So Thursday night we lost a couple of points, the points in every quarter came in easy enough as you’d expect, and that was a steal at evens. I was going to tip San Diego -3.5 at half time, but went bigger and went for the HT/FT result, that proved a mistake as the Chargers finally held on to a lead, they were close to doing what they’ve done every week though, CJ Anderson had one pulled back for a holding penalty which would of left them just 3 or 4 pts behind with 4 mins left, who knows what would of happened there. Despite the game script, Denver going behind early, Devontae Booker got his yards, so that was a little win for me, it seems likely that his workload will keep increasing in the coming weeks so he’s one to keep an eye on.
So first up on TV on Sunday night sees the Eagles travel to the capital to face the Redskins. The Eagles lost their first game of the season last week, and Carson Wentz threw the first interception of his career, albeit at the end of the game when they were chasing a go ahead score. They suffered a loss to the Detroit Lions who are more than capable on offence, so shouldn’t be such a big shock. The Eagles however do have a very tough defence and the Redskins will find it difficult with a below average run game. This could be a match for one of the Eagles running backs, Ryan Matthews is still in pole position there despite his fumble costing them a chance to win last week, the Redskins are one of the worst in the league against the rush, so it seems likely they’ll use them a lot. At the odds i’m probably leaning towards Wendell Smallwood, he’s available at 9/1 on Ladbrokes. Darren Sproles also gets a lot of work catching out of the backfield. The passing game generally looks to Jordan Matthews, he’s had a good season so far after killing my fantasy team last year, and he’ll look to carry that on, Nelson Agholar always looks tempting opposite him, but he’s just not reliable enough, Dorial Green-Beckham is a beast of a man, but again, he’s just not trustworthy enough. Zach Ertz is always talked about as a higher end Tight End, but I’ve yet to see him do anything to impress me, so i’ll be ignoring him too.
The Redskins come into the game without arguably their most effective player. Jordan Reed is out with a concussion, so that means an uplift in targets for Jameison Crowder, he was targeted a lot in the red zone, until last week when they went to Reed so it figures that they’ll return to him, he’s also Cousins safety blanket if he needs to dump off while under pressure, as said, the Eagles have a good defence. Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson will do what they do on offence, they’re both viable targets for the QB, and usually get a few catches each. Jackson is generally the downfield threat, so always tempting to a TD or a yardage bet, however, it’s not an exact science! Matt Jones has done pretty well at RB, but up against this defence I’m not sure he’ll do a massive amount, Chris Thompson probably has more touchdown up side catching from the backfield, and they mix him in quite regularly. Vernon Davis and Niles Paul will be deputising at Tight end, so we won’t bother looking at that, i’d argue that Davis would be a better play, he’s more proven at this level, the bookies seem to suggest that too as he’s the lower priced of the two. The Redskins secondary has been hit this week, Su’a Cravens is out, and one of their cornerbacks, Breeland is questionable, which isn’t good there. Josh Norman is a decent one, so he’ll likely cover Agholar or DGB depending on who’s on his side of the field.
Eagles -3 – 20/21 (3pts) Wendell Smallwood anytime – 9/1 (1pt at Ladbrokes) Ryan Matthews and Jameison Crowder both to score – 5/1 (2pts at Skybet)
Next up on Sky is the most impressive team in the league so far, the Atlanta Falcons, they travel to the Clink to take on the Seattle Seahawks in what, to me, is the best match up of the week. We were asking last week whether the Falcons were the team they seem to be when they visited Denver, and in fairness, killed them, Denver never had a chance, they dominated up front and put almost constant pressure on Paxton Lynch at QB, and their double headed rush attack of Freeman and Coleman were again very impressive, they didn’t even need to go to Julio Jones, who ended with 20 odd yards after 300 the week before. This is a very good team! This week they face another very good defence who’ve only allowed one passing TD this year, albeit against sub par opponents. Freeman and Coleman will see their usage again, and should continue to impress. The key to their effectiveness is the rotation, it doens’t let them get tired and defences have struggled stopping two full on RBs, although they do have different skills, Coleman is terrific in the passing game, while Freeman is better between the tackles. The passing game is brilliant, when required, Julio is rated as one of the best in the league, and you can’t argue much with that given what he’s done this season, however he’s likely to face Richard Sherman this week, who’s an experienced campaigner. Sanu hasn’t done as much as you’d expect opposite him, but is still a decent player. Tight ends usually do well vs Seattle, Jacob Tamme and Hooper are there for Atlanta so they could do well. Don’t really need to mention Matt Ryan as I won’t be betting on passing yards for him, but he’s the league leader in yards so far this year, so definitely needed at least mentioning!
