Patriots vs Packers

Patriots vs Packers: Prediction, preview, time, how to watch, stream, stats to know for ‘Sunday Night Football’

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Any time two of the greatest players in NFL history square off in a primetime game, it’s something that demands attention. That’s exactly what’s happening this Sunday night as Tom Brady and the Patriots host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday Night Football.

Brady and Rodgers won’t actually be on the field at the same time, of course, but watching them each try to solve the opponent’s defense on the same field on the same night should be a treat. We only get to see this happen once every four years, after all. (Which is a shame, by the way.)

The fortunes of the two quarterbacks’ teams seem to be headed in different directions this season, as the Patriots have once again reasserted their dominance in the AFC East after a slow start, while the Packers have been up and down all year and have stumbled with losses in two of their past three games. There have been rumors of discord between Rodgers and head coach Mike McCarthy, and the Packers just traded away a contributor on each side of the ball. Meanwhile, Bill Belichick and company have barely been at full strength all year and just keep winning.

What will happen Sunday night (8:20 p.m., NBC, Stream on FUBOTV)? We’re glad you asked.

New England Patriots vs Green Bay Packers Live Football

Green Bay’s defense is an interesting study. The Packers thus far rank strongly in yards allowed per game (12th), but check in about average in points allowed per game (17th) and solidly below-average in efficiency (20th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA). Considering the Packers just traded one of the NFL’s best safeties (Ha Ha Clinton-Dix), it would be reasonable to expect them to drop off in certain areas over the rest of the season. That drop-off may very well begin on Sunday night, as the Patriots happen to be well-equipped to attack the Packers where they are most vulnerable.

For years Tom Brady’s No. 1 passing game option, volume-wise, has been slot receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman sat out all of last season with a torn ACL but during the four prior campaigns he averaged at least 6 catches and at least 66 receiving yards per game. Though suspended for the first four weeks of this season due to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, Edelman has picked up right where he left off, averaging 6.3 catches for 62.8 yards per game during his first four contests while once again operating primarily out of the slot. And wouldn’t you know it, the slot is one of the weakest areas of the Packers’ defense. On the year, according to Sports Info Solutions, players lined up in the slot have caught 66 passes for 951 yards and nine touchdowns against the Packers. They’ve allowed a 113.9 passer rating on throws to slot wideouts, per SIS, which ranks 24th in the NFL.

Green Bay’s overall pass defense is most vulnerable over the middle of the field, between the numbers. It has allowed 76 completions on 116 attempts, for 963 yards, 10 touchdowns, and two interceptions on throws over the middle, per SIS. That works out to a 112.8 passer rating against — second-worst in the NFL ahead of only the Buccaneers. The Pats love their quick-breaking routes from Edelman and running back James White that isolate linebackers, safeties, and slot corners in space, and when Brady can fire quick and low over the middle where nobody can catch it except for his short, quick pass-catchers, it is almost impossible to defend. The Packers have been strong in the passing game against running backs and tight ends this season, but again, they just traded Clinton-Dix, who played a big role in that. It’s reasonable to expect that the Pats will have more success throwing to James White and Rob Gronkowski than previous opponents did throwing to their backs and tight ends.

Where things could get interesting on Sunday is in the running game and in the perimeter passing game matchups.

The Patriots had been running the ball extremely well for a while, but Sony Michel’sinjury put a crimp in their style and they had almost no success on the ground against the Bills last week. With only White and Kenjon Barner at running back, the Pats actually turned to Cordarrelle Patterson for the majority of their carries against Buffalo, and that strategy was not exactly successful. The Packers don’t necessarily have a dreadful run defense, but they have been somewhat vulnerable on the ground, allowing 4.4 yards per carry. They’ve also allowed a ton of rushing yards in their past two games, allowing the 49ers and Rams to gain 309 yards combined. If the Pats do not have Michel, however, it’s difficult to see them finding much success with the run. (Michel has been practicing on a limited basis throughout this week and is expected to be listed as questionable.)

They view White more as an extension of the run game with his ability to snag short passes and make hay after the catch, but they rarely hand him the ball. They clearly don’t trust Barner, who received just two carries last week despite being one of only two active running backs. And Patterson is not a running back. They need Michel in order to access that aspect of their offense.

On the perimeter, the Packers may have found a real star in cornerback Jaire Alexander, for whom they traded up after initially trading down in the first round of the 2018 draft. A stud at Louisville with great athleticism (eighth among all 2018 corners in SPARQ, with an athleticism grade in the 92nd percentile), Alexander has emerged as a potential shutdown option, and is coming off arguably his best game of the season. Alexander has limited quarterbacks to a 72.3 passer rating on throws in his direction and kept up with the extremely hard to cover Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods last week. It’s possible he travels with Josh Gordon this week, hoping to stop New England’s premier outside receiver from making an impact on the game.

