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Week 14: Hammer staff picks

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Rob Pizzola’s pick

  • Raiders +3 (-110)
    • Good to -118. Aidan O'Connell has his success against Cover Two and Cover Three, which the Vikings play a lot of since they don't have the talent at corner to play man. Conversely, Josh Dobbs gets the start for the Vikings again, but he has struggled mightily against zone defenses, which the Raiders employ heavily. This number is too high, even with the return of Justin Jefferson. 
  • For more of Rob's favorite NFL plays, watch our Week 14 best bets show featuring Rob Pizzola, Fabian Sommer, Eric Eager, and Hitman.

Fabian Sommer’s picks

  • Broncos +3 (-120)
    • Good at +2.5 +100 as well. The way that Sean Payton tries to stretch opposing defenses will put a lot of stress on the Chargers linebackers. The Broncos should have success controlling the line of scrimmage in the run game, and Brandon Staley's defense will be susceptible to play action off of it. It's a good matchup for the Denver offense, while on the other side of the ball the Chargers just can't get anything going because of their inability to run the ball, which puts a lot of pressure on Justin Herbert through the air against a good secondary with just one reliable pass catcher in Keenan Allen.

Hitman’s pick

  • Packers -6.5 (-110)
    • Green Bay is by far my most upgraded team in recent weeks and are looking like the team we expected them to be in the preseason… maybe even better. Over the last five weeks Jordan Love in 3rd in EPA/play, 7th in yards/attempt, and 5th in success rate. The underlying metrics on offense are impressive and the defense is getting healthier. Meanwhile, the Giants are coming off two fraudulent wins. This is a team that closed as 4.5-point underdogs at home to the Patriots just two weeks ago and now are getting just 6.5 points against a much, much better Green Bay team.

ClevTA’s pick

  • Chargers -2.5 (-115)
    • I faded the Denver defense last week expecting turnover regression and that's exactly what happened. There is still a lot of regression yet to come, but more importantly, the Chargers have faced a top-five toughest schedule of opponents and have lost to every elite team on it, but beat almost every league average or worse team, much like the Broncos. Patrick Surtain is banged up, opening opportunities for Keenan Allen and the Chargers passing game. Justin Herbert has quietly played like a top-five QB by PFF the last month and a bit, and I expect this offense to look much better when finally not facing an elite defense or playing in bad weather like last week.

CFB Bowl bets from Brad Powers, Joey Knish

  • Powers: Texas Tech -2.5 (-115)
    • Cal's offensive coordinator is off to Baylor, and this is a good matchup for Texas Tech who have excelled this season against teams like Cal with soft defenses.
  • Knish: Missouri +3 (-110)
    • I'd expect a lot of players to sit for Ohio State in this game (Harrison, Ebuka, Chamber, Sawyer, Paul, Henderson, etc). When the QB leaves, it gives all the rest of those guys the carte blanche to do the same. This may be presumptuous, but I expect all or most of the draft guys for the Buckeyes to sit and Missouri is just going to roll them. This should close with Missouri as favorites, maybe even as high as a field goal.
  • Knish: Missouri/Ohio State under 50 (-110)
    • For many of the reasons listed above - the Buckeyes offense could be a shell of itself in this game.
  • For more bowl betting and discussion, watch Hit the Books every Monday and Friday at 5 p.m. ET featuring Brad Powers and Joey Knish.


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