It’s Friday the 13th so Young Jeezy and I are here to remind you that scared money don’t make no money.
It’s been a tough couple weeks batting .500 but scared money don’t make no money so I’m getting back after it this week. Stay tuned for some college football picks at the end.
Green Bay Packers (-3) @ Minnesota Vikings
Injury wise, these two teams are trending in opposite directions.
Meanwhile, Ty Montgomery is practicing in full and seems likely to play at least some snaps. Jordy Nelson has also been a full participant after suffering a back injury last week. Starting tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari might be ready to rock together this week as well.
Rookie CB Kevin King may be out, so the Vikings will have to rely on Adam Thielen to beat the subpar Packers secondary on his own. He’s going to get 12+ targets easy. Behind him on the depth chart are Michael Floyd and Laquon Treadwell, who haven’t done diddly squat this year. Without Sam Bradford, the Vikings are going to trot out Case Keenum, who to his credit has been playing as well as he could be this season. He has a completion percentage of 64.5% and has thrown 4 TDs to 0 INTs. But those stats were with Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook in the lineup. Now he has the aforementioned WRs with Kyle Rudolph, Jerick McKinnon, and Latavius Murray. The Bad News Bears of skills position players.
If Aaron Rodgers isn’t currently on fire, he’s got his hand firmly on the flint striker. He’s thrown 7 TDs to 0 INTs his past 2 games and is coming off of a game winning drive in Dallas that everybody knew was coming. Every year Rodgers finds his groove for about a 6 week span where he’s unstoppable. I think that begins now. He has a full arsenal of pass catchers that are healthy and has a true RB in Aaron Jones to compliment Ty Montgomery. He also has one of the most favorable WR/CB match ups coming up this week:
Last year, the Packers brought Jordy into the slot a bunch to get him away from Rhodes. Jordy ended up with a 9/154/2 stat line. Rodgers threw for 4 TDs and ran for another en route to a 38-25 victory. The Vikings are going to have to keep up with the Packers this week and I don’t think that they have it in them.
San Francisco 49ers (+11) @ Washington Redskins
The 49ers are 0-5 but have lost their last 4 games by a combined 11 points, including the last 2 games in OT. The 49ers’ head coach is Kyle Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator for Washington from 2010-2013. Pierre Garcon was also a Redskin from 2012-2016. So yes I’m buying into the revenge narrative a little bit.
The Redskins will be without Josh Norman, so that opens the door for Garcon and Marquise Goodwin. Goodwin is an Olympic caliber sprinter that would be talked about a lot more if Tyreek Hill wasn’t a thing. He can flip the field any play and he has two 50+ yard receptions over the past 3 games. Brian Hoyer has been a pleasant surprise for the 49ers as he has at least kept them in contention against superior opponents such as the Rams and Cardinals. With Carlos Hyde at RB and emerging TE George Kittle climbing the ranks, this is a great spot for the Niners to cover 11.
The Redskins are coming off of a bye week which always is an advantage. Kirk Cousins had about 14 days to mesh with Terrelle Pryor and the gang, while Jordan Reed was able to heal up. However, RB Rob Kelley will be unable to play, which thrusts rookie Samaje Perine into a starting role. He is only averaging 3.1 yards per carry, but is in a meaty matchup against a morbid Niners run defense. How he fares in this role will greatly dictate which direction this game goes. The Redskins are averaging 130 on the ground per game while the Niners are giving up 116.6 per game.
This normally would be a smash spot for the Redskins but I think that the absence of a lead RB will keep the Niners within striking distance to cover. Shanahan will be holding nothing back against his former team and Pierre Garcon may be a one man wrecking crew in the passing game. I wouldn’t be surprised if a late TD by San Francisco brought them within single digits to end the game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
This is another game that will be heavily influenced by the injury report. While the Cardinals are mostly healthy (RIP David Johnson), the Bucs are expected to return 3 of their best defensive players this week.
David, Alexander, and Ward are all starters that will make a huge impact upon their return. All three have missed the past two games.
All 4 returning players will help bolster a Bucs defense that allows 315 yards per game through the air. They’ll be put up to the test right away as Carson Palmer is on pace to set the NFL single season record for passing attempts. The Cardinals as a team have only attempted 100 runs this season while throwing 227 passes. Palmer has been up and down this season, as he’s thrown 6 TDs and 5 INTs. With TJ Ward and Keith Tandy returning to the lineup, deep threats JJ Nelson, John and Jaron Brown have a much harder matchup. Palmer will have to feed targets to ol’ reliable Larry Fitzgerald, as well as RB Andre Ellington, who has caught 9 passes in consecutive weeks.
I guess it’s worth noting that Adrian Peterson was traded to the Cardinals this past week, but he hasn’t been a viable RB option since 2015. He has never been a threat in the passing game, so I would still value Ellington over him, at least until AP learns the offense a bit more.
I was boasting about Patrick Peterson’s season last week, but Mike Evans still has the potential to be his kryptonite, as he showed last year:
However, with DeSean Jackson now on the team, Jameis Winston won’t have to force feed Mike Evans like he did last year. Evans will get his 8-10 targets, but Jameis is not afraid to spread the ball around more this season. In a similar situation last week against New England, Evans was mostly being shadowed by Stephon Gilmore. Winston connected with DeSean Jackson 5 times for 106 yards against lesser DBs, including multiple clutch 3rd down conversions. Now matched up against Justin Bethel, I can see DeSean finding daylight down the field on his way to consecutive 100+ yard games.
Doug Martin also returned from suspension last week and looked powerful, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. The Cardinals will have to respect the run, which in turn will open up DeSean in man coverage, as well as Adam Humphries in the slot. If Jameis plays a halfway decent game, this game belongs to the Bucs.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)
I like this line so much that I’m starting to hate it. Big Ben and the Steelers just got bent over last week by the Jaguars. Big Ben threw 5 INTs (2 pick-sixes) and Leonard Fournette was begging for defenders to hit him:
Not a good look. Now they head over to Kansas City to face the undefeated Chiefs and Kareem Hunt.
I don’t have the numbers but Big Ben on the road is not nearly the same QB as Big Ben at home. Apparently that isn’t saying much after last week’s performance, but I’ve been betting against him on the road for at least a couple years now. While Antonio Brown has still been producing due to his insane number of targets, Martavis Bryant has been a ghost, allowing rookie Juju Smith Schuster to start stealing snaps and targets from him. We might see a changing of the guard soon.
I can’t with a good conscience bet on the Steelers or bet against the Chiefs until they show me that I should. I’m going to keep riding the Chiefs wave and you’d be a fool not to follow suit.
**COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS**
Had a nice hit on the Stanford upset last week. This week I think that #6 TCU is in the most trouble coming into Kansas State. Texas Tech could find themselves in trouble heading into West Virginia as well.
TCU @ Kansas State (+7)
Auburn (-7) @ LSU
Colorado (-10) @ Oregon State
Texas A&M (+3) @ Florida
- There is absolutely no way that Florida wins wearing these heinous uniforms:
There you have it. And remember; scared money don’t make no money gon’ make no money don’t hate no money. Call me Freddy Kreuger because after this week, your dreams will become reality.