Good afternoon. I hope it's going better than the former New York Jets' defensive coordinator's day is. Yes, that's right, a day after Gregg Williams did the Gregg Williamsest thing possible and called an all-out blitz in a situation that least called for it, he's been fired. No doubt he'll live on as a cult figure among Jets fans if they hold on to get the No. 1 pick, and they use it to turn the franchise around.
But can we all agree just to stop giving Williams a job? It's not just that his defenses have been bad -- and they have been! -- it's that he seems a bit off-kilter. This is the same Williams the NFL suspended for putting out bounties (paying players for every injury they inflicted on an opponent) on players while serving as defensive coordinator with the Saints from 2009-11. There are whispers he did the same thing at other stops. As Warren Sharp pointed out with a tweet earlier today, Williams' Jets defense has picked up 11 roughing the passer penalties this season.
No other team has more than five.
While he may no longer be handing out bounties, it's pretty clear that Williams' philosophy toward his opponent hasn't changed. He wants to injure and maim opponents, and the time for that philosophy has long passed. Hopefully we've now reached the point where Williams' ineptitude has caught up with his philosophy, and no NFL team will be desperate or dumb enough to hire him again.
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Alright, we've got a Monday night doubleheader to get to!
All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Bills at 49ers, 8:15 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Bills +1 (-110): Earlier this week, when the 49ers were underdogs in this matchup, I was on San Francisco. As you can see, the line has moved quite a bit since then, as San Francisco is now favored in its first "home" game in Arizona. Now I'm on the Bills because, by my estimation, they should be slightly favored in this matchup. As for why the line has moved so much, I would assume it's because the 49ers are getting a lot of key players back, including Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuke, Raheem Moster, Tevin Coleman and starting left tackles Trent Williams. That's significant, but this is still a 49ers team with Nick Mullens at QB and without George Kittle.
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Buffalo is as healthy as it's been too. The team will be without John Brown but could see LB Matt Milano return from the IR. That would be a boost to a defense that's had problems against the run. Also, while Buffalo's defense hasn't been great this season, it's looked excellent in recent weeks against QBs like Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert. It's trending in the right direction, and tonight I think it'll play well enough to limit the 49ers offensively, allowing the Bills to win this game more often than not.
Key Trend: Buffalo is 12-7-2 ATS as a road underdog under Sean McDermott.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model is very excited about having two Monday night games going, and it has a few leans for how this affair will go.
💰 The Picks
Football Team at Steelers, 5 p.m | TV: Fox
The Pick: Steelers -6.5 (-105) -- There is concern here considering the Steelers are on a short week and have lost both Bud Dupree and Devin Bush on defense. Washington, meanwhile, has been resting since playing on Thanksgiving. All that said, as long as the spread is under a touchdown, I like the value on the Steelers.
Washington's offense ranks 27th in the NFL in DVOA, and it's one-dimensional. The Football Team actually ranks 8th in the league in rushing DVOA, but this is 2020, and being able to run the ball well only takes you so far. Complicating matters further for Washington is that Pittsburgh's defense ranks first in DVOA and third against the run. The Steelers also lead the NFL in pressure rate on defense, pressuring QBs on 41.9% of their dropbacks. Washington ranks 17th in the NFL in pass protection rate. Of course, the Football Team defense can pressure Ben Roethlisberger, which helps balance it out, but the Steelers are the better football team.
Key Trend: NFC East teams are only 11-17 ATS when playing outside the division this year.
⚽ Champions League
Manchester United at RB Leipzig, Tuesday, 3 p.m | TV: CBS All Access
The Pick: RB Leipzig (+150) -- The most interesting group in the Champions League is Group H. Manchester United, RB Leipzig and Paris St. Germain are all tied atop the group with nine points heading into the final match of group play. PSG is playing Istanbul Basaksehir and likely to win and pick up three points. That means the winner of this match will move on to the knockout rounds while the loser is probably heading to the Europa League. Due to goal differential, Manchester United can get by with a draw.
Leipzig needs to win, and I like their odds of doing so at this price. United spanked Leipzig 5-0 in the first meeting in England, but this match is at Red Bull Arena, where Leipzig is much better. In two home Champions league matches against Istanbul and PSG, Leipzig is 2-0 and outscored opponents 4-1. In all competitions this year, Leipzig is yet to lose at home, winning all seven by a combined score of 18-4. The Bulls win this match often enough to reward you at this price.
Key Trend: Leipzig has won all seven home matches it has played this season.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine expert R.J. White is 8-0 on against-the-spread picks involving Pittsburgh and he has a play for tonight's matchup against Washington.
💸 The DFS Rundown
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo -- I don't think any of tonight's four quarterbacks are going to have massive nights, but Allen is likely to be the highest-scoring. Big Ben, Nick Mullens and Alex Smith just don't offer the same rushing ability that Allen has, and none have his arm strength, either. He's likely going to get you at least two touchdowns, and one could come on the ground, which is more helpful in DFS scoring formats.
Cole Beasley, WR, Buffalo -- While I love the value available on San Francisco's Deebo Samuel, he's probably going to see a high rate of ownership tonight. You should have some of it. You should also have plenty of Beasley. With Richard Sherman back, the 49ers have a great combo of corners in him and Jason Verrett. The weak point of their secondary is Emmanuel Moseley, who is filling in at the slot corner spot for K'Waun Williams. That means Beasley should get plenty of looks from Allen, and while he's not typically a big-play guy, his target volume will give him a nice floor for his price.
Full lineup advice
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