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Thread: NFL Trends and Indexes - Week 13 (Thur., Nov. 29 - Mon., Dec. 3)

  1. #16
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    Gridiron Angles - Week 13
    Vince Akins

    NFL PLAY ON ATS TREND:

    -- The Patriots are 10-0 ATS (8.8 ppg) since Jan 16, 2016 as a home favorite coming off a game where they scored less points than expected.

    NFL PLAY AGAINST TREND:

    -- The Raiders are 0-11 ATS (-8.4 ppg) since Dec 17, 2006 a home coming off a loss as a road dog where they forced at least two turnovers.

    TOP NFL PLAYER TREND:

    -- The Patriots are 10-0 ATS (7.4 ppg) since Dec 04, 2016 coming off a game where Julian Edelman had at least 73 receiving yards.

    NFL O/U OVER TREND:

    -- The Bears are 11-0 OU (13.2 ppg) since Oct 14, 2007 coming off a road win where they had less than 300 total yards.

    NFL O/U UNDER TREND:

    -- The Chargers are 0-10 OU (-6.9 ppg) since Dec 24, 2011 on the road coming off a home win where they gained at least 22 first downs.

    NFL BIBLE ACTIVE TREND:

    -- The Vikings are 0-14 ATS (-9.2 ppg) as a dog by more than five points when they converted at least five third downs in each of their last two games.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-02-2018 at 03:13 AM.

  2. #17
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    By: Brandon DuBreuil


    HUNT RELEASED

    The Kansas City Chiefs released running back Kareem Hunt on Friday night after TMZ released a video from February of him shoving and kicking a woman. The Chiefs were apparently aware of the incident in August but didn’t act as Hunt was not charged and they had no seen the video evidence. He was placed on the Commissioner Exempt list on Friday evening and then released a few hours later.

    Spencer Ware moves forward as the Chiefs’ feature back and gets the butter-soft Raiders on Sunday as a 14-point favorite. Oakland has been gashed by Gus Edwards (118 rushing yards) and David Johnson (154 total yards) in the last two weeks and has given up 100 or more total yards to eight running backs on the season. The Raiders are ranked 30th in rushing DVOA, are giving up 151.4 rushing yards per game, and have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns on the season. Ware is averaging 5.6 yards per carry and has caught 14-of-17 targets on the season. Take the Over for Ware’s combined rushing and receiving total.

    Additionally, at one online sportsbook the Chiefs’ Super Bowl odds for this season moved from 5/1 to 11/2 following the news of Hunt’s release. That’s still the third best odds the to win behind just the Saints and Rams.


    RIDING BREIDA

    San Francisco running back Matt Breida has been removed from the injury report with his ankle issue. He should be at full speed on Sunday as the Niners visit Seattle without wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin. Breida is on fire of late with 132 and 140 yards from scrimmage in his past two and became only the third running back this season to go for over 100 rushing yards and 30 receiving yards in consecutive games. He has 31 carries and eight targets in his last two games as the 49ers are pretty much down to Breida and George Kittle as actual offensive weapons.

    As mentioned many times in this article throughout the season, the Seahawks are no longer a team to shy away from when it comes to matchups. They rank 20th in DVOA against the run and are giving up 121.4 yards per game on the ground. They’re also average against pass-catching backs, ranked 12th in DVOA while allowing 6.7 passes and 52.7 yards per game. We got a winner by backing Breida’s combined total last week and we’re looking to make it two in a row on Sunday. Take the Over on his combined rushing and receiving yards total.


    PENNY TO SEE MORE TOUCHES?

    In sticking with the 49ers-Seahawks matchup, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer talked about rookie running back Rashaad Penny on Friday, saying “I expect that he will play well this weekend. Expect that we need to get the running game back going again and I think he’ll be a big part of that."

    We’re not what to make of this as it’s hard to envision the Seahawks taking carries away from Chris Carson, who has averaged 81 rushing yards and a touchdown in his last three full games (Weeks 12, 11, and 8). If Penny is to get more work, it’ll likely come at the expense of Mike Davis, we already mentioned earlier in the week about San Fran’s tough run defense, but we did suggest backing Carson to score a touchdown at any time. We’re sticking with that and expecting Carson to remain the lead back in 2018 when healthy.


    BRADY, GRONK HEALTHY

    Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were taken off New England’s injury report on Friday and both should be at close to 100 percent on Sunday as the Patriots host the Vikings. Brady hasn’t missed a game this season, while Gronkowski missed three of four between Weeks 7-10 before returning against the Jets last week. Gronk managed just three catches but did have 56 yards and a touchdown, much to the relief of those who drafted him early in fantasy drafts. It has been a tough season for Gronk statistically but, if he’s finally healthy, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t return to elite tight end status for the remainder of the season — and that could start on Sunday.

    Minnesota is a tough matchup, ranked sixth in overall DVOA and eighth against the pass. But when you look at how they perform against each position, you notice that they are among the worst teams in the league at defending tight ends, ranked 27th in DVOA against the position and are giving up 6.4 passes for 56.5 yards per game. Jimmy Graham had just two catches for 34 yards against the Vikings last week but remember he was playing with a broken thumb and Aaron Rodgers completed just 17 passes for 198 yards. Looking back at Minnesota’s schedule, the last time they faced a top-end tight end was in Week 5 when Zach Ertz lit them up for 10-110-1. It sounds as if Gronk is healthy and we’re thinking he’s about to go on a heater, starting this week against a team that struggles against tight ends. Take the Over 60.5 on his receiving yards total.


