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Thread: Sunday 11/04/2018 ... Comps / Free Plays / Trends / Betting Info / Requests Etc

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  1. #51  
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    Broncos general manager John Elway talked up rookie receiver Courtland Sutton after trading away Demaryius Thomas, saying the rookie has a "chance to get out there and play more and be a bigger part of it because we think he’s ready to go." Sutton has put up decent numbers so far this season as a clear third option while Thomas was on the field, averaging just over two catches per game for 40.5 yards. Sutton now becomes the No. 2 option behind Emmanuel Sanders and has a chance to eat into a lot of Thomas’ seven targets per game.

    On Sunday, the Broncos host the Texans in a game where Denver’s pass catchers have a better matchup than the running backs. Houston is very tough against the run, ranking first in rush defense DVOA, but are average against the pass with a ranking of 14 when using the same metric. Last week, the Texans gave up stat lines of 6-134 and 5-43 to Devante Parker and Danny Amendola, respectively. We like Sutton to have a solid first game as a top-two option on the Broncos and we’re backing the Over on his receiving yards total.
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    Baltimore’s backfield has been difficult to predict all season and now it gets even muddier with Montgomery in the mix. For the most part, and especially over the last few games, Alex Collins has been getting early-down work with Buck Allen subbing in as a passing-down back. Montgomery was used as both this season in Green Bay, averaging 3.7 carries and 2.1 receptions per game.

    Montgomery likely won’t be a huge part of the Ravens’ offense, especially not in his first game this week against the rival Steelers, but he might steal a series or two from Collins in what was already looking like a bad matchup. Collins has been getting almost all the carries of late, with 41 over his last three weeks, but he still hasn’t been able to rush for more than 54 yards in a game over that stretch. This week, he takes on a Steelers defense that has allowed just 66.4 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields. Take the Under on Collins’ rushing yards total.
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    Chicago Bears (-500) at Buffalo Bills (+400)

    When you talk about the worst teams in the NFL this season, you cannot have that conversation without talking about the Buffalo Bills. This is a team that does not have a legitimate starting QB and who have had a player retire at half-time earlier this season.

    While the Bills are on a downward spiral, the Chicago Bears are on the way up. They have a solid young QB in Mitch Trubisky, as well as a defense that has been flourishing with the addition of Khalil Mack. The Bears are at the top of a crowded NFC North and can extend that lead with a win over the Bills this weekend. I will definitely be taking time to play the Chicago Bears.

    Pittsburgh Steelers (+130) at Baltimore Ravens (-150)

    Whenever these two teams meet, we are usually always guaranteed some fireworks, which often comes at the expense of a lack of scoring. These two generally get caught up in big-hitting defensive battles with a mistake or a turnover very often flipping the game one way or another. The Steelers got off to a slow start, but they are starting to put things together, winning 3 in a row to take the lead in the division.

    The Ravens are going in the opposite direction, losing 3 of their last 4. While the Ravens are at home for this one and already have a win over Pittsburgh this season, I am just not sold on them. I will be looking to avoid the Baltimore Ravens.

    Houston Texans (+100) at Denver Broncos (-120)

    Outside of the LA Rams, there are few teams in the league who are hotter than the Houston Texans are at the moment. After getting off to an 0-3 start, the Texans have now reeled off 5 straight wins to take control of the AFC South. Despite those wins, the Texans are a team that have made a habit of winning close games, which may explain why they are in as a slight underdog on the road in Denver this weekend.

    The Broncos have some serious issues, though, not the least of which is at the QB position. They have lost 5 of their last 6, which is why I am going to play the Houston Texans.

    Atlanta Falcons (+105) at Washington Redskins (-125)

    The Atlanta Falcons are underperforming in a big way this season, although they have been hit rather hard by the injury bug in the first half. They are on a modest 2-game winning streak right now, but those victories came against a pair of struggling teams, the Buccaneers and the Giants, with neither one being particularly convincing.

    The Falcons are winless on the road and have gone 0-2 ATS in the two other games that they started as an underdog this season. Meanwhile, the Redskins are at 5-2 after reeling off 3 straight wins. All of the signs would appear to be telling me to avoid the Atlanta Falcons.
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    Trends to Watch - November
    Marc Lawrence

    HOME TEAMS

    Keep an eye on (Good): Buffalo 31-20 ATS

    The 2018 edition of the Buffalo Bills might not be very good, but at least they have a history of covering spreads at home. They have Chicago at home on Nov. 4th and Jacksonville on the 25th.

    Bad: Cleveland 11-26 ATS and L.A. Rams 19-38 ATS

    Not sure these two teams will continue on the same path. On a three-game losing streak to start the month, the Browns have home games against Kansas City and Atlanta on the first two Sunday's of the month with a different head coach.

    The NFL's lone unbeaten team to start this month, the Rams, have just one home game to improve their dismal record. That will be against Seattle (11/11) in a rematch.

    Keep an eye on (Bad): Oakland 19-32 ATS

    The Raiders fans will not have much longer to watch their team do so poorly against the spread at home. This November it will be just once versus the Chargers.

