NFL nut Kyle Robins (@AhhYeahKyleYeah) shares his expert opinion on the best bets ahead of Sunday's Week 15 action.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings | Sunday 20th December 2020, 18:00
In what looks to be one of the more crucial matchups of the week, Chicago heads into Minnesota to take on the Vikings, off the back of their first victory in 7 games. With both Chicago and Minnesota sitting at 6-6 in the division, this game is pretty much make or break for either of them.
The Vikings currently hold the tiebreaker over Chicago after a 19-13 victory back in week 10, and rightly sit favourites in the market for this matchup, best priced around 8/13. Chicago will be riding high in confidence after shredding the Texans last weekend, to the tune of 36-7. They amassed 410 total yards, to Houston’s 263, gaining 23 first downs, whilst forcing 2 defensive turnovers as well.
Now mate no mistake about it, it’s a Texans team with a depleted wide receiver unit and an absolutely atrocious defense, but you can only beat what’s in front of you. Nick Foles was at quarterback in this matchup in week 10, throwing for a measly 106 yards and 1 interception. It should be safe to say Trubisky, for all his inefficiencies, should put up a more respectable stat line than that.
However, the team I’m looking to take advantage of is the Vikings, and more specifically, tight end Irv Smith Jr. After a two-week layoff, he returned last weekend against the Bucs, to the tune of 4 receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. He should slot in nicely and has a favourable matchup against a Bears unit that ranks 29th against opposing tight ends.
Given the Bears have one of the better run defences in the league as well, it should favour the passing game for Kirk Cousins, who threw for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns in this matchup 4 weeks ago. Now yes, Irv Smith did miss that game, but Kyle Rudolph hauled in 4 receptions for 63 yards.
Take into account Rudolph is out injured this weekend too, Irv Smith should get plenty more reps than usual, and his line being set at just 24.5 is actually quite insulting. He should go well above that, so I feel more than comfortable taking the over on this one at 5/6 with SkyBet.
New York Jets @ Los Angeles Rams | Sunday 20th December 2020, 21:05
The New York Jets road to 0-16 continues this weekend with a trip to Los Angeles to face the 9-4 Rams and inevitably leave with yet another loss.
After the cross-country trip last weekend for this 2-game road trip, only to get blown out 40-3 by the Seahawks, the Jets would probably have been better off just staying put back in New York. In their last 5 road games, they’ve amassed just 48 total points. An average of just 9.6 per game and now they face off against the 3rd best defence in the NFL. Yeah, this won’t be pretty viewing if you’re a Jets fan.
This elite Rams defence has hit another gear in recent weeks, accumulating 10 sacks, 3 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries and 3 defensive touchdowns. So, Best of luck to Sam Darnold this Sunday. L.A ranks 1st in total yards allowed per game, 1st in passing touchdowns allowed, 3rd in rushing yards allowed 4th in turnovers.
On the flip side, the Jets offensive is just as bad as you would imagine for a team that is 0-13. They rank 32nd in points, yards, plays, touchdowns & red zone percentage. It’s not out of the question for the Rams to be looking for a shutout in this game. If Seattle can hold them to 3 points, just imagine what Aaron Donald and this Rams unit could produce.
L.A is fresh of a dominant 24-3 victory over the Patriots, a game in which they forced New England to bench Cam Newton, whilst they’re also 4-1 in their last 5 games. Impressive road victories over Tampa Bay and Arizona in recent weeks have propelled the Rams to the top of the NFC West, and if they can win out from here, they’ll finish 12-4 and win the division. A division, which funnily enough, they were favourites to finish bottom off at the start of the season.
Offensively the Rams have been steady all season, but with the emergence of rookie back Cam Akers in the running game these last 3 weeks, they’ve really taken huge steps forward. Before their week 12 loss to the 49ers, the Rams had been one of the lower ranked run offenses in the league and the comity approach they adopted wasn’t really with Henderson and Brown we ‘rent having much success.
In terms of the outlook for this game, I think it’s pretty obvious the direction I’m heading towards. The Jets don’t score many points, if at all any. And that should tell you all you need to know.
L.A is 8-5 against the spread this season, covering their line on 61.5% of games, whilst they’re also just 4-9 on hitting the over margin in their games, meaning they’ve hit the under on 69.2% of their games this year.
Combine those stats together and add them to the fact the Jets a straight trash, and we find ourselves a tasty little 10/3 shot. The Rams -17.5 & under 45.5 total match points with SkyBet is certainly my go to bet of the weekend
. Yes, the line might be one of the biggest we’ve seen this season, but I can’t see many ways the Jets will be putting up points, especially when they like to run the ball and punt whilst down by 20+ points on a weekly basis.
L.A should put up close to 30+ points in this game, and even then, the Jets are not scoring 16 points.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings – Irv Smith Over 24.5 Receiving Yards (5/6 SkyBet)
New York Jets @ Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles Rams -17.5 and Under 45.5 Total Match Points (10/3 SkyBet)