Week 14. I’m starting to lose hope. Yet another 1-2 week to take me to 22-28 on the season, a whopping six games under .500. Just an absolutely brutal showing by me over the course of this season. There are still five weeks of the regular season to go, but I’ll have to be super sharp the rest of the way to get that .500 record I so desperately want.
Dolphins Team Total Over 22.5: The Dolphins came up just short here, settling for a field goal late in the game instead of taking the ball all the way to the end zone. Weirdly, the Giants didn’t score enough for the Dolphins to have a reason to push for a late touchdown. It happens.
Chiefs Team Total Under 28.5: I thought there was a chance the Chiefs break a late touchdown to push this one over and make this a really bad beat. The Chiefs haven’t looked right on offense lately and aren’t putting up big numbers, even with a pick-six on defense.
Patriots Team Total over 20.5: I mentioned in my last article that I didn’t think the snow would have much of an impact on the Patriots’ ability to score. What I didn’t account for was gale force winds and the fact that they may not be capable of throwing the ball. I certainly didn’t expect only three pass attempts the entire game. Onwards and upwards.
Now, let’s get to some picks.
Raiders @ Chiefs Longest Touchdown O/U 42.5 Yards
You wanna get weird? Let’s get weird. I’ve tried picking first-half spreads, first-half totals, and teams totals. None of that has worked very well so I’m gonna get weird with it and pick some unorthodox props this week, starting with a longest touchdown prop bet. Once again, I’m betting on a game involving the Chiefs, a team I’ve had varying levels of success betting on or against. I truly do think the public perception of Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City influences the lines, and it’s something to take advantage of when making picks. The Chiefs’ haven’t exactly been the offensive juggernaut we expect them to be this season, it’s really been their defense carrying them for most of the season. I think everyone expects the offense to click at some point, but until it does I’ll continue to fade them. Obviously, the Raiders matter as well for the purposes of this bet, but I think most people are looking at it from a Chiefs point of view.
The line for the longest touchdown in this one is set at 42.5 yards; it’s hard to break that number down on an x’s and o’s basis so I’ll just go with numbers for this one. First, offensively these two teams have combined for seven touchdowns of more than 42 yards, including one pick-six. I assumed this number would be low, but that’s even lower than I expected. On the other side of the ball, the two defenses have allowed just three touchdowns over this mark. Long touchdowns aren’t as common as you’d think, especially for Kansas City who have just four on the season. Buyer-beware on this bet, as Tyreek Hill and Desean Jackson are capable of scoring from anywhere on the field, I’ll still take the under 42.5 here. The early forecast also has a decent amount of wind, making it more difficult to throw the deep ball with accuracy. Side note: the last time these two teams met, all of the touchdowns were under 40 yards.
Pick: UNDER 42.5 Yards (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Saints @ Jets Longest Field Goal O/U 47.5
Let’s get even weirder. As I said, the lines are too sharp on your standard prop bets, so we’re going off the rails this week. That’s right folks, we’re talking field goals. More specifically, the longest field goal in the Saints and Jets game on Sunday. The game is being played at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey where the forecast looks mostly clear, some wind, but not enough to significantly affect the kickers here. I don’t know that I’m qualified to analyze kickers and field goal attempts, but I’m obviously not qualified to analyze football as a whole either and I still pretend I can do that on a weekly basis. The line for the longest field goal is set at 47.5 yards, which is a fairly lengthy field goal for these two squads.
Similar to the last pick, all I can really do is look at numbers and team tendencies to piece this together. The first, and most important thing to consider in this pick is that neither kicker is particularly good. The Saints are sending out Brett Maher who is just recently off their practice squad and is two for three on field goals this season, with a long of 42 yards. The Jets, on the other hand, are starting Eddie Pineiro after cutting Matt Ammendola, who had been a complete liability for weeks. Pineiro last kicked in 2019 for the Bears, going 23 for 28, but just five for nine of kicks 40 yards and up. Apart from just the kickers, I think the game flow here could have an impact on the team’s willingness to kick long-field goals. Not to pile on the Jets (they’re terrible), but they have no reason to be attempting long kicks as big underdogs against a capable team like the Saints. Their defense isn’t good enough to win the game by kicking field goals. On the other side of the ball, the Saints shouldn’t be doing the Jets any favors by attempting long kicks and giving the Jets a short field. They should be more than happy to play the field goal game and make the Jets earn any points they score by sustaining drives. This fits with how the Saints have operated this year, attempting just 15 field goals on the season. That’s a lot of words to say I’m betting the under here, I don’t see a reason for a long field goal attempt in this game, and even if there is one there’s a good chance it ends in a miss. Let’s get weird.
Pick: UNDER 47.5 (-115, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Amon-Ra St. Brown O/U 4.5 Receptions
Alright, this one is slightly less weird than the previous two, but that’s just because DraftKings doesn’t let me get much weirder than betting the longest field goal without a ton of juice on either side of the bet. The weirdest part about this pick is that I’m making myself monitor the Broncos playing the Lions. There really aren’t very many redeeming aspects to either of these teams outside of the Lions’ being the lovable losers, but they finally got a win last week so they’re much less fun to root for now. Javonte Williams is also an absolute monster every time he touches the ball, but that’s not relevant here. What we’re looking at is Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions’ rookie receiver, and the number of passes he catches on Sunday.
First of all, let me just comment on how cool of a name “Amon-Ra” is. Vocabulary.com says Amon-Ra is an Egyptian sun god and the supreme god of the universe. That’s awesome and you can’t tell me otherwise. The line for the sun god’s receptions on Sunday in Denver is set at 4.5, a number I think he can easily surpass. Receptions are often a product of opportunity, and there should be plenty for St. Brown this week. T.J. Hockenson is doubtful with a hand injury and D’Andre Swift is also unlikely to play with the shoulder injury he’s been dealing with for the past few weeks. Outside of those two, St. Brown has more targets than anyone on the team, despite playing fewer snaps in the early part of the season. Someone has to catch the ball, and Jared Goff loves to throw the ball over the middle of the field. The Lions rookie receiver operates out of the slot on over 80% of his snaps, a number which could go even high due to Hockenson’s absence. What’s more, the Broncos’ slot corner Kyle Fuller is the third-worst rated corner this season. Rookie receivers often take a little time to develop and St. Brown is coming off his best career game. The opportunity should be there; look for the sun god to cash in on Sunday afternoon.
Pick: OVER 4.5 (-115, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Featured Image by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)