    AWAY TEAMS

    Good: Houston 20-9 ATS

    The Texans have been road warriors this month. Though Houston has back-to-back away contests, first in Denver (11/4) and next in Washington (11/18), they have a bye in the middle to break it up.

    Keep an eye on (Good): Chicago 38-22 ATS, L.A. Chargers 32-20 ATS, New Orleans 36-24 ATS

    The Bears surprisingly are fighting for an NFC North title. They will look to stay in the chase and given their spread record, they could do well a Buffalo (11/4) at Detroit on Thanksgiving.

    One could make the case Chargers are on the road for every game given the lack of home field advantage in Carson CA. Nonetheless, they will dress in the visitors' locker room against Seattle (11/4) and Oakland at a week later.

    The Saints will have a lot of home cooking this month other than one road affair at Cincinnati (11/11).

    Keep an eye on (Bad): Detroit 18-29 ATS, N.Y. Giants 23-35 ATS

    Detroit's slow start could mean a long season, with two division road battles. They start in Minnesota (11/4) and a week later in Chicago. Not a great situation for the Lions.

    Let's not sugarcoat it. The Giants stink. Trips to San Francisco (11/12), where the country cannot wait for that matchup, and to Philadelphia (11/25) should only make loyal backers poorer.

    FAVORITES

    Keep an eye on (Good): Carolina 25-16 ATS, Dallas 46-29 ATS

    The Panthers are solid when handing out points and they almost certainly will at home against Tampa Bay (11/4) and Seattle (11/25). Their matchup at Detroit on the 18th is a wait and see proposition at this time.

    Dallas is favored over Tennessee on the first Monday of the month and most likely will be favored on Thanksgiving vs. Washington.

    Bad: Washington 15-30 ATS

    With the Redskins an improved football team, they might be favored more often than we might think. Washington hosts Atlanta (11/4) and Houston (11/18) and will be at the Buccaneers and Jerry's World on Turkey Day. The past does not offer much hope for backers.

    Keep an eye on (Bad): Kansas City 24-40 ATS

    The Chiefs have more than enough offense to better themselves in this role, going to Cleveland (11/4) and at home against Arizona (11/11).

    UNDERDOGS

    Keep an eye on (Good): Chicago 41-27 ATS, Tampa Bay 43-27 ATS

    The Bears have been quite a success when catching points. Most likely they will be receiving points in what could be a very important home game with Minnesota (11/18) and we will have a wait see versus Detroit on Thanksgiving.

    By this time of the year, Tampa Bay is just playing out the season and because nobody takes them seriously and they have covered more spreads than expected. The Bucs will be dogs at Carolina (11/4) and probably Washington (11/11). Games at the Giants and vs. the 49ers are TBD.

    Bad: N.Y. Giants 14-33 ATS

    As if the G-Men were not bad enough, now this comes up! They will be underdogs at Frisco (11/12) and at Philly (11/25). Bettors will be waiting anxiously (or not) to if the Giants will be the favorite against the Bucs at home (11/18).

    Keep an eye on (Bad): Cleveland 18-32 ATS, Dallas 17-26 ATS, Detroit 24- 41 ATS

    The Browns will be an underdog when facing the Chiefs (11/4), Falcons (11/11) and at Cincinnati (11/25). The only one that is uncertain is when they go up against Bye Week.

    The Cowboys will be receiving points at Philadelphia (11/11) on a short week and seven days later at Atlanta. As mentioned, we are not sure what role they will have vs. the Redskins on Thanksgiving.

    Detroit will be dogs at Minnesota (11/4) and possibly at Chicago (11/11). Home contests taking on Carolina (11/18) and the Bears (11/22) will require more information.

    DIVISION

    Keep an eye on (Good): New England 27-18 ATS, New Orleans 29-15 ATS, Oakland 30-19 ATS

    The Patriots would have a much better spread mark it was not double digits all the time against AFC East foes. This month it will be just one against the Jets at their joint on the 25th.

    On Thanksgiving evening when leftovers are fair game for who is still around, New Orleans will play host to Atlanta.

    The Raiders will have the Chargers in Oak-Town on the second Sunday of the month and owner Mark Davis will still have a bad haircut.

    Keep an eye on (Bad): Cleveland 12-21 ATS, L.A. Rams 18-30 ATS

    For Cleveland, their record could get worse when they have the first Battle of Ohio in the Queen City on the 25th.

    The Rams did not cover against Seahawks (11/11) in the previous contest, could it happen again?
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    NFL Underdogs: Week 9 pointspread picks and predictions
    Jason Logan

    Ah, the day after Halloween.

    If you don’t have a brood of little Trick-or-Treaters to slowly steal candy from over the next week (I call it the “Candy Tax”), November 1 is primetime for discount goodies. All the stores have their leftover Halloween treats marked down lower than Amari Cooper Raiders jerseys.

    That said, you’re settling for the candy no one wanted to give out on October 31, so the menu can sometimes be bleak. But discount shopping is not for the weak of heart – nor the weak of stomach. And the same goes for handicapping NFL pointspread underdogs.

