WEEK 3 RECAP
A return to form was nice last week. We hit two out of three on our main selections, as Dallas fought back from 21-0 down to topple the Rams and the Redskins and Eagles offence both came to play to see the points total easily over. Our under bet had a chance in Jacksonville but some shockingly bad defence blew that out of the water. In the additional thoughts section the upset of the week clicked nicely as the Chiefs grabbed their first win of the campaign in Miami and also Chicago beat the Jets in New Jersey.
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ CHICAGO BEARS
The total points line OVER 50 appeals in this important NFC North Clash between the Bears and Packers. A tough Lions defence limited Aaron Rodgers and co to 7 points last week, but coming into Soldier Field against a banged up Bears unit, the Packers will be confident of adding more to their tally. Charles Tillman is already on I.R while Marc Trestman’s men also had additional injuries to FS Chris Conte and SS Ryan Mundy in last Monday night’s win over the Jets. This could also be Eddie Lacy’s breakout game. The former Alabama star has struggled so far this term but this Bears defence has conceded 4.97 yards-per-carry in their opening 3 contests.
On the other side, after a sloppy loss to kick off the season, Chicago has bounced back well with impressive road wins over the 49ers and Jets. Despite injury troubles to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, both contributed massively to the wins on the road. Not forgetting either Matt Forte who simply shredded Mike McCarthy’s outfit last term. The Tulane-alum ran for 235 yards on 46 carries, had 9 grabs for 101 yards and scored four all-purpose touchdowns.
This is a game Green Bay must have, as they look to avoid going 1-3, which would leave them two games behind Chicago. OVER 50 PTS @ 10/11 as Green Bay scrape out a 27-24 victory in Chi Town. Martellus Bennett has once again started the season hot. He appeals for first touchdown scorer @ 8/1.
TENNESSEE TITANS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The total has gone under in the last 5 Titans games, but over in the last 5 Colts games. For that reason we’ll stay away from that market, but INDIANAPOLIS -7.5 PTS takes the eye. The starting point for this selection has to be the quarterback position for Tennessee. Despite an encouraging road win in Kansas City on opening weekend, Jake Locker reverted to form in losses against Dallas and Cincinnati and once again he finds himself in the trainer’s room, doubtful to play this Sunday in Indy. That means career backup, “clipboard Jesus” Charlie Whitehurst and his three career NFL touchdowns will be under centre.
Andrew Luck manhandled the hopeless Jaguars last week in Florida, and more of the same should be expected. We may see more of the Colts running game going by the success Dallas and Cincinnati had pounding the ball on this Titans front the past fortnight. Ray Horton has changed scheme to a 3-4, but he lacks the personnel currently to efficiently stop the run. The often criticised Trent Richardson could use this game to remind people why he was third pick in the 2012 draft.
Indianapolis should roll all over Tennessee here, particularly with Whitehurst running the offence. INDIANAPOLIS -7.5 PTS @ 10/11 lands comfortably as the Colts take this 27-13. It would be rude not to throw a speculative few quid/euros on the Colts D to find paydirt first @ 25/1.
CAROLINA PANTHERS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS
It’s always risky taking a low line, but this could be a somewhat turgid affair between Carolina and Baltimore. UNDER 40.5 PTS should give us a run for our money if both defences give a true showing of their ability. Despite being lit up by Pittsburgh on Sunday Night, the Panthers had previously shut down the high-flying Detroit unit, so Luke Kuchely and co will be keen on a return to form against a Ravens offence who lost tight end Dennis Pitta and starting blindside protector Eugene Monroe this week.
Baltimore bounced back from the season opening loss to the Bengals with an impressive win over Pittsburgh before hanging on to beat the Bengals a week ago. Ray Rice is no longer around for obvious reason and with Bernard Pierce banged up, Justin Forsett has played well with rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro making a case for the starting job after tallying 91 yards on 18 rushes in Cleveland last week. The Carolina offence lacks a playmaker, with Cam Newton’s rib injury limiting his running ability, while Steve Smith will be on the opposite sideline this week, eager to make an impact for this new ballclub against his former employers.
Not one for the neutral this week at M&T Bank Stadium, but a run heavy, clock chewing game will do nicely for the UNDER 40.5 PTS selection @ 10/11 as Baltimore takes I 21-17. Steve Smith to score the first touchdown @ 8/1 has to be the way to go against his former team.
· Earlier in the season we claimed that there would come a time the Jacksonville Jaguars would become an attractive bet. That time has half come. Blake Bortles has finally been given the keys to the offence, but his next two games against both San Diego and Pittsburgh look too much for the former UCF man to overcome. However in week 6 against Tennessee the trigger may well be pulled.
· This week’s “upset” pick goes the way of the Dallas Cowboys. If the running game continues as it has the last three weeks, the Boys may be able to control the time of possession, limiting the opportunities for Brees. 29/20 warrants a somewhat heart over head selection.
· At the time of writing we’re without a line for rushing for Minnesota RB Matt Asiata. However depending on how low it is, the under could very well be in play. The Atlanta defence has held opposing rushers to just 3.95 YPC so far this term; that coupled with Asiata’s career 3.5 YPC we can’t see the Adrian Peterson stand-in breaking anything. Add in the fact that the Falcons offence could well put up a fair few points with Roddy White back this week, the Vikings could well be looking to the air more with Teddy Bridgewater starting his first game for Minnesota.
#Dolphins 2nd in NFL in yards per rush attempt but 22nd in rush attempts. Dead last in yards per pass attempt. 2nd in NFL in pass attempts.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 22, 2014
· London game! Not the most attractive but Dolphins and Raiders fans won’t mind as they make the pilgrimage to Wembley to see their heros or zeros (Ryan Tannehill) in action. Maybe it would be wise for Miami to take the ball out of Tannehill’s hand and feature the running game more, particulay against a Raiders D that has given up over 400 yards on the ground already this term. Lamar Miller to hit the back of the net first at Wembley @ 13/2 .