.5) at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Bears (7-3 SU, 7-3 ATS) appear to be taking the cautious approach with prized second-year starting QB Mitch Trubisky, who injured his right shoulder late in Sunday night’s 25-20 win over the fading Vikings. Although there’s a belief that he could play if Chicago wanted him to, the team is hoping that taking a week off will help him heal for the stretch run. That doesn’t mean they want to win this Thanksgiving Day opener any less than if they were throwing him out there. Defeating Minnesota gave the Bears a huge edge in an NFC North it leads by 1.5 games over the Vikes and by 2.5 on the Packers. The Lions (4-6, 5-4-1) are bringing up the rear, which makes this game a must-win if they realistically plan to make a run at the playoffs over the season’s final six contests.

    If Trubisky indeed sits this out, Chase Daniel will make his first start since 2014, where he took the field for the Chiefs in place of Alex Smith, who missed the regular-season finale with a lacerated spleen. He’ll be making just his third start of a 10-year career that has seen him sit outside of a snap here and there in stops in New Orleans and Philadelphia since his three-year tenure in Kansas City. Daniel has thrown one pass outside the preseason in the past three seasons and comes in 51-for-78 for 480 yards over his decade in the NFL, owning a single touchdown pass and one interception.

    Daniel has decent wheels and can make plays with his feet, but he’s not the athlete Trubisky is. The expectation is that the offense will consist of short passes that will get the ball in the hands of playmakers like Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and rookie Anthony Miller, who has really come on of late. With running backs Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard available in addition to tight end Trey Burton, the Bears have plenty of healthy weapons. Only lineman Kyle Long (foot) and backup tight end Adam Shaheen (concussion) are sidelined for a Bears offense that has helped the ‘over’ cash in six of the team’s last seven games despite one of the league’s sturdiest defenses.

    Chicago has surrendered 22 or fewer points in each of its last four games and seven of the past nine and lists only LB Aaron Lynch (concussion) as sidelined. The Bears lead the NFL in turnovers forced (27) and interceptions (18) as they take aim at Matthew Stafford and the Lions for the second time inside two weeks.

    Khalil Mack returned from an injury in Week 9 and had two sacks of Matthew Stafford in a wire-to-wire win that featured six Bears sacks and three takeaways. Even facing a backup quarterback, if the offense can’t protect the football better than it did on Nov. 11, the Lions have no chance at a home upset.

    Stafford has lost his favorite receiver, Golden Tate, to a trade, and his next most experienced target, Marvin Jones, Jr. to a knee injury set to keep him out of this game. Kerryon Johnson, the biggest bright spot in what’s otherwise been a disappointing first season under Matt Patricia. Without Johnson, the Lions will have to divide snaps between Theo Reddick, LeGarrette Blount and Zach Zenner, who all have varying strengths and carry major limitations when compared to what Johnson offered. Tight end Michael Roberts is questionable, so Stafford may be scrounging for weapons.

    If this ends up being a case of Patricia trying to confuse Daniel by taking advantage of his limited preparation time, he’ll have DE Ziggy Ansah and corner Darius Slay in the mix to aid the cause. Defensive tackles Damon Harrison (shoulder) and A’Shawn Robinson (ankle) also look like they’ll go, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check prior to the early kickoff.

    The Lions have won nine of 11 in this series and haven’t been swept since 2012, so we’ll see if they show some fight here. Detroit has won four of five Thanksgiving home games but fell last season, 16-13, against Minnesota. It hasn’t dropped consecutive Turkey Day games since 2012, so that might be a theme.


    Washington at Dallas (-7/40.5), 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The parade of career backups making their first start of the season continues with Colt McCoy taking the field for the Redskins (6-4, 7-3). This move is expected to be for the duration of the season since Smith suffered a compound fracture in breaking his fibula and tibia in a 23-21 loss against the Texans.

    McCoy will be backed up by Mark Sanchez, who will be extending his streak of spending Thanksgiving even years on the sideline at AT&T Stadium to three after being out there in ’14 and ’16. In ’12, he was out on the field becoming the butt of jokes through the rest of time with an ill-timed fumble. It would be wild if he makes an appearance this season.

    If all goes according to plan for Washington, this will be McCoy’s show throughout, hopefully with him taking a knee in victory formation. Winning would pad the team’s NFC East lead to two games over the Cowboys (5-5, 4-4-2) and 2.5 over the defending champion Eagles, who host the Giants on Sunday.

    Pulling off an upset here wouldn’t just take an immense amount of pressure off McCoy and this transition the team has been forced to make in a matter of days before hitting the road, it would give the ‘Skins a chance. They’ll play in Philly to open December and still have to play at Jacksonville and Tennessee against defenses that have proven they can lock up an opposing passing game.

    McCoy threw for a score in last week’s loss and led a pair of scoring drives, so he’s much further along than Chicago’s Daniel. The former third-round pick started the first 21 games of his career for Cleveland and and threw 20 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions. He’s started in four of his eight games with Washington since signing there in 2014 and beat the Cowboys in his first start, so the 32-year-old should be able to handle the spotlight in Arlington.

    If he succeeds, it will have to be without RB Chris Thompson (ribs) and WR Jamison Crowder (ankle), who remain sidelined. Top receiver Paul Richardson (shoulder) was lost for the season at the beginning of the month, so McCoy will be without his most talented pass-catchers like Smith has been the past few weeks. He does however have great familiarity with Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris since they put in a lot of practice time in, so that could be something for Dallas to be concerned with.

    The Cowboys have surrendered 20 or fewer points in five of the last six games and rank 10th with 28 sacks. Washington hasn’t scored more than 21 points since Sept. 23 and has fallen short of that figure in seven of nine. McCoy will need to lean on Adrian Peterson, who has struggled since closing October with a 149-yard game against the Giants. In three November contests, the veteran running back has gained just 136 yards on 41 carries and has really lacked explosiveness. We’ll see if the native Texan can rebound in a matchup that really boils down to how much fight the ‘Skins have in them as they fight an uphill battle from a continuity standpoint.

    It would help matters if left tackle Trent Williams can return from a shoulder injury. Fellow tackles Morgan Moses and Ty Nsehke should play, so the offensive line should be improved as they try and keep the new starter clean. The Cowboys also have some uncertainty up front with Tyron Smith (stinger) questionable. Center Travis Frederick remains out with an illness. Linebacker Sean Lee is also still sidelined due to a hamstring injury while defensive lineman David Irving has been ruled out with a bum ankle. Defensive linemen Taco Charlton and Maliek Collins are questionable.

    Washington won in Week 7, posting a 20-17 result thanks to 99 rushing yards from Peterson and a Preston Smith fumble recovery in the end zone, one of many plays he’s made on that side of the ball. Ezekiel Elliott was able to gain just 33 yards on 15 carries and caught two passes for nine yards. Since that loss, he’s compiled 500 yards of total offense, making 17 catches and running for 334 yards. Dallas has won eight of 11 in the series and will be looking to avoid being swept by the ‘Skins for the first time since 2012. The road team is 7-2 ATS over the last nine meetings.


    Atlanta at New Orleans (-12.5/60), 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC:
    The Saints (9-1, 8-2) were almost certainly rooting for the Chiefs in Monday night’s epic fireworks show since a Rams loss would’ve given them a commanding lead in the race for homefield advantage in the NFC. As things stand, they would host a conference championship game if they win out and stay ahead of L.A., but a difficult schedule awaits that includes three straight road games at Dallas, Tampa Bay and Carolina. They close out the season hosting the Steelers and Panthers, teams likely to be wrapping up playoff berths, so it’s very possible that this game against the Falcons (4-6, 3-7) will be the final time we see them favored by so many points.

    That’s pretty ironic considering the history between the teams as fiercely competitive rivals and the fact that they played to a memorable 43-37 overtime result just two months ago in Week 3. The teams traded the lead four times in the fourth quarter before the Saints evened it up and ultimately won in OT. Brees ran it in for both the game-tying and game-clinching scores. Matt Ryan threw five touchdown passes. Rookie Calvin Ridley caught three of them. Alvin Kamara made 15 receptions.

    So, yes, the total here is 60. Given what we saw in Monday’s 54-51 explosion, it seems logical despite being the second-largest of the season. The Saints scored 40 or more points for the sixth time in Sunday’s 48-7 rout of the Eagles and only saw that game come in under the posted total due to Philadelphia’s ineptitude. Atlanta has sputtered some of late but has still topped the 30-point mark five times this season. Three of the past five meetings have produced at least 70 points.

