It’s week 3 of the regular season and the dust is finally starting to settle on who’s good and who’s, well let’s just say ‘rebuilding’. What better way to do that than with the NFL Ireland Team of the Week? Continue reading “NFL Ireland Team of the Week: Week 3”
GREEN BAY @ CHICAGO – SUNDAY 6PM – SKY SPORTS
The Spread: Green Bay -6.5
The Total: Under 49
The First Touchdown: Randall Cobb
Why: A tough total in Chicago, but Green Bay look good things despite the loss of Jordy Nelson. The man under centre for Green Bay will be on MVP ballots at the end of the year, though they may lean on Eddie Lacy against a porous Bear run defence. For Chicago, Jay Cutler has a 13:22 TD:INT ratio against Dom Capers-led Packers defence and Alshon Jeffrey could miss the opener as well. Expect a lot of Matt Forte (what’s new?) while Martellus Bennett could be the top passing game option.
Alshon Jeffery is very iffy for Sunday but so are rest of the Bears WRs. Downgrade all of them, plus Cutler. Forte, Bennett? #FanDuelNFL
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) September 11, 2015
BALTIMORE @ DENVER – SUNDAY 9.25PM – SKY SPORTS
The Spread: Denver -4.5
The Total: Under 48.5
The First Touchdown: CJ Anderson
Why: The Broncos defense ranked No. 2 against the run and No. 9 against the pass last year and the trio of DeMarcus Ware, Vonn Miller and rookie Shane Ray could be the best pass-rush trio in the league. Joe Flacco’s top target this term is 36-year-old Steve Smith and he’ll be up against the stingy Aqib Talib and Chris Harris. With Gary Kubiak running the show in Denver, look for Peyton Manning to be handing off a whole lot more this term.
CB Lardarius Webb is "very confident" going into Week 1 despite missing the preseason.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 11, 2015
NEW YORK GIANTS @ DALLAS COWBOYS – MONDAY 1.30AM – SKY SPORTS
The Spread: New York +6
The Total: Over 51.5
The First Touchdown: Odell Beckham Jnr
Why: ODB made his name with THAT catch against Brandon Carr and the Cowboys last term. But it was his 7 games over 100+ yards receiving that really propelled him and he could be the leading wideout come season’s end. Greg Hardy doesn’t play till week so the pass rush could still be suspect for Dallas, however Tony Romo and Dez Bryant should pick up where they left off last term. Shootout potential under the lights on Sunday night.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 10, 2015
PHILADELPHIA @ATLANTA – TUESDAY 12.10AM – SKY SPORTS
The Spread: Philadelphia -3
The Total: Over 55
The First Touchdown: Nelson Agholor
Why: Another shootout in store for the opener on Monday Night Football. Sam Bradford is a significant upgrade on Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles but will he stay healthy? If he does this Eagles team will be one of the most high-scoring units in football. Jordan Matthews is ready for his breakout year out of the slot in Chip Kelly’s hyper-speed offence, while DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews provide a perfect one-two punch. New OC Kyle Shanahan will make Julio Jones one of the most targeted WR’s this term and look for him to have joy against a porous Eagle secondary.
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) September 10, 2015
MINNESOTA @ SAN FRANCISCO – TUESDAY 3.20AM
The Spread: Minnesota -2.5
The Total: Under 41.5
The First Touchdown: Charles Johnson
Why: A one for the purists to close out week 1. With Adrian Peterson back, expect the Vikings to be even more run-heavy than usual, though they will be missing stalwarts John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt off the offensive line. Mike Wallace’s addition gives Teddy Bridgewater a field-stretcher out wide and the Vikes will make the playoffs under Coach of the Year Mike Zimmer. The Niners will finish the season with a top five draft pick, though NaVorro Bowman’s return will see him contender for Comeback Player of the Year.
Adrian Peterson trails career rushing leader Emmitt Smith by 8,165 yds. At current pace, it would take AP 84 games to break Smith’s record.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) September 11, 2015
Friday September 11th 1:30am
Sky Sports 1
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots
Sunday September 13th
Sky Sports 3
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos
Monday September 14th
Sky Sports 3
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Tuesday September 15th
Sky Sports 1
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers[/column]
[column size='1/2'][table id=3 /][/column]
WEEK 11 BETTING PREVIEW RECAP
So the least said about Week 11’s selections the better. Denver were upset by St Louis, while Cleveland were also beaten at home and Robert Griffin III could only manage 7 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading to Jay Gruden throwing his quarterback under the bus. Onwards we move to week 12, with the race for the playoffs really hotting up.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
My pre-season wager on Andrew Luck to be the NFL MVP at 28/1 has some legs considering the former Stanford man leads the league in passing yards. With top back Ahmad Bradshaw now on IR, look for Luck to put this team even more so on those broad shoulders of his. Indy put up 43 points in the first clash between these two early in the season, and a repeat performance is fancied, however this Jaguars outfit could have success as well, so OVER 50.5 PTS @ 10/11 kicks off this week’s slip.
