Week 9 of the NFL season concludes on Monday night with a bit of a dud as two-win teams Chicago and San Diego face off. Let's examine some game props to include in your NFL picks for Monday.
Philip Rivers 'Over/Under' 25.5 Completions, 306.5 Passing Yards, 2.5 TD Passes
Will Rivers Throw A Pick: Yes -175, No +140
You certainly can't blame Rivers for the Chargers' 2-6 record. He is No. 2 in the NFL in passing yards per game, averaging 344.0. That puts him on pace for 5,504, which would break the NFL record of 5,477 set by Denver's Peyton Manning in 2013. The Saints' Drew Brees is 10 yards ahead of Rivers this season. Brees held the old mark of 5,476 passing yards in 2011. Rivers has passed for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns in five straight games. Only three players have had a streak of six games in a row with those numbers: Brees (eight), Manning (seven) and Steve Young (six). So that's one Hall of Famer and two who will be in Canton. Rivers won't have top receiver Keenan Allen the rest of the season due to a lacerated kidney suffered in Week 8. But the Bears aren't a good defensive team at all, ranking 28th in points allowed at 28.9 per game. Chicago has been good against the pass, allowing 214.0 yards per game. But Chicago has allowed 16 TD passes and picked off only four.
NFL Free Picks: 'Over' all, no pick for Rivers. This game should be a shootout.
Melvin Gordon O/U 57.5 Rushing Yards
Gordon, the 2014 Heisman runner-up at Wisconsin, was one of the betting favorites on NFL odds when this season began for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. And I thought he was a good choice then as I assumed the Chargers would, you know, use the guy. But Gordon has only 382 yards on 103 carries with no rushing touchdowns as San Diego has become too pass-happy (the Rams' Todd Gurley is going to win OROY honors now). Might the fact the Bolts lost Allen lead to more carries for Gordon? Chicago ranks 28th against the rush, allowing 128.0 yards per game.
NFL Free Pick: 'Over.'
Jay Cutler O/U 23.5 Completions, 250.5 Passing Yards, 1.5 TD Passes
Will Cutler Throw A Pick: Yes -185, No +150
Cutler is having a pretty good season under first-year offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Good enough that if Cutler continues this way, the Bears might be able to find a taker for him this offseason in trade. Houston perhaps? Cutler has completed 128 of 207 passes (61.8 percent) for 1,442 yards, eight touchdowns and four picks for an 87.5 passer rating. Not Pro Bowl numbers but not bad for Cutler. Cutler won't have two key pass-catchers in this game in running back Matt Forte and receiver Eddie Royal, a former Charger. Both are out injured. Forte has 25 catches for 219 yards and a touchdown, while Royal has 26 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. San Diego is No. 9 against the pass, allowing 238.0 yards per game through the air. The Bolts have allowed 14 touchdown passes and picked off four.
NFL Free Picks: 'Over' all and yes.
Jeremy Langford O/U 65.5 Yards Rushing,-115 To Score A Touchdown
Langford no doubt was a popular pickup in your fantasy football league this week as the fourth-round rookie out of Michigan State makes his first start with Forte out. The Bears think Langford is their featured back of the future, as Forte isn't likely to return next year, as he will be a free agent and 30 years old. Rebuilding Chicago has no use for a 30-year-old running back. Langford has 27 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Like the Bears, the Chargers struggle against the run, allowing 124.6 yards per game.
NFL Free Pick: 'Under' and he will score a touchdown.