So remember last week when I was sick? Yeah uh, that turned out to be COVID. Just like so many players the last several days, I, too, fell victim to the COVID list. Nevertheless, that didn’t prevent another 3-1 week, our sixth straight winning showing. Now that I’m activated, I can get back to continuing this legit playoff push.
Overall Record*: 30-21-1, +9.47 units
*Each over/under bet graded to win 2 units; everything else for 1 unit
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (Over/Under: 44.5)
The marvel of Kirk Cousins in prime time.
There’s just something about this habit that has been on display for years. So much to the point that it’s almost common knowledge Cousins is 8–17 in night affairs.
Additionally, this will be a double whammy for the Vikings signal-caller, as this Monday Night Football bout will be taking place in cold weather. Temperatures are expected below 40 degrees, and when that’s been the setting for Cousins, his numbers have proceeded to dip as well.
Making matters more difficult, Cousins will likely be missing one of his best weapons in Adam Thielen (ankle). Alexander Mattison (COVID) is on the sidelines, too.
Stacking all of this reasoning, can we forecast an unspectacular evening at the office for Minnesota’s offense? I believe we can. And they’re going to be in a hostile environment matched up against a fine defense getting a couple vets back.
On the other end of this equation is talented freshman Justin Fields trying to figure out a modern-day Purple People Eaters defensive unit that currently leads the NFL in sacks. They seem very trusty.
Part of that is the matchup itself. Like so many teams right now, the Bears are hindered on the offensive side of the ball. Missing in action will be Jason Peters (ankle) and Allen Robinson (COVID). And at full strength, Chicago scores more than only one other NFC franchise (Lions), notching a light 17.8 points on average.
Fields must also battle the “elements,” something I’m not sure he’s quite accustomed to just yet. Remember that before playing his ball at Ohio State, Fields came from Georgia, meaning he’s bound to experience some growing pains in these environments. Like last week, for example.
Both offenses are at less than 100 percent and don’t appear prime for big outings, serving the makings of a lower-scoring script. To have that all-important number in totals of 45, I’m also buying a half point. Pick: UNDER 45 (-120)
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (Spread: Texans +4.5/Jaguars -4.5)
The Jaguars are actually favored by nearly a touchdown in a football game.
It’s been a while, and no surprise that this is also the case following the dismissal of Urban Meyer. If anything, a huge weight has been lifted that could actually enable Jacksonville to play more respectably.
In the interim, Darrell Bevell gets a crack at the job and his presence figures to provide a boost for the offense. Don’t forget that Bevell is a Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator after enjoying much success with the Seahawks. Having him at the helm, rather than the underwhelming Meyer, is definitely beneficial for the likes of Trevor Lawrence and James Robinson, who were both seemingly shackled during the Meyer era.
As interim head coach in Detroit last year, Bevell engineered the Lions to 25 points per week in five games. The Jags not only have enough firepower to register a similar output, they’re gaining someone that they’ll actually want to do this for. Bevell is regarded as a high-character guy and can be someone that the team will rally around finishing out the chute.
Let’s recall who is under center for Houston now: lackluster rook Davis Mills.
Credit to Mills last week after returning to the starting stead and getting the Texans into double digits. He had only done that twice in his previous six starts. But Houston still lost decisively and for his next assignment, he’s tasked with facing a division rival that is surely ready to feast after disposing of such a huge distraction.
Houston won decisively against Jacksonville in the season opener. This time around, expect the opposite result. Pick: JAGUARS -4 (-120)
Best Teaser Bet (4-team, 13 points)
Bills -14.5 —> -1.5
Cardinals -14 —> -1
Cowboys -13 —> PK
Bengals +3 —> +16
Lots of chalk litters the board this week, which we’ll put to good use in the teaser.
From the early window, there are three heavy favorites — all worth including here.
Basically, each of these obvious superior clubs simply just has to win straight up. Buffalo in specific will draw what is essentially a must-win situation, needing to beat the fading Panthers to snap a two-game skid and maintain their slim playoff positioning. Have you seen Cam Newton lately? I don’t think the Bills will blow this.
Even worse than Newton is the dreadful Mike Glennon, who we went against in our victorious teaser last week, and unsurprisingly, he dropped to 6-23 as a starter in the NFL. Now Dallas gets him.
That record is still a better win percentage than what the Lions have produced thus far going into Week 15 and hopefully there’s more L’s. The Cardinals have been consistent all season and shouldn’t endure any resistance tallying up scores.
If this survives past the infamous Witching Hour, the Bengals will be deployed last to finish things off. All they have to do is lose by a couple of touchdowns (or win), and considering they’re arguably better than Denver, that makes this a solid wager.
Jared Goff Over/Under 34.5 Pass Attempts
Normalcy in the world was restored once more when the Lions were drilled in Denver by 28 last week, this after finally securing their first win of the campaign.
There shall be no 0-16-1 season (and it was the Lions who christened the first-ever 0-16 mark). But getting past that obstacle, what is there to play for now as it concerns this sorry bunch from Detroit?
In the case of Jared Goff, he has a starting job to uphold. Relatively mediocre play hasn’t been the key ingredient to quell the mind of Lions fans in believing he is still the QB of the future after being acquired this past offseason from LA.
So let’s try to make use of both accounts. Detroit is probably looking at more losses, like this home date against a team still vying for the AFC’s only playoff bye. That would point to extra work through the air for Goff if the Lions are trailing as usual.
All this prop needs is a measly 35 throws from the starting quarterback, and when you can instantly project his team to lose by a sizable amount, well, it makes this prop an advantageous bet if done right.
Also factor in that the Lions will be without their top two running backs (D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams) and the play-calling should be academic. Passing it is. Pick: OVER 34.5 Pass Attempts (-115)