NFL Week 8 Special Props Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 10/24/2013
Not much resolution from my Week 7 Bovada specials story as I mostly focused on longer-term props. The one I did look at for last week only was on Broncos linebacker Von Miller in his return from suspension and how many sacks he would have against Indianapolis -- I leaned “under” one. I figured the Colts would focus all their blocking on stopping him, and he was neutralized, finishing with two tackles and, most important, no sacks.
OK, let's start this week on a few immediate props as well, on arguably the two best running backs in the NFL: Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Kansas City's Jamaal Charles. Peterson is given an “over/under” of 20.5 rushing attempts this week against Green Bay. I assume this prop was posted because the Vikings have used Peterson on just 23 combined carries the past two weeks. The three previous, he didn't have less than 23. Now, a big reason he hasn't been used is that the Vikings have been behind quickly. They let the incredibly bad Josh Freeman throw it 53 times on Monday night. With Christian Ponder back under center, I don't think he will be throwing it much. Thus, I love the over here even though Green Bay hasn't been good against the pass and is No. 3 against the run. Peterson torched the Pack in two regular-season games last season.
As for Charles, he has joined O.J. Simpson (1975) as the only players to accumulate at least 100 yards from scrimmage and score a touchdown in the first seven games of a season. That's one of those good times to be associated with O.J. That Charles will do it again this week against Cleveland is -140 with “no” at even. The Browns are No. 9 against the rush, but their pitiful offense usually means good field position for the opposition. Charles didn't have a catch in a Week 14 loss at Cleveland last year but rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown. You have to think he's good for at least 40 yards receiving -- he's averaging around 48 yards per game this year -- and 70 rushing. And the Chiefs aren't exactly passing for a ton of touchdowns, so I'd lean “yes” here.
Probably my favorite props when Bovada does these are on the bad teams, and there are a few of those this week. For example, will the Jaguars go 0-16? No is -400 and yes +250. Clearly they will not win Sunday in London against the 49ers. Then there's the bye. Rest of schedule: at Tennessee (loss), vs. Arizona (hmmm), at Houston (loss), at Cleveland (hmmm), vs. Houston (loss), vs. Buffalo (probably loss), vs. Tennessee (hmm) at Indianapolis (loss unless Colts have nothing to play for). I'd go no here just on value since there are only three realistic chances for a win.
The site also has a prop on the combined wins for the Bucs and Jags this year (4.5 wins), with the over a -140 favorite. I really don't see Jacksonville getting more than two at best. Can the Bucs get three? I am presuming they lose Thursday night to Carolina. Rest of schedule: at Seattle (loss), vs. Miami (loss), vs. Atlanta (hmmm), at Detroit (loss), at Carolina (loss), vs. Buffalo (hmm), vs. San Francisco (loss), at St. Louis (probably loss) at Saints (loss unless New Orleans is locked into a playoff spot). I don't realistically see more than two wins for Tampa Bay, either, especially with Doug Martin iffy the rest of the season. Go under, which is even money.
The Vikings are another bad team, and Bovada lists Leslie Frazier at +140 to be fired during the season and -180 not to. If this sentence stopped simply after fired, I'd bet the house on yes. But during the season? I'm surprised Frazier wasn't canned after the Freeman disaster on Monday. He clearly wasn't ready, so why not pull him at halftime? Then Freeman miraculously suffered a "concussion" early this week. Yeah right. I think it's too late already for the team to get rid of Frazier. Even if the Vikings get housed this week at home by Green Bay, then they play at Dallas and in a quick turnaround vs. Washington. You can't do it then because it wouldn't be fair to the players. Maybe after the Redskins game because then you have 10 days between games, and the next two are on the road -- Seattle and Green Bay. Thus, you deflect a bit of attention when the team isn't home and the home fans won't be booing. Frazier should last the season, but there's no way he's back in 2014.
Finally, two props on the Chicago Bears in the wake of Jay Cutler being sidelined at least four weeks -- a torn groin is going to cost him longer than that -- and linebacker Lance Briggs probably six. The Bears, who are on a bye this week, have a wins total of 8.0 (under a -130 favorite) with new QB Josh McCown. That they make the playoffs is +200 with not at -300. The Bears are 4-3, having lost three of four. Their remaining schedule: at Green Bay (loss), vs. Detroit (50-50), vs. Baltimore (loss), at St. Louis (probably win), at Minnesota (50-50) vs. Dallas (loss) at Cleveland (50-50), at Philadelphia (loss), vs. Green Bay (loss).
If Cutler somehow can make it back by the Vikings game, which I doubt, the Bears can go 9-7. Otherwise it looks like 7-9 to me. If McCown gets hurt, Chicago may not win again as Jordan Palmer would take over. No chance on the playoffs regardless.
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