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Will the Houston Texans win OVER/UNDER 7.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

The Texans won the AFC South title for the fourth time in five years. They pulled off a great playoff comeback win over the Bills after being down 16-0 in the third quarter.

However, they were the victim of a huge comeback themselves in the following contest by squandering a 24-0 lead in Kansas City. They were completely overwhelmed in the last 40 minutes of the game at Arrowhead Stadium and ended up losing 51-31.

2. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Houston Texans are expected to win 7.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results:
Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 7.5 wins 50.8% Jazz Sports +105 +4.1%
UNDER 7.5 wins 49.2% -105 -3.9%

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Texans’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

3. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown


DeShaun Watson entrenched his status as a top 10 QB in the league by posting good numbers for a third straight year. He came close from the 4,000-yard mark, while throwing 26 TDs and 12 interceptions. He also added a career-high 7 rushing touchdowns.

There is no doubt he is one of the top signal callers in the league. He now has a good mix of youth and experience. He has a bright future ahead of him.

A.J. McCarron will back up Watson, but the team crosses its fingers they won’t need him on the field. He’s clearly not starter material; he has 6 TDs and 3 interceptions over a five-year period.


The Texans had a very nice duo in 2019 with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson. Still, Houston decided to shuffle things up a little bit.

David Johnson was acquired via a trade, even though the 28-year old has shown signs of declining. After racking up more than 2,000 rushing+receiving yards and 20 TDs in 2016, Johnson played just one game in 2017 after dislocating his left wrist in the season opener.

He simply hasn’t been the same since. His yards per rush average has gone from 4.6 in 2015 to 4.2 in 2016, 3.6 in 2018 and 3.7 last year.

David Johnson will be the lead back since Hyde has not been re-signed. Hyde rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the first time of his career and will need to find work elsewhere.

I really like Duke Johnson. He seems to have enough talent to take a heavier workload, but he’s been stuck behind guys like Isaiah Crowell, Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde.

He hasn’t missed a single game in five years! He has caught at least 44 balls in each of those seasons, which shows how dangerous he is as a pass catcher. I would love to see what he could do as the workhorse back, but it’s not going to happen this year, unless David Johnson gets hurt.


I’ll do my best to stay polite: the DeAndre Hopkins trade was bad. That’s the nicest I can be when talking about this trade.

Hopkins is a rare talent. David Johnson isn’t. It’s as simple as that.

Losing Hopkins is a big blow. He is a game changer and often draws double coverage, which leaves more room for his teammates.

Will Fuller is a difference-maker when healthy, but the problem has been just that: health. He has missed between 2 and 7 games in each of his first four years as a pro. And when he’s on the field, he tends to play at less than 100%. He graded as the 25th-best WR last year (out of 122 guys).

Kenny Stills is not a #1 WR in this league, but he can be a competent #2, or a very good #3 wideout. He’s been pretty durable during his first seven years in the NFL, averaging 43 catches, 671 receiving yards and 5.1 TDs.

The team acquired a couple of WRs during the offseason: Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks. Both graded as a middle-of-the-pack wideout last year, per PFF.

Cobb will be 30 when the 2020 season begins. He had a very respectable season in Dallas last year by posting a 55-828-3 stat line.

Brandin Cooks topped the 1,000-yard mark in each of the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons. His play took a huge dip last year; he caught 42 passes for 583 yards and just 2 TDs with the Rams.

The big source of concern about Cooks is his injury history: he has suffered at least five concussions in the NFL. Will he bounce back with Watson as his quarterback? It’s hard to tell. If he goes down, at least the team has nice depth with Fuller, Stills and Cobb.


Darren Fells used to be viewed as a run blocker throughout his career. He had never caught more than 21 passes in a season. In 2019, he broke out with 34 receptions, but most importantly 7 TDs! Watson made good use of his big 6’7’’ frame.

Jordan Akins went from 17 to 36 receptions in his second year as a pro. Both Akins and Fells aren’t game breakers. They ranked 50th and 48th out of 66 tight ends based on PFF ratings in 2019.


This has to be the offense’s weakest link. Other than Laremy Tunsil, all starters are either average, or below-average. Tunsil did finish as the #21 tackle out of 81 qualifiers (he wasn’t as good in run blocking). The Texans gave up a lot of draft capital in order to acquire him and Stills, so they need Tunsil to produce.

The other guys on the line, along with their PFF rankings, are as follows: Nick Martin (18th out of 37 centers), Tytus Howard (60th out of 81 tackles), Zach Fulton (61st out of 81 guards) and Max Scharping (48th out of 81 guards). As for backup Roderick Johnson, who was re-signed to a one-year deal, he finished as the #42 tackle.

Last year, the Texans attempted the 20th-most passes in the league, and yet allowed the 8th-most sacks. And that’s despite having a pretty mobile quarterback. Those numbers are not re-assuring.

Since the same guys will be protecting Watson in 2020, you could be concerned about his health. The only good news is continuity is important on the offensive line. Having played a full year together might help improve their play.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

It’s difficult not to downgrade this unit after losing such an impactful player like DeAndre Hopkins. At least they picked up adequate receivers like Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb. Along with Fuller and Stills, that will still provide nice weapons for Watson.

Switching Carlos Hyde for David Johnson isn’t necessarily an upgrade, in my humble opinion. Hyde did well in 2019 by finishing as the 18th-best RB (versus 22nd for Johnson).

The starting tight ends are the same as last year. The OL remains intact.

Overall, I’ll go with a small downgrade. Hopkins not only consistently racked up big numbers, but his presence alone opened things up for his teammates. It won’t be the case anymore.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

4. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown


The Texans had four guys rotating on the interior of the defensive line. None dominated nearly as much as D.J. Reader. He left for Cincinnati, which is a huge loss for the Texans.

Reader was not much of a quarterback chaser, but he was an animal as a run stuffer. Despite posting just 2.5 sacks, Reader ranked as the 7th-best interior defender out of 114 qualifiers. The Texans were 25th in rushing yards allowed per game, and things are about to get worse following Reader’s departure.

Bill O’Brien tried to compensate for that loss by signing Tim Jernigan away from the Eagles. He is an “okay” player, but not nearly as good as Reader was.

The other three guys obtaining playing time at the position were Charles Omenihu, Angelo Blackson and Brandon Dunn. They all played between 37% and 41% of the snaps last year. Here were their PFF rankings out of 114 interior defenders: 84th, 113th and 97th. Ouch.

The organization hopes second-round rookie Ross Blacklock can provide a spark right away. He played pretty well as a freshman with TCU, then missed the entire 2018 season due to an Achilles injury and came back leaner and faster as a junior. He’s an agile pass rusher who isn’t super strong.

Therefore, we’re talking about a pretty weak and worsened group.


J.J. Watt is the heart and soul of this defense. In his first five seasons in the NFL, he hadn’t missed a single game. Since then, he has played 32-of-64 games (i.e. 50% of them).

Now 31 years old, Texans fans have to be concerned by the situation. He did get 16 sacks in 2018, though. The big question revolves around his health because the abilities are still there for sure.

Whitney Mercilus isn’t getting any younger either. He will be 30 years old when the next season begins.

He led the team with 7.5 sacks last year. As a whole, Houston’s defense posted the sixth-fewest sacks, so thank God Mercilus was there.

Unlike Watt, Mercilus has not missed many games throughout his career. He’s been involved in 15 games or more in seven of his eight seasons in the NFL. During those seven years, he has averaged 7 sacks per season.

We do observe a worrisome tendency when watching his PFF grades, though. His marks have gone down quite a bit over the most recent two years. Coupled with his age, I am wary of his 2020 outlook.


Zach Cunningham did a very fine job at linebacker last season. He had the 6th-most tackles in the league with 142, improving upon his 105 the year before. The former second rounder from the 2017 draft out of Vanderbilt has shown some nice steady progress thus far. He graded as the 21st-best LB out of 89 players.

Benardrick McKinney is another guy that does a good job, despite not receiving much recognition around the league. He’s missed only two games over the past four seasons, while racking up at least 95 tackles in each of them.

McKinney had his worst PFF grade of his career, and yet finished in spot #30 out of 89 linebackers. Not bad! He’s still young at 27 years old, so a bounce back year is likely.


Bradley Roby was one of the starting corners for the Texans last year, but he missed six games due to a hamstring injury. Prior to this, he had been very durable in five seasons with the Broncos.

As a former first-round pick, he’s had ups-and-downs in his career. Houston just locked him up with a lucrative three-year contract, so they believe he’s one of the building blocks towards a Super Bowl run. He ranked as an average CB last season based on PFF ratings.

Johnathan Joseph is done in Houston. Both sides agreed to part ways. He played almost all games last season, and just like Roby he was marked as an average cornerback.

After getting traded at midseason from the Raiders to the Texans, Gareon Conley significantly improved his play. The former 2017 first-rounder showed some promise and could be Joseph’s replacement.

Another candidate is Lonnie Johnson. Bill O’Brien took him in the second round of the 2019 draft, but he struggled big time in his rookie season. His 29.0 grade in coverage by PFF was abysmal. He finished as the worst of all 112 qualified cornerbacks in the NFL.


Justin Reid has been a nice pickup so far. In his first two seasons in the NFL, he has received very good marks from PFF. He has intercepted five passes, forced one fumble and recovered three.

Tashaun Gipson secured the number 71 spot out of 87 safeties in PFF rankings last season. His play tailed off significantly compared to his previous two years in Jacksonville. Entering his age-30 campaign, the team released him this offseason.

The #3 safety was Jahleel Addae, but he won’t be re-signed. The guy who is most likely to take Gipson’s job is Eric Murray. His three-year, $20.25 million contract is a bit of a head-scratcher (what else can you expect from Bill O’Brien), but the dollar amount indicates he has a good shot to be a starter.

Murray played his first three seasons with the Chiefs before joining the Browns last year. His PFF grades have been all over the place. As a rookie, his 74.0 mark was awesome! However, he crashed down to an atrocious 49.8 grade in his sophomore year before obtaining 67.5 and 62.5 the most recent two seasons. To me, he looks like a middle-of-the-pack guy (if not below-average).

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

In the secondary, the Texans let CB Johnathan Joseph and their #2 and #3 safeties Tashaun Gipson and Jahleel Addae go, but picked up Eric Murray. That’s pretty much a wash. For a team that allowed the fourth-most passing yards in 2019, it does not bode very well for 2020.

Replacing stud DL D.J. Reader with Tim Jernigan is clearly a downgrade. As for the edge rushers and the linebackers, no changes have been made. J.J. Watt missed eight games last year and will be back this year, but his age (and Mercilus’ age) worry me a little bit.

For these reasons, I expect this already fairly weak unit to decrease even more in terms of production.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade


(based on the one-million simulated seasons using BetOnline’s 2020 point spreads)

Thanks for reading, savvy sports bettor!!!

Professor MJ
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Will the Indianapolis Colts win OVER/UNDER 8.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Franchise QB Andrew Luck stunned the NFL world a few weeks before the 2019 season began by announcing his retirement at age 29. I really felt sorry for Colts fans; that had to be a devastating blow. The timing also prevented the team from drafting accordingly.

Indianapolis rolled with Jacoby Brissett and they were right in the thick of the playoff race. They were sitting on a 6-4 record before a four-game losing skid crushed their hopes.

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

After spending 16 seasons with the Chargers (!!!), Philip Rivers will be wearing a Colts uniform in 2020. That’s going to look weird.

Last year, Rivers had his fourth-highest passing yard output with 4,615, but the problem lied with his poor TD-to-INT ratio. Indeed, 20 interceptions represented the second-most of his career, while his 23 TD passes were its lowest in 12 years.

Rivers has never been much of a runner. Now in his late thirties, things are looking even worse. He seems to get bottled up easily. Also, he appeared dead armed at numerous times. We’ll see if a change of scenery will rejuvenate his career, but it seems doubtful at this point.

Jacoby Brissett has to be one of the top backup QB in the league. With Andrew Luck announcing his surprise retirement a few weeks before the 2019 season began, Brissett took over under center.

Brissett didn’t have a great year. Throwing just six interceptions was nice, but racking up just 18 TD passes just won’t cut it in the NFL. Granted, he didn’t have a lot of weapons at his disposal with the Colts lacking a #2 WR and their top wideout T.Y. Hilton missing six games. He still represents a good insurance policy in case the Rivers experiment doesn’t pan out.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

After missing to hit the 1,000 rushing-yard mark by 92, Marlon Mack accomplished the feat in 2019 with 1,091 rushing yards. He’s not much of a receiver, though; he caught just 14 passes last year.

My opinion may not be very popular, but I’m not sold on him. I believe he benefits a lot from the great blocking in front of him. He rarely gets much more than what’s blocked ahead of him. Still, he’ll remain Indy’s top back, while splitting time with a few more guys.

Jordan Wilkins added a bit over 300 rushing yards by posting a nice 6.0 yards-per-rush average. The year before, that average turned out to be 5.6. Those are great numbers, but the team seems reluctant to increase his workload.

Nyheim Hines is mainly used as a pass catcher. He might take on an Austin Ekeler-type role with Rivers this year.