When the Packers have the ball

Last week, it appeared the Packers finally discovered that Aaron Jones is the best running back on their team. After trading Ty Montgomery following his disastrous fumble that cost them a chance to mount a game-winning drive, Jones and Jamaal Williams are now the only game left in town for the Green Bay backfield. The coaching staff still clearly trusts Williams more as a pass-blocker and perhaps pass-catcher, but would be wise this week to lean on Jones against a New England defense that is extremely fundamentally sound and rarely misses tackles. The Pats have had only 17 tackles broken on rush attempts this season, per SIS, giving them the lowest broken-tackle rate in football. Jones, meanwhile, has forced 14 missed tackles on only 44 rush attempts, while Williams has forced only seven on 63 attempts.

Being able to get the run game going and avoid poor down-and-distance situations for Rodgers is important against a defense that has been vulnerable on third downs. The Pats have allowed opponents to convert 43 percent of their third-down opportunities, 26th in the NFL. The Pats have forced more third-and-long situations than almost any team in the NFL, however, and have allowed conversions on only 28 percent of third downs with six or more yards to go (68 of the 105 third down plays against New England have needed six or more yards for a first.) Conversely, opposing teams are 26 of 37 on third downs with five or fewer yards to go against the Pats. That 70.3 percent conversion rate is the second-worst in the NFL, ahead of only the Bengals.

When Rodgers goes to the air, he has a plethora of targets from which to choose these days. In the first game the Packers have played in a while with all of their wideouts healthy, Davante Adams was still the leading man, but Geronimo Allison, Randall Cobb, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling all worked as essentially equal parts of a No. 2/3 time-share. The same arrangement should be expected to continue on Sunday night against the Pats.

Adams will presumably see a whole lot of Stephon Gilmore, who has taken his game to new heights during his second season in New England. The former Bills corner was up and down last year but has allowed a passer rating of just 64.7 on throws in his direction this year, 26th among 140 players who have been targeted in coverage 20 times or more. Of course, Adams has also dealt with shadow coverage this season from players like Xavier Rhodes, Tre’Davious White, Darius Slay, and Marcus Peters, and he has had huge days against pretty much all of them. Rodgers trusts him as much as any quarterback trusts any receiver in football, and he is unafraid to fire the ball into a small window and bet that Adams will use his body as a shield and either come down with the ball or ensure that the corner cannot. Adams himself has exploded over the past three games for 24 catches, 405 yards, and three touchdowns, an average line of 8-135-1 with a 69 percent catch rate.

If and when Rodgers sees Adams lined up across from a non-Gilmore corner, he should just fire the ball his way every time. Eric Rowe is now out for the year with a groin injury, elevating former special-teamer Jonathan Jones to a full-time starting role. Jones has largely been fine this year overall, but Adams has a major size advantage over him that he does not have against the larger Gilmore. Considering the types of throws Rodgers tends to go to Adams with (slants, fades, digs, etc.), the size advantage should help him see success in that matchup.

Whether Allison, Cobb, Valdes-Scantling, and tight end Jimmy Graham can make a strong impact will likely depend on how Belichick and company game-plan for the Packers. Belichick loves shutting down versatile tight ends like Graham who can make plays downfield over the middle, but doing so requires devoting extra resources to places they might not normally be, and that can open up the slot for Cobb or some deeper, double-move type plays for Allison or Valdes-Scantling. The Packers being able to hit on those routes depends on them providing Rodgers with good protection so that he can hang back in the pocket and wait for them to develop.

New England Patriots vs Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots vs Green Bay Packers: Prediction, preview, time, how to watch, stream, stats to know for ‘Sunday Night Football’

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Any time two of the greatest players in NFL history square off in a primetime game, it’s something that demands attention. That’s exactly what’s happening this Sunday night as Tom Brady and the Patriots host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday Night Football.

Brady and Rodgers won’t actually be on the field at the same time, of course, but watching them each try to solve the opponent’s defense on the same field on the same night should be a treat. We only get to see this happen once every four years, after all. (Which is a shame, by the way.)

The fortunes of the two quarterbacks’ teams seem to be headed in different directions this season, as the Patriots have once again reasserted their dominance in the AFC East after a slow start, while the Packers have been up and down all year and have stumbled with losses in two of their past three games. There have been rumors of discord between Rodgers and head coach Mike McCarthy, and the Packers just traded away a contributor on each side of the ball. Meanwhile, Bill Belichick and company have barely been at full strength all year and just keep winning.

