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Thread: NFL Trends and Indexes - Week 15 (Thur., Dec. 13 - Mon., Dec. 17)

  1. #16
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    TNF - Chargers at Chiefs
    Tony Mejia

    L.A. Chargers at Kansas City (-3.5, 53.5), 8:20 pm ET, FOX/NFLN

    The Chiefs have been ahead of the Chargers since winning their Week 1 showdown, but must take them down again to open Week 15 in order to avoid being tied atop the AFC West.

    With just three regular-season games remaining, this Thursday night clash represents the best matchup we’ll see all week. That’s truly saying something since there’s also action on Saturday in addition to a fully Sunday and a quality Monday night game between the Panthers and Saints.

    Nothing will top L.A. at Kansas City in terms of importance, so hopefully the on-field product will rise up and match the magnitude of this game’s implications.

    The difference between being able to coast through its final weeks of the season and ensure itself homefield advantage as long as Kansas City is alive into the conference championship game rides on being able to extend dominant streaks over the Chargers and at Arrowhead this season. The Chiefs have won nine straight against L.A. and are a perfect 6-0 on their home turf, winning four of the games by double-digits.

    Baltimore was able to push the Chiefs for four quarters on Sunday, leading into the final minute of action and requiring Patrick Mahomes to convert on a pair of fourth downs. With 1:29 left, Kansas City’s quarterback rolled to his right and bought himself just enough time to throw across his body and connect with Tyreek Hill for 48 yards on a 4th-and-9 conversion that may go down as one of the most impactful plays this NFL season if the Chiefs are able to hold serve on Thursday night. Kansas City was able to tie the Ravens and ended up with a 27-24 overtime win.

    They enter this showdown with L.A. with their third-string running back set to get a heavy workload after registering the game-tying score on a five-yard pass from Mahomes with 53 seconds left. Kareem Hunt was cut following video of his confrontation with a woman being released by TMZ on Nov. 30 and his backup, Spencer Ware, is doubtful due to a shoulder injury. That leaves Damien Williams as tonight’s likely starter with rookie Darrel Williams and veteran Charcandrick West also available for carries.

    The Chargers also have a complicated situation at running back entering this one since Melvin Gordon is doing his best to return early from a knee injury that has kept him out of the lineup. My expectation is that he won’t look like his usual self if he does make it back out on to the field, but the magnitude of this game is so great that it’s understandable he wants to make every effort to get back out there since competent backup Austin Ekeler has already been ruled out after suffering a stinger. Rookies Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome would be called upon if Gordon can’t go. Read up on this matchup’s other injury-related concerns below.

    Given all the attrition at running back, everyone should expect that the arms of Mahomes and veteran Philip Rivers will ultimately decide matters, but there’s a possibility that we’ll see rain in the second half of this one. It’s also expected to be a windy night with gusts rising into the high teens, which makes Mahomes’ stronger arm a weapon. Snow that was originally expected to be part of the festivities is now unlikely to materialize, but temperatures should be in the high-30s.

    Mahomes beat the Chargers in the season opener by throwing four touchdown passes, two of which went to Tyreek Hill, who also opened the scoring with a 91-yard punt return less than two minutes in. Rivers threw for three scores in a game where the Chargers came up well short despite 541 yards of offense, turning it over twice. In many ways, from losing the battle of time of possession by nearly 10 full minutes to getting lit up in yardage despite winning handily, the Chiefs showed us very early how they were going to do things this season. It would therefore not be surprising to see more chunk plays and home run balls from Kansas City in this rematch.

    Only Week 5’s contest against the Jaguars saw the Chiefs favored by fewer points at home than oddsmakers have saddled them with for this one, which is in part a nod to L.A.’s excellence in opposing stadiums. Because they’re awaiting Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park that they’ll be sharing with the Rams to open the 2020 season to finish being built, the Chargers have been playing “home” games in Carson’s soccer stadium, the StubHub Center. The L.A. Galaxy consider that a great place to play. The Chargers, understandably, do not.

    The joke can be made that the Chargers will be playing their 14th road game of the season here since support for them is so scarce in Carson that their own fans are often drowned out by those from the visiting team. Players have commented that not having a true homefield edge has toughened up and contributed to their success in true road games since they’ve only lost once, falling to the Rams 35-23 back on Sept. 23.

    Indeed, the Bolts are perfect outside of L.A. See, it’s funny.

    The Chargers’ most recent road conquest came in a 33-30 upset of the Steelers to open December, moving them to 3-1 SU and ATS as a road underdog. They struggled some in a 26-21 win over Cincinnati as a 16-point favorite but were clearly playing not to lose as opposed to putting their foot on the gas. That shouldn’t factor in here given that there’s a division on the line.

    Ironically, winning would put the Chargers in line for homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, which would at least mean they could sleep in their own beds and come out of the same locker room for a few rounds of the playoffs, so defeating the Chiefs would have value despite the team’s lack of a true edge at home. To win, they’ll need Rivers to play his best in a big game, which has certainly been an issue in the past. He’ll be facing a Kansas City defense that ranks last in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (281.8) and 27th in points allowed (27.0), so it’s important that he takes advantage as long as Mother Nature allows him to. Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams will try and wreak havoc against a secondary that gets back a familiar face at the perfect time.

    Read on below for line movement from Week 14 to Thursday’s numbers, total talk, injury analysis, recent series history and next week’s numbers.

    Los Angeles Chargers
    Season win total: 9 (Over -140, Under +120)
    Odds to win AFC West: 4/1 to 6/1
    Odds to win AFC: 4/1 to 7/2
    Odds to win Super Bowl: 9/1 to 8/1

    Kansas City Chiefs
    Season win total: 8.5 (Over +115, Under -135)
    Odds to win AFC West: 1/7 to 1/9
    Odds to win AFC: 2/1 to 7/5
    Odds to win Super Bowl: 9/2 to 9/2

    LINE MOVEMENT

    Both teams have already surpassed their projected win totals and opened the season with longer Super Bowl odds at Westgate LV Superbook than they have to date. Kansas City was 15-to-1 to win the AFC and 30-to-1 to win the Super Bowl, so anyone holding on to one of those tickets is going to be looking great if the Chiefs are able to secure homefield advantage. The Chargers opened the season 6-to-1 to win the AFC and 12-to-1 to win the Super Bowl.

    When the season began, L.A. was a 6-to-5 favorite to win the division, while the Chiefs were projected second at 11-to-4. The Broncos and Raiders brought up the rear in terms of expectations at 4/1. If you like L.A. outright tonight, there's certainly value in getting in on this week's divisional odds given the remaining schedule for both teams. They'll each cash playoff props for backers with Kansas City paying out +140 and the Chargers a far less lucrative -160.

    As far as this matchup is concerned, the Chiefs were a 4-point favorite when the Westgate's early numbers were announced and opened at the 3.5-point spread that is most widely available as of Thursday morning. Westgate had a spread set at -3 with juice of -120 earlier this week but has again parked its number at 3.5.

    Kansas City is in the -190 range on the money line. If you like the road 'dog outright, a payout on the Chargers win will get you +160 to +170 depending on where you wager.

    INJURY CONCERNS

    Hill is arguably the most important Chiefs player outside of Mahomes and has continued making plays despite a heel injury. He’s averaging 17 yards per reception and makes the offense go thanks to his explosive speed commanding so much attention. With Sammy Watkins out with a foot injury and the team digging deep into the depth chart at running back, it’s vital that Hill stays out there for most snaps, even if he’s just playing decoy.

    Eric Berry returns for his 2018 debut after missing 29 straight games following a ruptured Achilles suffered in the ’17 season opener. His importance as an emotional leader can’t be overstated, but it remains to be seen how he’ll look out on the field given how much rust he’s got to knock off. Kansas City’s other major injury concern comes up front, where they’ve already had to deviate some in replacing Laurent Duvernay-Tardif when he tore his fibula in October. Left guard Cam Erving is doubtful to play after suffering a knee injury against Baltimore. Jeff Allen should start and Kansas City has to cross its fingers that center Mitch Morse, who returned from a concussion, stays healthy given its lack of depth.

    The Chargers’ top concern surrounds Gordon, but DT Brandon Mebane, an elite run stuffer, is also unlikely to participate since he’s dealing with a family emergency after his new daughter was born with a heart defect. Corner Trevor Williams and backup tight end Sean Culkin have been ruled out.

    TOTAL TALK

    The total opened 56 ½ for this matchup and the number has dropped to 53 ½ as of Thursday morning. Weekly “Total Talk” writer Chris David of VegasInsider.com offered up his thoughts on this AFC West matchup:

    This isn’t an easy total to handicap since the game has serious playoff implications and if you’re buying that narrative, you could argue that both teams will be a little bit tighter especially on a short week.

