This is turning out to be a huge week in my real life so not a lot of time to spend on some of these write ups this week but hoping to get back to the winning ways of earlier in the year.
Game 1: NO @ Buf Under 48
Bet% NO 34% Buf 66%
The Saints are an under the radar ‘under’ team. Year after year they have been a high powered offense and bottom 3 defense but this year is playing out differently. While the Saints are still one of the most efficient offenses in the league, this isn’t just Brees dropping back and passing for 300+ yards a game. The Saints rely much more on their running backs, last year the Saints rushed on 36% of plays on offense and passed 64%, this year they are running 44.6%, a massive increase and as a result Drew Brees who averaged 42 pass attempts per game last year is down to 34.4 attempts per game this year.
The other big story with the Saints is their defense, they have moved up to 8th in defensive DVOA and 4th vs the pass. They are still struggling vs the run, 28th in DVOA and 29th in rush yards per att. There is no question that the Bills best way to attack in this game will be on the ground and as a result I expect both teams to come in with a heavy run game plan. This means the clock keeps running, we have a shorter game and hopefully fewer explosive plays down the field.
The Bills defense has fallen off the last few weeks from their big start but this feels like a spot where we see them step up. Sean Mcdermitt will know the Saints well from his time as the Panthers DC and traditionally we know that the Saints offense isn’t near as explosive on the road especially in outdoor- grass stadiums.
Game 2: NYJ @ TB Over 42.5
Bet% Over 80% Under 20%
The ultimate revenge game as both QB’s, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh McCown play against their former teams. The Bucs will be without Winston and Mike Evans his week but I think that Fitzpatrick and this offense will still have success against this Jets defense. The Bucs season is probably over so I don’t think there is any real reason for the Bucs to play this game conservatively and stick with the run. The other thing about Fitzpatrick is that turnovers, pick 6’s are always on the menu and can lead to quick scores.
The Jets offense has been much better than anyone expected going into the season, McCown is 8th best in passer rating and averaging 6.7 yards per pass att, the Jets are averaging 21. PPG for the year but 27 over their last 3. This week the jets face the worst defense in the league, TB is 30th in defensive DVOA, 31st is pass defense, giving up 7.8 yards per pass att and are giving up just under 25 points per game.
I think this game has a number of ways of getting over this total, both offenses could overwhelm poor defense and put up big numbers or either of the QBs could put up a bunch of turnovers that lead to scores by the defense or short fields for the offense.
Game 3: Min @ Was 2.5
Bet% Min 48% Was 52%
Washington just played 2 games vs very good teams with top 10 offenses with a number of key players missing and went 1-1. The win over the Seahawks was their biggest and most impressive win of the year and I’m not sure how they are not favored at home in this game. Minnesota is having a very good year but Case Keenum as a road favorite against a .500 or above team just feels like a lot to answer.
It does not look like Washington will get LT Trent Williams back for this game though he did particpate in practiceon limited basis on Friday but they do expect to have Brandon Scherff and Sean Lauvau back on the offensive line and Jamison Crowder back at receiver. If all of those players play there is no way that Washington shouldn’t be favored in this game never mind getting 2.5.
Minnesota is coming off of a bye, Sam Bradford will now miss the rest of the year with his knee injury and Teddy Bridgewater is back practicing. One of the interesting thing about the Vikings season is they just haven’t played anyone we know is good since week 2 vs the Steelers. They played the packers but that was the game that Rodgers got hurt in the 1st Q. Besides that game they have played, the Bears, Browns, Ravens, Bucs and Lions. Not exactly a murderers row.
Game 4:Cle +10.5 @ Det
Bet% Cle 34% Det66%
The Browns are 0-8 and they aren’t likley to win a game anytime soon. I could find some matchup that favors the Browns and say that is the reason to take them this week but honestly it’s really simple and has nothing to do with ny matchup that favors the Browns. Cleveland is desperate to win, the mangement spent the last few weeks downplaying the season and statng they are still on track. Coming off their bye week you expect a big effort and this week they play a Lions team coming off of 2 straight prime time games so this is a natural let down spot. The Lions passing game has been great the last few weeks but if they don’t continue to play at that level his week then the rest of this tem isn’t good enough to cover double digits.
Cleveland hs the talent on defense to create some turnovers and stay in this game but it’s hard to trust the offense to do anything so I’m not sure they can really win straight up but I do think they can get close here.