In the final week before the bye weeks start limiting your choices, there are several key matchups that should help take you to the pay window as we focus this week just on quarterbacks and receivers and give the running backs the week off.
Hooked on a Thielen
The Minnesota Vikings are playing a Detroit Lions team that is hobbled offensively – their top two running backs, top receiver, and left tackle were all limited in practice. They will struggle to score more than 14 points, which should give Minnesota the ball a lot. Wide receiver Adam Thielen has a modest Over/Under (62.5 yards at -114 for both the Over and Under). Teams have tended to put their top cornerback on Justin Jefferson, which will come home to roost when Thielen takes advantage. Take the Over (-114).
Ben There, Done That
There is a growing belief that the Pittsburgh Steelers may move on from Ben Roethlisberger before the end of this season. He’s averaging just 6.1 yards per attempt and less than 10 yards per completion, which makes his Over/Under (250.5 yards and -114 for both the Over and Under) seem quite high against a Denver Broncos defense that is allowing just 6.1 yards per attempt to opposing QBs. To hit that number, Big Ben may have to complete more than 25 passes. If he drops back 35-40 times against this defense, he will pay the price and make the decision move on easier because the Steelers won’t have a choice. Take the Under (-114).
Hooray for Hollywood?
The Indianapolis Colts can stop the run, which plays right into Baltimore’s hands on Monday night. So much so that teams are only throwing 27 times a game on average (and that includes Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill). The Ravens will likely look to run, which will come at the expense of receivers like Marquise Brown, who has a relatively low receptions Over/Under (4.5 receptions at +115 Over, -149 Under). While he likely has at least one big play in him, the Colts are going to respect his speed and slide a safety his way and force Lamar Jackson to look elsewhere. Take the Under (-149).
Living Here in Allentown
The Buffalo Bills head into Kansas City where quarterback Josh Allen has a gaudy passing yardage Over/Under (305.5 yards at -114 for both the Over and Under). This one has all the makings of a shootout, because the Chiefs can’t afford to remain in sole possession of last place in the AFC West, where they currently reside. In primetime, Patrick Mahomes is going to look to put on a show and, whether he does or doesn’t, the Chiefs’ pass defense is brutal. Opponents are averaging 307 passing yards a game, and none of them are as prolific as Allen. Look for a primetime track meet. Take the Over (-114).
Up Against the Waller
After being targeted 19 times in the season opener and catching 10 of them, Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller hasn’t had more the five receptions in any game since. As a result, his receptions Over/Under (5.5 at -156 Over, +120 Under) has been forcibly dropped. Derek Carr has been averaging 27 completions a game and, given the Chicago Bears’ defensive issues in the middle of the field, hitting Waller six times shouldn’t take that much doing if the game goes as the Raiders believe it will on their home turf. Take the Over (-156).
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