Six of the last seven encounters between these two teams saw the total go under, however it was the game earlier this season that saw it easily over, with Luck notching over 385 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. Another repeat performance could and should be expected of the number 1 pick. Despite losing Bradshaw and tight end Dwayne Allen, Luck still has plenty of targets available including TY Hilton who has burned the Jags in the past. The two games Hilton has played in Lucas Oil Stadium against Jacksonville saw the speedy wideout go for over a 100 receiving yards in each game. Couple that with the fact that Hilton has averaged 82.8 yards with 11 touchdowns across 26 career games indoors, the deep ball will be in play for this Colts offence.
Jacksonville will have spent plenty of this week studying the tape of New England running the ball down Indianapolis’ throat on Sunday Night Football, as the Pats dominated the Colts up front. Denard Robinson has really come on for the Florida side recently, running for 389 yards with four touchdowns on 72 totes (5.40 YPC) over his last four games. If Jacksonville can avoid being blown out early, then it could be another good day for the former Michigan Wolverine.
So OVER 50.5 PTS opens this week’s selections with a scoreline in the region of 34-20 to the Colts doing the job. As mentioned TY Hilton is money against the Jags at home, let’s hope he brings us the dough by going in for the first touchdown at 8/1.
CLEVELAND BROWNS @ ATLANTA FALCONS
Going back to the well with Cleveland again this week. Feel me once shame on you, feel me twice…It’s ok though as finally the Browns get to unleash the beast. Josh Gordon returns from his suspension and immediately slots in as the main pass catching weapon for Brian Hoyer. Both defences have been hit by injury as well as some downright poor play, so again let’s hope for points in the dome in Georgia. OVER 47 PTS @ 10/11 is next.
Let’s start with Gordon then. He immediately offers Cleveland a big body and big time playmaker on the outside. Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel have done a nice job with inside routes, screens and general quick hitters and have even done well when asked to stretch the field. Brian Hoyer ranks third in the league with completions of 20+ yards with 43 and that’s all without a legitimate downfield threat, or seam-stretching tight end. Now he gets his main man Gordon back, expect the top to be well and truly taken off the Atlanta secondary.
Despite being 4-6, the Falcons lead the disappointing NFC South, and have even managed to get the road monkey off their back, winning their last two on their travels. Now they return home with Matt Ryan back in his comfort zone under the roof in the Georgia Dome, expect plenty of yards and points out of this offence. The former Boston College man has thrown 10 touchdowns against only one interception this year at home, and he could well take advantage of a banged up Browns unit. Despite Joe Haden lifting his game the last month, the Browns don’t have much up front so this often-criticised Atlanta offensive line could have it somewhat easier this week allowing for Ryan to find star receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones.
OVER 47 PTS @ 10/11 looks good here, with Atlanta squeezing out a victory 27-23. No messing about, Josh Gordon to score first at 11/1 is a must-bet.
ARIZONA CARDINALS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Never like taking under on a low line but it’s strength versus strength in this crucial NFC-West clash on Sunday in Seattle, with the NFL’s best two cornerbacks set to share the turf at Century Link Field in Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman. Drew Stanton did enough to lead Arizona to victory against Detroit last week, but going into Seattle against Sherman and the 12th man is a whole new ballgame. UNDER 41.5 PTS @ 10/11 rounds off week 12.
Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are pretty much all Seattle have on offence at the moment, after the departure of Percy Harvin and the off-season loss of Golden Tate. Lynch has been dominating recently and over the past four seasons the bulldozing back has scored 35 TDs across 30 home games compared to just 16 touchdowns in 28 games on the road, so Beast Mode should be a good bet to find the endzone against a very stout Cardinals defence. Arizona held DeMarco Murray under a tonne for the first time all season a few games back so Lynch won’t have it all his own way but don’t expect Seattle to get away too much from the gameplan.
Despite two first quarter scoring throws from Stanton, he didn’t lead Arizona to anymore scoring drives on offence the rest of the game and was also picked off twice. Up against the Legion of Boom and the 12th man it could be more tough sledding for Stanton. The run game of Arizona has also slowed down with Andre Ellington going over 4.0 YPC just once over his last eight games, while he’s averaging 1.76 yards per rushing attempt over his last two. Seattle showed an outstanding defence can carry you to glory last year, but they had more on offence than this current Cards unit has at the moment.
