TOM SELWYN (@tom_selwyn) returns with a bet for the first batch of Monday night NFL of the new season.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington Redskins | Tuesday 00.10 | Sky Sports 1
An interesting match-up for the first MNF game of the season: the Steelers, a proven winner but missing three of their top offensive players and the Redskins who are looking to prove that last year wasn’t just a fluke after the only teams they beat last year had a record of .500 or worse.
So with both teams carrying question marks on offense (as well as some on defence), I’m going to look elsewhere for some value – the Most Turnovers market.
For me, these teams are priced up the wrong way round so I’ll be backing Pittsburgh to have the Most Turnovers in this one at 6/4 (William Hill).
My interest in this market stems from the two opposing QBs, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Washington’s Kirk Cousins, played last year. Cousins threw 11 INTs all of last season, whereas Roethlisberger threw 16.
This doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but it’s when you narrow it down to their respective home/away games that it really stands out: Roethlisberger threw nine INTs in just six away games, but Cousins only threw two INTs in eight his home games – a stark difference.
If Cousins is able to continue his nice play from last year, especially at home, and Roethlisberger is his normal gun-slinging self then we should hopefully be seeing a familiar pattern of INTs in this first Monday night game to help us to a nice start here.
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers | Tuesday 03.20 | Sky Sports 1
I know the league probably wanted the newly-relocated Rams to be in prime time regardless as to how the schedule turned out, but this is probably the least inspiring fixture of the weekend I’m afraid to say.
The Rams and the 49ers were two of the lowest scoring teams last year and I don’t see that being too different this year. For that reason I’m taking the Under 42.5 points here at 19/20 (Marathon).
Last season the 49ers were putting up a league-worst 14.9 points a game, with the Rams only just ahead of them at 29th in the league with 17.5 a game and I don’t really see any reason why these figures will improve too much.
Yes, the 49ers added the offensive-minded Chip Kelly as their head coach, but they are still probably the most talent-poor offense in the league.
The Rams fared no better this offseason as their #1 pick QB Jared Goff has not been able to adapt to the pros and has been beaten to the starting job by Case Keenum, effectively making them the same offense as last year.
Both teams also lost more prominent members of their offenses – former Rams TE Jared Cook and former 49ers WR Anquan Boldin. Given that the strengths of these two teams are their defences and how much the offences struggled last year, I have to expect a low scoring game in the final game of the week.
Additionally, I’ll be having a small bet on Tavon Austin to go Under 55.5 receiving yards at 10/11 SkyBet).
In 16 games last year, he bested that total only twice. His best games generally feature decent running plays rather than catches and I find that total to be a little high.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington Redskins – Pittsburgh to have the Most Turnovers (6/4 William Hill)
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers – Under 42.5 Points – (19/20 (Marathon)
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers – Tavon Austin Under 55.5 Receiving Yards (10/11 SkyBet)