Tampa Bay @ Las Vegas
Recommended Wager: TB -3.0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (Week 13 bye)
-RB Leonard Fournette (ankle) was INACTIVE week 4. He was active week 5 after being listed as doubtful, but did have a single carry and was for emergency purposes only. He was INACTIVE week 6 after being questionable/limited.
IR: TE OJ Howard (Achilles – season ending), RB Kejon Barner (suspension), DT Vita Vea (ankle – season ending)
Las Vegas Raiders: (Week 6 bye)
-DT Maliek Collins (shoulder/illness) was injured week 4 and INACTIVE week 5 after being limited/questionable.
IR: WR Tyrell Williams (shoulder), LG Richie Incognito (Achilles – short term), RT Trent Brown (COVID-19), LG Denzelle Good (COVID-19), C Rodney Hudson (COVID-19), RG Gabe Jackson (COVID-19), LT Kolton Miller (COVID-19), DT Maurice Hurst (COVID-19), CB Nevin Lawson (suspension), CB Damon Arnette (thumb/COVID-19), S Jonathan Abram (COVID-19)
Spread watching/COVID-19: The line opened at -2.5 and was bet up to 3, which is where the model grabbed it Tuesday night. The line currently sits at 3.5, which removes any value as it’s crossed a key number. The Raiders are also dealing with a COVID-19 issues. After RT Trent Brown tested positive, they put their entire offensive line on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The game was originally scheduled for Sunday night, and has since been pushed to 4pm in case it needs to be moved. That way, the league won’t lost their Sunday night game. Pay attention to the news and bet the Bucs if it moves back to 3. Or, better yet, get your bets in when we post the recommendations Tuesday nights.
The Bucs offense is 7th in DVOA and 13th in EPA/play. Tom Brady is the 3rd best QB in the league per PFF’s grading system, and plays behind one of the better offensive lines. The receiving options have had their health issues, but everyone finally appears to be fully healthy. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should be Brady’s favorite receivers, with Rob Gronkowski, Scotty Miller, and Ronald Jones chipping in as well. I’ve often called Gronk a professional wrestler playing football, but he chipped in well last week, catching 5 balls on 8 targets for 78 yards a TD. The defense is the best in the league, per DVOA and EPA/play. They have a solid pass rush (Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul), one of the better linebackers in football (Lavonte David), and one of the better corner duos in football (Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis).
The Raiders have quietly put together an impressive offensive season, ranking 6th in DVOA and 5th in EPA/play. Derek Carr has been his normal, safe/check-down self, completing 73.1% of his passes, gaining 8.2 yards per attempt, and a 70.5 PFF grade. They’re coming off a bye last week, and before that they upset the Kansas City Chiefs by dropping a 40 burger on them. TE Darren Waller is one of the better receiving tight ends in the league, and he’ll join rookie Henry Ruggs, slot man Hunter Renfrow, and Nelson Agholor in 3-WR sets. The offensive line is — well, they’re quarantining at the moment. I have zero idea if this game will happen and if it does, if the line will play. In normal times, I’d say they struggle without Trent Brown and Richie Incognito. The defense is 31st in DVOA and 28th in EPA/play. They have poor marks across the board, so I’ll highlight absolutely nothing.
It makes sense that the Bucs offense should be able to carve up the Raiders defense, while the Raiders will have a difficult time moving the ball on the Bucs.
Seattle @ Arizona
Recommended Wager: ARI +3.5
Seattle Seahawks: (Week 6 bye)
-LG Mike Iupati (knee) is was INACTIVE week 5 after being limited/questionable. He was limited Wednesday but did not practice Thursday.
-S Jamal Adams (groin) was injured week 3 and INACTIVE weeks 4 and 5. He did not practice Wednesday/Thursday.
IR: WR Phillip Dorsett (foot), RB Rashaad Penny (knee), OLB Bruce Irvin (ACL – season ending), DE Rasheem Green (shoulder), S Lano Hill (back)
Arizona Cardinals: (Week 8 bye)
-WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice Wednesday/Thursday. I’d still expect him to play.
-RT Kelvin Beachum (ankle) did not practice Wednesday/Thursday.
-DT Jordan Phillips (foot) did not practice Wednesday/Thursday.
-CB Dre Kirkpatrick (foot) showed up on the injury report Thursday and did not practice.
IR: TE Max Williams (ankle), T Marcus Gilbert (opt out), DE Chandler Jones (bicep – season ending), S Jalen Thompson (ankle)
Spread watching: The line opened at 2.5 and was bet up to 3.5, which is where the model grabbed it. It’s still at 3.5 as of Friday afternoon.
The Seahawks offense is a high powered machine. The site rbsdm.com measures “early down pass frequency over expectation,” which looks at down, distance, and score to determine how likely a team is to pass. A year ago, the Seahwaks ranked 23rd. This year, they’re first. That tells us that Pete Caroll and co. was stuck in a decades old mentality that says you should pound the rock. To their credit, they realized they have arguably the best quarterback in football, and maybe, just maybe, they should use him. The results have been fantastic — the Seahawks rank 1st in DVOA and 3rd in EPA/play. Russ Wilson is the top QB per PFF grades, and he has two solid weapons in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. That line is improved based on the suck fest it was the last few years, and Chris Carson is a capable back. They’ll won’t have an issue putting up points against any defense.
Speaking of defense, the Seahawks don’t really have one. They’re 26th in DVOA and 20th in EPA/play. Their defensive line is quite literally incapable of getting to the QB — Jamal Adams is a safety who’s only played in 3 games and is third on the team in pressures. Speaking of Adams, he’ll most certainly miss while CB Lano Hill (back) was moved to IR. Their depleted secondary has had issues covering all season — Seahawks fans in particular have to be disappointed with Quinton Dunbar and his 62.1 PFF grade. They do have a very solid linebacking core (Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright), and that’s helped them tackle efficiently and play much better against the run, where they rank 9th in DVOA. That said, we all know by now if you can’t pass rush or cover, you’re going to be bad.
The Cardinals offense is more than talented enough to take care of the Seahawks D – they rank 12th in DVOA and 8th in EPA/play. Kyler Murray is completing 65.9% of his passes and gaining 7.3 yards per passing attempt, good for a 76.7 overall PFF grade. He’s also gaining an absurd 7.3 yards per rush attempt, giving him 370 yards on the season, which is most among all QBs. The offensive line is decent enough, and shouldn’t have any problem holding back the Seahawks “pass rush.” DeAndre Hopkins is one of the better receivers in football, while Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk will be the secondary/tertiary options. They’ll also occasionally feature Andy Isabella as a deep threat, and dump offs to RB Chase Edmonds is common. Kenyan Drake will get most of the carries with Edmonds getting being the change of pace back.
The defense sits at 9th in DVOA and 10th in EPA/play. We got a brief look last week against the Cowboys on how they’d look after losing their only solid pass rusher (Chandler Jones) to a bicep injury. The result was a blitz happy team that was either looking to compensate for the loss of Jones or take advantage of an injured Cowboys line — but either way, it was fun to watch. Free safety Budda Baker excelled in this role, generating 3 pressures and a sack on just 11 pass rushing attempts. I’m guessing they’ll dial that back a bit against Wilson, who has a 110.8 passer rating when blitzed. It’ll also be a tough matchup the Cardinals secondary which has struggled most of the year — they typically rely on Patrick Peterson to blanket the opposing teams top weapon, but he’s had a poor season and the rest of the secondary has followed.
You still have to like that hook, though.