NFL expert Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) shares his expert opinion on the best bets available from Sunday's action on Week 9.
Chicago Bears @ Buffalo Bills | Sunday 4th November 2018, 18:00
I’m going to start this week off in Western New York where the Chicago Bears will face off against the Buffalo Bills. This game could get ugly for Buffalo as Nathan Peterman looks set to start at Quarterback with Josh Allen still nursing an injury and Derek Anderson in concussion protocol after last Monday’s game with New England.
Peterman is one of the most turnover prone QBs I’ve seen and now gets one of the league’s best defences, which is why we see the Bears with such a big handicap in this match-up.
Given the erratic performances of Chicago’s offense and the play of Buffalo’s defence, that’s not something I’ll be touching, but I believe I’ve found one facet of the offense we can look to take advantage of, and that’s their change of pace RB Tarik Cohen.
Cohen has been on fire in recent weeks and I’ll be all over the Over 57.5 Rushing and Receiving Yards at 10/11 (Paddy Power). After a slow start to the season, Cohen has passed this yardage mark in his last five games and it’s normally been by healthy margin, with totals of 68, 174, 121, 83 and 110 yards.
Such is the explosive nature of his play, these totals have come on limited touches and you have to think that the Bears are looking at ways to get him more involved.
Patriots RB James White, who is a similar player to Cohen in my view, was a nightmare for the Bills through the air on Monday (10 catches for 79 yards) and I think we’ll see a similar sort of output from Cohen here.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns | Sunday 4th November 2018, 18:00
The firing of Hue Jackson was a long time coming for the Cleveland Browns – too long if we’re being honest – but the timing of this upheaval is not the best when you’ve got one of the league’s best teams coming to town.
The Browns have been saying all the right things about the changes, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing enough of an improvement on the field to hold off the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Double Result is a touch short to go for in this one and Kansas City winning both halves could fall victim to the Chiefs easing off the gas late on, so I’ll be backing the Chiefs to get out in front early and stay there – Kansas City to Lead after Every Quarter is my bet here at 49/50 (bet365).
This bet puts a lot on the Chiefs scoring in the 1st Quarter, but this is something they have done with regularity this season. They lead the league in 1st Quarter points this season with 9.4 and actually score more on the road, with 11 compare to 7.8 at home.
And luckily for us, the Browns sit at the complete opposite end of the spectrum in this stat – dead last with an average of just 1.8 points scored in the 1st Quarter and a fat zero if you narrow this down to their home match-ups.
Kansas City’s offense has showed no signs of slowing down, but their defence has finally started to pick up lately, especially with the pass rush. Given Cleveland’s struggles on the OL, I think we’ll be receiving some help from the Chiefs defence to compliment the offense here.
If they do get out in front, and the stats certainly point to them doing so, then I can’t see the Browns getting back into it.
Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Redskins | Sunday 4th November 2018, 18:00
My final pick of the week comes from Washington, where the Atlanta Falcons visit the Redskins.
One of the more striking statistics this season is the discrepancy between how many points Atlanta scores at home compare to on the road – 34.5 to 14.5. Despite backing them last week, I still don’t trust Washington’s offense enough to back them here, but I will be backing this game to go Under 48 points.
The main doubt I have here is how the banged up Falcons defence has been performing, giving up 30.3 points a game (30th in the league), but the Redskins have shown me nothing on offense to indicate that they’ll be able to take advantage of this.
Washington average just 20.9 points a game, which is 25th in the league, and from what I’ve seen this season, if Adrian Peterson doesn’t have a big game then Washington don’t do well. In their wins, Peterson averages 112.2 yards a game and they score 23.6 points a game. But in their losses, Peterson averages just 13 yards a game(!) and in turn Washington scores just 14 points a game.
The Redskins defence you can generally rely on however. They rank fourth in total yards allowed (second against the run, 13th against the pass) and give up just 19.1 points a game.
An offense that doesn’t travel well, on the road against a team boasting a strong defence and an inconsistent offense that goes as their 33 year old RB goes? The unders, for me, here.
Chicago Bears @ Buffalo Bills – Tarik Cohen to have Over 57.5 Rushing and Receiving Yards (10/11 Paddy Power)
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns – Kansas City Chiefs to lead after every quarter (49/50 Bet365)
Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Redskins – Under 48 Points (10/11 BetVictor)