NFL expert Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) runs the rule over Sunday’s packed NFL action with the play-offs looming.
Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns | Sunday 18:00
We return to Cleveland, a place that provides the worst football team in the NFL and some of the best betting opportunities each week.
No need to repeat as we have done many times before but there is one vital statistic relevant to Sunday and that is the Browns rush defence. It does not exist – 31st of the 32 teams in the league and surrendering an average of 146 yards per-game.
LeSean McCoy has won for us regularly and it is to him I return. ‘Shady’ had a little mid-season injury break as he is prone to do but has had a really consistent 2016.
Eight of his last 10 starts have seen him go over 100 yards from scrimmage. I expected to see him quoted at 100+ yards this week – Bet365 quote 100.5 which is why I feel that Ladbrokes line of 90.5 (17/20) is slightly low and is a very confident pick to kick us off.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals | Sunday 18:00 | Sky Sports 1
It is to another running back we go to next and probably just about the most in-form one in the NFL right now.
LeVeon Bell is an absolute monster. Ben Roethlisberger did not throw a pass in almost the entire second-half in Buffalo last weekend – he didn’t need to.
The Steelers won by letting Bell do his thing, 38 times. If they give him the ball half as much here, he is likely to go over 100 yards for the fifth straight game and against a rushing defence as poor as the Bengals, that is what most of us would choose to do.
Why would Pittsburgh risk putting the ball in the air when Bell is currently reaching a point where he is unstoppable? Once again, most firms have the line of well over 100 yards.
Paddy Power are quite often the firm that takes a slight risk and 98.5 seems overly generous at 5/6.
Bell IS the Steelers right now despite the presence of the wonderful Antonio Brown and I have no doubt they will exploit a rushing defence currently ranked 25th and giving up an average of 119 yards per-game.
San Francesco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons | Sunday 21:05
If I am writing about a Saints game, you can guarantee I am writing about the wonderful Drew Brees.
Except this week. Brees is having a dreadful time by the way. No TDs in two games is almost unheard of.
This game is all about Atlanta though and despite them missing Julio Jones for a second successive game, Matt Ryan still has plenty of attacking options.
The league’s number one and number three offences meet here and that should mean plenty of scoring and Ryan currently has a new favourite wideout in rookie Tyler Gabriel.
Gabriel has five TDs in his last six starts and I see absolutely no reason why against a poor Saints defence (especially on the road) that he cannot continue that form at home.
Saints rank 29th against the pass and there are few better with the ball than Matt Ryan. He will find his guys regularly.
This is one of those ‘errors’ that are out there every week. It’s Paddy Power we pick on once again and I’m taking as much of their line of just 60.5 as I can at 5/6. Ryan and Gabriel are capable of double that.
Gabriel is incredibly versatile even out of the backfield and I think he’s in for a big game. Lets hope for yards and scores with a touchdown quoted at 6/5 (Bet365) worth snapping up.
Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns – LeSean McCoy over 90.5 rushing yards (17/20 Ladbrokes)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals – LeVeon Bell over 98.5 rushing yards (5/6 Paddy Power)
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons – Taylor Gabriel over 60.5 receiving yards (5/6 Paddy Power)
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons – Taylor Gabriel anytime touchdown (6/5 Bet365)