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Week Six - Pass, Rush, Catch, Repeat
This really is the best sporting competition in the world - in this writer’s humble opinion. But while NFL Sundays are the highlight of the week, the non-stop injuries really do pain you.
Seeing Dak Prescott go down last week was tough to take - a gruesome compound fracture and dislocation of the ankle - but while naturally a negative for the game (and the Cowboys’ hopes), sports bettors have to be cold and focus on what how this will affect play-calling and prop totals looking ahead.
Since focussing each week on Cloudbet’s extensive special prop market offerings - highlighting three yardage bets (in various forms, be it passing, rushing or receiving) - this writer stands an impressive seven-from-nine (and three-from-three in Week Five).
So what’s in store for Week Six?
Jonathan Taylor RB Indianapolis Colts. Over 85.5 Rushing Yards 1.84
The Bengals welcome back defensive tackle Geno Atkins properly this week, so you might be tempted to lean towards taking the over - but don’t.
Atkins is a considerably better pass rusher than he is a run-stuffer. This means he’s going to be most effective on third down, especially after a long lay-off. The bigger news here is that DJ Reader is out for the season with a quad injury. That’s crushing for the Bengals’ efforts in stopping the run.
While Taylor has struggled in recent weeks largely due to inefficient play-calling, QB Phil Rivers has tasted consistent success against Cinci and knows how to audible backs into advantageous positions. Expect him to do Jonathan Taylor a service on Sunday.
Marquise Brown WR Baltimore Ravens. Over 57.5 Receiving Yards 1.82
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown looks set to take off as more teams are forcing safety help to lean towards tight end Mark Andrews - it’s been notable over the last two weeks.
Expect Harbaugh to line Andrews up on the opposite to Brown to draw away the spare defender and find one-on-ones for the speedster. Especially as Philly’s back-end is struggling. Their lack of offensive cohesion is only outshone by the fact that teams can consistently move them around to gain from mismatches.
Brown hasn’t flashed yet this year - and that’s when he’s most dangerous. Baltimore have long struggled to find that #2 receiver to take the pressure off him, but with Andrews’ ascent towards the Kittle tier, it now appears that Brown will gain just like Tyreek Hill does from Travis Kelce.
Once Lamar’s deep ball comes pretty, everyone will be happy.
Tom Brady QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over 295.5 Passing Yards 1.83
The GOAT, Tom Brady. What else is there to say?
What we will say is that he eats up split safety looks when delayed release, motion and anticipation.
Green Bay play a lot of Cover 2, and Brady knows exactly how to eye off safeties - whether it’s a linebacker dropping into the Tampa-2 hole, deep halved defenders, or double assignments, he can beat them.
Sometimes we rely on brilliance and sometimes we rely on favourable schematic match-ups. It’s rare that we manage to have both aligned in one prop total, but this is very much the case for the Bucs and TB12 this week.
Given this is likely to turn into a shootout, it’s not even likely they’ll be running the ball either. All systems are a go.
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