The New England Patriots did not punt, not commit a penalty in the entire game Sunday night, yet readers of this column came away with a push on my second double bet of the year on New England -3. My record remains at 5-2 +4.32x on the NFL season heading into Week 7.
This week, I have two wagers.
Points Galore in Gotham
The first is New York Minnesota Over 47.
The New York Jets are among the most disrespected offenses in the NFL.
After hanging 48 points on the Detroit Lions in Week 1, Sam Darnold and company went through a lull averaging just 18 points per game the next four weeks. Last week they exploded for 42 points against the Colts.
I do not believe the market is giving the Jets respect for the schedule in which they faced. The four-game lull of the scoring came against the 11th, 3rd, 7th, and 8th most efficient defenses in the NFL – the toughest schedule of the time.
Their two outbursts of 48 and 42 points came against the Lions and Colts who rank 28th and 24th through six weeks in defensive efficiency.
Plain and simple, the Jets punish poor defenses.
This week the Jets face the Minnesota Vikings who are priced in the market as a top defensive team due to a lingering perception.
But, things are much different this season in Minnesota.
Critical injuries in the secondary have left the team a shadow of what they were a year ago. The Vikings rank 20th in defensive efficiency, but the number is much worse considering the fact they have played the 10th easiest schedule of opposing offenses.
The loss of Mike Hughes means the Vikings take to the field Sunday relying on a trio of cornerbacks who grade 56th, 74th and 96th respectively.
The Jets secondary is decimated too with Buster Skrine, Trumaine Johnson and Marcus Maye all hurt.
These injuries create a huge mismatch against spread out Vikings formations.
The Jets do not have matchup answers for Theilen, Diggs or Rudolph. New York also grades out 24th in the league at putting pressure on the quarterback, which means Cousins should be comfortable behind the offensive line which has been a trouble spot for Minnesota all season.
The only downside I see in this wager is the potential for the wind to pick up. NFL Weather has the forecast for 17mph, which is nearing the magic number of 20mph where totals tend to drop off. On a fair day, I make this total 50+ without blinking. As is at 47, there is significant value with both offenses set to take advantage of banged up secondaries.
I’ll make this my third double bet of the NFL season.
Time For A Monday Night Dog
Monday Night presents plenty of betting value too.
The New York Giants are taking a beating in the media – especially Eli Manning. Dig a little bit deeper, and it is not difficult to see the deck has been stacked against the Giants all year.
The offense is set up to move through Saquon Barkley. Only five teams (WAS, DAL, DET, SEA, NYJ) have run the ball more frequently than the Giants on 1st down in the opening quarter.
Interestingly enough with Barkley, 63% of his rushes have gone for 3 yards or less – which ranks near the bottom of the league – while 14% of his rushes have gone for 10 yards or more – which ranks near the top.
It is boom or bust, and it comes down to the offensive line.
The Giants tackles grade 36 and 68 of 70, guards grade 6th and 55 of 72 and centre grades 30 of 35. It is no surprise as a collective unit; the offensive line ranks 32 in adjusted line yards. However, New York has faced opponents which defensive lines rank 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 9th in the league, so how much of this is really to blame?
The only win for New York came against the 9th ranked defensive line of the Houston Texans, which was the only game they were able to call above 45% run plays which resulted in an overall offensive success rate of 48%.
The Atlanta Falcons are going to be a chance for the Giants to take a deep breath and get right.
The defensive line ranks 28th, the secondary grades to 22nd and the tackling defense as a whole grade out 30th. The Falcons are prone to getting torched by running backs. Ajayi, Mccaffrey, Bernard, Conner and Barber all were successful on at least 50% of their rushes. Alvin Kamara was successful on only 46%, but he was successful on 75% of his targets for 124 yards.
The Falcons are very thin at safety, and may be without their best pass rusher – Grady Jarret – and a leading defensive end – Derrick Shelby – on Monday Night. Offensively they have issues as well. Starting running back Devonta Freeman was placed on IR, and critical receivers Mohammed Sanu and Calvin Ridley are both banged up with hip and ankle injuries.
With Eli able to be comfortable in the pocket, Barkley able to run and Beckham Jr. able to evade weak opponents at corner on a fast playing surface, the Giants are set to put up their best offensive performance of the season.
The outright price does the trick for me. I will take New York to pull the upset and win straight up for a half stake.
- Minnesota Vikings New York Jets Over 47 (2.00) risking 2.00x
- New York Giants (3.22) risking 0.50x