Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Night Football Preview: Steelers @ Chargers

We split our college picks from Friday's post. It was really nice to actually win a bet, because it had been like a week since we saw black. We followed it up with a solid NFL Sunday where we hit on the Eagles, Cardinals, Patriots and a Bills/Falcons teaser.

Do you smell that? It's momentum! We're rolling! Let's go to Steelers-Chargers tonight:

Game Lines: Chargers -4, Over/Under 46, Total Touchdowns Over/Under 5.5

The Chargers want to pass the ball, and they do so more than anyone in the league except the Patriots. The Steelers want to run the ball, but they are in the middle of the pack in terms of rush yards per game (Note: things done changed since Le'Veon Bell came back from his martyrdom and Ben Roethlisberger got hurt). Pittsburgh has a pretty much average pass defense. San Diego has a bad (but not quite atrocious) run defense. Pittsburgh is near the top of the league in points against (18.8). San Diego is near the bottom (27.5).

The Chargers are favored here because, in today's NFL, passing is more important than rushing. Phil Rivers is better than Michael Vick, and that means more than Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown being better than anyone on the Chargers.

Chargers -4 (-105)
Over 46 (-115)
I like San Diego tonight in a shootout and I like the over. I'm not going to bet the total touchdowns prop, but I always think it's interesting to see how many TDs are going to be split between the skill players. Under 5.5 pays -145, so the line is really more like Over/Under 5 touchdowns.

Here's who I think is getting those five touchdowns:

Le'Veon Bell (-175)
There is never any value in betting the star running back, but it's free money.

DeAngelo Williams (+450)
The value comes in the form of Bell's backup, who has scored 3 touchdowns this year that all came against San Francisco before Bell came back. Because you can run against the Chargers, it's not unreasonable to think that someone other than Bell gets in the end zone.

Antonio Brown (Even)

Darrius Heyward-Bey (+200)
DHB has turned into a sneaky good red zone target. He scored touchdowns against San Francisco and Baltimore.

Melvin Gordon (Even)
He has 53.3% of the team's carries this year, and he's averaging 4.1 yards per carry. He has 4 runs of 20+ yards. Somehow he's been held to zero touchdowns, and I think that's gotta change sometime.

Keenan Allen (-115)
He is Rivers' favorite target and he has scored 3 touchdowns in the past 2 weeks.

Antonio Gates (+125)
Gates is back! He's fresh off the steroids, so I almost don't want to bet on him to score because he's probably all flabby now. But it's Antonio Gates and I'm sure Phil will be happy to have him back in the red zone.

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