NFL Week 7 Special Props Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 10/17/2013
I've been a little lax this season on hitting on some special week-to-week NFL props that Bovada and a few other sites are excellent at coming up with, so I'm here to remedy that this week. As usual, some of these are things that may happen this week, but some are just built off the news of the day and won't be decided for a while.
For example, the Houston Texans are one of the big stories in the NFL right now. Matt Schaub was cheered when he was injured in last week's shocking loss to Rams. Has Schaub been terrible this year? Yeah. But obviously no player should be cheered due to injury -- especially at home!! Bovada has two Texans props I like regarding Week 1 of the 2014 season: Will Schaub be the starting quarterback of the team (“no” -150, “yes” +110) and will Gary Kubiak be the team's head coach then (yes even, no -140).
I think these guys' fortunes are tied to each other, and barring a huge turnaround this season, I lean no. Kubiak has led the Texans to back-to-back playoff berths, but they have been outclassed in the divisional round in both years after beating the Bengals in Houston in the wild-card round. I think Kubiak's fate was sealed when Houston dropped three of its final four last regular season after starting 11-1 and looking like the AFC's top seed and perhaps best team. The Texans haven't been the same since.
Can you say Kevin Sumlin for the Texans? Of course he now coaches Texas A&M and used to coach the University of Houston. This hiring would re-energize a fan base that is starting to wane. I'd put money down now on Sumlin at least getting a call. I am guessing USC also makes a run at him, maybe Texas too, but I think he's tired of the college game after dealing with the whole Johnny Manziel mess. Plus Manziel, his meal ticket, is almost certainly going pro after this season, and A&M is likely to regress a bit. It's the best time to leave. The real question is: Would the Texans then draft Manziel? How great would that be if Sumlin and “Johnny Football” are reunited in the NFL when they clearly can't stand one another? Won't happen, but still great to think about.
Any new head coach Houston gets is going to want his own QB. Next year's draft is loaded at the position. Perhaps the Texans can land a one-year stopgap (Brett Favre? Wish I was kidding) or use T.J. Yates until a rookie is ready.
Staying with the quarterback theme and next year's draft: Will the New York Giants take one in Round 1? No is -1500 and yes +700. Eli Manning is having his worst season, leading the NFL with 15 picks while completing only 53.7 percent of his passes. He looks lost. However, New York's offensive line is one of the worst in the league as is its running back group. It's not all Manning's fault. The guy has two Super Bowl rings, so he has juice built up in the city and in the organization. Could the Giants take his eventual successor in maybe the third round next year? For sure. Manning will be 33 in January. But not the first round as they have way too many holes to fill and can get an impact player at another position -- Jadeveon Clowney? -- with a likely Top 3-5 pick.
The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 29, and perhaps the biggest name on the block is Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks. That he will be traded is +150 and no at -200. There's really no reason for New York not to. The G-Men aren't going to win 10 straight games and reach the playoffs. Nicks will be a free agent after the season, and the team already committed a huge deal to Victor Cruz; Nicks supposedly wants more than the $43 million Cruz got. New York also has young Rueben Randle ready to take Nicks' spot. San Francisco and New England make huge sense for Nicks -- a third-round pick might do it. I think he does go, although the availability of Cleveland's Josh Gordon will affect any Nicks market.
I am Peyton Manning'd out, so I'm not going to touch on the props on how many times he will be shown in a Colts uniform during the NBC live broadcast on Sunday night (“over/under” 4.5) or Manning's stats against fellow No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck (Manning -35.5 passing yards, -1.5 touchdowns), but I do find the prop on whether Denver's Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker and Julius Thomas all get at least 1,000 yards receiving this year interesting. No is the huge -1000 favorite with yes at +500.
Needless to say, no team has had four 1,000-yard guys. A few have had three, the last the 2008 Arizona Cardinals of Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston. Manning did it in 2004 with Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stokley and Reggie Wayne. Demaryius Thomas is on pace for 1,408, Decker 1,272, Julius Thomas 1,106 and Welker 1,008. I'd love to recommend yes here, but that would mean all four guys have to stay healthy. Plus, the winter weather is coming to Denver. Finally, the Broncos might have the AFC's top seed sewn up by Week 14 and take their foot off the gas in the final few weeks.
Finally, just so we have one prop that is resolved this week: How many sacks will Von Miller have against the Colts? The over/under is 1.0, with both at -120. Miller is likely chomping at the bit after sitting out the first six games for violating the league's drug policy. His name is mud right now as he reportedly tried to conspire with the urine collector (first time I've used word urine in a Doc's story) to use another sample. I can't believe the NFL didn't suspend Miller a lot longer. I do think he will be totally jacked up to play Sunday, and I presume he is in fine shape. Miller had 18.5 sacks last year and 11.5 as a rookie. Andrew Luck has gone down 17 times, or nearly three times a game. I think this will be a push, but I'm leaning under. The Indy gameplan will be to double Miller, who now has to learn to play without Elvis Dumervil taking some of the pressure off on the other side.
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