BAND-AID ON THE RAMS O-LINE
Sometimes trying to find a play is like reverse engineering. Case in point: the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive line is in shambles. They lost their starting right tackle and center last week and have had to rearrange the entire unit. Both of those linemen were PFF’s fourth-worst players at their position which may indicate how bad the reserves will be. The line had been brutal before the injuries as well, allowing the league’s fifth-fewest yards per rush (3.2) over the last three weeks but still managing nearly 300 yards through the air.
So, we have determined that the Ram’s rushing game has been bad over the last month and will most likely get worse in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears (No.5 defense in total DVOA) due to the addition of two replacement players. The Rams have had more success passing the ball which hopefully leads to a pass-heavy game plan from Sean McVay, especially if rushing yardage is hard to come by early on. Now we have to figure out which Rams running back will be affected the most.
Todd Gurley received 74 percent of the offensive snaps last week but saw just 12 carries and none in the fourth quarter despite playing on 11 of the team’s 17 fourth-quarter snaps. He has also only topped 52 yards rushing once since Week 3 and faces a Bears’ defense that is allowing just 93 yards on 27 carries (3.44 yards per carry) over their last three games.
We are going to fade the Gurley-man and hope that McVay’s makeshift offensive line creates nothing for the running game. We are playing the Under 61.5 rushing yards and also the Under 15.5 carries on Gurley’s totals.
TWO TOP-5 DVOA DEFENSES
The variety of football prop bets makes wagering on games a unique experience. From quarterback rushing totals to longest field goals, bettors can tailor their interest level to which prop bets they prefer. One prop bet that is always plus money and can win on any single play throughout a game is the “special team or defensive touchdown scored” prop.
With this bet, we need bad quarterback play and athletic defenses. We are looking at you Jared Goff and Mitch Trubisky. Goff is tied for fourth with nine interceptions and fifth with nine fumbles as the QB has been anything but protective of the pigskin.
Trubisky is in a great spot to implode after playing his best game of the year last week. Although the Chicago QB doesn’t turn the ball over with the regularity that Goff does, Trubisky does take a lot of punishment as he has been sacked 12 times over the last three weeks. A Rams’ defense that has scored a defensive TD in two of their last three could certainly take advantage of Chicago’s sack problems.
Take the special team or defensive TD scored at +200 and cheer on the fourth- and fifth-ranked DVOA defenses.
Betting on the Jets is not recommended. Gang Green made backers sweat for their money but still pulled off the win as three-point dogs last week. One thing that stood out was how ineffective Le'Veon Bell was with his 18 touches. The RB’s longest run of the day was FOUR YARDS. That’s against a league-average run defense. Looking back over his last three games, Bell’s longest carry is 14 yards on a third and 22. Next to that, the longest is seven yards.
The Jets’ O-line will also be without their starting right guard and may be without center Ryan Kalil who is questionable versus Washington and their middle-of-the-pack rush defense. The Skins have allowed 140 yards rushing a game over their last three, but that may help us get a bigger number for Bell’s rushing total.
We are 0-2 on Bell prop bets this year so he owes us one. Take the Under 69.5 yards rushing which is a total that Bell is 1-8 O/U on the year.
BETTING ON BAKER BOMBING
Thursday’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns gives us one of the lowest totals of the week at 40.5, after opening at 41. A quick look at the matchups shows us that these are two very poor offenses. Both teams are bottom-10 DVOA offenses, both are bottom-six in red zone offense, and both are bottom-ten at converting on third and short and third and medium.
Pittsburgh is a dominant top-3 total DVOA defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest yards over the last three weeks while the Browns’ offense has gone over 19 points just once in their last five games and that was against the Seahawks’ 27th-ranked defense.
Our Thursday night play is cheering against a losing franchise that hasn’t put two wins together all year. Take the Browns team total Under 21.5.
EARLY LINE FAVORITE
The Carolina Panthers played well in Lambeau last week. Yes, their defense can’t stop the run, but the offense moved the ball easily in cold and snowy conditions and their defensive front made timely stops but ultimately got hosed by the refs who bailed out Aaron Rodgers. This team can score as CMC could have a field day versus the Atlanta Falcons’ 30th-ranked DVOA defense.
We know the Dirty Birds pulled off a big win on the road last week versus their divisional rivals, but make no mistake, this is still a bad team that is without their No.1 running back and their tight end who is second in the league in receiving yards.
The Falcons’ defense is also in the bottom-five in points allowed per game, are allowing third downs to be converted at 50 percent, and have let opposing QBs put up 260 yards passing a game. Having five members of their secondary out or questionable will not their cause come Sunday.
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