NFL bets you need to make in Week 15: 12/14

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EDELMAN OF HONOR

We haven’t played a Julian Edelman total all year and that’s a shame because he has been a bankable WR on the Over. The New England receiver has seen double-digit targets in eight straight games and will face a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has allowed slot receivers Cooper Kupp, Cole Beasley, Jarvis Landry and Dede Westbrook to average 6.25 catches for 112 yards.

Edelman is questionable ahead of Sunday’s matchup with the Patriots which usually doesn’t mean much in New England. The Bengals should be a layup for the Pats, but with how poorly the offense has been playing all year, Tom Brady will need the reigning Super Bowl MVP to suit up on Sunday.

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Monitor the WR’s status for Sunday and if the receiver is a go, it should be in a non-limited roll. We are willing to take the Over on an Edelman reception total below eight and a yardage total below 86 yards. Edelman has topped 85 yards and 7.5 receptions in four of his last six games.

A LAME DUCK

We hit the Pittsburgh Steelers team total Over 21.5 last week and that’s a ride we don’t want to be on again. Devlin Hodges has attempted 20, 21 and 19 passes over his three starts this year, he won’t have JuJu Smith-Schuster again this week and he faces the Bills’ No. 5 DVOA pass defense.

Hodges’ yardage total sits at 195.5 yards which seems a bit high considering he is averaging 165 passing yards in his three starts versus the No. 20, No. 13 and No. 29 DVOA passing defenses.

The Steelers are content to pound the ball as their 35 rushes a game over their last three weeks is tied for the most in the league. Take Hodges' Under on his 195.5 passing yardage total on this Sunday night showdown.

EAGLE AID

Even at 6-7, the Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to win the NFC East. It may be a difficult task for this offense to win games down the stretch with an array of injuries to its receiving core, running backs and offensive linemen.

RB Jordan Howard is expected to miss Week 15 against Washington, which leaves Miles Sander and Boston Scott to split carries behind an offensive line that could be without its most important piece. PFF’s No. 2 tackle Lane Johnson has been ruled out for the contest meaning Carson Wentz will likely see more pressure than the team’s 30 percent average on the year (18th most).

Washington’s defense isn’t as bad as other basement-dwelling teams as it sits 19th in total DVOA. On top of playing the Under on the Eagles’ team total of 23.5, we are going to fade Eagles QB Carson Wentz and play his Under 262.5 passing yards as we don’t think he has the supporting cast to do it this week.

 

ONE, TWO, THREE, FOURNETTE

The lifeless Jacksonville Jaguars will not have the services of their leading wideout D.J. Chark this week, leaving a glaring hole in the offenses’ ability to stretch the field. With QB Gardner Minshew looking at Dede Westbrook, Keenan Cole and Chris Conley as his top WRs, we imagine the best course for this offense is to run it through Leonard Fournette this week against the Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders have a bad pass defense (31st) and an equally bad rush defense (31st) so Doug Marrone getting Fournette involved in the passing and rushing game should be a priority. The Jags RB has averaged 18 carries and nearly 10 targets a game over the last three weeks.

We like the Over on Fournette’s total yards of 118.5 yards in a game that could see a lot of yardage/points if both defenses lay down as they have in previous weeks.

 

SACK IT TO ME

Another week and another bet against Kyle Allen getting sacked into oblivion. The Carolina quarterback has been sacked 21 times over his last four games and has been taken down on average of four times a game over his 11 starts.

The Seattle Seahawks have an even worse pressure rate than the Panthers, allowing opposing defenses to pressure Russell Wilson at a 36-percent rate which is the third-worst in the league.

Allen is 4-0 O/U on sacks totals of 5.5 in his last four games and we hope the trend continues into Week 16. We are riding the Over 5.5 sacks on the Seahawks/Panthers matchup for Sunday afternoon.

 

A SWIFT KICK TO ALDRICK

The windiest conditions this Sunday belong to MetLife Stadium. The Dolphins and Giants will see wind speeds of 13.3 miles per hour on Sunday which could definitely disrupt each teams’ kicking game.

The Giants sit in dead-last in field goals attempted per game at 1.2 and their kicker, Aldrick Rosas is converting just 71 percent of his kicks with a long of 45 yards.

The Dolphins are attempting 1.8 field goals a game (23rd) and converting kicks at a 73-percent rate. They did, however, kick eight field goals last week and made seven which is more than half of Rosas’ season total of 15 attempts.

