Adam Chernoff pushed with the Bucs last week but is more than happy to double up for week 10 of the NFL season!
A wild, wacky and bizarre push with the Seattle Seahawks last week leaves readers in the same position at 6-6 (-0.46x) for the column this year. For Sunday I am looking at two spots, one total and one side.
Overs The Way To Go In Indy
I think it makes most sense to get the bad out of the way first with this handicap. There is going to be a lot of start power missing for this game. Preston Williams – arguably the best receiver for Miami – is out for the season. The Colts main offensive weapon TY Hilton is going to miss this game with a calf injury as well secondary receiver Paris Campbell. The main injury news is that Jacoby Brissett could well miss this game (more on this in a second) which means the three top receivers and one starting QB are out for this game. There is obviously a lot of production looking for a replacement.
With that said, we saw this price get smoked on Monday morning from 43 up through the key number of 44 to 45 before being back down to 43.5 on Monday evening. Two clear buy points at 43 and 45 with some selling off in-between on the key number.
The case for the over, in my opinion, is quite straight forward. This is my third or fourth time this season backing an over in Ryan Fitzpatrick start, and I believe it is the first time that I – or anyone – is discussing or questioning the talent around him.
Fitzpatrick despite his flaws relentlessly pushes the ball down the field.
Of all qualifying quarterbacks this season, Fitz ranks third in intended air yards per throw at 10.2. His aggression level is off the charts too.
No quarterback has thrown more attempts into windows where the nearest defender is within one yard than Fitzpatrick. Bottom line, when he is under centre, the ball is going downfield frequently into any window. Chad O’Shea is willing to give him attempts, too. For the season, the Dolphins have the third highest pass rate at 66% and in a negative game state, the number jumps up to 75%. In parsing out only Fitzpatrick starts, the number jumps to 78%.
The Colts are sound defensively down to down defending the pass ranking 12th, but they are bottom third in preventing explosive plays.
It is great backing the Dolphins at these short prices over as the volume of deep attempts always creates upside for the over.
From the Colts perspective, the loss of Hilton and Campbell are huge. This price may react to news of Brissett, but I am not too concerned about whether it is him or Hoyer under center. Anytime there is a change at quarterback, it is important to evaluate the scheme and the opponent. In terms of scheme, the Colts allow for the easiest replacement of quarterbacks. They have a sound offensive line (7th in pass block win rate and top third in adjusted sack rate) game plan well and grade out exceptionally running the football.
In this matchup, the best plan of attack is to run the ball between the tackles. Miami is 30th in rushing success rate defense, 31st in adjusted line yards and 30th in forcing negative plays. The Dolphins are 31st in pass rush win rate, 29th in adjusted sack rate and grade out 31st in pass rush.
Not only will the Colts be focusing on running the football, but regardless of which QB they put in the game, they will be free to throw behind a top eight offensive line blocking the second-worst pass rush.
When the Colts do decide to pass, they should find success with consistency considering the injuries Miami has in the secondary and their rank of 32nd in passing success rate defence. Considering that the Colts are a double-digit favourite, the likely game state we will see for the majority of the game (Colts playing with a touchdown or more lead) should accelerate both of the advantages these two teams have on offense.
At less than the key number of 44, this bet is worth making with considerable upside on the over.
More Than Happy To Jump Off The Packers Bandwagon
This next bet is interesting due to the matchup.
While this does not qualify for a push/pull market set up, this stand does come against the Packers who in many ways are going the opposite direction. The Packers (unfortunately for my preseason prediction) are at the top of their range and have been there for a couple of weeks now.
Despite earning seven wins this season, four of the victories were in games where Green Bay was out-gained in yards per play by their opponent. Much of the issue has been on the defensive side of the football.
For the season, Green Bay is 31st in rushing success rate defense and in the last four weeks 28th in passing success rate defense.
To level out the numbers, it is important to point out that Green Bay has faced the fifth most difficult schedule of opposing offenses and the fourth most difficult schedule of opposing passers. The number that does stand out is 31st against the run against a league average schedule.
Mike Pettine is stubborn in the way that he continues to forgo defending the rush, stay in DIME personnel and focus on keeping the pass in-front.
This game sets up extremely well for Carolina for a couple of reasons.
The main one is Christian McCaffrey. Not only will he have success running the football, but he will also have success catching it too. The weakness on the ground vs RB’s was explained for GB, but their inability to stop the pass is evident too. They have allowed the seventh-most targets to opposition RB’s and the second most TD’s. The Packers defensive line ranks 32nd in adjusted line yards and forces the third-fewest negative plays.
With Carolina consistently sustaining offense, it allows them to get creative. Taking this a step further, the Panthers have a ton of success out of two wide receiver sets running and passing the football. The preferred power look when running opens up a ton of opportunity for play-action against the Packers defense which has conceded the fifth most explosive passing plays against. Moore, Samuel and Wright all have speed and matchup well when opposed in press man as the Packers like to set up.
There should be an opportunity for Kyle Allen to push the ball downfield frequently.
The Panthers secondary has quietly ranked 6th in passing defense success rate, and most teams have found success moving the football on the ground. This total has ticked down from 48 through the key of 47 to 46.5 in reflection of what is shaping up to be a lower variance game than most expect.
Getting 5.5 could look awfully big come Sunday when the Panthers are able to continuously move the football to control the game. Quite content with this price in the account in what I anticipate to be a competitive game start to finish.
- Dolphins vs Colts – Over 43.5 at 1.9 Risking 1.0x
- Panthers +5.5 at 2.0 Risking 1.0x