Josh's Picks (3 Live)
Josh's Past Picks
It took an injury to incumbent starter Kenny Pickett for the Steelers to start the best passing QB on their roster. This is a timely transition against New England's top-ranked rushing defense. The Steelers will likely have to pass more than they would prefer, and Trubisky has clipped this number in three of his past four starts. He has decent downfield accuracy and also has a connection with WR Diontae Johnson, which should help in this matchup.
The Bengals are a take at this key number. Although their season appears lost amid the Joe Burrow injury, they are still mathematically alive for a playoff berth at 5-6 and should put up a fight in this one. Jake Browning should be improved in his second start, and having Tee Higgins available as a short-area target should help. The surging Jags could be in for a flat spot following consecutive big divisional victories.
Johnson showed he's a capable NFL running back when he saw extensive playing time in Cleveland and he has started to take on an increased workload in Jacksonville of late. He has clipped this number in three consecutive games and could even more action Monday as starter Travis Etienne plays through a rib injury.
The elusive RB is playing through the rib injury that threatened to sideline him but his production could be limited Monday. If the game is in hand, the Jags will likely give their star some rest, they might limit his touches to limit his risk and there's a chance the ailment could flare up and cause him to be unable to continue. Look for Etienne, who played just 47 of 76 snaps last week, to post modest numbers Monday.
The Packers' underrated defense has allowed a high of just 24 points over the past seven games. Another solid defensive effort, along with QB Jordan Love's best game as an NFL starter, led to a decisive win over the Lions on Thanksgiving. Another inspired effort Sunday could put the Packers as front-runners for a wild-card berth in the NFC, as the Vikings and Seahawks appear to be fading fast. Kansas City could see a potential flat spot ahead of its looming home showdown against Buffalo next week.
The Eagles are on the final leg of a brutal schedule stretch that included dates with Dolphins, Cowboys and Chiefs. Of course, they are coming off a taxing OT effort last week to get past the Bills. Although the 49ers appear to have the better profile for a victory Sunday, we have still yet to see QB Brock Purdy thrive against a quality opponent on the road. What's more, there's very little doubt that the Eagles will use being an underdog for motivation. There's value in the points because it wouldn't be a surprise if they come intoi play for this game.
The shifty Hubbard has quietly emerged as a reliable offensive threat for a Panthers club in desperate need of them. He has clipped this total in three of his past four outings and is coming off his best game of the season, with 92 yards from scrimmage and a TD against the Titans last week. The interim coaching regime at Carolina would be wise to continue featuring him in the offense.
Although we've seen marginal third-string QBs go from miserable debuts to serviceable second starts (such as Tommy DeVito of NYG), it's tough to envision Jets journeyman Tim Boyle seeing a huge performance gain. The Falcons just ended a three-game losing streak with all losses by 5 points or fewer with a solid win over New Orleans last week, A similar performance should net their second road victory of the season.
If you're looking for a longshot anytime TD scorer for a sweat, this one has a decent chance of getting there. Two seasons ago as the featured TE, Jordan caught 20 passes on 28 targets for 3 TDs and he has remained a red-zone target despite limited snaps this season. With Dalton Schultz sideline because of an injury, Jordan should inherit a decent target share and be in play for his second TD of this season.
Kyler Murray's favorite security blanket has 9 catches on 17 targets over the past two weeks. He would have been WR1 if banged-up WR Marquise Brown and TE Trey McBride were out, but both are expected to play. Even so, the Pittsburgh pass rush should force Murray into quick releases, and Dortch should benefit. There's value on this prop amid the lucrative price.
This is an extremely chalky play but it should be a safe one. Last week the TE had 4 catches on 5 targets as a safety valve near the line of scrimmage for Tim Boyle, and he should have that role again Sunday against the Falcons.
Denver's 29 points last week were their most during their current five-game win streak, and short fields from Cleveland turnovers largely contributed to a 12-0 fourth quarter. Their grinding style tends to muck up the flow of the game for both sides. Moreover, the slumping Texans have managed just 42 points the past two weeks.