Sometimes making money doesn't have to be hard. You can do it the illegal way like Bernie Madoff or Frank Abagnale Jr., but you and I both know you don't have the brains to pull off such an elaborate scheme. Instead, we can go a much more legal, bulletproof route: taking ill-informed betting advice from a 20 year old near college dropout. I'm sure if my insults didn't turn you away, my poor attempt at self-deprecating humor did the trick, but if you're still around, then here are a few of my favorite bets to place on Monkey Knife Fight this week that will put the food on the table and your kids through college.
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Early Slate Star Shootout
D.J. Chark + Zack Ertz + Davante Adams
Bet: Over 21.5 Receptions
Payout: 2x Entry
The Jaguars are set to play the Buccaneers this week, which is a smash spot for D.J. Chark. Through 11 games, they have allowed 171 receptions to wide receivers, the 2nd highest mark in the league, which is good enough for 15.5 per game. Since Nick Foles’ return two weeks ago, Chark has seen 21 targets, hauling in 13 of those looks, which is a good sign considering those pass defenses are much stronger than what TB boasts. On top of this, the Buccaneers have allowed just 62.3 rushing yards per game and rank as PFF’s number eight run defense this year, making this a true pass funnel defense. Tampa has also scored 30+ in three of their last four and have fallen short of 24 points just four times this season, so the Jags will need to continue to pass if they want to stay in this game. Again, with a little math, all we need is seven catches for Chark to do his part in hitting this prop, and seeing as he’s seen 9+ targets in three of his past four, combined with this extremely plush matchup, I think he has a great shot at hitting that number.
The second leg of this parlay includes Ertz, who may not suit up. The good thing is, though, that if he sits, MKF will cancel the bet and you will get refunded, so there’s no risk. Obviously, though, if he goes out there at less than 100% I’d be concerned, so as a pivot you can play Tyler Boyd against the pass funnel that is the New York Jets, though that is a bit risky, or Chris Godwin against the Jags. I’m definitely not as confident in those plays as I am in Ertz, but if you’re worried about Ertz, then I’d probably just fade this bet since there aren’t many players in primo matchups this week. Let’s act as though Ertz will be 100%, though. It’s apparent that he is the number one in this passing game, racking up 30 receptions over his past three games to go along with his 36 targets. Alshon looks like he’ll be back in the fold, which may impact his volume a bit, but I’d assume his return hurts Goedart more than Ertz due to the increased usage of two TE sets with AJ out. You may be concerned that tight ends haven’t produced against the Dolphins this year, but here’s a list of who they’ve faced: Demetrius Harris, Dawson Knox (2x), Jeremy Sprinkle, Lance Kendricks, Matt Lacosse, and Jason Witten. Outside of them we’ve seen Mark Andrews go for 8-108-1, Ryan Griffin hauled in six receptions, and even Eric Ebron, who plays a fraction of his team’s snaps, brought in five balls. Ertz is obviously more involved in his offense than these guys are, so hitting the seven reception mark should be a walk in the park and could challenge double digits.
Lastly, we have Davante Adams against a sad, sad defense. This one is basically a lock to surpass seven receptions, as he’s hit that number in each of his last four and has seen < 10 targets a total of zero times over that span. His average receiving line over that span is 7.8-95.5-0.3 (on 12 targets), and since returning from injury, is averaging 11 looks per game, which is impressive considering he’s played the Chargers, Panthers, and 49ers. He’s the only receiver that gets consistent usage on the team, and now, facing the Giants, could easily see 15 targets. I mean, just look at what opposing teams’ numbers ones have done against the G-Men this year: ARob 6-131-1, Kenny Golladay 6-123-2, Edelman 9-113-0, Thielen 7-130-2, Mike Evans 8-190-3, John Brown 7-72-0, Amari Cooper 6-106-1. Sure, not all of them hauled in seven receptions, which is what will be needed out of him to pull his weight in this prop, but all those teams have other receivers taking away from their volume, namely Michael Gallup (had seven receptions in that game), Chris Godwin, Cole Beasley, Stefon Diggs, Danny Amendola, and even Anthony Miller (six receptions last week). Rodgers has only been looking DA’s way since his return, and that should continue in this spot. If you want to pivot off of Chark and Ertz, I wouldn’t fault you for it, but Adams is the lock of the week in this format.
Christian McCaffrey + Saquon Barkley + Aaron Jones
Bet: Over 3.5 Touchdowns
Payout: 4x Entry
As I said last week, CMC is just a lock for this format. I’m not going to explain myself because it would be foolish to argue the point, but you can basically lock him in for 1-2 touchdowns per week. Fading him is just getting too cute, especially against the Skins. He could win this prop all by himself.
Saquon is a bit of a scare with how he’s been playing lately, but this spot is too good to pass up on. The Packers, although struggling lately, are a fairly competent pass defense while their ability to spot the run is non existent. Both Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert found paydirt against them last week, and the only games where a back failed to score against them were in week one (against the Bears) and week seven (against the Raiders, surprisingly). With Barkley’s volume (18 or more touches in all but one game, not counting the one where he got injured), I’d bet his production takes a turn for the better this week against a soft serve run defense that gets their head beat in week after week. All it will take is one big run or a goal line carry for him to break his TD drought, and seeing as he has accumulated 11 red zone touches over the past three weeks, despite playing Dallas, the Jets, and the Bears, I’d say he has a much better chance to capitalize now that he’s in a favorable spot.
Lastly, we have Aaron Jones, who seems to produce every other week. Seeing as he didn’t score last week, it looks like it’s time for him to go off. In all seriousness, though, a game against the Giants sets up to be a perfect game script for the Packers to jump out to a big lead early, allowing them to run it down New York’s throat for three quarters. Surprisingly, the Giants haven’t allowed all too many scores to runningbacks, but that isn’t to say they’re a good defense. Dalvin Cook went for 132 yards on 21 carries, but failed to score, and Zeke put up 139 on 23 attempts but failed to find the end zone. On top of that, they’ve played the Bears, Lions, and Tampa, all of which failed to produce a score out of the backfield, which is to be expected with their woeful running games. With Aaron Jones dominating the team’s goal line carries (9:2 over Jamaal Williams) and scoring on 66.7% of his attempts inside the five and 45.8% of this rushes in the red zone as a whole, it won’t take much for him to take one for six. For as much of a lock CMC is this week, I think Aaron Jones is a close second for a write-in to score once of twice in a great spot. Because of this, I wouldn’t be opposed to bumping the total up to 4.5 to get 15x your money.
GB @ NYG
Saquon Barkley + Aaron Jones + Davante Adams
Bet: Over 2.5 Touchdowns
Payout: 2x Entry
Well, the only difference between this prop and the previous one is the addition of Adams and the replacement of CMC, but as stated in the reception collection part, Adams is in line for a massive game. The Giants have given up 15 touchdowns to receivers this year, and the last time a receiver failed to find paydirt against them was in their week six matchup against the Patriots. With Davante not only being their unquestioned number one, but also Rodgers’ favorite target in the red zone, he should be able to continue the trend of abusing the lack of a secondary the Giants roll out there every Sunday. Adams scored for the first time this season last week, which may be a bit of a concern, but he’s played the Bears, Vikings (went for 106 yards), Broncos, Chargers, Panthers (118 yards), and 49ers so far, meaning he’s had some pretty tough matchups in 5/7 of his outings. Going up against an undersized (5’10), underperforming Janoris Jenkins proves to be the exact opposite of what he’s been dealing with all year, and should certainly help him in doing his part in this prop.