Already have a banked loss from the Lions on Thanksgiving, so it’s time to get moving. Here’s our three-headed degen primer for the weekend.
Bengals -8 vs. Cleveland: The Bengals are not what I’d consider a reliable favorite, but Andy Dalton knows how to get it moving against the Browns. He’s won six of the last seven in this series, with an average winning margin of 22 points. I’ll have some A.J. Green and Tyler Kroft shares this week as well.
Bills +10.5 at Chiefs: The KC defense has leaky components, sitting 25th in DVOA. Tyrod Taylor at least gives the Bills offense a chance. Kareem Hunt figures to break his touchdown drought, given how Buffalo’s rushing defense has fallen apart, but Taylor is resourceful enough to keep things reasonable.
Broncos +5 at Raiders: Denver’s offense has been a mess all year, and despite reasonable efficiency stats, the defense is allowing too many big plays and, especially, touchdowns. The Denver pass defense is a respectable 11th in YPA allowed, but tied for last with 22 touchdowns allowed. Ah, but then there is the Oakland pass defense, with zero interceptions and a 113.3 rating allowed. I can’t spot five points with the Silver & Black. I dare Paxton Lynch to be worse than the banana convention that preceded him.
Rams E vs. Saints: Los Angeles was a face plant in its big challenge game last week, but I remain a big Sean McVay supporter. The Rams are down Robert Woods — that’s bad — but the Saints won’t have their two top corners; call it a net gain. Throw in home-field advantage — LA actually cares about the Rams — and I’ll side with the millennial coach.
Last Week: 1-3-1
This Week: 0-1
Brad Evans checks in:
#FadeTheNoise ATS Pick of the Week: Philadelphia -13.5. The Eagles are the motivated soccer mom desperate to score BOGO Yankee Candles on Black Friday. They simply roll through everyone and everything. A covering machine this season, Philly is 8-2 ATS on the season, 6-1 ATS as a favorite. This may seem like a hefty sum to cover, but the Bears, down one of their best defenders Leonard Floyd, pose little threat. I fully expect Carson Wentz to move the ball nearly uninhibitedly through the air. Add in Philly’s three-headed monster at RB and elite offensive line and another 30-plus point day comes into view. Hammer. Fearless Forecast: Philadelphia 33, Chicago 13
#TeamHuevos Total of the Week: Buffalo/KC OVER 47. Now that Sean McDermott has come to his senses and reinserted Tyrod Taylor back into the starting lineup, the Bills, despite visible warts, are again a respectable offense. Arrowhead is always an intimidating environment, but I suspect Buffalo’s offense to thrive in hostile territory, though possibly in garbage time. The Bills’ dreadful run defense, which should get gashed early and often by Kareem Hunt, is rather forgiving. If the Chiefs build a sizable early lead, look for Tyrod to frantically spark a second-half comeback. Given the shortcomings of both defenses, this game screams “shootout.” Fearless Forecast: Kansas City 27 Buffalo 23
Dalton Del Don to close:
Supercontest: This week we went with the Bills (+9.5), Panthers (-4.5), Colts (+3), Raiders (-5) and Steelers (-14). Buffalo has certainly had its own issues defensively of late, but the Chiefs are reeling and shouldn’t be favored by near double digits over a competent team, something I think the Bills are as long as Tyrod Taylor is at QB. Indy should keep it close in a divisional game at home, while Pittsburgh should be able to name its score in a rout against a Packers squad that should be nowhere near a primetime slot.
Futures: I have to give a shoutout to my buddy Mark Stopa, who put a big bet on the Chargers last week at 300/1 to win the Super Bowl. After two impressive wins since, they are down to 50/1, and the main aspect with this bet is he’ll be able to hedge in a big way should they sneak into the No. 6 seed, which looks increasingly possible, especially given their schedule down the stretch (they play just one team with a current winning record).
Teaser of the Week: Let’s do a seven-point teaser with the Falcons (-2.5) and Ravens (even). BET = $140 to win $100