    When the pair met in Week 1, Kansas City stopped the Chargers 38-28 from Los Angeles and the ‘over’ (48 ½) connected early in the fourth quarter. What stood out in this game is that the Bolts outgained the Chiefs (541-362) but they lost the turnover battle (2-0) and settled for two early field goals.

    Kansas City (8-5) and Los Angeles (7-6) have both leaned to the ‘over’ this season and they enter this matchup on a roll. The Chiefs (39.3 PPG) and Chargers (34.7 PPG) have put up some crooked numbers in their last three games and that’s resulted in 3-0 and 2-1 ‘over’ records respectively.

    The Chiefs (32.7 PPG) haven’t been as explosive at home but their defensive numbers (18.7 PPG) at Arrowhead Stadium compared to allowing 34.1 PPG on the road.

    This will be the fifth primetime game of the season for the Chiefs and they’ve seen their total results (2-2) split so far but three of those contests were on the road. Los Angeles just played on Sunday Night a couple weeks ago as it rallied from an impressive 33-30 win over the Steelers.

    Despite allowing 30 to Pittsburgh in that contest, the Chargers have allowed 16.7 PPG in their last nine games and that’s resulted in a 6-3 ‘under’ mark.

    This series has been dominated by the Chiefs, winners in the last nine encounters and even though the Week 1 matchup went ‘over’ the number, the ‘under’ has cashed in six of the previous eight between the pair. Make a note that Chargers QB Philip Rivers hasn’t had much success in his last four trips (0-4) to Arrowhead and the Bolts only scored 7, 3, 27 and 13 points in those games, all losses.

    Road teams (2-12 SU) have struggled in the NFL midweek matchup this season and a lot of the results were blowouts. Only three of the games were decided by four points or less and the ‘under’ went 2-1 in those games. I believe this game will be played within that margin and I would lean to the ‘under’ (53 ½) here.

    RECENT MEETINGS (Kansas City 9-0 SU, 8-1 ATS last nine; UNDER 6-3)

    9/9/18 Kansas City 38-28 at Los Angeles (KC +3.5, 48)
    12/16/17 Kansas City 30-13 vs. Los Angeles (KC -1, 47)
    9/24/17 Kansas City 24-10 at Los Angeles (KC -3, 47.5)
    1/1/17 Kansas City 37-27 at San Diego (KC -5.5, 45)
    9/11/16 Kansas City 33-27 OT vs. San Diego (SD +6.5, 45.5)
    12/13/15 Kansas City 10-3 vs. San Diego (KC -10.5, 44)
    11/22/15 Kansas City 33-3 at San Diego (KC -3, 45)
    12/28/14 Kansas City 19-7 vs. San Diego (KC -2.5, 42.5)
    10/19/14 Kansas City 23-20 at San Diego (KC +3, 46)

    NEXT WEEK'S NUMBERS POSTED

    Westgate Vegas opens its advance lines for the following week on Tuesdays and Week 16 currently has the Chargers listed as a 5-point favorite against the Ravens, who will likely come into Carson with Lamar Jackson as their starting QB unless he struggles against Tampa Bay this week. The Chiefs will be back home in prime time as they visit playoff hopeful Seattle, which has been made an early 1-point home favorite.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-13-2018 at 01:21 PM.

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    DB Eric Berry will play his first game tonight since rupturing his Achilles in Week 1 last season. According to reports, he will be on a "pitch count".
    Pointspread: Chiefs -3.5
    Total: 54
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-13-2018 at 01:22 PM.

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    By: Brandon DuBreuil



    TRIPLING DOWN ON THE CHIEFS

    Earlier in the week, we suggested the Over for Tyreek Hill’s receiving yards total and for Travis Kelce to go Over 0.5 touchdown receptions, and we’re going to triple-down by backing Patrick Mahomes.

    The Chargers are not a great matchup for opposing quarterbacks, but does that really matter for Mahomes? L.A. is ranked ninth in passing DVOA and is giving up just 224.8 passing yards per game (seventh-best in the NFL), but last week Mahomes went on the road to face a Ravens defense ranked fourth in passing DVOA and third in passing yards against and dropped 377 passing yards.

    Mahomes didn’t have a huge yardage day when these teams met back in Week 1 but he did throw for 256 yards on 27 attempts (9.48 yards per attempt) and threw four touchdowns. There’s also a lot to like about Mahomes in primetime as he threw for 352 yards on Sunday Night Football in Week 6 and 478 yards on Monday Night Football in Week 11. We’re looking for some more offensive fireworks out of Arrowhead tonight and we’re taking the Over for his passing yards total of 303.5.


    BERRY’S RETURN

    One of the biggest storylines of tonight’s game in K.C. is the return of safety Eric Berry, who makes his season debut after rupturing his Achilles in Week 1 of last season. Berry is a massive upgrade for the Chiefs defense, as he allowed just 0.38 yards per coverage snap in 2015 and 2016, as opposed to the 0.60 and 0.59 marks that the current safeties are allowing in 2018. While he may be on a snap count tonight, his return will at least provide a huge emotional boost for the Chiefs.

    This brings us to Phillip Rivers, who has been fantastic this season, but not so great at Arrowhead Stadium over the course of his career. In his last four games in K.C., Rivers is averaging just 256 passing yards per game while throwing two touchdowns and six interceptions.

    The Chiefs defense is weak in 2018 but it has been much better at home (18.7 points against) than on the road (33.7). Rivers will be forced into a ton of passes tonight as he’s without his top two running backs and could be chasing points in a game with a total set at 53.5. We’re thinking Kansas City’s defense steps up tonight and manages to get its hands on one of Rivers’ passes, something that has happened multiple times in his last few trips to Arrowhead. Take the Over 0.5 on Rivers’ interception total.


    WENTZ DONE FOR 2018?

    Philadelphia’s playoffs odds are looking dicey and they took another hit on Wednesday when it was reported that Carson Wentz is unlikely to play on Sunday as the Eagles visit the Rams. Wentz has been unable to practice because of back spasms and could potentially miss the rest of the season.

    With Wentz out, the Eagles will turn to Nick Foles. Eagles fans are likely dreaming of a scenario where Foles returns and leads Philly to another long playoff run, perhaps even capped off with another Super Bowl MVP. But let’s be realistic: The chances of that happening are slim.

    The one stat that jumps out from when Foles replaced Wentz in 2017, is that the Eagles’ offense is far less explosive under Foles with a drop of 2.2 yards per attempt. This is a concern for Philly’s deep threats but could be an advantage for Golden Tate.

    The newest addition to the Eagles’ receiving corps has been used primarily on short routes in Philly, averaging just 9.9 yards per catch, a sizeable drop from his career average of 11.9 yards per catch. Tate has been inconsistent, as evidenced by his one catch for seven yards last week, but we see him being more involved this week as Foles looks for an underneath security blanket. Take the Over on Tate’s receptions total.


    JACKSON GETS THE NOD

    Baltimore coach John Harbaugh confirmed on Wednesday that Lamar Jackson will start on Sunday against Tampa Bay. Joe Flacco is healthy and will dress as the backup, while Robert Griffin III will be scratched. Jackson gets his fourth consecutive matchup and will play against a Buccaneers defense ranked 30th in overall defensive DVOA and in rushing DVOA.

    The Bucs are allowing 119.4 rushing yards per game and have also allowed quarterbacks to rush for 199 yards on 44 attempts, for an average of 4.5 yards per rush. Jackson is averaging 83 rushing yards per game and we can now determine a bit of a baseline for how many times he’ll run in a game. He had 13, 17, and 11 rushing attempts over his last three games after his unsustainable 27 rushing attempts in his first start.

    We’re expecting about 14 rushing attempts for Jackson and also assuming he’ll be able to sustain the 4.5 yards per carry that the Buccaneers allow to opposing QBs. If those hold true, Jackson should be able to get to the 65-rushing yard mark. We’ll be looking to take the Over if it gets set near that number when the prop market opens later in the week.


    HOWARD STILL OUT FOR DOLPHINS

    Dolphins stud corner Xavien Howard remained out of practice on Wednesday due to the knee injury that kept him out of last week’s game against New England. He did some light running on Thursday morning but his status for Sunday, as Miami plays Minnesota, is still in doubt. His presence was predictably missed against the Patriots, with Tom Brady throwing for 358 yards and Josh Gordon posting 96 receiving yards (and getting us a winning bet).

