NFL Tips | Tampa Bay @ St Louis | 18th December 2015 | Sky Sports 1

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TAKING a look at the Thursday night NFL game for us is Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67). What’s the bet Louis?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ St Louis Rams | Friday 01:30 | Sky Sports 1

Three weeks to go and we kick off with two of the most unpredictable and inconsistent teams in the NFL. If ever there was an opening line to get you excited about a game, that wasn’t it!

Actually, this could be a little bit of a classic depending how you like your football. What I envisage here is an old fashioned smash-mouth kind of game.

With Doug Martin and Todd Gurley in the game, do not expect to see the ball in the air too much. Both lead running backs are capable of 200 yard/multiple touchdown kind of performances.

At one point this season, US commentators were talking of Gurley not just as the best rookie RB in the game, but the best RB full stop. A liitle bit over the top and it happened to coincide with a period where Gurley’s form dipped remarkably. That is to be expected from any rookie.

The young man roared back to form on Sunday with a 140 yard and two touchdown performance to virtually beat Detroit on his own and with Case Keenum at QB throwing for just 124 yards, it is difficult to see St Louis moving away from that game plan.

They have nobody to throw the rock to and with the 11th ranked Tampa Defence standing up well against the pass, they have to stick with ground game.

It may well be that you could swap everything written already with Tampa. Jameis Winston is a far better quarterback than Keenum but his problem is a receiving corps that cannot hang onto the ball. St Louis also defend the pass fairly well. Doug Martin has to come into play in much the same way as Gurley.

Tampa actually rank 4th in the entire NFL in rushing with an average 141 yards per game. Looking at the very similar lines for these two backs, it is honestly a coin flip as to which one to hang my hat on. I am a bit of a Doug Martin fan. He is either going 40 or 140 in this game. I am happy to take a punt on it being a good night for the Bucs. We will go with over 85.5 yards on offer from Skybet at odds of 10/11.

Best Bets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ St Louis Rams – Doug Martin Over 85.5 Rushing Yards (10/11 Skybet)

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About Author

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I have been interested in betting since a stint managing a bookmakers 20 years ago. I now work in the travel industry but spend 90% of my day thinking (and talking)about sport. Rarely missing an Arsenal home game, I still find time for my 25 year obsession with the NFL and the Chicago Bears in particular. I'm still stuck in the 80's and can't find anything better to listen to than The Jam or The Smiths. I am a stats junkie where the NFL is concerned and there is no sport in the world where they matter more. My mission is to convert you all to a wonderful sport. Oh and win a few quid along the way.

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