Considering the depth at the position, taking Jonathan Taylor early in the 2nd round of the draft may sound puzzling at first. Perhaps the organization agrees with me about Mack not being as great as he looks. The fact that Mack is set to hit free agency at the end of the year also played a role in the decision as well.

Taylor carried the ball 926 times for the Wisconsin Badgers. He rushed for at least 1,975 yards in each of his three college years, which is unreal! He is a great runner with cement hands; he fumbles the ball too often and doesn’t catch very well out of the backfield.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

T.Y. Hilton had missed just four games during his first seven seasons in the NFL; he missed six matchups in 2019 alone. He ended with career-lows in receptions (45) and receiving yards (501).

He stormed out of the gate with 30 receptions, 306 yards and 5 TDs over the first five games. During the next five: 15 catches, 195 yards and 0 TD. He had an injury-riddled season.

I believe he can revert to his old self. He showed he could still play at a high level early in the season, but injuries got the best of him. We’ll see how his 30-year old body reacts in 2020.

The undrafted receiver from Old Dominion, Zach Pascal, showed some flashes last year. He led the team with 45 receptions and 5 TDs. I don’t believe he can do much better, though.

It’s difficult to evaluate Parris Campbell’s first year as a pro. He had a sore hamstring, a sports hernia, a broken hand and a broken foot in 2019. It’s hard to show off your skills under such circumstances.

The speedy receiver out of Ohio St. will have a chance to prove his worth in the upcoming season. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft at the #59 overall spot.

Another candidate to start opposite Hilton is second-round rookie Michael Pittman from USC. The word on him is he’s a hard worker with a good mix of size and speed. He also does a great job with contested catches and he has reliable hands, as shown by his five drops out of 254 targets in college.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

The Colts had a nice combo of pass catching tight ends with Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron. Both finished with similar above-average marks from PFF, but Ebron packed his bags to head to Pittsburgh. His presence will be missed, even though he’s known for his tendency to drop passes.

Doyle’s numbers decreased last year, but they are likely to shoot up following Ebron’s departure. After catching 59 and 80 balls during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, he missed most of the 2018 season before hauling in “just” 43 passes last year. He struggled down the stretch with just 7 receptions in four contests, but the 6’6’’ guy is likely to bounce back.

Mo Alie-Cox could see an increased role in 2020. He has only caught 15 passes in two years, but has received great grades as a blocker.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

This unit has to be one of the strongest in the entire league. They do a great job, both in the running and passing game.

After pondering about the possibility of retiring, left tackle Anthony Castonzo opted to sign a two-year deal. He graded as the seventh-best tackle in the league according to PFF, but he turns 32 very soon. Keep that in mind.

Pro Bowler Quenton Nelson has been a star at left guard. The number six overall pick from the 2018 draft out of Notre Dame has not disappointed. He was rated the second-best guard in the league, only behind Brandon Brooks from the Eagles.

Center Ryan Kelly has been a steady guy during his first four years with the Colts. He’s entering his prime years at age 27. He obtained the #8 spot out of 37 centers based on PFF ratings.

Braden Smith was a second-round pick in the 2018 draft. After receiving a very respectable 71.8 grade in his rookie season, he improved upon those numbers to reach a 79.8 mark last year. All signs point towards him being a smart selection.

Right guard Mark Glowinski seems to be the weakest link of the fortress. He was claimed off waivers in 2018 after the Seahawks released him. He has been an average player in his two-year stint in Indy.

In summary, all five starters are returning which is excellent news for the Colts. Having continuity on the offensive line is critical to success.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The whole QB position received a lift with the addition of Philip Rivers. Whether he’ll be an adequate starter or not remains to be seen, but having Rivers-Brissett has to be viewed as a better alternative than having Brissett-Hoyer, as was the case in 2019.

The RB and WR positions remain fairly intact with the exceptions of a few backups who won’t be there anymore. The team definitely has good depth in the backfield; the same cannot be said about the receiving corps. However, the WR position is much more likely to see an improvement with Hilton having a clean bill of health and Parris Campbell getting a chance to show what he can do at the pro level (as well as rookie Michael Pittman).

At tight end, losing Ebron represents a deterioration for the team.

Finally, how is the 2020 outlook for the offensive line compared to last year? Even though I love the group, you have to expect a downgrade here. These guys played at a high level, and none of them missed a single game last year. Can you really expect them not to miss any game due to injuries in 2020? That seems highly unlikely.

Therefore, we have an expected upgrade at QB and WR, but a likely downgrade at TE and on the OL. The team finished 16th out of 32 teams in terms of points scored per game. I expect the production to stay approximately the same.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

The best player on the interior of the defensive line for the Colts has been Denico Autry. After posting 10.5 sacks over his first four seasons with the Raiders, he exploded with 9 sacks with the Colts in 2018, but a disappointing 3.5 last year.

Still, his level of play has been adequate as he finished as the 32nd-best DL among 114 qualifiers. He was a respectable player in all aspects of the game.

Considering Grover Stewart was a mediocre player, the team reinforced the position by acquiring a couple of 49ers players: DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Day.

The Colts sacrificed the #13 overall pick in the 2020 draft in order to get Buckner. That’s a fair price to pay for one of the best interior defenders in the league who is also entering his prime years. He’s been good both against the run and the pass; he has averaged 7.1 sacks per season. What a huge boost for this unit!

As for Sheldon Day, he’s not nearly as good as Buckner. He’s more of a rotational presence. His PFF grades have been a bit below-average thus far in his four-year career.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Justin Houston was clearly the most dangerous pass rusher the Colts had in 2019. In his first season with Indy after spending eight years in Kansas City, he led the team with 11 sacks.

Despite missing some games due to injuries during his nine-year career, he has average 9.9 sacks per season. Now on the wrong side of 30, you need to start being concerned about whether his play will tail off or not.

Jabaal Sheard was used on more than 50% of the defensive snaps. He regularly gets 4-5 sacks per season, as was the case last year. However, poor tackling has penalized him in his PFF grades, making him the 81st-best edge defender out of 107 players. He has yet to be signed by any team so far.

Al-Quadin Muhammad played 47% of the snaps and had mitigated success. It was his best season over his three-year career, but nothing spectacular either. He’s not a great athlete and was a former sixth-round pick; he has limited upside.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

I don’t think the Colts regret picking Darius Leonard in the second round of the 2018 draft. As a rookie, he led the league in tackles with 163 (19 more than any other player!). Last year, he picked up 121 tackles in 13 games, on pace for 149.

He is the total package. He’s efficient in run defense, in coverage and as a pass rusher. As a matter of fact, he has recorded 12 sacks during those two years.

That being said, Colts fans have to be concerned about some comments he made last year. He was concussed for three weeks following a big collision with Derrick Henry and he experienced painful headaches for a while. During his absence, he debated his NFL future. If he suffers another concussion, he seems to be thinking already about a potential retirement.

Anthony Walker’s job could be in jeopardy. He played many more snaps than rookie Bobby Okereke, but the latter is definitely breathing down his neck.

Walker graded as an average linebacker with the number 42 spot out of 89 players. His grade took a huge hit because of poor run defense.

Meanwhile, the rookie from Stanford obtained the 9th-highest grade in the league! He was an every-down linebacker in college, and is very likely to get an increase workload in 2020.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Rock Ya-Sin enjoyed a satisfying rookie season. He is an interesting story. After playing three years at a Divison-2 college, he transferred to Temple for his final year. Despite not being particularly fast, his sheer will helped him earn amazing grades. He yielded a meager 53% completion rate and not a single one went above 20 yards. He finished as an average corner in 2019; with one full year of experience under his belt, he is likely to improve this season.

Pierre Desir obtained the second-highest playing time among the team’s cornerbacks. He took a step back after a breakout 2018 campaign and the team decided to release him. The Jets signed him the next day.

It remains to be seen which player will benefit the most from Desir’s departure. The Colts acquired T.J. Carrie and Xavier Rhodes, formerly of the Browns and the Vikings, respectively. Both of them are coming off a very disappointing season.

Rhodes used to be a pretty solid corner, but his play has deteriorated a lot recently. After receiving 73.8 and 72.4 grades from PFF in 2016 and 2017, he earned a disappointing 58.2 mark in 2018 and a dreadful 47.9 last year. Did injuries slow him down, or is he done?

Carrie was pretty ineffective with the Browns last year. After a few fairly good seasons with the Raiders, his play took a dip in each of his two years in Cleveland. I don’t have much faith he can rebound.

Don’t count out Kenny Moore though. He was surprisingly good in the slot last year. We’ll see if he can solidify a starting spot in this now crowded secondary.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Malik Hooker and Khari Willis finished the 2019 season with an identical PFF grade: 69.5. That mark put them in the number 37 spot out of 87 safeties.

Hooker is a former first-round pick out of Ohio State that has picked off at least two passes in each of its first three years as a pro. He has done a fine job and is still very young.

The Colts traded up to select Willis in the 4th round of the 2019 draft. His first season exceeded expectations as he shared time with Clayton Geathers, who has yet to sign a contract.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Will the 2020 defense be superior to the 2019 unit?

I love the fortification on the interior of the line with the big-time acquisition of DeForest Buckner, and to a lesser level Sheldon Day.

The CB position may also see an upgrade with Ya-Sin’s sophomore season coming up and the additions of Rhodes and Carrie (with the hopes that one of them will bounce back after a frustrating 2019 season).

At safety, Hooker and Hillis could also elevate their play because of their young age and added experience.

However, as a whole I see a downgrade in the edge / linebacking corps. Justin Houston is not getting any younger, and Jabaal Sheard could be missed. The team must also cross its fingers that Darius Leonard won’t suffer another concussion.

Overall, I see a small upgrade here. Adding Buckner coupled with young talented guys like Leonard, Ya-Sin and Hooker makes me predict they will finish around the 12th-15th place in terms of points allowed (as opposed to 18th last year).

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small upgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Colts are expected to win 8.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 8.5 WINS 66.9% DraftKings -143 +13.7%
UNDER 8.5 WINS 33.1% Sports Interaction +180 -7.3%

Tip: Bet OVER 8.5 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +13.7%
Rank: 20th-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -202

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Colts’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

Woohoo! You made it through the whole article, thanks for reading my friend! Tomorrow, we'll talk about the Philadelphia Eagles!

Professor MJ
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13:40 Newton Abbot Juvenile Hurdle - Preview

