OUR resident NFL buff Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) is back with three more punts from the weekend’s action.
Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles | Sunday 21.25 | Sky Sports 2
The game in Philadelphia on Sunday evening is both an intriguing matchup and a very tough game to call. The prices reflect this but I think Seattle has the edge in certain matchups and takes what should be a close game at 21/20 with BetVictor.
In the last two weeks, the Seahawks held both Arizona and San Francisco to a measly 64 yards on the ground. The week before, Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles had 159 yards by himself against Seattle. The difference? LB Bobby Wagner returned from injury. And he, along with S Kam Chancellor who is also 100% again, will be pivotal to slowing down Eagles RB LeSean McCoy.
I believe that stopping McCoy will be Seattle’s main game plan, hopefully forcing the Eagles to let their QB Mark Sanchez throw it at the Seahawks ferocious secondary of Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell and Earl Thomas. Sanchez has looked better with the Eagles than he did at any point for the Jets, but if you can force him to throw it 30+ times, mistakes are never too far away.
If Seattle can accomplish shutting down McCoy while also establishing their own RB in Marshawn Lynch, they should be able to control the game and get a big win on the road in Philadelphia.
New England Patriots @ San Diego Chargers | Monday 01.30 | Channel 4
This is New England’s final game of a brutal run of opposing QBs. During this stretch, they’ve faced Cutler, Manning, Stafford, Luck and Rodgers – quite a daunting task, but they mostly did an excellent job of limiting the opposing QBs favourite pass option. I expect this week to be no different and will be looking for Chargers WR Keenan Allen to go Under 70.5 receiving yards (10/11 Ladbrokes).
It’s well documented that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick likes to take away an opponent’s best offensive weapon and given Allen’s performances lately, he may be the subject of Belichick’s game plan. Game planning in this fashion was made easier for him to do this season with the additions of CBs Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, who have been excellent.
In recent matchups, as well as some of the league’s elite QBs, they’ve also had to face some upper tier WRs. They held Brandon Marshall to 35 yards, TY Hilton to 24 yards, Calvin Johnson to 58 yards and most recently Jordy Nelson to 53 yards.
While he’s had two of his best games in recent weeks, Allen hasn’t faced a CB like Revis and could well be kept very quiet in this one.
Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers | Tuesday 01.30 | Eurosport
I think it’s safe to say we saw the two best teams face off at Lambeau last week (even as a New England fan, what a game!) and the best team won on the night. Part of this is because of how well Green Bay plays at home. To that end, I’ll be looking to take advantage of a market I like and have gone to frequently this season – Packers to lead at the end of every quarter.
My logic here is simple; in every home game bar one this season (the game against the Jets, when the Jets were still playing professional football rather than college football) the Packers have got out to a lead early on and never looked like giving it up. Even against the Patriots they led for all four quarters.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about how the Packers get off to fast starts at home and the stats are incredible. This season, excluding the game against the Jets, Green Bay has outscored opponents by 79 – 0 in the first quarter! That’s only in five games!
I expect this week to be no different. Even New England struggled to contain them and Atlanta’s defence is no way near the Patriots’ standard (they rank dead last in overall defence). So it's the Packers to lead at the end of every quarter at 11/10 with Bet365.