    Atlanta ranks 29th of 32 teams in surrendering 284 passing yards per game and ranks 27th in points allowed (27.0 ppg). Hopes that top linebacker Deion Jones would be able to return from a foot injury suffered in the Week 1 Thursday night opener were dashed when he was ruled out on Wednesday. Corner Desmond Trufant and LB De’Vondre Campbell are expected to play through thigh injuries. NFL interception leader Demonate Kazee and fellow corner Robert Alford are questionable.

    The Saints will have most of their team intact. Tackle Terron Armstead has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury, but tackle Andrus Peat, center Max Unger and guard Larry Warford should all play. Rookie WR Tre’Quan Smith, who caught 10 passes against the Eagles, is questionable with a foot issue, while impressive first-year DE Marcus Davenport is dealing with an injured toe.

    The Saints are looking for their third straight win over the Falcons for the first time since 2012. They’re chasing their first season sweep of Atlanta since ’13 and need to put in serious work to increase their run of consecutive covers to nine. The streak began in the OT win, as New Orleans was a 1.5-point underdog.

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    Total Talk - Thanksgiving
    Chris David

    This year’s Thanksgiving Day slate will feature three NFC divisional games and all of them happen to be rematches as well. Through 48 divisional contests played in this year’s regular season, the ‘under’ holds a 46-42 mark and those results have seen a lot of back-and-forth streaks.

    Chicago at Detroit (CBS, 12:30 p.m. ET)

    BookMaker.eu sent out a total of 46 ½ and the number is listed at 43 ½ as of Wednesday afternoon. The reason for the drop is directly related to Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who is listed as ‘doubtful’ with a shoulder injury. If doesn’t go, backup Chase Daniel will be the guy and he’s only had two career starts, both coming in meaningless Week 17 games during his tenure with Kansas City.

    These teams just met in Week 10 from Soldier Field and Chicago captured a 34-22 wire-to-wire win and the ‘over’ (44 ½) cashed midway through the fourth quarter. The Bears built a 26-7 lead at halftime and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had one of his best games, completing 23-of-30 (77%) of his passes for 355 passing yards and three touchdowns. Chicago couldn’t run the ball (54 yards) on Detroit and knowing Daniel will likely get touches, you would believe that favors the Lions defense.

    At the same time, it’s hard to imagine Detroit doing anything against Chicago’s defense (19.5 PPG, 314 YPG) and it couldn’t muster up much against the Bears in the first game. However, Lions QB Matthew Stafford aka “Stat Padford” did what he’s good at and compiled meaningless numbers late to make the game seem closer than it appeared.

    Fast forward to Thursday’s rematch and Chicago enters this game with a 6-1 ‘over’ run but a couple of those tickets could’ve gone the other way, which includes last week’s meeting on Sunday Night vs. Minnesota. Also, the Bears have seen the ‘over’ go 3-1 on the road this season but again – the high side winners were fortunate to connect in all of those games.

    Detroit enters this game on a 3-1 ‘under’ run and its sputtering offense (16.3 PPG) has played a part in those results. While the Lions were outgained (387-309) last week to the Panthers, the defense did play a lot better and they controlled the clock behind running back Kerryon Johnson (knee) but he’s ‘doubtful’ to play on the short week. Knowing Chicago leads the league in rushing defense (77.8 YPG) and the unit has only allowed two rushing touchdowns this season makes you believe Detroit could have issues on Thursday.

    Prior to the first meeting this season, the ‘under’ was on a 4-1 run in this series and Chicago has had trouble scoring at Ford Field with just 10 and 17 in its last two trips to Michigan.

    Washington at Dallas (FOX, 4:30 p.m. ET)

    This total is hovering between 40 and 41 points as of Wednesday and most bettors are showing a slight lean to the ‘under’ in the late afternoon matchup. Washington and Dallas both enter this game with identical 6-4 ‘under’ records and that includes the outcome from their Week 7 outcome. The Redskins captured a 20-17 win over the Cowboys in a game that was tied 7-7 at halftime. The ‘over’ (40 ½) had a shot but Dallas missed a late field goal that would’ve forced overtime.

    Neither team did much offensively and the Redskins will be turning to backup QB Colt McCoy after Alex Smith was knocked out for the season last week with a leg injury. The former Texas Longhorns standout has gone 16-21 as a starter in his career and he hasn’t suited up in that role since 2014. Ironically, his last win as a starter came at Dallas and the Redskins won 20-17 behind some quality numbers (25-of-33, 299 yards) from McCoy. Will the Lone Star kid steal the show again on the holiday?

    Buying that narrative is tough for a couple reasons. First, the Redskins have no major offensive weapons outside of tight end Jordan Reed. Second, this Dallas defense (331 YPG, 19 PPG) is legit especially against the run (95 YPG). The Cowboys unit also fits into the ‘bend but don’t break’ style and they’ve often forced teams into settling for field goals (17) instead of touchdowns (19).

    Expecting the Dallas offense (20.3 PPG) to light up the scoreboard could be wishful thinking but it has shown better numbers at home (25 PPG) and this Redskins defense isn't in great form. Tampa Bay lit them up for 501 total yards at home in Week 10 and Atlanta put up 491 yards at FedEx Field in Week 9. Houston, not a great offensive team, was held in check last week by Washington but I'm still weary to expect a quick fix. The Cowboys have seen the ‘over’ go 3-1 AT&T Stadium.

    Prior to the ‘under’ result earlier this season, the ‘over’ was on a 5-0 run in this series and one of those outcomes took place on Thanksgiving Day in 2016 with Dallas earning a 31-26 over Washington.

    Atlanta at New Orleans (NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET)

    Oddsmakers are expecting a shootout in the late-night tilt from the Superdome and before we look at the matchup, be aware that this primetime slot on the holiday hasn’t produced the fireworks that some may’ve hoped for.

    This will be the 13th season that the NFL will have a night game on Thanksgiving Day and the 'under' has cashed the last four years and the low side is 8-4 overall. For those playing sides, home teams have gone 8-4 while favorites own a 10-2 straight up and 9-3 against the spread mark. Also, nine of the 12 margins came by double digits.

    Another blowout is expected this season with New Orleans listed as a 13-point home favorite. When the pair met in Week 3 from Atlanta, the Saints dropped the Falcons 43-37 in overtime as 1 ½-point road underdogs. The ‘over’ (54) was never in doubt and the combined 80 points was the highest ever posted in this series.

    The rematch is starting at a total of 60, which seems inflated but nobody has been able to stop the Saints (37.8 PPG) this season. Plus, the team has posted 48 PPG in their last three games. While New Orleans has been on fire, Atlanta’s offense (17.5) has been anything but in its last two games and their numbers on the road (20.8 PPG) have been ugly. If you take out a 38-point effort at Washington in Week 9, the average falls to 15 points per game on the road.

    After seeing 80 points posted in the first encounter, my handicapping usually reverts to the opposite outcome in the second go ‘round. While that can be dangerous for this particular matchup and we’ve seen a slew of ‘over’ winners on Thursday (8-3) this season, I’d be very surprised to see another crooked number posted again. Make a note that we’ve seen these teams play on Thursday’s twice in the past three seasons and the ‘under’ cashed in both games (20-17, 31-21).

    Fearless Predictions

    As I’ve written many times before in previous holiday installments, if you’re reading this then you’re probably betting and for that, be thankful that you can. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    Best Over: Washington-Dallas 40 ½
    Best Under: Atlanta-New Orleans 60
    Best Team Total: Under Chicago 23 ½

    Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105):
    Under 51 Chicago-Detroit
    Over 33 Washington-Dallas
    Under 67 ½ Atlanta-New Orleans

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    Week 12 NFL injuries

    The Bears head to Detroit to face the Lions in the first game of the Thanksgiving slate, and the game has taken on an added level of intrigue for who won't play as opposed to who will.

    For the Bears, Mitchell Trubisky has been ruled doubtful after missing practice this week with a shoulder injury. He's all but certain to sit on a short week, meaning that Chase Daniel is set to make his first start since 2014 with the Chiefs. His quarterbacks coach on that team? Current Bears head coach Matt Nagy. Daniel should have some level of comfort in this offense, which has done wonders to unlock Trubisky's potential in his second season.

    For the Lions, star rookie running back Kerryon Johnson (knee) and starting receiver Marvin Jones (knee) have both been ruled out. That's a pretty significant shakeup at two key positions with the best defense in the league coming to town. LeGarrette Blount has averaged just 2.3 yards on 78 carries, so it's possible we get a bigger dose of Zach Zenner than expected as the team tries to establish a ground game. With Jones out last week, Bruce Ellington (back, questionable) saw nine targets, catching six of them 52 yards. If he's active, he'll likely be a bigger part of the passing game than usual again.

