Mixed bag with the picks last week. The Nap, Cincinnati Bengals covered thanks to some great 4th Quarter defence while in the late game Green Bay ran out an easy handicap winner. The Ravens however somehow conspired to lose despite moving the ball for over 500yards on offence while New Orleans were inexplicably bad in the Superdome. So onwards to my thoughts on week 3.
Green Bay -6.5 @ 10/11 vs Kansas City
As Benjamin Franklin once said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes (and Aaron Rogers getting the job done in a prime time game at Lambeau Field)” I took the Packers in this spot last week and happily will again. Rodgers incidentally has now recorded 18 consecutive home games without an interception while throwing for 43 touchdowns during that span. The loss of star receiver Jordy Nelson has barely mattered as he simply continues to get it done. At running back, Eddie Lacy is a doubt after leaving last weeks game with a sprained ankle but should he not be fit to go veteran James Starks provides an able backup.
Kansas suffered a crushing defeat to the Broncos last week, letting a 7 point lead slip with less than a minute left on the clock. They will look for a slower paced game leaning heavily on the running game of Jamal Charles. The Packers did a great job bottling up Marshawn Lynch last week and although Charles is a different animal and should manage to keep things close for a while however in the end Rodgers should be able to get his points and cover.
(Note: This game is being played Monday night rather than Sunday)
Arizona -6 @ 20/23 vs San Francisco (NAP)
It’s very easy to make the case for the Arizona Cardinals being the best team in football right now. They’ve started the season 2-0 and racked up 79 points in the process including 48 on the road last week. The so often injured Carson Palmer is looking unstoppable winning 10 of his last 11. Arizona has also covered the handicap in 7 of its last 8 games while the 49ers has lost their last three on the road by double digits.
My reaction when I saw that this game had been chalked up at a line less than a touchdown was a little to rude to write up here. The Cardinals will put up points and the Niners don’t have the ability to keep up. The bookmakers seem to have got this one so badly wrong I think it must be a trap! Nonetheless get on the Carson train while he’s still healthy.
Pittsburgh +1 @ 20/23 vs St Louis (Or alternatively 20/21 straight up)
The Pittsburgh Steelers picked up there first win of the season smashing the 49ers while putting up 43 points in the process. This followed an opening week defeat although I don’t think any team in the NFL where going to stop an emotionally charged Patriots team week 1. Wide receiver Antonio Brown has picked up right were he left off putting up massive yardage for this high powered offence. This week they welcome back Le’veon Bell, arguably the best running back in the league after his two game suspension.
St Louis followed up an upset win over the Seattle Seahawks with a disappointing defeat to the Washington Redskins. So far they haven’t managed to get their run game going and no come up against the 6th rank run defence in the league.
I do worry that they’ll find ways to pick apart a pretty bad Steelers defence and they are always a dangerous side at home as the Seahawks found out week 1. Ultimately the Steelers are a better team with more scoring power so they are the pick. This can be backed two ways. I prefer to take them straight up but if you want to back them with the one point handicap stakes will be returned in the case of a one point St Louis win.
Buffalo +3 @ 5/6 vs Miami
For those precious few of us that follow the Buffalo Bills there hasnt been a lot to cheer for a number of seasons. Season after season of mediocrity further compounded by the successes of hated divisional rivals the New England Patriots. This season though has brought a new coach, new players and a new hope that finally the long wait for the promised land of the playoffs will soon be over. Opening the season with two home games a fantastic victory of the Colts was followed up by (yet another) defeat to the Patriots. The Defence looks the be among the best in the league, finally there are some playmakers on offence and Tyrod Taylor could just be the man to solve the Bills eternal QB problem.
The Dolphins have started out with two road games, an uninspiring victory over the Redskins week 1 followed by defeat in Jacksonville last weekend. Their running game has been non existent so far this season averaging just 58 yards a game. That just won’t cut it against a D like Buffalos who will be fired up after last weeks defeat.
Normally I steer clear of backing a team I support, heart ruling the head and all that, but I can’t ignore the Bills with 3 points in hand. I also wouldn’t be against anyone that wanted to take them straight up to win the game at odds of 5/4.
Another game in which I see what might be a potential piece of value is the Oakland Raiders travelling to the Cleveland Browns. This could be a fun game with some big play threats on both sides. To me this game is a toss up which could be decided by whoever has the ball last. The Raiders are getting 3.5 points on the handicap which is good value considering it could easily be decided by a field goal. Wouldn’t necessarily endorse this as a bet but if you are considering having a go in this game this is the way I would go.
In addition to these, Paddy Power has been running a nice NFL Acca insurance offer this season. Back any 5 games or more in the coupon and if one leg let’s you down your stake is refunded as a free NFL bet for the following week.(up to £50)
This week I would suggest a 5 team accumulator of New England, Seattle, Green Bay, Arizona and Pittsburgh straight up on the match betting (without handicaps) This pays close to 3/1 and 3 of these should be penalty kicks.
Remember these prices and lines are correct at time of writing and can change by the time of kickoff. I’d advice in particular with the Arizona game to get on early while it’s still on the right side of a touchdown.
Best of luck