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Old 12-08-2019, 05:38 PM
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NFL Week 14 betting cheat sheet: Impact injuries, weather and Pros vs Joes
Patrick Everson

Atlanta wideout Julio Jones returns to the lineup for Sunday's home game against Carolina. Oddsmakers at The SuperBook peg Jones as worth a half-point to the line, and the Falcons are laying 3.5.

NFL Week 14 doesn’t have much in the way of major injury news, but there are certainly other elements – including the elements themselves – impacting the numbers. We check in on everything from injury updates to weather to Pros vs. Joes clashes and more, with insights from Eric Osterman, manager at The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

Injury Impact

ATLANTA FALCONS: Julio Jones (shoulder) missed the Thanksgiving Day home loss to the Saints, but he’ll be back Sunday at home for a division battle against the Panthers. Also back is Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (knee), after a three-game absence. “Jones is worth a half-point, nothing for Hooper,” Osterman said. Atlanta is a 3.5-point favorite, after opening -2, and the total is 47.

CAROLINA PANTHERS: Tight end Greg Olsen (concussion) is out, but Osterman said there was no adjustment on that info for Carolina’s tilt at Atlanta. The Panthers are 3.5-point underdogs.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Here’s how far Adam Vinatieri’s stock has dropped: the place-kicker is out Sunday at Tampa Bay due to a knee injury, and Osterman said The SuperBook made no line adjustment on that information. T.Y. Hilton (calf) is also out for Indy. “He’s worth a half-point.” The Colts are 3.5-point underdogs.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Wideout JuJu-Smith Schuster (knee) and running back James Conner (shoulder) are again out, as the Steelers travel to Arizona. “Schuster and Conner are worth a half-point combined.” Pittsburgh is a 2.5-point pup.

OAKLAND RAIDERS: Running back Josh Jacobs (shoulder) is questionable for a home game against Tennessee. “Jacobs might be worth a half-point. The Raiders are so banged up that it’s hard to tell how much he affects this particular game.” Oakland is a 2.5-point home ‘dog.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Wideout Adam Thielen (hamstring) is doubtful, but seeing as he’s been out a month now, Osterman said that was already factored in. The Vikings are still 13-point home favorites over Detroit.

NEW YORK JETS: Running back Le’Veon Bell (illness) is questionable, but that didn’t change any thinking at The SuperBook for the Jets’ home game against Miami. New York is laying 5.5.

Weather Watch

WASHINGTON AT GREEN BAY: It’ll be cloudy and cool, with temperatures in the 30s throughout, along with winds in the mid-teens. “The total has come down a half-point due to the wind, not so much the temperature.” The total is at 42.5.

BALTIMORE AT BUFFALO: It’ll be cloudy, with winds approaching 20 mph at New Era Field. “This game has come down a half-point due to forecasted wind.” The total is 44.

CINCINNATI AT CLEVELAND: Winds of 20 mph are expected for this AFC North contest. “The total has come down 1.5 points, some of that due to wind, and some due to the possibility of Baker Mayfield being limited with his injury.” Mayfield has a hand injury, but he wasn’t listed on the Browns’ injury report. The total is 41.5.

KANSAS CITY AT NEW ENGLAND: It’s a 4:25 p.m. ET kick, and evening temperatures will be in the low 30s, but Osterman said that’s had no impact on the game. The total is 49.5.

Pros vs. Joes

BALTIMORE AT BUFFALO: “Pros were on the Bills early, and since then, we’ve had a steady flow of Ravens parlay bets.” Baltimore is laying 6 points.

KANSAS CITY AT NEW ENGLAND: “Joes have been backing the Chiefs, and we’ve had some sharp money on the Patriots.” The Patriots opened -3, briefly went to -2.5 early in the week and reached -3.5 Friday morning.

PITTSBURGH AT ARIZONA: “Pros have backed the Cardinals a little bit, but we’re getting mostly Steelers money on parlays and straight bets.” Pittsburgh is -2.5.
Reverse Line Moves

WASHINGTON AT GREEN BAY: “The line opened Packers -14, and we we’re down to -12.5. The money, however, is coming in on the Packers from the public.” That led to an uptick to -13 Friday afternoon.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:38 PM
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by: Josh Inglis


Yesterday, we wrote about the lack of receiving options the Indianapolis Colts have ahead of their tasty matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ No. 19 DVOA pass defense. With T.Y. officially out, that leaves Zach Pascal and Paris Campbell as the No. 1 and No. 2 WRs for Jacoby Brissett.

The Bucs have the league’s best run defense which will force the Colts to move the ball through the air, whether they prefer to or not. Luckily for Indy, Tampa Bay also has one of the worst secondaries in the league. Bruce Arians’ defense is giving up 83.7 yards a game to opposing WR1s and 72.4 yards to WR2s. That makes Pascal, the team’s leading receiving, a strong play for Sunday especially coming off a seven-catch 109-yard performance last week.

We are riding the Over on Pascal’s receiving total of 46.5 yards.