    If Howard can’t go, it’ll be a huge boost to Stefon Diggs’ value in Week 15. Diggs was the only Vikings receiver to do anything last week, posting 76 receiving yards on four receptions (and getting us another winner). His targets have dipped in recent weeks, with just five and six in each of the past two games, but he has shown he can still put up big yardage numbers on low targets.

    There’s also a good chance his targets increase under new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski in Minnesota. Assuming Howard is out, it’s a great spot for Diggs and we’ll be taking the Over on his receiving yards total.

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    NFL Underdogs: Week 15 pointspread picks and predictions
    Jason Logan

    I’ll be truthful. At first glance, I didn’t have any knee-jerk, must-play feelings about a single NFL betting underdog in Week 15. That’s strange, because there are usually one or two each week.

    I feel like I walked into Toys R Us (we still have those in Canada, BTW) on Christmas Eve looking for whatever glitter-infused, rainbow-pooping unicorn toy my daughter’s been asking for, but I’m faced with barren shelves and discounted dolls with one eye that doesn’t quite open all the way. Creepy.

    But like any good father, I’m going to find that god damn unicorn. I just have look harder. And when it comes to finding value with the points in Week 15, it’s going to take some additional digging. Like finding out that Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been an underdog in Chicago since the 2008 season – his first year as the No. 1 QB in Green Bay (Packers were +4.5 at Chicago in Week 10 with Brett Hundley under center last season).

    Yep, you’ve got to go all the way back to Week 16 of the 2008 schedule to see A-Rod pegged as a pup in the Windy City. Books gave the Packers four points that day, and they lost 20-17 in overtime but came through with the cover for Cheeseheads with a little extra cheddar on the line.

    This Sunday, sportsbooks are dealing Green Bay +6 against a Bears squad boasting a dominating 6-1 SU and ATS record inside Solider Field and fresh off a victory over the L.A. Rams Sunday night, sucking all the offensive power out of an attack that’s averaging almost 33 points per game.

    I’m not buying the Packers based on Rodgers’ track record as a favorite in Chicago – I just thought that was an interesting stat (although Green Bay is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 meetings in Chi-Town). I don’t think they win this game outright. This is just too many points to give in a heated divisional rivalry with a Green Bay team still trying to prove something with an interim head coach singing for his supper.

    Green Bay is a dismal 1-4-1 ATS on the road this season but none of those games came inside Soldier Field. This is the Packers’ home away from home and it’s nice to be home for the holidays.

    Pick:
    Green Bay +6


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Baltimore Ravens (-7.5, 46.5)

    The Ravens find themselves in a sandwich spot, hosting the Bucs as 7.5-point favorites. Baltimore is coming down off a disappointing finish in Kansas City (losing 27-24 in OT in Week 14) and has a huge lookahead game on deck, traveling to L.A. to take on the Chargers – another team vying for a AFC Wild Card spot - in Week 16.

    Thrown into this situational stew is a sprig of internal drama, with the Ravens doing everything but cutting veteran QB Joe Flacco and leaning on rookie “passer” Lamar Jackson down the stretch (and let's not forget RG3). The media is all over this controversy, pulling even more attention away from Tampa Bay.

    The Buccaneers are playing much better football over their last four games. Well, three and a half games. Tampa Bay had New Orleans on the ropes with a 14-3 halftime lead last weekend and crumbled in the final 30 minutes.

    Regardless, this isn’t the same Tampa team that was the punchline of the league for two and a half months of the season. The stop unit has improved (which wasn’t too hard to do), finally gaining an identity behind a beastly defensive line, and the offense is capitalizing on chances, with a near 78 percent touchdown rate inside the red zone over the past three games.

    Pick:
    Tampa Bay +7.5


    Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (-10, 44)

    Last week, I took the Cardinals +3.5 at home to Detroit and even though Arizona lost that game 17-3, I still feel like it was the correct pick. Weird right?

    The Cardinals defense held the Lions to 223 yards of offense and 10 points. The Arizona offense outgained Detroit by 78 yards and won the time of possession battle 31:44 to 28:16, Yet, a pick-6 from rookie Josh Rosen late in the third quarter broke the back of this Arizona team, which would eventually surrender another score in the final minutes of the fourth.

    The Cardinals are getting 10 points in Atlanta, where the Falcons drag a five-game losing skid into Mercedes Benz Stadium. Atlanta has lost by an average margin of 10.6 points per game during this slide, allowing rushing totals of 211, 132, 150, 207, and 138 yards. That’s almost 168 yards on the ground against per contest.

    Cardinals RB David Johnson has been the scourge of the fantasy football community all season, failing to live up to his past production, but will totally redeem himself (Lloyd Christmas style) and push some long-suffering fantasy GMs to their league finals with a huge effort in Atlanta.

    Pick:
    Arizona +10

    Last week: 2-1 ATS
    Season: 28-13-1 ATS
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-14-2018 at 12:48 PM.

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    JOHNSON TO GROUND FALCONS?

    David Johnson returned to the field on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday’s practice with a quad issue. Arizona coach Steve Wilks has been consistent in saying that Johnson will suit up at Atlanta on Sunday and bettors should hope he does in what is a great matchup.

    Admittedly, we have struggled with Johnson props over the past two weeks with back-to-back losses. His usage has been there with 20-plus touches in six of his last seven games but he failed to get into the end zone last week and had just one reception two weeks ago. The Falcons, however, are ranked dead last in overall DVOA and 31st in rushing DVOA. Johnson has hit the 100-yard mark from scrimmage four times this season and three of those came against teams ranked in the bottom 11 in DVOA. Johnson’s usage in the passing game has been inconsistent (8, 1, 2, 1, and 7 receptions over his last five games) but Atlanta does give up a league-high 7.5 receptions per game to running backs. Add in the fact that the Falcons allow an average of five yards per carry to running backs and we’re feeling confident that we can break out of our David Johnson funk with the Over for his combined yardage total.


    SHADY LIMITED

    Bills running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis on Thursday after he had missed Wednesday’s session. This is a step in the right direction for his Week 15 availability but he appears to be 50-50. His status will have to be monitored over the next two days but if he suits up, we’ll be looking to fade for a few reasons.

    The Bills host the Lions on Sunday, a team that has been very tough against the run of late, posting 83.7 rushing yards to opposing backfields over the last seven games. Then there’s the Josh Allen factor as he has nine or more rushing attempts in the three games since he returned from injury. Finally, there’s the chance of re-injury as McCoy has a soft-tissue injury that could flare up at any time, especially in the cold. Keep an eye on Covers’ Twitter feed for injury updates and look to take the Under on McCoy’s rushing yards total if he is active.


    WASHINGTON HURTING

    Washington’s offense in serious trouble this week. But you already knew this as Josh Johnson starts at quarterback against the Jaguars. Adding to that, we see that its top wide receiver, Josh Doctson, has missed two practices and is unlikely to play because of a concussion, and tight end Jordan Reed, the team leader in receiving yards, is doubtful because of the toe injury he suffered in Week 14 against the Giants. Then there’s Adrian Peterson, who is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry over his last four games while touching the ball just 75 times (12.5 touches per game).

    This is obviously a situation to fade Washington in a game with a total set at just 36, the lowest total in the NFL since 2014. In addition to Washington’s offensive woes, Jacksonville is extremely tough against to score against at home, allowing just 13.5 points per game at TIAA Bank Field. We hit a winner last week by backing the Under for its team total and, even though the market has corrected itself and set it at 13.5 for Week 15, we’re going back to the well and taking the Under for Washington’s team total.


    OBJ ‘AIN’T RIGHT’

    Odell Beckham Jr. told the media that his quad is “much better” and that he considers himself day to day ahead of Sunday’s home tilt against the Titans. When asked specifically what was wrong, however, he said, “I don’t know…(stuff) ain’t right.” OBJ is looking to be a genuine game-time decision for Week 15. If he is able to get out there, we’ll be backing Beckham in a nice matchup against a Titans defense that is ranked 22nd in passing DVOA and 26th in receiving yards allowed per game to wide receivers. Tennessee specifically struggles against the opponent’s top receiver, ranked 30th in DVOA to WR1s in allowing nine passes per game for 81.3 yards. Monitor OBJ’s status and grab the Over on his receiving yards total if he suits up.


    BREIDA BACK AT PRACTICE

    San Francisco running back Matt Breida (ankle) was limited at practice on Thursday for the second day in a row, which could put him on track to play against Seattle in Week 15. While this would be good news for the 49ers, it would be bad news for prop bettors and fantasy owners alike as it would presumably create timeshare between Breida and Jeff Wilson Jr.