    The Trubisky news has caused the line to move toward the Lions, but who will actually win the game? You can watch it on CBS at 12:30 p.m. ET or stream the game on fuboTV (Try for free).

    We'll break down the injuries you need to know about for all the Thursday games below before digging in to each team playing on Sunday's initial injury report for Week 12. Check back with us throughout the day as we react to all the injury news around the NFL.

    Bears (-2.5) at Lions
    Bears: TE Adam Shaheen (concussion), LB Aaron Lynch (concussion) OUT; QB Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) DOUBTFUL
    Lions: RB Kerryon Johnson (knee), WR Marvin Jones (knee) OUT; WR Bruce Ellington (back), TE Michael Roberts (shoulder), DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder), DT Damon Harrison (shoulder), DT A'Shawn Robinson (ankle), LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (neck), CB Darius Slay (knee) QUESTIONABLE
    The big news in this matchup is that Chase Daniel will likely draw the start for the division-leading Bears on the road on a short week. You never want to lose your starting quarterback, but at least Daniel has years of experience working with Matt Nagy. You can read more about how the injury shakes up the Bears offense here.

    The Lions have big injury concerns as well. The offense becomes less dynamic with no Johnson or Jones, as the team will have to lean on LeGarrette Blount, Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick to run the ball, while Ellington if he can play should see another high target workload. All seven players ruled questionable were limited all week, and the Lions could be severely shorthanded on the defensive line depending on how the inactive list shakes out.

    Sorry to interrupt your reading, but just a quick PSA here. We have a pretty amazing daily NFL podcast you may not be aware of. It's hosted by Will Brinson and it's all the things you're looking for: news, fantasy, picks, really, just football stuff for football people. Subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play.

    Redskins at Cowboys (-7)
    Redskins: RB Chris Thompson (rib) OUT; RB Samaje Perine (calf), WR Jamison Crowder (ankle), OT Trent Williams (thumb), C Tony Bergstrom (knee), CB Quinton Dunbar (shin) QUESTIONABLE
    Cowboys: WR Tavon Austin (groin), TE Geoff Swaim (wrist), C Adam Redmond (concussion), DT David Irving (ankle), LB Sean Lee (hamstring) OUT; OT Tyron Smith (neck), G Zack Martin (knee), G Connor Williams (knee), DE Taco Charlton (shoulder), DT Maliek Collins (knee) QUESTIONABLE
    While Thompson remains out for the Redskins, the team isn't ready to rule out Crowder despite the receiver being listed as a DNP all week. If he can play, he gives Colt McCoy a reliable option in the passing game so that the replacement quarterback doesn't have to lock on to Jordan Reed. Williams was limited all week, and if he can play this week it would be a big boost to a beat up O-line. On that note, tackles Morgan Moses (knee) and Ty Nsekhe (ankle) are good to go.

    The Cowboys are dealing with key injuries on both sides of the ball. Two starters are missing from the front seven, while Charlton and Collins were limited all week before being deemed questionable. The bigger issue could be on the other side of the ball, with Smith and Martin limited all week on the offensive line. The front seven has been a strength for Washington, so the loss of either Smith or Martin would be a big blow to the Cowboys' hopes of covering this number.

    What NFL picks can you make with confidence in Week 12? And which Super Bowl contender gets a huge scare? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years.

    Falcons at Saints (-13)
    Falcons: LB Deion Jones (foot) OUT
    Saints: OT Terron Armstead (pec) OUT; WR Tre'Quan Smith (foot), DE Marcus Davenport (toe) QUESTIONABLE
    Jones was limited all week and didn't manage to make it back for this huge divisional game, so it appears his return will finally come next week. The rest of the players who were listed on the team's injury report heading into Wednesday, including Calvin Ridley (thigh), were upgraded to a full practice and are good to go.

    The Saints will be without Armstead on the offensive line again, but the rest of the offensive linemen on the injury report all practiced in full on Wednesday and are good to go. Smith is coming off a massive performance against the Eagles, but he only managed one practice this week, getting in a limited session on Wednesday. Davenport was limited all week as he continues his recovery from a toe injury.

    Initial injury reports
    Jaguars (-3) at Bills

    The Jaguars opened the week with five players missing practice, including Marcell Dareus (back) and Josh Walker (foot, ankle), the team's third left tackle of the season. Jalen Ramsey was also limited by a groin injury. Josh Allen (elbow) returned to a full practice coming out of the team's bye, so he appears on track to start for the Bills for the first time since Week 6. Charles Clay (hamstring) and Shaq Lawson (elbow) didn't practice, while Trent Murphy (knee) was limited.

    Raiders at Ravens (-10.5)

    Martavis Bryant remains sidelined for the Raiders, and he was one of just two players to miss the team's first practice of the week due to injury. Eight more were limited, including Doug Martin (ankle) and Jordy Nelson (knee). Four Ravens players didn't practice due to injury, most notably Joe Flacco (hip), as Lamar Jackson looks to be on track to get another start in this matchup. James Hurst (back) and Tavon Young (groin) also missed practice, while Tim Williams (ankle) was limited.

    49ers at Buccaneers (-3.5)

    The 49ers were missing Pierre Garcon (knee) and Joshua Garnett (thumb) from Wednesday's practice, while Reuben Foster (hamstring) and Weston Richburg (knee) were limited coming out of the bye. The Bucs have way more injury concerns, with five DNPs on Wednesday, including Lavonte David (knee) and four other defensive players. Four more players were limited, including DeSean Jackson (thumb).

    Giants at Eagles (-6)

    The Giants have just one player on the injury report to start the week, with rotational end Kerry Wynn sitting out while recovering from a concussion. Eagles center Jason Kelce (elbow) practiced in full to start the week, which is great news, but Philadelphia is still dealing with massive issues in the secondary, as four corners didn't practice. Darren Sproles (hamstring) and Jordan Hicks (calf) were also DNPs.

    Browns at Bengals (-3)

    The Browns don't have many players on the injury report coming out of their bye, and the only player to not practice at all is JC Tretter, who's dealing with an ankle issue. Tight end David Njoku remained limited with a knee injury. A.J. Green remained sidelined with a toe injury, but he has a shot of practicing later this week and returning to the lineup. Left tackle Cordy Glenn was also a DNP with a back issue, while corner Dre Kirkpatrick continued to miss practice with a shoulder injury.

    Patriots (-9.5) at Jets

    Dwayne Allen (knee) was the only player to miss Patriots practice entirely, as Sony Michel (knee), Rob Gronkowski (ankle, back) and Shaq Mason (calf) were limited. Tom Brady was also listed as limited with a knee injury, but there's no indication he'll miss this game at this time. Sam Darnold (foot) didn't practice for the Jets to start the week, so it's possible we get another game with Josh McCown under center. Robby Anderson (ankle) also didn't practice, while Quincy Enunwa (ankle) was limited as well. The Jets did have 10 players on the injury report as practicing in full, so they appear to be getting healthier outside of the passing game.

    Seahawks at Panthers (-3.5)

    Doug Baldwin (groin) was one of three Seahawks players missing from practice due to injury, with Dion Jordan (knee) and K.J. Wright (knee) also sidelined. Mike Davis (knee) was limited to begin the week as well. The Panthers were missing five players from practice due to injury on Wednesday, including Devin Funchess, who is dealing with a foot issue. But one of those players wasn't Torrey Smith (knee), who was limited to start the week and has a solid chance to return to action in this game. Cam Newton (shoulder) was also limited.

    Dolphins at Colts (-7.5)

    Ryan Tannehill (shoulder), Kenyan Drake (shoulder), DeVante Parker (shoulder) and Danny Amendola (hamstring) were among nine players limited on Wednesday, and Tannehill is on track to make his return this week after being sidelined since Week 5. The Colts got safety Malik Hooker back as a limited participant in practice on Wednesday while defensive lineman Margus Hunt practiced in full. Five Colts players didn't practice at all, including center Ryan Kelly (ankle).

    Cardinals at Chargers (-12.5)

    The Cardinals were missing six players due to injury to start the week, including Budda Baker (knee) and Deone Bucannon (chest). Left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) didn't practice either, but the rest of the offensive line appears to be good to go. As for the Chargers, Tyrell Williams (quad) was held out due to injury, while Austin Ekeler (neck) was limited to start the week. Pass rusher Joey Bosa (foot) managed a full practice, as did Melvin Gordon (hamstring) and Keenan Allen (finger).

