The Oakland Raiders lost free safety Karl Joseph last week and are now without both their starting safeties for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Replacing Joseph will be D.J. Swearinger who was released by the Cardinals earlier this year and has a pathetic PFF rating of 45. Swearinger’s addition won't help a Raiders’ secondary that is allowing the second-most yards per completion at 12.3.
The only team allowing more yards per completion is the Bengals. For the year, Cincy is getting torched for 13.3 yards per completion, but things have been even worse of late as they are giving up 17.2 yards per completion over their last three games.
All of this adds up to long touchdowns, something both teams are familiar with in their last four games. The Raiders have scored three TDs of 42 yards or longer and have given up two since Week 7. The Bengals have found many ways to have long touchdowns in their recent matches, including a 56-yard pick-six, a 65-yard passing TD against, a 47-yard TD run against and a 92-yard kickoff return.
We are banging the Over on the longest touchdown scored at 41.5 yards.
Matthew Stafford will miss another game while backup Jeff Driskel takes over for a second week as the Lions host the Cowboys. Driskel threw 46 passes for 269 yards against the Chicago Bears' defense last week in a 20-13 loss. One thing that stood out was Driskel’s athleticism as he also rushed for 37 yards on six carries with a long of 11.
Last year in five starts with the Bengals, the former 2016 sixth-round pick averaged nearly four rushes a game at over four yards per attempt. The Lions QB will take on a Dallas defense that has allowed 71 rushing yards on 11 attempts to opposing QBs over the last three weeks.
This may be a hard prop bet to find but could be more available closer to kick off. Take Driskel’s Over rushing total on any number less than 20 yards.
SWEET SPOT FOR SANDERS
The Philadelphia Eagles just signed Jay Ajayi off the street which shows how depleted their running back depth is of late. Jordan Howard has not been cleared for contact with a stinger and Darren Sproles is done for the season with a hip injury. This leaves Miles Sanders as the top back in an offense that is leading the league in rushing attempts over the last three weeks.
Ove the last two weeks, Howard had out-snapped Sanders 96 to 49 and outgained the rookie 178 on 4.2 ypc to 116 on 8.92 ypc. Likely with the keys to the offense in week 11 and with the Eagles facing the Patriots’ 12th-ranked DVOA rush defense, Sanders could be the focal point of an offense who will also be without receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Considering Sanders has also averaged three catches for 43 yards since Week 7, we're going to look at Sanders’ total yards and hit the Over on any total below 98 yards. This is another prop that will be more available closer to kick off once Howard's availibility is known.
SHOOTOUT DOWN SOUTH
News that Panthers cornerback Ross Cockrell is out for Week 11 while CBs James Bradberry and Donte Jackson are nicked up as well, has us thinking that Sunday's game between Carolina and Atlanta has shootout potential. The Panthers’ pass defense (3rd DVOA) has been rock solid but they have been getting mugged by the run (32nd DVOA). These injuries in the secondary do not come at an ideal time as they will face a heavy dose of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley with RB Devonte Freeman missing the tilt.
Kyle Allen and the offense have had to push the ball in their possessions lately as their defense has been getting beat up, allowing over 400 yards since Week 8. They put up over 400 yards of offense themselves last week versus Green Bay's 19th ranked DVOA defense. This week they get to light up Atlanta’s 30th-ranked DVOA defense at home where Carolina is averaging 26.2 ppg.
With the Falcons forced to pass against a great passing defense that will be missing some key pieces, we love the Over 49.
BEST VS. THE WORST
These are the No.1 matchups for receivers versus defenses per Football Outsiders.
WR Terry McLaurin vs New York Jets: The Jets secondary is giving up the most yards to opposing WR1s at 91.5 yards per game. They have also allowed five TDs over the last three games to team's top receivers.
