Nice results on the last week's NFL special props picks, as I hit on Texans QB Ryan Mallett 'over' 210.5 passing yards, 'under' 0.5 sacks for the 49ers' Aldon Smith and the Saints losing at home.
Josh Gordon receiving props Sunday: 'over/under' 5 catches, 75.5 yards
All options are -115 on NFL odds. There's also an NFL betting prop on whether Gordon scores a TD this week, with no the -130 favorite and yes at even money. The Browns' star will make his season debut off what was supposed to be a season-long suspension for multiple failed violations of the NFL drug policy. Gordon was one of the breakout stars of the 2013 season in leading the NFL with 1,646 yards despite missing the first two games because of another suspension. He had 87 catches and nine touchdowns and became the first player with back-to-back 200-yard games. The Browns mentioned working him in slowly, but with the AFC North such a dogfight that's highly doubtful. Cleveland is in Atlanta on Sunday and Falcons coach Mike Smith expects a "full dose" of Gordon. If you are wondering, in Gordon's first game off suspension in 2013 he had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown against Minnesota.
NFL free picks: 'Under' on both but yes on touchdown vs. Atlanta's No. 32 pass defense. Gordon needs to get into game shape and these Browns run a different, more run-heavy offense than last year's team.
Will Demaryius Thomas have at least 100 yards receiving in nine straight games?
No is -325 on NFL odds with yes at +250. The Broncos' Thomas is second in the NFL with 1,105 yards receiving and has at least 100 in seven straight games. The record is eight by Detroit's Calvin Johnson in his monster 2012 season. Thomas can tie the mark Sunday at home against Miami and break it Nov. 30 in Kansas City. The Dolphins are No. 8 in pass yards allowed per game, but Thomas might get even more targets than usual because fellow receiver Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Julius Thomas are both hurt and could sit. The Chiefs are No. 1 against the pass and held Thomas to 62 yards on five catches in a Week 2 loss in Denver.
NFL free pick: Yes is great value and Denver is going to throw because the Broncos can't run the ball and their top two running backs, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, both are out injured likely for both games.
Jonas Gray 'over/under' totals of 15 rushing attempts, 62.5 yards
All options are -115 at sportsbooks. The Patriots' third-string tailback Gray was the shocking star of Week 11, rushing 37 times for 201 yards and four touchdowns in the Patriots' blowout win over Indianapolis. This week Gray faces a Detroit Lions defense that is No. 1 in the NFL against the rush. Last week that unit held Arizona to just 46 yards on 26 carries.
NFL free picks: Gray won't surprise anyone this week. 'Under' both.
Jay Cutler -10.5 passing yards this week vs. Josh McCown
Will Mike Evans have a fourth straight game of at least 100 yards receiving? Both quarterback options are -115. It's an interesting week in Chicago as Tampa Bay visits. Of course the Bucs are coached by former Bears coach Lovie Smith, who was fired by Chicago after the 2012 season. Tampa Bay's starting quarterback is McCown, who was stellar in about half a season in 2013 with the Bears while Cutler was out injured. That led Smith to give the veteran journeyman a two-year, $10 million deal this past offseason in free agency. There will be many, many fans in attendance at Soldier Field pulling for Smith and McCown because the Bears have been such a disappointment in 2014. McCown started the year slowly, got hurt and lost his job. However, he got it back two games ago and has had games of 301 yards passing vs. Atlanta and 288 last week in Washington. Chicago allows an average of 256.4 passing yards per game. Cutler has played every game and is averaging 270.0 ypg, 10th in the NFL while Tampa has the No. 30 pass defense, allowing 266.1 yards per game. As for Evans, the Bucs receiver is making a major push for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He had 209 yards last week against the Redskins and hasn't been under 124 in the past three. His high before this stretch was 78 yards. Before making your NFL pick, keep in mind that No is -250 on Evans hitting 100 yards again with yes at +170.
NFL free picks: Take Cutler on the yards -- the Bears need this game much more -- and no on Evans.