The Cleveland Browns are still trying to make something of the season as they are winners of three of their last four but still sit in third place in the AFC North at 5-7. One thing they have been better at than 29 other teams of late, is to score in the first half. Over the last three weeks, Cleveland has been putting up 17.3 points as well as allowing just 4.3 in the first half since Week 11 and they'll hope to keep that going this week against the rival Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals have been getting beat up all year but even more so in the first half. In the seven games versus Top-20 offenses, Cincy has been outscored 124-60 in the first thirty minutes and hasn’t covered a first-half spread of +4 or greater in six of those seven games.

We are taking the Browns on the first-half spread at -4.


L.A. Rams receiver Robert Woods has been turning heads of late. The 27-year-old WR has hit the 95-yard mark in three straight games as he has seen 38 targets and has accumulated 364 yards over that stretch. Considering the Rams have only thrown the ball 100 times since Week 11, Woods owns 38 percent of the team’s target share and a whopping 46 percent of its total air yards.

The Seattle Seahawks will have their hands full with Woods, Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks and Tyler Higbee meaning Woods’ could find the vulnerable deep areas in Seattle’s Cover 3 zone defense as well as the open passes in the flats. Jared Goff passed for 396 yards against the Seahawks in Week 6 where Woods saw nine targets that he turned into five catches and 48 yards — numbers he can improve on this week.

Take the Over on Woods’ receiving total of 68.5 yards.


Sticking with first-half plays, the New Orleans Saints will host the San Francisco 49ers in a game that has major home-field playoff implications. Both these teams sit Top-5 in first-half points scored in the last three weeks with the Saints and 49ers combining for 33.7 first-half points.

Since November, these two clubs are a combined 6-2 O/U on first-half totals of 22 points or less and this week both these offenses get to play in the warm and quick confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. We are getting behind the first-half Over 22.


Patrick Mahomes has looked like his old self as the 2018 MVP has rushed for 84 yards and a TD in his last two games. Up next is New England’s No. 1 defense. If the KC QB can’t find his receivers against the No. 2 passing defense, Mahomes may have to improvise which one would think could lead to some QB rushing yards, but the Pats defense has also stuffed that this year.

Lamar Jackson ran for 3.6 yards per carry which is 3.4 yards lower than his average. Dak Prescott couldn’t gain any yardage on the ground either and most recently Deshaun Watson managed negative yards on four carries against New England.

Mahomes could still use his legs to help the team in the form of the more profitable QB rushing TD. Jackson did rush for two scores while Josh Allen also ran one in back in Week 4. With RB Damien Williams out, Andy Reid may have to get creative in the red zone which could possibly increase Mahomes rushing TD probability.

Sprinkle a little cheddar on a Mahomes’ rushing TD for a juicy return.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:39 PM
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Gridiron Angles - Week 14
Vince Akins

-- The Saints are 12-0 ATS (9.17 ppg) since Dec 26, 2004 coming off a road game where they gained no more than 15 first downs.

-- The Dolphins are 0-12 ATS (-12.33 ppg) since Nov 09, 2014 coming off a game with at least 300 passing yards.

-- The Patriots are 9-0 ATS (7.11 ppg) since Dec 12, 2016 coming off a game where Julian Edelman had at least 100 receiving yards.

-- PLAY AGAINST: Teams which committed over 100 penalty yards for two straight games are 18-31-3 ATS. Active against Jacksonville and New Orleans.

-- The Colts are 0-11 OU (-10.32 ppg) since Dec 22, 2013 as a dog coming off a game where they allowed less than 200 passing yards.

-- The Redskins are 11-0-2 OU (10.12 ppg) since Nov 29, 2009 as a road dog when they covered by at least seven points last game.

-- The Chargers are 12-0 ATS (+7.33 ppg) on the road when they lost their last two road games.

-- The Jaguars are 0-8 ATS since 2011 hosting AFC West teams.
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Sunday Blitz - Week 14
Kevin Rogers


Ravens (-6, 44) at Bills – 1:00 PM EST
This matchup has plenty of ramifications for seeding in the AFC playoffs as the winner holds a crucial tiebreaker advantage. Baltimore (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) looks like a runaway train by winning eight consecutive games, while handing San Francisco its second loss of the season in last Sunday’s 20-17 home victory. The Ravens had their five-game ATS hot streak snapped as they failed to cash as 5 -point favorites, but Baltimore has excelled on the road this season with a 5-1 mark away from M&T Bank Stadium.

The Bills (9-3 SU, 8-3-1 ATS) are the top Wild Card team in the AFC entering Week 14, while surprisingly sitting one game back of the Patriots for first place in the AFC East. Buffalo dominated Dallas on Thanksgiving day, 26-15 as 6 -point road underdogs to improve to 4-1 SU and 4-0-1 ATS in the ‘dog role this season. Since losing at Cleveland four weeks ago, the Bills are riding a three-game winning streak, while hitting the UNDER in four of the past five contests.

