LOUIS Ross (@LouisRoss67) is back with his best picks from Week 8 in the NFL.
Washington Redskins @ Cincinnati Bengals | Sunday 13:30 | BBC
The final London game of the season and the first one I have seen as a viable betting proposition. That will be due in no small part to the significant injuries suffered by the ‘Skins and in particular the loss of star cornerback Josh Norman.
With an in-form AJ Green to defend against, Washington will unable to stack the box and having suddenly found a running game, the Bengals and primarily Jeremy Hill should be able to take advantage.
Hill put 167 yards on the worst run defence in the NFL last Sunday. He should easily be able to cover the 61.5 yard line put up by Skybet. The 25th best run defence is not an awful lot better than the 32nd ranked one he shredded last week.
Washington is giving up a 31st best in the league five yards per carry so far in 2016. The return to fitness and form of Tyler Eifert is another huge plus in this matchup.
The Redskins offence is working reasonably well under Kirk Cousins so are not complete write off in this game. It is the other side of the ball that is losing them games. Well, that and a few untimely fumbles from Matt Jones who is another missing this game through injury.
Despite missing Jones, Washington does have a lot of options at the Running Back position and could exploit a Bengals D which itself gave up 180 yards on the ground in two of the last three weeks.
No, don’t write the Redskins off by any means especially if they can get Jordan Reed fit enough to start at Tight End. I backed over 46 points in this game last Monday and that would have been a tip here, had the line not moved sharply up with 49.5 now quoted by most firms.
I would hope to see Hill get at least 15 carries here and am pleasantly surprised that SkyBet have set this line at what seems to me to be a very generous mark. Having rushed for 97 yards against a fearsome Denver defence at the end of last month, this seems a much more straightforward task.
Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans | Sunday 17:00
There is one pattern that has repeated itself many times over the years in the NFL. That one where the star quarterback gets injured and the backup comes in and does incredibly well. Said backup then earns himself a huge contract with a bad team desperate for a star passer and basically then disappears.
Matt Cassel came in for an injured Tom Brady in New England. Kansas City mortgaged its future to get him and he’s now backing up, back ups.
Anyone remember that guy who replaced Aaron Rodgers for one game, threw five touchdowns and then became number one in Seattle. Matt somebody (they’re not always called Matt)
The latest addition to that list is a certain Brock Osweiller who did an adequate job covering Peyton Manning at Denver last year on the way to Super Bowl glory.
Despite the fact that it was really the Broncos defence that powered them into the playoffs and beyond, Houston was desperate to hand a guy with 10 starts under centre a $70 million contract.
Osweiller has been bad. So so bad. Bad enough that he broken passing records (in a bad way) that go back to 1950. His average 5.7 yards per passing attempt ranks last in the league. He is hardly up against an elite defence with Detroit basically being taken apart by almost every quarterback they face.
If this Lions unit was not so bad, I would have to be all over young Brock going under his passing line of 240 yards or even taking the 29/20 on offer for Houston to turn it over most often.
No, instead I’m focused on the Lions having all the game winners in this match up. Matt Stafford is having a career season, Marvin Jones was a brilliant pick up and Theo Riddick is fit again. I’m confident that Detroit can win a fourth successive game and I will take the added bonus of a 1.5 start on the handicap.