    LOVING LINDSAY

    We’ve been a big backer of Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay all season and we see another nice spot for him in Week 13 as Denver heads to Cincinnati to face a team in crumbles. Since Royce Freeman got hurt back in Week 7, Lindsay has put together some impressive numbers as he’s averaging 86.8 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns over five games. He’s also running for 5.9 yards per carry over that stretch. Even since Freeman returned two weeks ago, Lindsay has put up 106 and 110 combined yards and has 29 touches to Freeman’s 14.

    Cincy has been a gold mine for opposing backs lately, giving up 198.3 rushing yards per game over its last four. The Bengals rank 28th in rushing DVOA and 32nd against passes directed to running backs. They’ve also given up at least one touchdown to a running back in every week since Week 1 and have given up multiple scores to an opponent’s backfield in five of the last six weeks. Take the Over on Lindsay’s rushing total of 76.5 and then double-down with Over 0.5 rushing touchdowns.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-02-2018 at 03:17 AM.

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    Trends to Watch - December
    Marc Lawrence

    And down the stretch they come.

    With December upon us, the 2018 NFL season heads in to the final quarter of the season and with it our final take on monthly teams trends, compliments of our database.

    Please note that all trends are ATS (Against The Spread) unless noted otherwise.

    Enjoy the holidays… and the team trends.

    HOME TEAMS

    Keep an eye on (Good): *Carolina 30-19 ATS, *Cincinnati 40-24 ATS, *Green Bay 36-20 ATS, *New England 34-20 ATS, *Seattle 38-20 ATS

    Carolina has back-to-back division games with a chance to improve their home record, but they are just six days apart. New Orleans is in Charlotte on Monday (12/17) and the following Sunday it will be Atlanta.

    With how Cincinnati is sinking and the loss of QB Andy Dalton, not sure they can cover against Denver (12/2), but they should have a better chance with Oakland in the Queen City two weeks later.

    After playing four of five on the road, the Packers are home three times this month against Arizona (12/2), Atlanta (12/9) and Detroit (12/30) and should improve their record.

    New England moved up to the No. 2 seed in the AFC to start the month and will face Minnesota (12/2), Buffalo (12/23) and the New York Jets (12/30). Only the Vikings contest seems an uncertainty.

    With seven road games out of the way, Seattle is home four times this month! The toughest should be Minnesota (12/10) and Kansas City (12/23), with the most winnable San Francisco (12/2) and Arizona (12/30).

    Keep an eye on (Bad): Cleveland 14-25 ATS

    The improving Browns could decide Carolina's playoff fate (12/9) and they will go for the sweep of the Bengals (12/23) at their joint. Can they overcome history?


    AWAY TEAMS

    Bad: Chicago 18-36 ATS


    There is a very good chance Chicago can start chipping away at this awful December away record and begin heading in a positive direction. That seems especially likely against the Giants in Jersey (12/2) and at the 49ers in Santa Clara (12/23), with the season finale at the Vikings to be determined for importance later.

    Keep an eye on (Bad): *Dallas 25- 38 ATS, *Houston 15-24 ATS, *Oakland 21-37 ATS, *Tampa Bay 22-34 ATS

    If Dallas is going to claim the NFC East, they will have to play well on the road at Indianapolis (12/16) and at the Giants (12/30).

    If Houston is to win the AFC South, they will have to keep winning at home and at the Jets on a Saturday (12/15) and the next Sunday at Philadelphia (12/23), which could be a big game for both clubs.

    This Raiders team is like many before them, they stink. Possibly they could cover at the Bengals (12/16) and they only way they beat the spread at Kansas City (12/30) is if the Chiefs do not play Patrick Mahomes and other starters.

    Who will be the starting QB when Tampa Bay visits Baltimore (12/16) and Dallas (12/23) and will coach Dirk Koetter still be employed?


    FAVORITES

    Good: Green Bay 54-27 ATS

    This Packers squad is not nearly as good as prior December models, but they will be favored four times; in all three home games as mentioned and at the Flyboys in Jersey on the 23rd. Can they match the past?

    Bad: Miami 23-48 ATS

    The Dolphins have a long history of being a rotten home favorite. In December, they ramp it up a couple notches and leave nothing but coal and losing betting tickets in backers stockings. Miami might only have two chances to make the situation worse, first, against Buffalo (12/2) and likely versus Jacksonville (12/22).

    Keep an eye on (Bad): *Cleveland 6-10 ATS, *Houston 9-14 ATS

    The Browns are improving, but we cannot go overboard. Cleveland will have a chance to not be on this list next year when they meet Cincinnati on the 23rd at home.

    With home contests against Cleveland (12/2), Indy (12/9) and the Jaguars (12/30), the Texans could be another team leaving this list, with the possible clincher at Gang Green (12/15).


    UNDERDOGS

    Keep an eye on (Good): *Minnesota 34-22 ATS, *New England 21-12 ATS, *Pittsburgh 18-12 ATS, *Seattle 42-22 ATS

    The Vikings are a dog to open the month in New England (12/2) and could catching points the next Monday on the other coast at Coffee Town (12/10).

    The Patriots almost assuredly will be on the receiving end of points at Pittsburgh (12/16).

    Like New England, the Steelers will be underdogs a single time, just once at New Orleans (12/23) and that will be tough coming off Pats battle.

    With Seattle, we will have wait and see what the oddsmakers think about their home games with the Vikings (12/10) and K.C. (12/23). If the Seahawks are catching digits, the odds are on their side.

    Keep an eye on (Bad): *Chicago 24-42 ATS, *L.A. Rams 22-43 ATS, *Oakland 24- 46 ATS

    The Bears could be short home dogs to the Rams in the second Sunday of the month and most likely at Minnesota to close the regular season out.

    As just said, either Chicago or the Rams will be the underdog. If L.A. North is favored, you can take them off this roll call, being favored in the rest of their contests.