I had wanted to do a juvenile hurdle thread but reddit's format does not allow for such a thing so I will simply post race previews as and when. At this juncture, I would like to stress that I am not a tipster. I do not bet and I would not encourage others to do so on the strength of my observations alone. I write this preview as a method of contextualising a race before it takes place as part of a process of developing a more comprehensive understanding of this niche area of the sport.
The first juvenile hurdle this season takes place at Newton Abbot instead of the usual Heaven Hexham. While I am sure all of these horses are both lovely and loved, the standard of form brought into the race is low even by early-season standards. The highest official flat rating going in is 61 which assuming a fluent transition between codes would still only equate to 96 over hurdles. As such, the race will probably not take too much winning. Nevertheless, a race is only as interesting as the beholder deems it to be and by virtue of its kicking off the season, this is one that I am looking forward to.
Name colour, sex, trainer, flat runs-wins-places (official rating) highest RPR
Sire(Damsire){family number}(dosage index) x dam is the / x dam of pertinent relative with jumps form
American Dreamer bg J Osborne 6-0-0 (40) 41
Fountain Of Youth(Indesatchel){22-d}(3.00) 4/1 Empire Park 9 wins over hurdles between 1999 and 2003
American Dreamer has had six starts on the flat, the best of which coming when finishing sixth when staying on past beaten horses in a Chelmsford handicap in February over ten furlongs off 46. Stepped up in trip his next two starts, he was beaten 22 lengths at Lingfield (behind Prince Percy) and 30 lengths at Chelmsford after freely setting the pace in a four runner field. Trainer Jamie Osbourne has won with two of his three juveniles since 2012, including the useful Saint Jerome, and his flat runners are in reasonable form. However, his charge comes in with the lowest official rating and while Fountain Of Youth has yet to be tested as a jumps sire, there is enough pace in his pedigree to have reservations over his being able to find significant improvement for the switch to hurdles.
Debt Of Honour bg N Mulholland 5-0-0 (52) 51
Kyllachy (Nayef){7}(1.91) 3/1 Architrave 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Market Rasen 2010
After four runs on the flat for Michael Bell as a two year old, he was sold for 7,500 guineas at the Autumn Horses in Training Sale last year. Horses consigned by Michael Bell have a healthy winners to runners ratio of 33% including Rock Of Leon who had a flat rating of 57 although most of these will have been sold as three year-olds. Debt Of Honour was initially allocated a rather harsh mark of 58 on the basis of a one paced 15 length fifth in a Goodwood novice. He made his debut for his current yard three weeks ago where he beat only one home in a Chelmsford handicap off 55 jinking right a furlong from home and being eased when beaten. His mark has since been dropped a further three pounds. Fitted with headgear his previous two starts, as well as hanging and jinking during those races, Debt Of Honour's temperament casts further negatives on his case tempered by moderate form. However, in Neil Mulholland he is in very capable hands of a trainer with a proven record of winning juvenile hurdles with moderate flat form with Molliana winning having achieved an RPR of just 29 and Harley Rebel and Pass The Time winning multiple hurdles races with sub 60 official ratings. The stallion Kyllachy, who is without a juvenile winner from fourteen attempts in recent seasons does not particularly inspire confidence even if concerns are mitigated by the sharp conditions of Newton Abbot, the reasonable capabilities of Nayef as a damsire and that useful juvenile Ruacana appears 5/3 on the damline. There are perhaps too many negatives at this stage although if there is some aptitude shown on Tuesday then Debt Of Honour could be of interest further along.
Edebez bg S Mullins 3-0-0 (53) 47
Zebedee (Barathea){4-r}(1.67) No immediate jumps relatives, 7/5 Le Breuil
Not seen since a career best 14 length fifth of eleven in a Nottingham maiden last November. While damsire Barathea was capable of producing jumpers, the same can not be readily said of Zebedee and Edebez's pedigree is more laden with speed than stamina. Seamus Mullins has trained winning juveniles but they typically show more promise on the flat.
Hector De Sivola bg N Williams Unraced
Noroit (Montjeu){9-e}(0.42) 1/1 Espiegle De Sivola 1st 17.5gs Claiming Hurdle, Hyeres 2017
Nick Williams has sent out nineteen debutants in juvenile hurdles since 2012 and five of them have won during the season. Fifteen of them also achieved RPRs of 96 or greater which would likely be enough to win this particular contest. Stallion Noroit, who died in 2018 aged twenty, is not a household name but has provided winners for Nick Williams including Faire Part Sivola and Diable De Sivola who both made winning racecourse debuts on decent ground. Furthermore, Hector De Sivola is related to horses placed around Auteuil and in the context of this field, Montjeu is a solidly capable damsire of juveniles. With any unraced horse, particularly where one is not privy to reputation, it is difficult to speculate with any degree of confidence. Nevertheless, with the flat standard so low and Hector De Sivola comparing so favourably on all other metrics, he holds a significant chance by default.
Hiconic bf A Hales 7-0-2 (57) 57
Sixties Icon (Acclamation){1-n}(0.60) 1/0 Hi Note 2nd 4YO Conditions Hurdle, Cheltenham 2012
Finishing runner up in a Wolverhampton seller on her second start for Mick Channon last year, Hiconic made the move to Alex Hales where she was third on her subsequent start in a Lingfield novice before wrapping up her season a length behind the winner in a seven furlong Kempton handicap off 57. She made her seasonal reappearance early last month in a Lingfield mile handicap finishing last of twelve by just under ten lengths after drifting from 8/1 to 14/1. Allowing for her seven pound allowance, her official mark of 57 gives her the leading chance on ratings alone. While Hiconic's family is broadly American, her dam Hi Note was a capable and consistent juvenile hurdler who finished in the first three in all seven starts during her first season over jumps. Sire Sixties Icon has 6 winners from 31 juveniles since 2012 but has a 61% improvement rate on horses switching between codes as juveniles. Acclamation boasts respectable damsire credentials in the context of this race with a 30% winner to runner rate. However it must be noted that full brother The Topp Notes is winless in two bumpers and two hurdles. Trainer Alex Hales is capable of firing out winning juveniles with limited ammunition with his three winners since 2012/13 officially rated no higher than 65. While finishing last on her reappearance is not ideal, she was not expected to run a big race and having never ran further than a mile on the flat, it is reasonable to expect some improvement for switching to hurdles.
Itoldyoutobackit chg J O'Neill 4-0-0 (41) 39
Ivawood (Shamardal){9-h}(1.57) 5/2 Muthabir 5 wins over hurdles between 2016 and 2019
Sold for 60,000 guineas as a yearling, Itoldyoutobackit would be a relatively rare flat runner for Jonjo O'Neill. By Ivawood, this half brother to a couple of decent winning two year olds might have been expected to show some precocity. However, he beat only one horse home in three starts, never finishing closer than 15 lengths from the winner. His return in February was a thirteen length ninth in a low class classified stakes and has not been seen since. Sire Ivawood has yet to have a runner over obstacles but his being a speedy two year old by Zebedee does not augur well. Damsire Shamardal falls below average by pertinent metrics. Jonjo O'Neill is obviously capable of training juveniles and enjoyed success in the early 2000s with the likes of Cherub, Giocomo and Quazar. However, Itoldyoutobackit falls way short of standard and while the gelding operation and wind surgery might help, the only reasonable explanation for a win might be given away by his name.
Peat Moss bg N Hawke 3-0-0 (50) 50
Fracas (Dalakhani){14-c}(0.71) 4/1 Direct Lady 3rd Festival Hurdle, Leopardstown 1992
After leaving Jim Bolger's without seeing a racetrack, Peat Moss had three runs last month for Nigel Hawke. Five horses have made the switch between the aforementioned yards as juveniles with two of them winning and four of them achieving RPRs of 96 and above. However, those horses had shown some promise on the flat for Jim Bolger whereas Peat Moss has been beaten 19, 30 and 16 lengths, twice at Kempton and last time at Chepstow. On breeding there is some hope for Peat Moss as Fracas has a very healthy 59% winners to runners rate over jumps, Dalakhani has reasonable credentials as a damsire and the likes of Scolardy and The Young Master can be found on the damline. There is still plenty of improvement needed but with his astute trainer in fine form, he holds a better chance than the 200/1 that was offered on him on his last flat start.
Prince Percy bg G Moore 6-0-1 (61) 65
Sir Percy (High Chaparral){1-u}(0.39) 3/1 Walk In The Park 5th Listed Hurdle, Auteuil 2007 - NH Sire
Prince Percy has had four runs in 2020 - three during the winter and once more 26 days ago. Even the worst of that form produced by this consistent animal is superior to anything else seen this year and by some margin. He twice finished 1¾ lengths behind the winner in ten furlong handicaps at Lingfield off marks in the low 60s and the race where he was beaten into fifth of seven has worked out very well for the grade. Trainer Gary Moore boasts a very healthy strike rate in the field from a sizeable sample size and is well adept at winning juvenile hurdles with horses rated lower than Prince Percy. Sir Percy, also the sire of Presenting Percy, is above average in terms of winnerunner ratios for juveniles, horses out of High Chaparral mares are no strangers to success over hurdles and Prince Percy's granddam is a half sister to Walk In The Park (sire of Min and Douvan). On paper, Prince Percy's credentials look flawless but while his relative talent is conspicuous, so too are signs of temperament. He has been backed on all six of his starts to date, including into favouritism last time out, yet he remains without a win. Misgivings are further enhanced by observations of his races where he has been seen to hang and while being less than enthusiastic about giving best. That the yard has not had a winner in 35 runs must also be a concern. On form, he is perfectly capable of winning a race of this nature and given it is his easiest opportunity to date, he may only need to jump round to win. He would be odds-on on the proviso of an in-form yard and a demonstration of good attitude but since those two factors are lacking, it would be a brave move to take short odds on this one.
Strong prospects
  1. Hector De Sivola
  2. Hiconic
Reasonable prospects
  1. Prince Percy
Feasible prospects
  1. Debt Of Honour
  2. Peat Moss
Moderate prospects
  1. Itoldyoutobackit
Negligible prospects
  1. American Dreamer
  2. Edebez
submitted by Kotkijet to HorseRacingUK [link] [comments]

"A little revision to the Stugotz Personal Record Book that maybe some day I'll come around to writing..or Mike will..." I've been writing the Stugotz Personal Record Book since it began. 82 Total Entries so far.

[Time Stamps] Recently started to use them in late 2019. They may not be exact based on what podcast app or service you use. But they'll be close. In 2020 I've started to use Google Podcasts for the time stamps, and they'll be labeled if used.
When a new entry is added because Stugotz said something, I go back and edit it into this post. If you have any I missed - message me.


(1) UCF is the 2017-2018 national champion.
(2) If Kirk Cousins goes to the Jaguars and not the Jets, no championship he wins will count in the personal record book.
Note (2)(a): Still pending sort of since Kirk is with the Vikings now – possible in future he could go to Jags.
(3) Eli manning has 1 ring. He doesnt get one for throwing a ball into David Tyree's face / Tyree getting a football stuck in his helmet.
(4) Carson Wentz has a Super Bowl 52 ring.
Note (4)(a): Foles does not have a Super Bowl 52 ring.
(5) The Raiders defeated the Patriots in their divisional playoff matchup in 2002 (Tuck Rule game), and then would defeat the Rams in Super Bowl 36.
Note (5)(a): In this scenario also, Bill Belichick was also "fired and looking for a job" after the Tuck Rule game and has 0 rings.
(6) If the 2017 Patriots won Super Bowl 52, James Harrison would not have a ring (Patriots lost to Eagles).
(7) Peyton Manning has one ring (Broncos ring does not count).
(8) Peyton Manning must give such ring he lost (above) to Von Miller, who thus has 2 rings.
(9) Aaron Rodgers can have all the rings he wants for keeping all of central Wisconsin employed.
(10) Brian Billick has 0 rings (2000 Ravens Super Bowl) because that defense carried him.
(11) Tony Boselli is a Hall of Famer.
(12) Tarik Cohen is an honorary Jew.
(13) JuJu Smith-Schuster is also an honorary Jew. L'Chaim.
(14) Drew brees has three rings for winning the super bowl for the city of New Orleans.
Note (14)(a): There was discussion on this where the number started at three, went up to five, came down to two, but it ended up at three.
(15) Mike McCarthy has no Super Bowl rings.
Note(15)(a): Dan also has this in his record book, and it is the first entry into the Le Batard Personal Record Book.
Note 15(b): In fact, McCarthy has -3 (Negative three) rings.
(16) Any Super Bowl rings Antonio Brown gets with the Patriots will not count in the Stugotz personal record book (9/9 Weekend Observations National Hour 2).
(17) Ohio State's 76 to 5 victory over Miami (Ohio) on 9/21/19 does not count.


