We crashed and burned on Sunday with a 1-2 record on our player props, but we are an even 3-3 for the week, so Monday is all about making a profit. I have two players from Bovada that look like great values and I am releasing them free of charge!
Jordan Matthews O/U 69.5 receiving yards
With Zach Ertz out, Jordan Matthews goes from a timeshare for the number one target in Philly, to the undisputed lead dog in the passing game against the Bears here on Monday night. Chicago’s young secondary got beat a few times last week against the Texans and even with a young quarterback coming into Soldier Field, Matthews’ sheer volume of targets he is going to get tonight should lead to a couple of long catches or even a day like he had last week.
In Week 1 against the Browns, Matthews was targeted 14 times and came down with seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. On the road, he might not have as much success, but luckily we don’t need him to. All we need is for the run game to keep the Bears’ defense honest and for Carson Wentz to send the ball flying in Matthews’ direction another dozen times this week.
If all that occurs, look for the over to be a great play here. While 114 yards may be out of the question, lucky for us all we need is 70 to cash the over on this one. If Matthews continues his averages from seasons pasts of about eight yards per target, theoretically all we need is for Wentz to target Matthews just nine times in this one to cash the over.
Free NFL Pick: OVER 69.5 (-125)
Best Line Offered: at Bovada now offering 100% Cash Welcome Bonus
Ryan Mathews O/U 70.5 rushing yards
Another thing about tonight that makes Jordan Matthews a great over play is that the Bears are likely going to try and shut down the run. They made big improvements this offseason in stuffing up the middle and after being horrible last season at slowing down opposing backs, this season things might change.
The Bears limited Lamar Miller to 3.8 yards per carry and the entire Texans rushing offense to less than that. Now with an extra day of rest and prep, Mathews might be the focal point of the Bears’ strategy on defense tonight.
Mathews also isn’t going to see 28 carries like Miller did against this Bears team in Week 1. With how injury prone he is, 15-20 carries might be his max workload against the Bears on Monday night. Mathews got 22 last week against the Browns in a game that Philly was leading for basically the entire game, but here on the road that may not be the case.
If Chicago jumps out to an early lead, they may force Wentz to throw the ball a bit more. Even if the Bears don’t jump out to an early lead, Mathews hasn’t proven he can just plow through a team for five yards per carry whenever he wants.
Mathews is far from the back he was in San Diego. His stats from last season are also misleading, because even though he averages 5.1 yards per carry, he did it on a very limited workload and all that came from a small batch of games in the middle of the season.
Now that he is being asked to carry the load for the Eagles’ running game, I expect 17 carries for Mathews in this one, but even at four yards per carry, the under is still cashing in this one for your Monday night picks.
Free NFL Pick: Under 70.5 (-115)
Best Line Offered: at Bovada
Season Player Props Record: 7-4-2