Expert Week 16 best bets for Giants vs. Vikings, more


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Giants +4
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time
1 p.m. ET

Chris Raybon: The Vikings are still overrated for their record (11-3), which they set despite a 44.6 yards-per-game lead.

Despite the difference in talent between the two games, the Giants were the better team, finishing 22nd overall on the DVOA compared to the Vikings in 25th place. There’s a slightly larger discrepancy when you look at the weighted DVOA, which ranks recent games and has the Giants in 21st and the Vikings in 26th.

The Giants defense plays the league’s highest man coverage that Kirk Cousins ​​has fought. He averages 7.2 yards per pass attempt against man compared to 8.3 yards against zone. The Giants also blitz at the highest rate in the league (40.7%), and blitzing was a big problem for Cousins ​​as well. His Pro Football Focus 52.7 blitz grade ranks 36th out of 39 qualified quarterbacks, and he suffers from efficiency losses across the board.

  • Cousins ​​when not blitzed: 68.4% completion percentage, 7.5 yards per attempt, 95.7 rating
  • cousins ​​vs. Blitz: 55.6% completion percentage, 5.6 yards per attempt, 80.4 score

It’s not just the flash that has caused problems for Cousins. He has also struggled against the pressure of a four-man onslaught, with his passer rating falling to a 79.4 when pressured.

Despite their lightning-fast identity, the Giants are now fourth in overall pressure rate (24.5%) thanks to a now-healthy front four with Kayvon Thidbodeax and Azeez Olujari on the rim and Leonaerd Williams and Dexter Lawrence on the inside. New York should be able to succeed against a Minnesota offensive line that has allowed Cousins ​​to be pressured on 37.0% of its dropbacks, the seventh-highest.

This is a big reason why the Vikings are only 22nd in offensive DVOA and 22nd when they weight the latter games heavier. Williams and Lawrence in particular should be able to wreak havoc on the inside against right guard Ed Ingram and center Austin Schlottman. Ingram is a struggling rookie who is ranked 68th out of 75 qualified guards in pass protection at PFF. Schlottman is a fifth-year undrafted pro making his third start of the season in place of Garrett Bradberry (back), who has allowed nine pressure points in his first two starts.

The Vikings will still move the ball here, but pressure should help the Giants get stops in key situations. This has been the formula all season as New York ranks fourth in allowable red zone conversion rate (50.0%) and fifth in allowable third zone conversion rate (34.9%).

Surprisingly, the Giants offense was the more efficient of those two, finishing 14th overall and 12th ranked more heavily in recent games. The Vikings defense, meanwhile, ranks 20th overall and is trending down, with a 24th place in the weighted DVOA. The Vikings’ defense has allowed opponents to move the ball at will – their 5,589 yards is a league high – but has managed to stay afloat at times, having the ninth-most turnovers (29) which does not bode well against a Giant offensive tied with Philadelphia for the championship lead by just 13 freebies.

One of the main reasons the Giants don’t turn over the ball is because of the play by Daniel Jones, who leads the league with a 1.0% interception rate.

Jones has thrown just one interception in six road games this season and was one of the top quarterbacks to return on the road throughout his career. According to our Action Labs data, 15-5-1 (75%) ATS as a street underdog in his career, including 12-1 (92%) ATS as a street dog with under 8 points.


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Below 43.5
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time
1 p.m. ET

Chris Raybon: This is one of the higher totals of the week as the forecast calls for temperatures of “only” 11 degrees below freezing and average wind speeds of “only” 18 mph, although I think it’s too high, not due to the weather, but due to both Defense is trending up, with the Panthers 10th in the DVOA on defense as of Week 10 and the Lions 15th (although it’s worth noting that the Under is 6-3 in games that started by Jared Goff in temps under 40).