    Steelers (-3) at Broncos

    Four Steelers missed practice due to injury, with tackle Marcus Gilbert (knee) and defensive end Stephon Tuitt (elbow) remaining sidelined. Brandon Marshall (knee) and Bradley Roby (concussion) missed Broncos practice to start the week, while rookie receiver DaeSean Hamilton (knee) was limited.

    Packers at Vikings (-3.5)

    Seven Packers were held out of practice due to injury Wednesday, including Jimmy Graham (knee, thumb), Mike Daniels (foot), Nick Perry (knee) and three players in the secondary. Randall Cobb (hamstring) was limited, putting him on track to return for this huge game. Andrew Sendejo (groin) was among three Vikings to miss practice with injury, while Adam Thielen (calf, lower back) was again limited. He figures to be available to play in this matchup as the team is likely just limiting his reps. Anthony Barr (hamstring) returned to a full practice as well.
    Common sense is not so common.
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    Bears Quarterback Trubisky (shoulder), who is listed as doubtful for Thursday's game against the Lions, is dealing with an AC joint sprain
    Common sense is not so common.
    “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.” Zig Ziglar

    Sports Matchups



    Sagarin NCAAB Rankings

    Cerca Trova
    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”
    ― Dr. Seuss


    “a soft answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1)


    We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.


    E-mail: BettorsChat@comcast.net


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    Tech Trends - Week 12
    Bruce Marshall

    Thursday, Nov. 22

    NFL Matchups NFL Matchups

    CHICAGO at DETROIT (CBS, 12:30 p.m. ET)
    Lions no wins or covers 3 last 4 TY, while Bears 4-0 L4. Lions have won and covered 4 of last 5 on Thanksgiving after poor marks prior.
    Tech Edge: Bears, based on recent team trends.

    WASHINGTON at DALLAS (FOX, 4:30 p.m. ET)
    Skins have covered 3 of last 4 at Dallas. Jay Gruden 3-1 vs. line away TY, also “under” 10-3 since late 2017. Cowboys “under” 14-5 since mid 2017, though 5 of last 6 “over” in series.
    Tech Edge: “Under” and Redskins, based on “totals” and team trends.

    ATLANTA at NEW ORLEANS (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET)
    Saints have won last nine SU and 8-0 vs. line last eight. Saints “over” 7-3 last 10 at Superdome, and 5-2 vs. points last seven in series. Falcs 1-3 vs. line away this season.
    Tech Edge: Saints and slight to “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.


    Sunday, Nov. 25

    JACKSONVILLE at BUFFALO (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)

    Jags 1-5-1 vs. points last seven as visitor, but Bills only 1-3 vs. line at home this season. Buffalo 11-6 “under” since mid 2017.
    Tech Edge: Slight to “under,” based on “totals” trends.

    OAKLAND at BALTIMORE (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Raiders 3-7 vs. line TY, 5-16-3 last 24 on board since early 2017. Also “under” 13-4 last 17 since mid 2017. Ravens on 8-5 “under” run.
    Tech Edge: Ravens and “under,” based on team and “totals” trends.

    SAN FRANCISCO at TAMPA BAY (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Bucs on 1-7 spread skid last seven TY. Also 0-3 as chalk TY, now 3-15 as chalk since 2014. Bucs “over” 9-2 since late LY.
    Tech Edge: 49ers and “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.

    N.Y. GIANTS at PHILADELPHIA (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Eli 1-3 vs. line last 4 at Linc. G-Men however have covered last four on road this season. Birds 3-9-1 last 13 vs. line in reg season, 1-5-1 last seven vs, spread reg season at home.
    Tech Edge: Giants, based on recent trends.

    CLEVELAND at CINCINNATI (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Cincy no covers last three at Paul Brown. But Marvin Lewis has owned Browns, won and covered last seven meetings, all by DD margins. “Unders” 6-2 last eight meetings.
    Tech Edge: Bengals and ”under,” based on series trends.

    NEW ENGLAND at N.Y. JETS (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Belichick 2-4 vs. line last six away. Also no covers last five away against Jets. Bowles, however, no wins or covers last four TY. Jets 7-2-1 vs. spread last ten in series.
    Tech Edge: Slight to Jets, based on series trends.

    SEATTLE at CAROLINA (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
    Seahawks 4-1-1 vs. line last six TY, covered last three away from home. Also 3-1 as dog TY, 24-11-3 in role since 2011 for Pete. Cam 4-1 vs. spread at home TY but has dropped 4 of last 7 TY.
    Tech Edge: Seahawks, based on team trends.

    ARIZONA at L.A. CHARGERS (FOX, 4:05 p.m. ET)
    Cards 5-2-1 vs. spread last eight, and “under” 9-5 last 14 since late 2017. Bolts “under” 5 of last 6 TY.
    Tech Edge: “Under” and slight to Cards, based on “totals” and recent trends.

    MIAMI at INDIANAPOLIS (CBS, 4:25 p.m. ET)
    Dolphins 2-5 vs. line last seven TY, no covers last four away. Dolphins 1-9 vs. spread last ten on road and “under” 5-1 last six away. Colts have covered last four TY.
    Tech Edge: Colts and slight to "under," based on team and "totals" trends.

    PITTSBURGH at DENVER (CBS, 4:25 p.m. ET)
    Vance Joseph 2-7-1 last ten vs. line at home. Broncos “under” 10-4 since late 2017. Steel has won and covered last five of last six TY and “over” 8-4 last 12 since late LY.
    Tech Edge: Steelers, based on team trends.

    GREEN BAY at MINNESOTA (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET)
    Pack 0-5 SU, 1-3-1 vs. line away TY, 0-7 SU and 1-5-1 vs. line since late 2017 away. Pack no wins or covers last two at Vikes (Rodgers hurt in this game LY). Pack also “over” ‘12-6 since mid 2017.
    Tech Edge: Vikings and slight to “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.


    Monday, Nov. 26

    TENNESSEE at HOUSTON (ESPN, 8:25 p.m. ET)

    Titans 6-1 as dog TY. Indeed favorite is 2-8 vs. line in Titan games TY. Texans however have covered three of last four and won last seven SU TY, have also won and covered last four at home vs. Titans. Titans 11-5 "under" since late LY.
    Tech Edge: “Under” and slight to Texans, based on “totals” and series trends.

  6. #21
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    By: Brandon DuBreuil


    JACKSON TO START AGAIN

    Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco remained sidelined at practiced on Wednesday and all signs are pointing to rookie Lamar Jackson getting another start against Oakland on Sunday. Jackson showed glimpses of what made him the Heisman Trophy winner in 2016 as he went 13-of-19 for 150 yards through the air while rushing 26 times for 119 yards. He also had five red zone carries but was unable to hit pay dirt.

    Jackson gets the coziest of spots on Sunday as the Ravens host the Raiders as a 10.5-point favorite. Oakland is allowing the second-most rushing yards per game in the league at 142.3 and is ranked 25th in rushing DVOA. Last week, the Raiders were torched by David Johnson for 137 yards on 25 carries. Jackson should have no problem picking up chunks on the ground against the hapless Raiders, but we’re going to shy away from his rushing yards total just in case he stops running in the second half when the Ravens presumably have a big lead. Instead, we’re backing him to score a touchdown at any time (or a rushing touchdown) as it seems like an anomaly that last week’s red zone usage didn’t result in a score.


    DARNOLD OUT, MCCOWN IN?

    Jets quarterback Sam Darnold still hasn’t practiced this week despite telling reporters that his foot “feels great.” The Jets’ season is a write-off and they would be foolish to rush him back if he’s at anything less than 100 percent, especially this week as a nine-point home underdog to the Patriots. Assuming Darnold is out, Josh McCown will start his second game of the season. McCown’s first start was an absolute disaster as he threw for just 135 yards despite throwing the ball 34 times, as the Bills thrashed New York 41-10. This week isn’t looking any more promising for McCown as he takes on the Pats as come off their bye week.

    The Jets offense is embarrassing right now and have to be faded until further notice. They haven’t scored more than 10 points in a game since Week 7. In their past four games, they’re scoring a touchdown on just 7.5 percent of their possessions. They’ve also managed just 17 plays from inside their opponent’s 10-yard line on the entire season. Even with an expected negative game script where they should be throwing a lot as they play from behind, we’re staying far away from the Jets’ offense, especially when led by a 39-yard-old backup. Take the Under 18.5 on the Jets’ team total.