A low-scoring slobberknocker is likely in store in the Pacific North West this week, so UNDER 41.5 PTS @ 10/11 is attractive, with the home side taking it 21-17. Wilson on the QB keeper to score first at 16/1 with Paddy Power appeals.
- Great game in store live on Sky in the 6pm slot as the #1 ranked Lions D take on the Patriots in Foxboro. Despite Jonas Gray going off on the Colts last week, it could very well be Shane Vereen who has the most success on Sunday. Detroit has given up the 4th most receiving yards to backs with 520 this term, so look for the scat back rather than the bulldozer against this strong Lions front.
- Phillip Rivers has a rib injury according to Antonio Gates. Now he has the small matter of the St Louis Rams pass rush to deal with. Robert Quinn and co virtually shut down Peyton Manning a week ago. Any bets involving sacks stands out, while Rivers under 255.5 yards passing is also in play.
- The New York Giants have allowed the most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in the league this term. Now they host the juggernaut Cowboys attack led by DeMarco Murray. 6/1 to find paydirt first is a great interest bet for those up late on watching Sunday Night Football.
First off, apologies for the lack of column last week. This column is written every Friday, however last week was taken up by the wedding of the best running back in Ireland, while the weekend was spent getting skint in London seeing the future Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys dismantle a hapless Jaguars outfit. Anyhow let’s back on the horse this weekend!
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ WAHSINGTON REDSKINS
This is a sneaky matchup in terms of points. Robert Griffin III returned for Washington last time out against Minnesota and did well, engineering five scoring drives. Meanwhile, Josh McCown was drafted back in under centre for the Bucs last time and also did well, finishing with 340 all-purpose yards. OVER 45 PTS @ 10/11 kicks off this week’s treble.
The usual Alfred Morris stat gets rolled out each time Griffin makes his return from any injury problem but it’s worth highlighting. With Griffin under centre, Morris has 4.86 yards per carry as opposed to 3.69 yards per carry without him. The threat of the read option with the former Baylor Bear calling the shots allows more room for Morris and he should run well. Griffin should also go well against a Tampa defence that has allowed a 103.7 passer rating to opposing QB’s – third worst in the NFL.
Washington’s defence has been badly affected by injuries with pass-rusher Brian Orakpo and top cover man DeAngleo Hall done for the year. Bashaud Breeland has been a rookie success, but David Amerson has been poor and big targets Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans could have success.
OVER 45 PTS @ 10/11 opens this week’s bet, with a scoreline somewhere in the region of 27-24 either way predicted here. V-Jax to score the first touchdown at 9/1 makes do.
HOUSTON TEXANS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
Not the most attractive match on this week’s NFL slate, but we’re here to make money. Ryan Mallet is in at quarterback for Houston, but he has to take on a Cleveland defence that hasn’t given up more than 17 points over last three games. Coming off the back of a huge divisional win in Cincinnati, a 3 point spread at home looks to small for this Browns team. CLEVELAND -3 PTS @ 10/11 is next on the slip.
Over the last 5 games, the Browns unit has allowed only five touchdowns, while intercepting 10 passes and sacking the quarterback 12 times. Joe Haden has rediscovered his shutdown cornerback status and with an immobile quarterback under centre, it could be a long afternoon for the Texans offence.
Cleveland’s success on offence has come on the ground. The Browns ran it an NFL-high 52 times last week, with Crowell, Tate and West all getting involved. Brian Hoyer has been the stereotypical game-manager getting the ball out quickly, until the Browns take the Lamborghini out of the garage next week, with Josh Gordon’s return. Houston are allowing 4.38 yards per carry to opposing backs so expect plenty of the three-headed monster this week.
CLEVELAND -3 PTS @ 10/11 is next with a low-scoring Browns win in the region of 21-14. Ben Tate went in first last week, he’ll do again this week at a price of 9/1.
DENVER @ ST LOUIS
St Louis has finally generated a pass rush from it’s heralded linemen over the past two weeks, sacking the opposing trigger man 11 times over the last 2 games. However the Rams take on Peyton Manning under a roof, and that spells trouble for St Louis. DENVER -9 PTS @ 10/11 rounds off this week’s selections.
Manning and co bounced back from their loss to the Pats, with a win over the Oakland Raiders last week. Despite their pass rush success the last fortnight, expect Peyton to know this and a gameplan to revolve around getting the ball out quickly to a host of playmakers. Also as we mentioned the game is indoors. Manning has played three games indoors over the last two seasons with Denver, where he threw for 1200 yards (8.45 YPA) and an 11:2 TD-to-INT ratio.
Shaun Hill is under centre for the Rams, with coach Jeff Fisher finally losing patience with rookie Austin Davis, after a drop-off in play the last few months. Hill has played a total of 73 offensive snaps since the end of the 2010 season and is knocking on a bit – turning 35 by season’s end.