    Hard to imagine the Raiders will not be an underdog the rest of the season. The one possible exception is at home versus Denver on Christmas Eve.


    DIVISION

    Keep an eye on (Good): *Arizona 31-20 ATS, *Carolina 28-17 ATS, *New England 34-19 ATS, *Seattle 31-20 ATS

    More often than not the Cardinals cover this time of year because of the number of points they are receiving. That will be the case versus the Rams (12/23) and @ Seahawks (12/30)

    Carolina playoff life is on the line starting at the Bucs (12/2), home vs. the Falcons (12/23) and they have a home and home with the Saints in Weeks 15 and 17.

    Given the difference in skill, like it has been for years, New England covers against their three division foes if they choose to.

    Seattle plays San Fran on the first and third Sunday's of the month and wraps up the home slate and regular season vs. Arizona. The results should be positive.

    Keep an eye on (Bad): *Cleveland 11-20 ATS, *L.A. Rams 22-33 ATS, *Miami 21-38 ATS, *Oakland 22-36 ATS

    The Browns should get no worse than a split facing the Bengals (12/23) and @Baltimore (12/30).

    If the Rams defense does anything, they handle the Redbirds in Glendale and Frisco to end the season.

    The Dolphins will have three chances to make their record worse: the first and last Sunday of the month, home and away against the Bills, and on the 9th when Tom Brady invades South Florida.

    Maybe the Raiders could pass the Fins for futility playing K.C. twice and vs. the Broncos (12/24).
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-02-2018 at 03:18 AM.

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    Essentials - Week 13
    Tony Mejia

    Indianapolis (-4/46.5) at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Jaguars fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to open the week and demoted QB Blake Bortles, looking to turn the page on a dreadful follow-up season after reaching the AFC Championship. Cody Kessler will start instead, making his second appearance since throwing for 156 yards and a touchdown in a 20-7 loss to Houston on Oct. 21. He won’t have Leonard Fournette to hand off to, so Carlos Hyde and T.J. Yeldon will be tasked with powering the ground game. The Colts should have top rookie LB Darius Leonard, who has 114 tackles, six sacks and four forced fumbles, in the mix.

    Andrew Luck could face an easier time than he probably envisioned when the schedule was released and called for a December trip to north Florida. Corners Jalen Ramsey, Tre Herndon and Quinton Meeks joined safeties Tashaun Gipson and Cody Davis in missing practice time this week, so the Jacksonville secondary may be in shambles. Indy WR T.Y. Hilton is good to go after a groin issue and TE Eric Ebron and RB Marlon Mack have also been cleared to play. The Colts won at home 29-26 on Nov. 11 to snap a 1-4 run at the hands of the Jags, who they will be looking to sweep for the first time since 2014. Bortles played well in the loss, throwing for two scores, while Fournette found the end zone twice. Luck threw for three TDs, all to tight ends.

    Carolina (-3/53) at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    Kicker Graham Gano bailed the Panthers out in Week 5, drilling a 63-yard field goal to help avoid a fourth-quarter collapse against the Giants. Last Sunday, he took part in the meltdown against Seattle, missing a late go-ahead attempt that helped set up the Seahawks’ final game-winning drive, knocking Carolina out of the NFC’s top six. Bouncing back immediately will require extending its run against the Bucs to 10 wins in 12 outings, which includes wins in four of five in Tampa.

    Cam Newton missed throws late against the Seahawks and early issues in the red zone came back to haunt the Panthers, so expect them to be aggressive against a Bucs defense that has been among the league’s worst but looked terrific in holding the 49ers to nine points last week. Top LB Lavonte David is expected back from a knee injury, while safety Justin Evans and DE Jason Pierre-Paul are also due to return. Jameis Winston often struggles to adequately hook up with WR Desean Jackson, so perhaps missing the deep threat won’t be too great of a concern. The offense will also get rookie Ronald Jones in the mix. A lingering hamstring injury that kept him out all of November has hindered his development. Winston comes off his first interception-free game of the season and has still thrown more picks (11) than touchdowns (10). Thunderstorms may be in the mix.

    Baltimore at Atlanta (-2.5/48.5), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Rookie QB Lamar Jackson has won his first two starts, making winning plays in key spots to ensure the Ravens didn’t stumble against bad teams with Joe Flacco healing up from a hip injury. Winning on the road in the NFL is a different animal, especially when you have to keep pace with Matt Ryan and a highly respected Falcons offense in their dome. Jackson is a different animal than most QBs the Falcons have seen, but defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel has already faced Cam Newton, Dak Prescott and Alex Smith, guys who make running the ball part of their puzzle. On the road, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jackson start as more of a runner at first, similar to how the Ravens allowed him to play to his strengths in his first start against the Bengals.

    If that’s the case, it looks like it will be a baptism by fire for LB Deion Jones, who will be making his first appearance since being injured in Week 1. Atlanta has dropped three straight and faces must-win situations in every game going forward but has to be encouraged by this being the healthiest its group has been in months. The Ravens are more banged up with safety Tony Jefferson and RB Alex Collins ruled out, but they have faced massive attrition over the past few years and are therefore in better shape even with a backup QB working than they have been recently this time of year. Baltimore leads the all-time series 3-2 but has only won in Atlanta in 1999 and will be making its first appearance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

    Cleveland at Houston (-5.5/47.5), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Browns haven’t won three straight games since 2014 and come in off their first road victory since ’15, so expecting them to pull an upset here means you’re all-in on a tremendous rookie class not hitting the wall on the road. QB Baker Mayfield, RB Nick Chubb and safety Denzel Ward have all shined of late and the play-calling of Freddie Kitchens in place of the fired Hue Jackson and Todd Haley has produced over 13 expected points per game in that advanced stats metric. With Mayfield making quicker, more productive throws due to a growing comfort zone in the system and Chubb also coming into his own at running back, Cleveland may indeed have a fighting chance against the Texans. J.J. Watt has been dealing with a knee issue but rookie slot WR is a true game-time decision.