Kevin Durant
(1) If Westbrook wins a championship and beats Kevin Durant along the way in the playoffs, Westbrook will have won 2 championship rings.
Kevin Durant has 0 rings (Zero rings)
Kevin Durant has -1 rings (Negative 1 rings).
Kevin Durant has -4 rings (Negative 4) (As of 4/11/18)
Note (2)(a): This number is subject to change based on Stugotz altering rings to the "-4" current total. Specifically as seen recently when Stugotz adjusted the number from (i) 0 rings to (ii) -1 rings to (iii) -4 rings.
Note (2)(b): Here is a tweet transcript of the conversation where this was discovered.
Archive link
(3) If Kevin Durant wins an NBA title for the NY Knicks, he will gain 11 rings.
Note (3)(a): As seen above in "(2)," Kevin Durant has -4 rings.
Note (3)(b): [Math] If Durant were to remain at -4 rings, and subsequently win an NBA title for the Knicks, he will have 7 rings total. This was specifically stated (-4 + 11 = 7), and a question about a non-specifically stated Personal Record Book entry is posed below in "Note (3)(c)(i)."
Note (3)(c): If the Golden State Warriors had won a championship playing 3 on 5 with Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant would have 1 ring.
Note (3)(c)(i): [Confusion] I am unsure if "Note(3)(c)" means he would gain +1 ring, and therefore be "up" to -3 rings total. Possibly, Stugotz means if the Golden State Warriors had won a championship 3 on 5 with Durant, Kevin Durant would be at +1 rings total (Positive 1 rings).
(4) Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3 did not count, because according to Stugotz, none of Durant's stats count. KD's official statline last night was 0/0/0 and the Cavs blew the Warriors out by 40.
(5) Anything Kevin Durant has done with the Warriors so far is not in Stugotz' personal record scroll.
Note (5)(a): Stugotz did not take his feathered pen and write anything in his scroll (King Roy approves).
(6) Westbrook has ALL of KD's rings.
(7) For every time KD says he doesn't give a BLEEP, Stugotz adds 2 "I do give a BLEEPS" in the personal record book.
(8) Per Dan, speaking on Stugotz' behalf, Kevin Durant has no Olympic Gold Medals (9/18/19 National Hour 1 @ 00:07:50).
Michael Jordan
(1) Jordan has 9 rings because:
(a) The Rockets have to give their 2 rings from 1994 and 1995 to Jordan (+2); and
(b) The Bulls would have won the 1999 Finals over the Spurs if Jordan didn't retire (+1; 9 total).
Note (1)(a-b)(i): Put LeBron's rings in a box and put Jordan's rings in a box. Jordan is +6 by the way over LeBron box-minus, despite box-minus sounding like a dumb stat.
(2) Michael Jordan was suspended for 2 years for gambling (Said 4/25/18 Hour 2, 14:30 in podcast).
Note 2(a): HOWEVER, MJ still has 9 rings as see above in (1)(a) and (1)(b).
(3) Any game Michael Jordan played wearing the uniform #45 does not count.
LeBron James
(1) If LeBron James goes to the Golden State Warriors, every Championship he wins will result in a deduction of 2 previously won championships.
(2) The Miami Heat LeBron teams were the GREATEST teams in the history of sports (5/7/18 Local Hour).
(3) The Miami Heat LeBron teams were also the MOST INTERESTING teams in the history of sports.
(4) If, after the 2018 NBA Playoffs:
(a) LeBron does not make it to the finals and the Celtics do; and
(b) The Houston Rockets do not make it to the finals and the Warriors do; and
(c) LeBron goes to the Houston Rockets for the next season, THEN
LeBron is allowed to win rings that count in Stu's personal record book.
Note (4)(a-c)(i): HOWEVER, Harden & Chris Paul - if they remain on the Rockets with LeBron on the team - are not allowed to have any of the rings won with LeBron count in Stu's personal record book.
Note 4(a-c)(ii): To quote the big man Stu (with Dan agreeing of course), "Do it on your own” (Dan agrees here).
(5) If LeBron wins an NBA Championship with the 2018 Lakers roster (as of 7/23/18), then that wins counts for 6 rings.
Note (5)(a): Thus LeBron would have 9 rings.
Kyrie Irving
(1) Kyrie Irving hit one of the biggest shots in NBA Finals History, but was only in that position because of LeBron James. Kyrie Irving, did hit one of the biggest shots in NBA Finals history that won everyone on that team a Ring, except for you (Kyrie). (3/9/20 Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 07:00).
Note (1)(a): Stugotz: "A little revision to the uhhh Stugotz Personal Record Book that I'll come around to writing...or Mike will." I'M WRITING IT YOU IDIOT MORON JACKAL
Misc. Basketball
(1) The Houston Rockets have 0 (Zero) NBA Championship victories.
Note (1)(a): See "Michael Jordan (1)(a)" for reasoning.
Note (1)(a)(i): [Restated Reasoning] Michael Jordan is actually in possession of those 1994 and 1995 Rockets rings because Michael Jordan would have won those championships if he stayed in Chicago.
Note(1)(b): [CONFLICTING HOT TAKE] Stugotz has also said Jordan didn't get the Rockets' rings because he was actually suspended for gambling.
Note (1)(b)(i) NEEDS CLARIFICATION PLEASE. Stugotz keeps going back and forth. In "Michael Jordan Note 1(a)," the opposite of "Miscellaneous Basketball Note (1)(b) is stated because he has gone back and forth on this issue.
(2) Steve Kerr has no rings as a coach. In fact, he has never even coached a game.
(3) Mychal Thompson (Klay's dad) has no rings. (Said on Zach Harper podcast).
(4) Clyde Drexler no rings (Said on Zach Harper podcast).
(5) Giannis Antetekoumpo is pronounced Yani Adababoombo.
(6) As long as James Harden has his beard, he cannot win any championships.
Note (6)(a): If the Rockets win a ring, then the ring goes to the beard.
(7) Lamarcus Aldridge cost the Spurs game 2 of the 2017 Western Conference Semifinals, even though they won.
(8) If the Sixers happen to win a championship, Sam Hinkie gets a ring.
(9) Chris Paul has NOT made a Western Conference Final since he had to join the Rockets to do so.
(10) Michael Jordan winning the NBA Finals in 1999 also means that Tim Duncan only has 4 rings instead of 5 rings.
(11) The Warriors only have 1 ring
Note (11)(a): Durant still has -4.
(12) Boogie Cousins cannot win a NBA Championship and have it count if he does so with the Warriors.
(13) Billy Donovan was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2017 (12/13/17 @ 28:10 Hour 1).
Note (13)(a): The Thunder blowing the 3-1 lead to the Warriors that year had nothing to do with Donovan. It was Durant's fault.
(14) The OKC Thunder actually did win the WCF against the Warriors in 2017 when up 3-1.
Note (14)(a): This does not apply to Durant though.
Note (14)(b): The Thunder also beat whoever they would have played in the Finals. Durant still no ring.


Babe Ruth
(1) Babe Ruth is black.
(2) Babe Ruth never hit a baseball. Not once.
(3) Babe Ruth is the number two black baseball player of all time behind Barry Larkin.
(4) Babe Ruth is NOT a top 20 Baseball player of all time. He's a pitcher.
Note (4)(a): However This is somewhat confusing/interesting because:
(i) Stugotz has said "Babe Ruth is the number two black baseball player of all time behind Barry Larkin; and"
(ii) This MUST mean Stugotz can only have 1 black player in his top 20 Baseball players of all time Barry Larkin; because
(iii) The only way this can work logically is if in the list of greatest players #1 through #20, only Barry Larkin is on the latter top #1 through #20 list. I would like some clarification on if he wishes to change this take/record.
(5) Babe Ruth is also not a top 20 pitcher of all time.
Misc. Baseball
(1) Stugotz has declared that in his personal record book, Baseball no longer allows pitchers to hit (Stated on 05/03/2018 @ 12:38:52 P.M).
Note (1)(a): Excludes Bartolo Colon, and Shohei Ohtani.
Note (1)(b): You are either a pitcher or a hitter. Not both.
(2) If the Dodgers won the 2017 World Series Clayton Kershaw would not have had a ring.
(3) Wade Boggs DOES have a ring because he rode around on a horse with a beer afterward.
(4) Clayton Kershaw did not win an MVP award because the award for pitchers was already given, the CY Young award.
(5) Miami beat LSU in the 1996 College Baseball World Series.
(6) The 1986 NY Mets did not win the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Note (6)(a): This "pains" Stugotz.
(7) The Red Sox retroactively winning the 1986 World Series may result in taking a ring away from the Mets.
Note (7)(a): Stugotz has to think about it though, he's not sure yet.
(8) Bryce Harper did not win the 2018 home run derby because he cheated.
(9) Kershaw's Earned Ring Average (ERA) is 0.00.
(10) Mike Minor (Rangers Pitcher) does not have 200 strikeouts in 2019. He's at 199 (National Hour 2, 10 mins 40 seconds in).
Note (10)(a): Chris agrees too. And who really cares (15% on poll do care).
(11) The 2020-2021 Mets, during the Coronavirus outbreak, are 0-3 and Jacob deGrom is somehow 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA and 1 complete game. The deGrominator. (Google Podcast 3/30 Hour #3 @ 19:20)


(1) Ray Bourque doesn't have a ring.
(2) Alex Ovechkin may or may not have won the Stanley Cup against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Note (2)(a): "I mean he beat an expansion team . . . bunch of players nobody wanted" (We get the sense that Dan agrees).


(1) If anyone wins a major in Female Tennis without Serena Williams playing, it does not count and they have 0 rings.
(2) If Maria Sharapova wins a grand slam in which Serena isnt competing it doesnt count.


(1) If Jason Day wins the 2018 Masters, it counts as an American winning (as far as bets are concerned).
(2) Vijay Singh did not play in the 2018 Masters.


(1) Lionel Messi is stripped of all his achievements for using HGH. He never played soccer. He is still 5'1". "Fraud."
(2) Soccer is dead.


(1) Aqua?
(2) Rings plus-minus is the only way to measure greatness.
(3) The HBO Andre the Giant film was good, not great, and Stugotz didn’t learn anything.
(4) Benoit Lecomte (guy they interviewed) can not and will not swim from San Francisco to Tokyo in the personal record book because he is most likely taking a dip for a few minutes then coming back on the boat and enjoying some filet mignon by the pool.
Note (4)(a): "Do it without a yacht. And how about ya do it without the little magnetic field around you that keeps sharks away. How bout that. Allows dolphins through though? Anyway.."
(5) Justify (the Horse) only has a double crown.
Note (5)(a): This is the first ever double crown.
(6) Tango and Cash is in the action movie Hall of Fame. and Cliffhanger has the greatest 5 minute intro of any movie of all time.
(7) Maximum Security (a Horse) won the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
(8) Fruit Stripes Gum is NOT a 1st Ballot Hall of Famer in Stu's "Gum Hall of Fame." (08/12/2019 | Hour 2 @ 15:25).
Note (8)(a): "It loses it's flavor so quickly"
Note (8)(b): Also, "[...] Bazooka...1st Ballot Hall of Famer." Also, "Big League Chew..1st Ballot."
(9) Chris Cote owns all intellectual property rights to the "Friends" (TV Show) Movie with a misleading preview that eventually has a climax leading to an intense murder mystery. (10/29/19 Hour #2 @ 03:15).
Note (9)(a): "If they make this without crediting Cote, they're stealing it."
(10) That guy killed the pigeon (12/10 Hour 3 @ 08:20).
(11) Billy owns the record for world's longest Plank (2/25, Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 30:55).
Note (11)(a): Possibly in just the Non-Marine edition.
(12) Zach Buchanan won a Pulitzer Prize for his story on the Madison Bumgarner / Mason Saunders rodeo fiasco (2/28/20 Hour #2; Google Podcasts @ 21:35).
(13) Findlay the Golden retriever holds the Stu Gotz Personal Record Book record for most tennis balls held in a mouth at one time by a dog at 6 (2/11/2020)
(14) Ace Davis (The kid who "proved" Tom Brady was cheating with science) and his fathefamily are heroes (4/1 Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 18:50).
(15) Dan did NOT do more push-ups than Domonique Foxworth (Dan did push-ups on a non-linear platform) (4/28/2020 Hour # 1).


Sourced from Google Podcast; 05/06/2020, Hour 2 @ 09:00
(Head Coach) Ernie Johnson - "When you look over to the bench, what you need is someone to stand tall, someone who is confident, someone who is competent, someone who has all the credibility -soaked in credibility - when you have the Head Coach of the Sports Media Dream Team."
(1; Point Guard) Mike Greenberg - "Doesn't really want to answer the big questions, but has no problem distributing those questions to other people who are happy to answer them."
(2; Shooting Guard) Stephen A. Smith - "Never met a topic he doesn't like. Short memory, doesn't care, Greeny could throw him anything and Stephen A. is gonna run with it even if he knows nothing about the topic. That is how it works. Stephen A. is the greatest of all time."
(3; Small Forward) Chris Fowler - "A do it all guy. Studio show? Great. Play by Play? Even better. Can do everything."
(4; Small Forward Replacement) Maria Taylor) - "Need Play by Play, need Sideline, need Studio Host - she can do it all"
(5; Power Forward) Dianna Russini - "You need some crazy, some don't mess with us, someone to tear someone's head off in the event that they come after one of us."
(6; Power Forward Replacement) PFT Commenter - "He just comes in and acts crazy, throws his arms and hair around, and give ya 5 to 10 really crazy minutes."
(7; In honor of the Chicago Bulls, Stugotz needed a Wennington, a Purdue) Scott Van Pelt - Dan debated whether or not SVP should be on the Sports Media Dream Team™. That's what he's doing.
(8; Bench Player w/ No Position Specified) Doris Burke
(9) Teased.../I didn't finish listening to the show yet
submitted by RavensDoe to DanLeBatardShow [link] [comments]

Week 15 Matchup Strategy Guide - Part 3 (DFAroto)

Part 3 of 3

Part 1 Right Here:

Part 2 Right Here:


DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average): calculates a team's success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average.
DVOA Pass/Run Defense Rank: Team’s NFL rank in DVOA pass or run defense so far this season. #1 means best DEF against the pass/run, #32 means worst DEF against the pass/run.
Weighted DEFENSE: is adjusted so that earlier games in the season become gradually less important. It better reflects how the team was playing at the end of the season.
ATS = Against the spread
DVOA from

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders (-6.5)

Jaguars ATS: 5-8-0 Raiders ATS: 6-7-0
Projected Team Totals: Jaguars 19.5 Raiders 26


Opp (OAK) Pass DVOA: #31
Opp (OAK) Run DVOA: #27
Opp (OAK) Weighted DEF: #31
Injuries to Watch DEF (OAK): LB Marquel Lee (Q) LB Kyle Wilber (Q) CB Daryl Worley (Q) S Erik Harris (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (JAX): WR DJ Chark (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): D.J. Chark (20%) Leonard Fournette (19%) Dede Westbrook (17%) Chris Conley (14%) Seth DeValve (11%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Leonard Fournette (77%, 18, 6) Ryquell Armstead (23%, 2, 2)

QB/WTE Breakdown

The Jags got blasted at home against the Chargers last week, and Gardner Minshew (2QB stream) did little to instill confidence that he is an upgrade over Nick Foles. While last week was a struggle, Minshew gets an extremely vulnerable Raiders secondary this time around. Oakland has the 31st ranked pass defense by DVOA, and has given up the 2nd most FPPG to QBs on the season. While it would be unwise to trust the rookie signal caller in a 1QB league, he makes for a possible streamer in 2QB or superflex leagues, and should be considered a mid-range QB2 with some upside in Sunday’s matchup. The loss of one of his top weapons does downgrade his outlook slightly, however..
DJ Chark has been ruled out for Week 15 with an ankle injury, leaving the Jags without their most explosive offensive playmaker. That should provide Dede Westbrook (upgrade) with an opportunity to see a high volume of targets against this leaky Raiders secondary. Oakland has allowed the 13th most FPPG to WRs, but their 31st ranked pass DVOA portrays a team that is quite vulnerable through the air. Chris Conley (upgrade) should also see a bump in usage, but he has been extremely boom or bust this season, and is reliant on big plays. Consider Westbrook a borderline WR2 under the circumstances, while Conley can be viewed as risk-reward WR3/4, just know his floor is extremely low. Keelan Cole will step into 3-WR sets with Chark on the sidelines, but he isn’t a realistic fantasy option at this point. None of the Jags TEs have been able to stand out after dealing with so many injuries, but Nick O’Leary did snag a TD last week. O’Leary is a hail mary TE2, although he does have a favorable matchup against a defense ceding the 4th most FPPG to TEs.
RB Breakdown
The running game didn’t have any more success than the passing game against the Chargers, as Leonard Fournette (auto-start) was held to 63 total scoreless yards. The Raiders are less vulnerable to the run than the pass, but have given up the 9th most FPPG to RBs, so Fournette remains a volume based RB1. He’s especially valuable in PPR leagues, as he is consistently among the RB target leaders each week. Ryquell Armstead (stash) is the clear handcuff to Fournette, so roster him if you want to have insurance through the playoffs.


