A fantastic full sweep of bets for us last week. The napped Arizona Cardinals had the bet more or less sewn up after one quarter of play. The other three main bets followed suit to bring it up to a 12/1 handicap accumulator. For anybody that decided to throw in the also tipped Oakland Raiders that accum was brought up to 23/1. The match betting accumulator came in at 3/1 to really put the icing on the cake. Hopefully you were all on board and let’s hope for lots more success this week.
Oakland Raiders -3 @4/5
I’ve held out on writing this preview until the very last minute in order to see how the situation developed with injured Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey and more importantly, Quarterback Jay Cutler. At time of writing (Saturday) it looks like neither will suit up for tomorrow’s game. Should Cutler not be able to take the field I have supreme confidence that Oakland will cover the spread here.
An already bad Bears team suddenly looks the worst in the NFL with backup Jimmy Clausen taking over from cutler under centre. Last week on 10 offensive possessions they punted all 10 times and managed only 146yds. Granted that was against a much stronger Seattle defence but besides RB Matt Forte it’s difficult to see where their points are going to come from.
Oakland meanwhile have made fantastic stride on offence under new Head Coach Jake DelRio. A talented young trio in Quarterback Derek Carr, RB Latavius Murray and rookie WR Amari Cooper have been racking up the yardage. The defence is suspect but has enough talent to trouble a poor quarterback. I don’t know if it’s more related to the improvement of the Raiders or how bad the Bears have been with Clausen but this is just the second time in 10 years that the Raiders have started a road game as favourites. There are some question marks. They are just after playing another east coast road game against Cleveland a week ago. I’d also been concerned that cutler does get passed fit but ultimately i feel whichever QB they are faced with they should have enough to cover the 3 points.
Arizona Cardinals -7 @ 21/20
I said last week that the odds-makers had got the handicap badly wrong in the Cardinals game and so it proved with them rolling to 40 point victory over the 49ers. Surely the won’t make that mistake again, right? Well apparently they will as they have been chalked up at favourites of just a touchdown when the St Louis Rams come to Arizona. People still don’t seem to be realizing just how good of a quarterback Carson Palmer is. Already this year he has thrown for over 800yds and 9TDs against just two interceptions to lead the team to a 3-0 start. He’s been helped by the resurgence of veteran Larry Fitzgerald who already caught 5 touchdowns in these 3 games after only managing 2 throughout the entire of last season. The defence has also been on fire making 7 interceptions in the first 3 games.
The Rams after an impressive opening week victory over Seattle have slumped to defeats against both Washington and Pittsburgh. During those two losses they have recorded just 16 total points. They have one of the finest defences in the league and certainly are the toughest unit that the point happy Cardinals have faced. However if they fail to get something to finally click offensively this one could get ugly for them pretty quickly. Arizona, at home will eventually get their points and the Rams just won’t be able to keep up.
San Diego Chargers -6.5 @ 20/21
I like this bet a lot more now that the line has moved down from its earlier position of -7.5 earlier this week. The Cleveland Browns are persisting with sticking with Josh McCown at quarterback despite achieving their sole victory this season with Johnny Manziel under centre. In that victory Manziel only completed 8 passes so neither has look particularly good. Running back has been just as poor and the duo of Crowell and Johnson don’t look well equipped to benefit from what is a poor Chargers run defence.
San Diego has no such issues at QB. Phillip rivers in his 12th season has been one of the best in his position over that time. He’ll be hoping for more protection from his defensive line after being sacked 4 times in each of the last two weeks. However against a Cleveland team that just can’t stop the run i expect them to get the ball in the hands of running backs Melvin Gordon and the underappreciated Danny Woodhead early and often. I really think could be the week where we see a break out performance from first round draft pick Gordon and the Chargers should have more than enough.
Cincinnati Bengals -3.5 @ 10/11
Despite its 1-2 record so far this season the Kansas City Chiefs will be the best team the Bengals have faced this season. After an agonizing late collapse against Denver two weeks ago and defeat to Green Bay last Monday night their season already looks on the line as they travel to Cincinnati. QB Alex Smith was sacked 7 times last week against a Packers defence that is not on the same level of the Bengals and to me the Chiefs look too limited offensively. Smith has too limited a range with almost every play close to the line of scrimmage making them too easy to cover. Cincinnati has big offensive weapons, no more so than A.J. Green who went for 227yds and 2 touchdowns last weekend. I see Kansas perhaps keeping this close for a while but in the second half clocking up the scores on a tired defence.
That’s the preferred bets for this week. I did also like the Jacksonville Jaguars (+9.5) against the struggling Indianapolis Colts but this seems to have been taken off the board due to the unknown injury status to Andrew Luck. If you can find a bookmaker still offering this then it’s certainly value particularly if Luck isn’t 100%. In the London game despite there early season struggles, I think the Miami Dolphins (+1.5) could turn things around against the New York Jets. They certainly aren’t as bad a team as they have shown themselves to be in the opening weeks of the season. Last year they also came to Wembley week 4 with a 1-2 record and turned over the Oakland Raiders easily so the UK has been a happy hunting ground for them.
For this week’s match betting accumulator(without handicaps) I’d advise a five-fold of Oakland, Green Bay, Seattle, Atlanta and Cincinnati. This pays just over 4/1. I recommend backing with Paddy Power as they will refund your stake as a free bet if one selection lets you down.
Best of luck.