DeAndre Hopkins had been in a little slump since making that wonderful catch at the buzzer to beat the Bills in Week 10. He was still getting catches, but the yardage wasn’t there. Until last week.
Hopkins put up 136 on the Giants secondary in a game the Cardinals controlled with their own defense and won, 26-7.
Through their first 10 games, the Eagles defense was good against opposing No. 1 wide receivers. Tyler Boyd laid a 125 on them in Week 3, but otherwise they were respectable.
Then, in Week 11, the horses opened up like the backstretch at Churchill Downs. DK Metcalf went first with 177 yards. Davante Adams was next with 121. Then Michael Thomas, playing with a backup quarterback, had 84 last week.
Which brings us to Sunday, when Hopkins and the Cards get an Eagles secondary which will be missing two starters. Top corner Darius Slay (concussion) managed a limited practice on Thursday.
PointsBet on Thursday opened with Hopkins getting 75+ yards at -182, 100+ yards at +110, 125+yards at +275, and 150+ yards at +500.
If the Saints’ Thomas can get 84 with Taysom Hill slinging it, Hopkins should be able to manage at least 75 with Kyler Murray. The trick is whether you want to lay into those longer odds.
Bad beat alert
If you were among those stunned that the Browns gave away a push (or even a win) by lateraling their way into a ridiculous safety to end Monday night’s game, you weren’t alone. Instead of the game’s ending 45-42, the Browns lost to the Ravens 47-42. Heaven help those who had the Browns at +3.5.
For Matt Russell that wasn’t the worst part of the play.
Russell, a Toronto native who hosts the sports betting podcast THE WINDOW, had Kareem Hunt at 125-1 to be the game’s leading receiver. Hunt splits the running back job with Nick Chubb, and went in averaging 14.6 receiving yards per game. His high for the year had been 28. So the long odds are understandable.
Hunt, however, had his best receiving game of the year. He was at 75 yards when he caught a pass about 7 yards downfield on the final play. That’s when all hell happened. To keep the play alive, Hunt pitched the ball 5 yards back to Rashard Higgins. But because the ball touched the ground before Higgins could corral it, Hunt was given a 2-yard reception and the other 5 yards are considered part of a fumble. OMG.
The Browns kept going backward before the play ended in a safety and Hunt finished with 77 yards receiving, one yard behind Baltimore’s Mark Andrews. VSIN’s Gill Alexander did a wonderful job of breaking it all down.
Compounding things was that Russell had Cleveland getting three points.
“Was actually fine with losing Cleveland +3,” he tweeted, “because I thought I won the prop. Found out I lost the prop, then it felt like I re-lost Cleveland +3.”
“If it means people become aware of me and the podcast,” he said, “that takes the sting away.”
This and that
As it stands, this will be the second time in three weeks the NFL slate has four teams favored by double digits. The underdogs are 13-10 against the spread in these spots this year. The Jets (+17.5 against the Rams), however, are 1-4 ATS when ‘dogs by 10 or more.
BetMGM is expected to launch its Pennsylvania mobile sports betting app on Friday.
Alabama is 6-0 in SEC championship games under Nick Saban, but just 3-3 ATS. They are laying 17 to Florida, which Saban has beaten three times in this game. The most recent was in 2016, when they were laying 24 and laid waste to the Gators, 54-16. This season, Alabama is 8-2 against the spread, Florida is 4-5-1. Both are 6-4 over the total, which is 74.
Guy sold a three-team championship parlay ticket on PropSwap for $9,000. He put $500 on the Lakers to win the NBA title (check), the Dodgers to win the World Series (check), and Clemson to win the national championship. If the Tigers come through, the ticket pays out $31,587.50. Today, Clemson is a little less than 3-1 to win the championship.