    Wilson has been great over the last two games in replace of Breida, posting 47 total touches for 230 yards. That included 15 carries for 61 yards and eight catches for 73 yards just two weeks ago against the Seahawks. Seattle is vulnerable to running backs of late, evidenced by Wilson’s performance two weeks ago and Dalvin Cook’s 83 total yards last week. We see two ways to bet this game. If Breida is out, we’ll be looking to back the Over for Wilson’s combined yards. If Breida plays, we’ll be backing the Under for Breida’s rushing yards total because of the risk of re-injury and the fact that Wilson will likely stay involved.

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    Gridiron Angles - Week 15
    Vince Akins

    NFL PLAY ON ATS TREND:

    -- The Cowboys are 10-0-1 ATS (9.4 ppg) since Dec 09, 2012 on the road coming off a win where they had at least 400 total yards.

    NFL PLAY AGAINST TREND:

    -- The Rams are 0-10 ATS (-12.8 ppg) since Oct 28, 2001 as a home favorite of more than three points coming off a road game with less than 300 total yards.

    TOP NFL PLAYER ATS TREND:

    -- The Buccaneers are 0-8-1 ATS (-5.8 ppg) since Dec 24, 2016 after a loss in which Cameron Brate had a receiving touchdown.

    NFL CHOICE TRENDS:

    -- The Ravens are 9-0 ATS (18.0 ppg) since Sep 21, 2008 as a home favorite off a game as a dog where they had less than 200 passing yards.

    -- The Giants are 9-0 ATS (17.7 ppg) since Sep 25, 2011 coming off a game as a favorite where they allowed no more than 15 first downs.

    TOP NFL PLAYER OU TREND:

    -- The Patriots are 0-8 OU (-10.3 ppg) since Sep 14, 2014 on the road coming off a road game where Tom Brady threw at least 35 passes.

    NFL O/U OVER TREND:

    -- The Texans are 11-0 OU (11.1 ppg) since Nov 14, 2004 coming off a loss in which they had zero turnovers.

    NFL O/U UNDER TREND:

    -- The Patriots are 0-10-1 OU (-10.1 ppg) since Sep 14, 2014 on the road coming off a loss.

    SUPER SYSTEM OF THE WEEK:

    -- Teams playing their final regular season home game which have won at least six of their first seven home games are 96-77-3 ATS. Active on Chicago.

    NFL BIBLE ATS ACTIVE TREND:

    -- The Giants are 0-10 ATS (-15.1 ppg) vs a non-divisional opponent after a win as a road favorite in which they benefitted from a turnover margin of+2 or greater.

    NFL BIBLE O/U ACTIVE TREND:

    -- The Bills are 0-12 OU (-8.9 ppg) off a loss as a home favorite in which they converted at least five third downs.

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    RUNNING WITH WATSON

    Happy Saturday! Usually we don’t get to say this but the NFL on Saturday returns this week so we’ll kick off the day with a prop bet (or two) for today’s action. The first game features the Texans visiting the Jets and we’re seeing something we like with Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson.

    The Jets aren’t an easy matchup, ranked 18th in DVOA and 11th against the pass. There’s also the fact that it’s New York in December and, although it won’t be terribly cold with temperatures in the mid-50s, Watson has been a fair weather or indoor quarterback for all of his career. We do like the idea of Watson doing a bit of running today, however, and that’s one area that the Jets have been vulnerable in, allowing 299 yards on 49 rushes so far this season for an average of 6.1 yards per attempt. Josh Allen ripped the Jets for 9-101-1 on the ground last week and Marcus Mariota went 4-43-0 two weeks ago. While we don’t expect Watson to do what Allen did last week, we think he’ll mimic what Mariota was able to do and we’re taking the Over 30.5 for his rushing yards total.


    BAKER’S BIG DAY?

    Saturday’s second game sees the Browns visit the Broncos and it could be a special night for rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Here’s a fun stat: Since Hue Jackson was fired, Mayfield has the third-best passer rating in the NFL behind only Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes. He has passed for 1,406 passing yards for 9.2 yards per attempt in those five games. Today, he gets a Denver defense that is allowing the 335.8 passing yards since Week 10, which is the most in the league. The Broncos are also going to be without top cornerback Chris Harris, as they were last week when Nick Mullens dropped 332 yards on 10.1 yards per attempt on them. Take the Over 255.5 on Mayfield’s passing yards total.


    NO OBJ FOR NYG

    Odell Beckham Jr. has been officially ruled out against Tennessee on Sunday with a quad issue, marking the second consecutive week he’ll be on the sideline. While this is obviously bad news for the Giants offense as a whole, it could actually be a boost for Saquon Barkley. Last week, in OBJ’s absence, Barkley went off for 197 combined on just 18 touches. He could have had upwards of 250 yards had the Giants not sat him for most of the second half as they nursed a huge lead against Washington.

    Barkley could be the most consistent running back in football at the moment as he has posted 100-plus rushing yards in each of his last four. His matchup isn’t ideal this week as he goes against a Titans defense ranked 17th in overall DVOA, but is proving to be matchup proof, as evidenced by his 146 total yards against Chicago’s top-ranked defense in DVOA two weeks ago. Barkley’s usage should be through the roof in what should be a tight game (TEN -1, O/U 43.5) and we’re looking to get a winner out of Barkley for the second consecutive week by taking the Over for his combined yardage total.


    STAFFORD’S BAD BACK

    Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is listed as questionable with a back issue. He was limited at practice all week but the situation was the same last week and he wound up playing through his injury at Arizona. He’s expected to do the same this week as the Lions visit Buffalo on Sunday.

    Last week, Stafford was obviously not comfortable and wound up throwing for just 101 yards on 23 attempts against Arizona’s 10th-ranked passing defense in DVOA. On Sunday, he faces Buffalo’s ninth-ranked passing defense, using the same metric. Last week, he was in a dome and this week, he gets to deal with temperatures that will hover around the freezing mark. There’s also the fact that Detroit’s offense is completely depleted with Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones Jr. already ruled out. Take the Under for his passing yards total, which should be set around the 230 mark.

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    Top 6 picks for Week 15 of Westgate SuperBook NFL handicapping contest (3,123 entries)

    1) Indianapolis Colts -3 (999)

    2) Tennessee Titans +2.5 (911)

    3) Seattle Seahawks -4.5 (877)

    4) New England Patriots -2.5 (865)

    5) Green Bay Packers +6 (743)

    6) Cleveland Browns +3 (701)

    Season record: 43-38-3

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    Total Talk - Week 15
    Chris David

    Week 14 Recap

    The ‘under’ went 9-7 last week and that record could’ve been better if it wasn’t for some late scoring surges. Bettors on the Ravens-Chiefs ‘under’ had a great chance to win but that was before Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes pulled off a ridiculous fourth down conversion.

    While that was tough to watch for some, the Dallas-Philadelphia outcome was a punch to the stomach for bettors on the low side. The Cowboys led 6-0 at halftime and 9-6 after three quarters before the pair combined for 31 points in the fourth, 28 of those coming in the final 7:36. Dallas wide receiver Amari Cooper has single handily now cashed Cowboy-Over combinations twice this season, the first coming on Thanksgiving.

    We did some ‘over’ tickets get squeezed last week as well. Carolina and Cleveland were knotted 17-17 at halftime and only scored 12 second-half points. Also, the Bengals and Chargers had 29 combined points at halftime and they played to a 9-9 score in the final 30 minutes.

    If you’ve been betting NFL on a regular basis, you’ve seen these decisions before and you’ll definitely see them again. Through 14 weeks, the ‘under’ sits at 108-100 on the season.

    2018 Total Results - Game & Halves
    O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
    Week 14 7-9 7-9 5-11

    O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
    Year-to-Date 100-108 104-104 91-112-5

    2018 Results - Other
    O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
    Week 14 0-2 5-2 0-2 0-2

    O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
    Year-to-Date 27-21 32-37 18-22 10-6

    Line Moves and Public Leans

    Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 15 as of Saturday morning per BookMaker.eu.

    New Orleans at Carolina: 54 to 50 ½
    Philadelphia at L.A. Rams: 54 ½ to 52
    Green Bay at Chicago: 46 ½ to 44 ½
    New England at Pittsburgh: 52 ½ to 54
    Miami at Minnesota: 43 to 44 ½
    Detroit at Buffalo: 38 to 39 ½

    Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 15 per the betting trend percentages as of Saturday morning.

    New England at Pittsburgh: Over 95%
    Arizona at Atlanta: Over 89%
    Green Bay at Chicago: Under 86%
    Oakland at Cincinnati: Over 82%
    Seattle at San Francisco: Under 76%

    Keep an Eye On

    -- There are six non-conference games on tap this weekend and the home team is favored in five of the six matchups. The ‘over’ has gone 27-21 (56%) in these contests this season.

