*Picks in Bold.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) (-110) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
This Bengals team is still learning how to deal with success, as evidenced by puzzling losses to the Jets and Browns as they headed into their Week 10 bye. It seems that they used that bye to sharpen their focus and the run game, as Joe Mixon has been an absolute stud in the two games since, 19 and 31-point victories, respectively. Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase with a run game to support them? That's a scary proposition, particularly in a game featuring a Chargers' defense that ranks 29th or worse in Points per Possession, TOP per Drive, Rush Yards per Attempt and Rushing TDs. With Justin Herbert's second year regression and Los Angeles' recent 1-5 ATS run, there is nothing I can trust about the Chargers right now. I'm all over Cincy and the short number in this one.
Washington Football Team WFT (+1.5) (-106) at Las Vegas Raiders
The Football Team was a winner in this section last week, and I will continue to back their late-season surge while the value is there. As I said last week, this has been a completely different team since its Week 9 bye, going 3-0 SU and ATS since. I give Vegas a ton of credit for their Thanksgiving performance in Big D, but the fact remains that this team is a shell of itself since the Gruden and Ruggs incidents. The Raiders have not been incredibly successful in their new home, going 2-4 ATS so far this season. Coming off of the most watched NFL game in years against "America's Team," it is logical to think a letdown will follow. NFL dogs are 99-78-1 straight up this year, a mark that hasn't been seen in decades. I have faith that Ron Rivera and Taylor Heinicke will continue their steady run and win this game outright.
New England Patriots (+2.5) (-108) at Buffalo Bills
Remember that time I went against my better judgement and advised a play against New England because I thought the public hype was reaching a fever pitch? Yeah, that isn't happening again. This team is just that good. Mac Jones is playing with ridiculous poise, the offensive line leads a physical and clock-chewing run game, and the defense is nasty. I recently heard a terrific breakdown on the Bills Defense. Essentially, it is built to stop the pass first. They are small and fast, and cause havoc to teams that drop back a bunch. However, when matched up against physical, run-oriented offenses like Tennessee (with King Henry) and Indianapolis, they have been destroyed. I know why the Bills are favored, but they really shouldn't be. Look for the Pats to stake their claim to the NFC East with an emphatic win in Buffalo.
Michael Pittman OVER 62.5 Receiving Yards - Pittman was unspectacular last week with only 53 receiving yards despite getting 10 targets (four catches). This week should provide some progression to the mean, and it's a solid matchup against the Texans who are 21st defending the wide receiver position.
Tyler Boyd OVER 38.5 Receiving Yards - It's tough to read the tea leaves week in and week out with the Bengals receivers, but they have a good matchup this week at home against the Chargers who are giving up points left and right. This is easily a prop that could be won by halftime.
Leonard Fournette UNDER 62.5 Rushing Yards - Fournette is coming off a huge game rushing for 100 yards and scoring four touchdowns. However, this seems like a Brady passing game and before last week Fournette was under this yardage in three consecutive games. Let's fade recency bias here.
DK Metcalf OVER 56.5 Receiving Yards - While I know he's fallen off a bit as of late, there's no denying how talented Metcalf is. If he's hiding an injury, I'd like to know about it but let's assume he's completely healthy. He had a season-low four targets last week so that number should improve this week as will his yardage total.
Tee Higgins over 59.5 receiving yards (-115)
Higgins has been undervalued for much of the year, with most of the attention going to Ja'Marr Chase after his sizzling start to the season. Things were bound to even out between those two, who operate more like a 1/1A than a 1/2 in the Bengals offense. Higgins has surged lately (covering this number in four of his last five games) and is coming off his best game of the season (6-114-1 on eight targets vs. the Steelers). While the Chargers are most vulnerable on ground, the Bengals should put up their fair share of passes in this high-totaled game, and Higgins seems likely to continue his trend of covering modest numbers.
