Going into Thanksgiving Weekend up on the campaign is always something to be thankful for. Making sure that happens, though, still requires one more solid week.
- Over/Unders: 5-3-1
- Spreads: 5-4
- Teasers: 5-4
- Props: 5-4
- Overall Record*: 20-15-1, +3.15 units
*Each over/under bet graded to win 2 units; everything else for 1 unit
Best Over/Under Bet
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
A Battle of The Unvaccinated takes center stage this week in Minnesota for the latest Aaron Rodgers-Kirk Cousins showdown.
Whatever their stance might be, the fact remains these two usually partake in entertaining clashes opposite one another and that’s exactly what we’ll be looking for as it pertains to handicapping this total.
First of all, the over/under is curiously low at 47. When the Packers traveled to Cincinnati a handful of weeks ago (the infamous five-missed-field-goals game where the over “lost”), that was labeled with a total of 50. Why would Minnesota’s presence garner a number that’s three points lower than the Bengals matchup?
No matter, we’ll attempt to cash in on this suspect call by the linemakers. They may also be weighing Rodgers’ toe injury that affected the future hall-of-famer last week, but given that he didn’t even draw a questionable tag, I’m sure he’s just fine.
So long as that is the case, how can we not expect the usual Rodgers to show up and dissect a familiar foe like he always does? At least that always seems to be the case based on a superb 108.5 career passer rating in his 25 meetings with the Vikings. He also etched a video-game-like 50-7 TD/INT ratio in those games as well.
Cousins possesses quality numbers against his Week 11 opponent, too, albeit in far fewer matchups. Still, the 33-year-old signal-caller has faced Green Bay eight times (including postseason) and collectively churned out a pristine 104.7 rating, his third-highest mark among any team he’s opposed more than four times.
The total being as low as it is may also be influenced by the absence of bruising Packers tailback Aaron Jones (knee). However, AJ Dillon is good enough to hold the fort down in his place and can take advantage of a Minnesota defense that surrenders more rushing yards per game (130.6) than all but one NFC organization.
Above all, pursuing this wager has mostly to do with the standout history between these two quarterbacks. In their eight lifetime encounters (including playoffs), there was an average of 51.9 total points scored. Here, we only need 47 to survive. Pick: OVER 47 (-110)
Best Spread Bet
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
Spread: Texans +10/Titans -10
Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. Betting on the AFC’s worst against arguably its best?
Technically, that is indeed the scenario based on current records. Such a premise would usually have trouble written all over.
But perhaps there is enough evidence to suggest the Texans — yes, that team that hasn’t won since Week 1 — can at least stick around throughout this divisional contest, and thus backdoor the spread.
For starters, Houston is most certainly not as bad as their 1-8 record indicates. They were treading mostly while Davis Mills horrifyingly led the offense, but with Tyrod Taylor finally returning recently, that makes a huge difference. Don’t forget how good the underrated dual-threat QB looked in the first six quarters of the season before going down due to injury.
Taylor being back can kinda right the ship for the Texans, or at least get them back on the path of being a competitive team. His supporting cast isn’t horrible, as vets Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola are still quality options to distribute the ball.
The X-factor in Houston hanging around will actually be the anticipated rain being forecast. Previously, when the Titans had to deal with the elements, they could just deploy workhorse Derrick Henry as much as possible and still be in excellent shape.
Now, the backfield is severely downgraded to Jeremy McNichols and a way-past-his-prime Adrian Peterson. Since rain will be a factor, that can also negatively affect Ryan Tannehill considering his career passer rating below 80.0 in precipitation-infested games. Coming from rain-friendly Miami, it’s enough of a sample size to buy into that.
Taylor, meanwhile, has the ability to create havoc in such conditions. His arm and his feet figure to play a deciding role. Pick: TEXANS +10 (-110)
Best Teaser Bet (3-team, 10 points)
Browns -12.5 —> -2.5
MIA-NYJ U44.5 —> U54.5
Buccaneers -11.5 —> -1.5
Despite a bevy of upsets in 2021, heavy favorites are still always worth monitoring when it comes to deciding on teaser bets.
Fortunately, there’s a pair out there that can make life easy for such a wager of the three-game variety. With winless Detroit not having their QB1 Jared Goff (oblique) — and going with something called a “Tim Boyle” — that has to slot the Browns into the equivalent of a bingo-card free space.
Adding the Buccaneers is a wee bit more complicated considering the Giants aren’t as bad and also may be getting their most dynamic player, Saquon Barkley (ankle), back for Monday Night Football. But let’s also strongly weigh that this is Tom Brady coming off an embarrassing loss to Washington and it’s hard to envision them dropping another one to a sorry opponent.
Along with those two is a very tempting total teased to 54.5 (try saying that five times fast). The Jets will be on their third quarterback, Joe Flacco, who engineered 16.3 points per game in his four starts for New York last year. Miami rolling with Tua Tagovailoa under center helps to ensure this AFC East clash hosts minimal scoring.
Best Player Prop Bet
CeeDee Lamb Over/Under 5.5 Receptions
Featuring an over/under of 56.5, this undisputed main event of the day between Dallas and Kansas City carries one of the highest game totals in history.
The honor is well-deserved, though, as there should be an explosion of points that at least approach that number.
With that will come a whole lot of offense, and so we’ll just focus on one juicy player prop involving one of the most talented skill-position players on both sides in a heavyweight bout oozing loads of talent.
Lamb has already established himself as one of the most electric wide-outs in the game today. It’s still Year Two for the Oklahoma product, remember, consistently making his presence felt every week. He’s just always a factor.
Well, the No. 17 pick from last year’s draft is about to get his biggest spotlight yet considering teammate Amari Cooper (COVID) won’t be suiting up. As it is, Lamb has drawn a healthy 7.4 targets per game since first arriving on the scene. Cooper has averaged even more tosses his way than that (7.8) in his time as a Cowboy, so with the former Raider sidelined, expect Lamb to swallow up some extra looks.
The Chiefs trotting out football’s No. 26-ranked pass defense can only help matters. Lamb is more likely looking at double-digit targets, and if that is so, he should easily haul in at least six balls. Pick: OVER 5.5 Receptions (-150)