    PERFECT STORM FOR EDELMAN

    In sticking with the Patriots-Jets game on Sunday, New England will have a healthy Julian Edelman as he is practicing in full this week. He hurt his foot in Week 10 but apparently, last week’s bye was enough time to get him back to full speed. Edelman has been a monster of late, drawing target totals of 12, 10, and 10 in his last three games and turning them into receiving lines of 9-104, 6-71, and 9-104. Opposing teams love to throw against the Jets and, when they do, it’s usually to a receiver as 69.2 percent of the total targets against the Jets are to wideouts. The Jets are also terrible at defending slot receivers as they allow 110.7 yards per game to the position, the third-most in the NFL. Everything is lined up for Edelman to have a huge game on Sunday and we’re taking the Over on his receiving yards total.


    DID WE LEARN OUR LESSON ON FADING ALLEN?

    Chargers receiver Keenan Allen is practicing in full this week, after a finger injury had him on the injury report last week. Allen showed no ill effects against the Broncos, however, as he hauled in nine of 12 targets for 89 yards and a touchdown (and cost us our Under bet) in what was a very tough matchup against cornerback Chris Harris Jr. Allen has been nothing short of great since the Chargers’ bye week, posting receiving lines of 6-124-0, 6-57-1, and 9-89-1 in Weeks 9-11, respectively.

    You would think that Allen is in for a big day as the Chargers play against the lowly Cardinals in Week 12, but there are a couple points of concern. The first is that the Cardinals are actually tough against their opponent’s top receiver, ranking sixth in DVOA to the position and allowing just 7.7 passes and 59.8 yards per game to WR1s. The second is that the Chargers might just run the ball all day. The Cardinals have allowed 100-plus rushing yards in nine of 10 games this season and the Chargers could be less inclined to throw the ball late in the game, assuming they have a big lead as a 12.5-point home favorite. While Allen’s statistical trends point to the Over, we’re concerned about Week 12 and we recommend taking the Under on his receiving yards total.


    TEXANS THOMAS TO GET MORE TARGETS?

    Texans coach Bill O’Brien talked about Demaryius Thomas’ slow start on Wednesday, telling the media, "I have to do a better job of getting him more involved. He’s working hard, he’s a good pro and we need to do a better job of getting him the ball a little more." Thomas saw three quick targets in his Houston debut in Week 9, which he turned into three catches for 61 yards. However, he hasn’t seen a single target since, even though the Texans had their bye in Week 10 to get him up to speed on their offense.

    Even more discouraging for Thomas is the return of Keke Coutee. The breakout slot receiver drew a team-high nine targets last week. It’s clear that Deshaun Watson is simply a big fan of Coutee as the rookie out of Texas Tech has absorbed 24 percent of the targets in the five games he has played this season — and that includes the partial game against the Jaguars in which he was forced to leave with a hamstring injury. When Coutee is on the field, he’s a key piece of Houston’s offense and that’s not going to change on Monday night against the Titans. Despite O’Brien’s comments about Thomas, he is not a threat to Coutee’s production and we’re backing the Over on his receptions total for Monday night.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-25-2018 at 01:26 PM.

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    By: Brandon DuBreuil


    GREEN OUT AGAIN?

    A.J. Green is suddenly trending towards not playing on Sunday after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Green also said that he’d talk to the media on Friday if he was playing and then he declined to speak. Earlier in the week, we suggested taking the Over on Tyler Boyd’s receptions total under the assumption that Green was suiting up. We have to reconsider this if Green is out, however, as Boyd hasn’t been the same receiver when forced to slide into the WR1 role. Facing double-teams against both the Saints and Ravens over the last two weeks, Boyd posted lines of 3-65-0 and 4-71-0 — decent production but nowhere near some the lines he was posting out of the slot when Green was active. This week, the Bengals face the Browns and Boyd will have to see a lot of stud rookie cornerback Denzel Ward if Green is out. Green’s status for Sunday is the key here: If he’s a go, we’re backing the Over for Boyd’s receptions total; if he’s out, we’re taking the Under.


    FUNCHESS NOT AT PRACTICE

    Panthers No. 1 receiver Devin Funchess missed his third consecutive practice on Friday with a back injury, putting his status for Sunday’s home tilt against Seattle on the wrong side of questionable. If Funchess can’t go, Carolina’s receiving corps will be thin for Week 12 as Torrey Smith is also likely out with a knee issue that has kept him out since Week 7.

    With injuries come opportunity and D.J. Moore will look to take advantage as he will slide into the starting lineup if Funchess can’t go. Moore is already getting more playing time of late, seeing at least 80 percent of the snaps over the last four weeks which culminated in a breakout performance last week where he hauled in 7-of-8 targets for 157 yards and a touchdown against Detroit. Although the Seahawks are an overall solid defense which ranks ninth in passing DVOA, they struggle the most against an opponent’s top receiver as they rank 20th against the position and are allowing 9.8 passes per game for 83.1 yards. If Funchess can’t go, Moore will slide into the WR1 role and we like his chances of having a big day. We’re taking the Over on his receiving yards total.


    BALDWIN SIDELINED

    Carolina might not be the only team with injury issues at receiver on Sunday as Doug Baldwin remained on the sideline at practice on Thursday and appears to be on the wrong side of questionable. If Baldwin can’t go, David Moore would likely slide into a starting role alongside Tyler Lockett. Moore has been inconsistent in both his usage and production of late, but what’s most encouraging is that Russell Wilson targeted him a season-high eight times last week — which Moore turned into four catches for 57 yards — despite that fact that he played just 57 percent of the snaps, his lowest total since Week 6.

    The Seahawks run the ball more often than any team in the NFL, which is always a concern when backing their receivers, but the Panthers are much tougher against the run than they are against the pass, ranking 12th in rushing DVOA but 25th in passing DVOA. The Panthers routinely get burned out of the slot and have allowed stat lines of 6-52-0, 3-90-1, 8-82-2, and 5-54 over the last four games to the position. Although Moore is running just 3.9 percent of his snaps from the slot, Baldwin is there 65.1 percent of the time. If Baldwin can’t go, Moore should see a lot more routes from the slot and he should burn the Panthers just like every other slot receiver does. Monitor Baldwin’s status and take the Over on Moore’s receptions total if he’s out.


    COLLINS DNP

    Ravens running back Alex Collins was added to the injury report on Thursday as he sat out practice with a foot issue. This appears to be a new injury as Collins gets the dreaded mid-week addition tag, which is never a good sign for a player’s Sunday availability. Equally concerning for Collins is the emergence of Gus Edwards, who exploded for 117 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries last week while Collins plodded for just 18 yards seven carries.

    The Ravens appear to be headed towards a committee at running back but Collins’ injury could clear things up for Sunday in what is a dream matchup as a 10.5-point home favorite against a Raiders defense that ranks 25th in rushing DVOA and is allowing the second-most rushing yards per game in the league at 142.3. If Collins can’t go, Edwards will be in line for a huge game. Follow Covers’ Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute injury news and grab the Over on Edwards’ rushing yards total if Collins gets ruled out.


    BREIDA FINALLY HEALTHY

    San Francisco running back Matt Breida looks to finally be at full health and is off the injury report ahead of Week 12’s contest at Tampa Bay. The Niners were on bye last week, but prior to that Breida looked more like the breakout player we saw during the first few weeks of the year before injuries slowed him down as he posted 101 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries against the Giants while adding three receptions for 31 yards on four targets.

    If you watch Breida play, he seems to excel when he gets to the outside and the stats back that up as he’s averaging 6.3 yards per attempt and 24.4 yards per game on carries outside the tackles. It just so happens that Tampa Bay is the worst in the league at defending running backs once they get outside the tackles, allowing six yards per carry and 54.6 yards per game. There is the slight worry that Tampa Bay’s high-scoring offense could get the Bucs a big lead on Sunday, but Breida was involved in the passing game last week and should be again in Week 12 if that happens. We’re taking the Over on his combined rushing and receiving yards total.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-25-2018 at 01:25 PM.

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    BRADY SICK, HURT

    Tom Brady has been downgraded on New England’s injury report with an illness that added on to his existing knee issue. He didn’t practice on Friday after being limited because of his knee earlier in the week. There aren’t any reports saying he won’t start on Sunday however, and we expect him out there as the Pats visit the Jets, especially seeing as New England is coming off their bye.

