Editor's Note: Hello friends, this is your editor-in-chief/fantasy director Chris Dell here to introduce you to our special Saturday edition of Smoove's NFL Matchup Breakdowns column. For the rest of Smoove's Week 15 breakdowns, simply click here for all of the remaining Sunday and Monday matchups. We also have two additional/special editions for this week's Saturday two-game slate, which includes our staff's DFS Top Plays and my own Chris Dell's Top Player Props. Our normal, full editions for each article will be released, per usual, over the weekend, including DFS on Saturday night (for Sunday) and Player Props on Sunday morning (for Sunday's main slate). We will also have a special edition of content released next week for our unique Friday/Saturday NFL Christmas Week 16 slate. A lot of new projects and content packages are currently in the works at the Betting Predators, as well as some cool new merch and hoops content for the 2020-21 NBA and college basketball seasons. Stay tuned on Twitter @BetPredators as we will be announcing updates on everything over the next week. We greatly appreciate everyone tuning into the podcast, reading the articles, sharing and subscribing, retweeting, etc., as it has been a wild, fun ride so far. Our only goal as we grow is to continue to provide you with the highest quality of content, analysis and strategy, no matter the sport. Now, without further adieu, Mr. Smoove take it away!
Author's Note: Two stats that I will be referencing throughout this weekly matchups column are Yards Per Point (YPP). and DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average). The goal of YPP is for an offense or defense to make the most of their opportunities when it comes to scoring points, but there are some important things that YPP doesn’t account for that DVOA does. In fact, DVOA accounts for everything YPP does plus important factors like turnovers, field position (where your drive starts) and special teams.
These stats not only play a big part in scoring/preventing points, but they also play a big part in winning/covering spreads. With these statistics, my goal is to help us figure out which are the teams that are the most efficient at scoring AND at preventing points. Also quick primer on YPP and its importance in our handicapping: One of, if not THE most powerful measuring statistics in football, to measure how great an offense or defense is (or isn’t), in my opinion, is Yards Per Point (YPP).
Yards Per Point is effective because it measures how many yards an offense gains before they score a point. A different stat that is regularly used by handicappers isYards Per Play, which only takes into account how many yards an offense gains and not its scoring. Gaining yards is a good thing to measure, sure, but in this world, we need to score points, and it does us no favors if a team gains yards without producing those points. This is where YPP will come into play for us. For an offense, the lower the YPP is, the better. Between 10-13 is a very good YPP number for an NFL offense, while 14-15 is average and 16 or lower I consider to be below average for an NFL offense. For defenses, the higher the YPP number is, the better.
A defense with a high YPP doesn’t give up a lot of points for the yards that are gained against them. Throughout our weekly matchups column I will reference this stat quite often here.
Bills (-6) @ Broncos
With Josh Allen’s improvement, the Bills now have an elite and explosive offense and I give them a shot at beating the Chiefs in the playoffs if those teams meetup. This week he’ll be up against a solid Broncos pass defense that ranks 9th so the Bills should look to moving the ball on the ground. The Broncos give up 131 rushing yards but the Bills aren’t a strong running team as they rank 22nd in rush offense so look for Josh Allen to use his legs to move the ball downfield for this matchup. Also look for Zack Moss to get more involved in the running game. He’s averaging 4 yards per carry and had 13 carries in their game against the Steelers. There could be some value on playing his rushing yards prop of 38.5 to the over at -112.
Lean: Bills -6 and Zach Moss over 38.5 rushing yards
Panthers (+9) @ Packers *Teaser Pick*
In Matt Rhule’s first NFL season with the Panthers they’ve been respectable and played hard but they’ve struggled the most when they’ve had to face teams with an explosive offense and that’s what they’re up against this week with the Packers. In the 5 games they’ve faced teams with explosive offenses they’ve given up 34.2 PPG while going 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS. The Packers are coming off of back to back weeks scoring 30+ points and they’ve scored 30 or more this year in 10 out of the 13 games played (76% of the time). Aaron Rodgers is having a MVP type of season ranking 3rd in passing yards and first touchdown passes while his top option DeVante Adams is having a career year also being tied in the league with touchdown catches. I think this will be to tough of a task to ask the Panthers defense to try and contain Green Bay’s passing attack as they give up 250 yards through the air and even worse on the road giving up 278 and the secondary has a given up 23 touchdown passes to only 5 interceptions.
Like: Packers (-3) *Tease by 6*