Every week, Monty Andrews breaks down a number of the underlying betting mismatches on the Nationwide Soccer League slate, supplying you with an inside edge when handicapping the schedule and setting your every day fantasy lineup.
New England Patriots at New York Jets (+9.5, forty seven.5)
Patriots’ putrid move protection vs. Jets’ shutdown secondary
Should you had advised nearly all of NFL bettors that the Patriots and Jets would have equivalent data by way of 5 video games, you’d in all probability get some unusual seems to be. However that is precisely what has occurred because the AFC East rivals do battle this Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium. Much more surprisingly, the workforce’s level differentials aren’t that far off – thanks partially to New England’s unusually weak cross protection, and partially to the Jets successfully limiting opposing cross assaults.
Nothing has come simply for the Patriots, who’ve seen every of their final three recreation determined by 5 factors or fewer. They escaped Tampa with a 19-14 conquer the Buccaneers, however nonetheless surrendered 319 passing yards in doing so and have allowed 1,615 yards by way of the air on the season, by far probably the most within the NFL. Opposing quarterbacks have recorded a mean passer score of 109.2 in 5 video games towards the Patriots; solely the Cleveland Browns (112.four) have yielded a better combination score.
The Jets cannot hope to trade offensive firepower with New England even with the Patriots struggling on the defensive finish – however they definitely boast a extra formidable secondary. The Jets rank in the midst of the pack league-large in passing yards towards per recreation (212), however are permitting the eighth-lowest passer score (eighty one.9). That quantity drops all the best way to fifty six.2 at residence, tied for the bottom passer score within the league amongst visiting quarterbacks. If this development continues, the Jets ought to hold this one shut.
Chargers’ punishing move strain vs. Raiders’ leaky O-line
Issues have gone sideways in Oakland, with the Raiders – pegged by some because the potential Tremendous Bowl consultant from the AFC – having misplaced three consecutive video games and coping with an damage to their star quarterback. Even when Derek Carr returns this week – and head coach Jack Del Rio believes he’ll – he’ll have to get higher safety than the quarterback place has acquired in current weeks. That might be an enormous ask this week, because the Chargers deliver their league-greatest cross strain to city.
Armed with two of the perfect younger move rushers within the recreation in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, the Chargers have punished opposing quarterbacks all season lengthy. Los Angeles enters the sport with one of the best sack price within the NFL, taking down the QB on 10.18 % of opponent dropbacks by means of 5 video games. The Chargers have been much more prolific on the street, registering a 12.33-% sack price in two video games away from Los Angeles. They rank third general in complete sacks with 17; Bosa and Ingram have 12 of them.
The Raiders have not been capable of hold the quarterback protected throughout their three-recreation dropping skid. Oakland has given up a sack on 9.eight % of dropbacks over that stretch; solely 5 different groups have been worse at defending the QB in that span. That dropped the group’s sack allowed price to 7.32 % on the season, twentieth-greatest within the league. And if the Raiders cannot include one of many prime cross rushes within the league this weekend, they could wrestle to finish their dropping methods.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (-four.5, forty six)
Steelers’ second-half woes vs. Chiefs’ late scoring barrage
(Photograph courtesy Motion Pictures)
It is formally panic time in Metal City, with the Steelers in search of solutions after final week’s 30-17 beatdown by the hands of the visiting Baltimore Ravens. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is hinting at retirement after throwing 5 interceptions within the beautiful loss, and issues will not get any simpler for him in hostile territory this Sunday. The Chiefs have been the category of the league up to now, due largely to an offense that has been a lot better than anybody anticipated it to be – notably within the second half.
The Steelers got here into the season with excessive hopes on the offensive finish – and having Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown on the roster does not harm. However Pittsburgh is averaging fewer than 20 factors per recreation with Roethlisberger wanting like a quarterback on the draw back of his profession. The Steelers enter the weekend averaging a paltry 7.eight second-half factors per recreation – sitting within the backside quarter of the league in that class. It is a far cry from the 12 second-half factors the Steelers averaged a season in the past.
Maybe Roethlisberger and the Steelers might study a factor or two from Alex Smith and the shocking Chiefs, who’ve scored a league-greatest 164 factors via 5 video games. Kansas Metropolis was a under-common second-half scoring unit in 2016 however has exceeded expectations to date this season, main the league with 19.four second-half factors per recreation. With Pittsburgh reeling and the Chiefs rolling, Huge Ben will have to be quite a bit higher than he was final week if the Steelers have any hope of preserving issues shut.
New York Giants at Denver Broncos (-eleven.5, 39.5)
Giants’ third-down woes vs. Broncos’ drive-killing prowess
You’ll find a number of causes to fade the Giants this weekend at Sports activities Authority Area at Mile Excessive – and all of it begins with the state of the New York receiving corps. The Giants misplaced each Odell Beckham and Dwayne Harris for the season in final week’s loss to the Chargers, whereas Brandon Marshall will miss a number of video games and Sterling Shepard can also be banged-up. The Giants have been already having hassle changing on third down, and this would possibly not make it any simpler – particularly towards that vaunted Broncos protection.
New York’s offense has struggled for a lot of the season, notably at extending drives. The Giants have transformed simply 36.four % of third-down alternatives so far, tied with Cincinnati for twenty fourth within the NFL. It is an extension of a development that plagued New York final season, when it positioned thirty first out of 32 groups in third-down conversion price. And what’s much more baffling: quarterback Eli Manning has been respectable on third down this season, finishing 70 % of passes with two TDs and 0 interceptions.
He will must be that correct – or extra so – this weekend as he faces a Broncos protection that has been positively brutal on opposing offenses dealing with third down. Denver has allowed foes to finish simply 25.9 % of third-down alternatives; solely two different groups (Minnesota, Miami) have an opponent success fee under 30 %. With most of his cross catchers on the sidelines and a fearsome Denver protection awaiting him, Manning will probably be in robust to enhance his workforce’s third-down numbers.