College football is on a month long hiatus, which means, Saturday night NFL. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Saturday night football but just like any maladjusted degenerate football fan - especially given fantasy implications - my Saturday night will involve screaming expletives at a helpless TV and begging people I don't actually know to do magical things completely out of my control. Yes, my fantasy team is in the playoffs, and I need DeAndre Hopkins and Courtland Sutton (if I start him) to score a fuck ton of points. My league is more important than yours.
The Two 'Not So Special' Games:
Texans (-7) vs. Jets: If the Jets lose out, and get some help from their incompetent counterparts, they could be looking at another Top-3 draft pick. So why play "spoiler?" Do the right thing and perfect the season-ending tank job with a massive loss to the visiting Texans. Let Hopkins score 3TD on 14 catches and 280 yards and claw your embarrassing way towards a very respectable Number One pick in next year's draft.
There's really no sharp analysis here; the Jets are abysmal and the Texans are a team capable of scoring more than 28-points a game, as their current average is 24.8. The Jets can keep it close during the 1st-half only because they're at home. But Houston will cover by the end of Q3 and won't look back.
Browns vs. Broncos UNDER 45.5: Speaking of "tanking," what the hell was San Francisco thinking last week? Shout of George Kittle on my fantasy team! Dude goes for 7 catches, 210 yards and a touchdown, and that was just in the 1st-half. Then, San Fran being the 2-10 San Fran team they were, did not involve Kittle at all in the 2nd-half (just one target). And yet, they still somehow won. A 20-0 1st-half lead was enough to hold on.
Maybe the bigger question is how does Denver win three consecutive games against the Chargers, Steelers and Bengals but lose to the lowly Niners? Granted, San Francisco was Denver's third road game in four weeks but it's still pretty inexcusable. The Broncos defense was sensational in the 2nd-half; Nick Mullens looked like the real version of Nick Mullens and not the mysteriously sometimes good backup that makes me question everything about sports. The 2nd-half Broncos defense is what I think we will see in Denver as they host the surging Browns, which is why I like the under.
Both Cleveland and Denver are still in the playoff chase but with Baltimore representing the final Wildcard spot - and with Indianapolis, Miami and Tennessee all ahead of them - there's a very low probability of either team making it.
So what I'm rooting for is a complete shitshow of a game.
Jaguars vs. Titans OVER 37.5: Tennessee is ranked 25th in offensive DVOA and Jacksonville is ranked 28. Both teams are in the bottom five of scoring and top six in points allowed. There's no reason this game should go over besides the fact that O/U at 40 or lower go over 70% of the time.
Patriots vs. Dolphins (+8): Here's a crazy stat; in 132 career home games Brady has lost just 19 times. However, in sixteen visits to Miami, Brady has lost 9 times. For whatever crazy reason(s), Brady doesn't A) like playing in warm weather, B) hates Miami in general or C) is in fact a polar bear cloned as the greatest QB of all-time. I don't get it. He's thrown 15 INT in Miami, which is more than he's ever thrown during an entire season. All the numbers suggest New England should win by two possessions; Miami allows 25ppg and the Pats score 28ppg. And, New England is pushing for a #1 seed in the postseason. But I like the Phins here, take the home dog.