    -- There are only three games listed with totals in the fifties this week and that includes the “Game of the Week” from Western Pennsylvania between the Steelers and Patriots. The ‘under’ is on a 3-1 run in this series and that includes last year’s 27-24 road win by New England. The game (52 ½) should’ve at least gone to overtime but Big Ben tried to do too much late and was picked off in the endzone. The Steelers (34.5 PPG) have proven that they can score at Heinz Field this season and even though the Patriots put up 33 last week at Miami, the club is only averaging 23.3 PPG on the road. As Micah Roberts reported in his weekly Vegas Money Moves piece, bettors are riding New England heavily in this matchup and the ‘over’ is also getting attention. Make a note that the often-wagered Patriots-Over combo has only hit twice this season.

    -- The Coast-to-Coast situation have watched the ‘over’ go 10-6 this season and we’ve got three matchups on tap this weekend – Oakland at Cincinnati, Arizona at Atlanta, Philadelphia at L.A. Rams. Of these games, the Raiders-Bengals ‘over’ (46) might have a shot based on defensive tendencies for both clubs. Plus, it’s a meaningless game for the pair and Oakland has allowed 28 and 34 points in its first two games played in the Eastern Time Zone.

    -- The “Road Total System” is in play this week as New Orleans will be playing its third straight road game at Carolina on Monday. The trend calls for bettors to play the ‘over’ in any game when the visitor is playing their third consecutive road game. Unfortunately, it’s gone 0-2 this season with losers occurring in Week 6 (Ravens) and Week 7 (Rams). Including those results, the ‘over’ sits at 44-25 (64%) over the last 12 seasons with this situation.

    Divisional Matchups

    The ‘over’ rebounded with a 5-2 mark in divisional games last week and the high side is on a 6-2 run when you include Thursday’s result between the Chargers and Chiefs. Including that result, the ‘under’ has gone 37-33 in divisional matchups this season.

    Green Bay at Chicago:
    A lot of early money coming in on the ‘under’ in this game even though this has been an ‘over’ series with eight of the last 10 going to the high side. The pair met in Week 1 and Green Bay stole a 24-23 win over the Bears at home as an injured QB Aaron Rodgers rallied the Packers to 21 points in the fourth quarter. The Chicago defense collapsed in that game but it’s a much-improved unit right now and it’s been great at home (17.6 PPG). On the other side, Green Bay has been a mess defensively (28.8 PPG) on the road but my confidence on the Bears offense isn’t that high. A win for Chicago would clinch the division and eliminate Green Bay from the playoffs, so I’m buying the narrative of a conservative game-plan where QB Mitch Trubisky doesn’t make mistakes.

    Seattle at San Francisco:
    The pair met in Week 13 and Seattle blasted San Francisco 43-16 as the ‘over’ (45) connected easily. The ‘under’ cashed in the two previous meetings and the low side is on a 3-1 run in the last four meetings from San Francisco. The 49ers have allowed 28 and 33 points at home in their first two divisional games and they only averaged 14 points per game, both losses. The Seahawks have averaged 25.3 PPG in away games this season, yet the ‘under’ holds a 4-3 mark.

    Carolina at New Orleans: (See Below)

    Under the Lights

    The ‘under’ went 2-1 in the primetime games last week and it could’ve been 3-0 if Tennessee didn’t explode against Jacksonville. We saw another rough beat this past Thursday as the Chargers rallied past the Chiefs and if Kansas City makes a late stop, that’s another ‘under’ ticket. Including that result, the ‘over’ sits at 23-21 in games played under the lights this season.

    Primetime Total Results (O/U): TNF (10-5), SNF (5-9), MNF (8-7)

    Philadelphia at L.A. Rams:
    Nick Foles is expected to start at QB for the Eagles as Carson Wentz sits with a lingering back issue. Foles started the first two games of the season and he didn’t look like the player that won the Super Bowl last season, with Philadelphia managing just 18 and 21 points. The Rams (32.7 PPG) still own the third best scoring offense in the league but the unit hasn’t looked as sharp lately and they were held to a season-low six points last Sunday at Chicago. This Eagles defense is very banged up and the unit is allowing 448 yards per game on the road, which is ranked 31st in the league. If there was an was an opportunity for the Rams offense to get right, it should happen on SNF. Last season, Philadelphia outlasted Los Angeles 43-35 at the Coliseum and the ‘over’ (47) was never in doubt.

    New Orleans at Carolina:
    This will be the first meeting between the pair this season and they’ll also square off in Week 17 from New Orleans. The ‘over’ is on a 7-1 run in this series and the Saints have had their way with the Panthers, winning three straight and four of the last five while averaging 31.4 PPG during this span. Carolina is a mess right now, losers in five straight games. To be fair, four of the games were on the road and the last four setbacks came by one score. At home, Carolina has averaged 30.8 PPG this season and that’s led to a 5-1 ‘over’ mark. As noted above, the Saints fit the “Road Total System” angle and visitors have averaged 30 PPG in those contests.

    Fearless Predictions

    Unfortunately, last week’s quartet of plays ($190) featured not one but two of the ‘bad beats’ mentioned above last week and that kept us in the red. I actually had a chance to juice out but the teaser collapsed with the Giants-Redskins outburst. Only three weeks left in the regular season and hopefully I can keep the bankroll up ($865) with the final 12 plays of the season. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

    Best Over: Oakland-Cincinnati 46
    Best Under: Detroit-Buffalo 39 ½
    Best Team Total: Over Tampa Bay 19 ½

    Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105)
    Over Arizona-Atlanta 36 ½
    Under Washington-Jacksonville 44
    Over New England-Pittsburgh 46 ½

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    Sunday Blitz - Week 15
    December 15, 2018
    By Kevin Rogers


    GAMES TO WATCH

    Cowboys at Colts (-3, 47 ½) – 1:00 PM EST

    Dallas (8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS) captured control of the NFC East not only by sweeping a three-game homestand, but also threw the knockout punch on defending champion Philadelphia last Sunday. Following wins over the Redskins and Saints, the Cowboys went back and forth with the rival Eagles until Dallas finished off Philadelphia in overtime, 29-23 to cash as 3 ½-point favorites. Amari Cooper hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass from Dak Prescott in overtime to cap off a 10-catch, 217-yard performance along with three touchdowns catches.

    The Colts (7-6 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) rebounded from an ugly performance in a 6-0 setback at Jacksonville in Week 13 to top Houston last Sunday, 24-21 as four-point underdogs. Indianapolis opened things up by scoring 17 second quarter points, while Andrew Luck diced up the Houston defense for 399 yards and two touchdowns. The Colts have won six of the last seven games since a 1-5 start, while finished UNDER the total in four consecutive contests.

    Dallas has won and covered five straight games, while winning two in a row on the road since starting 0-4 away from AT&T Stadium. The Colts started the season at 3-0-1 ATS when laying points, but have failed to cash in their last two opportunities when laying points. Dallas crushed Indianapolis in its last matchup in 2014 in Arlington, 42-7, as the Colts last beat the Cowboys in 2002.

    Best Bet: Colts 27, Cowboys 21

    Dolphins at Vikings (-7 ½, 44 ½) – 1:00 PM EST


    Last season, the Vikings (6-6-1 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) pulled off the Minneapolis Miracle by stunning the Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs with a last-second touchdown. Last Sunday, the Dolphins (7-6 SU, 8-5 ATS) put together the Miami Miracle by perfectly executing a pair of laterals in the final seconds, capped off by a Kenyan Drake touchdown to lift the ‘Fins past the mighty Patriots, 34-33 as 9 ½-point underdogs.

    The Dolphins improved to 6-1 at Hard Rock Stadium, while remaining alive in the AFC Wild Card race. The only problem is Miami needs to fix its road woes, as the Dolphins have lost five of six games away from south Florida, while last winning on the highway in Week 2 against the Jets. Since Ryan Tannehill returned under center for Miami, the Dolphins are 3-0 ATS the last three games, while going 6-2 ATS with their starting quarterback in the lineup this season.

    Minnesota stunk it up at Seattle last Monday in a 21-7 setback as the lone touchdown for the Vikings came late in the fourth quarter. The Vikings are 4-2 at U.S. Bank Stadium, where they have played at only once in the past month in a 24-17 victory over the Packers. Since winning three straight games in October, the Vikings’ offense has been limited to 20 points or less in four of the past six contests.

