ARE WE THERE YET?
The end of the year can’t come fast enough for the Oakland Raiders. One week after getting booed off the field, the Raiders will be without their best offensive skilled player in rookie running back Josh Jacobs and their best offensive lineman in Trent Brown. Can the Silver and Black get up for a divisional matchup with the L.A Chargers?
*shakes Magic 8-ball*
“Outlook not so good”
After losing last week to a Jacksonville team that everyone thought had quit, the irony is that Oakland could be the team to roll over with two weeks to go. Facing a Chargers team that has rediscovered its offensive mojo and is putting up over 400 yards of offense per game over the last three weeks could spell trouble for the Raiders’ 31st DVOA defense.
With the possibility of Oakland waning on both sides of the ball and having been beaten by two touchdowns or more in six of its eight losses, we are looking at the alternative spread and laying our pre-Christmas bucks on the Chargers at -13.5 for a cool +200.
Receiver DeVante Parker has been a consistent threat for the Miami Dolphins passing game but has really turned it on since Week 11. Over that five-game stretch, the WR is averaging eight targets which he has parlayed into a 5.2/80.6/0.8 slash line. This week Parker and the Dolphins will take on a Cincinnati defense that sits 27th in pass defense.
Parker has 12 receptions of 20-plus yards on the year which is the second-most in the league for WRs. The fifth-year wideout also will be motivated to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. Parker sits 46 yards short of the milestone and should be able to top that mark on Sunday.
We like the Over on Parkers’ 78.5 receiving yards and think the total of 4.5 receptions is just as obtainable.
THE JACKSONVILLE JAGS BEENS
It’s hard to do, but the Jacksonville Jaguars are averaging less than three points over their last four games in the first half. That’s what happens when you score just three field goals in 90 minutes of first-half football. You would have to go back to November 18 to find the last time the Jaguars scored a first-half touchdown.
The Atlanta Falcons are second-last in the league in first-half points scored at home with 7.4 ppg. Even with that terribly low average, they could still cover the four points they are favored by in the 1H against the Jags.
Four games is a small sample size, but in the football world, a month of games is pretty indicative of how a team is playing and scoring just nine points in the first halves of those four games deserves an instant fade. Take the Falcons 1H -4.
TRIPLE TD THREAT
With a three-pack of Saturday games, there isn’t a better time to throw down a parlay to get you through the day. With fantasy football championship week in mind, here are our three best player scoring props for each of Saturday’s games.
HOU@TB: The Buccaneers are giving up over two passing TDs at home this year and will face a Houston passing attack that should have both DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller in a win-and-in game for the Texans. Fuller hasn’t caught a TD since he hauled in three in Week 5 but Hopkins has scored five times in his last eight games and should be force-fed on Sunday with Tampa's No. 1 rush defense. Take Hopkins anytime TD.
BUF@NE: The Bills haven’t allowed a rushing TD since October 28 — a stretch of seven games, so we are avoiding a Sony Michel call here. We are also skeptical to add a receiving TD because the Pats sit first in the league in pass defense and the Bills sit third and both need better play from their quarterbacks.
This leaves us with a Josh Allen rushing TD which could hold a bit of value considering he ran for a TD against the Pats in Week 4 and has rushed for six TDs over his last seven games. Take the Josh Allen rushing TD.
LAR@SF: This is the easiest one of the bunch. We are backing the RB who has rushed for a TD in four straight games and has the leading share in the league’s second-highest scoring offense. Take Raheem Mostert to continue his TD scoring ways.
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