As I type up this feature late Friday afternoon, it’s 60 degrees in Boston and 64 degrees in Philadelphia. The winds of change roll in from the west Saturday morning and with them frigid temperatures by evening’s kickoffs. It’ll dip down to 32 degrees by the time the Falcons (-3) and Eagles take the field, while up in Foxborough, a nippy 26 degrees.
OddsShark’s betting analyst Jon Campbell dropped this weather-related nugget on Twitter for those who think the elements will play a role in the Patriots(-14)-Titans game Saturday night:
New England expecting 26 degrees F at game time. Pats are 7-2 SU, 5-3-1 ATS, 5-4 O/U in 32F or colder last 4 seasons.
All prop odds courtesy of Sportsbook.
TITANS AT PATRIOTS
Marcus Mariota Completions O/U 19 ½
The Bet: OVER (-125)
A couple of ways to analyze this prop. First, DeMarco Murray will miss another game due to the MCL tear. The absence presented an opportunity for Mariota to run 10 times for 60 yards against the Chiefs. However, as heavy underdogs, the likelihood of Mariota running that many times again is trumped only by the expected need to pass late in the game.
He completed 20 or more passes in eight of 15 regular-season games. Of those eight occurrences, four came in losses with a fifth coming via a late-fourth quarter game-winning drive over the Bengals. New England’s “bend but don’t break” allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 62.2 percent of their passes and nearly 23 per game.
The vig is spicy, but it’ll come down to Mariota’s receivers hauling ’em in. Yes, I’m looking at you, Eric Decker.
Prop Bet to Ponder:
Chris Hogan Receptions O/U 3 ½
The Vig: OVER (-135) vs UNDER (+105)
Danny Amendola Receptions O/U 3 ½
The Vig: OVER (-105) vs UNDER (-125)
As a pair, these two props struck me as odd and while I’m not sure I want exposure on either, they’re worth breaking down for context.
After catching 34 passes (4.25 RecPG) on 59 targets through the first two months of the season, Hogan missed seven of the final eight games due to a shoulder injury. In the one game he did play against the Dolphins, he looked rusty, and caught one of five targets for five yards.
With no Hogan, and Julian Edelman sidelined this season, Amendola inherited a lot of Hogan’s target share behind Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks. Amendola caught four or more passes in seven of 15 games and averaged 4.06 receptions per game this season.
Despite the Titans struggling against the pass and allowing 140.8 yards per game to opposing WRs the last five games of the regular season, a -135 vig on Hogan’s OVER and -125 on Amendola’s UNDER seems like A LOT of risk for a guy about to play in his second game since October and Julian Edelman-light.
At face value, it seems evident the sharps have some insight as to how many targets Hogan will see Saturday night. I’ll fade the O/U recs, but could be swayed into ANYTIME TOUCHDOWN HOGAN +150. He missed a huge chunk of the season and still ranked inside the top 20 in red-zone targets inside the 10. Brady trusts him around the goal line and with Gronk smothered, Hogan is the second option.
FALCONS AT EAGLES
Jay Ajayi Rushing Yards O/U 62 ½
The Bet: UNDER (-115)
Since joining the Eagles, Ajayi has averaged 5.8 yards per rush. That’s great. Since joining the Eagles, he’s averaged 58.2 rush yards per game. That’s not so great. His three longest runs account for 36 percent of his Eagles rush total.
The Falcons allowed 52.5 rush yards per game the final month of the regular season. While they allowed Todd Gurley to account for 101 of the Rams’ 115 rush yards in last week’s wild-card matchup, know that nearly half of Gurley’s rush totals came on three consecutive runs to start the fourth quarter. He was held to 51 yards on 11 carries the rest of the game. Yes, that Todd Gurley.
Devonta Freeman Rushing Yards O/U 62 ½
The Bet: OVER (-105)
After eking out a prop bet win on this O/U against the Rams, we’re going back to the well for another drink.
Freeman, who finished with 18 carries for 66 yards against the Rams, is too talented a running back and the Eagles regressed against the rush down the stretch. Philadelphia allowed opposing running back units to average 100 rush yards on nearly 24 carries per game the final month of the season. With Tevin Coleman expected to clip off 8-10 of those carries, Freeman will probably finish with ~15-18 carries again. He’s rushed for 63 or more yards in eight of 15 games (reg. season + playoffs) and four of his last six.