    Best Bet: Vikings 23, Dolphins 19

    Patriots (-2 ½, 54) at Steelers – 4:25 PM EST


    It’s not normal to see December road meltdowns by New England and Pittsburgh, but they both occurred on the same Sunday. The Patriots (9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS) couldn’t break away from the Dolphins, but led 33-28 in the final seconds. The Dolphins stunned New England with the Miami Miracle on a 69-yard touchdown to hand the Patriots their fourth road loss of the season. New England allowed at least 31 points on the road for the fourth time in 2018, while losing at Miami for the fifth time in six seasons.

    The Steelers (7-5-1 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) were in firm control of the AFC North three weeks ago, but are now in danger of missing the playoffs with a poor finish. Pittsburgh has lost the last three games by seven points or less, including last Sunday’s 24-21 setback at Oakland as hefty 10 ½-point road favorites. Ben Roethlisberger suffered a rib injury, while the Raiders scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute for only their third win of the season. Pittsburgh fell to 3-6-1 ATS in the favorite role, but the Steelers are 3-0 ATS as an underdog.

    These two rivals are meeting for the first time since the infamous catch/no-catch from Steelers’ tight end Jesse James in New England’s 27-24 comeback victory at Heinz Field last December. That rally by the Patriots propelled New England to a home-field advantage in the AFC, while the Steelers eventually got bounced back Jacksonville in the divisional round. The Patriots have owned the Steelers through the years by capturing each of the past five matchups, while winning in three straight visits to Heinz Field.

    Best Bet: Patriots 31, Steelers 24


    SUPERCONTEST PICKS

    Kevin Rogers (1-4 last week, 33-35-2 this season)

    Bengals -3
    Titans +2 ½
    Packers +6
    Falcons -8 ½
    49ers +4 ½

    Chris David (2-3 last week, 45-24-1 this season)
    Bills -2 ½
    Titans +2 ½
    Bears -6
    Falcons -8 ½
    Rams -11

    BEST TOTAL PLAY

    OVER 44 – Cardinals at Falcons


    This is the lowest total the Falcons have seen at home since Week 2 against the Panthers, when Atlanta beat Carolina, 31-24 on a 44 total. Arizona’s offense has not been productive all season long, while scoring 33 points the past three weeks. Atlanta’s defense has been banged-up all season long, while Arizona has hit the OVER in three of five opportunities on the road with totals of 45 or less.

    TRAP OF THE WEEK


    The Seahawks have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL the last two months by winning six of their last eight games. Seattle seeks its fifth consecutive victory as the Seahawks face the 49ers for the second time in three weeks. The Seahawks pounded the Niners at CenturyLink Field in Week 13 as 10-point favorites, 43-16. San Francisco ended a three-game skid in a 20-14 triumph over Denver last Sunday as three-point underdogs to pick up its second consecutive home ‘dog cover. Seattle is listed as a road favorite for the first time since Week 4 at Arizona in a non-cover in a 20-17 win as 3 ½-point chalk.

    BIGGEST LINE MOVE

    The Rams opened as 7 ½-point home favorites against the Eagles at the Westgate Superbook last Sunday. Following the announcement of Carson Wentz’s back injury, Los Angeles has moved up to a 12-point favorite at many sports books. The Eagles are 0-2 SU/ATS in the underdog role, as Nick Foles will look to work his magic from last season’s championship run the rest of the season.

    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW

    The Lions have played their last four games indoors, as Detroit will head to not-so-warm weather in Buffalo on Sunday. Game-time temperature is set for 37 degrees and luckily no snow, but Detroit has won only once this season outdoors and that came at Miami in Week 7. Meanwhile, Buffalo is coming off a pair of four-point losses to the Dolphins and Jets, while seeking a second win against an NFC foe.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL WEATHER ALERT

    Lions at Bills
    A cold drizzle is expected throughout today's game. Temps expected slightly above freezing (34 degrees) with very little wind (2-3 MPH).
    Pointspread: Bills -2.5
    Total: 40


    Bucs at Ravens
    Light rain expected throughout the game with air temps around 40 degrees (wind chill in the low 30's). An 11-12 MPH wind is in the forecast blowing end zone-to-end zone.
    Pointspread: Ravens -8.5
    Total: 46


    Titans at Giants
    Light rain expected throughout the game with air temps around 39-40 degrees (wind chill in the low 30's). An 12-13 MPH wind is in the forecast blowing end zone-to-end zone.
    Pointspread: Titans -1
    Total: 43

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    Bettors backing Patriots' odds for NFL Week 15 battle vs. Steelers
    Patrick Everson

    Antonio Brown and the Steelers are on an ill-timed three-game SU and ATS skid. As such, Pittsburgh is a home underdog to New England in Week 15, and Patriots play has pushed this line up.

    NFL Week 15 Sunday is a bit abbreviated with 12 games, since there were two Saturday matchups this week. Covers checks in on the action and line movement for four of those dozen contests, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

    New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers – Open: +1; Move: +1.5; Move: +2; Move: +2.5; Move: +2

    New England absorbed one of the most unlikely losses of the season in Week 14. Leading 33-28 in the final seconds, the Patriots (9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS) gave up a 69-yard touchdown pass that included two laterals, losing to Miami 34-33 as 9.5-point favorites.

    Pittsburgh was also dealt an upset loss as a hefty Week 14 road favorite. The Steelers (7-5-1 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) let Oakland hang around throughout, allowing a last-minute touchdown in tumbling 24-21 laying 10.5 points for their third consecutive SU and ATS setback.

    “A lot of support for the Patriots this week has pushed this number up from Patriots -1 to -2.5 (-120),” Murray said of this 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff, which saw the line dip to 2 Saturday night. “The tickets are more than 3/1 on the Patriots, and the Steelers are setting up to be our biggest need on Sunday. We also will be rooting for the Under, as the liability is building up on the Over. That’s not a big surprise for such a high-profile game.”

    The SuperBook opened the total at 52 and reached 54 by Saturday morning.


    Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts – Open: -3; Move: None

    Dallas put its season back together by winning and cashing five in a row. In Week 14, the Cowboys (8-5 SU and ATS) had to work overtime against Philadelphia, but came away with a 29-23 victory as 3.5-point home faves.

    Indianapolis is in the midst of a solid second half of the season, as well, going 6-1 SU in its last seven games. The Colts (7-6 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) beat Houston 24-21 as 4-point road underdogs in Week 14.

    The SuperBook stuck at Indy -3 all week, only making adjustments to the juice for this 1 p.m. ET start.

    “The majority of the tickets have come in on the Cowboys, but sharp action has moved the number from Colts -3 (even) to Colts -3 (-120),” Murray said. “This is a tough spot for the Cowboys. They basically locked up the NFC East with their win over the Eagles, and the Colts have been playing very well lately, with the exception of the game in Jacksonville two weeks ago.

    “The Colts need this game to stay in the thick of the competitive AFC South race.”


    Tennessee Titans at New York Giants – Open: -2.5; Move: -3; Move: -1.5; Move: -2; Move: -1.5; Move: -1; Move: Pick; Move: +1

    Tennessee wouldn’t be in the playoffs if the season ended today, but could still possibly land a postseason berth. The Titans (7-6 SU and ATS) followed a two-game skid with two victories, including last week’s 30-9 rout of Jacksonville giving 5.5 points in the Thursday nighter.

    New York is technically not eliminated from playoff contention yet, but would need an unlikely share of help to get there. The Giants (5-8 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) are 4-1 SU and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five outings, blowing out Washington 40-16 as 3-point road favorites in Week 14.

    “There’s been a lot of sharp action on the Titans, moving this line from Titans +2.5 to Titans -1,” Murray said of another 1 p.m. ET meeting. “I’ve said this a few times the last few weeks: If you’re a Giants fan, you should be worried about them winning too many games and talking themselves into another season of Eli. The Giants are better off losing. The Titans are still in the AFC playoff mix.”


    Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams – Open: -7.5; Move: -8; Move: -8.5; Move: -9; Move: -10; Move: -9.5; Move: -10.5; Move: -11; Move: -11.5; Move: -12; Move: -12.5; Move: -13

    Los Angeles had the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed in its hands heading into the Week 14 Sunday nighter, but the offense froze up in frigid Chicago. The Rams (11-2 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) netted just two first-half field goals in a 15-6 setback as 3-point faves.

    Defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia is on the brink of elimination from postseason consideration. In Week 14, the Eagles (6-7 SU, 4-9 ATS) got a late touchdown to force overtime at Dallas, but never saw the ball in the extra frame and lost 29-23 as 3.5-point pups.