Opp (JAX) Pass DVOA: #21
Opp (JAX) Run DVOA: #31
Opp (JAX) Weighted DEF: #29
Injuries to Watch DEF (JAX): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (OAK): WR Hunter Renfrow (OUT) OT Trent Brown (Q) RB Josh Jacobs (Q, expected to play) WR Marcell Ateman (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Tyrell Williams vs. A.J. Bouye (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Darren Waller (19%) Hunter Renfrow (18%) Tyrell Williams (14%) Jalen Richard (11%) Zay Jones (10%) DeAndre Washington (8%) Josh Jacobs (7%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: DeAndre Washington (63%, 20, 7) Jalen Richard (38%, 9, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
A nightmare second half of the season continued for the Raiders last week in a blowout loss to the Titans, but Derek Carr (2QB only) was able to finish with a serviceable final fantasy line. Carr has gone over 21 points just once this season, so his ceiling is not something to get excited about. The Jags have given up the 11th most FPPG to QBs, so Carr has a reasonable floor, but can’t be viewed as anything more than a mid-range QB2. Leave him on the wire in most leagues.
A battle with plantar fasciitis might help to explain Tyrell Williams’ (drop) extreme dropoff over the second half of the season, but it appears the wideout will continue playing through the pain this week against the Jags. He hasn’t been a worthwhile starting option in quite some time, and the Jags surrender the 13th fewest FPPG to WRs, so consider him a TD or bust WR4, and keep him on your benches outside extremely deep leagues. Darren Waller (volume upgrade) is the real WR1 on this team, and his high weekly target floor makes him an attractive TE option at a position that is so heavily TD-dependent. The Jags have given up the 11th fewest FPPG to TEs, but Waller is too involved to be anything less than a top-6 TE1. Get him fired up this week to ensure you get a stable floor from that spot on your roster. No other Raiders pass catcher has emerged as fantasy relevant, so Waller is likely the only player that should be near a starting lineup this week.
RB Breakdown
Stud rookie RB Josh Jacobs (upgrade if healthy) was unable to play through his shoulder injury last week, leading to a workhorse level role for DeAndre Washington (stash). Jacobs currently plans to play on Sunday, so owners should put Washington on benches, and continue to leave Jalen Richard on the waiver wire. The Jags are an exploitable matchup on the ground - 4th most FPPG to RBs - so if Jacobs is active he needs to be in all lineups as a solid RB2. Washington should remain rostered as a solid handcuff.
Score Prediction: Raiders 21, Jaguars 20

Cleveland Browns (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals

Browns ATS: 5-7-1 Cardinals ATS: 7-5-1
Projected Team Totals: Browns 25.5 Cardinals 23


Opp (ARI) Pass DVOA: #29
Opp (ARI) Run DVOA: #13
Opp (ARI) Weighted DEF: #26
Injuries to Watch DEF (ARI): CB Kevin Peterson (Q) LB Joe Walker (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (CLE): C JC Tretter (Q) OT Chris Hubbard (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Odell Beckham vs. Patrick Peterson (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Jarvis Landry (30%) Odell Beckham (23%) Kareem Hunt (17%) Antonio Callaway (12%) David Njoku (12%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Nick Chubb (70%, 16, 1) Kareem Hunt (62%, 11, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Cleveland won the battle of Ohio last week, it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t without drama. Baker Mayfield (upgrade) was inconsistent yet again, throwing for only 192 scoreless yards, with two interceptions. He’s sandwiched two serviceable fantasy outings with three that weren’t over the last five, so a bounce back seems likely. Arizona has proven time and again they can’t guard anyone, ranking 29th in Pass DVOA and 26th in Weighted Defense - ceding 24.5 FPPG to QBs, and 25.4 to WRs. Mayfield becomes an appealing matchup based QB1 this week, consider him a top-10 option.
The Cleveland passing game has been a wasteland all season, with Jarvis Landry (upgrade PPR) being the only solid fantasy asset. Odell Beckham is having the worst season of his career, and is reportedly playing through a sports hernia. His expected shadow matchup with CB Patrick Peterson isn’t imposing, as Peterson has struggled against No. 1 WRs (Rotoworld). A viable fantasy day isn’t out of the question, yet OBJ is far from trustworthy at this point in the season, especially since we know now he’s been playing through injury. That being said, Arizona cedes explosive pass plays (20+yards) at a 12% clip, 3rd worst in the NFL (sharpfootballstats). Consider him a boom-or-bust WR2 in the great on-paper matchup. Landry on the other hand, has vacuumed up at least seven targets in every game over the last five weeks, clearing 10 targets in three out of five. He’s seeing monster usage, and there’s no reason to expect it to slow down. He’s a borderline WR1, and needs to be in all lineups. David Njoku returned last week, splitting time with fellow tight ends Stephen Carlson, and Ricky Seals-Jones. This is a smash spot for the position - ARI hemorrhages 13.1 FPPG to TEs, league worst - but with Njoku popping up on the injury report again with a knee issue, plus the timeshare at tight end, there really isn’t a viable fantasy play here.
RB Breakdown
Like many other backfields in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns are now utilizing a committee, to the dismay of Nick Chubb (upgrade standard) owners everywhere. Fortunately, both Chubb and Kareem Hunt (upgrade PPR) are seeing solid touch counts, and having both on the field at the same time has become a regular occurrence since Hunt became available. Arizona possesses a much better Run DVOA than Pass DVOA, but game-script and scoring opportunities should work in favor of the Cleveland backfield. Arizona plays at the 3rd fastest pace in the NFL, so there should be plenty of opportunities to go around. Consider Chubb an RB1, and Hunt a borderline RB2 play in PPR settings - ARI cedes 19.5 FPPG to the position.


Opp (CLE) Pass DVOA: #13
Opp (CLE) Run DVOA: #25
Opp (CLE) Weighted DEF: #19
Injuries to Watch DEF (CLE): DE Olivier Vernon (OUT) CB Eric Murray (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (ARI): WR Andy Isabella (Q) OL Justin Pugh (Q)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Christian Kirk (24%) Larry Fitzgerald (19%) Kenyan Drake (16%) Pharoh Cooper (11%) KeeSean Johnson (9%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Kenyan Drake (65%, 14, 3) David Johnson (37%, 5, 2)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Cardinals season has taken a downward plunge in recent weeks, and Kyler Murray and company have only managed to score 24 combined points in back-to-back matchups (Rotoworld). Murray has made some downright silly mistakes, and while some of it can be chalked up to being a rookie, some mistakes shouldn’t be seen at the NFL level. His O-line isn’t doing him any favors either, he’s the most-sacked QB of 2019 ( At home against Cleveland is the easiest matchup he’s seen in recent weeks, but it’s no cakewalk - Cleveland has a sturdy secondary, ranking in the top-half for Pass DVOA - and cedes just 18.2 FPPG to QBs and 20.6 to WRs. Still, Murray has demonstrated a high-floor through multiple tough matchups, and warrants every week QB1 consideration. Just be aware that although he always has boom potential, this week projects more as a floor performance.
Although he’s done little since his Week 10 explosion, Christian Kirk’s (upgrade volume) 8.8 targets per game rank 13th among wideouts this season (Rotoworld). Again, the matchup doesn’t scream boom week, but Cleveland has been inconsistent at best this season, and Kirk’s volume should keep him in the WR3 ranks. Larry Fitzgerald, after turning back the clock in the beginning of the season, has bottomed out over the second half. He shouldn’t be considered anything more than a low-end WR4, so look elsewhere. The auxiliary passing options shouldn't be considered for Arizona.
RB Breakdown
Like the Cleveland backfield, the Arizona backfield is devolving into a two man RBBC. Unlike Cleveland, it’s not bearing fruit in the way of fantasy points for either running back. Kenyan Drake has ceded snaps to David Johnson since the bye week, and at this point neither can be fully trusted. Drake is the preferred option, and the matchup is good on paper, but due to DJ’s involvement, he’s no more than a back-end RB2. DJ is a big-balls dart throw; it can’t be recommended. CLE cedes 18.6 FPPG to RBs.
Score Prediction: Browns 24, Cardinals 21

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (-10.5)

Falcons ATS: 5-8-0 49ers ATS: 8-4-1
Projected Team Totals: Falcons 18.75 49ers 29.25


Opp (SF) Pass DVOA: #2
Opp (SF) Run DVOA: #9
Opp (SF) Weighted DEF: #2
Injuries to Watch DEF (SF): DE Dee Ford (OUT) DT DJ Jones (OUT) CB Richard Sherman (OUT) S Jaquiski Tartt (OUT) DT Jullian Taylor (OUT) CB K’Waun Williams (OUT)
Injuries to Watch OFF (ATL): OG James Carpenter (OUT) OT Ty Sambrailo (OUT)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Julio Jones (22%) Calvin Ridley (20%) Russell Gage (16%) Austin Hooper (16%) Devonta Freeman (11%) Christian Blake (10%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Devonta Freeman (67%, 21, 4) Brian Hill (19%, 9, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Atlanta’s second half resurgence continued against a rudderless Carolina team last week. Matt Ryan (downgrade) has returned to form of late, posting back-to-back solid fantasy performances. His ankle injury may have been the reason for the mid-season stumble, but either way, against a ferocious 49ers defense and without offensive weapon Calvin Ridley (OUT-IR), just isn’t the time to chase points. While the argument can be made that the San Francisco defense is banged up, they still possess most of the pass rushers that have carried them this season. Atlanta has struggled to keep Ryan upright, he’s been sacked the 5th most in the NFL (teamrankings). He’s no more than a back-end QB2 in a tough matchup - SF gives up just 15 FPPG to QBs and 17.9 to WRs.
Ridley’s injury vacated 20% of the target share to Atlanta’s pass catchers, and Russell Gage is the best bet to assume his snaps and some of his target share. Yet, he still projects as a distant third option to Julio Jones (upgrade volume) and Austin Hooper (upgrade volume). The remaining receivers split snaps evenly last week, and aren’t realistic options in the tough draw. Julio should be peppered with targets san Ridley, and should be treated as an every-week WR1 regardless of matchup. Same goes for Hooper, both should be active in most lineups.
RB Breakdown
Since returning from injury, Devonta Freeman (upgrade volume) has accumulated 20+ touches in two of three games. As long as he’s operating as the clear lead back and receiving the bulk of the touches, he’ll continue to be a floor-play RB2. The matchup is imposing - SF cedes just 12.2 FPPG to RBs - but Freeman’s volume should stabilize his floor, just don’t expect a big day.


