TAKE MY BET D.K.
Last week, Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf led the Seahawks in targets, something he has done in three of the last five weeks. In fact, Metcalf has tied fellow receiver Tyler Lockett in targets, or had more, in five of the Seahawks’ last eight games. Metcalf and the passing game may see even more action Monday against the Minnesota Vikings as RB Chris Carson has fumbled four times in his last three games.
At first thought, the Vikings wouldn’t be an optimal matchup for outside receivers as they are a top-10 defense, however, Minny is allowing 79 yards on nearly nine targets to opposing teams’ WR1s. Minnesota has allowed 22 receptions and 400 yards receiving to opposing No.1 outside receivers over the last three weeks with all three WRs topping 110 yards.
We are doubling down on the pacifier playmaker and taking Metcalf’s Over 3.5 receptions and Over 57.5 receiving yards for this Monday night showdown.
SAM THE MAN
The New York Jets’ Sam Darnold might have the easiest schedule for quarterbacks from Week 9 to 14 with the Washington Redskins being the hardest matchup over that stretch. This week, the Jets’ QB will face a Cincinnati Bengals defense that is dead last in yards per pass attempt and last in yards per completion. Every pass completed against the Bengals this year is on average 13.1 yards — that’s nuts.
Only two quarterbacks have more passing yards than Darnold over the last two weeks as the Jets have won three straight and are 3-0 ATS. We are riding with Joe Namath V2.0 and taking Darnold’s Over 239.5 passing yards.
BUSY AS A HIGBEE
It’s been a while since we played a tight end facing the Arizona Cardinals’ defense, which is too bad as TEs have been working the Red Birds all year. Arizona sits in last place in yards allowed to opposing tight ends and is giving up 78 yards on 8 passes to TEs this year.
This week, the L.A. Rams’ Tyler Higbee gets a dream matchup with fellow TE Gerald Everett out. We know the Rams’ offense isn’t impressing anyone this year, scoring just 12 points over their last three games but Higbee has a chance to see plenty of volume as the team’s main TE.
The Cards have given up four-catch games to unknown TE Ross Dwelley and underachiever O.J. Howard over the last two weeks. If they can do it, so can Higbee who hauled in eight catches on 10 targets in Weeks 10 and 12 with Everett in the lineup.
Take the Over 3.5 receptions on Higbee’s receiving total for +108.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played four top-15 rush DVOA defenses in their last five games. This week Ronald Jones will get his chance to light up the Jacksonville Jaguars and their league-worst rush DVOA defense.
The Jags have been getting shredded on the ground, allowing 5.4 yards per carry over the year. It’s been even worse lately for the Bucs as Todd Walsh’s defense is letting opposing RBs to run for 6.8 yards per carry over their last three games. In those three games, Derrick Henry, Jonathan Williams and Carlos Hyde all rushed for over 110 yards.
Jones saw 50 percent of the offensive snaps last week as the Bucs played with the lead. As 2.5-point road chalk, Tampa Bay has a chance to use their run game effectively throughout the entirety of the game. In the previous three games where Tampa has been the favorite, Jones is averaging 61 yards on the ground for a 4.84 ypc. Jones is also a perfect 5-for-5 in eclipsing 50 yards rushing in games where has at least 12 carries.
We are jumping on the Over on Jones’ rushing total of 48.5 yards and his anytime rushing TD for +164.
GET-RICH KICK SCHEME
The winds are expected to be blowing hard this Sunday with a handful of games looking at double-digit wind speeds thanks to a bomb cyclone. Here is a list of breezy matchups and their O/U kicking prop for your field goal fading familiarity.
Teams’ FG conversion percentage;FGs attempted/game in parenthesis:
• OAK (73%;1.4) @ KC (86%;2.5) — 19.9 mph: Longest field goal 46.5
• TB (87%;2.2) @ JAC (96%;2.3) — 17.7 mph: Longest field goal 47.5
• NYJ (60%;1.4) @ CIN (83%;1.6) — 14.6 mph: Longest field goal 45.5
• WSH (80%;1.8) @ CAR (73%;2.4) — 13.6 mph: Longest field goal 45.5
THE PACKER SLAYER
Tell me if you’ve heard this one: the Giants’ receivers are questionable. For this week’s game against Green Bay, Golden Tate has been added to the list with a concussion as he joins TE Evan Engram with questionable tag. Sterling Shepard did dress last week but never did anything big with a long gain of six yards. The one player who has taken advantage of all the extra reps has been WR Darius Slayton.
Slayton has gone from 45 percent of the snaps early in the year to 90 percent over the Giants’ last six games and is Daniel Jones’ main deep threat. Slayton has seen 21 targets over the last two weeks and has averaged nearly 15 yards per reception.
Green Bay allows the seventh-most passing yards on the road and showed in San Francisco last week that they’re susceptible to the big play. We’re banging the Over on Slayton’s receiving yard total on any number below 73 yards as the markets are waiting to see what happens with Tate and Engram before they open.
Since Nick Foles has “taken back over” the starting QB job two weeks ago, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has amassed 19 targets for 16 grabs and 96 yards receiving. He also toted the rock 24 times for 97 yards against a tough Titans Defense last week. The Jags will have one of the best offensive matchups a team can have as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday.
The Bucs are giving up 380 yards of total offense on the road this year (24th most) and with Foles looking short constantly (6.2 yards per pass attempt), Fournette could take advantage in the passing game. Tampa Bay actually has the league’s best DVOA rush defense, so we will shy away from any Fournette rushing props.
We are taking the Over 37.5 Fournette receiving yards as similar dual-threat running backs have had success against Tampa Bay in the air.
The biggest game of the week will see the San Francisco 49ers travel to the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore is putting up over 450 yards of offense a game over its last three while San Francisco is putting up 380 yards this year. Both sit No.1 and No.2 in touchdowns scored a game and average drive length.
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have been steamrolling the opposition in their last five games, winning by an average score of 40-12. In those five games, the offense is averaging over four TDs a game while the defense has scored five TDs of its own. San Francisco has been impressive as well as it have scored at least four TDs in four of its last five games.
These two defenses can shut it down as they rank Top-4 in Wtd DVOA defense at FootballOutsiders. But these defenses compliment their electric offenses as each unit can force the three-and-out early in drives and get great field position as a result. The 49ers have the second-best starting field position while the Ravens have the ninth-best.
We are playing the Over 5.5 total TDs for plus money (+120).
CHRISTIAN CARRIES CAROLINA
Washington is giving up the second-most rushing attempts per game this year at 32.3. Over their last three games, that number has ballooned to 35 and on the road that number is a league-worst 33.2. Sometimes it is safer to bet on volume than results, particularly when you consider this week’s opponent.
No running back in the league is having a better season than Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey. He’s second in rushing attempts, first in rushing yards, has the third-longest run by a running back, and has the most rushing TDs. He also has more receiving yards than JuJu Smith-Schuster and – the cherry on top of it all – is a 99 rating in Madden.
There’s no reason that the Panthers don’t give CMC enough carries to eclipse his total of 20.5 rushes especially with Carolina expected to play with the lead.
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