These teams hooked up in the 2018 season opener in Baltimore as the Ravens destroyed the Bills, 47-3 as 7 -point favorites. MVP candidate Lamar Jackson did not start at quarterback in that blowout for Baltimore, as the Ravens have won seven of his career nine road starts with the two losses coming at Kansas City.

Best Bet: Ravens 20, Bills 17

49ers at Saints (-2, 44 ) – 1:00 PM EST
Home-field advantage isn’t necessarily on the line at the Superdome on Sunday, but the winner is in an excellent position to own the top NFC seed. San Francisco (10-2 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) is fresh off its first road loss of the season in a 20-17 setback at Baltimore. In spite of the loss, the Niners improved to 4-0 ATS in the role of an away underdog, while facing its third straight opponent that currently owns a record of 9-3 or better. San Francisco has cashed the UNDER in four of six road contests, while yielding 20 points or fewer five times.

The Saints (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) wrapped up their third consecutive NFC South title by knocking off the Falcons on Thanksgiving night, 26-18 as seven-point road favorites. New Orleans moved to 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS as a single-digit favorite, while the Saints are 8-2 ATS since failing to cover in the first two games of the season. The Saints have topped the 30-point mark in four of six home contests, as Sean Payton’s team has compiled an 11-2 record in the past 13 regular season games in the Big Easy.

The Niners, Saints, and Seahawks all enter Sunday at 10-2 apiece as New Orleans owns the tiebreaker over Seattle. San Francisco still faces Seattle on the road for a second time in Week 17 after losing at home to the Seahawks last month. The Saints defeated the Niners, 41-23 in Santa Clara in 2016, while San Francisco is making its first trip to the Superdome since beating New Orleans in overtime back in 2014.

Best Bet: 49ers 23, Saints 19

Chiefs at Patriots (-3, 49 ) – 4:25 PM EST
The much-anticipated rematch of the epic AFC championship game from last January between Kansas City and New England takes place on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS) outlasted the Chiefs in overtime, 37-31 as three-point road underdogs to capture their third consecutive AFC title, while also pulling off the season sweep of Kansas City. New England grabbed the regular season matchup in Foxborough, 43-40, but the Chiefs cashed as slim 3 -point underdogs.

The stakes are high for the Patriots this time around, as they are tied with the Ravens for the top spot in the AFC playoffs, although New England loses the head-to-head tiebreaker with Baltimore. Bill Belichick’s team is coming off their second bad Sunday night road loss in less than a month in last Sunday’s 28-22 setback at Houston as three-point favorites. Tom Brady threw two late touchdown passes, but the Pats dug themselves a 28-9 hole that was nearly impossible to get out of.

The Chiefs (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) likely won’t possess home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but picked up some major breathing room for the top spot in the AFC West. Kansas City blasted Oakland last Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, 40-9 to easily cash as 11-point favorites, while owning a two-game edge over the Raiders with four contests remaining. Patrick Mahomes has failed to pass for more than 182 yards in each of the last two games for Kansas City, but the Chiefs enter Foxborough with a 5-1 record this season on the road.

Best Bet: Patriots 31, Chiefs 24

UNDER 47 – Seahawks at Rams

Seattle outlasted Los Angeles, 30-29 in the first meeting earlier this season to eclipse the OVER of 49. The total dropped two points for this matchup at the L.A. Coliseum as the Rams’ defense has been sharp of late by allowing 17 points or less in five of the past six games. The Seahawks have given up 10, 20, and 24 points after yielding 30 points in the previous contest this season. The last four meetings between these NFC West have finished OVER the total, but the Rams have scored 17 and 6 points in two primetime home games this season.


When the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas released early lines for Week 14 on November 26, the Browns were listed as 10 -point home favorites over the Bengals. Adjustments were made following Cleveland’s loss at Pittsburgh and Cincinnati grabbing its first win of the season last week as the Browns are currently a seven-point favorite. These Ohio rivals are meeting for the first time in 2019 as Cleveland swept the series last season, but the Bengals are 7-1 ATS in the past eight matchups.


The Cardinals were blown out by the Rams at home last week, as Arizona welcomes in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are feeling good about themselves after rallying past the rival Browns last week to improve to 7-5 and being in line for a Wild Card berth. Arizona has lost five straight games, while Pittsburgh is 6-1 the last seven contests. However, the Cardinals feature the better quarterback in Kyler Murray as opposed to Pittsburgh’s Devlin Hodges, who is making only his third career start. Arizona is a 1 -point underdog, as the Cardinals are 3-2 ATS in the role of a home ‘dog.


The Jaguars don’t save their best football for December. It’s not like Jacksonville fared well in November this season, but the Jags are 2-5 SU/ATS in their last seven December contests since 2017. In those seven games, Jacksonville has been limited to 17 points or fewer each time, while hitting the UNDER six times. The Jags host the stumbling Chargers on Sunday as three-point underdogs, as the total sits at 43.
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Total Talk - Week 14
Joe Williams

We're into our first weekend of December and Week 14 of the National Football League regular season. We have just four more weeks of NFL action before the playoffs begin. The Thursday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys-Chicago Bears saw the 'over' connect, a rarity for TNF.

