Writing these primers while sick isn’t fun. An instant cure all, though, would be securing another winning week. The streak is at five straight entering this slate.
Overall Record*: 27-20-1, +6.67 units
*Each over/under bet graded to win 2 units; everything else for 1 unit
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Uh, overreaction much by the linesmakers?
By that, I mean why is this total a relatively-deflated 47.5? Surely they’re swayed by KC’s resurgence on defense.
Regardless, it shouldn’t be this low and we’ll seek to take advantage of that. Since the Derek Carr-Patrick Mahomes duels began in 2018, the average over/under for their meetings was a whopping 53.5, only once drawing a number below 50 (49.5).
Yet here we have an over/under that’s about a full touchdown shorter, despite the fact these eternal AFC West rivals churn out 55.9 total points per game on average whenever they collide in this timeframe.
Mahomes has predictably played an influential role in establishing these head-to-head tendencies. In his career, the former MVP holds a superb 109.7 passer rating against the Raiders while connecting on 20 touchdown passes compared to a mere three interceptions.
Furthermore, the Chiefs have averaged more than 35 points per game in such matchups with Mahomes behind center. Only once did Kansas City not plate at least 35 points, and that one time still saw them hang 28 on the scoreboard. In other words, no matter what, their absolute floor is still beneficial for an over wager.
Carr, meanwhile, does not hold the best track record opposite the Chiefs but I’m buying him right now for a quality outing.
Over his last four games, Carr has etched a passer rating higher than 90.0 in each one, his first time etching such a streak in more than a full calendar year. A good performance will be mandatory anyway if the Raiders are to somewhat keep up given Kansas City’s five-game win streak.
That is also part of the foundation for scratching out a higher-scoring game. The Chiefs are hot right now and when that’s the case, how do you slow them down? Especially if it’s a club that Mahomes and Co. takes care of handily.
Just as important as anything, this won’t be your typical Arrowhead December game. Temperatures are expected to stay above 50 degrees, which is rare for an affair here this late time of the season.
Buying a half-point as well to be protected in the event of a 27-20/30–17 final score. Pick: OVER 47 (-120)
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Spread: Falcons +2.5/Panthers -2.5
As sad as these two organizations have mostly looked for the duration of the 2021 campaign, one of them can actually stay alive for a playoff spot by taking this bout.
Both entering at 5-7, a sixth triumph potentially vaults the winning team into a tie for the final Wild Card berth. This NFC South matchup could probably go either way, so grab the squad getting the points.
More likely than not, this is probably going to be a close game. The tipping point for me is what Cam Newton has done versus Atlanta throughout the years. In fact, in 15 career meetings, he has just a 79.4 passer rating, a mark that’s well below mediocre.
And did you see the former No. 1 overall draft pick in action last week? Newton managed a passer rating of 5.8 — 5.8! — as he completed only five of 21 passes.
Clearly, he still isn’t all there yet after spending the majority of the year “on the streets” before Carolina brought him back. Making things more complicated, they fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady during the bye week. Not exactly ideal.
To the contrary, his counterpart has thrived when seeing the Panthers. Even after a rocky Week 8 showing, Matt Ryan still holds a delightful 94.5 passer rating opposite this opponent in 27 lifetime meetings. Atlanta is 17-10 in those games.
We’re going to tap into each QB1’s established tendencies within this division rivalry. It’s also recommended to buy the half point and have that critical 3, the most important number betting spreads. Pick: FALCONS +3 (-130)
Seahawks -8.5 —> -1.5
Chargers -9.5 —> -2.5
For the first time this season, let’s pursue a teaser of the two-game variety. Of course, that means getting less points.
However, not much is needed to work with as it pertains to these two contests. First from the early window, we’ll capitalize on Texans head coach David Culley’s laughable decree that Davis Mills gives his club a better chance to win than Tyrod Taylor. That is 100-percent not true at all.
Houston is 0-6 with Mills as the starter, scoring double-digits only two times! That’s pathetic! They’re 2-4 behind Taylor, who is the far more dynamic player. The Seahawks may be find a stride, too, after last week’s big victory.
To complete this teaser, the Chargers have to take care of business at home against a depleted Giants team missing its starting quarterback. The guy filling in has as much to do with including this leg as anything, as Glennon is a horrendous 6-22 as a starting signal-caller in the NFL.
To reiterate, that’s a win percentage of .214.
And he has to go on the road and beat a legit playoff contender? Not happening.
Ezekiel Elliott Over/Under 58.5 Yards
First things first. Is Tony Pollard suiting up this afternoon after partially tearing his plantar fascia last week? No he is not.
Reports have him pegged as being a “game-time decision” — and on the more doubtful side — but let’s be realistic. This is such a painful injury that it should require at least a one-week absence. And on top of that, he didn’t practice all week.
So, we can surmise that Elliott commands the backfield to himself once again, and with that comes a whooolle lot of touches.
As there’s currently no prop for his over/under rush attempts, we’ll explore his rushing yardage instead. And it’s a number that Zeke would often top with ease when having full reign on the running game. Look for him to turn back the clock. Pick: OVER 58.5 Rushing Yards (-120)