We like the Dolphins to kick the longest field goal (-130) and wouldn’t mind the Under 45.5 yards for the longest field goal scored.

 

LOCK PICKING

Last week, we won some money on Tom Brady’s interception to the Kansas City Chiefs. K.C. has been picking off opposing QBs at will of late, forcing seven INTs in its last three games (Rivers 4, Carr 2, Brady 1). This week, they get Denver rookie QB Drew Lock who has looked good out of the gates but has also thrown an interception in each of his two starts.

Since Week 12, the Chiefs’ opponents are averaging nearly 40 passes a game which could give Lock lots of opportunities to turn it over in through the air in what will be his first divisional road game. We actually like what Lock has done which is win straight up at +320 and at +175 in back-to-back weeks, but we think rookies will make mistakes at Arrowhead.

Take the Over 0.5 Drew Lock interceptions (-200). If you that is too juicy for your liking, add Kyle Allen Over 0.5 INTs for a -105 payout if your book lets you parlay player props.

 

GIVE IT AWAY

Last week, away favorites went 4-1 ATS pushing their monthly total to 17-9 (65%). On the year, road chalk has hit at 53%. This week, the New England Patriots (-9.5 @ CIN), Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5 @ WSH), Seattle Seahawks (-6.5 @ CAR), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5 @ DET), Cleveland Browns (-3 @ ARZ), Minnesota Vikings (-2.5 @ LAC) and the Los Angeles Rams (-1.5 @ DAL) round out the list of road favorites.

Of these matchups, we are more confident with the Buccaneers. Tampa has the best run defense in the league and should stuff Detroit running back Bo Scarborough who is averaging nearly 20 carries a game since Week 12. The Bucs have the best chance to win if they force David Blough and his 38.3 QBR to keep up with Jameis Winston through the air.

Tampa has a great chance to cover 3.5 points against a Bottom-10 defense and an offense that gained just 231 yards last week. Ride the away favorites trend and take the Buccaneers -3.5.

 

OF MOSTERT AND MEN

San Francisco running back Raheem Mostert has separated himself with the 49ers RBBC and has been given the most opportunities of late. Niners coach Kyle Shannahan has said the RB has deserved the extra attention in the offense as Mostert has four touchdowns in his last three games.

Mostert saw 40 of his team’s 63 offensive snaps and had the only two RB red zone carries last week. This also comes on the heels of him seeing 74 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 13. This week the Monster will face a middle-of-the-pack Atlanta rush defense that doesn’t have anything to play for.

We are backing Mostert to score a rushing TD for the fourth straight game.

 

LES COUSINS NONDANGEREUX

If you would have said that Kirk Cousins would be in the Top-10 in MVP odds after Week 4, you would have been laughed out of the room. Fast forward to Week 15 and the Minnesota Vikings quarterback has his team at 9-4, battling for a division title and sits second in QB rating. This week, Cousins and the Vikes head to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers.

The Chargers have been playing exceptional pass defense of late as they have the second-best passing yards against over their last three games and have held Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr and Patrick Mahomes to just 561 yards combined and three touchdowns in three of their last five games. The numbers look even better when you look at all their games since November: 171.4 yards passing and only one opposing QB to throw for more than one TD.

Cousins is 3-4 SU on the road this year and has a completion percentage 17 points lower on the road than at home. Even with Adam Thielen returning to practice after missing five games, we are taking the Under on Cousins’ passing total of 273.5, a number he is 3-4 O/U on the road this year.

 

JAGUARS PLAYING DEAD

Last week the Jaguars and their 31st-ranked run defense lost their best linebacker and leading tackler in Myles Jack. This week they lost another linebacker in Quincy Williams who is the fourth linebacker that Jacksonville has had to put on the shelf. The Jaguars have just flat-out quit defensively and should be faded for another three weeks.

This week’s running back who gets to pad his stats against a run defense that is allowing 163 yards rushing a game of late and 5.2 yards per carry is Josh Jacobs. The Oakland running back missed Week 14 with a shoulder problem but reports are that ROY contender has a good shot of starting this week. Things could obviously change between now and Sunday, but in a dream matchup versus a soft Jags’ D, we are going to monitor the situation closely and may even get a little discount on his total in what will be a higher risk/reward bet.

