Good afternoon, I hope your Monday is going well, and I hope you enjoyed your weekend. I know I enjoyed my Sunday because, after a stressful week, I declared it a #SelfCareSunday. You’re probably wondering what that entails. It wasn’t a trip to a spa, or a bubble bath, or anything of the sort. No, I just chose not to watch the Chicago Bears.
In fact, I avoided the early window of NFL games entirely. Instead, I watched my favorite Italian soccer team (Napoli) win its match 1-0, and when that ended, my favorite English soccer team (Aston Villa) beat the tar out of Pete Blackburn’s Arsenal 3-0 (hi, Pete!). After I finished celebrating those victories, I checked my phone, looked past the 50 angry texts about the Bears from friends, and saw that my bets had won as well.
I then finished the day by winning my under bet in the Saints-Buccaneers game. In other words, #SelfCareSunday was a resounding success, and I think I’ll try it again next week. Then, when the NFL season is over, I’ll cash that Bears to miss the playoffs future I told you to take a couple of weeks ago. As for the week ahead, it’s a busy one. We’ve got football every night of the week and the Masters tees off on Thursday.
Are you ready for some football?
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Patriots at Jets, 8:15 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 42 (-110): Are you ready to be bored out of your mind? As strange as it seems, the Jets won’t be the only lousy football team on your television tonight. The Patriots come into this game on a four-game losing streak, averaging only 12.25 points per game in those losses. Cam Newton no longer looks like a bargain at $1.75 million for the season, and the Patriots offense is without Julian Edelman. The only way the Patriots will move the ball consistently tonight is the rushing tandem of Newton and Damien Harris. Of course, while Harris is expected to play, a knee injury that has him on the injury report leaves his status in doubt. Whoever plays, the Patriots are likely to lean on the run.
Want picks in your inbox every weekday afternoon? Click here to subscribe to our CBS HQ PM newsletter
That’s not terrible news for the Jets. As bad as they are, New York ranks third in the NFL in defensive success rate against the run behind Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. The Jets defense is 10th in the league in rush DVOA. It’s their pass defense you want to exploit, but I don’t know how capable this group of Patriots is of doing that.
As for the Jets offense, it’s been a mess and will be even worse with Joe Flacco starting in place of Sam Darnold. At 42 points, this would be the 11th-lowest total of the 2020 NFL season so far. The Patriots and Jets have been involved in five of the first 10 because they stink! Rely on them to continue doing so tonight.
Key Trend: The under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings of these division rivals.
Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: R.J. White is on a 31-21 NFL run and he’s got a strong play on Thursday Night Football.
💰 The Props
The Pick: Braxton Berrios Under 22.5 receiving yards (-115) — While it hasn’t been made official, Darnold is listed as questionable and Flacco is expected to start for the Jets. That’s great news for our under play, but it’s bad news for Braxton Berrios. Flacco has never been the QB who is taking the underneath routes. He’s a big-armed QB who likes to take shots down the field, which is not what Berrios specializes in. We saw this in Flacco’s two starts earlier this season. Berrios was targeted six times in those two games but caught only one pass for 18 yards in a 24-0 loss to the Dolphins.
The Pick: Denzel Mims Over 30.5 receiving yards (-120) — Berrios will suffer playing with Flacco, but Denzel Mims stands as a player who could benefit. Mims wasn’t active during Flacco’s first two starts, but he’s the kind of vertical threat that Flacco has long enjoyed throwing to. I would expect that Bill Belichick being Bill Belichick, he’s going to focus on removing Jamison Crowder from the Jets offense tonight, which will only open up more chances for Mims. He’s going to get targets, and he could go over this total on any one of them.
The Pick: No Jets Touchdown (+375) — It’s not likely to happen, but there’s simply too much value here to pass up the play. This team scored 10 points in Flacco’s first two starts. On the season, this offense is dead last in the NFL with 1.0 points scored per possession. They’ve scored touchdowns on only 8% of their possessions this season and even when this team gets to the red zone, it can’t finish. The Jets have scored a touchdown on only 25% of their 16 (a league-low) red-zone possessions. In goal-to-go situations, they’ve scored touchdowns only 40% of the time! This offense is awful! Let’s bet against it!
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Masters Week has begun and Mike McClure’s golf model loves six players, including four longshots of 60-1 or higher! Mike is up over $11K on golf bets since the PGA Tour restarted.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Your MVP or Captain
Cam Newton — Listen, if you want to toy with the idea of making one of the kickers in this game your MVP, I don’t think it would be the worst idea. I wouldn’t do it in cash, though. Instead, I’d go with the obvious choice even if it’s not the most attractive one, but nothing in this game is. Cam has come back to Earth after a hot start to the season, but while he’s not doing much of anything as a passer, his rushing ability provides a steady fantasy floor. He’s averaging about 50 rushing yards per game this season and has six rushing touchdowns.
Ryan Izzo — Where to find value when there’s very little to be found? Unheralded tight ends can come through sometimes. This is a longshot play for larger tournaments. If you’re playing cash, I’d stay as chalky as possible and choose either kicker over Izzo to spend up elsewhere. But, if you’re looking for a lottery ticket, Izzo could cash. He’s been targeted seven times in the last three games and has caught six passes for 70 yards. Maybe he gets a peak in the red zone tonight when everybody is expecting Cam to keep it.
Full lineup advice
SportsLine’s team of DFS insiders has you covered for daily fantasy sports. Mike McClure has won almost $2 million playing DFS, and Jacob Gibbs was ranked as one of the nation’s most accurate Fantasy experts last year. Plus, use SportsLine’s all-new DFS Optimizer to get optimal NFL DFS picks from 10,000 simulations.