    Buffalo at Miami (-4/40), 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Dolphins are under .500 for the first time all season, so Ryan Tannehill’s second start also feels like the team’s last stand. Considering they’re expected to beat the Bills, we’re going to get a real clear indication of what this team has left in a season filled with a rash of injuries and misfortune. Miami looked like it was going to prove resilient coming off its bye week in last Sunday’s visit to Indianapolis but coughed up a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and were turned back.

    Buffalo will be looking to play spoiler while Miami gets its first look at rookie QB Josh Allen, hoping to prevent him from immediately being a thorn in it side. The Bills have won seven of the last 10 times they’ve faced the Dolphins and typically deal with snow this time of year. In their opening game of December, rain may be the obstacle instead since tropical showers could co-star in today’s festivities. It could also be sunny with temperatures approaching 90 degrees, so it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

    Chicago (-3.5/44) at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Bears will again turn to Chase Daniel in place of Mitch Trubisky, gambling that he can again help the team come up with a road victory as he managed to Thanksgiving Day against Detroit. It’s the smart play since Trubisky’s shoulder is getting close to 100 percent and another week will only help the current NFC North leaders long-term. The risk lies in faltering and giving up ground to Minnesota, its closest pursuers in the division, so Sunday will play a large role In determining how easy the road to locking up Chicago’s first playoff appearance since 2010 will be. With apologies to Daniel, this Giants game is on the defense.

    Eli Manning threw for 297 yards last week but blew a lead to the Eagles with bad decisions and missed check-downs as the offense inexplicably went away from a dominant Saquon Barkley. Considering how much damage the Bears’ pass rush can do, it would be surprising if Barkley isn’t force-fed the ball at least 25 times. Chicago DT Akiem Hicks is listed as questionable but should play after participating in Friday’s practice, while LB Aaron Lynch should also participate. Rain will be a factor too, but it’s hard to forecast how harsh the conditions will be.

    Denver (-4.5/44.5) at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Broncos upset the Steelers at home to join the AFC wild card fray, utilizing turnovers to remain alive by improving to 2-0 after their bye week. They’ll be looking for the first three-game winning streak under head coach Vance Joseph in what boils down to as close to an elimination game as one can have in Week 13. Having lost Andy Dalton to a season-ending thumb injury last week in a game where they were routed by the Browns, the Bengals are either going to ride or die behind Jeff Driskel, who will make his first career NFL start.

    He gets back A.J. Green and tried to rally the Bengals against Cleveland, throwing for 155 yards and a score, so don’t immediately write off the home team’s chances here as they also look to get back to .500 through 12 games. Driskel also won’t have to deal with key Broncos LB Brandon Marshall, who will be a game-time decision but unlikely to return from a knee injury this week. Cincinnati has upgraded DE Carlos Dunlap, LB Nick Vigil and corner Dre Kirkpatrick to ‘probable.’ Wind gusts could be a factor as the Bengals try to rescue a season that started off promisingly with four victories in five games.

    L.A. Rams (-10/54.5) at Detroit, 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Rams would prefer not to see the inside of the Superdome again for years and are now in position to ensure that’s the case after Dallas’ Thursday night upset win over the Saints. After its epic 54-51 Monday night win over the Chiefs, L.A. comes in rested and in control of homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs if it can win out against a schedule that features only one team currently above .500. Detroit has dropped four of five and has averaged only 16.1 points per game, so it could find it hard to move the ball on a rested defense that wants to bounce back from being carved up for 51 points by the Chiefs. Running back Kerryon Johnson has been ruled out due to a knee injury. L.A. corner Aqib Talib is back from an ankle injury, while Todd Gurley and his NFL-leading 17 touchdowns will also be available.

    Arizona at Green Bay (-13.5/42), 1 p.m. ET, FOX:
    Aaron Rodgers knows his plan for making the playoffs can’t sound reassuring, but I don’t think that’s his angle anyway. At this point, although winning out sounds difficult, it’s doable. There’s going to be only one game remaining where Green Bay won’t be favored. Beyond that Week 15 visit to Chicago, the Packers only have to take care of business against teams they should beat, although this first one appears to be the gimme. The Packers aren’t likely to be the week’s heaviest favorite in going forward, but squaring off against a Cardinals team that arrives in Green Bay as an underdog of nearly two touchdowns after losing 45-10 in a similar role at the Chargers last Sunday makes this a potential tone-setter for Rodgers.

    Of course, in the NFL, there are rarely gimmes, so reasons to like the Cardinals in this definitely exist. Safety Budda Baker will be back and only key LB Deone Bucannon had been ruled out as of late Saturday, although offensive tackle D.J. Humphries was trending downward. His absence would make it difficult for the Cardinals to generate much offense all season, topping 17 points on the road only once in five tries. Arizona will have to get adjusted to snow and wind, which may work against them since it could limit Rodgers given that he’s still not physically 100 percent. Left tackle David Bakhtiari remains a game-time decision, while WR Randall Cobb (hamstring) is expected to make his return.

    Kansas City (-14/54.5) at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS:
    Spencer Ware will be plugged into Kareem Hunt’s spot at running back and the Chiefs’ offensive circus will be expected to move forward and thrive in another town, potentially making one final appearance in a place where their colors have long been despised. With the Raiders’ future in limbo, this could be Kansas City’s last appearance in Oakland, so expect the venom to fly from Raider nation as they’ll look to pile on to what’s been an awful few days for the AFC West leaders.