2019 Total Results - Game & Halves

Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 13 8-8 9-7 6-10
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 92-99-1 90-101-1 83-104-5

The 'over' and 'under' ended up 8-8 during the Thanksgiving week, with the 'over' connecting in two of the three primetime games, and the 'under' going 2-1 in the Thursday action. The public loves 'over' results, and there were plenty, though.

Savvy bettors playing the halves watched the 'over' go 9-7 in the first-half but the scoring slowed down in the final 30 minutes and that helped the 'under' go 10-6 in the second-half. On the season, the low side has trended ahead in both the first-half (101-90-1) and second-half (104-83-5).

Division Bell

In the seven divisional battles in Week 13, the slight edge went to the 'under' - including NFC South battle between the New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving night. The under is now 36-31 (53.7%) in divisional games this season.

Divisional Game Results Week 13

Chicago at Detroit (Thu.) Over (37) Chicago 24, Detroit 20
New Orleans at Atlanta (Thu.) Under (48) New Orleans 26, Atlanta 18
Tennessee at Indianapolis Over (42) Tennessee 31, Indianapolis 17
Cleveland at Pittsburgh Under (40) Pittsburgh 20, Cleveland 13
L.A. Rams at Arizona Under (47.5) L.A. Rams 34, Arizona 7
Oakland at Kansas City Under (49.5) Kansas City 40, Oakland 9
L.A. Chargers at Denver Over (38.5) Denver 23, L.A. Chargers 20

Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 14 based off our VI Odds as of Saturday morning.

Indianapolis at Tampa Bay: 50 to 47
Denver at Houston: 40 to 42
Miami at N.Y. Jets: 44 to 46
Pittsburgh at Arizona: 45 to 43
Kansas City at New England: 50 to 49
L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville: 44 to 43

Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 14 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

Washington at Green Bay: Over 88%
Miami at N.Y. Jets: Over 87%
Baltimore at Buffalo: Over 83%
Denver at Houston: Over 83%
L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville: Under 79%
Carolina at Atlanta: Under 78%

There is also a heavy lean on for the 'over' (75 percent) in the Cincinnati at Cleveland matchup, and heavy lean on the 'under' in San Francisco at New Orleans (68 percent) contest.

Handicapping Week 14

Week 13 Total Results
Matchups Over/Under Year to Date
Divisional 3-4 29-34
NFC vs. NFC 2-0 20-21
AFC vs. AFC 1-1 17-17-1
AFC vs. NFC 1-3 26-26

Week 14 Action

Baltimore at Buffalo: It will be offense vs. defense when the Ravens invade Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park on Sunday. We only need to look back at last Sunday to see how well that worked out, as Baltimore MVP candidate quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens won 20-17 over the defensive-minded 49ers. This one will be on the road in Buffalo, and the Bills have four 'under' results in six home game sthis season, while posting a 4-1 under mark across the past five overall. They have allowed just 12 total points in their past two home games, but that was against the Broncos and Redskins. Obviously Jackson and the Ravens provide a much bigger challenge. Baltimore had posted 30 or more points in five straight games until their 20-point showing last week against the Niners. The Ravens have averaged 44.6 PPG in four games this season as road favorites and the over has produced a 4-0 record in those contests.

San Francisco at New Orleans: Speaking of the Niners, they'll renew acquaintances with QB Drew Brees and the Saints down in the Big Easy. The 49ers hit the 'under' in last week's road game, and the under is now 4-2 across the past six away from home, including 3-1 in the past four. While their defense hasn't been as dominant as earlier in the season, allowing 106 total points - or 21.2 PPG - across the past five games, they still showed how much they can dominate in a battle against the Packers Nov. 24, allowing just eight points. The under is 3-1 in four games east of the Mississippi River this season, and this will be their fifth and final game in such situation. Even though New Orleans has been a great over bet at home historically, the club has watched its total results produce a stalemate (3-3) through six games at the Superdome this season.

Cincinnati at Cleveland: The Bengals and Browns will battle twice in the final four weeks of the season. Last season the Browns swept the series with the 'over' going 1-0-1. However, the 'under' is 4-0-1 in the past five meetings at FirstEnergy Stadium. In the past nine meetings, the winning team has managed 30.4 points while the losing side has posted 12.4 points, and the 'under' is 5-3-1 during that span. The under is 3-1 across Cleveland's past four outings, and the offense has managed just 21 or fewer points in five of the past six, and eight of their 12 outings overall. The Bengals posted 22 points last week in their win over the Jets, their first time with more than 17 points since Oct. 6. The 'under' has hit in three in a row for the Bengals, and is 6-0 in six road games this season, while going 8-3-1 in 12 games overall.