What will happen Sunday night (8:20 p.m., NBC, Stream on FUBOTV)? We’re glad you asked.

New England Patriots vs Green Bay Packers Live Football

Green Bay’s defense is an interesting study. The Packers thus far rank strongly in yards allowed per game (12th), but check in about average in points allowed per game (17th) and solidly below-average in efficiency (20th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA). Considering the Packers just traded one of the NFL’s best safeties (Ha Ha Clinton-Dix), it would be reasonable to expect them to drop off in certain areas over the rest of the season. That drop-off may very well begin on Sunday night, as the Patriots happen to be well-equipped to attack the Packers where they are most vulnerable.

For years Tom Brady’s No. 1 passing game option, volume-wise, has been slot receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman sat out all of last season with a torn ACL but during the four prior campaigns he averaged at least 6 catches and at least 66 receiving yards per game. Though suspended for the first four weeks of this season due to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, Edelman has picked up right where he left off, averaging 6.3 catches for 62.8 yards per game during his first four contests while once again operating primarily out of the slot. And wouldn’t you know it, the slot is one of the weakest areas of the Packers’ defense. On the year, according to Sports Info Solutions, players lined up in the slot have caught 66 passes for 951 yards and nine touchdowns against the Packers. They’ve allowed a 113.9 passer rating on throws to slot wideouts, per SIS, which ranks 24th in the NFL.

Green Bay’s overall pass defense is most vulnerable over the middle of the field, between the numbers. It has allowed 76 completions on 116 attempts, for 963 yards, 10 touchdowns, and two interceptions on throws over the middle, per SIS. That works out to a 112.8 passer rating against — second-worst in the NFL ahead of only the Buccaneers. The Pats love their quick-breaking routes from Edelman and running back James White that isolate linebackers, safeties, and slot corners in space, and when Brady can fire quick and low over the middle where nobody can catch it except for his short, quick pass-catchers, it is almost impossible to defend. The Packers have been strong in the passing game against running backs and tight ends this season, but again, they just traded Clinton-Dix, who played a big role in that. It’s reasonable to expect that the Pats will have more success throwing to James White and Rob Gronkowski than previous opponents did throwing to their backs and tight ends.

Where things could get interesting on Sunday is in the running game and in the perimeter passing game matchups.

The Patriots had been running the ball extremely well for a while, but Sony Michel’sinjury put a crimp in their style and they had almost no success on the ground against the Bills last week. With only White and Kenjon Barner at running back, the Pats actually turned to Cordarrelle Patterson for the majority of their carries against Buffalo, and that strategy was not exactly successful. The Packers don’t necessarily have a dreadful run defense, but they have been somewhat vulnerable on the ground, allowing 4.4 yards per carry. They’ve also allowed a ton of rushing yards in their past two games, allowing the 49ers and Rams to gain 309 yards combined. If the Pats do not have Michel, however, it’s difficult to see them finding much success with the run. (Michel has been practicing on a limited basis throughout this week and is expected to be listed as questionable.)

They view White more as an extension of the run game with his ability to snag short passes and make hay after the catch, but they rarely hand him the ball. They clearly don’t trust Barner, who received just two carries last week despite being one of only two active running backs. And Patterson is not a running back. They need Michel in order to access that aspect of their offense.

On the perimeter, the Packers may have found a real star in cornerback Jaire Alexander, for whom they traded up after initially trading down in the first round of the 2018 draft. A stud at Louisville with great athleticism (eighth among all 2018 corners in SPARQ, with an athleticism grade in the 92nd percentile), Alexander has emerged as a potential shutdown option, and is coming off arguably his best game of the season. Alexander has limited quarterbacks to a 72.3 passer rating on throws in his direction and kept up with the extremely hard to cover Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods last week. It’s possible he travels with Josh Gordon this week, hoping to stop New England’s premier outside receiver from making an impact on the game.

When the Packers have the ball

Last week, it appeared the Packers finally discovered that Aaron Jones is the best running back on their team. After trading Ty Montgomery following his disastrous fumble that cost them a chance to mount a game-winning drive, Jones and Jamaal Williams are now the only game left in town for the Green Bay backfield. The coaching staff still clearly trusts Williams more as a pass-blocker and perhaps pass-catcher, but would be wise this week to lean on Jones against a New England defense that is extremely fundamentally sound and rarely misses tackles. The Pats have had only 17 tackles broken on rush attempts this season, per SIS, giving them the lowest broken-tackle rate in football. Jones, meanwhile, has forced 14 missed tackles on only 44 rush attempts, while Williams has forced only seven on 63 attempts.