Opp (ATL) Pass DVOA: #26
Opp (ATL) Run DVOA: #16
Opp (ATL) Weighted DEF: #23
Injuries to Watch DEF (ATL): DE Allen Bailey (OUT) CB Isaiah Oliver (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (SF): None
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): George Kittle (23%) Deebo Samuel (20%) Emmanuel Sanders (17%) Kendrick Bourne (12%) Ross Dwelley (12%) Tevin Coleman (8%) Raheem Mostert (5%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Raheem Mostert (60%, 12, 2) Matt Breida (18%, 7, 1) Tevin Coleman (16%, 3, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The 49ers won the game of the year last week, in an exciting shootout on the road against the New Orleans Saints, 48-46. Jimmy Garoppolo (upgrade) showed critics a side of him many thought he didn’t possess, by not just managing the game, but gun slinging his way to victory when facing a deficit. He may be more than an elite game manager, rolling up 349-yards passing, with four touchdowns and an interception. On tap is an exploitable secondary that has been dissected by opposing signal callers routinely - ATL cedes 22.1 FPPG to QBs and 24.3 to WRs - Jimmy G is a very attractive QB1 streaming option in the plus matchup.
The addition of Emmanuel Sanders (upgrade) and Deebo Samuel, with the emergence of Kendrick Bourne, has created an explosive receiving corps for the 49ers. The three have settled in as the fulltime wideouts, clearing up what used to be a mess of a rotation. Sanders and Samuel are both solid fantasy plays against an Atlanta team that boasts a true pass funnel; ranking much higher in Run DVOA than Pass DVOA. Adding to that, CB Desmond Trufant has been placed on IR, creating an even softer matchup. The concern is volume. Positive game-script early could erase the need for passing, so hopefully the injuries to San Francisco’s defense allow Atlanta to stay in the game. Consider Sanders a WR2, and Samuel an upside WR3. Kendrick Bourne is a no more than a DFS dart throw. George Kittle is an every week top-3 option at tight end. Fire him up - ATL cedes 7.5 FPPG to the position.
RB Breakdown
Two camps exist when it comes to the 49ers backfield. There are those that think Raheem Mostert has completed a hostile takeover, and is now the lead back. And there are those that think a Kyle Shanahan offense takes the hot hand approach, and that Matt Breida or Tevin Coleman could be next in-line to have the big week. Kyle Shanahan has stated that Mostert has “earned” his role as the lead ball-carrier, but we’ve seen that talk before from coaches, just look at Ronald Jones. Either way, Mostert has earned every-week RB2 consideration, but be warned, this backfield can change in an instant. Breida and Coleman are much riskier propositions, and can’t be started as more than desperation dart throws. They’ll likely still be involved in some capacity, but it’s not worth betting on.
Score Prediction: 49ers 30, Falcons 17

LA Rams (-1.5) at Dallas Cowboys

Rams ATS: 9-4-0 Cowboys ATS: 7-6-0
Projected Team Totals: Rams 25.25 Cowboys 23.75


Opp (DAL) Pass DVOA: #24
Opp (DAL) Run DVOA: #19
Opp (DAL) Weighted DEF: #21
Injuries to Watch DEF (DAL): LB Leighton Vander Esch (OUT) LB Sean Lee (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (LAR): TE Gerald Everett (OUT) OT Rob Havenstein (D)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Robert Woods (30%) Tyler Higbee (19%) Cooper Kupp (16%) Gerald Everett (15%) Josh Reynolds (10%) Todd Gurley (9%) Brandin Cooks (7%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Todd Gurley (80%, 27, 4) Malcolm Brown (20%, 5, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
After his first blow-up week in a long time, Jared Goff (streamer) returned to his mediocre 2019 levels in Week 14’s win over Seattle, at least in terms of fantasy points. The positive is that the Rams offense suddenly looks at least partially back to its old ways, scoring 28 and 34 points the last two weeks, albeit against questionable defenses. This week, Goff will take aim at the Cowboys - 24th ranked pass DVOA but allowing the 13th fewest FPPG to QBs. Dallas got lit up by Mitchell Trubisky last week, and are on a downward trend overall, so this actually sets up as a favorable matchup for Goff. Consider him on the QB1/2 borderline, and ride him if you are thin at QB as he should be able to produce a point total that lands somewhere in between his last two performances.
What started as a year for the record books has turned into a disappointment in a hurry for Cooper Kupp (start). Despite the Rams being without their top TE Gerald Everett (out again this week) the past few weeks, Kupp hasn’t gone over 70-receiving yards since Week 8. He snagged a TD last week to salvage his day, and could be on the verge of a breakout day with the Rams offense starting to hum again. The Cowboys have given up the 8th fewest FPPG to WRs, so this isn’t an ideal matchup, but Kupp should still be viewed on the WR2/3 borderline and be in most lineups this week. The only consistent producer over the last month at WR for the Rams has been Robert Woods (auto-start). Woods has gone over 90-yards in 4 straight games he’s played in, and looks to be Goff’s #1 target at this point in the season. Consider him a borderline WR1 this week. Brandin Cooks (volume downgrade) just hasn’t seen much volume since returning from his multi-week concussion absence, and played about a third of the offensive snaps last week. He can break a big play at any time, but his role is too tough to trust as more than a WR3/4 at this point. If you have the depth, Cooks should likely be on your bench as only a part-time player in a difficult matchup. With Everett out again this week, Tyler Higbee (volume upgrade) will resume his role as the clear pass-catching TE for the Rams. He’s won a lot of matchups for owners the past two weeks, and should continue to thrive as long as Everett is sidelined. The Cowboys have given up the 10th most FPPG to TEs, so there’s no reason to view Higbee as less than an elite TE1 this week.
RB Breakdown
Perhaps part of the reason that the Rams have looked re-energized the last two weeks is the commitment to the run game with Todd Gurley (volume upgrade). The offensive line and entire team are getting healthier, and Gurley is getting the volume necessary for an RB1 valuation. The Cowboys have given up the 16th fewest FPPG to RBs and have the 19th ranked rush defense by DVOA, so the matchup is basically a wash. Consider Gurley on the RB1/2 borderline, and get him locked into your lineup for a game the Rams absolutely have to win to remain in the playoff race. Malcolm Brown makes for a worthwhile handcuff.


Opp (LAR) Pass DVOA: #9
Opp (LAR) Run DVOA: #3
Opp (LAR) Weighted DEF: #6
Injuries to Watch DEF (LAR): None
Injuries to Watch OFF (DAL): None
Key WCB matchups: Amari Cooper vs. Jalen Ramsey (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Michael Gallup (20%) Amari Cooper (19%) Randall Cobb (15%) Jason Witten (15%) Ezekiel Elliott (10%) Blake Jarwin (8%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Ezekiel Elliott (99%, 21, 5)
QB/WTE Breakdown
While the Cowboys have been a huge disappointment overall, they remain firmly in the playoff race due to the antiquated NFL seeding rules, and their QB Dak Prescott (auto-start) has shown he is deserving of a huge contract extension. The Rams have given up the 12th fewest FPPG to QBs, and have the 9th ranked pass DVOA, but Prescott will be needed for a big day if Dallas is to get a win at home. Their solid projected point total, and Dak’s consistent presence as a top-5 QB in fantasy, means that Prescott should be a fixture in fantasy lineups in the second week of fantasy playoffs. He’s a solid QB1.
Amari Cooper (slight downgrade) may not like the term “garbage time”, but it’s hard to argue that’s not the scenario in which he caught his TD pass and salvaged his day against the Bears. Regardless, Cooper was able to produce despite looking less than 100%, and isn’t on the injury report this week. However, he’s likely to face Jalen Ramsey in shadow coverage this week, which is a concern considering just how good Ramsey has been since landing in LA. Cooper has been more effective against shadow coverage this year than in previous years, and his role in the offense combined with his individual talent make him tough to bench. View him as a high-end WR2 that is capable of breaking Ramsey’s coverage, but could also finish with a disappointing 2-30-0 type of day as well. Michael Gallup (upgrade) has been relatively productive over the last month, and he could benefit from Ramsey’s focus on Cooper. The Rams overall cede the 15th fewest FPPG to WRs, so this is a spot for Gallup to potentially come through for owners. Consider him a mid-range WR2 with upside this week in a game the Boys will likely need to throw heavily to win. Randall Cobb has benefitted from the high volume of passing in the Cowboys rough last five games, but will likely see a lot of highly-graded CB Nickell Robey-Coleman in the slot (PFF). Consider Cobb a low-end WR3 whose ceiling isn’t extremely high, but whose floor makes for a useful asset in deeper leagues. Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin have rendered each other relatively unstartable this season, and both should be viewed as low-volume TE2s. Neither is worth starting this week against a Rams squad giving up the 7th fewest FPPG to TEs.
RB Breakdown
The Cowboys were without Tony Pollard last week, but that didn’t serve to change their game plan much as Ezekiel Elliott (auto-start) has been a workhorse all year long. Pollard is expected to return on Sunday, but Zeke will get his 20+ touches again this week regardless. The Rams are stout on the ground - 3rd best DVOA and 10th fewest FPPG to RBs- but Zeke is an easy RB1 due to his volume and talent. Get him locked into your lineup, and keep Pollard rostered as a feel-good insurance policy.
Score Prediction: Rams 21, Cowboys 17

Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) at LA Chargers

Vikings ATS: 7-6-0 Chargers ATS: 4-7-3
Projected Team Totals: Vikings 24 Chargers 21.5


Opp (LAC) Pass DVOA: #20
Opp (LAC) Run DVOA: #23
Opp (LAC) Weighted DEF: #18
Injuries to Watch DEF (LAC): LB Uchenna Nwosu (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (MIN): RB Alexander Mattison (Q) WR Bisi Johnson (Q)
Key WCB matchups: Stefon Diggs vs. Casey Hayward (Rotoworld)
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Stefon Diggs (20%) Dalvin Cook (15%) Kyle Rudolph (13%) Irv Smith (13%) Bisi Johnson (11%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Dalvin Cook (47%, 20, 2) Alexander Mattison (37%, 16, 2)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Last week was a game that fantasy owners always fear; the home favorite Vikings so outmatched the injury riddled Lions that none of the offensive weapons were needed for a big day to capture the win. Kirk Cousins (low-end QB1) was solid as a game manager, but finished with only 242 yards and 1 TD. This week he’ll likely be in a more competitive game with the Chargers, who have given up the 5th fewest FPPG to QBs. While this should lead to higher volume for Kirk, the matchup concern is a legitimate reason to consider keeping him on the bench. Getting Adam Thielen back from injury should help to establish his floor, but his ceiling isn’t as high considering the Chargers are not often involved in shootouts. Owners can view Cousins as a low-end QB1, and throw him in lineups if they don’t have a safer and higher upside option.
Cousins will have stud receiver Adam Thielen (downgrade) back on the field this week, and that means owners will have a tough decision to make with their lineups. Stefon Diggs (start) is likely to see Casey Hayward in shadow coverage this week, which would leave Thielen with more positive matchups, but Diggs is easier to trust given his body of work throughout the year. The Chargers have given up the 3rd fewest FPPG to WRs this year, giving both receivers a slight downgrade in outlook. Consider Thielen a WR3, and Diggs a WR2. Both have a solid case to be in starting lineups this week, but Diggs is the slightly preferred play. Kyle Rudolph (downgrade) gets a tough potential individual matchup with stud safety Derwin James, and needs to be pushed just outside the TE1 ranks this week. The Chargers have given up the 9th fewest FPPG to TEs, and Rudolph is quite TD-dependent, so consider your options before plugging him in. Irv Smith simply isn’t seeing the volume to be trusted at this point, so he should be viewed as a low-end TE2 in a tough matchup.
RB Breakdown
Fantasy superstar Dalvin Cook (auto-start, upgrade) was subject to the same issue as Cousins, as he saw an uncharacteristic 47% snap share, but still was able to save his line with a few nice runs and a short TD plunge. This week sets up much better for Cook, as the game should be competitive throughout, and the Chargers are more vulnerable to the run than the pass. They’ve given up the 13th most FPPG to RBs and have a bottom-third run DVOA, so get Cook fired up as an elite RB1 once again. Keep Alexander Mattison (stash) rostered as a top-3 handcuff, even if he ends up being ruled out. If Cook were to suffer a setback or pick up a minor injury, Mattison would be an elite RB1 for the fantasy finals assuming he’s healthy.


Opp (MIN) Pass DVOA: #11
Opp (MIN) Run DVOA: #7
Opp (MIN) Weighted DEF: #9
Injuries to Watch DEF (MIN): S Jayron Kearse (OUT) CB Xavier Rhodes (Q)
Injuries to Watch OFF (LAC): None
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Keenan Allen (23%) Hunter Henry (20%) Austin Ekeler (17%) Mike Williams (13%) Melvin Gordon (11%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Austin Ekeler (49%, 12, 5) Melvin Gordon (46%, 17, 5)
QB/WTE Breakdown
The Chargers came a bit out of nowhere last week to drop 45 points in their win over the Jags. Philip Rivers (slight downgrade) eclipsed 25 points for the first time this season, and was dealing all game long. He’ll face a stiffer matchup from the Vikings - Minnesota cedes the 11th fewest FPPG to QBs and has the 11th ranked pass DVOA. Consider Rivers a mid-range QB2; his ceiling isn’t extremely high but his weapons should establish his floor as a solid asset in 2QB or superflex leagues.
Still not producing at levels owner are accustomed to, Keenan Allen (start) has at least returned solid value over his past 4 games with good yardage and 2 total TDs. Mike Williams (downgrade PPR) FINALLY scored his first TD of the year, after getting 10 last year, and continues to make impressive contested chunk catches week in and week out. The Vikings have given up the 8th most FPPG to WRs, and Xavier Rhodes is no longer a shutdown shadow corner, so both WRs are worth starting consideration. Consider Allen a WR2, with upside in PPR leagues, and view Williams as a WR3 with an upgrade in standard leagues. The Vikings pass rush is impressive, and the Chargers O-line has struggled to keep Rivers upright against top defensive lines, so having the time to throw downfield might make Allen more productive than Williams this week. Hunter Henry (start) found the end zone last week, and despite some low yardage totals the last month remains a solid TE1 this week. The Vikings have allowed the 14th most FPPG to TEs, so this isn’t a shy-away matchup by any means. Get Henry active unless you have a top-3 alternative, as he might benefit from additional short throws due to Rivers needing to get the ball out quick.
RB Breakdown
Perhaps the most important player to the Chargers this year has been the explosive and dynamic all around back, Austin Ekeler (auto-start). He put up a career-high 213 scrimmage yards in the win last week, which was buoyed by an impressive 84 yard catch and run TD. Melvin Gordon (PPR downgrade) got in on the action by rolling up 84 total yards and a TD, and should continue to handle a slight majority of the carries. Ekeler’s role is slightly more valuable, however, as his looks in the passing game often give him room to make plays in the open field, and give him a higher floor in PPR leagues. Consider Ekeler on the RB1/2 borderline, especially in PPR formats, and Gordon can be viewed as a solid RB2. Both should be in lineups this week, despite the Vikings giving up the 6th fewest FPPG to RBs, but Ekeler is a bit safer as he doesn’t require rushing lanes up the middle or goal-line opportunities to be able to rack up the points.
Score Prediction: Vikings 23, Chargers 16