Carolina at Atlanta: The Panthers and Falcons just met on Nov. 17, and Atlanta came away with a 29-3 road victory as the 'under' hit. That's one of five under results in the past six for the Falcons. They have also hit the under in five of their six games this season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 17.6 PPG in six home dates. As far as the Panthers are concerned, they're in freefall, and this will be their first game without fired head coach Ron Rivera. We'll see if the coaching regime change sparks more in the way of offense. The Panthers are averaging just 17.8 PPG over the past four outings. Defense has been another issue, as they cannot stop anyone. They have allowed 20 or more points in eight straight games, and 11 of 12 games overall. As such, the over is 6-2 across the past eight outings, although one of those unders was, of course, the battle with the Falcs.

Miami at N.Y. Jets: It's a rematch of their Nov. 3 battle, and the Dolphins look for another win over their rivals. Miami won 26-18 in the first meeting at Hard Rock Stadium, an 'over' result. The over has actually hit in three straight for Miami, as their offense has come alive with totals of 20, 34 and 37 while defensively they're still poor, yielding 37, 41 and 31. The Jets were humming along with three straight 34-point performances on offense until they stumbled in Cincinnati of all places, falling 22-6. The under is 7-2 in the past nine meetings at MetLife Stadium between these AFC East rivals.

Indianapolis at Tampa Bay: The Colts have been very banged up, but they'll likely get RB Marlon Mack (hand) back this week. The offense has been a little listless over the past two, going for 17 points in each outing, both losses. However, the Bucs are among the worst against the pass. Still, Indy has hit the 'under' in three of their past four road outings. This will be the first of three road games in the final four outings for the Colts. The Bucs managed 28 points last week in Jacksonville, as they did their part in trying to hit the 'over'. However, they allowed just 11 points, a season best, and that put a stop to an 8-0 'over' run for Tampa. The over is 4-0 in the past four at Raymond James Stadium since an under in Week 1 against the 49ers.

L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville: The Jaguars are making a change back to rookie QB Gardner Minshew, as they try to jump-start the offense after an 11-point effort against the Bucs. They have managed just 3, 13, 20 and 11 across the past four outings, hitting the under in two of four. That's because their defense has been horrific, yielding 26, 33, 42 and 28. Perhaps the change at QB helps somewhat, but they need to learn how to tackle again, too. The Bolts are struggling mightily, too, and they have hit the under in eight of the past 11 games. The under is 3-1 in four games for the Bolts in the Eastern or Central Time Zones this season, too.

Kansas City at New England: The Chiefs enter play with back-to-back under results for the first time this season, mainly due to an impressive turnaround defensively, yielding just 17 and 9 in the past two games against the Chargers and Raiders. The Patriots are a completely different animal, however. Remember, in the past three meetings in this series since Sept. 7, 2017 we have seen a 42-27 win by the Chiefs in Foxboro, a 43-40 win by the Patriots on Oct. 14, 2018 and a 37-31 win in overtime in last season's AFC Championship Game. The over has cashed in five straight meetings in this series, too. For the Chiefs, the over has cashed in 12 of the past 16 on the road, and is 12-3-1 in their past 16 as a road 'dog. It's the complete opposite for the Patriots, with the under 17-6 in the past 23 or New England as a favorite, and 7-3 in the past 10 at home.

Pittsburgh at Arizona: The Steelers made a change to QB Devlin Hodges Iast week and it paid off with a 20-13 win, and an 'under' result. That's four straight under results for the Steelers, and the under has hit in 9-3 in their 12 games overall. For the Cardinals, they hit the under last week in a loss at home to the Rams, scoring a season-low seven points. The last time they scored in single digits they rebounded with 25 points in the following game, an 'over' result. The over is 4-2 in six games at home for the Cardinals.

Tennessee at Oakland: The Titans have not only been competitive since changing from QB Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill, they have been one of the better teams in the league. They were blanked in Denver on Oct. 13, so head coach Mike Vrabel made the decision to go to Tannehill. He might have earned himself Coach of the Year honors, as they have won five of six since, and they have scored 20 or more points during the span, including 35, 42 and 31 across the past three, all covers and 'over' results. The over is 6-0 in the past six for Tennessee since moving to Tannehill. The Raiders offense has disappeared in the past three outings, averaging just 9.7 PPG. However, defensively they're still challenged, allowing a total of 74 points in the past two. That bodes well for another Tennessee 'over' result.

Heavy Expectations

There are four games listed with a spread of nine points or more for Week 13, with the home team listed as favorites in two of them. The totals range from 42 to 46 and cashing a total could come down to whether or not the favorite lays off the gas in the second-half.

Washington at Green Bay (1:00 p.m. ET): The Packers offense has been a bit erratic lately, scoring 31 points last week after just eight in the previous outing. They hit the over last week as a result of a 31-point outburst against the Giants, and they'll face another sub-.500 team this week. The over is 19-7 in Green Bay's past 26 against losing teams, as that's when QB Aaron Rodgers and the offense really shines. The Redskins found a running game last week, and we'll see if they can continue to make progress in that area on the road. They went for a season-high 29 points in last week's win at skidding Carolina, and they're averaging a respectable 24.0 PPG across the past two outings. For the Redskins, the under is 4-1 in the past five instances they have been a double-digit underdog, although the over hit last week in their outright win in the situation, and also in Week 1, a 32-27 setback in Philadelphia.