    The temptation is a sugar-fueled frenzy but there’s something a little off about the qualifying selection of teams each week. Just like that half-opened bag of semi-crushed Kit-Kat Minis in the bargain bin, underdogs are often damaged goods.

    However, Week 9 presents some rare delicacies. We have some legit Super Bowl contenders getting the points, starting with the New Orleans Saints.

    New Orleans opened as a 1-point underdog hosting the undefeated L.A. Rams Sunday, and quickly moved to -1.5 before rumblings out of the Big Easy surrounding the health of running back extraordinaire Alvin Kamara forced a move back to +1 Thursday (Kamara missed practice not due to injury, but illness, and is expected to be fine for Week 9).

    The Saints are known for their explosive offense – which is why this total is flirting with 60 points – but the defense has been subtly good in recent weeks. New Orleans has allowed an average of just 19.6 points to opponents outside the NFC South and face a non-divisional foe that's been playing with fire when it comes to its unblemished record.

    The Rams have gone from public darlings (started 3-0 ATS) to the boogey men of the betting community, with Todd Gurley’s yield in Week 8 busting bankrolls for the fourth time in the last five games. Los Angeles has won by a margin of three points or less in three of its last four appearances and will be playing its fourth road game in five weeks when it comes to the Superdome Sunday.

    Give me the Saints, the points, and a handful of partially-melted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

    Pick: New Orleans +1

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3, 47.5)

    These AFC North rivalries are breeding grounds for underdog winners. But that’s not why I’m siding with the Steelers when they visit the Ravens as field-goal pups Sunday.

    Pittsburgh has looked very good in recent weeks, winning three in a row after a wobbly start to the season and has done so on the back of its defense. The Steelers stop unit has given up just 56 total points and limited foes to a league-best 4.5 yards per play in that three-game span while tightening the bolts on what was a leaky pass defense.

    Baltimore, on the other hand, had its defense exposed at Carolina in Week 8. Sure, the spot was tough for the Ravens (playing four road games in five weeks… we see you Rams) but they’ve managed to puff up their defensive resume against some cupcake offenses, like Buffalo, Denver, Cleveland and Tennessee. Now they take on a Pittsburgh scoring attack totaling 102 points over in its last three contests and sitting fourth in yards per play (6.6) during that trio of tilts.

    Pick: Pittsburgh +3

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-6.5, 55)

    "You’re everyone’s problem. That’s because every time you go up in the air you’re unsafe. I don’t like you because you’re dangerous."

    Is that a heated clash between Tom "Iceman" Kazansky and Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, or is that simply the scouting report on Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick?

    Fitzpatrick is dangerous, and that’s what makes he and the Bucs worth a look in Week 9. Tampa Bay is steering into the skid and giving the ball to the wily veteran that tops the NFL in yards per completion (10.76) and has as many touchdown throws as Aaron Rodgers (13) despite completing 76 fewer passes.

    We saw what happened to Tampa when he took over for Jameis Winston last week (a full-on Shane Falco moment) and this Bucs squad has fought hard all season despite the complete absence of anything even close to resembling a defense. They’ve watched five of their seven games be decided by six or fewer points and three of those have been settled by a field goal.

    Should Fitzpatrick play “dangerous” Sunday, the Panthers just don’t have the passing game to pick up the slack. Carolina has shown a bad habit of falling behind early and while it may have been able to dig itself out of those holes versus “safe” offenses like Washington and Philadelphia, it’s driving down an entirely different highway in Week 9.

    Crank up the Loggins and put on the aviators. Bucs and the points.

    Pick: Tampa Bay +6.5
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    FREEMAN STILL OUT

    Broncos running back Royce Freeman missed practice again on Thursday and it would appear he’ll miss his second game in a row on Sunday as Denver hosts Houston. Freeman suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 7 and watched Phillip Lindsay and Devontae Booker each have nice games in his absence in Week 8.

    Lindsay was the feature back and turned 56 percent of the snaps into 18 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown and added three catches for 17 yards. Booker was on the field for 44 percent of the snaps and ran for 78 yards on nine carries while adding four catches for 23 yards. This week, the Broncos face a Texans defense that ranks first in rush defense DVOA but 12th when it comes to total yards from scrimmage allowed to running backs. Because of that, we like the idea of Denver’s backs being involved as pass catchers. We’re going to monitor the props market for this game when it opens and take the Over for whoever has the lower number for their receptions total between Lindsay and Booker.
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    MCGUIRE TO RETURN

    The New York Jets are expected to activate running back Elijah McGuire off of I.R. for Sunday’s game at Miami. Common thinking is that he might eat into Isaiah Crowell’s field time but when you look at the Jets’ snap counts this season, you see that Crowell gets between 40-46 percent of the snaps, no matter who is active. Even last week with Bilal Powell out, Crowell received 46 percent of the snaps while sixth-round rookie RB Trenton Cannon received 54 percent. On Sunday, it won’t be a surprise when Crowell gets just about half of the snaps, while Cannon and McGuire split the rest.