    Brady is coming off one of his worst performances in recent memory where he threw for just 254 yards on 21-of-41 passing in the 34-10 road loss at Tennessee prior to the bye week. Brady gets Rob Gronkowski back and the Pats should be extremely motivated to get back in the win column, especially considering the crowded leaderboard atop the AFC standings. Brady hasn’t been lighting up the scoreboard of late but is still averaging 297 passing yards per game since Week 7. The Jets are middle-of-the-pack against the pass, ranking 14th in DVOA, but they’ve also had an extremely favorable schedule where they’ve only faced two upper-tier quarterbacks all season in Andrew Luck and Kirk Cousins. The rest of the QBs they’ve faced this season looks like this, starting from Week 1: Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill, Tyrod Taylor/Baker Mayfield, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, Mitch Trubisky, Brock Osweiler, and Matt Barkley. With a list of opposing QBs like that, the Jets should be a Top 5 defense in the league. We don’t expect Brady’s issues to be a factor on Sunday and we also think he obliterates the Jets. Take the Over 278.5 on his passing yards total.


    GORDON MIGHT SIT?

    The Chargers might be without Melvin Gordon on Sunday as their star running back is a game-time decision with knee and hamstring injuries. He has been limited at practice over the last two days and the Chargers could choose to rest him as they’re likely confident they can beat the Cardinals on Sunday with or without Gordon.

    It would be a huge blow for Gordon backers if he can’t go as he has a cupcake matchup as a 13-point home favorite against Arizona. If he doesn’t suit up, Austin Ekeler will fill in and will be licking his chops against a defense that allows 170.5 total yards per game to running backs. Ekeler had one start earlier in the season against Tennessee in London and ran for 42 yards on 12 carries while adding 26 yards on five catches. He would be in a much better spot this week than he was back in Week 7, however, and he’d likely get 15-18 carries in what should be an easy L.A. win. Should Gordon sit, we’ll be looking to take the Over on Ekeler’s combined rushing and receiving total.


    THIELEN READY TO ROLL

    Receiver Adam Thielen wasn’t listed on Minnesota’s injury report ahead of its Sunday night tilt against Green Bay. He took fewer reps than usual throughout the week at practice but was always expected to play in Week 12. Thielen had one of his best games of the season against Green Bay back in Week 2 as he grabbed 12 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown — and that was back when the Packers were healthy. Green Bay is still hurting on defense with lineman Mike Daniels out and four members of the secondary questionable or doubtful.

    Thielen has slowed down a bit of late but that was bound to happen after his scorching start — and it has also brought his prop totals down a bit. He hasn’t topped 100 yards in his last two games but still posted a very respectable seven catches for 66 yards last week against Chicago. Overall, the Packers are an average matchup against the pass with a passing DVOA rank of 15. But Minnesota is at home in its dome against a banged-up Packers defense. We’re taking the Over 7.5 on his receptions total for Sunday Night Football.


    NINERS GET FOSTER BACK

    San Francisco linebacker Reuben Foster is questionable for Sunday but looks on track to play as the 49ers travels to Tampa Bay. Foster, a second-round pick in 2017, has missed the last two games but had the bye last week to help him get over the hamstring injury that has been bothering him. His return would be a definite upgrade to a Niners rush defense that has been better than average on the season and it’s all we need to fade Peyton Barber.

    Barber looked great last week in rushing for 106 yards on 18 carries but that was against a Giants defense that is bleeding against the run of late, allowing 101 yards to Matt Breida in Week 10 and 149 yards to Adrian Peterson in Week 8 (they had their bye in Week 9). San Francisco, on the other hand, has only allowed one running back to crack 70 rushing yards on the season and that was the far superior Melvin Gordon. Barber has five games on the season where he hasn’t been able to surpass 40 rushing yards in a game and we’re expecting a similar performance on Sunday as the Bucs will do most of their damage through the air. Take the Under 56.5 on Barber’s rushing yards total.


    CHUBB KEEPS CHUGGING

    Cleveland running back Nick Chubb is quietly developing into a superstar in the NFL. Since Carlos Hyde was sent packing prior to Week 7, Chubb has run for 80, 65, 85, and then 176 in Cleveland’s last game in Week 10 prior to its bye last week. He’s running for an absurd 6.2 yards per carry — second to Aaron Jones this season — on 94 carries. It’s also very encouraging that two of the biggest games of his young career have come in the last two weeks under new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens. He also has a touchdown in each of those two weeks and three in his four games as the starter.

    The Bengals, meanwhile, have been crushed by running backs of late. In their last five games, they are allowing 188 total yards per game and have given up eight rushing touchdowns (and three receiving touchdowns) to running backs. On the season, the Bengals are allowing the fourth-most rushing yards per attempt up the middle at 4.8. This looks to be a tight divisional battle with the Bengals favored at -2.5, which should translate to a lot of rushing attempts once again for Chubb. We’re expecting a big game from the rookie and we’re backing the Over 85.5 rushing yards and for him to score a touchdown at any time.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-25-2018 at 01:24 PM.

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    By: Brandon DuBreuil



    LAFELL HEADS TO IR

    The Raiders placed receiver Brandon LaFell on injured reserve after Oakland’s latest No. 1 receiver suffered a torn Achilles tendon against Arizona on Sunday. Martavis Bryant will also be out in Week 12, although coach Jon Gruden said on Monday that Jordy Nelson “has a chance” to return this week as the Raiders travel to Baltimore. Seth Roberts will continue to start at receiver and Marcell Ateman will likely see his fair share of snaps in Week 12 as he posted four catches for 50 yards in LaFell’s absence on Sunday.

    Oakland’s receiver situation is an absolute mess and, predictably, it has negatively affected Derek Carr’s performance. Even in a win at Arizona on Sunday, Carr threw for just 192 yards on 19-of-31 passing, though we enjoyed the performance as we got a winner with the Under on his passing yards total. Carr has now thrown for under 200 yards in three of his last five games and faces one of his toughest tests of the season in Week 12 as the Raiders travel east for an early start against a Ravens defense that ranks fifth in DVOA and most recently held Andy Dalton to 211 yards on 36 attempts. Fade Carr until further notice and take the Under on his passing yards total for Week 12.


    BUCS GO BACK TO WINSTON

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to turn back to Jameis Winston as the starting quarterback after the Week 6-8 starter came on in relief of a struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday and threw for 199 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception on 12-of-16 passing. Winston’s efforts led a spirited Bucs comeback that fell just short, but it was good enough to earn him the start — at least for this week. Ultimately, it seems that the Bucs are just happy to ride the hot hand for the remainder of the season.

    Winston was inconsistent in his three-game stint as the starter earlier this season, putting in great, average, and terrible performances (in that order). He looked solid on Sunday however, and is in a great spot this week as the Bucs host the 49ers as a 3.5-point favorite and with a game total of 55. The Bucs feature the league’s top passing offense at 361 passing yards per game and you can be sure that Winston will be airing it out all afternoon against a Niners defense that is below average in defending the pass at 21st in passing DVOA. We’re taking the Over on Winston’s passing yards total.


    HOWARD PLACED ON IR

    Tampa Bay got some devastating news on Tuesday when O.J. Howard was placed on injured reserve with foot and ankle injuries that he suffered on the same play against the Giants last week. He’ll be replaced in the starting lineup by Cameron Brate. It’s a huge loss for the Bucs as Howard was having a really nice season, especially of late as he was averaging 3.8 catches for 57.2 yards per game over his last six.

    Brate has been mostly irrelevant this season but has a nice chance to deliver a big performance on Sunday as the Buccaneers take on the 49ers. That matchup has an Over/Under currently set at 54.5, which is the highest total for Sunday’s slate. The Niners aren’t a great matchup for tight ends as they rank 22nd in DVOA against the position and are allowing 6.9 passes per game to the position for 49.3 yards. Still, Tampa Bay is the league’s No. 1 passing offense which immediately gives him value as the team’s top receiving threat from the position. We recommend taking the Over 3.5 on his receptions total for Sunday.


    BILLS WELCOME ALLEN BACK

    Buffalo coach Sean McDermott announced that quarterback Josh Allen will return on Sunday as the Bills host the Jaguars. The rookie has been out since suffering an elbow injury in Week 6 and since then Buffalo has used Derek Anderson, Nathan Peterman, and Matt Barkley under center. Allen’s return should finally provide the Bills with some consistency at quarterback for the remainder of the season.