DENVER -9 PTS @ 10/11 with Denver handling St Louis by a score of 31-17. Touchdown machine Julius Thomas once again will do for first touchdown at 11/2.
- Minnesota has given up 55 receptions to running backs, good for 6th most in the NFL. They go up against the best pass-catching back in the league tomorrow in Matt Forte. Big day expected for the former Tulane man.
- Mark Ingram has been straight balling, finally showing his Heisman-winning talent despite a bum shoulder. He’s rushed for over a tonne his last 3 games, and now goes up against a Bengals D that was gashed to the tune of 169 yards and 3 touchdowns last week against a previously-terrible Browns running attack.
- Carolina allowed Mark Sanchez to pass for 300+ yards last week. They get Matt Ryan this week with the Falcons finally getting the monkey off their back and winning on the road for the first time in over two years. Expect a big day for Matty Ice.
- Two runners who should have plenty of touches – Frank Gore and Marshawn Lynch. The last 4 games the New York Giants have allowed 680 yards and four scores on the ground, while Marshawn Lynch is all the Seahawks have on offence at the moment. Pair that with Kansas City’s top ranked pass defence, it could be tough-sledding for Russell Wilson in Arrowhead.
- Litmus-test for Mark Sanchez this week. On the road at Lambeau against a white-hot Green Bay squad. Will the real Mark Sanchez please stand up? It’s a tough ask for the former Jet, as he’ll be going toe-to-toe with the best player in football at the moment Aaron Rodgers. A-Rod has video game numbers at home – he’s not thrown a pick at home since December 4th 2012, and has 15 td’s already this year at Lambeau. Green Bay will win this football game.
DETROIT LIONS @ ATLANTA FALCONS (WEMBLEY)
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
- Unfortunately no additional thoughts section this week, as there has been no time to go through each game in the usual detail thanks to the Wembley trip this weekend. Just to recap on that game for anyone attending or viewing – Detroit -3.5, Under 46.5 pts, Joique Bell first td, Joique Bell over, any kind of bet involving sacks on Matt Ryan and interceptions involving Ryan…
QB Start of the Week
Matthew Stafford (DET)
Stafford has been struggling in recent weeks without his main weapon in the passing attack. He will more than likely be without Johnson again this week, but I would still roll with him in your lineup, as the matchup is just too good to miss. The Falcons are giving up around 20ppg to opposing signal callers and I would look for Stafford to eclipse this mark on Sunday.
QB Sit of the Week
Matt Ryan (ATL)
Ryan has been really suffering as a result of his offensive line and they lost another starter last week. This week he faces one of the toughest pass defences in the league and will be under constant pressure. Factor in that he has been poor away from home and hasn’t eclipsed 15 fantasy points over the past few games, and you have to keep him benched.
[columnize]1 Peyton Manning DEN (vs. SD)
2 Aaron Rodgers GB (@NO)
3 Andrew Luck IND (@PIT)
4 Tom Brady NE (vs. CHI)
5 Russell Wilson SEA (@CAR)
6 Tony Romo DAL (vs. WAS)
7 Drew Brees NO (vs. GB)
8 Matthew Stafford DET (@ATL)
9 Nick Foles PHI (@ARI)
10 Philip Rivers SD (@DEN)
11 Carson Palmer ARI (vs. PHI)
12 Jay Cutler CHI (@NE)
13 Ryan Tannehill MIA (@JAC)
14 Kyle Orton BUF (@NYJ)
15 Alex Smith KC (vs. STL)
16 Cam Newton CAR (vs. SEA)
17 Mike Glennon TB (vs. MIN)
18 Joe Flacco BAL (@CIN)
19 Ben Roethlisberger PIT (vs. IND)
20 Matt Ryan ATL (vs. DET)
21 Andy Dalton CIN (vs. BAL)
22 Geno Smith NYJ (vs. BUF)
23 Ryan Fitzpatrick HOU (@TEN)
24 Teddy Bridgewater MIN (@TB)[/columnize]
RB Start of the Week
Jerick McKinnon (MIN)
McKinnon has been really good since taking over the starting job from Asiata in Minnesota, and showed exactly what he can do against a tough run defence last week. This week he gets an easy matchup against a TB defence that gives up the 7th most fantasy ppg to opposing runners. I expect a huge performance from him.
RB Sit of the Week
Chris Ivory/Chris Johnson (NYJ)
Neither of the Jets RB’s have been great this season, although Ivory has emerged into the clear number one ahead of Johnson. I would keep both of them benched this week as they face a tough Bills defence that gives up the 2nd fewest ppg to opposing rb’s.
