There are no severe weather conditions to affect play for Week 12 National Football League action. But, there are severe conditions with the virus disrupting both scheduling and availability of key players.
The Pittsburgh Steelers contest against the Baltimore Ravens, which promised to be a ratings boost on Thanksgiving night, had to be moved not once but twice and is still in jeopardy. Originally scheduled for primetime last Thursday, it was moved to Sunday, before rescheduled for Tuesday night.
You know the NFL is off-kilter when Tuesday night is used for a regular season game.
Problems caused by the virus are even more debilitating in Denver where the Broncos are scheduled to host the New Orleans Saints today without a quarterback on their active roster. Third stringer Jeff Driskel tested positive for Covid-19 and that forced quarantine time for the other three Denver QB’s, namely Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles.
When Bortles is your best choice, and he’s not available, big trouble.
I checked with a Nevada sports book to find out what their plans were for the game as far as a point spread is concerned, and they indicated they would, “Hang two touchdowns or more on the Broncos line.”
Now, 55 years ago, the Baltimore Colts needed a player not listed on their roster as a quarterback to run their offense when both Johnny Unitas and Gary Cuozzo were sidelined with injuries. That role fell to runningback Tom Matte, who led Baltimore to a win over the Los Angeles Rams in his first start, and a narrow loss in the playoffs to the Green Bay Packers in his second start.
In those days, the NFL forced the two teams that lost the prior week in the playoffs to play a consolation game, this was before the Super Bowl era, and in that contest Matte led the Colts over the Dallas Cowboys, 35-3.
The Broncos do not have the same overall talent that the Colts possessed in 1965, and the duties to run their offense today will likely fall to wide receiver Kendall Hinton with running back Royce Freeman in the backup role.
Getting more than two touchdowns with the Broncos is one side of this proposition. The other side is knowing that the New Orleans Saints have a defense that proven starting quarterbacks such as Matt Ryan last week, and Tom Brady three weeks ago, were unable to crack the endzone against.
Covid-19 is threatening to derail this NFL season, but while they are playing we will continue to find spots where we anticipate point spread wins. This week, in the public’s search for point spread triumphs, their three most-bet games are the Arizona Cardinals (-2) over the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills (-4½) over the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders (-3) over the Atlanta Falcons.
As for Qoxhi Picks, our money rated selections are now posted on this site, and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s fist kickoff, that contest will be added to the list of recommendations by 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.