Larry's Picks (4 Live)
Larry's Past Picks
Vikings safety Josh Metellus is coming off his worst-graded game, and I like him to bounce back strong at home. He had eight combined tackles in the first meeting with Chicago and has cleared this total in eight of 11 games.
The Bears called more than a dozen designed runs for Justin Fields in his return from injury in Week 11. While he probably won't exceed 100 rushing yards like he did against the Lions, the Vikings' affinity for blitzing means Fields should be taking off often, in addition to the designed running plays. In the first meeting, Fields rushed for 46 yards in a little over one half before getting hurt.
De'Anthony Melton has gotten more minutes and shots since Kelly Oubre has been sidelined. He's averaged 32.9 minutes and 11.3 shots in those eight games, clearing this points total six times. The Lakers offer a good matchup for Melton. Look for him to score at least 14 points in this nationally televised showdown.
Utah beat New Orleans 105-100 two days ago on this same floor, as Zion Williamson rested. He is expected to play Monday and that will make a huge difference. The Pelicans have won the last five games Williamson has played in, with the power forward averaging 25.6 points, 5.4 assists and 5.0 rebounds. Those five games came against the Nuggets, Kings (twice), Mavericks and Clippers -- so no lightweights. Utah's top two scorers, Lauri Markannen and Jordan Clarkson, are questionable.
Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell says Ty Chandler's "burst" is obvious and he's looking to increase his workload. Last week Chandler caught all four of his targets for 37 yards. Monday night, Chandler faces a Bears' defense that is stout against the run but gives up the most receiving yards per game (63.3) to opposing running backs. Look for Chandler to fly over this total.
Steelers corner Patrick Peterson is struggling this season (59.4 PFF coverage grade), and he should be matched up often with Trenton Irwin. The third-year pro out of Stanford should be utilized Sunday, given Tee Higgins' absence. Look for Irwin to clear this number for the third straight game.
The Falcons run the ball at the sixth-highest rate and are coming off a game in which they ran it a whopping 63.08 percent of the time. Saints linebacker Demario Davis is fresh post-bye and is coming off a three-game stretch in which he racked up 31 tackles. Look for Davis to register at least eight combined tackles Sunday.
Rams running back Kyren Williams shredded the Cardinals for 158 yards on 20 carries in Week 6, after which Williams went on IR with a sprained ankle. He's back for this game and Sean McVay plans to use him heavily. It's a great matchup against a Cards defense that's given up 138.7 rushing yards per game over its last six and just lost leading tackler and defensive signal caller Kyzir White to a torn bicep.
The Saints threw 43 times and ran 15 times in their 27-19 loss at Minnesota. Look for New Orleans to be a lot more balanced Sunday in Atlanta as Derek Carr returns from a concussion. The matchup sets up well for Falcons linebacker Nate Landman, who is coming off his two highest snap counts of the season (74, 65) before Atlanta's bye. Landman has averaged 9.5 tackles+assists over the last four games and should notch at least nine versus New Orleans.
The Bengals are in the thick of the playoff race, had extra rest, and should come out highly motivated despite losing Joe Burrow to a season-ending injury. Jake Browning wasn't a disaster against the Ravens, and he should be better at home following a full week of first-team reps. It is eye-opening to read about how Browning, 27, earned his way into this coveted job backing up Burrow. He will be prepared for this moment, and for T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. The Steelers and their pedestrian offense shouldn't be favored in this spot.
Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams was a first-team All Pro last year. While his sacks have fallen off, he's still playing at a high level and is on pace for a career high in tackles. He's racked up 10 tackles in the past two games. Opponents have been running the ball successfully against the Jets; they allow 137.6 yards per game, third-most. With Miami in the big-favorite role, the Dolphins could go run-heavy in the second half, helping us cash this prop.