[columnize]1 Jamaal Charles KC (vs. STL)
2 Arian Foster HOU (@TEN)
3 Matt Forte CHI (@NE)
4 DeMarco Murray DAL (vs. WAS)
5 Marshawn Lynch SEA (@CAR)
6 Andre Ellington ARI (vs. PHI)
7 Le’Veon Bell PIT (vs. IND)
8 Lamar Miller MIA (@JAC)
9 LeSean McCoy PHI (@ARI)
10 Ronnie Hillman DEN (vs. SD)
11 Shane Vereen NE (vs. CHI)
12 Jerick McKinnon MIN (@TB)
13 Giovani Bernard CIN (vs. BAL)
14 Eddie Lacy GB (@NO)
15 Ahmad Bradshaw IND (@PIT)
16 Ben Tate CLE (vs. OAK)
17 Justin Forsett BAL (@CIN)
18 Joique Bell DET (@ATL)
19 Branden Oliver SD (@DEN)
20 Darren McFadden OAK (@CLE)
21 Alfred Morris WAS (@DAL)
22 Mark Ingram NO (vs. GB)
23 Doug Martin TB (vs. MIN)
24 Isaiah Crowell CLE (vs. OAK)
25 Bryce Brown BUF (@NYJ)
26 Tre Mason STL (@KC)
27 Travaris Cadet NO (vs. GB)
28 Bernard Pierce BAL (@CIN)
29 Chris Ivory NYJ (vs. BUF)
30 Denard Robinson JAC (vs. MIA)
31 Anthony Dixon BUF (@NYJ)
32 Reggie Bush DET (@ATL)
33 Jonathan Stewart CAR (vs. SEA)
34 Bishop Sankey TEN (vs. HOU)
35 Stepfan Taylor ARI (vs. PHI)
36 Benny Cunningham STL (@KC)
37 Jonas Gray NE (vs. CHI)
38 Storm Johnson JAC (vs. MIA)
39 Jeremy Hill CIN (vs. BAL)
40 Chris Johnson NYJ (vs. BUF)
41 James Starks GB (@NO)
42 Matt Asiata MIN (@TB)
43 Joseph Randle DAL (vs. WAS)
44 Darren Sproles PHI (@ARI)
45 Roy Helu WAS (@DAL)
46 Bobby Rainey TB (vs. MIN)
47 Antone Smith ATL (vs. DET)
48 Daniel Thomas MIA (@JAC)[/columnize]
WR Start of the Week
Sammy Watkins (BUF)
The number 1 pick in most rookie drafts has emerged into an every week starter ever since Orton took over at QB for the Bills. He has been fantastic over the past few weeks apart from when he matched up against Revis Island. I expect another great performance from him this week as he matches up against the Jets terrible pass defence.
WR Sit of the Week
Torrey Smith (BAL)
After a slow start to the season, Smith has been great over the past few weeks scoring 4 TD’s over the past 4 games. That run could end this week as he faces a tough Bengals defence that historically has a good record against Smith.
[columnize]1 Demaryius Thomas DEN (vs. SD)
2 Jordy Nelson GB (@NO)
3 Antonio Brown PIT (vs. IND)
4 Dez Bryant DAL (vs. WAS)
5 Golden Tate DET (@ATL)
6 Randall Cobb GB (@NO)
7 Alshon Jeffery CHI (@NE)
8 Sammy Watkins BUF (@NYJ)
9 Julio Jones ATL (vs. DET)
10 Michael Floyd ARI (vs. PHI)
11 T.Y. Hilton IND (@PIT)
12 Brandon Marshall CHI (@NE)
13 Jeremy Maclin PHI (@ARI)
14 Emmanuel Sanders DEN (vs. SD)
15 Mike Wallace MIA (@JAC)
16 Vincent Jackson TB (vs. MIN)
17 Marques Colston NO (vs. GB)
18 Steve Smith BAL (@CIN)
19 DeAndre Hopkins HOU (@TEN)
20 Kelvin Benjamin CAR (vs. SEA)
21 Larry Fitzgerald ARI (vs. PHI)
22 Eric Decker NYJ (vs. BUF)
23 Roddy White ATL (vs. DET)
24 Doug Baldwin SEA (@CAR)
25 Andre Johnson HOU (@TEN)
26 Terrance Williams DAL (vs. WAS)
27 Pierre Garcon WAS (@DAL)
28 Mohamed Sanu CIN (vs. BAL)
29 Julian Edelman NE (vs. CHI)
30 Torrey Smith BAL (@CIN)
31 Allen Robinson JAC (vs. MIA)
32 Davante Adams GB (@NO)
33 Mike Evans TB (vs. MIN)
34 DeSean Jackson WAS (@DAL)
35 Brandon LaFell NE (vs. CHI)
36 Wes Welker DEN (vs. SD)
37 Dwayne Bowe KC (vs. STL)
38 Brandin Cooks NO (vs. GB)
39 Kendall Wright TEN (vs. HOU)
40 Andre Holmes OAK (@CLE)
41 Percy Harvin NYJ (vs. BUF)
42 Eddie Royal SD (@DEN)
43 Greg Jennings MIN (@TB)
44 Justin Hunter TEN (vs. HOU)
45 Kenny Stills NO (vs. GB)
46 Jermaine Kearse SEA (@CAR)
47 Cecil Shorts JAC (vs. MIA)
48 Louis Murphy TB (vs. MIN)[/columnize]
TE Start of the week
Jordan Reed (WAS)
Reed has looked good since coming back from an injury and I expect a great performance from him this week. The Cowboy s have been really bad at stopping TE’s this season and Reed should score double digit points this week.