    Although you can presume the Chiefs probably knew there would be a time when video evidence of an altercation they had only heard about and no charges were filed for would see the light of day, it was dropped on the organization in the middle of game-prep. They’ll have to also overcome the absence of WR Sammy Watkins, who remains sideline with a foot injury, but are 11-4 SU and ATS despite all the venom they’ve faced in Oakland and have scored enough to help deliver the ‘over’ in seven of eight. Weather conditions in the Bay Area support a shootout if Derek Carr and an offense that has averaged 20 points in their last two games after failing to top 10 in four of their previous five keeps finding ways to reach the end zone.

    N.Y. Jets at Tennessee (-9.5/40), 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Jets are expected to give Sam Darnold one more week off, so veteran Josh McCown will make his third start, who has produced 11.5 points in losses to Buffalo and New England. That makes the Titans a heavy home favorite as they look to bounce back from surrendering 72 combined points in divisional losses to AFC South foes Indianapolis and Houston. Tennessee has been great at home, beating the most recent Super Bowl participants, Philadelphia and New England, in addition to the division-leading Texans. Since four of the Titans’ final five games come in Nashville, taking care of business at home in December will determine their fate. A New York offense that has only topped 300 total yards once over its last five games will also have to deal with windy conditions as gusts are expected, so look for both offenses to stick mostly to misdirection up front and the short passing game.

    Minnesota at New England (-5/49.5), 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Patriots hold the tie-breaker over the Chiefs and Texans, a strong finish could mean the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC will again go through Foxboro. There’s still a lot of work to be done with visits to Miami and Pittsburgh up next, but ensuring a 6-0 start at home for the season will keep the goal of reclaiming homefield advantage alive, not to mention adding another Super Bowl contender to the list of teams unable to get over at Foxboro, where the Pats haven’t lost since Oct. 1, 2017. The Vikings will look to snap New England’s 10-game run and have been decent in opposing stadiums, tying Green Bay, pushing in a seven-point loss to the Rams and winning at Philadelphia, but miscues doomed their most recent road game, a potentially season-defining 25-20 loss at Chicago two weeks ago.

    Stefon Diggs was a major question mark due to a knee issue but will be in the mix to test the Patriots secondary, complemented by Adam Theilen, who was upgraded to probable after suffering a calf injury. New England will have major weapons Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel in the lineup for a second straight week after both contributed in last week’s win at the Jets. The main injury-related question mark in this matchup is corner Xavier Rhodes, who wouldn’t be 100 percent with a hamstring issue if he does suit up, giving Brady someone to try and pick on. It’s expected to rain throughout the day, so that may make a major difference in whether the quarterbacks will be able to push the ball downfield or not.

    San Francisco at Seattle (-9.5/45.5), 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX:
    - After crushing the Raiders to open November, the Nick Mullens’ furor has died down after a Monday night home loss to the Giants and last week’s 27-9 post-bye setback at Tampa Bay. This will be the final time the 49ers leave California this season and you can at least credit veteran newcomer Richard Sherman for stirring the pot to keep things interesting to ensure the kids don’t get complacent. Sherman’s comments about Russell Wilson, although honest, put a target on his back and should free up the 49ers young players to perform with passion inside one of the league’s toughest venues. He called his former team “middle-of-the-road,” which is true since the Seahawks have saved their season by rallying against the Packers two weeks ago and stealing a game in Carolina last Sunday. They’re now set up to finish with four home dates over their final five outings, with the load roadie coming in a rematch with these 49ers in two weeks. Defeating the Vikings and Chiefs won’t be easy, but this new-look Seahawks team can begin to carve out new history without Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate and so on. That makes this a crucial month for Pete Carroll and his coaching staff.

    The 49ers haven’t won in Seattle in their last seven visits, outscored by a combined margin of 109 points. This matchup will test the Seahawks’ suspect run defense since Matt Breida has been effective and Mullens won’t have top targets Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon. Linebacker K.J. Wright remains sidelined, so we could see the 49ers move it effectively via the run game and fantastic tight end George Kittle, requiring another big second half from Wilson, who will be playing his first game as a 30-year-old. Rain is always a possibility in Seattle, but the expectation is that most of this game will be played in dry conditions.

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    SNF - L.A. at Pittsburgh
    YouWager

    LA Chargers vs Pittsburgh Steelers

    The NFL flexed in this big AFC matchup between the Chargers and Steelers into the SNF time slot as both sides look to further improve their playoff positioning. Both sides are coming off drastically different results from a week ago, as the Chargers blew out Arizona after a sluggish start, while Pittsburgh couldn't get out of their own way with numerous turnovers in a 24-17 loss @ Denver. That result for the Steelers is one that hopefully Pittsburgh fans don't regret somewhere down the line, as they still only hold a one-game lead in the win column over Baltimore in the AFC North race.

    So after last week's play on the 'over' in the SNF game between the Packers and Vikings came up short, let's try to get back in the win column this week in breaking down this potential AFC playoff preview.

    Odds: Pittsburgh (-3.5); Total set at 51.5

    The different ways in which the Pittsburgh Steelers shot themselves in the foot a week ago were extremely frustrating for anyone who either had them SU or ATS, or a play on the 'over.' Three of Pittsburgh's turnovers came in Denver's red zone, as even if they had eliminated one of them and cashed in with a score, 'over' bettors would have got there with the tie. But making multiple mistakes has become commonplace for the Steelers on the road in recent years, as outside of their trips to Cincinnati and Baltimore – two hated rivals – their trips away from home haven't exactly been stellar (1-2-1 ATS in those other four road games).

    Thankfully for Steelers fans, this SNF showdown with the Chargers is back at home in front of the overgrown ketchup bottles, and the last time they were on this field it was a prime time showcase of all their talent in a 52-21 dismantling of Carolina. This game against the Chargers isn't likely to turn into that type of romp, but it's a tough stance to step in front of the Steelers at home right now.

