NFL Tips | Week 1 |7th-9th September 2014

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WITHOUT having seen any of the teams play in competitive games yet, Week 1 is always a tricky prospect when it comes to betting. Despite this, here are a few selections Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) feels should come in…

New York Giants @ Detroit Lions | Tuesday 00.10

First pick of the season will be the Lions -5.5 at 10/11 with SkyBet over the Giants.

The Giants pre-season was a case study into why you shouldn’t read too much into it sometimes; they went 5-0, yet this was mostly down to the second and third string players as their first team offense was truly awful with Eli Manning completing less than 50% of his passes, with less than five YPA and throwing only one TD.

Of course this wasn’t all his fault and, it seemed, was constantly under pressure. Whilst the Lions secondary isn’t brilliant and can be exploited, will the Giants have enough time to do so with a good Lions DL containing Ndamukong Suh and Ezekiel Ansah coming after them? Not in my eyes.

While I expect to see Lions make some of their usual errors throughout the season, it shouldn’t matter in this game as I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that their offense is a lot better than the Giants’ and should easily cover the spread – I would have it as a much bigger number.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Sunday  21.25

I feel that this match-up is going to be a low-scoring affair, with the strength of both sides being their defence. With that in mind, Under 39.5 points is my pick here at 10/11 with SkyBet.

Considering the struggles both sides had along the OL during pre-season, I expect both defensive front sevens to dominate the line of scrimmage, giving the QBs no time to throw and the RBs no decent running lanes.

Both teams could have success against their opponent’s secondary if given the time, but I just can’t see that happening enough to provide big scoring.

It is of course a new season, but it’s worth noting that the score has gone under in nine of Carolina’s last 10 games and four times in Tampa’s last six games.

Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams | Sunday 18.00

While I don’t believe that the Rams are going to completely fall apart due to the loss of QB Sam Bradford – I don’t really too much difference between him and backup Shaun Hill to be honest – I’m liking the Vikings to beat them here.

This optimism is mainly down to some coaching hires by the Vikings; Mike Zimmer as their new Head Coach and Norv Turner as their new Offensive Co-ordinator. Zimmer, who was the Defensive Co-ordinator for the Bengals is an excellent defensive mind who should really help the Vikings defence this season. Conversely on the offensive side of the ball, Turner has improved offenses wherever he’s been and QB Matt Cassel should get a lot better because of this.

For the Vikings to win here, they will need their all-pro RB Adrian Peterson to establish the ground game early on and slow down Robert Quinn and the rest of the Rams’ very good DL. They will also need scheme ways to get the ball out of Cassel’s hands quickly, preferably to talented WR Cordarrelle Patterson.

If both of these things happen the Vikings can go into St. Louis and win what should be a close game at 1/1 with Bet365.

Best Bets

New York Giants @ Detroit Lions – Lions -5.5 handicap (10/11 SkyBet)

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Under 39.5 points (10/11 SkyBet)

Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams – Vikings to win (1/1 Bet365)

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Tom got into betting after taking a marketing role at Sportingbet in 2009. He's since moved on to IT, but has remained within the industry. His passion in both betting and watching is the NFL, but also follows many other sports. Other interests include rock music, following the Patriots and being confused as to which Nottingham Forest team will show up each week.

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