Brad Allen: Prepare For The Return Of The Steel Curtain

8 min

Brad is back with four more bets for Week 13 including a pro-Pittsburgh look!

2-1 last week for +1.8 units, and +5.39 units on the season. It was looking pretty shaky after the Broncos were dominated early on Sunday and Dak looked like he’d never seen rain before in New England, but we got out alive!

Steelers To Stop Browns In Their Tracks

First up this week we will have some Pittsburgh Steelers. Two weeks ago, the Browns were favoured by 2.75 points at home on a short week against Pittsburgh, suggesting the Steelers were just marginally the better team.

Two weeks later, this line says the Browns are better by 5.

So what’s changed?

The Browns won that first game comfortably of course (although the closing line is a better data point than the actual result), and last week shellacked the Dolphins.

Forgive me if I am unimpressed by that one.

The Browns will also be without star DE Myles Garrett here, while the Steelers will be without center Maurkice Pouncey and slot WR JuJu Smith Schuster.

The Steelers also have a new QB, but there’s no way Duck Hodges can be a downgrade from Mason Rudolph, who, to quote Evan Silva, is as bad at quarterbacking as he is at fighting. Through 40 attempts this year, Hodges has a 59 QBR and 8 yards-per-attempt compared to 33 and 6.2 YPA for Rudolph.

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin turns to Duck Hodges at QB this week.

You can rest assured the Steelers are going to be absolutely ferocious in this one as home underdogs with revenge on their mind, and I simply don’t see how you can justify this price move.

I like the under too.

Mike Tomlin said this week Hodges “won’t kill us”, suggesting a very conservative game plan, and I believe this Steelers D (3rd in defensive DVOA) will be able to shut down the Brownies.

Points in Gotham

Next up I’ll have Over 45 in New York.

I had to check the weather forecast when I saw this number as it seems 2 points too low, but the forecast calls for a clear day, albeit around zero degrees.

I suspect this numbers is being held down by the Packers’ miserable performance on Sunday night, as well as the Giants’ own scoring issues in Chicago. Starting with Green Bay, this offense still ranks 7th in DVOA and they will find the going a lot easier against a Giants coverage unit ranked 29th by PFF (compared to the 2nd ranked unit of San Francisco). The Packers were also flustered by the Niners 3rd-ranked pass rush to the tune of five sacks and 10 QB hits Monday night, but again should find life much easier against the Giants 29th-ranked pass rush.

Packers DC Mike Pettine could have his hands full this week.

The Giants are also an offense that lends itself to an over in my view, with Danny Dimes behind only Jameis Winston in committing turnovers this season. The Packers D is bottom half of the league by DVOA, and as we have seen multiple times, can be scored on.

Dancing to Reid’s tune

Finally, I will have a small bet on the Chiefs.

Andy Reid’s record with more than seven days to prepare is well known by now but to reiterate, he is 32-22-1 ATS, good for a 59% hit rate.

The logic behind this #TREND is simply that he is the best schemer in football and giving him extra time to prepare is deadly.

Just off a bye week, he is 17-3 straight up.

I’d argue this isn’t quite factored into the line because I made this number above 10 based on season-long numbers and would argue it should be even higher – Mahomes will have had time to rest his balky knee for starters and Tyreke Hill should also play.

The Chiefs will hope that Tyreek Hill is good to go on Sunday night.

We know the Chiefs have the better offense, but the bigger chasm is actually on defenSe where Kansas City is sneakily 14th in DVOA and 6th in pass defense. The Raiders meanwhile are 31st despite a much easier schedule.

In short, I expect the Chiefs to blaze out the blocks here and put the onus on the Raiders to keep up.

Oakland’s run-heavy and short passing attack is ideal when they can control the game but once they’re down 14 in the second quarter and Carr has to start winging it, I suspect things will start to fall apart.

Recommended Bets

  • Steelers moneyline: 1 unit @ 2.16
  • Steelers/Browns under 39: 1 unit @ 1.00
  • GB/NYG Over 45: 1 unit @ 1.93
  • Chiefs -9.5: 1 unit @ 1.98