    That's not to say the Chargers aren't capable of covering this number and/or winning this game outright, although the loss of RB Melvin Gordon for this game does hurt. L.A does catch a break in terms of the time slot (no early 10 am PST start time) and weather (expected to be mild in the 50's), and defensively they do have some great numbers this year. However, when your schedule consists of recent games against the likes of Arizona, Oakland (twice), Tennessee, Cleveland with Hue Jackson at the helm, and Denver, those defensive numbers can be skewed a bit. None of those teams resemble what Pittsburgh's attack brings to the table, and in LA's two games against comparable offenses (LAR and KC), they allowed 35+ in each of those games.

    However, both of those lackluster defensive performances came within the first three weeks of the year for LA, and soft schedule or not, this team is much better on the defensive side of the ball now. The Chargers have been working DE Joey Bosa back into the mix, and with them holding six of their last seven opponents to fewer than 20 points, it will be on the shoulders of that defense that the Chargers try to pull out the upset here. Which is why a total in the 50's is really quite high for a game like this, as it's not like Pittsburgh's defense hasn't shown quite a bit of improvement as well.

    The Steelers have allowed an average of 19 points/game over their last seven games overall, with four of the seven being held below the 20-point mark as well. The Steelers know they won't have to fear LA's running/screen game as much with Gordon in street clothes, and the Chargers can't be looking to get into a shootout with the Steelers with one of their top weapons on the shelf.

    Furthermore, the Chargers are 0-2 O/U this year with the total has been in the 50's, and they are on a 3-8 O/U run in their last 11 road games overall. LA is also 2-7-1 O/U after allowing 14 points or less in their last outing, 16-35-1 O/U off a SU win, and 2-7 O/U when that win was by 14+ points. I get that Pittsburgh's offensive splits at home probably warrant a number in the 50's to be posted here, but with a prime time bias already on 'overs' for the majority of bettors in general – and this game is really no different – this number looks a little inflated in my eyes. A 27-24 type game still gets you just 'under' this current total, and I'm not even sure it gets that high.

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    Sunday Blitz - Week 13
    December 1, 2018
    By Kevin Rogers


    GAMES TO WATCH

    Ravens at Falcons (-1 ½, 48) – 1:00 PM EST

    Atlanta (4-7 SU, 3-8 ATS) has been one of the biggest disappointments this season as the Falcons are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The Falcons overcame a 1-4 start by winning three straight games, but Atlanta has gone the opposite way of late following three consecutive losses to Cleveland, Dallas, and New Orleans. To make matters worse, the Falcons are helping backers when playing at Mercedes Benz Stadium by going 2-4 ATS following a 5-3 ATS home mark in 2017.

    The Ravens (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS) have been the epitome of an enigma, as Baltimore started 4-2, but then lost three in a row to fall below .500. Quarterback Joe Flacco suffered a hip injury against Pittsburgh, opening the door for rookie and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson to take over. Jackson has led the Ravens to back-to-back home wins over the Bengals and Raiders to creep back over the .500 mark, while Baltimore snapped a three-game ATS slide in last week’s cover as 13-point favorites against Oakland.

    Baltimore is listed as a road underdog for the first time since a Week 4 triumph at Pittsburgh, while making its first trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens knocked off the Falcons in their last matchup in 2014 at home, 29-7, as Atlanta looks to defeat an AFC North opponent for the first time in four tries this season.

    Best Bet: Falcons 27, Ravens 19

    Rams (-10, 55) at Lions – 1:00 PM EST


    Amazingly, it took until December for the Rams (10-1 SU, 4-6-1 ATS) to play a game that kicks off at 1:00 EST. The first 11 contests for Los Angeles began either at 4:05, 4:25, or were primetime contests, so it will be interesting to see how the Rams respond, especially coming off the bye. The Rams last took the field in the wild 54-51 Week 11 victory over the Chiefs at the Coliseum. Jared Goff lit up Kansas City’s defense for 413 yards and four touchdowns, while Todd Gurley rushed for only 55 yards for the Rams.

    The Lions (4-7 SU, 6-5 ATS) suffered their fourth loss in the last five games in a 23-16 Thanksgiving setback to the Bears. Matthew Stafford’s pass was intercepted for a Chicago touchdown with six minutes remaining to send the Lions to their third home loss of the season and their first as a home ‘dog. Since scoring 32 points against the Dolphins in Week 7, Detroit has failed to bust the 22-point mark in the last five weeks.

    In spite of Los Angeles currently sitting in the top spot of the NFC, the Rams have not been kind to backers recently. The Rams began the season owning a 3-0 ATS mark, but Sean McVay’s club has compiled an ugly 1-6-1 ATS record the last eight weeks with five ATS losses as a touchdown favorite or higher. The last time these teams met up in 2016 at Ford Field, the Lions edged the Rams, 31-28 as Goff is facing Detroit for the first time in his career.

    Best Bet: Rams 31, Lions 24

    Vikings at Patriots (-5, 49 ½) – 4:25 PM EST


    Minnesota (6-4-1 SU, 6-4-1 ATS) is looking to capitalize off last week’s 24-17 home victory over Green Bay as the Vikings are looking up at the Bears for the top position in the NFC North. Kirk Cousins put together one of his best games as a Viking by tossing three touchdown passes and 342 yards, including the game-clinching connection to Adam Thielen to give Minnesota a 24-14 advantage. The Vikings are playing in their second 4:25 PM EST game of the season, as three of the past four contests have come in primetime.