Being able to get the run game going and avoid poor down-and-distance situations for Rodgers is important against a defense that has been vulnerable on third downs. The Pats have allowed opponents to convert 43 percent of their third-down opportunities, 26th in the NFL. The Pats have forced more third-and-long situations than almost any team in the NFL, however, and have allowed conversions on only 28 percent of third downs with six or more yards to go (68 of the 105 third down plays against New England have needed six or more yards for a first.) Conversely, opposing teams are 26 of 37 on third downs with five or fewer yards to go against the Pats. That 70.3 percent conversion rate is the second-worst in the NFL, ahead of only the Bengals.

When Rodgers goes to the air, he has a plethora of targets from which to choose these days. In the first game the Packers have played in a while with all of their wideouts healthy, Davante Adams was still the leading man, but Geronimo Allison, Randall Cobb, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling all worked as essentially equal parts of a No. 2/3 time-share. The same arrangement should be expected to continue on Sunday night against the Pats.

Adams will presumably see a whole lot of Stephon Gilmore, who has taken his game to new heights during his second season in New England. The former Bills corner was up and down last year but has allowed a passer rating of just 64.7 on throws in his direction this year, 26th among 140 players who have been targeted in coverage 20 times or more. Of course, Adams has also dealt with shadow coverage this season from players like Xavier Rhodes, Tre’Davious White, Darius Slay, and Marcus Peters, and he has had huge days against pretty much all of them. Rodgers trusts him as much as any quarterback trusts any receiver in football, and he is unafraid to fire the ball into a small window and bet that Adams will use his body as a shield and either come down with the ball or ensure that the corner cannot. Adams himself has exploded over the past three games for 24 catches, 405 yards, and three touchdowns, an average line of 8-135-1 with a 69 percent catch rate.

If and when Rodgers sees Adams lined up across from a non-Gilmore corner, he should just fire the ball his way every time. Eric Rowe is now out for the year with a groin injury, elevating former special-teamer Jonathan Jones to a full-time starting role. Jones has largely been fine this year overall, but Adams has a major size advantage over him that he does not have against the larger Gilmore. Considering the types of throws Rodgers tends to go to Adams with (slants, fades, digs, etc.), the size advantage should help him see success in that matchup.

Whether Allison, Cobb, Valdes-Scantling, and tight end Jimmy Graham can make a strong impact will likely depend on how Belichick and company game-plan for the Packers. Belichick loves shutting down versatile tight ends like Graham who can make plays downfield over the middle, but doing so requires devoting extra resources to places they might not normally be, and that can open up the slot for Cobb or some deeper, double-move type plays for Allison or Valdes-Scantling. The Packers being able to hit on those routes depends on them providing Rodgers with good protection so that he can hang back in the pocket and wait for them to develop.

Packers vs Patriots

Green Bay Packers vs New England Patriots Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

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Packers vs Patriots

New England owns an 11-game home winning streak, going 9-2 against the spread in the process. Green Bay, on the other hand, owns a five-game road losing streak, going 1-4 ATS in the process. So the NFL betting trends certainly seem to favor the Patriots heading into their Sunday night matchup with the Packers.

NFL point spread: The Patriots opened as six-point favorites; the total was 57.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

Green Bay is actually coming off one of its best overall efforts of this season, albeit in a tough 29-27 loss to the undefeated Rams in Los Angeles last week. The Packers pounced out to a 10-0 lead at the L.A. Coliseum, went down 23-13 but rallied to lead 27-26 midway through the fourth.

Packers vs Patriots Football Game

Green Bay then allowed a Los Angeles field goal to fall behind with two minutes to go, but that’s a ton of time for Aaron Rodgers, right? Unfortunately, Ty Montgomery fumbled away the kickoff return and the Pack couldn’t get the ball back. On Tuesday, Green Bay tradedMontgomery to Baltimore.

The Packers got out-gained by the Rams, but only by 57 yards. Prior to last week, Green Bay had out-gained its previous three opponents by an average of 218 yards per game.

New England ran its winning streak to five straight, including a 4-1 ATS run, by beating the Bills in Buffalo on Monday night 25-6. The Patriots scored the first nine points of the game, let the Bills get within 9-6 in the third quarter but immediately drove 85 yards to an insurance touchdown.

New England then secured the cover as 13-point favorites with an 84-yard pick-six by Devin McCourty with five minutes left.

