It was points aplenty across the NFL this weekend as offences lit up the
scoreboard all over the league… except for the Titans-Bills game.
Heading into Sunday Night Football, just six teams failed to score 20 points and Atlanta’s 32 points in a losing effort would have been enough to win just about every other game this weekend, unfortunately they ran into the Texans buzz saw.
Before we get into the actual takeaways from the weekend, we first have to question what scheduling genius decided to front load Monday’s games and have pretty much every contest done before we’d reached our second coffee?
Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at what the numbers
are telling us from Week 5 in the NFL.
1 – Seattle’s Primetime Show
It’s amazing what happens when the NFL puts two good teams in the
Thursday Night Football slot.
Sure it wasn’t a perfect game, there were a few moments where you
wondered how both those sides made the playoffs but that was definitely
outweighed by the highlights from the game.
At this point in his career, Russel Wilson is a good enough passer that
as long as his receivers have two working hands, two working legs and a
functioning brain, he will get them the ball.
What is useful for him though is the support he gets on the ground from
a guy like Chris Carson.
It is that sort of offensive balance that should get the Seahawks
rolling in most games, especially at home where they have always been a tough
team to beat.
Unfortunately the run of good teams on Thursday comes to an end with the
Giants facing New England.
It could be a rough week for Daniel Jones as the Patriots have made
pretty much every quarterback they’ve faced look bad.
2 – Who Has The Nose for the End
A good way to fill out a same game multi is to take a look at the
Anytime Touchdown Scorer markets.
Of course with six options to catch and/or run the ball into the end
zone available on any given play, it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly who
For some teams, it really is a case of “whoever we want to score will
score” like with Brandon Bolden catching a touchdown pass for the Patriots yesterday
ahead of more regular running backs Sony Michel and James White.
What you do want to look for instead, are players that don’t leave the field
a whole lot and have earned the coaches trust in the most important area of the
field to be called on week in, week out.
One of the most popular options is Christian McCaffery from the Panthers,
he rarely leaves the field and can break a play open every time he touches the
He’s scored in four of five games this season and has found the end zone
in his last three games.
Another strong option at least at the moment is Aaron Jones from the
Packers with a league leading eight touchdowns on the season including four
against the Cowboys.
When you score in four straight games, it goes a long way to getting
noticed by the coaches.
3 – Kicker Impact
Ever since Bill Belichick’s proposal to move the extra point snap back
to the 15 yard line, we’ve seen a lot of kickers struggle with that change.
What used to be an automatic seven point play is now a lot more
competitive and something that really has to come into consideration when
betting the line.
Funnily enough, Belichick’s kicker since then, Stephen Gostkowski has
been one of the strongest examples of kickers struggling with this once
Now with him on injured reserve, the Patriots are trotting out Mike
Nugent who was available in large part because of his struggles with the extra
With most kickers outside of Justin Tucker in Baltimore putting their
extra points through at around 80-90% if you want to back a team to win by a
touchdown, the safe option might be to back them at -5.5 instead of -6.5.
4 – It was on the Cards?
It was coming, the baby faced duo of the NFL finally got their first win
after a couple of close calls early on this season.
Sure it was “only against the Bengals” and they “kind of suck” but that
might just be the boost Arizona needed to get some sort of roll going.
Up next is a game against the reeling Falcons who might just be in “back
against no matter what” territory after giving up 53 to Houston.
Can they make it two in a row this week?
There are worse teams to take a punt on here.
5 – Washington Bounce Back?
Timing is everything and for the Washington Redskins, it seemed like the
right time to fire coach Jay Gruden.
In the interests of full disclosure, the initial draft of this takeaway basically
was just going to say back against Washington until they fire Gruden, but now
it’s taking a look at what to expect with Bill Callahan temporarily in charge.
It’s still a roster that has been decimated by injury and it’s hard to see them going on some sort of miracle Super Bowl run, but in the short term, it means that you can’t just automatically back against them.
Not that you would have felt great about backing for or against the Fish
Tank Job in Miami this weekend either.
You could do a lot worse than backing Washington this week on the theory
that these players have had a fire lit under them now the coach can’t be blamed
for their shortcomings.
Of course after Miami it doesn’t get any easier for them so even if they
do win that game, you might just want to back them at the line instead of
outright, if you’re expecting a response.