NFL nut Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) tackles Week 3 of the new NFL season. Tom kicks off his piece with some thoughts on last week's action…
- The Steelers weren't as bad as the scoreline suggests, but penalties and turnover at key moments killed them here. This coupled with an inability to stop the run and force Flacco to throw it more often than the Ravens would like doomed the Steelers.
- As with my unders pick last week (CAR @ TB), we were handed a boost when starting QB was ruled out. In this case, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer was out with a nerve problem and back-up Drew Stanton started the game. Combined with Giants QB Eli Manning struggling with a new offensive system, it looked like the defences should be on top. Once again, I was panicking a bit near the end of the game when a punt return went for a TD, but no further TD's went in after that.
- Despite the Broncos cruising down the field on their first drive, I've got to admit I got this completely wrong! Although I'm not sure many people gave the Chiefs a hope in hell of keeping this within one score – hands up if you did!
Here are my Week 3 picks –
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints | Sunday 18:00
After being burned by a handicap last week I went looking for something with a little more value and believe I've found a nice little bet. It's only available on Bet365 from what I can see, but Saints to lead after every quarter at odds against (5/4 Bet365) looks like a great bet to me.
Despite the Saints currently having a 0-2 record, both those games were on the road and they're a different beast at home, winning all eight of their home games last year.
Their opponents, the Vikings, are reeling from off-field issues side-lining star RB Adrian Peterson and also coming off a beating from the New England Patriots in their own stadium last week.
The Saints can't afford to drop another game and they should jump all over the Vikings from kick off and not look back. They should be winning this game and I can't imagine they'll allow the Vikings to take the lead at any point.
Dallas Cowboys @ St Louis Rams | Sunday 18:00
I'll be backing the Dallas Cowboys to go into St Louis and get a win here for one simple reason: Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray.
With QB Tony Romo still not fully fit after off-season back surgery, it has fallen to Murray to carry the offense. He's responded with some big games the first two weeks averaging 142.5 yards a game (#1 in the league). His two career games against the Rams make for even better reading – an average of 214 yards!
Of course teams change from year to year, but looking at the Rams rush defence numbers this year there is no reason to believe Murray can't have another big day. They've surrendered 342 yards in two games to opposing rushers, including 144 yards to Tampa RB Bobby Rainey (who was held to 41 yards by the Falcons on Thursday).
If the Cowboys can establish the run and not ask Romo to do too much, they should be able to pull out a win against the Rams at 10/11 with Coral.
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars | Sunday 18:00
Two winless teams in this one and while I expect the Colts to win, their price is not appealing so it's Over 45 points that I'll be taking in this match-up with Bet365.
Both teams are giving up an average of over 30 points a game so far this season so we should hopefully see the scoreboard being lit up in this one. You can certainly expect that from the Colts, who have put up 25.5 points per game this season, but the Jaguars have only managed 13.5.
However this is due to a woeful OL that allowed 10 (!) sacks against the Redskins last week. This week they get some respite against a Colts team that doesn't have any established pass rushers, which should hopefully mean they are able to score a few more and get us up over the 45 points that we need.