On the night New England out-gained Buffalo 387-333, held a 22-16 edge in first downs and won the turnover battle 2-0, creating a plus-10 point differential. Heading into last week, the Patriots had scored at least 38 points each of their previous four games.

Green Bay just lost to one Super Bowl contender on one side of the country, and now takes on another contender on the other side of the country. Plus, the Packers are a bit of an emotional mess at the moment, with a whiff of dissension in the air.

Meanwhile, New England seems to have recovered from that two-game losing streak back in September. Smart money here gives the points with the Patriots.

All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagramor head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: Odds, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

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Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Chelsea will be seeking to continue their excellent start to the Premier League season on Sunday when they host London rivals Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues advanced in the Carabao Cup against Derby County on Wednesday, and in their last top-flight outing, they were impressive in the way they dismantled Burnley 4-0.

Maurizio Sarri will be delighted with the manner in which his team have performed despite the recent injury to Eden Hazard.

Palace are big underdogs for this one and are finding wins tough to come by in the early stages of 2018-19. Manager Roy Hodgson will at least feel buoyed by the performance in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal last weekend.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Football Game Free Signup

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

With Hazard below his best against Manchester United and absent for the clash with Burnley due to a back problem, Chelsea needed a new talisman to emerge in those fixtures. Few would’ve anticipated Ross Barkley to be that player.

The former Everton man endured a challenging first season with the Blues, but a run of games recently has brought the best from him, and suddenly he’s become a first-team regular under Sarri.

Crucially for Chelsea, it’s likely Hazard will be back in action again this weekend following his recent layoff. Blues assistant manager Gianfranco Zola said the Belgium star “is looking quite good for the weekend” earlier in the week, per Rory O’Callaghan of Sky Sports.

Should Hazard line up, the battle down Chelsea’s left flank and Palace’s right will most likely be vital in determining how this game goes. After all, Hazard has been mesmeric at times this season and is still the joint top-scorer in the Premier League with seven goals to his name.

However, in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, he will be up against a pretty formidable right-back. The 20-year-old has been a force of nature in defence for the Eagles:

For Palace, there were positives last weekend against Arsenal, as they dug in late on to grab a point after seeing a lead slip away.

Following the fixture, much of the talk has been about Wilfried Zaha, who was deemed to have been felled for Palace’s second penalty on the day, although there were some suggestions he went down easily.

Zaha posted on his Instagram Story on Tuesday that he received racist abuse and death threats online after the match, per the Press Association (h/t the Guardian).

Palace can be dangerous away from home. They have the capability to defend well for long spells, and Zaha provides an exceptional outlet when the game does become stretched.

Even so, Chelsea are unlikely to lose patience or lose their shape, meaning they will keep the visitors penned in in their own final third. With Hazard back and Barkley in brilliant form, they will eventually do enough to get through and keep the pressure on at the summit of the table.

Falcons vs Redskins

Atlanta Falcons vs Washington Redskins Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

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Falcons vs Redskins

The Atlanta Falcons (3-4) return from their bye week to visit the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins (5-2) on Sunday as small road underdogs at sportsbooks.

The Falcons have bounced back from a three-game losing streak by winning their last two games, while the Redskins have won three in a row to reach the top of their division.

NFL point spread: The Redskins opened as 2.5-point favorites; the total was 47.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

Falcons vs Redskins Football Game

Atlanta is 7-2 straight up and 6-3 against the spread in its last nine games following a bye and needs to continue winning in order to keep pace with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers in the NFC South.

The Falcons are just 2-5 ATS this season and have won their last two games by a combined eight points since their skid. They should be a little healthier now after the time off, and they had the league’s leading passer in Matt Ryan prior to their bye.

Washington is 6-1 SU and ATS in its last seven home games—one of the reasons this team currently leads the NFC East.

The Redskins have continued to prove their doubters wrong with quarterback Alex Smith under center and have won four of their last five as underdogs three times during that stretch.

They have beaten the Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers as home underdogs in each of their last three games at FedExField, so being small favorites in this situation is a change.

Atlanta has won the past five meetings with Washington by an average of nearly eight points per game, and you could definitely argue this is a much bigger game for Ryan and his teammates. With a loss, the Falcons would fall two games below the .500 mark, and their playoff chances would dim even more.

The Redskins can afford to lose this game and still win the division, and they lost to the Indianapolis Colts 21-9 the last time they were favored at home back in Week 2.

Bettors can expect Atlanta to play with a lot of desperation in this spot and come through with an upset victory on the road.

