To sum up week 6 for me in one word…Ugly! It all started out nicely with the napped Minnesota Vikings covering the 3.5pt spread. Going into Monday night we still looked ok waiting on the New York Giants to put the finishing touches on 3/1 and 9/1 accumulators. Having an early start to make on Tuesday morning I reluctantly decided to stay up for the first quarter and everything seemed to be going to plan. The Giants scored a touchdown on their opening possession followed by an Eagles three and out. With the Giants then driving deep in the Eagles half I toddled off happily to bed confident I’d be landing both bets. Long story short, the ghost of Eli past returned and New York collapsed to a 27-7 defeat.
While glad to move on from that, I did approach this week with some trepidation given the number of teams on bye week. By the time I got round to looking at the handicaps on Friday night I was pleasantly surprised to find what I believe to be some great value bets for this weekend.
Atlanta Falcons -6 @ 10/11 (NAP)
The Tennessee Titans come into this trying to salvage something from a four game home stand which has already seen them lose to the Colts, Bills and last week’s lopsided defeat to the also struggling Miami Dolphins. If they are to do so it will have to be without QB Marcus Mariota who fallen to the first injury of his short career. He will be replaced by Zach Mettenberger certainly has a arm but will be playing behind an offensive line which has allowed 4th most sacks in the NFL this season. To compound matters further Centre Brian Schwenke has been placed on injured reserve and will be replaced by rookie Andy Gallik while receiving target Harry Douglas looks like he’ll miss out on against his former team. While the Falcons have had their struggles containing the run, RBs Antonio Andrews and Dexter McCluster aren’t scaring anyone this season least not behind this line.
The Falcons come into Tennessee with the 4th ranked offence in the NFL. Star receiver Julio Jones has posted disappointing numbers by his own lofty standards over the last three weeks as he struggled with a hamstring injury. During this spell the Falcons have been aided by the emergence of running back Devonta Freeman who gone in for 8 touchdowns and bucket loads of yardage over the last 4 games. Between him and Jones who is now listed as healthy for the first time since week 1 this could turn into a very long day for the Titans defence. They have an extremely poor home record against the spread and I can see the Falcons winning this one by two touchdowns or more.
New York Jets +7.5 @ 10/11
If somebody had told me preseason that the New York Jets would be coming into Week 7 facing the Patriots battling to go top of the division I would have thought they were crazy. However first year head coach Todd Bowles seems to have managed to reinvigorate the team. Veterans on the secondary Revis and Cromartie have been joined by free agent addition Buster Skrine while offensively Chirs Ivory and Brandon Marshall have been getting it done, aided by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who been as solid as anytime in his career.
The Patriots have been an offensive juggernaut all season. Tom Brady is lighting up opponents in the passing game already having thrown for 14 touchdowns with just one interception. While it doesn’t make these stats any less impressive it’s important to remember that he is yet to face a pass defence ranked higher than 17th so far this season. Looking around the league if any team possesses the ability to slow down Brady it would be the Jets (or possibly the Broncos.)
New England have won 7 of the last 8 meeting with New York although many of these games have been closer than you might imagine, often having been decided in the last two minutes of play or in overtime. I saw a stat during the week that said the Jets are 10/1 against the spread in their last 11 October games against their divisional rival Pats. They are number one in the conference in both running the ball and stopping the run which is always a great combination and I think their strengths match up well against the Patriots weaknesses.
The line on this game has moved in from 9pts earlier in the week to 7.5 now. However with the strength of this Jets defence (Fewest pts allowed, fewest rush yards allowed) I’ll happily take the Jets to keep this within a touchdown and possibly even get a shock victory.
Indianapolis Colts -4 @ 20/21
After a rough start to the season and the injury to QB Andrew Luck, the Colts had somewhat righted the ship before an embarrassing special teams gaff contributed to their downfall against the Patriots last weekend. That will hurt this Indianapolis team and they will come into this one looking to make amends. Their offense has been protecting the ball better. After turning it over 12 times in the first four games they have now gone two without a turnover. They are also amongst the best home teams in the NFL against the spread covering in 22 of their last 30 games.
In contrast the New Orleans putrid defence has been even worse in road games giving up over 32pts and 460yds a game. While 4 points is a higher spread than I would like, I think that the Colts should be at least a touchdown better here.
Just the three picks from me this week. Hopefully quality over quantity! I was talking to a Raiders fan on Friday night who pointed out that the total match points line for the Raiders-Chargers games was set at 46.5 which does seem like a great opportunity for an over bet in what could well turn into a shootout.
For my match betting (without handicaps) accumulator this weekend I’ve gone for Atlanta, Indianapolis, Miami, San Diego and Arizona at total odds of 9/2. Backed with paddy power the stake will be returned as a free bet if one selection lets us down.
Best of luck