Total Domination: Week 10
A weekly look at games that could exceed or fall short of betting market expectations. Bettors can leverage recommendations at the sportsbook, while DFS players can use the specific player recommendations mentioned to their advantage. Steve Repsold deep dives each recommendation and advises us the level of bet confidence expressed in units (example: 2u = 2 units).
Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) at Cleveland Browns Over 50.5 1.5u
The Falcons shot out of their Week 8 bye like a flaming arrow and proceeded to burn down what had been a very tough Redskins defense. Their dominance in the run game was unreal. Coming into that game, the Redskins had shut down Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, and Ezekiel Elliott among others, only to be demolished by Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith, or more accurately, by the Falcons’ offensive line. Coleman and Smith combined to average an astounding 4.96 yards before contact on their runs.
Atlanta continued its relentless passing attack much as it had preceding the bye – with the notable exception of a Julio Jones touchdown – but the real story of the game was the 154-yard eruption of an Atlanta ground game that hadn’t broken the century mark since Week 2. The Browns’ defense overall has been volatile, but the way to beat them has always been on the ground, most recently demonstrated by Kareem Hunt.
After thrashing a really good defense last week, Coleman has blowup potential against one that has struggled to contain running backs. Ito Smith remains a threat to his workload, but the effort the Falcons put into getting Coleman passing game work (and the dividends it paid) makes me think they came out of the bye with him as their #1, not #1a.
Between all the overtime games (4), the quick pace (third-fastest), and the Browns’ offense being unable to sustain drives for much of the year, the defense has been out there for 650 plays – 29 more than second-place Kansas City and 52 more than third-place New England. They’re worn out. Evan Silva noted that they’re on pace for the most defensive plays in the NFL since the 1999 Browns, but it’s possible a rejuvenated offense under Freddie Kitchens will help bring that down.
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