Denver at Houston (1:00 p.m. ET): The Broncos have seen the over hit in three of the past four, mainly because their defense is showing some signs of wear. They have allowed 20, 20 and 27 across the past three, and the offense is a little better lately, too. They've posted 24, 23, 3 and 23 across the past four, including last week's 23-20 win over the Chargers in rookie QB Drew Lock's first-career start. The Texans have hit for 28, 20, 7, 26, 27, 23, 31 and 53 in the past eight games, with that lone single-digit anomaly a blowout loss against Jackson and the Ravens. This will be Houston's first game as a double-digit favorite this season.

Detroit at Minnesota (1:00 p.m. ET): The Vikings blasted the Lions 42-30 at Ford Field on Oct. 20 in the first meeting. This will be just the third time they're favored by 10 or more points, and there isn't a ton to glean in that department. They hit the under in a Thursday night game as a 16.5-point favorite vs. the Redskins on Oct. 24, and the over hit in their 27-23 win over the Broncos on Nov. 17. They are 0-2 ATS as a double-digit favorite. The Lions haven't been a double-digit 'dog all season, but the over is 2-0 in their two games as an underdog by seven or more points, so there's that.

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): See below

Under the Lights

Seattle at L.A. Rams (8:20 p.m. ET - Sun.): The Seahawks and Rams battle for the second time this season. In the first game in Seattle on Oct. 3, also a primetime game, the Seahawks edged the Rams 30-29 on a Thursday as the 'over' easily connected. The Rams offense gained some confidence last week with 34 points in Arizona, which was just one point less than they have combined in their previous three outings. The 'under' is 6-1 across the past seven for the Rams, as the defense has allowed 10 or fewer points in four of the past six, too. For the Seahawks, they have hit the 'over' in three of the past four outings, scoring 40, 27, 17 and 37, while yielding 34, 24, 9 and 30.
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SNF - Seahawks at Rams
Matt Blunt

Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams (NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET)

It's always great this time of year when a big division game gets flexed into the SNF spot, and that's precisely what we've got this week with Seattle going on the road to face the Rams. A national audience saw Seattle play well enough to get by Minnesota on MNF last week, as that game vaulted the Seahawks into the top spot in the conference at the moment. Whether Seattle stays there is another question entirely, but if they are able to beat a desperate Rams team in LA this week, that will definitely go a long way.

The Rams are still in survival mode right now as their only hope to get back to the playoffs is through a Wild Card spot, and they may have to win out to do so. LA kept that hope alive with a dominating win from start to finish over Arizona last week, and with road dates vs Dallas and San Francisco on deck, the path is far from easy.

Yet, judging from the early market action this week, the Rams do have plenty of support in their corner this week, but will they get the job done?

Total Talk

This total has bounced around quite a bit this week as an opening number of 46.5 initially got bet up as high as 48.5 before 'under' support came back into have it currently sitting right back where it started at 46.5. A difference of opinion from bettors is ideal for the oddsmakers, as they can sweep up the juice on a spot like that no matter where it lands.

Going forward, it's tough to envision any other significant movement for this total the rest of the week, as it could bounce higher again, but chances are it hovers right around this 46.5 number. And with the division flip-flop theory suggesting the 'under' is the way to go after the first game – 30-29 Seattle win – easily cashed an 'over' ticket, looking on the low side of things is probably the only way to look.

I'm not that interested in it at the current price, but as more and more recreational action pours in over the weekend, I would not be surprised to see a move upwards again. After all, both sides are coming off efforts where they each put up 30+, and did have 59 points in the first meeting, and those tend to be some of the first things recreational bettors see/remember when handicapping this game. Should this total climb back up to 48 or higher I would be much more interested in going low, but at this current stage, it's an easy pass.

Side Spiel

The point spread on this game has seen significant movement as well, as the Rams have completely flipped to being currently listed as a -1 favorite now after opening up at +2.5/3. Hard not to take notice of a move like that considering the significance of this game in both the standings and television time slot, and it's a move that shouldn't be taken lightly.

It's understandable on multiple levels why the Rams have gotten plenty of support, as Seattle continues to have the statistical profile of a team that's winning more with smoke and mirrors then pure domination – a +36 point differential thanks in large part to a +10 turnover differential. The turnover differential is likely unsustainable, and being a side that's sitting at 10-2 SU this week with just a +36 point differential is highly unsustainable as well. I mean, the Rams come into this game at +33 and are just 7-5 SU. That's typically where teams like Seattle would be, but they've been on the right side of a lot of bounces this year.

At the same time, Rams support has come in because this is another week where LA's season is essentially on the line. A loss this week really puts them in a bind in terms of any Wild Card chance, especially with the two road games they've got on deck. But a victory over a somewhat fraudulent Seattle team could also work wonders in terms of momentum for Seattle going forward, and you've got to keep that in mind as well.

Final Thoughts

With the last three meetings between these two teams all been decided by five points or less, we can expect a close game in this one regardless. If you do remember back to that first meeting this year, LA probably should have won that game outright – one of those games where Seattle was on the right side of a few bounces/calls – and since then, I believe the Rams have had this rematch circled on their calendar.

