Every week, this story will provide you with at least one bet I think you should take for Monday night football and an overview of how I see the matchup playing out.
Rams vs. Packers Overview
We end an exciting week of NFL football with a somewhat disappointing Rams vs. Packers game. Neither of these teams has played anywhere close to their preseason expectations. The Rams are already eliminated from the postseason, and although the Packers (5-8) aren't technically eliminated yet, it would take a miracle for them to make the playoffs.
While Green Bay has the motivation edge in this game, I'm not sure this warrants such a high spread (7.5), considering the Rams still have a strong defense, and Baker Mayfield is playing for his career.
Bet: Christian Watson, Ben Skowronek Over 0.5 TDs
Odds: +115 DraftKings
This is a market I'm just experimenting with, but I think there is some value here at plus money. This is in the DraftKings head-to-head market, and you can select the over in the matchup between the two receivers. Watson is an absolute touchdown king this season, and he's still just a rookie. On the other side, I think that Skowronek provides reliable wide receiver play on a team that's likely going to be put in situations where passing the ball is necessary.
Watson is the star of this bet and this Packers team. He has surged into prominence with seven touchdowns in his last four games, averaging 78.25 yards per game during that span. He's exactly the mold of receiver I love to take for this bet — a big-bodied weapon that can earn targets in the red zone.
Plus, he has great speed, giving him the ability to score from outside the red zone too. He leads all rookies in touchdown catches and is tied for seventh in the NFL despite becoming a full-time player a couple of weeks ago. It's hard to earn Aaron Rodgers' trust, but it's obvious Watson has earned some. Additionally, the Rams have an excellent rushing defense, lowering the chances of Aaron Jones or A.J. Dillon scoring.
Skowronek also has the advantage of having some interesting usage beyond just as a wide receiver. We saw him lined up in the backfield on a couple of snaps in the red zone last week. This isn't new for him, considering he lined up in the backfield on 19 plays earlier this season vs. Atlanta.
He also proved to be one of Mayfield's favorite targets last week with a huge catch on Los Angeles' game-winning drive. Skowronek played 100% of the snaps last week, which resulted in eight targets and seven catches for 89 yards. Furthermore, the Rams should now have time to put together a more intricate playbook.
Bet: Tutu Atwell Over 35.5 Receiving Yards
Odds: -110 FanDuel
While this line has gone up from its opening number, I still think it possesses value here. Atwell was somewhat of a disappointing pick, being drafted above expectation in the second round, yet never being used. Normally when you draft a gadget player like him so high, you have creative plans on how you want him to contribute. While that didn't happen right away, he's now finding an opportunity to earn targets in a Mayfield-led offense, where his target competition is minimal.
Atwell has produced 3.20 yards per route run, which puts him second in the NFL behind Tyreek Hill (minimum 70 routes run) with some elite efficiency, according to The Edge. He pairs that efficiency with a crazy 20.2 average depth of target (ADOT), which means this play could be cashed with just one pass.
I also expect him to be used creatively in the screen game, and I wouldn't be shocked if he took a couple of snaps out of the backfield. He gets a Packers defense that ranks 22nd DVOA vs. deep passes, he should get a couple of opportunities tonight.
He's gone over this number in three of his last four games and earned himself a team-leading nine targets in his first game with Mayfield. Atwell's frame and gadget usage should also mean he avoids the toughest matchup on the outside, Jaire Alexander (who said they will intercept Mayfield seven times).
Atwell has elite speed. His average speed of 18.41 MPH is the fastest in the NFL, and he's had four plays of 20+ MPH, which is third beyond only Tyreek Hill at nine and Christian Watson at six, according to NextGen Stats. So, it might take one play in space for Atwell to cash this ticket.
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