Phillip Rivers Passing Yards
- Over 250 ½ (+110)
- Under 250 ½ (-130)
Even the best players in the world fall into a funk every now and again. But the difference between them and their less talented contemporaries is that they don’t stay down for long because their natural ability and unyielding drive to succeed ultimately prevails. And so, it shall be with LA’s Phillip Rivers, a veteran quarterback who has weathered many storms before only to rebound by launching one aerial blitzkrieg after another. If you haven’t been following along, Rivers has had a pair of clunkers over his past two games with 181 and 176 passing yards against the Ravens and Broncos respectively. But these are outliers for Rivers who ended the regular season averaging nearly 270 passing yards per game even after factoring in these two misfires.
The Ravens’ defense is among the best which makes many view this prop as a bit high considering Rivers was vexed against this identical pass defense only a few weeks ago. However, the NFL odds board is reflecting that a play on the under will cost a premium while those who believe Rivers will be back in rhythm get a slightly greater than even money return. In other words, the bookies are daring you to bet under and the masses will gladly oblige.
But we know better. Rivers, his quarterback coach, offensive coordinator and head coach have all studied the game tape from LA’s 24-10 loss at home to the Ravens. This is a team that compiled one of the best records in the league and are only in a wildcard role because a divisional rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, also had a 12-4 record but won the AFC West due to a tiebreaker. Let’s also not forget that the Bolts shine on the road, as evidenced by their 7-1 straight up and ATS record when away from the StubHub Center. Look for Rivers to be launching from the opening play to soften up the Ravens’ secondary and keep attacking. Go over 250 ½ passing yards for Phillip Rivers in your NFL picks for Sunday.
Free NFL Pick: Over 250 ½ (+110) passing yards for Phillip Rivers
Nick Foles Pass Attempts
- Over 38 ½ (-130)
- Under 38 ½ (+100)
Nick Foles will try to do what he did last season and guide his team to a Super Bowl title despite being the understudy thrust into the role of leading man yet again. The problem that Foles will have this postseason is that no one will take him or his team lightly. Foles is traveling to the Windy City with sore ribs to line up against the toughest defense in the league. That alone could preclude him from finishing this game once he gets mauled by two or more Bears on more than one occasion.
Understanding that Foles is not 100 percent and could be pulled if his ribs get punished, is just one reason to go under 38 ½ passing attempts. The oddsmakers know full well that the conventional wisdom will be that the Eagles will not even attempt to run the ball against the No. 1 run-stop unit in the league. It would be futile to do so but don’t expect many extended Philadelphia drives in the frigid environs of Soldier Field this Sunday. This could be a game played between the 20’s with plenty of work for the punters in a low scoring, grind-it-out affair. I’m unconvinced Foles will be firing away at will in this one against an outstanding Chicago pass defense and will go under his average of 39 pass attempts in the five games he has played this season. Go low.
Free NFL Pick: Under 38 ½ pass attempts by Nick Foles