    Since busting off 219 rushing yards in Week 6, Crowell has been bad with rushing totals of 40, 29, and 25. But in gambling, it’s all about the spot and this is a great one for Crowell against a Miami defense that has given up rushing totals of 175, 209, 108, 93, and 167 yards over the last five games. New York will continue forcing the run as not to put too much pressure on rookie Sam Darnold and Crowell should find some nice holes on Sunday. Take the Over 58.5 on his rushing yards total.
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    ROBINSON REMAINS SIDELINED

    Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson remained on the sideline at practice on Thursday with a groin injury. It was his second straight missed practice after sitting out Week 8’s win over the Jets. Chicago’s wide receivers didn’t do much last week as game flow and weather contributed to QB Mitch Trubisky completing just 16 passes. One stat that does pop out from that game, however, is that rookie receiver Anthony Miller led the team in targets with seven. Trubisky is certainly looking his way more often recently (19 targets in the last three games) and he’s targeting Miller on deep balls (303 air yards over the last three games). This week, the Bears head to Buffalo as a 10-point road favorite in a game that looks like it’ll be played under pretty ideal weather conditions. Assuming Robinson can’t go, this could the week where Trubisky and Miller connect downfield and we’re going to back the Over for his receiving yards total.
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    The Saints might try to run the ball early to keep the Rams’ offense off the field, but the Rams are going to throw a lot as opponents are gaining 80.2 percent of their yardage against New Orleans via the pass — and they’re likely to score against the 29th ranked unit in pass defense DVOA. This will keep the clock stopped and force the Saints to throw to keep pace. This is one of the highest game totals we’ve seen this century and the offenses on both sidelines are set to put up huge numbers. Take the Over on Brees’ passing yards total.
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    COLEMAN TRENDING DOWN

    Washington’s run defense has been very tough on opposing backs so far this season and that’s bad news for Atlanta's Tevin Coleman. The most rushing yards that Washington has given up so far on the season is 61 and over the last three games, it has allowed Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, and Christian McCaffrey a combined 91 rushing yards. Coleman is less involved in the offense than he was earlier in the season and has just 28 carries over his last three games, compared to 45 over his first three. Ito Smith has taken some of his carries (18 over his last two games) as his snap count has risen to the mid-40 percent level over the last two weeks. Coleman is trending in the wrong direction and is in a very tough spot this week. Take the Under 54.5 on his rushing yards total.
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    Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will suit up on Sunday for the first time since Week 4 as he has been recovering from a hamstring injury. There are varied reports coming out of Minnesota as to how much he’ll actually play, with one report saying he’ll log 15-20 snaps and another saying he’ll be on the field for 8-12 plays. We strongly recommend taking a wait-and-see approach with Cook as it’s likely the Vikings just want to give him a few touches on Sunday before their bye next week.

    We’re not touching Cook but this news obviously affects Minnesota’s backfield. Latavius Murray was just hitting his stride with four touchdowns over his past three games while running for 280 yards on 52 carries. The Vikings’ backfield is in a great spot this week against a Detroit defense that ranks dead last in rushing yards allowed per game (137) and yards per carry (5.5). It’s probable that Murray still gets at least 15 touches this week and, assuming a couple of these are in the red zone, that should be enough to get him a score. We’re backing Murray to score a touchdown at any time.
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    Minnesota isn’t the only team with a returning running back in the NFC North showdown in Minneapolis as Detroit will welcome Theo Riddick (knee) back into the rotation. Riddick hasn’t played since Week 5 and also missed Weeks 2 and 3 with an injury.

    Riddick’s return isn’t overly exciting and it isn’t something we’re going to put a bet behind but where it does concern bettors is how his return will affect Kerryon Johnson. The Lions’ rookie running back has enjoyed taking on Riddick’s snaps and has turned in performances of 21 touches for 179 total yards and 14 touches for 91 yards in Weeks 7 and 8 respectively while logging 59 and 81 percent of the backfield snaps. This looks like a game where Detroit is going to have to throw the ball to be successful as 77.4 percent of yards gained by Minnesota’s opponents have gone through the air. Unfortunately for Johnson, Riddick has been the team’s passing-down back and he’ll likely slide back into that role on Sunday. We’re taking the Under on Johnson’s combined total for his rushing and receiving yards.
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    Broncos coach Vance Joseph announced on Friday that his team will be down three defensive starters as linebacker Brandon Marshall, safety Darian Stewart, and cornerback Bradley Roby are all out. This is tough on Denver but great news for a Houston offense that is coming off its best performance of the season where it dropped 42 on the Dolphins. Earlier in the week, we mentioned taking the Under on Demaryius Thomas’ receiving total and we’re sticking with that bet as we don’t expect him very involved in the offense after just a couple of practices in Houston. But the injury news does give a nice bump to other Houston offensive players and we’re going to put a bet behind Lamar Miller.