Justin Jefferson over 87.5 receiving yards (-115)
Beautiful spot for Jefferson this week, as the Lions passing defense ranks last in yards per attempt (and have pretty much all year). Obviously, Jefferson is among the more explosive WRs in the league, and he stands a solid chance of connecting for some big plays. While there's some concern that the Vikings will build a big lead in this game and stop throwing at some point, it also makes sense that Jefferson would've had a major hand in building that lead, so I'm not overly concerned by that. For his part, Jefferson has surpassed 140 yards in two of his last three games and went for 124 yards in their earlier meeting with Detroit this year. Jefferson also averaged 10 targets in those last three starts. Expect a big game.
Alexander Mattison over 80.5 rushing yards (-120)
As mentioned, the Vikings figure to build a nice lead in this game, which should lead to a whole lot of Mattison in the second half (if not earlier). The Lions run defense is pretty shoddy, ranking 28th in yards allowed while also allowing the most rushing attempts in the league. For Mattison's part, he's been almost a 1-for-1 replacement for Dalvin Cook in the games that he's started for him, even going 25-113 versus the Lions in one such game earlier this year. Expect more of the same.
Antonio Gibson over 71.5 rushing yards (-120)
The Football Team have been emphasizing the run more recently, with Gibson averaging a whopping 24 carries per game over his last three starts. And he could carry an even bigger load this week, with his backfield partner J.D. McKissic out for this game. Meanwhile, the Raiders rushing defense ranks 24th in yards allowed, while allowing 4.4 yards per carry. This should be an easy enough hurdle for Gibson to clear, given the expected volume.
Elijah Mitchell over 89.5 rushing yards (-115)
Given the way Antonio Gibson ran all over the Seahawks on Monday night, it's hard not to like Mitchell in this spot. Mitchell has posted 27 carries in each of his last two starts and surpassed this total in four of his last five starts. He figures for a lot of work in this one, not only based on Seattle's poor effort vs. Gibson last week, but also because the 49ers are missing their top playmaker Deebo Samuel (one reason why Mitchell got 27 carries last week). Expect to see Mitchell running the ball early and often, with some degree of success. Should get there on volume alone.
Brandon Aiyuk over 60.5 receiving yards (-115)
Right back with Aiyuk this week, based on Deebo's absence. He's clearly the WR1 in such cases, and has recorded 85-plus yards in three of his last four games. He's also a big-play specialist, having a long gainer of 20-plus yards in five consecutive games. All he needs to cover this total is a fair amount of volume, which he should get.
Diontae Johnson over 6.5 receptions (-105)
Simply put, Diontae is a target monster. He excels at getting open, which is why he's been Roethlisberger's security blanket since early last season. In fact, Diontae has recorded no less than 13 targets in each of his last three games (and five of his last six). While Roethlisberger has accuracy problems these days, Diontae's volume has resulted in his covering this number in each of his last three starts, and there's little doubt the Steelers will be forced to throw in this game vs. the favored Ravens. Expect a representative Diontae game, which should be enough.
Alexander Mattison -165 - I actually think the Lions get into the win column this weekend but that doesn't mean they won't give up points. I don't like laying these kind of odds but Mattison scored last week in a relief effort of Dalvin Cook. I'd bank on the over props in general for Mattison this week.
Jerry Jeudy +250, Courtland Sutton +350 - I'll Martindale this given this should be a high scoring game. These odds seem pretty high and it'll only take one of these receivers to make taking both to pay off. Kansas City ranks around league-average against the wide receiver position.
Jamaal Williams +130 - Williams is in line for a big workload and that includes the goal line work. Williams should easily see 15-plus touches in this contest and one of those should put him into the end zone.
Corey Davis +190, Elijah Moore +190 - The Jets will be home (which should help) and hopefully the weather won't play a factor. Just one of these guys scoring will turn a nice profit and there's always the chance both will score which will be gravy at that point. Moore has four touchdowns in his last four games while Davis has four touchdowns in eight games played this season.