TE Sit of the Week
Delanie Walker (TEN)
Walker had a fantastic start to the season, but his numbers have been declining and with news that the Titans are to start Mettenberger at QB this week, he is a risky start. The Texans have also been very good at defending TE’s this season.
[coulmnize]1 Rob Gronkowski NE (vs. CHI)
2 Julius Thomas DEN (vs. SD)
3 Greg Olsen CAR (vs. SEA)
4 Dwayne Allen IND (@PIT)
5 Jordan Reed WAS (@DAL)
6 Owen Daniels BAL (@CIN)
7 Antonio Gates SD (@DEN)
8 Zach Ertz PHI (@ARI)
9 Jimmy Graham NO (vs. GB)
10 Jordan Cameron CLE (vs. OAK)
11 Martellus Bennett CHI (@NE)
12 Coby Fleener IND (@PIT)
13 Charles Clay MIA (@JAC)
14 Jared Cook STL (@KC)
15 Delanie Walker TEN (vs. HOU)
16 Scott Chandler BUF (@NYJ)
17 Clay Harbor JAC (vs. MIA)
18 Gavin Escobar DAL (vs. WAS)
19 Jason Witten DAL (vs. WAS)
20 Jermaine Gresham CIN (vs. BAL)
21 Travis Kelce KC (vs. STL)
22 Jace Amaro NYJ (vs. BUF)
23 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TB (vs. MIN)
24 Lance Kendricks STL (@KC)[/columnize]
WEEK 6 RECAP
Not the best week last week, despite Geno Smith’s late pick six seeing Denver somewhat fortunately covering the spread. In our other main selections, the total was well over in Buffalo against New England, while for the luckless Jaguars, I echo Pacman Jones’ words: “Do your job” Josh Scobee!
CINCINNATI BENGALS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
For the first of our week 7 selections, we go to Lucas Oil Stadium and the live Sky game between Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Andrew Luck has put the team on his back so far this season, playing upto MVP candidate level, that’s why COLTS -3PTS is the first on the betslip.
Andrew Luck attempted 40+ passes just 4 times in 16 games last season. He's attempted 40+ passes 4 times in 6 games already this year.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 16, 2014
Fantasy players who own Luck (myself included) will be thrilled at the former Stanford man’s production, while it has also translated to the real world with the Colts riding a four-game win streak to bounce back from two tough losses against Denver and Philly to open the year.
On the flip side, despite starting the year 3-0, the Bengals were shellacked by the Patriots a fortnight ago, then playing out a “sister-kisser” last week – a tie with the Panthers. The Bengal defence has also followed a similar pattern to that of the team’s record. In the last two games, they let up 576 pass yards and four touchdowns to Tom Brady and Cam Newton, while Newton was also very effective running the ball. Couple that with the league’s 4th worst D in terms of yards per rush, then Andrew Luck and the Colts offence could well have their way with the Bengal unit.
The game total of 50 pts looks slightly high, but the COLTS -3PTS @ 10/11 appeals more. TY Hilton was simply unstoppable last time out against the Texans and he is a great shout to score the first touchdown at 9/1, burning veterans Terrence Newman or Adam Jones.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ DETROIT LIONS
Thankfully for New Orleans the NFC South is rather weak this year, but Sean Payton’s side will be hoping for an improvement in their play coming out of the bye week. However they travel to the league’s number one pass defence in Detroit, with UNDER 48 PTS the selection at Ford Field.
Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has been a revelation so far this term, with his crew leading the league in pass defence, with a very impressive 5:7 TD:INT ratio. Add in the fact that Drew Brees could very well be without his top target in Jimmy Graham this weekend, it could be a long day at the office for the Louisiana outfit.
