SATURDAY NFL DOUBLE HEADER! BUFvDEN & CARvGB
See below for my picks, plays, Model Z breakdown and explanation for today’s NFL Saturday Double Header!
*Stars represent confidence (1 to 5 scale).
Please note that I am not advising anyone to participate in any gambling. I am simply telling you what I will be doing (legally in New Jersey).
Saturday, December 19th
4:30 PM ET
BUFFALO BILLS (-5.5) vs DENVER BRONCOS ; O/U 48.5
Model Z Projection: 28–22 BUF
Straight Up Pick: Buffalo Bills
Spread Pick: BUF -5.5⭐⭐⭐
O/U Pick: Under 48.5⭐
- BUF -5.5 (-110)
- Cole Beasley to score / BUF to win DOUBLE (+250)
- Cole Beasley to score 2x (+1100)
- Josh Allen Under 271.5 Passing Yards (-110)
- Tre’Davious White INT (+310)
Top DFS Matchups: Melvin Gordon ($5,200), Cole Beasley ($4,700), Josh Allen ($7,200)
Notable Inactives: BUF WR3* John Brown
Notes: The Broncos somehow won again last week, moving them towards the top of the list of teams that I don’t understand. They are again without their two starting cornerbacks (Callahan on IR, Bouye suspended) and will be playing 5th and 6th stringers in the secondary. They pulled it off last week against the Panthers, but the Bills are a different animal. They are 10th in the Model Z and I personally think they are better than just top 10. Josh Allen is showing people that he is the real deal through the air and on the ground, and we need to give him some respect. Now, if he can’t beat this broken Broncos team in a game they can clinch the AFC East for the first time since 1995, then we can knock him down again. I’ve been very wishy washy on if I believe in DEN QB Drew Lock or not, so let’s just keep that as an “I don’t know”. I’m also still “eh” on RB Melvin Gordon who has been off and on all year. He has a good opportunity this week though against a Bills defense who is 20th in rush yards allowed and 23rd in rush TDs allowed. That’s the only way I see the Broncos getting anything done on that offense as the Bills are 3rd vWR in the Model Z. Who wins though? I think the Bills pull it off in the Mile High City giving the points. Not much hesitation there even though the model says that’s the right number. I haven’t written my Sunday plays yet, but I would think this is one of my favorite plays of the weekend.
Players to watch:
1. DEN RB Melvin Gordon — Bills are statistically below average against the run
2. BUF QB Josh Allen — With the very even split in the backfield for the Bills between Moss and Singletary, I’m avoiding them. But they do have a good matchup as the Broncos are 25th vRB on the Model. Allen can act like a RB at times and also face a depleted cornerback core. I like the spot for Josh this week.
3. BUF WR Cole Beasley — I’m mentioning the awful Broncos corners here again. They do have phenomenal safeties though. What does Cole Beasley do? He’s a crossing routes and short stuff kind of guy. I think he’ll be the favorite target.
4. DEN S Justin Simmons — As mentioned above, the Denver Safeties are legit. I debated on which to list for this last “Players to Watch” section but Simmons wins over Kareem Jackson because of his 3rd best in the league Pro Football Focus grade. If the safeties can make it tough on Allen, the Broncos have a shot.
Saturday, December 19th
8:15 PM ET
CAROLINA PANTHERS vs GREEN BAY PACKERS (-7.5) ; O/U 52
Model Z Projection: 32–20 GB
Straight Up Pick: Green Bay Packers
Spread Pick: Green Bay Packers -7.5⭐⭐
O/U Pick: Over 52⭐⭐⭐
- Curtis Samuel to score (+175)
- GB -7.5 (-110)
- GB to win / Over 51.5 DOUBLE (+130)
Top DFS Matchups: Aaron Rodgers ($7,800), Davante Adams ($9,400), Curtis Samuel ($4,800)
Notable Inactives: CAR RB Christian McCaffrey
Notes: Aaron Rodgers is creeping up there in the MVP conversation, now at -150 behind Patrick Mahomes (-190). He’s been phenomenal this year, tearing up defenses and just making them look dumb. The Panthers are the 7th worst defense on the Model Z so I expect more of the same on a Saturday Night in Lambeau. As it goes for most weeks with the Panthers, if McCaffrey was playing it might be interesting, but I don’t see it here against one of the best teams in the league. The Pack have clinched the NFC North already, but now they’re fighting for seeding and maybe that Home Field advantage which may be more important to the Packers than any other team. “Why Z? There’s no fans!” No one wants to go to cold and snowy Lambeau in January. I sure don’t. I know my Saints friends are scared to go there (there’s your shoutout Chasse, Matt, Seth, Colby, Kaia and Mallams). Give me the Packers giving the big number here, with 2⭐ confidence. I know their defense is just average and Teddy Bridgewater is a “cover” machine, but I’m not going against Rodgers at home and the #1 scoring team in the league. I also like the Over here more than normal as the Packers have scored under 30 just twice this year and I don’t see that changing this week.
Players to watch:
1. GB QB Aaron Rodgers — 2nd in the MVP voting, on the #1 scoring offense, and faces the Panthers who are 29th vQB on the Model Z.
2. GB WR Davante Adams — “Wow, Zack. Really going out on a limb with the best QB-WR combo in your “players to watch” list.” I know. But you have to respect Adams who has 14 touchdowns in 11 games, at least 1 in all but 2 games, and gets to face the 9th worst team vWR.
3. CAR WR Curtis Samuel — This is like the 3rd time I’ve featured this average receiver in my articles this year. Why? He’s the gadget guy when McCaffrey is out. They use him in the backfield and has been the #2 guy in the redzone behind Mike Davis.
4. CAR DE Brian Burns — Similar to the 1st game on this slate, the 4th “players to watch” slot is another tie between defenders. This time between DE Brian Burns and DT Zach Kerr. Burns gets the “edge” in this one as his PFF Pass Rush grade is top 10 in the league. Let’s see if he can make Aaron Rodgers uncomfortable.