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints (-8.5)

Colts ATS: 6-5-2 Saints ATS: 8-5-0
Projected Team Totals: Colts 18.75 Saints 27.25


Opp (NO) Pass DVOA: #10
Opp (NO) Run DVOA: #10
Opp (NO) Weighted DEF: #7
Injuries to Watch DEF (NO) Friday Report: LB Kiko Alonso (DNP) S Vonn Bell (DNP) CB Patrick Robinson (DNP) DE Cameron Jordan (LP) LB AJ Klein (LP)
Injuries to Watch OFF (IND) Friday Report: WR TY Hilton (LP) OL Le’Raven Clark (DNP)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): T.Y. Hilton (24%) Zach Pascal (20%) Jack Doyle (15%) Parris Campbell (15%) Nyheim Hines (12%) Deon Cain (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Nyheim Hines (56%, 8, 5) Marlon Mack (41%, 13, 0) Jordan Wilkins (14%, 1, 0)
QB/WTE Breakdown
This season has gone south fast for the Colts, dropping five of their last six games, and Jacoby Brissett (downgrade) has been much less effective in the second half of the season. He was able to take advantage of the Buccaneers ridiculously bad secondary last week in a close loss, but will face a stiffer challenge this week. The Saints give up the 10th most FPPG to QBs, but have the 10th best pass DVOA, and Brissett may be without his top WR again this week. Consider him a low-upside QB2, and don’t look his way unless desperate in a 2QB or superflex league.
TY Hilton (injury downgrade) is currently listed as a game time decision for MNF, making him a risky starting proposition due to the fact that most of the alternative options in your lineup will have already played by the time we get final clarity on his status. Unless there is a report stating definitively he will suit up, it’s best to avoid him this week. If you own Zach Pascal (start only if Hilton sits), you could also use him as a pivot option in case Hilton is ruled out before kickoff. If that’s the case, it would leave Pascal in position to soak up another high target total. He’s been extremely productive the past two weeks, and the Saints give up the 3rd most FPPG to WRs, so if he’s the #1 option this week he should be in your lineup. However, it’s hard to bank on this as Hilton likely won’t be declared active or inactive until just before kickoff, so it’s tough to bench more established studs for him during Sunday’s games. Consider Pascal a borderline WR2 if Hilton sits, but he’s no more than a boom-bust WR3/4 if Hilton plays. It’s likely best to avoid this situation entirely if you can, and either player could potentially see Marcus Lattimore in shadow coverage if the Saints decide to go that route as well. With Eric Ebron out for the year, Jack Doyle (upgrade) has shown flashes, but put up a 2-27 dud last week. Brissett likes throwing to his TEs, and Doyle is a great red-zone threat, so with the scarcity of quality options at the position Doyle is a mid-range TE1. The Saints are middle of the pack against TEs, so get him in your lineups this week unless you have a higher floor elite option.
RB Breakdown
Another tough draw is on deck for Marlon Mack (volume upgrade). He played 41% of snaps in his return from injury, receiving only 13 touches. Still, he looked healthy, and was clearly the lead back. The Colts will likely increase his workload moving forward, and he should see closer to 20 touches this week, game-script permitting. New Orleans has only ceded 14.2 FPPG to the position, but Mack’s projected volume keep him in the RB2 ranks. Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins are merely afterthoughts in this offense with the return of the Mack, and both can be safely dropped.


Opp (IND) Pass DVOA: #14
Opp (IND) Run DVOA: #20
Opp (IND) Weighted DEF: #15
Injuries to Watch DEF (IND) Friday Report: CB Kenny Moore (DNP) CB Pierre Desir (LP)
Injuries to Watch OFF (NO) Friday Report: OT Terron Armstead (LP) OL Will Clapp (LP) OG Andrus Peat (DNP)
Key WCB matchups: None
Relevant Target Share %’s (Last 6 Weeks): Michael Thomas (30%) Alvin Kamara (22%) Jared Cook (15%) Ted Ginn (10%) Tre’Quan Smith (6%)
RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 14: Alvin Kamara (76%, 17, 6) Latavius Murray (33%, 9, 3)
QB/WTE Breakdown
Lamar Jackson broke Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback on Thursday Night Football this week, so it would be fitting for Primetime Drew Brees (upgrade) to break the all-time passing touchdown record on Monday Night Football in the same week. Brees is sitting at 537 career touchdown passes, just two shy of Peyton Manning. However, Tom Brady is at 536, so it’s possible that going into MNF, Brees will be chasing both Manning and Brady ( Indianapolis has been fading of late, Jameis Winston just posted 456-yards and four touchdowns against a usually solid secondary. Monday feels like it’ll be a special moment for Brees, he’s a top-5 QB option, fire him up.
Michael Thomas (upgrade) is also chasing greatness, going after Marvin Harrison’s single-season reception record of 143. Thomas is just twenty-three catches shy with three weeks left to go ( Indy’s zone defense should provide plenty of underneath windows for the stud wideout, he’s an every-week elite WR1. The other wideouts are riskier: neither Ted Ginn or Tre’Quan Smith can be relied upon, and should be treated as boom-or-bust dart throws. Jared Cook has emerged as the No. 3 passing option since Brees returned from injury, vacuuming up a 15% target share in the last six weeks. He’s expected to suit up Monday, after a concussion knocked him out of last week's barn burner. He’s an every week TE1 - IND cedes 7.3 FPPG to the position.
RB Breakdown
It was extremely disappointing to watch the Saints roll up yards and points in the shootout last week, while Alvin Kamara (upgrade) busted on 17 touches. Latavius Murray was given fewer snaps and touches than Kamara, but was able to parlay his limited opportunity into a successful fantasy outing. Unfortunately, that’s just fantasy football sometimes; a plethora of variables exist and many cannot be predicted. Kamara owners that managed to survive the opening round of playoffs, despite his unfortunate bust week, need to renew their faith for this one. Indy cedes just 14.4 FPPG to RBs - but they are bottom-12 in Run DVOA. Additionally, we may be back to a reality in which the Saints score 30 a week in The Big Easy. I’m not betting against the positive game-script the home matchup should provide; Lat “Pulldown” Murray can be considered a viable, albeit slightly unpredictable, flex option as well.
Score Prediction: Saints 35, Colts 20
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[Game Preview] Week 6 - Philadelphia Eagles(3-2) at Minnesota Vikings (3-2)

Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) at Minnesota (3-2)
The Eagles will look to take momentum gained from the last two wins into a grueling October 3 game road trip which will start somewhere they had success in the past. The Eagles will make their first trip back to US Bank Stadium since they defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl 52 to give the Eagles their first Lombardi trophy. The Eagles number 1 ranked rush defense will be put to the test this week as they face the 3rd ranked rushing attack in the league led by Dalvin Cook. If they can limit Cook and put the Vikings in long 3rd downs the Eagles DL will need to keep up the pressure on the QB following their 10 sack performance against the New York Jets last week. The Vikings OL made improvement in the off-season to fix the OL woes from previous seasons, but it is still a weak spot on the team. If the Eagles are able to get pressure on Cousins and force him to turn the ball over it could be big in the field position game. Mike Zimmer continues to put out strong defenses in Minnesota and this year is no different. The Vikings defense in ranked in the top 10 in most statistical categories and the Eagles look once again to be without Desean Jackson who miss his 5th game following an explosive debut in week 1. With Desean’s absence look for the Eagles to try to establish the run early with Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders and use a lot of 12 man personnel with Ertz and Goedert. It seems like the Eagles and Vikings having been played on a yearly basis now with Pederson getting the edge over Zimmer 2-1. Zimmer will try to even that up this week in what looks to be a hard fought game. Go Birds!
General Information
Posting Rules and Guidelines
Remember to Join us on Discord during the game!
New to the Eagles? Take a look at our New Fan Page!
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
Game Time Game Location
1:00 PM - Eastern US Bank Stadium
12:00 PM - Central 401 Chicago Avenue
11:00 AM - Mountain Minneapolis, MN 55415
10:00 AM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Dome
Surface: UBU Sports Speed Series S5-M
Temperature: N/A
Feels Like: N/A
Forecast: N/A.
Chance of Precipitation: N/A
Cloud Coverage: N/A
Wind: N/A
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Minnesota -3
OveUnder: 44
Record VS. Spread: EAgles 2-3, Vikings 3-2
Where to Watch on TV
FOX will broadcast Sunday’s game to a regional audience. Kenny Albert will handle the play-by-play duties and Charles Davis will provide analysis. Pam Oliver will report from the sideline.
TV Map - Week 6 TV Coverage Map
Internet Streams
NFL Streams - Look here 30 minutes before the game for Streams
Radio Streams
Disclaimer: Subscription Based Official NFL Radio Streams available via TuneIn
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (42nd season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Vikings Radio
Vikings Radio Network Paul Allen enters his 19th season in 2019 as the Vikings radio play-by-play voice is KFAN radio mid-day personality. Joining Allen as the color commentator was former Vikings linebacker and coach Pete Bercich.
National Radio
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Vikings Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 134(Streaming 825) SI3RI 82(Streaming 819)
XM Radio (Streaming 825) XM 227(Streaming 819)
Sirus XM Radio SXM 285 (Streaming 825) SXM 227(Streaming 819)
Eagles Social Media Vikings Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: vikings
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Eagles 3-2 .600 2-1 1-1 1-0 2-2 141 111 +30 2W
Cowboys 3-2 .600 2-1 1-1 2-0 2-2 131 90 +41 2L
Giants 2-4 .333 1-2 1-2 1-1 2-2 111 160 -49 2L
Redskins 0-5 .000 0-3 0-2 0-2 0-4 73 151 -78 5L
Series Information
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the series 14-14 with Vikings leading in the Regular season 14-10 and Eagles leading in the postseason 4-0.
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
October 28th, 1962 at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Minnesota Vikings 31 – Philadelphia Eagles 21
Points Leader
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the Minnesota Vikings (650-594)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 2-1 against the Vikings
Mike Zimmer: 1-2 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Mike Zimmer: Pederson leads 2-1
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against Vikings: 1-1
Kirk Cousins: Against Eagles: 4-4
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Kirk Cousins: Cousins leads series 3-2
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead Vikings 4-2
Record @ US Bank Stadium: The teams have yet to play in US Bank Stadium, however the Eagles are 1-0 in the stadium defeating the Patriots there in Super Bowl 52.
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 9 - Vikings No. 13
2019 Record
Eagles: 3-2
Vikings 3-2
Last Meeting
Sunday, October 7th, 2018
Eagles 21 - Vikings 23
Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards and one touchdown, Linval Joseph returned a fumble 64 yards for a score and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Philadelphia Eagles 23-21 Sunday in a rematch of the 2017 season's NFC championship game. It was an ugly game for the Eagles offense as the offensive line again struggled to protect Carson Wentz and get anything going as the defending Super Bowl champions fell to 2-3. The Eagles attempted to rally from a 17-point deficit midway through the third quarter and were in great position to take the lead Eagles following a Roc Thomas dropped a backward pass that was recovered by Nigel Bradham at the Vikings 30 in the fourth quarter. But the Eagles continued to shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and another Wentz sack forcing a 4th and 20 with Doug Pederson electing not to let Jake Elliott try a 58-yarder. The Vikings got the ball back and extended their lead to two scores before the Eagles adding a late Ertz TD before failing to recover and onside kick for the loss.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here for box score
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
10/7/18 Vikings Eagles 23-21
1/21/18 Eagles Vikings 38-7
10/23/16 Eagles Vikings 21-10
12/15/13 Vikings Eagles 48-30
12/28/10 Vikings Eagles 24-14
1/4/09 Eagles Vikings 26-14
10/28/07 Eagles Vikings 23-16
1/16/05 Eagles Vikings 27-14
9/20/04 Eagles Vikings 27-16
11/11/01 Eagles Vikings 48-17
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Vikings Vikings
2019 “Expert” Picks
Week 6 - "Expert" Picks
2019 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Vikings Season Stats
2019 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Wentz 105 174 60.3% 1152 10 2 94.3
Cousins 86 126 68.3% 1041 5 2 100.0
Howard 53 248 44.5 4.7 3
Cook 92 542 108.4 5.9 5
Ertz 29 312 62.4 10.8 1
Thielen 20 309 61.8 15.5 4
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 3.0 14
Hunter 5.0 15
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
McLeod 29 16 13 0
Kendricks 39 30 9 0
Name Ints Team Total
Gerry 2 6
Harris 2 4
Johnston 19 908 60 47.8 44.7 11 0 0
Colquitt 19 898 59 47.3 43.1 7 0 0
Elliot 5 5 100.0% 41 14/14
Bailey 8 7 87.5% 50 11/12
Kick Returns
Sanders 8 207 25.9 67 0
Abdullah 2 58 29.0 33 0
Punt Returns
Sproles 9 84 9.3 17 0 3
Beebe 7 46 6.6 15 0 6
League Rankings 2019
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Vikings Stat Vikings Rank
Total Offense 339.2 24th 357.4 18th
Rush Offense 111.8 18th 166.4 3rd
Pass Offense 227.4 21st 191.0 29th
Points Per Game 28.2 7th 122.4 16th
3rd-Down Offense 52.9% 2nd 42.9% 12
4th-Down Offense 33.3% 22nd 66.7% 10th
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 68.4% 5th(t) 60% 11th(t)
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Vikings Stat Vikings Rank
Total Defense 334.2 10th 292.4 4th
Rush Defense 63.0 1st 88.2 9th
Pass Defense 271.2 27th 204.2 6th
Points Per Game 22.2 13th 14.6 5th
3rd-Down Defense 37.1% 12th 34.9% 9th
4th-Down Defense 60% 21st(t) 50.0% 14th(t)
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 50% 10th(t) 46.2% 5th(t)
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Vikings Stat Vikings Rank
Turnover Diff. +2 9th(t) 0 15th(t)
Penalty Per Game 7.0 8th(t) 8.8 27th(t)
Penalty Yards Per Game 62.8 16th(t) 85.2 32nd
Vikings Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman, Coordinator of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer Tom Hunkele and Assistant Athletic Trainer Rob Roche all spent time with the Eagles prior to joining the Vikings.
Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes started alongside Eagles LB Nigel Bradham while at Florida State.
Vikings OC Coach Kevin Stefanski grew up in Philadelphia and got his first NFL experience with an Operations internship in 2005 in the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vikings Consultant Bud Grant played for the Philadelphia Eagles for two seasons from 1951-1952.
Eagles SS Andrew Sendejo played 8 seasons for the Vikings between 2011-2018.
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Video The Eagles entered the week 4 matchup against the winningless Jets who were once again without starting QB Sam Darnold. 3rd string QB Luke Falk struggled all day against the vaunted Eagles pass rush.After stuggling to get sacks in their first 4 games the Eagles exploded with 10 sacks, 3 of them from DE Brandon Graham which was a career high. The Eagles also forced 3 turnovers on the day 2 of which were taken for touchdowns.The first was an INT by Nate Gerry who had his second interception of the season. The next was by Orlando Scandrick who was playing his first game for the Eagles and came on a corner blitz ripping the ball from Luke Falk and taking it to the house. The Jets offense couldn't get anything going all day with their only score coming in the fourth quarter on a 19-yard run by Vyncint Smith after a muffed punt. e Eagles became the first team in NFL history to record 10 sacks and score two defensive touchdowns in a single game. Wentz added 189 yards and 1 TD to Zach Ertz and Jordan Howard added 62 yards and a TD on the ground.
Video Following a lot of criticism Kirk Cousins got back on track vs the struggling Giants. He threw for 307 yards and 2 TD in a dominating performance.Dalvin Cook added 132 yards on the ground and the defense was dominate bring Daniel Jones back down to earth as the rookie was sacked 4 times and threw an interception while only managing 182 yards and a TD. The win came just a week after the Vikings (3-2) did little in a 16-6 loss to the Chicago Bears and Thielen insisted the team had to stop being one dimensional, relying solely on the run.The Vikings mixed it up with run and pass and came close to a 50/50 split and it paid off for the 28-10 win.
2019 Pro Bowlers
Eagles Vikings
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) WR Adam Thielen
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) FS Harrison Smith
TE Zach Ertz (Starter) DE Danielle Hunter
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt) OLB Anthony Barr
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
Referee: Adrian Hill
Darren Sproles (19,684) moved up to 5th all-time on the all-purpose yards list passing HoF WR Tim Brown (19,682) last week vs the Jets.
Philadelphia and Minnesota are split, 14-14 (.500), in an all-time series that dates back to 1962. The Eagles have won 2 of their last 3 games (.667) against the Vikings, as well as 7 of the last 10 (.700) and 11 of their last 14 (.786) overall.
This will be Philadelphia’s first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium. The last time the Eagles played at the venue, they defeated New England, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII (2/4/18), which marked the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
Philadelphia owns the No. 1-ranked rushing defense (63.0). The Eagles also lead that category since 2016 (including playoffs), allowing just 90.6 rushing yards per game in that span. Philadelphia has not allowed 100+ rushing yards in 8 consecutive regular-season contests.
The Eagles rank 7th in the NFL in points per game (28.2), trailing only San Francisco (31.8), Tampa Bay (29.4) and L.A. Rams (29.2) in the NFC. Philadelphia has registered 30+ points in 3 of its first 5 games of the season.
The Eagles have produced the 2nd-best third-down offense (52.9%) in the NFL, behind Houston (53.2%). It marks their best third-down conversion rate through 5 games since the 2017 campaign (53.4%).
Philadelphia is also tied for 5th in the NFL with a 68.4% red zone TD efficiency, which is the team’s highest mark through 5 games since 2010 (75.0%)
Draft Picks
Eagles Vikings
OT Andre Dillard C Garrett Bradbury
RB Miles Sanders TE Irv Smith Jr.
WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside RB Alexander Mattison
WR Shareff Miller G Dru Samia
QB Clayton Thorson(I suck and am a Cowboy Now) LB Camerson Smith
DT Armon Watts
S Marcus Epps
OT Oli Udoh
CB Kris Boyd
WR Dillon Mitchell
WR Olabisi Johnson
LS Austin Cutting
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles Vikings
WR Desean Jackson G Josh Kline
DT Malik Jackson Dt Shamar Stephen
DE Vinny Curry QB Sean Mannion
S Andrew Sendejo WR Jordan Taylor
LB Zach Brown LB Greer Martini
DT Hassan Ridgeway DE Karter Schult
QB Josh McCown CB Duke Thomas
S Derron Smith
G Dakota Dozier
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles Vikings
QB “Big Dick” Nick Foles S Andrew Senedjo
DE Michael Bennett OL Mike Remmers
DE Chris Long WR Alderick Robinson
S Chris Maragos CB Marcus Sherels
RB Jay Ajayi S George Iloka
RB Josh Adams QB Tervor Siemian
RB Wendell Smallwood Ol Nick Easton
WR Jordan Matthews OL Tom Compton
DT Haloti Ngata DT Sheldon Richardson
RB Latavius Murray
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (30) needs 1 TD to move up to 11th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list all-time tying WR Jack Ferrante and Brent Celek and he needs two TDs to move up to 10th all-time tying WR Ben Hawkins.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying Jeremy Maclin.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6271) needs 194 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yard list to moving ahead of Mike Quick.
Eagles RB Darren Sproles needs 31 yards to move up to 5th on the NFL’s all-time all-purpose yards list passing WR Tim Brown.
Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins's (4) needs 1 more Interception for a TD to tie CB Eric Allen (5) for most Interceptions for a TD by an Eagles player.
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge (
WDB Matchups (CAPS = expected shadow coverage)
Matchups to Watch
Vikings Passing Attack vs. Eagles Pass Defense
US Bank Stadium was really good to the Eagles not too long ago as the Vikings were gracious hosts when we brought the Lombardi to its rightful home. It was also the site of Choke Fest 2018, which saw the Vikings lose their Week 17 home contest, allowing the Eagles to make the playoffs instead. This year’s version of The Salt Bowl is an important matchup for both teams in the deep NFC between two talented teams. There aren’t many differences between the teams from last year to this year other than offensive philosophy. Mike Zimmer clearly thinks its 1970 and has the offense he desires for his football team after scapegoating John DeFilippo last year. This is a run first, hope-you-don’t-fall-behind-so-you-have-to-rely-on-Kirk offense that is pretty loaded at the skill positions. I don’t necessarily blame Zim for wanting to run more often than they did under Flip, but to neuter the passing game with Diggs and Thielen is borderline criminal. Regardless, the difference that can help the Vikings win is the same one that helped them win last year – passing. Diggs and Thielen are two highly-skilled, versatile, number 1 receivers that the Eagles aren’t very well equipped to handle. Sure, Rasul Douglas has been the best Eagles corner on the season and could hold his own as well as anyone could against these two while losing reps, but the talent available after him is troublesome. Sidney Jones is likely to get the start opposite Douglas this week; if not, it’s Craig James (bitch) job for the second consecutive week. Orlando Scandrick will likely get the start in the slot after going God Mode against the hapless Jets. Basically, this is a strong matchup that favors the Vikings. Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are both playing at a high level which helps the Eagles since they didn’t have McLeod for this matchup last year. However, it is hard to hide one side of the field; it’s even more difficult when you face the Vikings top two receivers. Additionally, Dalvin Cook and this Vikings screen game is one of the best in the league. The Eagles defense hasn’t been that good at defending the screen. I know Zimmer thinks passing causes autism like vaccines, but the Vikings would be foolish not to take advantage of this matchup like they did last year.
Vikings Offensive Line vs Eagles Pass Rush
What helps a struggling secondary? Pass rush. The Eagles unit has been very slow to start the season and may not reach the levels it did in 2017. It was encouraging to see the defense put up 10 sacks against a unit they should dominate. The Vikings offensive line is still their most significant weakness and the Eagles defensive line can still murder them. Brian O’Neil and Riley Reiff are a decent tackle tandem and are playing better than they did last year. The interior of the Vikings offensive line has been cheeks on the young season. I think the addition of Garrett Bradbury will help the Vikings over the long term as he adjusts to the NFL. In the short term, his lack of size and power is very evident and damaging, especially in pass protection. Pat Elflein still hasn’t developed into anything decent and their other guard doesn’t matter since he isn’t good. This is an Eagles pass rush that is still good but not elite nor as deep as they once were. The slow emergence of Fletcher Cox has been a welcome addition as he works his way back from offseason foot surgery. Philly needs him to be impactful in a hurry. Brandon Graham is fresh off a career day. Josh Sweat is developing nicely. And Daeshon Hall is making good use of his limited snap. This defensive line need to bring it this week. The Vikings want to run and use play action boot off those looks; control the line of scrimmage and put the Vikings offense off script. Then they need to pressure and sack Kirk Cousins. Kirk is a poor QB under pressure and tends to be generous with the ball under some heat. Pressure and limiting the Vikings rushing attack by winning up front will help force the Vikings into situations they don’t want to be in allowing the Eagles the opportunity to create extra plays for their offense. It always starts up front for the Eagles and this week that need is amplified.
Vikings Pass Defense vs Eagles Passing Offense
The Vikings enter the game with one of the better rush defenses in the NFL. That has been a common occurrence for the Vikings in the Zimmer era. This is a defense that is very good in pass defense but not unbeatable. The problem for the Eagles in this contest, and every subsequent contest without DJax, is the limited deep threats outside. Howie Roseman didn’t do enough this offseason to ensure enough speed at the skill positions. Desean Jackson is still the elite deep threat he has always been but are not close to capable of replacing him. Alshon Jeffery is still the reliable receiver he has been but isn’t a vertical receiver. They’ll need him to play against the Vikings the same way he seems to always moss them. Zach Ertz figures to have a key role in this game after accumulating 18 receptions, 203 yards, and a TD in the last two games against this Vikings team (from Kempski) – they’ll need it again. And Dallas Goedert’s presence in the offense alone puts the Eagles in more efficient looks. One player that could step up and actually do something worthy of the undue praise bestowed upon him would be Nelson Agholor. For a guy that does have talent, he doesn’t do anything. He barely outperforms Mack Hollins, who’d rather play special teams. The Vikings secondary is talented but the CBs are underperforming, at least per PFF; the Vikings have no CBs in the PFF Top 50 (among CBs) in coverage grade. Their safeties are still great, but their CBs haven’t played to their usual talent level lately. There is an opportunity here for the Eagles to get their passing game going to a certain degree but is somewhat limited by their own personnel. I’m not arguing to abandon the run, but passing is slightly more favorable this week. Make their CBs improve. Get Barr and Kendricks isolated in coverage where they really struggle. Profit… as much as possible against this unit.
Vikings Defensive Front vs Eagles Offensive Line
This may be the best strength vs strength matchup in the NFL this week as it is in this game! The Vikings have a very good defensive front with (likely) the best EDGE duo in the NFL. Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter are a versatile, powerful, athletic, and dominant duo that gives opposing offenses fits on a weekly basis. While Shemar Stephen and Linval Joseph do a great job anchoring the interior, they aren’t dominant rushers though forces against the run. Still, this is a front that can take over games. As I wrote in the Eagles case, this pass rush can help out the secondary and generally does. The Eagles have one of the top offensive lines in the NFL with the personnel fully capable of neutralizing this Vikings front. We’ve seen how this offense can operate when the OL takes over a game (Green Bay) – it can go a long way this week. Additionally, Kendricks and Barr are two guys that can blitz as effectively as any rusher from time to time. Zimmer is creative with his blitz and pressure looks. In a hostile environment, it’ll be important for the OL to have another cohesive performance. It’s always important to win of front and this particular matchup is porn for the trench warfare community.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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