Two from four in last weekend’s picks. The napped Minnesota Vikings obliged much easier than the score line suggested while Odell Beckham Jr pulled in what has to be the catch of the season to land one of the TD scorer bets. An inexplicable endzone drop By DeAndre Hopkins prevented landing the 6/4 double.
After a really poor 0-4 start for us in November things picked up considerably. Overall we went 15/24 for a 56% win percentage. Quite unlucky with some of our losers having a run of ½ point defeats and some late scores beating us. On the anytime TD scorer markets we went 4/6 and had a very nice 6/1 multiple touchdown winner on Thanksgiving.
Onwards to the best plays from week 13.
Denver Broncos -3.5 @ 20/21 vs San Diego Chargers
Has the Brock Osweiler era begun in Denver? Peyton Mannings fill in has led the Broncos to back to back victories in his first two starts including last week’s stunning rally from a 14 point, 4th quarter deficit to topple the previously undefeated Patriots. With him the Denver offence suddenly looks pretty efficient to complement their already dominant defence. The running game has finally started to contribute as well and last week C.J. Anderson totalled over 100 yards and 2 scores. The San Diego D has been struggling to contain the run all year long giving up an average of 124 yards per games and 12 rushing TDS. Both Anderson and Ronnie Hillman could be poised for big days while opening things up for Osweiler to do some damage with the deep ball.
On the other side the Chargers have not been able to run the ball well this season so there chances will be in the hands of Philip Rivers to try and keep them competitive in this one. That won’t be an easy task considering no team has defended the pass better than the Broncos all season. They do have the home advantage here but it won’t count for much against such a strong backline. This is the first time with Osweiler under centre that the Broncos have been favoured against the spread. I think the layers have been slow on the uptake and should have them favoured by much more here in what could easily be a double digit victory.
Pittsburgh -7 @ 10/11 vs Indianapolis Colts (1.30am Monday)
This was very close to being my favoured pick for this weekend although question marks around the health of Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger held me off. Roethlisberger is in league protocol for a concussion suffered during last week’s defeat to Seattle. At time of writing (Friday) it now look extremely likely that Big Ben will play. If he does he should have an absolute field day against a Colts secondary that has been ripped to shreds by teams all season long. Wide receivers Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant have proved a matchup nightmare for every defence they have come up against and last week Marcus Wheaton joined the party with over 200 yards and a touchdown catch. Throw in running back Deangelo Williams and the Steelers simply have too many weapons for the Colts to stop.
Indianapolis has had their own injury woes at quarterback with Andrew Luck sidelined once again. In his absence Matt Hasselbeck has filled in admirably, winning all four games he’s started. However with the Steelers likely to put up big numbers and coach Chuck Pagano admitting RB Frank Gore is “beat to crap” I don’t think the colts can keep up in the scoring here. Last year Roethlisberger threw for over 500yards and 6 touchdowns against Indianapolis. With the Steelers badly needing the win to get themselves back in the wildcard places, I see more of the same here.
Anytime Touchdown Scorers
Martavis Bryant (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ 11/10
Since returning from his suspension, Bryant has 6 touchdowns in 6 games and has proven himself to be matchup proof. He is a big play waiting to happen and facing a defence that give up a lot of big plays. With Roethliberger likely to start and Antonio Brown drawing most of the attention, Bryant is great odds in the anytime TD market.
Alshon Jeffrey (Chicago Bears) @ 4/6
At long last Jeffrey seems fully fit after battling injuries most of the season. His Bears team are heavily favoured to beat the San Francisco 49ers and Jeffrey will be their main target in the passing game. He is likely to be covered by Tramaine Brock, a player who he is 5 inches taller than. Expect Jay Cutler to throw it up there and let Jeffrey take advantage.
Cincinatti Bengal Defence @ 23/10
The Cincinatti defence are a solid group and while last weekend saw them score their first defensive touchdown, they actually rank 3rd in the league in interceptions. Cleveland gave up two scores to the Baltimore defence last Monday night including the blocked field goal, returned for a TD which lost them the game. They also lead the league in giveaways through fumbles. Austin Davis is making only his 9th career start and he will have to throw all game as the Browns are likely to be playing from behind from early on. This should give the Bengals D a few interceptions and a good shot at returning one for a TD.
All great bets on their own and the treble adds up to better than 10/1.
That’s the best bets for this week. There are a few more I really like. New York Giants are getting 2 points on the handicap against their Big Apple rivals the New York Jets. I’d expect them not only to cover on the handicap but to win the game outright. (11/10) I also think the Carolina Panthers (-7) will have more than enough both sides of the ball against the New Orleans Saints to both win and cover. However preference is for the previewed games.
Best of luck