2-2 last week as the Chargers flopped against the Broncos, the under on the total landed easily for us, Mixon scored another two in their mauling of the Steelers while Dontrell Hilliard got the touches, but did all his work on the ground with 131 rushing yards, but just 2 through the air. The pick wasn't bad just didn't go as expected.
NFL; Week 13
Some interesting games ahead of us tonight, and some garbage, but I've got to highlight the one involving my team, it's the easiest of the week to advertise with two first-round QBs, the future of their franchises, facing off against each other in Cincinnati. Justin Herbert vs. Joe Burrow could and should be a classic match-up and one we could see a lot going forward over the next decade or so if things go right for these franchises.
Things don't tend to go right for these teams but these two are top 10 QBs already and will only improve as they progress through their careers. Herbert is physically the better, has a bigger arm, is more mobile, but Joe Burrow seems to have a control over his offense that few do in their second season in the league, he's got “it”. If the Bengals hadn't been drafting #1 overall and had a no-brainer option in taking Burrow then Herbert would be a Bengal now. They really liked him pre-draft and I believe were considering it up until draft day.
Oh yeah, and it has implications this year with both teams chasing the post-season.
The RBs on show have 14 and 13 TDs this year, with Ekeler providing 7 rushing, 7 receiving only failing to score in 3 games while Joe Mixon for the Bengals has scored in 8 games in a row now including 2 in each of their last 4. It's safe to say they're both on form. Mixon should have the better game against a Chargers rush D which ranks dead last.
The WR groupings are similar too, Allen and Williams for the Chargers up against Chase, Higgins and Boyd for the Bengals, both have chain movers, explosive plays and reliable options. Tight end is close as well, Cook v Uzomah, I'd have Uzo at the moment but not a lot of difference between the two.
Defensively I have to say the Bengals win the comparison though, Trey Hendrickson has been brilliant after signing for big money, but the linebackers and run-stopping has been impressive for the Bengals while the CBs have provided turnovers as well. The Chargers haven't been good on that side of the ball. Weirdly 38% of the points the Chargers have conceded this year have been against AFC North opponents, even allowing a ton to Big Ben and the Steelers a couple of weeks back.
I had to give this one a decent write-up, I can't call it on the spread although I do think the Bengals are the better team they have had off days on defense and Herbert can take advantage. I'll use this game for the total though, the weather should be fine so I'll take the over.
Best total – Chargers v Bengals OVER 49.5
Best Spread – Eagles -5.5
It might seem stupid taking a back-up QB to cover a spread, this line only dropped 1.5 from Hurts playing, to Gardner Minshew who comes in as a result of Hurts' absence. I think that move is about right, Minshew showed enough in Jacksonville that he should be fine making a start here, but my handicap isn't really about him, it's about this defense against a horrible Jets team.
Zach Wilson isn't ready for the NFL and coming off a win last week I expect him to struggle against a solid Eagles D. They should be able to get pressure and if Darius Slay sticks to Elijah Moore they don't have a whole lot on offense.
The Eagles should dominate both lines and Miles Sanders and Boston Scott should get a lot of the ball on the ground if logic plays out correctly. It might not be pretty but the Eagles should win comfortably.
Best TD scorer
It's tough not to go back to that Chargers game, Mixon is 4/5 on Bet365 to make it 9 games in a row with a score and he really should be able to do that against the Chargers defense.
But I think I'll look at one of the latter games, there's one each side of the ball in the Raiders v Washington game at a decent price, Desean Jackson for the Raiders and Logan Thomas for Washington. Jackson played a lot in the NFC East and as a results has 9 TDs against Washington in his career, he's had 34 TDs of 50+ yards, second behind Randy Moss, and Wash give up more big plays than any other team in the league this year, it all sets up well for him, IF HE CAN GO, he did pop up on the injury report. He's best priced 9/2 on Unibet.
Logan Thomas is 3/1 on Skybet to find the endzone on his second game back from injury, I believe he had one called back last week, but he's one of Heinicke's favourite targets and should get a lot of the ball in a game I think could be sneaky-high-scoring.
Picks for this column? Mixon – 4/5 (365), Thomas – 3/1 (Skybet), Thomas and Jackson – 16/1 (Skybet) – 1pt stake.
I'll leave it there, there's a few props on my site TDTips.com but I've given a few TD options here and don't want to push it too much.
Enjoy the games, I'm in a surprisingly good mood about the games tonight.