Sometimes making money doesn't have to be hard. You can do it the illegal way like Bernie Madoff or Frank Abagnale Jr., but you and I both know you don't have the brains to pull off such an elaborate scheme. Instead, we can go a much more legal, bulletproof route: taking ill-informed betting advice from a 20 year old near college dropout. I'm sure if my insults didn't turn you away, my poor attempt at self-deprecating humor did the trick, but if you're still around, then here are a few of my favorite bets to place on Monkey Knife Fight this week that will put the food on the table and your kids through college.
Congratulations for making it this far. As a reward, you can use code "bdge" to get a 100% deposit match (up to $50) when you sign up for Monkey Knife Fight. Now let's really get to the good stuff.
Early Slate Star Shootout
Nick Chubb + Alvin Kamara + Christian McCaffrey
Bet: Over 2.5 Touchdowns
Payout: 1.5x Entry
Sometimes, things seem too good to be true, so you look the other way. Well, this seems to good to be true, but like Paul Pierce or Abe Lincoln, MKF never lies. You're telling me we just need Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, and CMC to combine for three tugs to 1.5x our entry fee? Count me in.
Now, it’s easy to just say “put your house on this bet”. I’d know since I say that every week on my spread picks, but I’ve got some actual analysis here.
Firstly, we have Nick Chubb. Typically, I’d go for a runningback who gets usage both on the ground and through the air, but this matchup is too good to fade. Surprisingly, the Miami Dolphins have only allowed six rushing touchdowns to runningbacks all season, tied for the 17th most in the league, but they’ve also faced some pretty lack luster rushing attacks this season. The last back to find paydirt against them was James Conner, who ran one in from nine yards out. Both Chubb and the Dolphins have combined for a touchdown drought on the ground, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that both are due to turn things around. NC is 2nd in the league with 12 rushes inside the five, trailing only Dalvin Cooks (13), yet has scored only twice on these carries. The next closest back (in terms of carries inside the five) with less touchdowns is Joe Mixon, who has scored just once on eight such chances. With Chubb’s continued usage inside the 10 (ten carries from inside this area over the past two weeks), it would be fair to say he’s bound to score some time soon, and what better team to do it against than PFF’s 31st graded run defense, the Miami Dolphins.
While Chubb may be the riskiest play of the group, the chalkiest is Alvin Kamara. AK matches up against the Carolina Panthers this week, a team that has allowed a ridiculous 18 touchdowns to the runningback position (15 on the ground, 3 by way of receptions). It’s been about a month and a half since we’ve seen Kamara find the final ten yards of the field, but his usage last week suggests he is byke on his bullshit being the team’s number one option in the backfield. He out touched (on the ground) Latavious Murray 7:1 in the redzone last week and was tackled on the three, the two, and the one yard line against one of the league’s best run defensive units in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (rank 10th per PFF). Now, the Panthers are 14th on the same scale, but they have allowed nearly four times as many scores (18:5) to RBs, so I’m not sure how that grading works. Carolina has also seen runningbacks account for 13 touchdowns over their last five games, so with Kamara's stranglehold on the #1 job on a team that isn't afraid to feed him, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a pair of tugs like Robert Kraft in Jupiter.
Lastly we have Christian McCaffrey, and he’s not in here because of his matchup. Instead, he’s in here because he’s Christian McCaffrey. He’s scored in all but two games this season and is averaging a ridiculous 25.8 touches per game. I put him in my Touchdown Dance every single week because he basically has a floor of one tuddy, even in the toughest of matchups.
You can choose the over of 2.5 touchdowns if you’re a broke fraud, like me, to get 1.5x your entry, or you can get a potential 4x payout for taking the over of 3.5 scores. Honestly, with these three backs, I don’t think that’s even all that risky. If you want to really push your chips into the middle of the table, though, you can wager that the three musketeers combine for five or more scores to get 15x your chip, but I’m not suggesting you do that; I just want the credit if you win.
CAR @ NO
Michael Thomas + D.J. Moore + Christian McCaffrey
Bet: Over 20.5 Receptions
Payout: 2x Entry
We live in a society…where we’re given free money. All these three men need to do is combine for 21 receptions this week, and with how this game should play out, will be a walk in the park.