    There are a couple of things that we can take away from Allen’s starts from Weeks 1-6. First, he’s not ready to throw the ball at the NFL level yet. He’s averaging just 138.7 passing yards per game and had three games, including his last two, where he failed to reach the 100-yard mark. Second, he loves to run the ball, especially in the red zone where he had 11 rushing attempts for 59 yards that resulted in three touchdowns through his first five starts. Allen has a very tough matchup in his first game back against Jacksonville’s defense that ranks sixth in DVOA. We recommend the Under on Allen’s passing yards total but will also be sprinkling a little money on him to score a touchdown at any time in what should pay out at around +700.


    JAGS STICKING WITH BORTLES

    Despite his struggles, Jacksonville won’t bench Blake Bortles. At least not yet. Coach Doug Marrone confirmed that Bortles will start in Week 12 as the Jaguars head to Buffalo on Sunday. It appears, however, that Marrone is losing confidence in his starting quarterback as Bortles only attempted 18 passes in Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh. Yes, the Jags played with the lead for most of the game but there were multiple opportunities late in the game where a first down could have sealed a win and, instead of letting Bortles throw for it, the Jaguars were content to run the ball into the Steelers’ defensive wall.

    Marrone seems to have figured out that his best chance of winning is by running the ball over and over again with Leonard Fournette, Carlos Hyde, and T.J. Yeldon and he did just that on Sunday with 43 rushing attempts — 28 for Fournette. On Sunday, the Jags head to Buffalo to take on a defense that ranks first against the pass in DVOA but 11th against the rush. To put that into perspective, Fournette ran for 95 yards against a Steelers unit that is ranked 10th against the rush. Volume alone makes Fournette a candidate to have a big game on Sunday at Buffalo as he should see upwards of 27-30 carries once again and we’re taking the Over on his rushing yards total.


    TANNEHILL SET TO RETURN

    Dolphins coach Adam Gase announced on Tuesday that Ryan Tannehill will return as the starting quarterback for their Week 12 game at Indianapolis. Tannehill will be making his first start since Week 5 and will be an upgrade over Brock Osweiler, albeit a slight one. He wasn’t very good earlier in the season before his injury, averaging just 194.4 passing yards per game with a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 8:5. Since he last played, the Dolphins have lost receivers Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant, while DeVante Parker is questionable after being a non-contact participant in practice on Tuesday.

    Alhough we’re never thrilled with backing someone like Tannehill, we have to consider the game script for this weekend. The Dolphins have been terrible of late and have only managed to be competitive against the Jets over their last four games. The Colts are a nine-point home favorite and there’s a good chance that they get a big lead early, just like they did against the Titans last week and the Jaguars two weeks ago. When that happens, Tannehill will be forced to air it out, much like Blake Bortles did two weeks ago when he threw for 320 yards against Indy. The Colts are not great against the pass with a defense that is ranked 23rd in passing DVOA. We expect the Colts to get up big and for Tannehill to rack up the passing yards as the Dolphins attempt to make a comeback. Take the Over for his passing yards total.


    GRAHAM TO TOUGH IT OUT

    Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy told the media on Monday that tight end Jimmy Graham will “try to play” through the broken thumb he suffered last Thursday in Seattle. There is no guarantee that he will suit up, as the Packers’ medical staff will experiment with different splints and protections that will allow him to catch the ball. It doesn’t sound like an ideal situation but Green Bay is facing a must-win on Sunday night as it visits Minnesota, so Graham will do what he can this week to be on the field.

    Should Graham suit up for Sunday Night Football, we’ll be looking to fade him. The injury situation alone would be grounds to stay away as catching a ball with a broken finger and some sort of splint/cast situation will be difficult enough. But there’s also the fact that the Packers face a tough matchup against a Vikings defense that allowed Bears tight end Trey Burton just one catch for nine yards last week. Graham’s usage has also been down as of late. He had just one catch last week as he was forced to leave the game with the injury, but he also had just one catch in two of his last three games before that. Rodgers has plenty of other options to throw to and we doubt he’ll be relying too much on a tight end with a broken finger. We’re taking the Under on Graham’s receptions total.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-25-2018 at 01:23 PM.

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    Total Talk - Week 12
    Chris David

    Week 11 Recap

    The back and forth results in the totals market kept rolling along in Week 11 as the ‘over’ produced a 7-6 mark. The Sunday Night Football matchup once again bailed out ‘over’ (44) bettors as the Vikings and Bears combined for 28 points in the fourth quarter in Chicago’s 25-20 win over Minnesota. On the season, the high side holds a slight edge (81-80).

    2018 Total Results - Game & Halves
    O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
    Week 11 7-6 6-7 7-5-1

    O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
    Year-to-Date 81-80 83-78 75-81-5

    2018 Results - Other
    O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
    Week 11 3-0 2-2 1-3 0-0

    O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
    Year-to-Date 26-18 22-26 17-13 7-2

    Line Moves and Public Leans

    Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 12 as of Saturday morning per BookMaker.eu.

    Oakland at Baltimore: 43 ½ to 42
    Cleveland at Cincinnati: 48 to 46 ½
    Tennessee at Houston: 43 to 41 ½

    Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 12 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

    Cleveland at Cincinnati: Under 95%
    Arizona at L.A. Chargers: Under 87%
    Miami at Indianapolis: Over 84%
    Green Bay at Minnesota: Under 73%
    San Francisco at Tampa Bay: Under 72%

    Divisional Matchups

    The ‘under’ went 2-1 in the three divisional matchups on Thanksgiving and it could’ve been a clean sweep if Dallas wide receiver Amari Cooper doesn’t put on a show in the third quarter against Washington. Five more of these games left, two of them under the lights.

    N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia:
    The ‘over’ has cashed in six straight games between the pair, which includes the first meeting this season when Philadelphia captured a 34-13 road win over New York. That total closed 45 ½ and this week’s number is a tad higher (47). The Giants offense (27, 38) has helped cash the ‘over’ in their last two games and their overall defensive numbers (26.3 PPG) are still suspect. Since the aforementioned win over New York in Week 6, the Birds have dropped three of four and the offense (17 PPG) has been very pedestrian. Philadelphia’s defense (19.8 PPG) has been better at home and that production has helped the ‘under’ go 4-1. However, that Philadelphia unit has taken some serious knocks especially in the secondary.

    Cleveland at Cincinnati:
    The Bengals (-2.5) have won seven straight games versus the Browns in this rivalry but the oddsmakers are expecting a tight matchup on Sunday. This will be the first meeting between the pair this season and the total (2-2) has been back and forth the last two years. However, the two games in Cincinnati went ‘over’ while the ‘under’ connected in both games at Cleveland. The Browns are playing with rest (see below) and they’ll be facing a Bengals defense (31.2 PPG) that is ranked 31st in scoring.

    New England at N.Y. Jets:
    This is also the first encounter of the season in this series, which has watched the ‘under’ cash in four straight games. The Jets are going with Josh McCown at QB again and he couldn’t do anything in their 41-10 home loss to the Bills in Week 10. Including that result, New York is averaging 10.8 PPG in its last four games (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS). New England also scored 10 points in Week 10, when it was humbled 34-10 at Tennessee. That’s been a common theme for the Patriots this season as the team is averaging 20.6 PPG away from home and that’s contributed to a 3-2 ‘under’ record.

    Green Bay at Minnesota:
    (See Below)

    Tennessee at Houston:
    (See Below)

    Coast to Coast

    Looking above in the weekly results table, you’ll see an ‘other’ category listed as Coast to Coast. I always like to keep an eye on the travel factor, and for me that revolves around six clubs and five of them are in the Pacific Time Zone. I also include Arizona, who doesn’t observe daylight saving time. Depending on how the NFL schedule works out, each of the six teams face at least three of these situations and sometimes four.

    You often hear pundits say playing the 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. ET) game is a ‘bitch’ for these West Coast clubs but that narrative has been hit or miss. I suggest you keep it mind and if it gives confidence to your lean, then use it accordingly. I bring the category up in Week 12 because three teams from the West Coast are visiting the East Coast on Sunday and all of them will be playing the dreaded early afternoon games.

    Oakland at Baltimore
    San Francisco at Tampa Bay
    Seattle at Carolina

    For total purposes, the ‘over’ has gone 7-2 in these games this season. Those results include teams from the Eastern Time Zone playing in the Pacific and vice versa. Here’s a quick snap shot of my tally below per team with results.

    Arizona (Under-Was)
    Oakland (Over-Mia, Over-Cle, Over-Ind)
    L.A. Chargers (Over-Buf, Over-Cle)
    L.A. Rams (None yet, but three in a row from Week 13 through Week 15)
    San Francisco (Over-Det, Over-NYG)
    Seattle (Under-Det)

    For side bettors, make a note the above West Coast clubs are 3-1 this season when traveling East.