    The Eagles will be without quarterback Carson Wentz, who has a back injury, which helped impact the big movement in this contest.

    “We have been staying ahead of the market in this game and have actually taken mostly money on the Eagles, despite the line moving up to -13,” Murray said of the Sunday nighter, an 8:20 p.m. ET kick. “There will be a lot of moneyline parlay and teaser bets closing with the Rams.”

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    Bills missing running backs McCoy and Ivory
    December 16, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    Bills starting running back LeSean McCoy and his backup, Chris Ivory, are both inactive for Buffalo's home game against the Detroit Lions.

    McCoy is out after hurting his left hamstring and Ivory hurt his left shoulder in a 27-23 loss to the New York Jets last weekend. The injuries leave Buffalo with two healthy running backs in rookies Marcus Murphy and Keith Ford, who was promoted from the practice squad this week.

    Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka is active despite nursing a hip injury.

    For the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford will make his 126th consecutive start despite being listed as questionable due to a back injury. Running back Kerryon Johnson will miss his fourth consecutive game with a knee injury.

    Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde is a healthy scratch against Washington, a clear sign his days in Jacksonville are done. The Jags traded a fifth-round pick to Cleveland for Hyde in October. He is due to make $4.75 million in 2019, a salary Jacksonville seems unwilling to pay for a backup.

    Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton is active despite missing all three days of practice this week with an injured ankle.

    In other Week 15 lineup news around the league:

    -Falcons receiver Julio Jones is active after missing practice one day this week with flu-like symptoms. Atlanta is still without running back Devonta Freeman and has the NFL's worst rushing attack. Tight end Austin Hooper is active despite a sore knee he hurt last week at Green Bay.

    -Arizona running back David Johnson is playing despite a sore quadriceps, so Chase Edmonds should get plenty of chances. The Cardinals have placed 16 players on injured reserve this season. Arizona has the league's worst scoring offense and has placed six offensive linemen on IR.

    -The Green Bay Packers will be without right tackle Bryan Bulaga and defensive lineman Kenny Clark for their game against the Chicago Bears. Bulaga is out with a knee injury. Jason Spriggs is expected to replace Bulaga at right tackle for the second straight week. Clark is out with an elbow injury.

    -Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, whose seven interceptions are tied for the league lead, missed his second straight game because of a knee injury. Minkah Fitzpatrick moved into the starting lineup in his place.

    -Giants rookie QB Kyle Lauletta is back to being No. 3 after ugly debut in fourth quarter last week. Alex Tanney the backup to Eli Manning this week.

    -Indy's starting center Ryan Kelly returns to the lineup after missing the previous three games with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Right guard Mark Glowinski was ruled out Friday with an injured ankle and Joe Haeg replaces him in the lineup.

    -Cowboys guard Zack Martin will miss the first game of his five-year career, and his first chance to play in front of his hometown fans, because of a sprained MCL in his left knee. He will be replaced by Connor Williams and Xavier Su'a Filo replaces Williams at left guard.

    -With Ravens QB Joe Flacco off the inactive list for the first time since Nov. 18, Robert Griffin III will be inactive for Baltimore.

    -The Buccaneers will be without WR DeSean Jackson (thumb), who ranks third on the team with 40 catches and has scored 5 TDs.

    -Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is inactive for the second straight game with a concussion.

    -The Raiders are missing left tackle Kelechi Osemele, sidelined for the second straight game with a toe injury. Right tackle Gabe Jackson is playing despite an elbow injury.

    ---

    Here's the full list of inactives for the eary-afternoon games:


    TENNESSEE-NEW YORK GIANTS


    Titans: OLB Brian Orakpo, RB David Fluellen, TE Cole Wick, G Aaron Stinnie, OL Austin Pasztor, DE Matt Dickerson, RB Jeremy McNichols.

    Giants: QB Kyle Lauletta, WR Odell Beckham Jr., DB Tony Lippett, S Kamrin Moore, C Evan Brown, TE Garrett Dickerson and DT John Jenkins.

    GREEN BAY-CHICAGO

    Packers: QB Tim Boyle, CB Natrell Jamerson, G Nico Siragusa, T Bryan Bulaga, G/T Adam Pankey, LB Kendall Donnerson, DL Kenny Clark.

    Bears: QB Tyler Bray, WR Kevin White, FB Michael Burton, LB Kylie Fitts, OL Rashaad Coward, WR Javon Wims, DT Nick Williams.

    DETROIT-BUFFALO

    Lions: RB Kerryon Johnson (knee), WR Bruce Ellington (hamstring), DE Da'Shawn Hand (knee), OT Rick Wagner (concussion), S Charles Washington (hamstring), CB Marcus Cooper (back), FB Nick Bellore (ankle).

    Bills: RBs LeSean McCoy (left hamstring) and Chris Ivory (left shoulder), S Dean Marlow, CB Ryan Lewis (concussion), OL Vladimir Ducasse, TE Logan Thomas (hamstring), QB Derek Anderson.

    TAMPA BAY-BALTIMORE

    Buccaneers: S Justin Evans (toe), WR DeSean Jackson (thumb), QB Ryan Griffin, CB David Rivers, LB Adarius Taylor, DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, TE Tanner Hudson.

    Ravens: OL Alex Lewis (shoulder), QB Robert Griffin III, WR Jordan Lasley, LB Tim Williams, RB Ty Montgomery, FB/DL Patrick Ricard, OL Zach Sieler.

    ARIZONA-ATLANTA

    Cardinals: WR Chad Williams, CB Quinten Rollins, CB Dontae Johnson, LB Jonathan Anderson, DE Vontarrius Dora, LT Zack Golditch, TE Darrell Daniels.

    Falcons: K Giorgio Tavecchio, FB Ricky Ortiz, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, S Ryan Neal, RT Matt Gono, DT Justin Zimmer, DT Terrell McClain.

    OAKLAND-CINCINNATI

    Raiders: DE Kony Ealy, G Gabe Jackson, WR Keon Hatcher, CB Montrel Meander, OT Justin Murray, OL Kelechi Osemele, LB Kyle Wilber.

    Bengals: CB KeiVarae Russell, CB Davontae Harris, LB Vontaze Burfict, OT Cedric Ogbuehi, WR Josh Malone, TE Jordan Franks, DE Kasim Edebali.

    DALLAS-INDIANAPOLIS

    Cowboys: QB Mike White, WR Tavon Austin, LB Chris Covington, G Zack Martin, TE Geoff Swaim, DT David Irving, DE Taco Charlton.

    Colts: C Josh Andrews, WR Daurice Fountain, G Mark Glowinski, S Mike Mitchell, LB Skai Moore, DT Hassan Ridgeway, RB Jonathan Williams.

    MIAMI-MINNESOTA

    Dolphins: QB David Fales, CB Xavien Howard, C/G Hroniss Grasu, G Isaac Asiata, T Zach Sterup, DE Jonathan Woodard, WR Isaiah Ford.

    Vikings: QB Kyle Sloter, WR Chad Beebe, RB Mike Boone, LB Devante Downs, C Brett Jones, DE Tashawn Bower.

    WASHINGTON-JACKSONVILLE

    Redskins: QB Colt McCoy, RB Samaje Perine, CB Greg Stroman, LB Ryan Anderson, OL Kyle Fuller, OL Tony Bergstrom, TE Jordan Reed.

    Jaguars: WR DJ Chark, RT Jermey Parnell, PK Josh Lambo, LB Martrell Spaight, RB Carlos Hyde, CB Tyler Patmon, DT Eli Ankou.

    ---
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  14. #29
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    MNF - Saints at Panthers
    Kevin Rogers

    LAST WEEK

    The Saints (11-2 SU, 10-3 ATS) rebounded from a loss in Week 13 at Dallas that snapped a 10-game winning streak to knock off the Buccaneers, 28-14 to cash as 10-point road favorites. Not only did New Orleans avenge a season-opening loss to Tampa Bay in which it allowed 48 points, but the Saints shut out the Buccaneers in the second half, 25-0 to overcome a 14-3 halftime deficit.

    Drew Brees spearheaded the rally behind a touchdown pass and a touchdown run, while the Saints’ defense limited the Bucs to under 300 yards after allowing 529 yards in the first matchup in Week 1. The Saints gave up 17 points or less for the fifth consecutive week, while Brees busted the 200-yard passing mark (barely with 201) for the first time in three games. With the victory, the Saints improved to 6-1 SU/ATS away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

    The Panthers (6-7 SU, 5-8 ATS) have gone through a free-fall at the absolute worst time. Carolina suffered its fifth consecutive loss in last Sunday’s 26-20 setback at Cleveland as short favorites. The schedule-makers weren’t kind to Carolina, who was playing its fourth road game in five weeks, but the Panthers couldn’t hold onto a pair of touchdown leads in the first half as well as a three-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

    Cam Newton failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 1 against Dallas, as the Panthers’ quarterback totaled 265 yards through the air and an interception. The Panthers trailed by six in the final minutes and reached the three-yard line, but Carolina came up short on three plays to take the lead, including a pair of incomplete passes by Newton. Carolina was limited to 21 points or fewer for the fourth time during this skid, as the Panthers topped the 31-point mark in four of six wins this season.