The Lions defense has taken an amazing turnaround since changing their scheme and firing defense coach Aubrey Pleasant prior to Week 9, improving not just against the pass but across the board. Here are their per-game numbers before and after the change:

  • Weeks 1-8: 32.1 points, 421.3 total yards, 0.75 turnovers
  • Weeks 9-15: 19.9 points, 375.7 total yards, 1.71 turnovers

The Lions went from 154.9 rushing yards per game in their first seven games to 112.0 in their last seven, which is big against a Panthers offense that has rushed in 51.0 percent of the time since interim coach Steve Wilks took over designed run. And even that could sell the Lions short in this matchup, as 45% of Detroit’s rushing yardage allowed since Week 9 is for opposing quarterbacks as they face a daunting list of top scramblers, including Justin Fields and Josh Allen.

Against running backs since Week 8, the Lions have conceded just 56.3 yards on 17.6 carries per game, good for a stellar 3.2 yards per carry.

Sam Darnold isn’t much of a threat on the ground — he averages 3.0 carries for 11.7 yards — and has to deal with a Lions defense that blitzes at the sixth-highest rate (31.6%) when he falls back to to fit. Darnold struggles when the defense sends extra rushers, with his 59.8 PFF score versus the blitz putting him 38th out of 48 quarterbacks with at least 20 blitzed dropbacks.

While this isn’t one of the week’s worst weather games, it’s worth noting that the Lions offense has seen a massive drop this season when they’re out on the road, regardless of the conditions.

  • Home: 32.1 points, 341.7 total yards, 0.75 turnovers
  • Road: 18.7 points, 401.4 total yards, 1.33 turnovers

The Lions played good defense in the Jets on the road last week, but it’s still worth noting that although they scored 20 points, they were a return from Calif Raymond Punt and a Jets broke cover in fourth place and only was inches away from potentially just six points (nine if you factor in Michael Badgley’s missed field goal). The Lions don’t expect to put up a massive number against a Panthers defense that’s only allowed 13.0 points per game at home since Wilks took over.

Neither offense expects to garner support from officials as Shawn Hochuli’s side have called 3.0 offensive penalties per game, the most of any team and nearly one full penalty per game above the league average of 2.19. According to our Action Labs data, the under is 41-29-3 (59%) all-time in games directed by Hochili. That includes an 8-5 (62%) mark this season and a 23-5-1 (82%) mark if the total is below 45.

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically preload their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.


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Texans +3.5
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time
1 p.m. ET

Chris Raybon: Malik Willis simply passed the ball 32 times for 219 yards and two touchdowns to Derrick Henry against what was then the league’s worst running defense to win 17-10 in those teams’ first matchup, but it could be more of a fight this time. The Texans have since improved in run defense and have been in DVOA against run 10 since Week 10.

Additionally this week, the Titans placed center Ben Jones (concussion) and guard Nate Davis (ankle) on IR. Both are big losses, as Jones had a PFF score of 72.6, 8th of 39 qualifiers at center, and Davis had a PFF score of 70.6, 18th of 86 qualifiers on guard. The duo joined left tackle Taylor Lewan (knee), meaning more than half of Tennessee’s starting offense is now on IR.

The Titans are also grappling with a number of defensive injuries. They shut out cornerback Krisitan Fulton (groin), linebacker Dylan Cole (ankle) and placed cornerback Terrance Mitchell (hamstring) on ​​IR this week. They also recently lost linebacker David Long (ankle), who finished 14th of 80 linebackers at PFF.

With injuries on both sides of the ball, it’s far from a boon for the Titans, especially as Willis again starts in place of the player with the most serious injury (Ryan Tannehill; ankle). Tennessee averaged just 17.0 points per game and 48.5 net passing yards on Willis’ two starts and now faces a suddenly lively Texans team that includes the Cowboys (27-23 loss) and the Chiefs (30-23). 24 loss) almost upset in the last two weeks.

The total for this game is mid-30s, making the underdog even more valuable. According to our Action Labs data, underdogs with more than one field goal totaling 47 or fewer this season are 64-37 (63%) ATS, averaging 2.2 points per game.

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically preload their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.


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