IT’S Week 7 and our resident NFL geek Tom Selwyn (@tom_selwyn) has cast his eyes over the weekend fixtures seeking the best bets.
New Orleans Saints @ Detroit Lions | Sunday 18:00
Prior to the season, I think everyone would have had this game down as a high scoring shootout between two powerful offenses. Strangely, this has not been the case and I’ll be going Under 48 Points here at 10/11 with Skybet.
Conversely to what you associate with Detroit, it has been their defence that is having to pull the offense along. The Lions have the top ranked defence in the league at this stage of the season (1st in YPG, 1st against the pass and 1st against the run). Their offense on the other hand is struggling a lot with star WR Calvin Johnson playing through an injury early and more recently out altogether.
The Saints are also struggling on offense and been without their own primary target in TE Jimmy Graham. With both top playmakers out on either side (although Graham is currently listed as Questionable for this game) and a top defence on one team, a low-scoring game seems on the cards.
Miami Dolphins @ Chicago Bears | Sunday 18:00
A match-up based bet this one, and I like the Chicago Bears to take care of business at home, covering the -3 handicap in the process at 10/11 with Skybet.
First is the Miami run game against the Bears run defence. Thanks to offseason acquisitions like DT Jay Ratliff, the Bears rank a surprising 10th in the league against the run and although the Dolphins are no slouches running the ball (6th in the league going into this game), they lost their primary RB Knowshon Moreno for the season last week.
I also like Chicago’s WRs Brandon Marshall (going against his old team) + Alshon Jeffrey matching up against Miami’s CBs Brent Grimes + Cortland Finnegan. I don’t think the Dolphin’s CBs will be able to hold up against Marshall + Jeffrey all game, especially with TE Martellus Bennett drawing the safeties in the middle and RB Matt Forte (who actually leads the league in receptions at this point!) also keeping the defence occupied catching balls out of the backfield.
Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers | Sunday 18:00
Last week, the Panthers finally unleashed QB Cam Newton, signalling he is finally over the early season injuries he was dealing with. I don’t think he’ll be able to out-duel Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to win this one, but I can see him going Over 40.5 Rushing Yards in the contest. Ladbrokes price that at 10/11.
Newton had a huge game last week in the tie with Cincinnati, rushing for 107 yards on 17 touches. A lot of these runs were designed plays too, indicating that he will be a large part of the running game going forward – especially with the injuries that Carolina has suffered at RB.
This is also a favourable match-up on the ground for the Panthers; Green Bay are ranked dead last in run defence, giving up 154.5 yards a game on the ground. The designed QB runs, along with any scrambles should mean Newton gets over the total here.