Obviously, LA did not plan on having to fight for their playoff lives when this return match rolled around, but that situation only adds to the notion that they will aim to be at their best from the outset here.

With the way this line has already moved, it's a Rams ML play or nothing here, and even though it's far from the best of the number now, I do think LA is the right side.

Best Bet: Rams Money-Line (-110)
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:40 PM
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Sunday's Essentials - Week 14
Tony Mejia

Ravens (-6/44) at Bills, 1 p.m. ET, CBS: Buffalo legitimately has one of the NFL’s most impressive defenses, ranking third in the league in yards allowed. They’re up next to step up to try and contain Lamar Jackson and a Ravens’ offense that comes off their least-productive offensive performance of the season, beating the 49ers 20-17 at the gun in rainy Baltimore on Sunday. The weather should be a little more cooperative this time around since precipitation is expected to stay away until the evening, but Jackson and counterpart Josh Allen will have to deal with significant 20-plus degree winds that will make temperatures feel like they’re below freezing as a backdrop.

Buffalo has allowed more than 21 points at home only once this season and has seen the ‘under’ prevail in four of its last five games. They’ll look to execute a defensive game plan likely to copy some of San Francisco’s strategies last week since they held the Ravens to just 125 second-half yards last week. Baltimore was able to pull off the win by milking the clock and moving the chains on their final possession, setting up Justin Tucker’s winning 49-yard kick. The Bills will similarly be looking to keep the ball on the ground in a game like this, so if you find a prop on which of the 1 p.m. starts ends first, this would be a prime candidate given the weather conditions. Big plays in the passing game could come via the element of surprise with speedy guys like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and John Brown on opposite sides. With road games at Pittsburgh and New England on deck, the Bills would love to wrap up a playoff berth with an upset here. The number has held steady around at most shops after opening at 6.5. Backup Bills tackle Ty Nsekhe is the only player ruled out due to injury in this matchup, a rarity this time of year given how physical these teams are.

Broncos at Texans (-9/42.5), 1 p.m. ET, CBS: Drew Lock picked up a win in his first pro start thanks to a well-thrown ball drawing a last-second pass interference penalty, but he’ll be hitting the road for the first time here. He’s shown off a great connection with second-year WR Courtland Sutton, so Houston will have to be wary of deep balls as they try to build off a strong performance in shutting down Tom Brady and the Patriots despite an ugly season stopping opposing aerial attacks. Meanwhile, the Texans’ offense has produced 20 or more points in seven of eight. Deshaun Watson’s receiving corps was fully-stocked and producing but will now again have to deal with Will Fuller IV’s absence due to a hamstring issue. This total could potentially close as the lowest we’ve seen in a Houston game all season if it doesn’t hit 43.

Vic Fangio’s defensive scheming and his propensity for keeping games close are reasons to like the ‘under’ and take the points since Denver has only been blown out twice this season. Broncos LB Von Miller hopes to return from a sprained left MCL but will be a game-time decision. He was limited on Friday and reported feeling better but it doesn’t make much sense for him to risk a return if he can’t be himself out there. Even running the table would only get them to .500, so there will be no playoff run to be had. That’s not the case for Houston, which is now in great shape to at least host a playoff game as a division-winner and owns tiebreakers over Kansas City and New England. Corners Gareon Conley and Bradley Roby, both listed as questionable, are expected to play to try and keep Lock and Sutton from making inroads on the road. The Texans are 5-1 SU at home but have only covered in two of those games and are saddled with their largest spread of the season.

49ers at Saints (-2/44.5), 1 p.m. ET, FOX: This battle of 10-2 teams will certainly test the visiting Niners since they’re coming off their first road defeat and chose to pick themselves up in Florida at Bradenton’s IMG Academy, practicing there before leaving for New Orleans. They won’t have safety Jaquiski Tartt available but should get back tackle Joe Staley and have tight end George Kittle feeling healthier. DE Dee Ford is also likely due back, so you can count on San Francisco aggressively coming after Drew Brees, who will have to be at his best as he looks to post another solid offensive performance. The Saints have averaged 31.3 points in four wins since his return from a thumb injury but were held to a season-low nine points by an aggressive Falcons defense on Nov. 10. With guard Andrus Peat already out, it’s important that the Saints have tackle Terron Armstead out there to protect against the Nick Bosa-led pass rush.

The Saints will also have to figure out a way to contain San Francisco’s physical run blocking without linebackers Kiko Alonso and A.J. Klein, which has led to the signing of veteran Manti Te’o, who has been out all season after being dumped and going unsigned. Jimmy Garoppolo will have Emanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel available to punish the Saints defense if they shadow too much coverage Kittle’s way or double-team the All-Pro tight end, so this is going to be one terrific chess match. Marcell Harris, who forced a key fumble last week – one of Jackson’s rare mistakes this season – is expected to be Tartt’s replacement. Michael Thomas became the fastest to 400 career receptions ever on Thanksgiving night in helping beat the Falcons and finished 37 catches for 415 yards in November, earning him Player of the Month honors. It’s on him and Alvin Kamara to punish the 49ers if they’re too aggressive, but Brees will have to be decisive and quick with his reads. Holding the ball here wouldn’t go well.