    ROAD IS WHERE THE HEART IS

    It’s well-known how much of a home-field advantage the Saints own, but the road numbers for New Orleans are staggering. Sean Payton’s squad has won six of seven on the highway, including an impressive 4-1 SU/ATS mark in the road favorite role. It’s been a nice bounce-back for New Orleans, who closed out last season with four straight away defeats and a 1-3 ATS record. The UNDER has cashed in five of seven road games, while allowing 20 points or less five times.

    BACK TO THE BANK

    Carolina hasn’t been able to put things together on the road at 1-6 this season. But, the Panthers are a different team (like everyone else) playing at home as Ron Rivera’s team owns a 5-1 mark at Bank of America Stadium. The lone home defeat came in their last home appearance back in Week 12 against Seattle in a 30-27 setback in the final seconds. Prior to that loss, Carolina strung together a 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS mark in Charlotte, which included four games that eclipsed the OVER.

    TOTAL TALK

    The Saints are currently on a four-game UNDER streak, as New Orleans is seeing a total below 50 for the first time since Week 7 at Baltimore (49). The Panthers have finished UNDER the total three times in the last four contests, but have gone OVER the total in five straight home games.

    TRIPLE REVENGE

    Not only does Carolina want to end its drought, but the Panthers look to avenge three losses to their division rivals from last season. New Orleans dominated Carolina at Bank of America Stadium, 34-13 as five-point underdogs, highlighted by three interceptions of Newton. The Saints took care of the Panthers at the Superdome in early December, 31-21 to cash as six-point favorites for the season sweep.

    What about the third matchup? The two teams hooked up in the Big Easy for an NFC Wild Card showdown that looked to be a blowout as New Orleans led Carolina, 21-6. The Panthers crept back to make it 24-19 as 6 ½-point underdogs, but Alvin Kamara’s two-yard touchdown run with five minutes remaining gave the Saints back a 12-point advantage. However, the Panthers marched right down the field and Christian McCaffrey capped off the drive with a 56-yard touchdown reception from Newton to pick up the cover in a 31-26 defeat.

    The Saints are favored at Carolina for the first time since 2014 when New Orleans pulled off a 28-10 rout as three-point chalk. New Orleans has covered in each of its past four visits to Bank of America Stadium, while the two teams have split those matchups.

    MONDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

    New Orleans is making its second appearance on Monday night football this season, as the Saints routed the Redskins, 43-19 in Week 5 at home. However, the Saints own a 2-4 record in their last six Monday night contests since 2014 with the last road win coming at Chicago in December 2014 as a short favorite. The Panthers have won three of their last four Monday night games since 2015, while making their first appearance in 2018.

    GAME PROPS – Courtesy of Las Vegas Westgate Superbook

    Total Gross Passing Yards – Drew Brees
    OVER 259 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 259 ½ (-110)

    Total Touchdown Passes – Drew Brees
    OVER 2 (-130)
    UNDER 2 (+110)

    Will Michael Thomas score a touchdown?
    YES +105
    NO -125

    Total Completions – Cam Newton
    OVER 23 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 23 (-110)

    Total Touchdown Passes – Cam Newton
    OVER 1 ½ (-130)
    UNDER 1 ½ (+110)

    Total Rushing + Receiving Yards – Christian McCaffrey
    OVER 112 ½ (-110)
    UNDER 112 ½ (-110)

    LINE MOVEMENT

    The Saints opened up as 6 ½-point road favorites at the Westgate Superbook, but that line has slightly dropped to 6 at many sports books. The total opened at 52, but has quickly fallen to 49 ½ at many locales, as this is the second-highest total Carolina has seen at home this season (55 ½ vs. Tampa Bay in Week 9).

  15. #30
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    Early bettors like Saints' odds for key NFL Week 16 battle vs. Steelers
    Patrick Everson

    Stevan Ridley and Pittsburgh got a much-needed win over New England in Week 15. But the Steelers opened as 6.5-point Week 16 'dogs at New Orleans, with the Saints snaring some early money.

    The NFL season is down to its final two weeks, with plenty of teams still playing meaningful games. We check in on the opening lines and early action for a quartet of Week 16 contests, with insights from John Murray, director of The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

    Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints (-6.5)

    After a three-game SU and ATS slide, Pittsburgh needed to right the ship in Week 15 and did so as a home underdog. The Steelers (8-5-1 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) were catching 2.5 points against New England and won outright 17-10.

    Thanks to the Rams’ stunning home loss to the Eagles in the Sunday nighter, New Orleans now stands alone atop the NFC, although it still has Week 15 work to do in the Monday nighter at Carolina. The Saints (11-2 SU, 10-3 ATS) own the best pointspread record in the league.

    “The Steelers had to beat the Patriots with this trip to New Orleans looming, and they got it done,” Murray said. “They face an uphill battle in terms of getting a bye and are clinging to the division lead. The Saints need a win too, as they are vying for home-field advantage in the NFC. This will be the most heavily bet game of the week, other than the Sunday night game (Chiefs-Seahawks).”

    Murray said some early money came in on the Saints, but nothing sharp, and the line was still at New Orleans -6.5 late Sunday night.

    Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers (-5)

    Los Angeles is in the prime-time spotlight for a second straight week, this time on Saturday, after a surprising comeback victory in the Week 15 Thursday nighter. The Chargers (11-3 SU, 8-6 ATS) rallied from a 28-14 fourth-quarter deficit, scoring a touchdown in the waning seconds, then getting a successful 2-point conversion to win 29-28.

    Baltimore won four of its last five to gain ground on Pittsburgh and make things interesting in the AFC North. In Week 15, the Ravens (8-6 SU, 7-7 ATS) topped Tampa Bay 20-12, falling just short of cashing as 8.5-point home favorites.

    “Both teams are in the thick of the AFC playoff race,” Murray said. “The Chargers are coming off a great win at Kansas City and can still secure home-field advantage in the AFC Playoffs. This is exactly the kind of game the Chargers have historically lost with Philip Rivers at quarterback.”

    Although this line dipped to Chargers -4.5 shortly after opening, Murray said The SuperBook was moving with the market, not on money.

    Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks (+2.5)

    Kansas City is still the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but could’ve been in much better position if it hadn’t blown a 14-point fourth quarter lead Thursday night. The Chiefs (11-3 SU, 8-5-1 ATS) took a 28-14 lead with 8:15 remaining against the Los Angeles Chargers, then gave up two TDs. The second of those, with four seconds remaining, was followed by a 2-point conversion and K.C. fell 29-28 as 3.5-point home chalk.

    Seattle was certainly trending in the right direction in making a late playoff push, but stubbed its toe in Week 15. The Seahawks (8-6 SU, 8-4-2 ATS) were 3.5-point favorites at San Francisco, but lost outright 26-23 in overtime.

    As noted above, Murray expects this Sunday night clash to be the biggest-bet game of the week.

    “We opened the Chiefs -2.5, and I won’t be surprised to see this line go up during the week, especially if the Chargers beat the Ravens on Saturday night,” Murray said. “The pressure will be on the Chiefs to hold serve in the AFC West race. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are likely the No. 5 5 seed in the NFC, even with their loss today to the 49ers.”

    Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans (-10)

    Despite working with its fourth starting quarterback this season in Josh Johnson, Washington is currently just a game out of the NFC playoff picture. The Redskins (7-7 SU, 8-6 ATS) rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Jacksonville 16-13 as 7.5-point road pups in Week 15.

    Tennessee is still in the postseason hunt, too, though like Washington is on the outside looking in. The Titans (8-6 SU and ATS) blanked the New York Giants 17-0 laying 2.5 points on the road in Week 15.

    “We saw money come in right away on the Titans -10, and I cans see why,” Murray said, though he added it wasn’t enough to move off the opening number. “It’s hard to picture the Redskins’ offense with Josh Johnson at QB putting up points on the road against the Titans. Both teams are technically still in the playoff race. Expect a lot of moneyline parlays to start with Tennessee this week.”
    Last edited by Udog; 12-17-2018 at 10:34 AM.

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