Welcome to this week’s edition of NFL Breakdown. We focus on three games you need to check out and all the info that you’ll need ahead of the contests. This week we will look at the matchups between the Colts vs Packers, Broncos vs Dolphins, and Saints vs Falcons.
Indianapolis Colts vs Green Bay Packers
- Spread: Colts -2 (-110)
- Point Total: 51 (-110)
In this week’s edition of “What the Hell are the Oddsmakers Doing?” the Colts are favored over the Packers. Yes, the Colts did just double up on the Titans. Yes, Rivers threw for 308 yards and Nyheim Hines was unbelievable. Aaron Rodgers is not Ryan Tannehill. The Colts will not hold him to 147 yards. They have the second-ranked passing defense, but the best teams they have faced are the Lions, Browns, and Vikings. Against the spread this year they are one game over five hundred. Somehow all of these things play into the decision to favor Philip Rivers and the Colts.
Green Bay might very well end up in the NFC Championship game. Rodgers put on a show last week with 325 yards, once again making a receiver not named Adams look like Randy Moss. The run defense did not look great, allowing 4.7 yards per carry to James Robinson. They will have to shore that up against Indy’s stable of rushers for sure. Green Bay is also averaging the third-most points per game. Rodgers has not gotten as much out of his hard count as he has in previous years. Green Bay’s opponents only average 5.2 penalties per game. Still, they are 7-2 and on top of the NFC.
Every week or so we see an extremely interesting spread. This game is shocking. Indianapolis has not played anyone of Rodgers’s caliber. There is not much to say other than the Packers and the over.
Denver Broncos vs Miami Dolphins
- Spread: Dolphins -3.5 (-110)
- Point Total: 45 (-110)
Denver is surprisingly average against the spread this year at 5-4. Quarterback Drew Lock is coming off a game where he threw four picks against the divisional rival Las Vegas Raiders. Melvin Gordon looks like he took the job from Philip Lindsay once and for all, but no one really knows what Vic Fangio is going to do. The loss of Von Miller for the season clearly had an impact on Denver’s defense, they sit in the bottom half of most defensive categories. They will have their hands full with Tua Tagovailoa this week when the Dolphins get to town.
Miami is on a five-game win streak. When is the last time that sentence was written about the Dolphins? Many questioned Miami’s decision to run Tua out against the Rams. He has handled himself well, but this game against Denver is a chance for him to build some confidence. The Dolphins have a realistic chance to finish the season at least 10-6, possibly better if they can steal one against the Chiefs, Raiders, or Bills. This AFC East race could finish in Week 17 with the head to head deciding game in Buffalo. The impact the defense has had on this season cannot be understated. They are third in the league in opponent third-down conversion percentage, fifth in points allowed, and fourth in takeaways per game.
Two young quarterbacks meet for the first time. One highly touted, one who looked like he would take the next step this year. Miami has put up 28 or more points in the last three games against other middling defenses. This game should be no exception. The two teams are 9-9 in over/unders this year. Miami to cover and the over.
New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons
- Spread: Saints -4 (-110)
- Point Total: 51
Here is another that does not make sense this week. Drew Brees is out with a myriad of injuries. His four touchdown passes against the Bucs were a big reason for that impressive win. $21 million dollar man Taysom Hill will get the start, boasting a career 57% completion percentage on 18 attempts. ESPN fantasy owners looking for tight end help will relish the opportunity to put a starting QB in the TE slot. Expect a steady dose of Alvin Kamara and probably more than a few snaps for Jameis Winston, especially if Hill struggles.
Atlanta started the year with five straight losses. Since firing Dan Quinn they have gone 3-1 and still have a chance to finish with a winning record. Matt Ryan has largely taken care of the football, he is 7th in interceptions thrown per game. The team is sixth in points per game over the last three games and 13th overall. Defensively, the Falcons are sixth rushing yards allowed, but second-worst in passing yards allowed per game. Game plan-wise, those statistics bode well against a team that will rely heavily on Kamara to shoulder the load.
Who outside of New Orleans trusts Taysom Hill to win games? Obviously the oddsmakers, but I just do not see it. It will be up to Hill to beat Atlanta with his arm and trickery. Atlanta, 1-4 against the spread at home, will cover, though I expect a high scoring affair. Falcons and the over.
Week 10 Recap: Nick Chubb‘s decision to run out of bounds held me from a perfect week against the spread, but did bring me back from the tragedy of Week 9.
- Last Week Against the Spread: 2-1
- Last Week Over/Under: 1-1
- Season Against the Spread: 12-9
- Season Over/Under: 6-3
*Odds via DraftKings