    The Patriots (8-3 SU, 7-4 ATS) rebounded from an ugly 24-point loss at Tennessee prior to their bye week by pulling away from the Jets last Sunday, 27-13 to barely cash as 13-point road favorites. Tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to the lineup and caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to get the Pats on the scoreboard in the first quarter. Brady led the Pats to a pair of touchdown scoring drives in the second half to help New England improve to 3-0 in division play and even their road mark to 3-3 on the season.

    New England owns a flawless 5-0 record at Gillette Stadium, while covering in four of those victories. Brady has never lost to the Vikings in four tries in his career dating back to 2002 with the most recent win coming in 2014 in Minneapolis, 30-7. The Vikings have compiled a 1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS mark in the role of a road underdog with the lone outright victory coming at Philadelphia in Week 5.

    Best Bet: Vikings 26, Patriots 23


    SUPERCONTEST PICKS

    Kevin Rogers (3-2 last week, 30-28-2 this season)

    Falcons -1
    Bengals +4 ½
    Raiders +14 ½
    Jets +7 ½
    Vikings +5

    Chris David (4-1 last week, 39-20-1 this season)
    Panthers -3 ½
    Browns +5 ½
    Bills +4 ½
    Giants +5 ½
    Packers -13 ½

    BEST TOTAL PLAY

    UNDER 47 – Colts at Jaguars


    This is a vice-versa angle for this AFC South matchup as Indianapolis outlasted Jacksonville, 29-26 in the first matchup three weeks ago. Now, the teams hook up in north Florida as Cody Kessler will start at quarterback for Jacksonville in place of the ineffective Blake Bortles. The Jaguars have failed to eclipse the 21-point mark in six of the past seven games, while hitting the UNDER in three of the last four contests at TIAA Bank Field. The Colts are riding a four-game OVER streak on the road, but look for a lower-scoring affair on Sunday.

    TRAP OF THE WEEK

    The Texans are riding an eight-game winning streak after knocking off the Titans last Monday night. Houston remains at home this week to host Cleveland, who blew out Cincinnati last Sunday to improve to 4-6-1. This line is hovering around -5 ½ to -6 for Houston, as the Texans are 1-2 ATS when laying at least five points this season. The Browns have cashed in five of eight opportunities as a road underdog, while seeking their first three-game winning streak since 2014.

    BIGGEST LINE MOVE

    The Dolphins squandered a 10-point fourth quarter lead in last week’s 27-24 setback at Indianapolis to slip to 5-6. Miami returns home to battle Buffalo for the first time this season as Bills seek their third consecutive win. The Dolphins opened as 6 ½-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook last Sunday night, but that number has plummeted to 3 ½ at most sports books. Miami owns a 4-1 record at Hard Rock Stadium and is playing its second home game in the last six weeks.

    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW


    One of the hottest ATS teams in the league is the Broncos, who look for their third road win of the season at Cincinnati. Denver began the season by posting an ugly 0-4-1 ATS ledger the first five weeks, but have rebounded by compiling a 5-1 ATS record the past six games. During that stretch, four of those covers came in the underdog role, including in last week’s home triumph over Pittsburgh. The last time the Broncos were listed as a favorite of more than a field goal, they failed to cash in a 20-19 Week 2 win over the Raiders.

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    MNF - Redskins at Eagles
    Kevin Rogers

    LAST WEEK

    A strong 6-3 start for the Redskins (6-5 SU, 7-4 ATS) is starting to fade away following back-to-back defeats to the Texans and Cowboys. Obviously the biggest loss in this stretch is the one to quarterback Alex Smith, who suffered a gruesome season-ending leg injury in the Week 11 setback to Houston. Washington turned to longtime backup Colt McCoy against Dallas on Thanksgiving, but the Redskins fell short, 31-23 as seven-point underdogs.

    McCoy and the Redskins grabbed a 13-10 lead over the Cowboys in the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown strike to Trey Quinn, but Dallas ran off 21 unanswered points to take control. Washington scored 10 late points, but finished short of a cover as it failed to cash for the second time in five road contests. McCoy finished with 268 yards passing and two touchdowns, but was also intercepted three times by the Dallas defense.

    The Eagles (5-6 SU, 3-8 ATS) still have a long way to go prior to getting back in the playoff hunt in the NFC. However, Philadelphia helped itself by digging out of a 19-3 hole to shock the Giants last Sunday, 25-22 to end a two-game skid. The Eagles failed to cover as 4 ½-point favorites, but Jake Elliott’s 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining gave Philadelphia the season sweep of New York and even its home mark at 3-3.

    Carson Wentz bounced back from a three-interception performance at New Orleans to throw for 236 yards and a touchdown against the Giants. Rookie running back Josh Adams reached the end zone for the second straight week, while putting up a career-high 84 yards on 22 carries for Philadelphia. In spite of the win, the Eagles dropped to 0-5 ATS in the past five games at Lincoln Financial Field.

    HOME WOES

    Elaborating on the 0-5 ATS home mark the last five games for the defending champions, all five ATS losses have come in the favorite role. The last cover for Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field came in the season opener against Atlanta, as the Eagles are far away from the 7-3 ATS home mark from last season. Since last December, the Eagles have put together a 3-10 ATS ledger in their last 13 opportunities when laying points.

    RED ALERT IN THE DIVISION

    The Redskins are playing their final road game against an NFC East opponent this season. Washington won at New York in Week 8 by seven, while losing at Dallas last Thursday by eight. Jay Gruden’s team has lost four of their last five away contests against divisional foes since the start of last season, while the OVER has hit in three instances.

    SERIES HISTORY

    Washington owned Philadelphia from 2014 through 2016 by winning five consecutive matchups. However, the Eagles rebounded last season by sweeping the Redskins with both victories coming by double-digits. Philadelphia held off Washington in the season opener, 30-17, capped off by a fumble return for a score by Fletcher Cox. The Eagles took care of the Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field two months later, 34-24, highlighted by four touchdown passes by Wentz.

    MONDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

    The Redskins’ kryptonite is playing on Mondays as they own a dreadful 1-9 SU/ATS mark since 2013, including a 1-7 SU/ATS ledger under Gruden. New Orleans routed Washington in Week 5 at the Superdome, 43-19, while the Redskins have lost their last three road Monday night games since 2016. Coincidentally, the only victory in this span came with McCoy at quarterback against an NFC East opponent on the road, coming in 2014 at Dallas, 20-17 as nine-point underdogs.

    The Eagles are making their first appearance on Monday night this season, as Philadelphia won both Monday night affairs in 2017. One of those wins came over the Redskins in the 10-point triumph, as Philadelphia owns a perfect 4-0 SU/ATS record against Washington on Mondays since 2009.

    GAME PROPS – According to Westgate Superbook

    Total Gross Passing Yards – Colt McCoy
    OVER 237 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 237 ½ (-110)

    Total Touchdown Passes – Colt McCoy
    OVER 1 ½ (+150)
    UNDER 1 ½ (-150)

    Total Rushing Yards – Adrian Peterson
    OVER 67 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 67 ½ (-110)

    Total Completions – Carson Wentz
    OVER 23 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 23 ½ (-110)

    Total Touchdown Passes – Carson Wentz
    OVER 2 (EVEN)
    UNDER 2 (-120)

    Total Rushing Yards – Josh Adams
    OVER 60 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 60 ½ (-110)

    LINE MOVEMENT

    The Eagles opened as 6 ½-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook, but that number has dropped to six at most books. The total opened at 44 ½ as that number has been nudged up to 45 at many outfits. Philadelphia has finished UNDER the total in seven of 11 games (5-1 at home), while Washington is on a 3-1 to the OVER the last four weeks.

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    Opening odds quickly tighten for Ravens-Chiefs battle in NFL Week 14
    Patrick Everson

    Cornerback Tavon Young and Baltimore hope to scoop and score an upset at Kansas City in Week 14. The SuperBook opened the Chiefs -8.5, but market moves took the line down to -7 Sunday night.

    The NFL season rumbles along to Week 14, with playoff contenders and pretenders starting to take shape. We check in on the opening lines and early action for a quartet of contests, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

    Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5)

    Kansas City got a much-needed break with a Week 13 bye, after a fireworks-laden loss in the Week 12 Monday nighter. The Chiefs (9-2 SU, 8-2-1 ATS) put up a 50-plus burger against the Los Angeles Rams, yet fell short 54-51 to push as 3-point road underdogs.

    Baltimore followed a three-game skid with a three-game win streak to get itself back in playoff contention. In Week 13, the Ravens pulled away in the second half for a 26-16 victory over Atlanta as 2.5-point road pups.

    “That was a very impressive win for the Ravens against the Falcons, but they are stepping up in class this week going to Kansas City,” Murray said. “The Chiefs seem to hold back sometimes against weaker opponents. Don't expect that this week.”

    After this game was posted, the line made a significant move toward the Ravens, with the Chiefs at -7 Sunday night. But Murray said The SuperBook was primarily adjusting to the market, not moving because of money.

    Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears (+4)

    Los Angeles has the best record in the NFL as it continues the quest for the NFC’s top seed. The Rams (11-1 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) went to Detroit as 10.5-point favorites and left with a 30-16 win and cover.

    Chicago rode a five-game winning streak to the top of the NFC North, but couldn’t quite stretch it to six. The Bears (8-4 SU and ATS) got a last-second touchdown to tie the New York Giants at 27-27, then lost in overtime 30-27 laying 4 points on the road.

    “We opened Rams -4 after using -3 as the lookahead line,” Murray said, alluding to the line put out a week ago on this game. “The Bears are coming in off a bad loss to the Giants, and the Rams keep rolling. This will be one of the bigger handle games of the year.”

    The Rams briefly ticked up to -4.5 Sunday night at The SuperBook, before returning to the -4 opener.

    Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-4)

    Dallas has worked its way to the top of the NFC East, after standing 3-5 SU through the first eight games. The Cowboys (7-5 SU and ATS) won and cashed their last four outings, including a 13-10 upset of New Orleans as 7.5-point home ‘dogs in the Week 13 Thursday nighter.

    Defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia is in must-win mode at this point and still has Week 13 work to do, hosting a critical NFC East game against Washington on Monday night. In Week 12, the Eagles (5-6 SU, 3-8 ATS) rallied from a 19-3 deficit to the New York Giants to post a 25-22 win laying 4.5 points at home.

    “Cowboys -4 in a game that could well decide the NFC East,” Murray said, noting rest could be an issue, as well. “A lot of extra prep time for Dallas. The Cowboys played Thursday, and the Eagles play Monday night.”

    Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-3)

    Minnesota is hanging on in the NFC playoff picture at this point, and the Week 14 Monday nighter will be key to staying in that photo. The Vikings (6-5-1 SU and ATS) went off as 6-point underdogs at New England in Week 13 and lost 24-10.

    Meanwhile, Seattle currently sits in the No. 5 slot in the NFC, but is surrounded by plenty of teams looking to steal that spot. The Seahawks (7-5 SU, 7-3-2 ATS) rolled over San Francisco 43-16 giving 10 points at home in Week 13.

    “This game could decide who claims an NFC wild-card berth,” Murray said. “Chicago appears to have the North won, and the Rams clinched the West today. Pivotal game for tiebreaker privileges in the NFC.”

    Although The SuperBook remained at Seattle -3 late Sunday night, the price on the Seahawks adjusted to -120.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-03-2018 at 01:22 PM.

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