A great return to form for us last weekend. Nap and next best, Arizona and Chicago duly obliged on the handicap market. New England also easily covered with San Diego being our only let down. A late collapse from Kansas sank the match betting accumulator but 4 out of 5 meant that again stakes were returned as a free bet.
Minnesota Vikings -3.5 @ 20/21
It’s hard not to feel sorry for the Kansas City Chiefs. They went into last week’s game against the Bears with a 1-3 record after having a very tough schedule to start the season. Leading 17-3 early in the third quarter it seemed they were cruising towards putting their season back on track. That was until Jamaal Charles went down with a season ending ACL injury. If anybody was in any doubt of the running backs importance to this Chiefs side they then conspired to lose the game 18-17. Without Charles, the heartbeat of this team it looks like it’s going to become a long season for the Chiefs.
The Minnesota Vikings are themselves likely to lean heavily on their own star running back. Despite struggling to get things going with their passing game, Adrian Peterson looks back to his brilliant best in the last three outings. They are going for a sixth home win in a row and against a demoralised Chiefs outfit here I can see them winning this by double digits.
New York Giants +5.5 @ 10/11
The Philadelphia Eagles finally got their season rolling last week annihilating the New Orleans Saints and will look to carry that momentum into their divisional matchup with the New York Giants on Monday night football. Having struggled on offence through the first four games, things came together with QB Sam Bradford looking more comfortable than he had previously while RB DeMarco Murray ran for 83yds and a touchdown. That however was against a New Orleans defence that is arguably the worst in the league. New York has been strong in defending the run this season and could bottle up Murray, forcing the Eagles to go to the air. While the New York D has been susceptible to the pass it is worth noting that in the 3 games where Sam Bradford has had 30 or more passing attempts he has been intercepted twice in each game.
For the Giants the hot or cold Eli Manning has most certainly been hot this year. He has already 10 touchdowns against just 2 interceptions over the first 5 games. The Eagles defence has a propensity to leave their outside cornerback on one and one coverage. If they can’t get to Manning, WRs Odell Beckham Jr and Rueban Randle could burn them on some big plays. Both Randle and Beckham Jr are concerns going into this with hamstring injuries but both are expected to play. In particular, if Beckham misses out it could slow down the Giants offence quite a bit.
The Eagles don’t have a great home record going 13-13 over the last four seasons. Normally with two evenly matched teams, home advantage would count for 3 point favouritism on the handicap. For me the Giants are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL right now and I see them as clearly a better side than the Eagles. They should not only cover the handicap but also at odds of 2/1 are a great bet to win this outright.
Denver Broncos -4 @ 20/21
Has ever a perfect record been more maligned than that of the 5-0 Denver Broncos? They have struggled to get anything going offensively and it would appear that Father time has finally caught up with 18 year veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. None of this has mattered though as their defensive has dominated all year and are ranked number 2 in all of the NFL. They have a talented duo of running back in CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman who despite their struggles this year now have the perfect remedy facing a Cleveland defence that has been able to stop anyone running on them.
Along with not being able to stop the run, Cleveland hasn’t been able to run the ball themselves. That makes for a very bad combination. Josh McCown might have hoodwinked some people into thinking he’s a very good quarterback with some admittedly impressive performances. Believe me he’s not and this is the week that he’ll come crashing back to earth. At home the Browns might be able to hang in this one for a while but in the end the Broncos should prevail and cover.
Arizona Cardinals -3.5 @ 10/11
You didn’t think I’d forgotten the Arizona Cardinals did you? They have been obliging on the handicap for us so far this season and I don’t think this is the week to abandon them. Admittedly facing the Steelers in Pittsburgh is a harder assignment than they have had all year but I fancy them to come through this test and show themselves as real Superbowl contenders.
Pittsburgh are still missing QB Ben Roethlisberger. In his absence backup Michael Vick has managed to keep the Steelers rolling albeit with a much more conservative attack. There suspect secondary means they may have to air the ball out a lot more in this game to keep in touch. When they do a Cardinals defence that has chalked up plenty of takeaways already this season should take advantage.
I also like Detroit (-3) against the Bears. They have to get a first win at some point and they won’t get many better opportunities than against Chicago. My suggested double from the main bets would be the Vikings and Giants.
For my accumulator bet without handicaps I suggest Denver, Green Bay, New England, Minnesota and New York. I’ve gone slightly riskier this week with these 5 adding up to a 9/1 accumulator. As always those who back this on Paddy Power will get their money back as a free bet if one selection lets them down.
Best of luck