It is Week 8 in the NFL. And along with all the pointspreads, moneylines and total lines for the matchups, Bovada has once again added some extra action to the games with a few NFL special props. The following two prop bets concern a struggling player and a losing team in terms of yards gained, and my bonus pick this week concerns a quarterback that might be playing for his job.
Indianapolis Quarterback Andrew Luck Total Passing Yards First Quarter
There is no doubt that Andrew Luck has already left his mark on the game in just his fourth year in the NFL, but this season has not really gone as planned for the 3-4 Indianapolis Colts. This Monday night the Colts will face Carolina as 7.5-point road underdogs, and Bovada has set the "over/under" on Luck's first-quarter passing yards at 54.5, with a -120 moneyline for both the over and the under.
Luck missed two games due to injury, and in the five games he did start he has thrown for 1,398 yards for an average of 279.6 yards a game. He has completed just 52.6 percent of his 210 attempts, and even more troublesome has been his nine interceptions against 11 touchdown throws. Despite some less-than-stellar numbers, Luck appears to be moving in the right direction with 312 passing yards in a Week 6 loss to New England and 333 yards in last week's loss to New Orleans. This was after he threw for fewer than 260 yards in each of his other three games this year.
Carolina's defense is ranked eighth against pass and playing at a fairly high level, but I am still banking on Luck to have some early success on Monday night with a play on the "over 54.5" yards passing in this prop.
Detroit Lions Total Offensive Yards
Detroit would qualify as one of the worst teams in the NFL this season on its 1-6 record alone, but the problems with this team run deep. The Lions are ranked 29th in the NFL in scoring (19.9 points) and they fall to dead last when it comes to running the ball. On defense, they are ranked in the bottom third of the league in almost every major category.
They head into Sunday's game against Kansas City as four-point road underdogs, and Bovada has set the over/under on their total offensive yards for the game at 325, with a -120 moneyline for both the over and the under.
Given that Detroit's average yards per game on offense this season is 346.6, I would tend to lead towards the over. This pick would be enhanced with a Kansas City defense that is ranked 20th in the NFL in total yards allowed in giving up an average of 368 a game. However, there is a reason why Bovada set this prop number so low, and it could have something to do with the Lions firing their offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi, and replacing him with quarterbacks coach Bob Cooter.
While a move like this mid-season may be perceived as a negative thing, to me it just seals the play on the over in this prop. The Lions have no running game to speak of, and Cooter is likely to lean on his quarterback, Matthew Stafford, even more in this game. Adding even more value to this pick is the fact that the Chiefs are ranked 23rd in the NFL against the pass.
Bonus Pick- San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick Pulled from a Game
You do not have to go all that far back in time when Colin Kaepernick was the toast of the town in San Francisco. Certain NFL experts lauded him as the prototypical quarterback of the future for his ability to run the spread offense, and his play on the field landed him a fat contract extension.
Fast forward to today and the 2-5 San Francisco has the worst offense in the league. Kaepernick is ranked well down the list in a number of categories among starting quarterbacks in the league. Bovada has set a special "yes or no" prop that he will be replaced for at least one series (that is not injury related) at some point this season. The moneyline for yes is -250, and the moneyline that he remains the permanent starter over the next nine games is +170.
Head coach Jim Tomsula was quick to dismiss a report by FOX's Jay Glazer that Kaepernick's confidence was "completely shot", but he did not actually give him a vote of his own confidence, either. The beleaguered quarterback has taken every snap so far, and there is a high risk/reward moneyline on the yes for this prop, but I am still going in that direction. Jobs will be on the line as the 49ers' dismal season wears on, and I have to think that somewhere along the line Tomsula is going to turn to Blaine Gabbert to see what he can do under center.
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