Week 11 will really put fading the worst to the test as Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins is averaging 6.5 yards per pass attempt which would put him in 31st amongst quarterbacks. Tread carefully with McLaurin’s 59.5 receiving yard total, a number he hasn’t topped in three weeks
TE Jared Cook vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Fresh off a 10-target, six-catch 74-yard performance last week, Jared Cook faces the Bucs who are allowing 84 yards to opposing tight ends this year. Cook went 4-41-1 versus the Bucs in Week 5, playing in 60 percent of the snaps but saw his snap count increase to 71 percent last week. Look for the Saints TE to surpass his total of 40.5 receiving yards in a game that has the third-highest total of the week.
RB Ezekiel Elliott vs Detroit Lions: Zeke could have a big day through the air versus a Detroit Lions Defense that is giving up 55.3 yards receiving to opposing RBs. The Dallas running back has only been targeted three times in the last two weeks but averaged nearly six targets a game from Week 4 through 7. Take the Over on any total below 20 yards.
FEAST AWAITS EVANS
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face a very motivated New Orleans Saints team Sunday, but NOLA will be without their top cornerback in Marcus Lattimore. The third-year CB is week-to-week with a hamstring injury meaning Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will face sub-par corners in P.J. Williams and Eli Apple.
As Brad Evans pointed out on twitter, this is especially great news for Mike Evans who has struggled over his career versus Lattimore. Evans put up a donut early this year in Week 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and averaged 9.5 targets for three catches and 34 yards in two games in 2017 (last year Lattimore struggled following up his 2017 DROY but has been much better this year).
Even with Jameis Winston getting sacked nearly four times a game, Evans is averaging 139 yards a game over his last four contests. Jump on Evans’ receiving yard total on any number below 85 and check in on his reception total, hitting the Over on any number below 7.
JONESING FOR THE BALL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones has been getting some praise from his head coach, Bruce Arians — especially about the back’s route running. Jones blew up for eight catches on eight targets last week for 77 yards. Arians’ support in the passing game will help Jones receive more snaps over third-down back Dare Ogunbowale as RJ2 saw nearly twice as many snaps as both Peyton Barber and Ogunbowale last week. Since Tampa Bay’s bye in Week 7, Jones is averaging 73 total yards, a trend he will look to continue against the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints are allowing the seventh-fewest passing yards to running backs at 35.2 yards per game but gave up 143 yards rushing last week and have given up 18 catches to RBs over the last three weeks.
We are taking the Over on Jones’ 63.5 total yards and looking to cash on back-to-back weeks with the Bucs’ lead back.
With running back Derrius Guice expected to carve out a role in the league’s worst-scoring offense this week against the New York Jets, it could really cut into Adrian Peterson’s touches. The ageless RB had been running great before the team’s bye last week, rushing for 118, 81, 76 and 108 yards since Week 6 and averaging nearly 18 touches.
With the Washington offense running just 43.7 plays a game over their last three games, there are only so many touches to go around. Bill Callahan is running a sideshow of an offense as the team has scored 17, 0, 9 and 9 points since he has taken over and now the coach is going to take touches away from his RB who is top-10 in rushing yards over the last four weeks. Hit Washington's team total Under 19.5 points.
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.
YES TO GOFF, NO TO TRUBISKY
With the Chicago Bears travelling to L.A. to play the Rams in Sunday Night Football, we're going to pick on both starting QBs.
Last year, Mitch Trubisky and Jared Goff faced off in what was a Bears’ 15-6 win. In that snooze fest, Trubisky went 16 of 30 for 110 yards, one score and three interceptions while Goff didn't fare any better, completing 20 of 44 passes for 180 yards and four interceptions. Their combined QB rating was just 52.4.
Goff’s completion total sits at 23.5 his total yards at 269.5 this week. The Rams QB has not completed more than 22 passes since Week 5 and has eclipsed 269 yards passing just once over the last month. Goff will also be without WR Brandin Cooks, possibly both his TEs and two-fifths of his starting offensive line. We endorse the Under on both 23.5 completions and 269.5 yards.
Trubisky’s completion total sits at 21.5 and his total yards at 230.5 for Sunday's match. Three of the last four quarterbacks to face the Rams have hit the Over on both these totals: Andy Dalton, Jimmy Garropolo and Mason Rudolph. Trubisky is a terrible QB, but the fact that Rudolph completed 22 passes for 242 yards makes us feel like the Bears QB could push these numbers. We are going to pass on Trusbisky’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, so let's go back to 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.