Colts at Bucs (-3/47), 1 p.m. ET, CBS: Indianapolis is forced to run the table if it is going to reach the playoffs and will have to do so on the road since three of its final four games will be played in opposing stadiums. Considering how resilient they Colts have already been forced to be given Andrew Luck’s preseason retirement and a myriad of injuries that left Jacoby Brissett with limited options in the passing game, it’s worth wondering just how much they have left given the daunting task ahead. Frank Reich has to keep his group together. RB Marlon Mack will return to the mix and the Sarasota native will be performing in front of family and friends in a stadium he knows well considering he played there throughout his career at USF, but Brissett again won’t be able to count on top WR T.Y. Hilton. Brissett, also a Floridian from West Palm Beach, will square off with a vulnerable Bucs secondary hoping to get M.J. Stewart back from a knee injury. Jamel Dean, who left last week’s win over the Jags with a shoulder injury, should also be expected out there.

Tampa Bay has a chance to put together another big offensive game as Jameis Winston has produced four games where they’ve scored at least 28 points despite his turnover woes. Monitor whether CB Rock Ya-Sin and safety Malik Hooker get the nod to play in this game since CB Kenny Moore has already been ruled out. If you’re up for the shootout angle, Mother Nature won’t get in the way. Temperatures will be in the high 70’s and the sun will be in attendance to see how Winston’s latest rollercoaster ride turns out. Top targets Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are each already atop the 1,000-yard mark.

Chiefs at Patriots (-3/49), 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS: Most eyes will be on this game in the late window as the Chiefs look to make one last push to see if they’ll be able to overcome this season’s hiccups and secure a much coveted first-round bye. Let’s face it, they’ll likely be looking at hosting likely No. 5 seed Buffalo on Wild Card weekend if they can’t pull off this upset. If they can? Well, you’ll surely again here that the Patriots are done if they go down here since that would also place an increased importance on its Dec. 22 home date with the Bills if the AFC East is suddenly in play.

After a listless Sunday night effort against Houston, Brady and the offense will look to keep pace with the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs, who may be forced to throw it around more than usual since RBs Damien Williams and Darrel Williams have been ruled out. LeSean McCoy will split carries with rookie Darwin Thompson and newly resigned Spencer Ware, so it will be interesting to see what the workload for the trio ends up being and whether pass protection suffers or if tight end Travis Kelce is forced to be more of a blocker than receiver.

Even all those variables put together don’t equal the uncertainty facing a Pats’ offense that has Brady nursing a toe injury and the unit glaringly lacking a No. 1 threat after the offseason retirement of Rob Gronkowski and the failed Antonio Brown experiment. Brady has thrown six picks and 18 touchdowns while Mahomes has 20 TD passes against just two interceptions and is by far leading the more dynamic offense. New England’s defense will only be able to rely on its vocal fan base for a homefield edge here since the nasty weather that is so often a part of its success at home in December won’t be an issue here. Temperatures will be just above freezing but wind won’t be a factor. The Patriots’ defense has been tremendous all season but has taken their production up even a few more notches at Gillette Stadium, giving up no more than 14 points in any of their five wins this season. New England tackle Marcus Cannon and Kansas City DE Frank Clark were both listed on the injury report due to illness but will likely play.

Steelers (-2/43.5) at Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS: Kyler Murray comes off his team’s lowest-scoring game of his rookie season, a 34-7 rout at the hands of the Rams at home in which his offense was decisively shut down. He certainly hasn’t been the problem despite the 22-year-old top pick currently being mired in a five-game losing streak that represents the most losing he’s ever done in his career, so we’ll see how resilient he can be considering he’ll face a number of motivated, talented defenses to close out the final month of his first pro year. Monitor whether center A.Q. Shipley will play since he’s expected to be a game-time decision and would further complicate matters for Arizona.

Devlin Hodges beat the Chargers in his lone road start and got into a win in Cincinnati, so he’s proven capable on the road. After helping defeat the Browns last season, the task of helping fuel Pittsburgh’s unlikely playoff push. After being cut at the end of training camp and replaced by Mason Rudolph once he was ready to fill back in for an injured Ben Roethlisberger, Hodges, an undrafted rookie from Samford whose nicknamed is tied to being a champion duck caller, is thrust in the spotlight looking to pick up a win over the top QB of his rookie class, doing so on the road no less. The heavy lifting will likely be done by the Steelers’ defense since RB James Conner and WR Juju Smith-Schuster remain sidelined, so expect a conservative game plan from Pittsburgh. It will help a ton to get center Maurkice Pouncey back from suspension. Corner Artie Burns should return too. The ‘under’ is 9-3 in Steelers games this season, prevailing in each of the last four contests.
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12/8/2019, day, good, great, luck

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