All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagramor head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

Lions vs Vikings

Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

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Lions vs Vikings

Detroit owns the edge in the recent rivalry with Minnesota, winning three of the last four meetings straight up, going 3-1 against the spread along the way. In a key game in a bunched-up Black-and-Blue Division the Lions tangle with the Vikings on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

NFL point spread: The Vikings opened as six-point favorites; the total was 51 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 27.1-21.2 Vikings (NFL picks on every game)

Lions vs Vikings Football Free Game

Detroit won two games in a row to reach 3-3 on the season but is now looking to rebound after losing at home to Seattle last week 28-14. The Lions took an early 7-0 lead on a Matthew Stafford touchdown connection with Marvin Jones, but they gave up the next 28 points of the game.

Stafford and Jones hooked up for another score early in the fourth quarter, but Stafford then lost a fumble at the Seahawks’ 46-yard line on Detroit’s next possession. He then threw an interception from the Seattle 4-yard line, ending any hopes of a rally.

For the day Detroit got beat on the stat sheet, but what really hurt was a fumble on a kickoff in the second quarter, which led to the Seahawks touchdown that gave them the lead for good.

Two weeks ago the Lions ran the ball for 248 yards in a 32-21 victory at Miami. In fact, Detroit is 3-0 ATS on the road this season.

 Minnesota won three in a row to reach 4-2-1 but also looks to rebound this week from a 30-20 loss at home to New Orleans last week. The Vikings trailed the Saints 7-0 out of the gate, rallied to lead 13-7 but gave up the next 23 points of the game and could not recover.

On the night Minnesota actually out-gained New Orleans 423-270 and held a 27-17 edge in first downs. But the Vikings also committed two crucial turnovers.

Minnesota has now out-gained seven of its eight opponents this season, including its last last four foes.

Each of the last four meetings in this rivalry have been decided by seven points or less. The Vikings own the edge in performances against common opponents this season, but they’re also just 1-2-1 ATS at home this year. Minnesota may win this game outright but smart money takes the Lions and the points.

All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagramor head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

Dolphins vs Jets

Dolphins vs Jets: Full Miami Game Preview

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Dolphins vs Jets

The Miami Dolphins are holding on to a small thread of playoff hope as they travel to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Jets.

In their first meeting this season in London, the Dolphins lost 27-14 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The game would mark the end of the Joe Philbin era in Miami while dropping the Dolphins to 1-3.

Since then the Dolphins have gone a respectable 3-3 and are still in playoff contention.

The Jets are still in playoff contention as well at 5-5 and are tied with the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans for the final playoff spot.

Miami, at 4-6, is 0-4 in the AFC East. This will be its second-to-last division game of the season. A win puts the Dolphins back into playoff contention, but they will need a lot of help in order to get in.

Both the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys could say that their Week 11 matchup was a must-win situation.

Dolphins vs Jets Football Free Game

Dallas wound up winning 24-14 thanks to the return of quarterback Tony Romo, a tremendously bad offensive effort by the Dolphins and a collection of some of the worst coaching decisions known to man.

Miami ran the ball well—the few times it actually committed to running the ball. This trend started in the first quarter, then came to an abrupt end.

The reason? I couldn’t tell you. The Dolphins were down as far back as 14-0; however, they were only down by seven at the half and were either tied or within one score of the Cowboys throughout most of the second half.

Then there’s the decision by head coach Dan Campbell to punt the ball on 4th-and-6 with little more than six minutes left while down by 10. Following that punt, the Cowboys would kill the clock thanks to their run game and the fact that Miami’s defense, which was decent all afternoon, had started to wear down.

After the loss, Miami was at 4-6, and in a week where ground could’ve been gained in the playoff race (the Jets and Bills lost), the Dolphins instead pushed themselves closer to elimination.

While the defense wasn’t a major reason for the loss (at least not the defensive line), Ndamukong Suh was upset enough to hold his own meeting with defensive players in which he gave what Ian Rapoport of NFL.com describes as a “fiery and demanding speech” holding players accountable.

While I like hearing about these meetings, that won’t fix the lack of talent in the secondary or linebackers. Those are the main issues plaguing the Dolphins defense, and they should’ve been addressed during the offseason.

The Dolphins had the opportunity to beef up their defensive line while getting some information on their next opponent when the New York Jets released linebacker/defensive lineman Quinton Coples.

During his Monday press conference, Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell had this to say about Miami’s offense, per Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post: “Our offense, we have to score points. We have to find a way. We have to be scoring more than 21 points a game or whatever we’re at.”

That’s all true, but might I suggest running the ball more than 14 times—especially when you’re running for five yards per attempt? That might be a good idea to consider.

