After the highs of a fortnight ago last week felt like a major crash back to earth. The nap had come with a health warning regarding who would make the start at quarterback for the Bears. Unexpectedly Cutler was fit enough to start and inspired them to a two point victory.
Next best, the Bengals obliged for us and the Chargers looked good for another winning tip before it all went pear shaped with a couple of minutes to play. The Cardinals despite marching the ball down to the redzone numerous times just couldn’t convert it consistently.
The match betting accumulator had 4/5 up meaning stakes returned as a free bet for those who took it at Paddy Power like advised. Hopefully back to the winners this week.
Arizona Cardinals -3 @ 21/20 NAP
Last weekend QB Carson Palmer slipped to his first defeat in 10 games and will be looking for a quick bounce back on the road at the Detroit Lions. Palmer actually played well enough throwing for over 400yds and consistently bringing the Cardinals to scoring range but failing to convert.
In fairness to him he had a stout Rams defensive line getting pressure on him all day and was sacked 4 times. He shouldn’t face that kind of heat this week against the a Detroit defence now void of Ndamukong Suh.
Detroit are coming off a short week and slipped to a 0-4 record with Monday nights defeat to Seattle and are in real danger of matching of matching 2008s 0-6 start. QB Matthew Stafford is posting his worst numbers since his rookie season while star receiver Calvin Johnson has one touchdown through 4 games. If the Cardinals did show a weakness last week in was in defending the run yet Detroit’s ground game has been pretty much nonexistent this season.
Consider this. Detroit have scored 16, 12 and 10 points over the last three weeks for a total of 38. During the same span, Arizona have averaged 39 points A GAME! Safe to say even with home advantage this line should be much higher and Arizona should be able to cover with ease.
Chicago Bears +10 @ 8/11
Last week Chicago avoided the indignity of slipping to a 0-4 record with a late field goal lifted them to a 22-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. While I still see them as one of the weaker teams in this year’s NFL the return of QB Jay Cutler(for all his faults) certainly makes them more competitive. Receivers Jeffrey and Royal are both injury doubts and maybe rated 50/50 as to whether they’ll play. If they don’t make it, the Bears will rely heavily on TE Martellus Bennett and RB Matt Forte who leads the NFL with 500yds from scrimmage.
Kansas comes into this with a similar 1-3 record albeit with all three losses coming against teams with 4-0 records. This already seems like a must win game for them if they wish to keep their playoff hopes alive. For all their talent on offence the one major weakness the Chiefs have had is in protecting Quarterback Alex Smith who already been sacked a league high 19 times. The Bears will do their best to exploit this and hopefully force a few turnovers.
In the past 3 weeks the Chiefs defence has conceded over 30 points a game. While I expect them to win out this game in the end if the Cutler inspired Bears can put up anything near that kind of scoring it’s hard to see Kansas covering the handicap.
New England Patriots -8.5 @ 21/20
In weeks 2 and 3 the Patriots have run up scores 40pts and 51pts respectively. Tom Brady coming of the deflategate scandal this offseason has been playing like a man possessed. Fresh from their bye in week 4, I expect them to go to Dallas and perform in a similar vein.
Dallas have lost star men, Tony Romo and Dez Bryant to long term injuries and with their running game yet to get going, will struggle to keep pace in this one
New Orleans Saints +5.5 @ 20/21
The Saints come into this after a morale boosting overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys, their first of the season. The Eagles meanwhile, many people’s pick to win the NFC east, lay bottom of the division with a single victory also. The rumbles of discontent have started with Demarco Murray complaining he has not been getting enough carries.
Considering their form I’m not quite sure how the Eagles deserve to be 5 ½ point favourites over anyone. This should be a close game, possibly decided by a field goal either way so I’d rather have the points on board.
For the match betting accumulator this week my picks are Green Bay, Arizona, New England, Atlanta and Kansas. This pays around 3/1 and as always I recommend PaddyPower because of the acca insurance offer. The four picks above in an accumulator pays around 14/1.
Best of luck.