We’ve got a double-header this Monday night, with the Washington-Pittsburgh game delayed due to previous covid-induced postponements.
Let’s break down both games: the matchups to target for props, players you might want to avoid, and the lines themselves. I’ll be using grading from PFF for much of my analysis, with a sprinkle of Football Outsiders DVOA efficiency rankings.
For all picks and props, make sure you’re following (@griffybets) along on Twitter.
Washington Football Team at Pittsburgh Steelers
5 PM EST, FOX
Line: Steelers -6
Washington (4-7) overall, (6-5) ATS
Washington is well-rested, having not played since Thanksgiving. That game was a decisive 41-16 win over the Cowboys, and was their second straight win.
Running back Antonio Gibson has become a star, scoring three times on Thanksgiving. Gibson and wide receiver Terry McLaurin are two bright spots for this Washington offense, but it’s their defense (4th in the NFL according to PFF) that you need to be aware of.
Pittsburgh (11-0) overall, (8-3) ATS
Pittsburgh was forced to play on Wednesday, a 19-14 win over Baltimore. They are, of course, undefeated, off the backs of a strong defense and a trio of dynamic WRs.
The Steelers are the top defense in the NFL, but are more middle of the pack offensively.
Player Props to Target
- Benny Snell UNDER 59.5 rushing yards
No matter how you slice it, there is reason to believe that Washington can shut down the Steelers rushing attack. PFF grades out Pittsburgh as the second-worst run-blocking unit in the NFL, while Washington is the 8th stingiest against the run.
DVOA paints a similar picture: Pittsburgh is ranked 24th as a rush offense, while Washington is 13th best on defense.
Snell averages just 3.5 yards/carry, and I think he’ll struggle throughout this game.
- Antonio Gibson OVER 56.5 rushing yards, OVER 17.5 receiving yards
I want all things Antonio Gibson in this game, I don’t think you can go wrong taking his over for any of rushing, receiving or receptions.
Don’t fret too much about the presence of McKissic. Snap counts show Gibson trending up in playing time while McKissic is trending down.
Gibson is coming off a monster game: 20 carries, 115 yards, three touchdowns, five receptions, 21 yards.
He’s getting a healthy amount of targets, and the Washington offense starts on the ground. Washington also should struggle to pass in this one (31st ranked DVOA pass offense vs. Pittsburgh’s top-ranked pass defense).
Give me Gibson!
Player Props to Avoid
According to PFF, both teams grade out poorly in receiving (WAS: 28th, PIT: 29th) while excelling in pass coverage (WAS: 2nd, PIT: 1st).
As such, I’m completely avoiding receiver props in this one. This is a big disparity, and one I’d like to listen to. A wise man once said, “you lose 0% of the bets you don’t take,” or something like that. There is value elsewhere.
Monday Night Football Game Pick
I love Washington tonight. I got them at +7 and the line has since dropped to +6. This team is stronger across the board than you’d think. We’ve already touched on their defensive rank. Their lines on both sides are also top-ten units, and their offense is picking up some steam.
Combine all these factors, adding in that Washington is coming in on 11 days rest while Pittsburgh has had just five days between games, and I’m rolling with the one and only Football Team tonight.
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers
8:15 PM EST, ESPN
Line: 49ers -1
*this game is being played in Arizona, as Santa Clara county banned outdoor sports. Not really a home game for San Fran.
Buffalo (8-3) overall, (6-5) ATS
San Francisco (5-6) overall, (5-6) ATS
The 49ers are coming off a big divisional win against the Rams, 23-20. San Francisco has been riddled by injuries all year, but they are getting some pivotal pieces together on the field for the first time in Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Raheem Mostert.
According to PFF, these are two evenly-matched teams, with the 49ers ranked 11th and the Bills right behind them at 12th.
This will be a strength-on-strength game, with the Bills coming in as the 7th ranked offense and the Niners ranked 7th defensively.
Player Props to Target
- Raheem Mostert OVER 59.5 rushing yards
The 49ers have a significant advantage in the run game here. This team has sustained injuries at an aggressive clip, but they’ve had success rushing the ball no matter who is carrying the ball.
San Francisco has the 5th strongest run-blocking unit in the NFL, while the Bills are dead last in rush defense.
This is the type of disparity you have to hammer. For the sake of diversification, DVOA has the 49ers ranked 12th in rush offense, with the Bills ranked 22nd in rush defense.
In his first game in over a month, Mostert got 16 carries. On the year, he’s averaging 69.2 rushing yard/game. I love his over in this one.
- Gabriel Davis OVER 40.5 receiving yards
In the Bills first game without deep-threat John Brown, it was Davis who stepped up, with three receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown on four targets.
Diggs should have a big game too, and I think his over at 78.5 is a strong play too, but I’ll take this low line for Davis. Davis immediately slotted in as the #2 WR last week, playing 97% of the snaps.
The 49ers defense is middle-of-the-road. We’ve already gone over how the Bills strength is through the air, and tonight should be no different. They will be passing, and I like Davis to break a big play or two to hit this over.
Monday Night Football Game Pick
I won’t be putting money on the spread in this one, but the numbers do suggest that a pick-em is the right line. I think the 49ers strength (the run-game) is well-positioned to take advantage of the Bills weakness (run defense), while the same cannot be said for the Bills on offense.
My recommendation would be to take 49ers -1.
Good luck tonight, and see you back here tomorrow for my Tuesday Night betting preview. Once again, toss me a follow on Twitter and let’s win some money together!
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