Seeing his name on the injury list will make any Miami Dolphins fan freak out—especially when he’s listed with a knee injury on the Dolphins’ official injury report.

However, Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel reports that Landry, along with left tackle Branden Albert, was resting on Wednesday and should expect to play on Sunday.

Right tackle Ja’Wuan James isn’t expected to play on Sunday, per Kelly; however, there is some good news, as Kelly reports that James had the protective boot removed from his left foot.

Miami is still taking James’ recovery slow, although with Jason Fox continuing to play horribly at tackle, James can’t come back soon enough.

Marshall had seven receptions for 128 yards in Week 4 in a game that saw Grimes suffer a minor knee injury.

Jason Fox has been Miami’s worst offensive lineman when he’s played this season, grading out at minus-18.9 for the year, per Pro Football Focus, and he’ll be tasked with handling a defensive end that recorded two sacks in their last meeting.

Fox could use some help from right guard Billy Turner, but he’ll have his own matchup to worry about.

Assuming he plays on Sunday (which hasn’t been confirmed yet), Jarvis Landry will likely be covered by Darrelle Revis.

The best strategy to counter for Miami would be to give more snaps to DeVante Parker (off the injury report for the second consecutive week) and throw the ball Rishard Matthews’ way more.

You might even see the Jets switch Revis and put him on Matthews throughout the game, but the main matchup should be between Revis and Landry.

In their last matchup, Landry was thrown to three times with Revis covering him and only made one catch for two yards, per Pro Football Focus.

It’s not just the depth that he adds along the defensive line, but the information he brings in regards to what the Jets run on defense and offense.

How much of a help can he be? Can he provide enough information to help? He also fits the Dolphins defense better than he did the Jets defense.

The Dolphins run a 4-3, and in said defense, Coples fits as a defensive end. It’s the position he prefers playing, per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, with Coples saying, “It makes me happy. A lot,” when asked about how it felt for him to be moving back to defensive end.

If the Dolphins are getting a struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick, they should be able to win the game. A game like last week’s, where Fitzpatrick went 19-of-39 for 216 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions should give Miami the game.

In Jets wins, Fitzpatrick has completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 1,166 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions for a passer rating of 96.9, while in Jets losses, he’s completed 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,033 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions with a passer rating of 68.6.

The key for the Dolphins is getting pressure, as he’s been sacked seven times in his five losses and only three times in their five wins.

The Miami Dolphins have won three straight games against the Jets at MetLife Stadium and have won six out of their last seven games against the Jets in the Meadowlands.

That’s the type of road dominance against a division foe not seen since, well, how well the Jets have done against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium during that same time span (the Jets have won six out of their last seven games in Miami and three straight at Sun Life Stadium).

How does that London game from earlier mess up the balance? It doesn’t, as this trend of Miami beating the Jets on the road and vice versa will continue.

Bleacher Report’s Chris Simms guarantees that the Jets will beat the Dolphins, but I’m going the other way and guaranteeing a Dolphins victory over the Jets.

Chiefs vs Browns

Kansas City Chiefs vs Cleveland Browns: Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

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Chiefs vs Browns

The Cleveland Browns (2-5-1) will play their first game this season without head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley when they host the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) on Sunday as large home underdogs at sportsbooks.

Both Jackson and Haley were relieved of their duties Monday, with the former replaced on an interim basis by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

NFL point spread: The Chiefs opened as 8.5-point favorites; the total was 52.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

Chiefs vs Browns NFL Football

 The Chiefs will need to guard against a potential letdown spot here at Cleveland following a 30-23 home win over the Denver Broncos in a divisional game.

They failed to cover the spread for the first time this year as nine-point favorites and saw the under cash for the fourth time in five games.

Kansas City’s offense has still been awesome to watch, though, led by second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who leads the league in passing yards (2,526) and touchdowns (26) through the first eight weeks.

The Browns cannot play much worse offensively than they did last week in a 33-18 road loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

They were held without a touchdown until five minutes and 24 seconds into the third quarter and did not score another until there were only six seconds remaining in the game.

While rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield looks like he has regressed since his impressive debut in relief back in Week 3—when he rallied Cleveland back to a 21-17 win over the New York Jets—Jackson and Haley are being blamed instead. Without their presence on the sideline, Mayfield should be able to thrive again.

 It remains to be seen whether Williams is actually head coaching material, but bettors will see if he is indeed worthy of the title despite his checkered past.

The Chiefs have won three of the past four meetings with the Browns straight up, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, but they have failed to cover the last three in the series.