While Christian McCaffrey was a lock for every Touchdown Dance for me, Michael Thomas plays a similar role for Reception Collection. Why is that? Well, he’s caught eight or more passes in all but one game, and has hit the double digit mark in that category five times, or 50% of his outings. You may think this won’t be a spot where he would challenge those ridiculous numbers simply because Carolina can’t stop the run, and even though that may be true, I think you’d be surprised to hear that the Panthers have allowed the most receptions to opposing WRs this season (161). Michael Thomas has about as much competition in the receiving game as I have in the shitty meme game, so I’d expect him to once more flirt with ten catches.
On the other side of the game we have two guys who are peppered by Kyle Allen since he can’t throw more than seven yards down field. Christian McCaffrey saw 14 targets last week, hauling in 11 of them against a rejuvenated Falcons’ defense, and the week before, caught six of seven targets in a game where nobody could get a grip on the ball due to the snowfall. Carolina has taken a fairly conservative approach passing the ball recently with Kyle Allen being figured out, and against an above-average New Orleans’ defense, that trend should continue. They’ll likely be playing from behind but won’t want to risk turning the ball over, which will lead to a ton of dump offs, not only for CMC, but also D.J. Moore.
Since week six, Moore has seen nine or more targets in each game, averaging 11 per contest while also hauling 7.2 passes per partido over that span. Again, this game sets up to be a pass heavy script for the Panthers in a game where they will need to keep their foot on the gas if they don't want to be left in the dust by their NFC South counterparts, which means Moore’s hefty usage will continue.
All you need is 21 receptions for you to double your money, which is a very attainable goal. You could bump the total up to 23.5 to get 3x your entry, but that’s a bit rich for my taste. I’d play it a bit safe and stick with the O20.5 and cash in by day’s end.
TB @ ATL
Mike Evans + Julio Jones + Chris Godwin
Bet: Over 18.5 Receptions
Payout: 2x Entry
Sticking with the theme of pass-dominant game scripts, we have the Falcons taking on the Buccaneers this Sunday. As we all know, Tampa has a phenomenal run defense and the Falcons’ backfield is made up of a bunch of spare parts. As for Atlanta’s run defense, it isn’t exactly a world-beater, but again, Tampa’s backfield is a bunch of spare parts’ spare parts, which leads me to believe both quarterbacks will be slinging.
Julio Jones should get a ton of action in this game, as Tampa Bay has been absolutely dominated by wide receivers all year long. Their last three games, opposing teams’ #1 receivers have put up these lines: 8/114/1 (Michael Thomas), 6/138/3 (Christian Kirk), 13/152/2 (Tyler Lockett). What you’ll notice, too, is there’s been a good mix of skillsets among those three receivers, so it’s not like Tampa is only bad against speedsters or slot guys; they don’t discriminate, they blow against everybody. Julio is Matty Ice’s unquestioned number one option in the passing game, and although he’s on pace to catch about 20 less balls this year than last, he’s been seeing plenty of volume, accumulating 9 or more targets in four of his last five. The line is set at 18.5 receptions for this prop, so all he needs to do is catch six or seven balls to do his part in making this a winner, and against the sad, sorry excuse of a secondary TB has, that should be no issue.
On the other side of the ball is quite possibly the most dominant WR tandem in the NFL. Yes, Mike Evans hasn’t quite been the catchaholic recently, totaling just eight receptions over his past two games, but the volume has been there (averaged 7 targets over those two games). Prior to these two outings, though, he totaled 45 targets over a three game span, hauling in 32 receptions. His numbers have been down recently, but if there’s one thing I know Jameis will do, it’s pepper his number one in a high scoring affair, and based on Vegas pegging it as the highest total of the week (51.5), I’d expect another boom game for Evans.
Lastly, we need Chris Godwin to step up like Channing Tatum in ’06. Again, his receiving game usage has been a bit sporadic recently, but he’s averaged 10 targets per game since week four. Of course, it’s never pretty betting money on Jameis Winston, but I think it’s fair to do so when all you need is six or seven catches from top tier receivers in what should be a shootout. If Atlanta’s defense is as stout as it has been over the past two weeks, then Winston will be forced to get the ball out quick, which means it’s going to be a big Godwin game, similar to what we saw when New Orleans struggled against the Falcons a few weeks back, a game where Michael Thomas came down with 13 balls. However this plays out, I don’t see how this tandem finishes with less than 13 or 14 receptions, meaning Julio will only need six top put it over the top.
There are bigger payouts for this contest, but I highly advise against taking those risks. I trust these QBs barely enough to suggest this line, so anything more is pushing it.