WE asked Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) to pick his three best bets in the NFL this Sunday.
Detroit Lions @ Washington Redskins | Sunday 18:00
Warning. If you are a fan of these two teams, my last two tips have resulted in game and season ending injuries to the quarterback. Sorry Matt, sorry Kirk. You’re both in the firing line today.
The NFL tends to throw up these incredibly tight games every week. Both Detroit and Washington come into this game off the back of good wins last Sunday. The Lions by a field goal at home over the London bound Los Angeles Rams, whilst the Redskins took a fourth successive W by a touchdown after a tough fought game with Philadelphia.
The ‘Skins travel to Detroit off the back of four successive wins. The Lions host with one of the most one dimensional offences in pro football. One dimensional does not seem to be hurting them as much as most of us would imagine. Despite the lack of anything you could describe as a running game, Matt Stafford has managed to take his team downfield with a mixture of short screens and an arm that is reviving the career of Marvin Jones.
This weeks ‘no way’ stat is that since this stage last season, Stafford and Washington’s main main Cousins are the 2nd and 3rd rated passers in the entire NFL. They face reasonably bad passing defences this afternoon and the way to profit should lay in the points market. I think they layers have this wrong and hope we can exploit that error.
Cousins will certainly miss Jordan Reed at Tight End but with Garçon, Crowder and Jackson out wide, Vernon Davis covering Reed and a running game that has endless options, scoring points should not be an issue. Keeping them out at the other end could present Washington with its biggest problem.
Matt Stafford comes into this game off the back of two near faultless starts and passer rating at a huge 136.7. Seven TDs and zero INTs is how you win games.
If Josh Norman does indeed cover Jones today, something I doubt personally, then Golden Tate will be willing and able to exploit his man coverage.
Perhaps the most impressive stat in Detroits favour is that of third down conversion. A staggering 46.5%. If you put that number against Washington’s league second best 6.5 yards per play, once again that line of 50 looks invitingly low.
This is a game I would not attempt to call result wise. The Redskins can create mismatches all over the field and certainly have the better ground attack whilst Detroit look built to win tight games. I will stick with the Overs line in this one and just sit back and enjoy what should be a shootout.
Over 50 points will be the main pick here but I also see a lot of value in the Redskins moving the ball quickly enough to score at least once every 15 minutes. It’s always a bet I like in these kind of games especially indoors.
San Diego Chargers @ Atlanta Falcons | Sunday 21:05
Another indoor game, another featuring two very good quarterbacks, two teams in great form and another game where the layers have been a little conservative with the points line.
Atlanta must still be cursing after a very late and controversial loss in Washington State last weekend but very hopeful of getting back to winning ways in what looks just their kind of game.
The number one offence in the NFL meets the number three. The highest ranked quarterback of all time never to win a Super Bowl meets the third highest ranked. And the line is just 54.5? Really.
Ok so this is just the kind of matchup we see in the NFL where two high powered offences who should be putting 70 plus on the board end up scrapping for a defence dominated 17-13 bore fest. It happened in New York last month when the Giants and Saints put a nation to sleep much like Jose did on Monday night. Surely it cannot go like that this time. These two are two of the very best going forward at this moment.
Matt Ryan is having a career season without restricting himself to just looking at Julio Jones every time. Mohammed Sanu was a very intelligent pickup and the likes of Tevin Coleman out of the backfield and Jacob Tamme steadily improving at Tight End are giving him more options and less opportunities to be put on the floor.
Philip Rivers has had to put with losing so many of his biggest weapons so far in 2016 but does not seem to have taken any notice at all. Travis Benjamin has grown visibly post the season ending injury sustained by Keenan Allen.
San Diego may have felt the loss of the exceptionally versatile Danny Woodhead the strongest but Melvin Gordon has taken on a huge workload to compensate and this 2nd season back has flourished as a result being involved in half of the Chargers offensive plays.
The San Diego defence has improved steadily this year and the culmination of that was last time out when they throttled the Denver offence. That performance had a lot to do with the second start for star draft pick Joey Bosa who has looked an absolute beast and worth every penny of the massive contract that he eventually managed to agree with the San Diego front office.
Just before that Broncos game, I spent a lot of time talking to a couple of incredibly knowledgeable American fans who convinced me that San Diego was THE most underrated team in the NFL this season.
The victory over Denver was a big statement and current odds of 80/1 for the big one would tumble if they manage to back it up here. That’s not an endorsement for their chances of winning the whole thing in February but I do think they are a side on the up and although not a pick here, I will be taking San Diego to cover in this game, in my own bets.
No, I believe that much like the first game previewed this is a shootout and I will take a very similar approach and fairly confidently take this to go some way over the line around 54 with most firms.
A word of caution for yardage backers, the last time an Atlanta receiver had 200 yards in a game, they struggled to reach 60 next time out. Just sayin’. Julio.