Week 15 was a lovely little reminder as to just how badly the NFL can beat you on a weekly basis if the ball bounces poorly or you end up on the wrong side of an end-of-game lateral situation. Last week featured two of the worst bets you’ll ever see with the Redskins somehow failing to cover despite being a 4.5-point dog and leading with less than a minute left. The Falcons under — in which you just needed less than 10 points scored in the final five seconds of the game — was even worse.
You could also argue Seahawks -6.5 was a rough beat with the hook there too as the Panthers stormed in the back door. Anyway, the point is things can get dicey in the witching hour (3:30-4:00 p.m. ET) so don’t meltdown too much if things don’t go your way. Or meltdown. Whatever. Either is fine.
Anyway, if you want to avoid melting down, make sure and check out our full Pick Six Podcast show in the player below while you peruse the best bets below.
Bills-Patriots Under 37.5
This is a really low total and I don’t care. The last 10 games the Patriots have played at home where they were less than a touchdown favorite the under is a very impressive 9-1. The only game that went over? The wild Chiefs-Pats game last year that had a crazy inflated total and only went over because of some crazy late scoring. The under in Pats-Bills games since Sean McDermott showed up to Buffalo is 2-1 as well. These are just two conservative teams right now, and both of them are offensively challenged. Josh Allen learned his lesson previously by trying to challenge the Pats deep — I don’t think the Bills will cook up many shots down the field here in a game they know will potentially come down to a single possession. New England, um, can’t take shots. These rush defenses are the only weak spot to attack. Trying to throw will cost you possessions and those are too valuable. This should go well under barring some defensive touchdowns or surprising jailbreaks.
I don’t particularly want to back the Chargers laying a full touchdown because, well, they’re the Chargers. But I also watched the end of that game against the Jaguars for Oakland last week? One of the most brutal endings you will ever see in a football game. The Raiders were winning, the crowd was in a frenzy and Oakland was about to secure a win in the final home game of the Coliseum. There was a celebration foiled by a clock stoppage, two — not one, two! — missed field goals, a march by Gardner Minshew, and even a Hail Mary that hit someone in the face. How do you get up off the mat after that game? The answer is … you don’t. Maybe playing the Chargers in Los Angeles, in front of tons of Raiders fans, is some motivation. But Oakland is going to be missing Josh Jacobs and Trent Brown. That’s a big problem for this offense going up against Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. This is Philip Rivers‘ last home game in the bandbox Los Angeles soccer stadium, and I think he’ll send it out in style (because he has always hated playing there).
The wrong team is favored here. Not that a one-win team should be a favorite on the road in a vacuum, but the previously frisky Dolphins are falling back to Earth. They just gave up 29 points to the Giants … in the second half. They just can’t hang with anyone that has a semblance of veterans, talent or veteran talent on either side of the ball. The Bengals are a similar build to the Giants too: talented, multifaceted running back (Joe Mixon), veteran QB subject to many jokes and probably starting one of his last games with the team who drafted him (Andy Dalton) and a surprisingly stout defensive front (Geno Atkins, etc.). If the weather cooperates, this game could turn into a legitimate shootout. But I think the Bengals will pull away pretty easily late in the game. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, it plays into the Bengals’ hands even more than the game does currently. Mixon has the second-most yards from scrimmage since Week 10, behind only Christian McCaffrey. He should cook big time this weekend.
This Dak Prescott injury should be concerning for Cowboys fans. Not only is it an injury to the starting quarterback’s right arm/shoulder, but it’s an injury to the quarterback in a situation where the Cowboys HAVE to throw to win. You don’t beat the Eagles by running Ezekiel Elliott into the line over and over. You beat them by attacking their questionable secondary. And if Dak’s not on target, that’s going to be a lot more difficult. On the other side of the ball, there’s a problem with the matchups for Dallas too. Their linebacking corps is severely depleted. They’re susceptible to tight ends, having given up the fifth-most receptions (84) of any defense. And no one runs more 12 personnel than the Eagles, with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert serving as the primary receiving weapons for Carson Wentz. There’s also just a little bit of “somehow Wentz gets this one done at home and gives us some Week 17 drama” to this game. Plus Doug Pederson vs. Jason Garrett in a huge spot.
This line was suspicious when it came out and it’s even more suspicious now. Unless you already loved the Vikings as I did! Then it’s just annoying. This isn’t a “must-win” game for the Packers. Would they like to win and potentially knock the Vikings out of the playoffs, or at least give the Vikings a scare for Week 17 against the Bears. But I also think the Packers won’t hesitate to call the dogs off if Minnesota gets up — Green Bay just needs to beat the Lions in Week 17 to secure the division. They certainly have the incentive to get better seeding of course, but I think Minnesota is more motivated. Additionally, the Vikings might just be a bad matchup for the Packers here. If they can run the ball effectively with Mike Boone (Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison aren’t likely to play in this one), it’ll make the Packers one dimensional. If that happens, Minnesota can tee off on Rodgers and double up Davante Adams to limit their explosion on offense. The narrative of Kirk Cousins on Monday Night Football is overrated. I think the public will be all over the Packers here, but we’re due for a Vikings explosion in primetime on offense and a stout defensive performance.
Week 14 best bets ATS record: 2-4-1, -2u
2019 best bets ATS record: 51-38-4, +14u
Pick Six Parlay of the Week
A triple L last week. Hope you’re steaming these the other way at this point, sigh. Maybe we should start taking our best bets for each week and combining them instead of taking our three consensus picks which seem to be the nightmare chalk fuel that ruins a parlay.
Bills Under 37.5 at Patriots
Cardinals +9.5 at Seahawks
Jaguars/Raiders Over 46.5
.5u to win 3u
Season record: 1-14, -1.5u
Moneyline Parlay of the Week
Going big this weekend with three home dogs I like to steal the game outright. They’re playing against playoff teams in huge spots, so I know it’s a reach to back these squads, but I like the ability of a stinky dog to skate past the road favorites here.
.5u to win 5u
Season Record: 1-14, -1.88u