NFL: Hooper to hose up in Arizona


NFL nut Kyle Brown (@Kyleianbrown) runs the rule over best bets from Sunday's Week 6 action.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens | Sunday 13th October 2019, 18:00

The 0-5 Cincinnati Bengals travel to face their AFC North rivals, the 3-2 Baltimore Ravens, in a match where the home team will looking to extend their lead atop of a division which has vastly underwhelmed in 2019.

The value in this game lies with the Bengals QB Andrew Dalton, who despite not winning a game yet, has been steadily improving under new head coach Zac Taylor.

Dalton has faced three top 10 pass defences in his five opening games; SF (#2), BUF (#3) and PIT (#10). Despite that, the Bengals are still putting up 258 passing yards per game, which is good for 9th in the league.

Dalton’s passing line is bang on the money, set at 259.5 yards on bookmakers like Sky Bet and Betway at odds of 5/6. I’m inclined to bet the over in this matchup, given the face the Ravens will likely be leading through most quarters and forcing the Bengals to play fast and long.

That said, I think the best bet lies in the total number of passing attempts.

You can get Dalton to have over 37.5 passing attempts at 5/6 on Sky. In 2019, he’s thrown the ball 51, 48, 36, 37 and 38 times in each game week. Again, bear in mind the fact he was playing against the 2nd and 3rd ranked passing defence in two of those weeks. Considering that 36 attempts was his worst starts to give the bet some value.

Baltimore are ranked 30th out of 32 against the pass, allowing 1400 yards (280.0 p/g). On the other hand, they also boast an offense who can put points on the board quickly, which in tun, will give the ball back to the Bengals and in Daltons hands.

I’m very much sure this will be a Ravens win, but the value is on the other side. Back Dalton to throw plenty.

Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals | Sunday 13th October 2019, 21:05

Austin Hooper is having a breakout season. Currently ranked the #2 Tight End in terms of passing yards and points scored, he now comes up against an Arizona defence that has allowed the league highest yards to tight ends.

Through five games, Hooper has been targeted 9, 6, 7, 11 and 9 times in each game week. He only has two touchdowns to show for that but has been targeted in the red zone in three of those five games. If there’s ever a game to bolster those numbers, it’ll be this one.

Sky Bet have a very nice reception line on site, with 1/1 available for over 5.5 receptions. This bet would have won in 4/5 games this season.

Everything seems to be lining up for the tight end to have a big week. Arizona have the 4th lowest time of possession (27:22 p/g), giving the ball to Matt Ryan’s high-flying offence.

Ryan himself has thrown over 300 yards in every game in 2019, averaging 2.2 passing TD’s per game.
Lastly, offenses facing this Cardinals defence are averaging the NFL’s 6th-most plays per game (66.4) and have a 12:0 TD/INT ratio.

As well as the reception line, I’d back Hooper to add to his touchdown haul. Sky again have the best price (13/8) for the tight end to catch the money ball. He is as short as 11/10 elsewhere.

Best Bets

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens – Andrew Dalton over 37.5 passing attempts (5/6 Sky Bet)

Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals – Austin Hooper Over 5.5 receptions (1/1 Sky Bet)

Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals – Austin Hooper to score a touchdown at anytime (13/8 Sky Bet)

About Author

As a journalism student consumed by sports on a daily basis, being paid to write about them would be the dream upon graduating (assuming I don’t get scouted last minute to play for Barcelona). I’m Scottish born and proudly support the national team, as well as Chelsea and the Chicago Bears. My family are all massive Rangers fans - regardless of what division they wake up in. I’ve started using statistics and data to make selections, rather than my gut. American Football is what I specialise in, and thankfully for me, it is a massively data-driven sport. Everything from pass completion to weather forecasts are taken into account. My love for numbers comes from my interest in poker. I play regularly online and at casinos, and every decision made requires thought into percentages and odds. Although there is an element of luck, it showed me that grasping an understanding of mathematics could prove to be very profitable.

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