BAND-AID ON THE RAMS O-LINE
Sometimes trying to find a play is like reverse engineering. Case in point: the 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 against the Chicago Bears 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.
EARLY LINE FAVORITE
The 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.
We like Kyle Allen at home. Take the Panthers -4.5.
HEATING UP EARLY
The hottest team in the league right now is Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. After knocking off the Patriots in Week 9, they turned their crosshairs on the winless Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. The Ravens ran just 48 offensive plays but managed to put up 49 points. Lost in the 49-13 win was the fact that Baltimore moved to 8-1 against the first-quarter spread after winning the first 15 minutes 14-0.
This week, Baltimore is a 4-point home favorite versus a Houston team that is coming off their bye. If you don’t trust a team coming off a blowout win versus the worst team in the league and/or covering their last three games, take a look at the 1Q Ravens -0.5 (-105) as an alternative.
Baltimore is second in the league in first quarter points per game at 9.5 and third in the league in points against in the first quarter at 3.67 while the Texans are 0-3-1 on the road this year in the first quarter. Take the Ravens 1Q -0.5.
VIKINGS’ PASS RUSH TO PUT DOWN BRONCOS
No team in the league is surrendering more sacks of late than the Denver Broncos. Over their past three games, the Ponies have given up 15 sacks. New quarterback Brandon Allen got taken down three times in just 20 drop backs in Week 9.
Their defense has returned the favor though, sacking Baker Mayfield twice and Jacoby Brissett four times in their last two games. They will take on a Minnesota Vikings offensive line that has kept Kirk Cousins relatively clean at 1.7 sacks per game.
If the Broncos can get to Cousins once or twice it will help our cause as we think that the Vikings pass rush will have no problem getting to Allen. The Vikes are averaging four sacks a game when facing sub-500 teams and have sacked rookies this year at a rate of once per seven drop backs. Take the Over 5.5 sacks.
No team in the league relies on the screen game more than the Minnesota Vikings. Per ESPN, Minnesota is averaging 9.8 yards per screen attempt which is 3.5 yards more per attempt than the No.10 team.
The beneficiary of this is running back Dalvin Cook who gashed the Cowboys in primetime every time he got the ball with blockers ahead of him. Over the last three games, Cook has amassed 193 yards receiving and will face a Denver Broncos’ defense that is giving up 8.6 yards per pass to RBs since Week 8.
Grab the Over on Cook’s receiving yards on any total less than 40 yards.
LOADING SCREEN PT. 2
If you’re tailing the Cook receiving yards play and want some action on the other side of the ball, maybe look to fade the Broncos’ backfield in receiving yards. Denver is the worst team at generating yards on the screen game (3.7 yards per attempt) and neither Phillip Lindsay nor Royce Freeman has topped 17 yards receiving in the last two weeks. In the only game Brandon Allen has started at quarterback, Lindsay wasn’t targeted at all and Freeman saw one target which he lost a yard on.
Feel confident in taking Lindsay’s Under receiving yards on anything greater than 19 and Freeman’s Under on any number greater than 25.
AIN'T FADING THE FINS NOW
The best team ATS over the last five weeks has been the Miami Dolphins. The former 0-7 team has rattled off five-straight wins ATS and face a Buffalo Bills team that has zero offensive identity of late and trailed the Dolphins by five points heading into the fourth quarter just four weeks ago.
We are a little bearish on Miami hitting a sixth-straight win ATS but have no problem fading Josh Allen’s Bills who are putting up just 288 yards of total offense over the last three weeks, good for sixth-worst. Their once stellar defense now sits 12th in Wtd DVOA — 9th against the pass and 27th against the run.
The Bills needed 22 4th-quarter points in their last meeting to cover their team total and we don’t see Brian Daboll’s offense clearing 23.5 points since they are 2-5 O/U that total in their last seven.
Get on the Bills’ team total Under 23.5.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.
21+. NJ only. Odds may vary. Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.