    Bye Bye Rust

    Teams playing with rest in Week 11 went 3-1 and the ‘over’ went 3-1 in their games as well. On the season, the ‘over’ sits at 17-7 (71%) in games with at least one team playing on rest. The offensive units weren’t as sharp last week (24, 20, 23, 23) but even with those results, clubs with rest are averaging 25.3 PPG this season. We’ve got six teams playing off the ‘bye’ this week and then only two more teams (Chiefs, Rams) will be playing with rest after this go ‘round.

    Jacksonville at Buffalo
    Cleveland at Cincinnati
    San Francisco at Tampa Bay
    New England at N.Y. Jets
    Miami at Indianapolis

    Under the Lights

    Week 11 watched the ‘over’ go 3-0 in primetime games and that was the second straight week that all tickets went to the high side. Heading into the weekend games, the ‘over’ sits at 19-16 and that includes the clear-cut ‘under’ ticket this past Thursday between the Falcons and Saints.

    Primetime Total Results (O/U): TNF (8-4), SNF (4-7), MNF (7-5)

    Green Bay at Minnesota:
    These teams played to a 29-29 tie in Week 2 and while the ‘over’ (45) looked like the right side, this was a 20-7 game heading into the fourth quarter. Prior to that result, the ‘under’ has gone 6-1 in the previous seven meetings and that includes a run of four straight games played at Minnesota. The Vikings have struggled offensively at home (20.2 PPG) but fortunately the defense (19.8 PPG) has been sound and that’s led to a 4-1 ‘under’ mark. Expecting Green Bay to get going on offense away from home (21.6 PPG) seems like a long shot after what we’ve seen from the team so far this season.

    Tennessee at Houston:
    This is the second lowest total (41 ½) on the board for Week 12 and you can see why when you look at the defensive scoring numbers for both the Titans (18.9 PPG) and Houston (20.5 PPG). In the first meeting between the clubs in Week 2, the Titans built an early 14-0 lead on a couple big plays and held on for a 20-17 home win in a game that was statistically dominated by the Texans. QB Marcus Mariota didn’t play for Tennessee in that game and while he’s banged up again, he’s expected to go Monday. In the last six games played at NRG Stadium in this series, the Texans have gone 6-0 (5-1 ATS) and the offense (36.1 PPG) has put on a show. Your emotional handicapping angle could be in play on Monday as Texans owner Bob McNair passed away on Friday.

    Fearless Predictions

    After going 2-1 early last Sunday, I thought the 3-1 day was in the bag but the Bears decided to tack on some late points to burn our team total. Even though the deficit ($5) was minimal, the Thanksgiving Day totals ($400) got us back on track and in solid footing ($905) heading into this Sunday.

    Best Over: Arizona-L.A. Chargers 44
    Best Under: San Francisco-Tampa Bay 54
    Best Team Total: Over 20 N.Y. Giants

    Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105)
    Over 39 ½ N.Y. Giants-Philadelphia
    Over 43 ½ Miami-Indianapolis
    Under 55 ½ Green Bay-Minnesota
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-25-2018 at 01:22 PM.

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    Gridiron Angles - Week 12
    Vince Akins

    NFL PLAY ON ATS TREND:

    -- The Jets are 15-0-1 ATS (11.7 ppg) since Nov 19, 1995 at home coming off a home loss where they allowed less than 300 total yards.

    NFL PLAY AGAINST TREND:

    -- The Dolphins are 0-11 ATS (-12.9 ppg) since Nov 29, 2015 as a road dog when they allowed at least 24 points last game.

    TOP NFL PLAYER TREND:

    -- The Panthers are 0-9 OU (-8.8 ppg) since Oct 07, 2012 as a favorite coming off a road game where Greg Olsen had at least one touchdown.

    NFL O/U OVER TREND:

    -- The Jaguars are 10-0 OU (10.0 ppg) since Sep 14, 2014 off a loss as a dog where they forced at least two turnovers.

    NFL O/U UNDER TREND:

    -- The Patriots are 0-12-1 OU (-9.4 ppg) since Dec 06, 2009 as a road favorite coming off a loss where they failed to cover.

    NFL BIBLE ACTIVE TREND:

    -- The Chargers are 12-0 ATS (+8.25 ppg) vs a nondivisional opponent when they are off a loss in which they threw at least nine more passes than their season-to-date average.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-25-2018 at 01:27 PM.

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    SNF - Packers at Vikings

    Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

    Thanks to an 18-point scoring barrage in the final 15 minutes of last week's SNF game between the Vikings and Bears, my 'over' selection was able to just barely get there. It was a disappointing loss for the Vikings as they not trail the Bears by a substantial margin in the NFC North race, and the loser of this week's game between the Packers and Vikings can likely only aim for a Wild Card berth at this point.

    But for the second week in a row we get to see Kirk Cousins and this Minnesota team, and to me, that's always the downside of these SNF games getting flexed in.

    So it is what it is for Week 12 as networks don't want to risk low viewership by putting to sub-par teams under the lights, so let's see if we can get another winner on SNF. I'm sure the Packers and Vikings are saying the same thing too after the first meeting between the two this year ended in a tie.

    Odds: Minnesota (-3.5); Total set at 47.5

    The first meeting between the Vikings and Packers this year back in mid-September, looked a lot like last week's Minnesota/Chicago game in the sense that both sides really opened things up and scored plenty of points in the final 15 minutes. Minnesota outscored Green Bay 22-9 in the 4th quarter to earn the eventual tie, and the slow start that week has turned into a bit of a theme for the Vikings this year.

    This time around, the Vikings are hosting a Packers team that's had a little extra rest after playing on Thursday night, but Green Bay is still winless SU away from home. The Packers have had their chances no doubt, but they just can't seem to make that key play late, or close a game down when they need too, and that's a theme that probably started for them way back when they tied the Vikings.

    So you've got one team that starts slow, and the other who can't finish. Where should your money be going here?

    Well, it's not too hard to make a case for either side to win this game, and from a side perspective the spread is probably exactly where it should be. However, Green Bay will eventually have a game where they put it all together away from home, and Minnesota will have a game where they don't get off to these brutal starts, so it's not the side I'm looking to attack. For the second straight week it's the total. And although I was rather lucky in cashing the 'over' with Minnesota last week, I've got no problem going back to that well again here.

    For one, even though it was a slow start for Minnesota a week ago offensively, they still managed to put up their seventh straight week of scoring 20 or more points. Minnesota is 4-3 O/U in those games, but two of the three 'unders' were lucky to get there – vs New Orleans and Philadelphia – and the third came against a Detroit team that really struggles to move the ball.

    You know with Aaron Rodgers in town that the Packers attack will have offensive success, especially with a 3-2 O/U run going on the road where both 'unders' came when the total was set at 56 or higher. This week's number is about 10 points lower than that, and neither of those 'unders' for Green Bay finished with fewer than 48 points.

    Furthermore, as a team, Green Bay is on a 5-1 O/U run under the bright SNF lights, 5-1 O/U after getting a bit of extra rest coming off a TNF game, and 5-1 O/U in their last six road games against division foes. The more this game turns into a defensive-minded battle, the less chance for success the Packers will figure they'll have, and it's not like Minnesota can be too confident in their defense holding Rodgers down either.

    So while the first meeting was rather lucky to cash an 'over' ticket with that 4th quarter scoring barrage, I strongly believe the result stays the same but in a much easier manner this time around. A 27-24 type game is well within reason here – for either side – and it's why my money is going on the high side in prime time again this week.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-25-2018 at 01:29 PM.

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    49ers have cut linebacker Reuben Foster after he was arrested on domestic violence charges for the second time in the last year.
    Today's Pointspread: Bucs -2
    Today's Total: 54.5

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    NFL Week 12 Weather Alerts

    Not much action in the Week 12 weather report.
    The only game we're really keeping an eye on is in Buffalo where temps are expected to be in the mid-30's & there is a chance of some lake-effect snow (30%).
    Spread: Jags -3
    Total: 37.5

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    Despite previous report to the contrary, Chargers' RB Melvin Gordon (hamstring/knee) is now expected to play today at home vs. Cardinals.
    Pointspread: Chargers -14
    Total: 43.5


    Quarterback Tom Brady (illness, knee) has been cleared to play today @ Jets after missed practice Friday. He should be without limitations.
    Pointspread: Patriots -11
    Total: 46.5

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