Packers slim favorites at rival Vikings for Sunday Night Football

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Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who have struggled as a favorite recently, are out to turn around that trend against the rival Minnesota Vikings in an exciting Sunday Night Football betting matchup this weekend.

In a matchup of NFC North rivals who are each off to 1-0 starts, the Packers are listed at two-point favorites against the host Vikings with a total of 43 points, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Packers are 11-3 straight-up in their last 14 games, but are only 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 games as favorites, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The Vikings, who are opening their new U.S. Bank Stadium, are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against teams with winning records.

Rodgers is a two-time NFL MVP, while Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has not announced whether Shaun Hill or recently acquired Sam Bradford will be his starting QB. The Packers, who are 10-2-1 SU in their last 13 games against the Vikings, will be looking to establish RB Eddie Lacy against a Vikings front seven that will not have DT Sharrif Floyd (knee).

Green Bay receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will also not have to worry about CB Xavier Rhodes (knee), and rookie replacement Trae Waynes got picked on at times in the Week 1 Vikings win against Tennessee.

The Vikings are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a home underdog, but only 1-5 SU in their last six Week 2 contests. Veteran RB Adrian Peterson averaged only 56 rushing yards in two games vs. Green Bay last season.

While the quarterback question hangs over this matchup, second-year WR Stefon Diggs and counterpart Charles Johnson could be facing a depleted secondary since CB Sam Shields (concussion protocol) and Josh Hawkins (hamstring) are banged up for Green Bay. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is integral to Minnesota’s ball-control offense, but he has a tough matchup against Green Bay SS Morgan Burnett and FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

The total has gone over in eight of the Packers’ last 11 games in Week 2. The total has gone under in seven of the Vikings’ last 10 home games. The total has also gone under in the last three Packers-Vikings games.

The OddsShark Computer is projecting an 18.8-14.5 Vikings victory on Sunday night, but Minnesota’s quarterback issues foster doubt about their chances against the Packers.

Drew Brees, Le’Veon Bell Favorites in NFL Season Leader Props

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When it comes to betting props on NFL individual leaders, the tried-and-true works for picking a passing yards leader while rushing and receiving leaders are a little more random.

With training camps set to open in a matter of days, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a +300 favorite to lead the NFL in passing yards at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Brees has led (or co-led) the NFL in aerial yards five times in the last six seasons, with the lone exception coming in 2013 when Peyton Manning complied a NFL-record 5,477.

Brees will still have Willie Snead and Michael Thomas as outlets for his passes and, assuming the Saints’ defense stays near the bottom of the league, will have the opportunity to get into a few offensive shootouts.

The Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan (+400) and New England Patriots’ Tom Brady (+500) are the next two on the board. Ryan and the Falcons are likely to face a tougher schedule than what it turned out they had in 2016. Brady has only led the NFL in yards once, in 2007, and would be the oldest player to do so if he succeeds this season.

Based on 2016 won-loss records, the Indianapolis Colts and QB Andrew Luck (+1400) have the easiest schedule in the league, which could lead to Luck putting up some big numbers against softer competition. Another valid darkhorse play is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston (+1600), since he will have a 1-2 punch at receiver with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson and a team that still relies on being pass-heavy.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell (+300) and Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott (+350) are tightly bunched atop the NFL rushing champion futures board. Bell will no doubt be among the leaders in yards from scrimmage per game, but he’s only played 16 games once in four seasons. While there hasn’t been a back-to-back rushing leader in 10 years, Elliott will be running behind an excellent Dallas offensive line.

The Los Angeles Rams’ third-year workhorse Todd Gurley (+2000) will be in a new offensive system and, hopefully for the Rams, will be better complemented by second-year QB Jared Goff in the passing phase. That would give Gurley a fairer shot at breaking big runs on the regular.

Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown (+400) and Atlanta’s Julio Jones (+400) are co-favorites on the odds to tally the most receiving yards, with the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham (+500) also coming in highly touted. Brown had two fewer targets per game in 2016 than in ’15, meaning he might be a less high-volume receiver now that he is 29. Jones has a receiving title from 2015, but last season the Falcons were most efficient when they spread the ball around.

Last year, the Indianapolis Colts’ T.Y. Hilton (+1200 this year) led the league in yards after being listed at +3300 in the preseason. Among the potential 2017 replicants are New England’s Brandin Cooks (+3300), who is expected to be the field-stretching target the Patriots have managed to do without since the Randy Moss days a decade ago. The aforementioned Mike Evans (+1200) is also close to a sure thing to get 11-12 targets per game in Tampa Bay and the continued development of Winston could make him a 1,500-yard receiver.

The last 12 league leaders in receiving yardage have been less than 30 years old at the start of the season. That trend has been consistent dating to the mid-1990s, with 19 of the last 21 receiving leaders being players who were no older than 29 at the start of the season.

Internet reacts to O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing

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In case you weren’t aware, O.J. Simpson was granted parole and the internet went crazy.

Cue hilarious tweets.