NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet WFT and Vikings to Cover as Underdogs, Plus Lions-Browns Over/Under
Rob Carr/Getty Images). Pictured: Washington RB Antonio Gibson celebrates with fans
Action’s Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, reveals the biggest edges based on his NFL Power Ratings. He has a 461-354-7 (56%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action App, where you can follow all of his picks.
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
|Washington +3.5 at Panthers|
|Vikings +1 vs. Packers|
|Lions-Browns Under 43|
The Football Team lost Chase Young to a torn ACL in Week 11, which is devastating for a defense that already lost Montez Sweat (jaw) to a multi-week injury. However, they were able to get two offensive linemen back last week in Brandon Scherff and Samuel Cosmi. It was able to pay immediate dividends as the Washington offense dominated the time of possession 39 to 21 and kept Tom Brady on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, Cam Newton scored two touchdowns on just nine snaps last week, thanks to cashing in on goal-line packages that were designed for him. While he is certainly a long-term upgrade over Sam Darnold, I think the market is overreacting to the Panthers’ 34-10 win over the Cardinals (without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins).
Head coach Matt Ruhle has hinted that Newton isn't fully up to speed with the offense when he says that P.J. Walker will get playing time this week. In addition, the Panthers have become an extremely run-heavy offense, which doesn't match up well against a pass-funnel Washington defense (29th DVOA vs. pass, seventh vs. run).
This makes for a perfect spot to fade the Panthers giving up a key number of 3.5.
This week, the Vikings will be getting back LB Anthony Barr, CB Patrick Peterson and S Harrison Smith. That's excellent news for this defense and their chances of slowing down Aaron Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Packers will be without RB Aaron Jones, WR Allen Lazard and LT David Bakhtiari (who could make his season debut next week). Aaron Rodgers is also dealing with a toe injury that forced him to miss two practices this week. I like the Vikings' chances of slowing down a banged-up Packers offense here.
On the other side of the ball, the Vikings offense is at full strength, and the elite WR duo of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen should be able to take advantage of a secondary that's still missing CB Jaire Alexander. To make matters worse, the Packers may be without LB Rashan Gary, who is a game-time decision. Gary has stepped up with Za'Darius Smith on IR, so losing him will be a big blow to this defense.
The Vikings are an underrated team due to losing four games by four or fewer points this year. Their expected win-loss record is 7.0-2.0 according to the metric I created that looks at average game time trailing/tied/leading. I foresee that the Vikings win outright here and would bet them up to -1.
: The Lions have been an under machine of late, as the under has gone 6-1 in their past seven games. It makes sense considering they run the ball at the third-highest rate in neutral situations, and Jared Goff's aDot (6.2) is the lowest of all qualified QBs. Therefore you have a team that keeps the clock running AND struggles to score points (haven't scored 20+ points since Week 1).
Tim Boyle likely making his first career start makes the under an even more attractive play this week. It's a bit of a mystery as to how he's become a starting QB in the NFL. He had a 1:13 TD:INT ratio in three years of Division I college football, then posted an 11:13 ratio as a senior in Division II. He's failed to impress in limited preseason action as well.
I'm projecting this closer to 40.5, and even that may be a bit too high considering I'm not sure how the Lions will score 14+ points. The Browns are more than willing to stick to a run-heavy game plan and win a low-scoring 21-10 type of game. I would bet this down to 41.