Brad Allen: Back Fitzmagic to pull a rabbit out of his hat

8 min

Hi folks; another solid week last week as we picked up 1.69 units taking us to +5.72 on the season. The Steelers and Panthers/Bucs overs were both no-doubters, and we could have had the sweep if not for some inept coaching from Vance Joseph.

To be fair you’ve got to expect some inept coaching from Vance Joseph, but I also expected some from Bill O’Brien, so thought it might be a wash.

The end of game decision making, where Joseph was happy enough to attempt a 51-yard field goal rather than advance the ball any further, was bad enough, but not as bad as the end of the first half. Joseph elected to try a 60+yard field goal, which his kicker promptly missed, giving the Texans the ball in Denver’s half. Two plays later Houston kicked a field goal of their own, creating a six point swing and ultimately the difference in the game.

Back to the ‘Fitzmagic Well’

Anyway, on to Week 10.

Since the Ravens are on a bye this week’ I’m going to have to find something else to write about it.

A good place to start obviously is Fitzmagic. Fitz slipped down the ANY/A rankings (basically passing efficiency including interceptions and sacks) this week thanks to two interceptions, but still led the Bucs to 28 points. For the season he still ranks fourth in ANY/A behind Mahomes, Rivers and Goff, and ahead of Brees. This is good company and suggests the Bucs are a top-ten offense. The defense, of course, is absolute trash, but as noted in these pages before, it has faced a brutal schedule of pass offenses, and is certainly capable of improvements in the right spot.

Which could definitely happen this week.

Taking over from incumbent Jameis Winston, once again Ryan Fitzpatrick has ignited this Bucs Offense

The Redskins could feasibly be without four of their starting five linemen this week.

From left to right (deep breath) LT Trent Williams is out with a thumb injury, LG Shawn Lauvao was put on IR this week, C Chase Roullier is healthy (hurrah) but the worst of the bunch, as PFF’s No. 24 center out of 35, RG Brandon Scherff (torn pec) was put on IR this week and RT Morgan Moses is questionable for Sunday with a knee sprain. Moses said this week he would have left the game Sunday with the injury but he couldn’t with the line already decimated.

The Reskins will not have an NFL-calibre offensive line Sunday, and Alex Smith is not the type of quarterback who can make that work (no-one is, to be honest).

We can also expect the Bucs to score and Smith has shown literally zero ability to keep up in this offence. He is 19th in the aforementioned ANY/A. Even without the O-line injuries, there’s an argument the Bucs are the better team thanks to a better adjusted net ypp at (-0.1) compared to the Skins’ -0.4. I suspect we might see a lopsided contest Sunday.

Falcons to soar in Cleveland

The next bet is along very similar lines; an elite offensive team with a shaky defence against a team with cluster injuries. This time it’s the Falcons.

Matt Ryan is sixth in the league in ANY/A, while the Falcons as a unit rank sixth in offensive ypp. They are also third in passing success rate, suggesting they are having sustainable success rather than just splash plays.

Of course, the defense is a well-known car crash, but you know the drill; they’ve faced a tough schedule and can be projected to improve a touch from their shoddy numbers to date. The return of speedy linebacker Deion Jones should also help.

The tandem of OC Steve Sarkisian and QB Matt Ryan started to gel well for the Falcons.

The Falcons face a Cleveland defence wracked with injuries, particularly in the secondary. They could be short five defensive starters from Week 1 and potentially be down to their fourth and fifth cornerbacks after injuries to EJ Gaines and star rookie Denzel Ward last week.

Needless to say, the Falcons and Julio Jones are not an ideal opponent for an undermanned secondary.

The Browns D also appears to be wearing down thanks to all the overtime games and being one of the few teams yet to have a bye (its next week).

Per Rotoworld’s Rich Hribar, the Browns have allowed 17 TD over the past four weeks, tied with our beloved Buccaneers for most in the league. Hribar’s colleague Evan Silva also pointed out rookie tackle Larry Ogunjobi has played 121 more snaps than any other DT in the league, while Myles Garrett has played 110 more snaps than any other DE.

On the other side of the ball, the Browns passing game is bottom five in the league by ANY/A and I don’t really see how they keep pace here.

Recommended Bets

  • Falcons -5 – 2 units @ 1.98
  • Buccaneers -3 – 1 unit @ 2.03
  • Buccanneers -4.5 – 1 unit @ 2.39