Hi everone. It was another solid week for us during week 11, 3 out of the 4 tips landing. Unlucky not to get the clean sweep with the 4th, Arizona Cardinals (-4.5) letting a 14 point lead in the final quarter slip with some sloppy play. Week 12 began with tips on the three thanksgiving games Thursday night seeing another 2 from 3 landing. The Nap and next best got up for a 3/1 double and hopefully some of you got on Calvin Johnson to score 2 TDs or more at odds of 8/1. Despite these 3 games being played Thursday, there is still plenty of weekend action as all teams have finished their bye weeks.
Minnesota Vikings @ 1/1 vs Atlanta Falcons 6pm (NAP)
Having had taken advantage of Green Bay’s loss of form to top the NFC North and give themselves real hope of breaking the Packers 4 year stranglehold on the division, the Vikings handed the initiative back to their rivals last weekend crashing to a home defeat against them. However the Packers loss to the Bears on thanksgiving gives Minnesota the opportunity to leapfrog them once more and I fancy them for a strong performance here. It was an uncharacteristically poor showing last weekend with the Vikings with their defence giving up a season high 30 pts and their offence getting a season low 13. They were also hampered by giving away 8 penalties for 110yds while star RB Adrian Peterson was held for just 45yds and also lost a fumble. Peterson rarely has two poor games in a row so expect a big bounce back performance from the league’s leading rusher.
Atlanta’s 5-0 start to the season seems a long time ago now with them having lost 4 out of the last 5. While their 6-4 record has them well within the playoff hunt it’s becoming clearer that their win column owes more to their soft schedule rather than the quality of the team. Looking at those wins, only one has came against a quality team in the New York giants and even that was a game that they should have lost. Their task here has been made harder by the fact that Davonta Freeman, joint leader in the NFL with 9 touchdowns, has been ruled out with a concussion. That will leave Atlanta Quarterback Matt Ryan to shoulder the burden of trying to move this offense. His form has been indifferent recently and he has now thrown 6 interceptions in the last 4 games. If the Vikings can get some pressure expect them to cause a few turnovers.
The Falcons have won the last two meetings in Atlanta although the Vikings triumphed 41-28 when the sides met last year. The Vikings are also 8-1 against the spread in their last 9 games. However with the spread chalked up here only giving Minnesota one point my preference is backing them at evens in the match betting instead.
New York Giants -2.5 @ 10/11 6pm
After almost toppling the undefeated Patriots two weeks ago, the Giants return from their bye week to find themselves still topping the NFC East with a record of 5-5. In truth was it not for some awful clock management decisions they would be 7-3 and already out of sight in the division. As it stands, defeats for the Eagles and Cowboys effectively rules them both out anyway. The only other contenders are the 4-5 Washington Redskins who can knock them off the top with a win here.
They will have their work cut out for them though as the Giants have won the last 5 games they have played against their divisional rivals and covered the handicap in each of those 5 games, the latest being a 32-21 win earlier this season. They have also gone 4-1 against the spread in road games this season and quarterback Eli Manning is having statistically the best season of his career.
Washington has been dogged by inconsistency and last week found themselves stuffed 44-16 on the road to Carolina. They are a much better home team however and this year has won 4 from 4 at FedEx Field. The last time they achieved 5 in a row was all the way back in 1991. They key to their chances will come in the ability to protect the ball. This is something which they haven’t done very well all year and they have a minus 5 turnover differential as opposed to New York’s plus 13. In his career versus the Giants, Cousins has lost all three games while throwing 8 interceptions. If his form continues in this matchup against a team who are 2nd in the NFL in interceptions, New York should cover with the minimum of fuss.
DeAndre Hopkins – A/T Touchdown New Orleans Saints Vs Houston Texans@8/15
Odell Beckham Jr – A/T Touchdown New York Giants Vs Washington Redskins@4/5
Although slim odds on both of these guys making Touchdown grabs, together they add up to a fantastic 7/4 double.
Hopkins has 9 TDs in 10 games this year. Last week he put up 2 against the Jets making a fool out of one of the league’s best cornerbacks Darrell Revis. Going from that tough matchup to facing a team that can’t defend the pass against anyone I don’t see him being held out of the endzone here. Beckham Jr follows close behind with 8 TDs in 10 games. With his quarterback Eli Manning on fire, he should be good for a score here against a defence that allowed 5 through the air in its last game. In his two previous career games versus the Redskins, Beckham has amassed a humongous 19 catches for 222yds and 4 touchdowns! He can also be backed for 2 or more at odds of 6/1.
Those are my three favourites for this week with as always the first two (Vikings and Giants) being the recommended double. There are another couple I quite fancy such as the Cardinals (-10.5) and Steelers (+3.5) but not with the same conviction as those I’ve previewed.
Best of luck