    We won money backing him to score a touchdown at any time last week and we’re going back to the well for the same bet this week. Earlier in the season, Deshaun Watson was Houston’s red-zone running back but lately, it has been all Miller as he has six carries inside the 20 over the last two weeks to Watson’s zero. Houston has made a commitment to running the ball recently with 55.2 percent of its offensive plays being handoffs and we expect that to continue this week for two reasons: First, the Texans have been winning and second, Denver ranks 28th in run defense DVOA (but second against the pass). We expect Miller to be heavily involved again this week and we’re backing him to hit pay dirt at any time.
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    Total Talk - Week 9
    Chris David

    The ‘under’ went 9-5 in Week 8 and the low side is now 19-9 (67.8%) the past two weeks. The hero for ‘under’ bettors in Week 7 was Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and it’s safe to say that Todd Gurley took that honor last week. The Rams running back stopped short of the endzone and that layup helped the Los Angeles-Green Bay outcome stay ‘under’ the number. It was the smart football play and bettors on the ‘over’ knew their hopes were likely done after the Packers fumbled the kickoff and Gurley’s scamper was nothing more than a tease. Through eight weeks, the ‘under’ holds the slightest of edges with a 61-60 (50.4%) mark.

    2018 Total Results - Game & Halves
    O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
    Week 8 5-9 7-7 10-4

    O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
    Year-to-Date 60-61 60-61 60-57-4

    2018 Results - Other
    O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
    Week 8 2-2 1-4 1-2 0-0

    O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
    Year-to-Date 19-13 14-20 14-9 5-2

    Line Moves and Public Leans

    Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 9 as of Saturday morning

    Detroit at Minnesota: 51 to 49
    N.Y. Jets at Miami: 45 to 43
    Tennessee at Dallas: 42 to 40

    Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 9 per the betting trend percentages as of Saturday morning.

    Detroit at Minnesota: Under 86%
    Tennessee at Dallas: Under 72%
    Chicago at Buffalo: Over 69%
    Atlanta at Washington: Over 66%
    Green Bay at New England: Over 65%

    Fifty Something

    Totals in the fifties have watched the ‘under’ go 16-14 on the season and that includes a 3-2 record last week. There are four games In Week 9 with totals listed at 50 or higher and you could be scratching your head on a couple of them based on the total results at the betting counter.

    (Over-Under)

    Kansas City (4-4) at Cleveland (4-4): The Chiefs continue to do their part offensively, averaging 36.2 points per game, yet the ‘under’ has cashed in four of their last five games. Cleveland’s once highly regarded defense has been shaky the last three weeks (32.3 PPG) and the offense (18.3 PPG) has struggled over the same span. Should we expect the Browns units to improve Sunday after all the coaching changes?

    Tampa Bay (6-2) at Carolina (4-3): The Buccaneers defense (33.3 PPG) has definitely contributed to their league-best ‘over’ mark and it appears the oddsmakers have more confidence with Fitzmagic under center. The Panthers have hit the ‘over’ in three straight games at home behind a red-hot offense (31, 33, 36 points).

    L.A. Rams (3-5) at New Orleans (3-4): Hard to lean ‘under’ in the Superdome but Saints enter this game on a 3-1 run to the low side and the defense (20 PPG) has been solid during this stretch. The Rams were a great ‘over’ bet on the road last year (7-1) but the ‘under’ is 3-1 in away games so far this season. Make a note the best offense that the Rams have faced on the road was Seattle, who put up 31 on them.

    Green Bay (5-2) at New England (4-4): Instead of the offense, the Packers (24.7 PPG) defense has been the main reason for their ‘over’ mark and that unit actually posted a shutout this season albeit against the Bills. Outside of the Week 1 outcome at home (27-20) versus the Texans, the seven other total results for the Patriots have been clear-cut results.

    Thirty Something - The 'under' is 3-2 in totals that have closed in the thirties this season and the Bears-Bills matchup will likely close in that neighborhood on Sunday.

    Bye Bye Rust

    Teams off the ‘bye’ watched the ‘under’ go 3-1 last week and the ‘over’ has gone 6-4 in games with at least one club playing on rest this season. Looking at the 10 results further, you can see that teams playing with rest have come to play offensively. Even though the low side came ahead last week, you can’t fault the Packers (27), Seahawks (28) or Steelers (33) for watching their games go ‘under’ the number. And Oakland’s offense also came to play, but its defense didn’t as it dropped a 42-28 loss at home to Indianapolis.

    Tallying up all the numbers, teams off the ‘bye’ this season are averaging 28.1 PPG and four more are playing with rest this week.

    Falcons at Redskins
    Chargers at Seahawks
    Cowboys at Titans (Both teams playing with rest)

    Divisional Matchups

    As we approach the midway point of the season, we’re starting to see a trend in these matchups. The ‘under’ went 4-1 last week and is 7-1 over the past two weeks. On the season, the low side is 20-14 (58%) in divisional games and we’ve got four more on tap Sunday, which all begin at 1:00 p.m. ET.

    Detroit at Minnesota: The ‘under’ is on a 7-2 run in this series and that includes a 5-0 mark at Minnesota. The Vikings have watched the ‘under’ go 3-1 at home and the offense has actually hurt the defense with plenty of mistakes that have led to points.

    Pittsburgh at Baltimore: Rematch game here as the Ravens defeated the Steelers 26-14 as three-point road ‘dogs on SNF in Week 4 and the ‘under’ (51) connected even though the game was tied 14-14 at halftime. Including that result, the ‘under’ is 5-2 in the last seven encounters and the last three games in Baltimore have been slugfests with combined scores of 35, 35 and 37. Lower total for the second go ‘round makes you believe another fight is pending.