Matt Stafford also will be without his main man Calvin Johnson again on Sunday, as the star wideout looks to get healthy in time to entertain me and the rest of the London fans next week. Stafford has only tossed four touchdowns in his last three games, but should have Reggie Bush back this week to offer an option out of the backfield.
As mentioned the Lions defence has been impressive this season and barring the season opening win against the Giants, the game total has went under in each of Detroit’s games this season. Add in the fact that Brees has his struggles on the road, highlighted by the stat that six of the last nine Saints’ road games have went underm we have more than sufficient support to plump for the UNDER 48 PTS @ 10/11.
In the absence of Megatron, Golden Tate has jumped up to the number one wideout spot, 17/2 to find paydirt will do for first touchdown purposes.
CAROLINA PANTHERS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS
Perhaps no two hotter quarterbacks around at the minute than Cam Newton and particularly Aaron Rodgers. For that simple reason we’ll dive onto the OVER 50 PTS hoping it rains points on Sunday at Lambeau.
Rodgers has been straight up balling over the last five games – throwing 14 touchdowns against an incredible zero interceptions! When you couple that with the fact that Carolina have been stung for 38, 30, 24 and 37 point totals so far this season, you’d fancy at least four touchdowns from the Pack at Lambeau.
That leaves the Panthers looking at maybe three touchdowns to land our bet, which looks highly achievable given the form of the former number one pick under centre for Carolina. For all his improvements as a passer this season, the shackles were finally lifted from the legs of Newton, as he ran the ball 17 times for over a tonne in the overtime tie in Cincinnati. Green Bay has a history of being carved up by dual-threat signal callers, so look for the Panthers to stick with Green Bay this weekend.
As mentioned, hopefully there is a bagful of points in Wisconsin this weekend, with OVER 50 PTS @ 10/11 rounding off the treble.
One match up to keep an eye on is 6’5 Kelvin Benjamin up against 5’11 Sam Shields this weekend. The Florida State star to score first is an interesting 10/1, while an over on the receiving yards would be the way to go.
- Even the best laid plans can fall short sometimes. Jacksonville had the perfect chance to notch their first win a week ago, time expiring Josh Scobee’s boot between the Florida side and their first W, but no. His kick was blocked and with it spoiling the selection of Jacksonville last week. Fear not though, Blake Bortles is improving each week and this will finally be Jacksonville’s first win of the season against a somewhat overachieving Cleveland outfit @ 21/10.
- Atlanta’s offensive line is brutally bad. Halti Ngata, T-Sizzle and co could well have a field day against Matt Ryan this weekend. Baltimore jumped out to a fast start in Tampa Bay last week and again the 13/8 to lead at the end of each quarter appeals.
- Super Bowl champions Seattle lost at home last week against Dallas, and will be rather keen to right the ship in St Louis. However the Rams are no mugs, and have started well against Dallas and San Fran, before fading. 9/4 for St Louis to be leading at half time makes for an interesting wager.
- Peyton has yet another record in his sight. Three more touchdowns and Manning will have thrown for the most touchdowns in NFL history. He looks to achieve the record against a 49er defence that will now be missing All-Pro Patrick Willis, as well as long term casualty Navarro Bowman. That means rookie Chris Borland will have to handle duties inside, and look for manning and Julius Thomas to abuse the former Wisconsin man in the middle of the field. The 13/2 about Thomas to score first appeals nicely.
8 of the last 10 DAL-NYG games have been decided by 7 or less. Every game b/t the 2 in AT&T Stadium has been 6 points or fewer.
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) October 17, 2014
- Spread currently sitting at NY Giants +6.5. Jump on that now – last few games Dallas have been favourites have seen the underdog’s spread come in…
A selection of some of the best plays from week 5.
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Seattle Seahawks 27 – 17 Washington Redskins
Cousins gets lit up
Wilson’s great escape
Chicago Bears 21 – 24 Carolina Panthers
Jeffrey’s one handed catch
Cam blocks Breeze
St Louis Rams 28 – 34 Philadelphia Eagles
Buffalo Bills 17 – 14 Detroit Lions
Watkins’ juggle catch
Arizona Cardinals 20 – 41 Denver Broncos
Manning stops a touchdown
Ellington has get away from the cops speed
Baltimore Ravens 13 – 20 Indianapolis Colts
Luck takes a big hit and Ngata intercepts
Atlanta Falcons 20 – 30 New York Giants
Julio Jones one handed catch
Odell Beckham Jr’s touchdown catch
Houston Texans 17 – 20 Dallas Cowboys
Romo avoids JJ Watt sack
Arian Foster jukes Barry Church
Kansas City Chiefs 17 – 22 San Francisco 49ers
Brandon Lloyd’s athletic catch
WEEK 4 BETTING PREVIEW RECAP
Another tidy week last week, with the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears lighting up the scoreboard, while Indianapolis blew out the hapless Tennessee Titans. Unfortunately the Carolina Panthers defensive decline continues as the total was well over in their clash with Baltimore. However we finally hit with a first touchdown selection, as Steve Smith stuck it right to his former teammates by catching a tipped pass and strolling in.
