NFL: Murray’s your money-making man on Christmas Eve

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NFL expert Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) runs the rule over Christmas Eve’s packed NFL action with the play-offs looming.

Indianapolis Colts @ Oakland Raiders | Christmas Eve 21:05 | Sky Sports 1

Each week, there is a hope of finding a line that looks to be a palpable error on the part of the layers. Mostly they get it right but I think we have all seen this season that just occasionally they get one very wrong.

That could well be the case in this game.

I actually like Indianapolis in this game, especially with a 3.5 start. Oakland always seems to be in close games and the defence gives up an awful lot of yards.

It is Oakland however that present the best betting opportunity and we return to a guy that has paid us off a couple of times this season – Latavius Murray is the main man in the Raiders backfield.

In the last three weeks, Murray has rushed for 81, 103 and 82 yards against San Diego, Kansas City and Buffalo. With Derek Carr still protecting his dislocated little finger, #28 can again hope to see lots of action.

As usual, it is Paddy Power that are taking the biggest risk with quotes of 5/6 to go over just 63 yards.

For a third time this season, Murray is this week’s confident NAP.

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers | Christmas Eve 18:00

Late last Sunday, I added Ty Montgomery to the player lines and he smashed his quoted figure very early in the first-half. He is featured once again this time.

The Pack are coming. Win this and the NFC title will be decided in Week 17 in a match-up with Detroit.

It is hard playing in Wisconsin in December – the weather is brutal. Expect to see many teams in those conditions keep the ball on the ground; Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers though…

Rodgers can do just about anything. On his inevitable path to Canton and the Hall of Fame, he will certainly pick up another few Super Bowl appearances and now that they are getting healthy again, he may just have the team to take him close this time.

The incredibly overrated Minnesota defence was taken apart by Andrew Luck just a week ago. Luck is good but he’s no Rodgers.

Montgomery is an interesting player. As his number suggests, #88 was drafted as a receiver. Injuries to Eddie Lacy and James Starks have forced Mike McCarthy to put the ball in Ty’s hands and he has not let his coach down.

The odds-setters are running a little scared on setting his rushing and/or receiving lines. Who can blame them? Nobody is sure what role he has to play now Christine Michael is settling in.

Odds-on to cross the goal line – as low as 10/11 in places – means I just cannot ignore the 11/8 offered by Bet365 on an anytime touchdowns win.

An outstanding price on a huge dual threat that will get plenty of chances.

Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears | Christmas Eve 18:00

Another game in freezing conditions, another running back that should see plenty of action, another odds-against pick of outstanding value.

The Bears host the Redskins in a game that will be close. Chicago continues to lose close games but somehow they are staying in touch and putting points on the board.

Jonathon Stewart took Washington’s run defence apart on Monday night – 132 yards on 25 carries against a weak front seven.

Jordan Howard should be able to feast on this defence. The young man has come of age since Matt Forte departed. Since week 10, Howard has gone for 100, 77, 84, 117, 86 and 90 yards.

We may not have a quarterback in Chicago but Howard is following in the tradition of stellar Bears running backs.

As mentioned, conditions are similar to last week and the incredibly unlucky loss to Green Bay. Jordan should see the ball 20 times or so.

The rushing lines in the mid 90s are about right and I am staying away from those but with most odds-setters quoting a Howard touchdown at 8/11, I have to jump on the 11/10 price from Bet365.

This will be close once again and Howard could just be Chicago’s one bright light in another fairly awful year.

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars | Christmas Eve 18:00

Welcome to what I hope is the DeMarco Murray show.

Another Murray, another confident pick – #29 blew the NFL away when he took every rushing crown as a Cowboy. Destroyed by the play -alling in Philadelphia last year, DeMarco has found new life with the Titans.

On Christmas Eve he faces a Jaguars front seven giving up an average 110 yards per-game to runners. There are few better and few in better form than number 29.

After the bye week, Murray seems to come back stronger than ever as Tennesee try and make a shock appearance in the post-season. Ninety-two yards against Denver and 89 against another top defence in Kansas City are huge games. He faces nothing remotely that difficult in Week 16.

Marcus Mariota is turning into a very decent quarterback but in a game they simply have to (and really should) win, Tennesee will rely on its ground game.

Derek Henry will see plenty of action around the goal line, but it is Murray that will get them there. I am pleasantly surprised to see Paddy Power taking such a low view in this one and have 82.5 yards as almost bet of the week.

It’s a standout number especially as #29 generally sees the ball around 20 times a game. One or two big bursts are almost inevitable. I really like this play.

Finally, I want to wish you all a merry Christmas. Every page view, every tweet, every opinion (even different to mine) is appreciated.

Good luck with your bets this weekend.

Best Bets

Indianapolis Colts @ Oakland Raiders – Latavius Murray over 60.5 rushing yards (10/11 SkyBet)

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers – Ty Montgomery anytime touchdown (11/8 Bet365)

Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears – Jordan Howard anytime touchdown (11/10 Bet365)

Tennesee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars – DeMarco Murray over 82.5 rushing yards (5/6 Paddy Power)

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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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