    Tampa Bay at Carolina: The ‘under’ has cashed in four straight games in this series and seven of the last 10 but a shootout is expected this week. As noted above, the Bucs defense is suspect and Carolina is clicking right now. With that being said, I thought the Panthers should be giving more points and the number almost seems like a trap. Plus, Carolina heads to Pittsburgh on Thursday so a look-ahead angle could be in play.

    N.Y. Jets at Miami: The Dolphins stifled the Jets 20-12 in Week 2 as the ‘under’ (43) hit. New York rookie quarterback Sam Darnold moved the ball in that game and New York left points off the board with turnovers. You would expect a rebound in the rematch, especially the way Miami’s defense (37 PPG) has looked in their last two games. The last two games played between the pair at Hard Rock Stadium have watched the two teams combine for 59 and 50 points.

    Under the Lights

    For the second straight week, we saw the ‘under’ produce a 2-1 record in the primetime matchups and the same combination occurred with the ‘over’ cashing Thursday before the last two contests on Sunday and Monday went low. The ‘under’ connected in this week’s midweek game between the Raiders and 49ers and the low side is now 14-12 in the night games played this season.

    Green Bay at New England: Bettors could be cautious to touch the side on this game knowing the Packers are coming off a tough loss on the West Coast and the Patriots are playing on a short week. As far as the total goes, it’s hard to argue for the ‘under’ here. Green Bay’s defense (30.3 PPG) has been horrible on the road and the Patriots offense (39.3 PPG) at Foxboro is on fire in their last three games. Plus, the New England defense (23.1 PPG, 382.8 YPG) is far from good and the pass defense has been diced up by guys names Luck, Mahomes and even Trubisky. This week’s opponent is Rodgers and he’s certainly notches above that trio. New England has split its totals this season vs. the NFC North but Green Bay has watched its last five road games against the AFC go ‘over’ the number.

    Tennessee at Dallas: This is the second lowest total in Week 9 and both teams enter with identical 5-2 ‘under’ records. The Titans (15.1 PPG) and Cowboys (20 PPG) haven’t shown any punch offensively this season and while they come into this game rested (see above), it would be surprising to see fireworks. Plus, Dallas (17.6 PPG) and Tennessee (18.1) enter this game with the second and third ranked scoring defenses respectively. Stranger things have happened under the lights but getting both teams into the twenties seems like a stretch from what we’ve seen so far.

    Fearless Predictions

    Almost pulled off the sweep last week but I was “Gurley-ed” as well. The 3-1 day (+195) pushed over five units ($535) as we near the midseason. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

    Best Over: Packers-Patriots 56
    Best Under: Houston-Denver 45
    Best Team Total: Under 21 Detroit Lions

    Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105)
    Under 60 Kansas City-Cleveland
    Over 40 L.A. Chargers-Seattle
    Over 50 L.A. Rams-New Orleans
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  15. #65  
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    Gridiron Angles - Week 9
    Vince Akins

    NFL PLAY ON ATS TREND:

    -- The Chiefs are 10-0 ATS (10.5 ppg) since Oct 06, 2013 on the road when they are off two consecutive 7+ point wins.

    NFL PLAY AGAINST TREND:

    -- The Texans are 0-10-1 ATS (-6.6 ppg) since Dec 15, 2002 as a dog off a win in which they scored 10+ points more than their season-to-date average.

    TOP NFL PLAYER TREND:

    -- The Ravens are 0-8 OU (-11.3 ppg) since Dec 24, 2011 at home when coming off a loss where Joe Flacco threw at least two interceptions.

    NFL O/U OVER TREND:

    -- The Chargers are 12-0-1 OU (13.9 ppg) since Nov 12, 2006 on the road off a game as a favorite where they had less than 28 minutes time of possession.

    NFL O/U UNDER TREND:

    -- The Browns are 0-11 OU (-10.0 ppg) since Nov 06, 2016 at home coming off a game where they allowed at least 24 points.

    NFL BIBLE ACTIVE TREND:

    -- The Texans are 0-14 ATS (-10.29 ppg) as a dog off a home game in which they rushed for at least 42 yards more than their season-to-date average.
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  16. #66  
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    Essentials - Week 9
    November 4, 2018
    By Tony Mejia

    Sunday

    Detroit at Minnesota (-5/48.5), 1 p.m. ET, FOX: The NFC North is packed so tightly that all four teams are separated by a single game due to the Packers and Vikings having tied, making this one vital to both. New Lions head coach Matt Patricia won his divisional debut at home against Green Bay and will be on the road for his next two tests in the “Black and Blue” since a visit to Soldier Field is on tap next week. Detroit comes off a 28-14 home loss to Seattle where it scored a season-low 14 points, sputtering in the red zone when it mattered most. Golden Tate led the team in targets and was subsequently traded to Philadelphia earlier this week, ending his five-year run and leaving Marvin Jones, Jr. and Kenny Golladay to even larger roles in the Matthew Stafford-led offense. Rookie RB Kerryon Johnson should be heavily featured against a Vikings defense that got carved up the Saints last Sunday night and will be looking to get back on track.