ATLANTA FALCONS @ NEW YORK GIANTS
The Atlanta Falcons were ripped apart to the tune of 41 points last time out against the somewhat offensively-challenged Minnesota Vikings, and now they travel to the Meadowlands to take on a rampant New York Giants with OVER 50 PTS appealing. The G-men finally found their grove the last twice, first putting up 30 against JJ Watt and the Texans defence, before destroying the Redskins in Maryland.
Aside from the destruction of Josh McCown and Tampa Bay, this Falcons defensive unit has let up 300 yards a game without registering a sack, so expect Manning and Co to do work. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons have been able to score on opponents all season, so despite the tough duo of Prince Amukamara and Dominque Rodgers Cromarite, Matt Ryan should be able to negotiate enough points out of his offence to put up a fight and hopefully see the total OVER 50 PTS @ 10/11 as it finishes 31-24 in New Jersey.
Tight End Larry Donnell has really came out of nowhere, grabbing three touchdowns against Washington last time out. One more will do nicely, 9/1 to score first
CHICAGO BEARS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS
Last season’s Carolina Panthers defence is a long way from where this year’s unit are. Luke Kuchely and his boys have given up 908 yards in their last two defeats against Baltimore and Pittsburgh. With Jake Cutler and the Bears rolling into town, OVER 45.5 PTS looks worthy of taking on.
Through one month, Cutler is on pace for 40 touchdown passes and 4,024 yards, so with further progression in Charlotte the Bears should be counted on to rack up more points, especially with Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall getting healthier each week.
Despite being dominated by Baltimore’s fearsome defensive line last time out, the Panthers offensive line should be able to cope better with a less-talented Bears outfit, with Cam Newton improving each week as he gets over his rib injury. The former-Auburn star is having his best season as an out-and-out passer, and if Ron Rivera finally decides to allow Newton to use his feet, he will add another dimension to this rather stale Panthers offence.
The line looks a little conservative here, and with Cutler enjoying his time once again in Marc Trestman’s offence, we’ll take a punt on the OVER 45.5 PTS @ 10/11 with Chicago taking it 27-20. Alshon Jeffrey has 169 yards and a touchdown the previous two games, we’ll take him for first score at 9/1.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Again the line here looks too low for a very defensively challenged Jags team going against an on fire Ben Roethlisberger, so lets jump on the OVER 47 PTS.
Despite the shock defeat to Tampa Bay last week, the Pittsburgh offence was rolling, putting up 24 points. Roethlisberger has completed 72.9% of his passes the past two weeks, including five touchdown throws against zero interceptions. Once again look for Antonio Brown to do work against this poor Jags defence, who gave up 10 catches and 135 yards to Keenan Allen a week ago.
Finally Blake Bortles was given the keys to the offence full time last week, and he performed admirably in his first NFL start against a tough Chargers defence. The play calling was a bit conservative, so hopefully back at home and with an easier match up on paper, Bortles has the shackles released and we see the points rain.
Jacksonville will notch their first win sooner or later with Bortles under centre, and it could well be this week with the suspect defence hindering Big Ben’s stellar work on offence. However the safer pick this week is the OVER 47 PTS @ 10/11 as this ends 27-23 either way. Allen Robinson is turning into Bortles favourite target. 12/1 appeals for first touchdown purposes.
- The upset picks in this section have been faring very well with the Dallas Cowboys thumping the Saints at odds against last week. A few quid on Kansas City Chiefs @ 9/4 to go into Santa Clara and topple the San Francisco 49ers takes the eye, given Kansas’ destruction of the Patriots this past Monday night.
- Peyton Manning goes berserk this week. Coming off a bye week against an Arizona Cardinals defence that has managed only one sack in three games, Peyton could have his way with the Cards. Drew Stanton is under centre once again for the visitors so this could be done by halftime. Scrolling through the list of markets on the game, over 2.5 first half touchdowns @ 4/6 looks buying money, but let’s lower the stake and raise the odds and go exactly 4 first half touchdowns @ 15/4.
- 40/1 is still readily available on the Dallas Cowboys to win the Superbowl. You may chuckle, but this running game looks legit and when the weather gets cold that’s always a great gameplan to hang your hat on. A Strong running game and lights out defence has been the blueprint for both Baltimore’s and Seattle’s Superbowl runs. Now if only Big D could find a defence from somewhere we may be onto something.