Sunday NFL Picks: Cardinals vs Broncos, Titans vs Chargers Among Best Bets
Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Greg Dulcich
Looking for the top NFL picks this Sunday?
Our analysts have you covered with their best bets for the late afternoon slate based on the latest NFL odds.
Sam Farley: Whenever the Cardinals play, it’s worth checking the odds for their opponent’s tight end to find the end zone.
The Cardinals have allowed nine touchdowns to TEs this season, and Sunday is building to be the perfect storm for them to concede another to Greg Dulcich.
It’s been confirmed that Brett Rypien will be under center for the Broncos with Russell Wilson ruled out despite clearing concussion protocol. And we know backup QBs often look to rely on their tight ends.
Dulcich has been impressive since first taking the field in Week 6. And over the past two weeks, he’s been targeted 16 times — if he gets anywhere near that volume against the Cardinals defense, there is a better than +320 chance that he gets his second touchdown of the season.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
John LanFranca: List as many Mike Vrabel underdog trends until your heart’s content — none of them will save this defense on Sunday afternoon.
Since Week 10, the Titans defense ranks 30th in pass defense DVOA. And offenses are exploiting this glaring weakness early and often. Two weeks ago, Jalen Hurts attacked the Titans with 19 passing attempts on the Eagles’ first 23 plays; one week ago, Trevor Lawrence set his career high in passing yards.
Tennessee’s two starting cornerbacks, Terrance Mitchell and Roger McCreary, rank 62nd and 80th (out of 119 qualifying players) in PFF coverage grades. This Titans unit will also be missing their second-best defender, Denico Autry, whose 7 sacks and 44 total pressures will be sorely missed against a Chargers offense that is just starting to hit its stride.
Mike Williams returned last week to the tune of 116 yards, and I expect more of the same this week, as the Titans defense is giving us 9.5 yards per attempt to boundary wide receivers. Justin Herbert will be the latest signal-caller to light up the scoreboard against this vulnerable Titans team.
With all of the talk about how poor the Chargers’ rush defense has been this season, they have improved dramatically over the past four weeks, ranking at a league-average 15th in DVOA.
Tennessee has put up more points on fewer than 30% of their total possessions, ranking 31st ahead of only the inept Broncos offense. Without their lone playmaker in the passing game, Treylon Burks, the Titans cannot afford to fall behind early.
A fully-loaded Chargers offense will get them one step closer to a wildcard berth. This is one of my strongest positions of the football season.
Play the Chargers to -4 (check real-time NFL odds here).
Dylan Wilkerson: In the heart of the Music City sits Nissan Stadium, home to the guys who can’t defend against the pass. Other teams know this, too.
There were seven times this season that opposing offenses attempted more than 39 passes against the Titans. That represents slightly more than half of their opponents, but when you look at instances in which opponents attempted fewer than 40 passes against the Titans, you’ll reveal useful insights: The Giants, Texans, Commanders (Carson Wentz) and Colts (Matt Ryan) all have subpar quarterbacks and decent run games. It did not suit them to come out of the gate slinging the ball against Tennessee.
Justin Herbert’s arm is used to high-usage situations. He is averaging more than 43 pass attempts per game this season, including just shy of 50 pass attempts in his past three games. He has surpassed 39 pass attempts in eight of his games this season.
The Titans have the skillset to give this Chargers team trouble. I see Los Angeles turning to the arm of its star QB to right the ship.