NFL boff Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) returns to cover Monday Night Football's double-header on week one.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings | Tuesday 12th September 2017, 00:10 | Sky Sports
So, the NFL is finally back! And we get the Adrian Peterson Revenge Game for the first MNF match-up of the season!
Given the depth that the Saints have at RB, I’m not expecting fireworks from him… nor am I expecting too much from either offense in this one and so I’m going to be backing this game to go Under 48 points at 49/50 (Marathon)
My reasoning for this predominantly comes from the Minnesota’s play on both sides of the ball. Defensively, there isn’t much I need to mention other than that the Vikings boast one of the best defences in the league.
They only really lost one starter from last year’s third-ranked group and have a very good young core, who are only going to get better with another year of experience. They will also be facing the road iteration of the Saints offense, who are typically not as good as they are at home.
Offensively, I’m really not sure what we’re going to get out of Minnesota – the poor OL that QB Sam Bradford has to play behind really limits what they are able to do, with teams knowing he won’t have time to throw deep and so key on the underneath routes. They also performed very badly during the pre-season, with the first team failing to score on any of their possessions.
The wildcard is their rookie RB Dalvin Cook, who I’m quite excited to see in a full game – he could provide the Vikings with some much needed spark that they haven’t had since, well… Adrian Peterson.
Even so, with a top-five defence to help limit Saints QB Drew Brees and the rest of the New Orleans offence combined with an unknown quantity that is their own offence, I’ll go under on a pretty high line.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos | Tuesday 12th September 2017, 03:20 | Sky Sports
The second game comes from the ultra-competitive AFC West where the newly relocated Chargers travel to Denver to face the Broncos.
All four teams look to be in with a shout at winning the division and I find these two to be pretty evenly matched. Instead of trying to pick between the two, I’ll focus on Chargers RB Melvin Gordon and take him to go Over 69.5 Rushing Yards (5/6 Paddy Power) in the final game of week one.
In two games against Denver last year, Gordon averaged 102.5 yards on the ground. The Broncos rush defence was by far their most glaring weakness last season, ranking 28th in the league after giving up 130.3 rushing yards a game.
I don’t think that this season is going to be much different for Denver in that regard as from what I can see as the only move they made to address this was signing NT Domata Peko from the Bengals and he’s the wrong side of 30.
They also lost their Defensive Coordinator in Wade Phillips. Phillips has been a superb coordinator for years and I don’t think your defence gets better without him.
From a Chargers point of view, their coaching changes should be a boon for Gordon – they made Anthony Lynn their new head coach, and it was Lynn who was the architect of the great rushing attack in Buffalo behind LeSean McCoy.
The Chargers OL is not the greatest and has already suffered injuries, but against a weak Broncos rush defence and with the creativity of Lynn, I expect Gordon to continue his good run against Denver.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings – Under 48 Points (49/50 Marathon)
Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos – Melvin Gordon to have Over 69.5 Rushing Yards (5/6 (Paddy Power)