    Minnesota should have safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) back but lists corner Xavier Rhodes as a game-time decision due to an ankle tweak and are thin with quality depth at that spot after losing first-round pick Mike Hughes to a torn-ACL in mid-October. Linebacker Anthony Barr remains out, so a defense that gave up their second 30-point game of the season and has been susceptible to big plays may be shorthanded. WR Stefon Diggs isn’t expected to play due to injured ribs, which will test how effective Adam Thielen can be without another top target to deflect attention from him. The Lions are likely to have corner Darius Slay (knee) in the mix and could have Ziggy Ansah back for the first time since he suffered a Week 1 shoulder injury if he’s able to make it through pre-game warmups. Vikings second-year RB Dalvin Cook should play on a pitch count but will help ease the burden of missing Diggs and keeps Latavius Murray fresher. Detroit has won three of four games against Minnesota. All have been one-possession games.

    Kansas City (-8/52) at Cleveland, 1 p.m. ET, CBS: With head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley out, the Baker Mayfield-led Browns offense is under new leadership. Freddie Kitchens, who has never called plays at the college or pro level, will be in charge of getting an offense that hasn’t enjoyed a lot of success of late. He’ll have to work around a steady wind and figures to be at a disadvantage with veteran Andy Reid doing his thing with better weapons on the other side. Mayfield does get a break in that he likeoy won’t have to deal with top pass rusher Justin Houston, who returned to practice but isn’t expected to play. Same goes for safety Eric Berry.

    Mayfield may be working without one of his favorite targets since rookie speedster Antonio Callaway will test his knee pre-game to try and participate. Slot WR Rashard Higgins is also dealing with a balky knee, while center J.C. Tretter is trying to work his way back from a high ankle sprain. It remains to be seen how aggressive either of these teams will be given the weather, but to his credit, Patrick Mahomes has done some of his best work on the road since the Chiefs are averaging 36.8 points away from Arrowhead. He’ll have the key to it all, Tyreek Hill, whose speed compromises defense, playing through a groin issue. He’s been great on the road, scoring six of his seven TDs in opposing stadiums.

    Pittsburgh at Baltimore (-2/46.5), 1 p.m. ET, CBS: The Steelers saw their three-game winning streak over the Ravens snapped in Week 4, scoring a season-low 14 points and converting on just two of 12 third downs while rushing for only 19 yards. James Conner only got nine carries, so if you’re looking for something that should be different in this second meeting, that’s where you should start. With Le’Veon Bell still away, Conner remains Pittsburgh’s top option out of the backfield and has touched it at least 23 times in each of the past three games, amassing 526 total yards while rushing for a pair of TDs in each of the contests. Pittsburgh has averaged 34 points since last seeing Baltimore, winning all three times to move back ahead in the AFC North.

    The Ravens rank 22nd against the run and second in the NFL against the pass, so seeing Ben Roethlisberger drop back 47 times like he did in the first game would be curious. He’s wearing a splint on his left index finger, but since it’s not his throwing hand, that shouldn’t factor in much. Only tackle Marcus Gilbert’s status is in doubt on the offensive side of the ball and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him miss a second straight game. Weather in Baltimore won’t be an issue, surprising this time of year, so we should see Joe Flacco test a secondary that he torched for 363 yards on Sept. 30, especially with corners Artie Burns and Coty Sensabaugh attempting to make it back from injuries. Baltimore will have RB Alex Collins (foot) available for his normal share of carries but both tackles, Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and James Hurst (back), have been ruled out. Rookie Orlando Brown Jr. and second-year undrafted free agent Jermaine Eluemunor will start against a Pittsburgh defense that ranks second with 24 sacks. Baltimore last swept the Steelers in 2015 and have also pulled that off in ’06 and ’11.

    Tampa Bay at Carolina (-6/54.5), 1 p.m. ET, CBS: The Bucs get back DT Gerald McCoy and DE Vinny Curry, so we’ll see whether any rust has developed as they return from leg injuries. Considering how well Cam Newton has played over the past month-plus, they won’t have much of a grace period. The Panthers star has thrown 13 TD passes since failing to do so in Week 1 and has run for 43 or more yards in each of the last three games to help compensate for a shoulder injury. He won’t have Torrey Smith due to a knee injury but has demonstrated improved chemistry with rookie D.J. Moore, who averaged 18.4 yards every time he touched the ball last week. Versatile RB Christian McCaffrey ran for a score and caught a pass for one last week, pulling that off for just the second time in his pro career. The Panthers are seeking their first three-game winning streak of the season, which would match last season’s longest run.

    Tampa Bay has turned the offense back to Ryan Fitzpatrick after he led a comeback from an 18-point deficit in Cincinnati last week. Jameis Winston, currently a turnover machine, will serve as the backup. Center Evan Smith will be absent due to a hip issue, so we’ll see if that affects the timing of the Bucs offense, which will also be bolstered by Mike Evans gutting it out through a knee injury after coming off the injury report on Friday. Carolina’s defense is as healthy as it has been all season. The Panthers have won eight of 10 in this series, sweeping in ’17 and from ’13-’15.