Jacobs needs just 246 yards rushing to top Saquon Barkley’s rookie-of-the-year mark of 1,307 yards (although Barkley added another 700-plus yards receiving) and he currently sits at -350 to win the Offensive ROY. We like the matchup more than anything and hope Jacobs’ recent injury gives us a better number on his rushing total. We are waiting for the Raiders RB to practice Thursday and Friday with no setbacks and will be riding the Over on his' rushing total on any number below 70 yards as we think 12-15 rushes is a realistic workload. If Jacobs does miss Week 15, DeAndre Washington will get the chance to carve up the Jaguars.

 

BREESIN’ PAST THE COLTS

The Indianapolis Colts have lost five of their last six with their only win coming against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Indy has been allowing the second-most passing yards since Week 12 (300 yards) and got torched for 467 yards through the air last week versus Jameis Winston. This week, the Colts will hit the primetime lights of Monday night and face the New Orleans Saints on the road where their defense has let four opposing QBs to surpass 295 yards this year.

Drew Brees is coming off a 349-yard performance where he lobbed five touchdowns in what was the NFL’s game of the year last week versus the 49ers. Since coming back from injury in Week 8, Brees is averaging 287 yards passing and that number jumps up to 330 yards a gamr in his four games in New Orleans.

We like Brees to keep his foot on the throttle as the Saints need to get a playoff game at home, even if it means the No. 2 seed. Jump on Brees’ Over 298.5 passing yards, a total he has eclipsed in four of his five home games this year.

 

RECENCY BIAS

Two weeks ago, we missed the Darius Slayton Over by six yards and stayed away with Uncle Eli under center on Monday. Big mistake. Slayton saw a team-high eight targets and accounted for 75.9 percent of his team’s total air yards even with Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard in the lineup.

This week, Eli Manning and the Giants host the Miami Dolphins, who are giving up 292 yards passing a game over the last three weeks - the league’s third-worst mark. Slayton has averaged over six catches for 96.5 yards in his last four outings, which is almost one-third of the Giants’ entire season to date.

We don’t mind backing Slayton's quarterback in a match that we think will have a welcoming New York crowd at MetLife Stadium for their former starter. We will back Slayton’s receiving total of 69.5 yards and taking the Over.

 

DIVISIONAL FIRST-HALF 

The Green Bay Packers pace the league in first-half points scored at home at 16.7 per game. Lambeau’s inhabitants have won each of their last three first halves as hosts (3-0 ATS) and are 5-2 ATS versus the first-half spreads at home this year. Green Bay just runs a better offense at home as it has the fifth-best offense (yards per game) at home but rank 31st in yards per game on the road.

The Chicago Bears will stroll into the Cheese Factory on Sunday with their 29th-ranked road offense (yards per game). Mitch Trubisky & Co. are scoring 7.3 first-half points on the road this year and have put up just 10 points over their last three road first halves - zero points in two of those three contests.

We’re backing the Pack and taking Green Bay first-half spread at -3.

 

RUNAWAY MAGIC

Do you know which quarterback had the most rushing yards last week? Obviously, it was Ryan Fitzpatrick, who ran for 65 yards on seven carries and led his team in rushing. The Miami QB has rushed for 167 yards and three TDs since Week 7 and topped 22 yards rushing in three of his last five games.

In their last four games, the New York Giants are allowing opposing QBs to take off 4.5 times a game and have given up two rushing TDs. Miami is throwing the ball nearly 40 times a game over its last three as the Dolphins’ running game is pretty much nonexistent, giving Fitzpatrick plenty of chances to gain a few yards on the ground. 

We’re waiting for the Fitzpatrick rushing total to open and will pounce on the Over on any number below 26 yards and may sprinkle the rushing TD as well.

 

THE THIN RECEIVING LINE

There’s thin, and then there’s the Philadelphia Eagles’ WR depth thin. Alshon Jeffrey has been put on the IR leaving Nelson Agholor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward as their only receivers and Agholor isn't guaranteed to dress for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins with a foot issue.

Washington is allowing 376 yards at home this year which has translated to 25.7 points per game, but recently Bill Callahan has whittled those numbers down to 328 yards per game and 19 points since Week 12. This game could feature a run-heavy approach from both offenses which cut into each teams’ total plays.  

With just as many tight ends as receivers, we are going to fade the Eagles’ team total and hit the Under on 23.5 - a number Washington hasn’t allowed an opponent to top in three straight games.

 

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