Merry Christmas Bolts From the Blue!
Monday Night Football and Christmas Day have combined forces to bring a treat to all NFL fans with three games hosted across this festive day. To get us going our AFC West rivals face off when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead. The Chiefs are not the team we have come to revere over the last seven years, they have been exposed many times this season by teams that wouldn’t have troubled them at all in seasons gone by. The Raiders, despite thumping our Bolts, are a team looking to rebuild once again, they will be missing the playoffs and entering into future mode. However, they despise their division rivals and will most certainly not go down without a fight and I surprisingly like their chances enough to cover the huge 10-point spread difference at -110 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Philadelphia Eagles host their own division rivals, the New York Giants at Lincoln Field on Monday afternoon. The Eagles were looking imperious to start the season going 10-1 before crashing down to earth losing three staight games heading into Week 16. They really need a get right game with both sides of the ball looking shaky however they are facing an inferior team in the Brian Daboll’s Giants. Despite showing a bit of form under the leadership of Tommy Devito, winning three straight games either side of Thanksgiving, they regressed back to the mean when being dominated by a middling New Orleans Saints. The Eagles will win this game but the question is by how much, can they cover the huge double touchdown spread? I have my doubts due to the sizeable holes in their play calling abilities, so I’m going bold and saying the Giants will cover the 13.5-point spread which is on offer at -112.
This festive day culminates in a truly special matchup that could only be the work of Chris Cringle himself. The AFC’s Baltimore Ravens take on the NFC’s San Francisco 49ers in what could very well be a preview of this year’s Super Bowl. Both teams sit on the top of their respective conference standings and therefore hold the number one seed and the first round bye that comes with it. Last year’s Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles was the first meeting of the one seeds since 2017, can there be two in a row? Only time will tell but for now we get to enjoy this game. Looking at these two teams and the manner they play; detailed concepts, technically sound play and tough as nails mentalities, you almost expect no weaknesses but each team does have a significant one.
The 49ers right side of the offensive line has allowed every single sack Brock Purdy has taken this season and that happens to be where the Ravens’ sack leader and break-out star, Justin Madubuike, has played the majority of his snaps. Expect to see Mike MacDonald send Roquan Smith and the rest of the off ball linebackers to give 1-on-1 looks for Madubuike, Odafe Oweh and Jadeveon Clowney in order to test out their achilles heel. Meanwhile the Ravens are below average in only one category; missed tackles, mainly due to Geno Stone and Patrick Queen who have missed a huge 32 between them. This weakness could be exposed by the 49ers whose intricate zone run concepts create 1-on-1 matchups and they could target the pockets of space these key target players occupy with minor in game adjustments. The 49ers are 5.5-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook but this is too rich for me, I like them to win outright but the moneyline is a bit short at -245. Therefore where I lean for this Christmas cracker of a game is to take the Ravens +5.5 at -112 and the over the total of 47 at -112. Combine these into a double parlay +242 and you’ll really be able to treat yourself in the boxing day sales.
Here is how the BFTB staff sees this game breaking down:
What do you think, BFTB? Any of you placing bets tonight?