    N.Y. Jets (-3/41) at Miami, 1 p.m. ET, FOX: Considering both of these teams are already on the outside looking in as far as the AFC playoff picture is concerned, this is a must-win as the second half of the season begins. It’s therefore not ideal that Miami will again be without starting QB Ryan Tannehill, who remains bothered by shoulder trouble. Brock Osweiler is back at the controls for a fourth straight start and hasn’t been the culprit in the most recent Dolphins setbacks since the defense has given up 33.4 points over the last five games. The Dolphins secondary was set to be as healthy as it had been in mix before CB Cordrea Tankersley tore is ACL this week, so the shuffling continues. New York rookie QB Sam Darnold threw for 334 yards in Miami’s 20-12 Week 2 win at Met Life Stadium but is far more seasoned and should get back top WRs Robby Anderson (ankle) and Quincy Enunwa (hip). The Dolphins won’t get WR Kenny Stills (groin) back, so DeVante Parker should play a big role again.

    Both teams may have to deal with less than ideal field conditions after last night’s UM-Duke game that featured play in a torrential downpour. The team that handles the adversity best and is able to wrap up on tackles should persevere here and it remains to be seen if weather is a concern today since rain storms could stick around until just after kickoff before dissipating. South Florida weather can be tricky to predict. Miami is looking for a second sweep of the Jets in three seasons and would move above .500 despite a tumultuous few months if they hold serve at home, where they come in 3-1. The Jets have dropped three straight road games following their Week 1 rout of the Lions, averaging just 13 points in the setbacks.

    Atlanta at Washington (-2/47.5), 1 p.m. ET, FOX: The NFC East-leading ‘Skins got bad news since standout tackle Trent Williams won’t play for about a month. WR Paul Richardson will be out there, but pass-catching RB Chris Thompson and WR Jamison Crowder will miss another game as their injury-riddled seasons continue. A defense that has really stepped up in surrendering just 14.3 points over this current three-game winning streak must again rise up against a Falcons attack that has topped 30 in five of eight and features Matt Ryan working with most everyone with the exception of RB Devonta Freeman, who was placed on IR last month. WR Mohamed Sanu, dealing with a hip injury, will be out there for Atlanta.

    As a result, Washington’s secondary must be on high alert and will have some moving parts to be aware of with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix expected to be available after coming over from Green Bay and versatile Montae Nicholson scheduled to play through a hip concern. With the Alex Smith-led passing attack compromised by injuries, the importance of Adrian Peterson can’t be overstated, so we’ll see if 33-year-old Adrian Peterson can build on last week’s 149-yard outburst against the Giants despite nursing a shoulder injury. The Falcons haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season and rank sixth in the NFL against the run.

    Chicago (-10/37.5) at Buffalo, 1 p.m. ET, FOX: Khalil Mack is unlikely to play against the lowly Bills, though he’s expected to test out his ankle prior to kickoff to see if he can go. The Bears probably don’t need him to contain a Bills attack led by interception-happy QB Nathan Peterman, whose presence means it could be Christmas for Bears defensive backs. Peterman has been picked off twice in each of his two starts and is just as likely to connect with Prince Amukamara as he is LeSean McCoy.

    Buffalo’s best bet is continuing to be stingy against the run and coaxing Mitch Trubisky into mistakes, so we could see a conservative game plan in place for the Bears. Chicago isn’t likely to have top WR Allen Robinson in the mix due to a groin injury, which could mean more work for Taylor Gabriel and promising rookie Antony “Pig” Miller. It’s going to be a rainy, windy day at Soldier Field, but both teams are used to playing in inclement weather.

    Houston at Denver (-1/46), 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS: Demariyus Thomas is likely to be in the starting lineup for the Texans opposite top target DeAndre Hopkins. It’s a unique situation for the long-time Bronco who will likely see his name in the team’s Ring of Honor at some point next decade, but Denver is attempting to get younger and rebuild on the run to try and make the most of a season that has hit the skids once again under Vance Joseph. Although Chris Harris will be roaming the defensive backfield for the Broncos, Thomas won’t see many of the guys he’s toiled against in practices all these years since CB Bradley Roby and safety Darian Stewart are out and Aqib Talib is now with the Rams. Safety Su’a Cravens and LB Shane Ray will both be out there for Denver despite knee injuries.

    Even though the calendar has turned to November, snow won’t factor in today as a mild day is expected, weather-wise. That should help Thomas in his attempt to find chemistry with QB Deshaun Watson immediately. Expect him to draw targets since he was brought in to replace Will Fuller, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Slot receiver Keke Coutee (hamstring) is sidelined as well, but Houston still has plenty of weapons to try and punish a defense that ranks 22nd in total yardage allowed. Jadeveon Clowney (groin) is expected to suit up, but Houston’s defense may have to overcome the absence of corners Johnathan Joseph (ankle), Aaron Colvin (ankle).
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