Record: 32-24 | Bonus Record: 3-6
Sometimes bad divisions are really annoying in football because let’s be honest, I think we’d all rather see Justin Herbert facing the Chiefs or Bills in wild-card weekend than witness another early exit from the Titans. Maybe I’m biased, but this Lions team in the playoffs also sounds much more appealing than the incapable Bucs right now. Alas, neither the Chargers or Lions are likely to see playoff action going into this week but victories for both on Sunday could make things very interesting down the stretch:
Justin Herbert O301.5 Passing Yards
The Chargers have one of the worst rushing attacks in the league and face the Titans, whose defense’s strength is limiting opponents on the ground. Luckily for the Chargers, the Titans don’t defend the pass as well which Herbert should be able to exploit. With both Mike Williams and Keenan Allen back the last couple of weeks, Herbert is finally throwing to better than practice squad level receivers. This has already led to a jump in production from Herbert and expect him to capitalize on it even more in a pivotal matchup for the Chargers’ playoff hopes.
Lions -1 @ Jets
This bet became much less scary after the Jets announced Mike White out for Sunday with Zach Wilson set to takeover. The Jets defense, as always, will keep them within striking distance and could limit the Lions red hot offense more than people expect. Jared Goff has been outstanding leading the unit in recent weeks, but if there’s something he has struggled in over the years, it’s facing a strong pass rush on the road. The Jets’ pass rush and elite secondary will probably force Goff into making a couple bad decisions, but it won’t be enough to carry Wilson and the offense. Although the Lions’ pass defense is extremely generous to opposing quarterbacks, it clamps down in the red zone and can even cause a turnover when needed. When the Jets are held to less than two touchdowns Sunday, everyone will remember why Wilson was benched after week eleven. On the contrary, Goff and the Lions accomplish enough on offense to keep their playoff hopes alive with the sudden plethora of receiving options available. Expect this line to shift in to increasingly favor the Lions before kickoff so ride this value at -1.
Lions @ Jets U44 Total Points
Reasons for this bet are partially explained in the previous bet, and similarly, this line will probably shift before kickoff because of the Zach Wilson news. The Lions may not completely shut the Jets down, but will at least force them to settle for field goals after Wilson stalls drives while displaying horrendous accuracy on a short field. This game should be a great test for the Lions’ offense and will decide if they can be a playoff team. It’s very likely that Goff looks more like last year’s version early in this game, but if he can overcome the early struggles than the Lions will walk away with a win and vastly improved chance to make the playoffs. Either way, neither teams’ offense performs well enough for sixty minutes to score over 44 points.
Colts @ Vikings U47.5 Total Points
This line is perplexingly high given that both teams matchup well against the opposing offense. The one thing the Vikings’ defense has a chance of is stopping the run, which is about the only aspect of offense the Colts can ever establish. If the Vikings can contain Taylor, their floundering defense might actually rebound in a matchup against Matt Ryan. Furthermore, I don’t expect the Colts to need to chase points in this matchup. Dalvin Cook likely adds another inefficient game on to the many he has when facing solid rush defenses, and the Colts also possess the secondary to limit Justin Jefferson. Of course when limited, Jefferson can still drop a hundred yard receiving game, but Cousins hasn’t found consistent production in any options behind Jefferson. Overall, the value is on the under with both offenses having a high probability to struggle on Sunday.
Eagles @ Bears O48.5 Total Points
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ rushing attack are about to do horrible things to this Bears’ defense. Although especially vulnerable on the ground, the Bears aren’t much better through the air, so the Eagles basically have their choice in how to pick the Bears apart. This is why I’m hesitant to recommend betting an Eagles’ player prop, because there’s really so many ways to rack up over thirty points on the Bears. While the Bears’ strength in their own rushing attack still won’t return to full return to full capacity with Kahlil Herbert ruled out, Fields’ legs are fresh off a bye and ready to carry the Bears offense. The Eagles comfortably win this one and potentially score forty points, but the Bears’ rushing attack does enough to create a couple of scores and allows the total to reach this line.