NFL expert Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) shares his expert opinion on the best bets available from Sunday's action on Week 7.
Tennessee Titans @ Los Angeles Chargers | Sunday 21st October 2018, 14:30
There’s another game in London this weekend and it involves one of the teams from my favourite Wembley game – the Chargers lost 32 – 37 to the Saints way back in 2008 in a superb encounter.
Unfortunately the games in London of late have not been as competitive with the margin of victory being 24.5 over the last four games. With the way that the Titans and Chargers have been performing of late, this one figures to not be very close either.
It’s very tempting to take Los Angeles -6.5 here and I wouldn’t blame you if you did, but I think there’s enough evidence to suggest that the Chargers should be getting off to an early lead in this one, so I’ll be taking LA to Lead After Every Quarter at a nicer price (8/5 Bet365) than the handicap.
The Chargers currently boast the league’s seventh-ranked offense and have achieved this feat in three of their four wins this season, with the only exception being Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers who have shown that they can score on most teams.
The other teams? The Browns, Raiders and Bills. At this point I have no problem lumping the Titans in with these teams as they are in offensive funk right now, scoring just 12 points over their last two games.
Even when they scored 14 points in the first quarter of their win over Houston in Week 2, the Titans still only average 4.3 points in the first quarter this season (21st in the league) – if you take that game out it slips down to just 2.5! In contrast, the Chargers average a healthy seven points (sixth) and are a far superior offense.
Only the Bills and Cardinals score less than the Titans and there’s no reason to believe they’ll keep up with Philip Rivers and company. If the Chargers get ahead early, and the stats suggest they will, they should stay ahead.
Minnesota Vikings @ New York Jets | Sunday 21st October 2018, 18:00
I think Jets fans have to be happy with their rookie QB Sam Darnold and how he’s been progressing so far this season, but for this pick I’m going to be looking at the Vikings’ new QB Kirk Cousins.
Despite being under a lot of pressure, Cousins has consistently delivered and sits fifth in the league for passing yards with 1,921. That averages out at just over 320 yards per-game and given you can get even-money (Paddy Power) on him going Over 274.5 Yards in this game, I’ll be all over that.
Cousins has gone over that total in four of six games this season and in all three of Minnesota’s road games (averaging a whopping 382.7 yards per-game outside of Minnesota). He’ll be facing a Jets defence this week that is ranked 22nd against the pass and has a bit of an injury crisis in the secondary with two starters already ruled out and another listed as doubtful.
With two very talented WRs in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs lining up against them, it could be a long day for the Jets pass defence. Thielen in particular has been superb this season, currently leading the league in receiving and receptions, while breaking records along the way for 100+ yard games. He’s torched whoever he’s been up against and I expect this game to be no different.
I think this would have been a good bet even before the news that the Jets have a number of injuries in the secondary. Cousins should have another nice stat line in this one.
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers | Sunday 21st October 2018, 21:25
On to the other Los Angeles team now as the Rams take on the 49ers. After the Chiefs lost to the Patriots last week it left the Rams as the only remaining undefeated team.
I can’t envision they’ll be losing this status to the short-handed 49ers, but I think that since Jimmy Garoppolo went down to injury San Francisco is get unfairly written off each week by the bookies, especially in the points market.
I’ve praised Rams head coach Sean McVay for being a brilliant offensive mind, but you could make a case that what Kyle Shanahan has done with less talent has been even better. In the three games that backup QB C.J. Beathard has started the 49ers have scored an average of 25 points per-game.
With the Rams starting to leak points since Week 3 and I think the 9/10 (Sportingbet) offered for Over 20.5 San Francisco points is well worth going after.
After starting out the season giving up just 6.5 points per-game through the first two weeks, the Rams have since given up 26.25 points per-game over their last four games. A lot of this is due to the explosive nature of their offense forcing teams to try to match them and given we see the 49ers defence routinely giving up big plays each week, we should be seeing the same thing in this matchup.
I don’t expect Beathard to keep pace, but this offense can certainly score – they average as many points a game as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers – thanks to the scheming of Shanahan and a very good running game that’s ranked third in the league.
Tennessee Titans @ Los Angeles Chargers – Los Angeles Chargers to Lead After Every Quarter (8/5 Bet365)
Minnesota Vikings @ New York Jets – Kirk Cousins Over 274.5 Receiving Yards (1/1 Paddy Power)
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers – San Francisco 49ers Over 20.5 Points (9/10 Sportingbet)