Cleveland’s defense will slow down Kansas City’s offense enough to make things interesting, and the home team will stay within a touchdown to cover the spread.

    All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagramor head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

Buccaneers vs Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

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Buccaneers vs Panthers

The Carolina Panthers (5-2) will go for their third consecutive win on Sunday when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) as solid home favorites at sportsbooks in a key NFC South matchup.

The Panthers have beaten the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens in their last two games while the Buccaneers have dropped four of five.

NFL point spread: The Panthers opened as 5.5-point favorites; the total was 53.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 35.0-20.1 Panthers (NFL picks on every game)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers Football Live

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

Tampa Bay has switched back to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick under center after Jameis Winston threw four interceptions in last week’s 37-34 road loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

That loss could end up being costly to the team’s playoff chances, but Fitzpatrick did rally the Buccaneers from a 34-16 deficit at the end of the third quarter to tie the game at 34-34 with one minute and five seconds left before the Bengals won it on a field goal with no time remaining.

The Carolina defense is tough, but the move to Fitzpatrick again seems to give Tampa Bay the best chance to win—and cover the spread—right now.

The Panthers have won four of their last five games to put themselves within striking distance of the New Orleans Saints for first place in the NFC South.

The Saints have a huge showdown with the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams on Sunday as well, so a win over the Buccaneers and loss by them would tie them for the division lead.

Carolina is also riding a nine-game home winning streak, with the average margin of victory sitting at nearly nine points. Tampa Bay has won at Bank of American Stadium only once in the previous five seasons, too, so the odds are against that scenario happening again here.

Winning and covering the spread are obviously two different things, especially when the line is nearly a touchdown. The Buccaneers are 3-1 ATS in their last four trips to Charlotte, including three straight-up losses by three points or less, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Like bettors saw last week, Fitzpatrick can definitely keep the game close and cover even if his team does not win. Take Tampa to cover again.

The total has gone under in the Buccaneers’ last four games versus the Panthers.

The total has gone under in 11 of the Panthers’ last 15 games versus their division at home.

The Buccaneers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as underdogs.

All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagramor head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.  

Bears vs Bills

Bears vs Bills, 11/4/18 NFL Predictions & Odds

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Bears vs Bills

1. Tackle well. Of the Bills’ 21 plays of 20 or more yards through seven games, 10 of them were passes completed by Josh Allen…who is hurt. Six more were completions by Derek Anderson…who missed practice all week while in the concussion protocol and is officially out for Sunday. Nathan Peterman’s longest pass of the year went for 20 yards against the Houston Texans three weeks ago. The Bears saw how poor tackling against a dink-and-dunk offense could sink them against Brock Osweiler and the Miami Dolphins, a game in which the defense didn’t play well against the run, either. The Bears’ defense has a clear talent advantage over a Bills offense that’s best weapon (or best-known weapon, at least), LeSean McCoy, had 13 yards on 12 carries against the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. It’s simple: Stick to your assignments, make tackles and the rest will take care of itself. It’s what the Bears did well against the New York Jets last week, but then again, it’s what this team didn’t do well on the road the last time it faced a punchline of a quarterback.

Bears vs Bills Football Game

2. Don’t force anything on offense. Mitch Trubisky talked this week about the importance of taking what the Bills defense will give him, which will have to be his mindset on Sunday. Buffalo’s defense doesn’t allow many explosive plays and is a stingy group that, in a few ways, is a little reminiscent of the Bears’ 2017 defense. Trubisky will need to stay within himself and not try to force a deep ball or a throw into coverage in the red zone when it’s not there, because Buffalo does have a good enough defense to take advantage of a mental mistake. This may not be the highest-scoring game, but as long as the Bears’ offense can keep plugging away at the gameplan drawn up by Matt Nagy, it’ll eventually score enough points to win.

3. Don’t do anything stupid. The Bills aren’t the worst team in the NFL – see: Raiders, Oakland – but a team that’s starting Peterman and signed Bears castoff Matt Barkley to be his backup doesn’t have much going for it now. The best thing that could happen for the Bills is for the Bears to commit a silly penalty or a poorly-timed turnover. As long as the Bears are disciplined and, again, stay within themselves, this shouldn’t be all that difficult a win. But do something stupid, and the Bears could have the ignominious designation of losing to Osweiler and Peterman not only in the same year, but in the span of a month.

Prediction: Bears 23, Bills 10. This is pretty much the same as last week’s 24-10 win over the Jets. The Bears play a disciplined, clean game without a string of glaring mistakes and emerge from western New York with a 5-3 record heading into a critical Lions-Vikings-Lions stretch in 12 days.