The Seahawks haven’t been too effective on offence at the start of the season, their offensive line is second only to Indy in crapness, they may as well be cardboard cutouts standing there they’ve given so little protection to Russell Wilson, and they could get smoked again this week as the Falcons did so well vs Denver. However they do have the most mobile QB in the league, he’s been suffering with an ankle injury, but with the bye last week he should be back to full mobility which is essential for Seattle. The passing game has stuttered due to that injury, but Baldwin had remained a constant threat, he should see his stats increase with Wilsons health, he actually reported that Tyler Lockett had started the season playing through an injury, and again with the bye week he should of regained some fitness, and has been demanding more action in the passing game. Jermaine Kearse hasn’t seen much action, and probably won’t again, half due to the Wilson injury, and half due to the return to form of Jimmy Graham at tight end, he suffered a massive injury a couple of years back, but seems to have finally found his way around the field and built an understanding with Wilson, this offence has a good matchup against the Falcons who’ve been conceding a heck of a lot of points so far. That bodes well for ‘The woken one’ Christine Michael at running back, he stepped in for Thomas Rawls at the start of the season and has been fantastic, he’ll carry the load again. Just before their last game they picked up CJ Spiller who stepped straight into the team and caught a touchdown running out of the backfield, so look for him to be mixed in again.
This match has the potential to be the highest scoring of the weekend (maybe second, behind the Saints… or even third behind the Steelers likely destroying Miami), but I digress, it should be a very high scoring game…
Total points – o45 – 10/11 (3pts) Freeman and Baldwin both to score – 9/2 (2pts)
The last match seems to humdinger from the highest quality division in the league, the AFC South… yeah, that’s a complete lie, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this division won by an 8-8 team. They all have major deficiencies, doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining, but it’s often painful to watch. The Texans host the Colts. The Texans are without JJ Watt for the season which hurts their defence, but that is still probably their strength, Whitney Merciless has had a great season so far, and against the worst O-line in the league, should find good penetration and put a lot of pressure on Andrew Luck, a player as mentioned, I don’t rate anywhere near as highly as most in the game, but I have more respect for what he’s done and doing behind such an awful bunch of losers. Since Dante Moncrief went out for the season TY Hilton is their passing game, there’s not much else, Phillip Dorsett allegedly plays opposite him, but has done next to nothing. Dwayne Allen however, at tight end has seen a rise in targets in recent weeks and seems to have grabbed that position from Jack Doyle who got a lot of chat in the first few weeks. Their run game is the “evergreen”, Frank Gore, evergreen is in quotes as he’s more a muddy beige, who continues to rise the yards gained rankings, up to 5th now, but never manages over 100 yards in a game, the Colts haven’t had a 100 yard rusher for 4 years now, and that isn’t likely to change vs this defence.
The Texans have Brock Osweiler at QB. He’s just not very good, he wasn’t at Denver, and he’s not now that he’s getting paid a fortune at Houston. He’s really not. He has Deandre Hopkins to aim at, and barely finds him, 5 catches last week (fair enough it was the vikings) but just 1 the week before vs the Titans, however he does seem to look better vs poorer teams, and the Colts are a poor team, so he may have a bit of a game this week. Will Fuller is doubtful to play this weekend, which is strange as he reportedly trained all week, so it could be a week to look for Jaelen Strong as a downfield threat, he’s available at 5/1 at PP compared to just 7/4 in some other places. Their Tight ends should get a bump too, Fiedorowicz and Griffen, with the first seemingly more likely to score. At Running back they’ve got the disappointing, so far, Lamar Miller, I was really hot on him at the start of the season, he looked such a good runner, but underplayed, runner at Miami, but he’s yet to score so far this week, admittedly their offensive line did suffer a number of injuries at the start of the season, but he seemed he’d be able to overcome that. This could well be a turn around game for him, as I’ve said before. The Colts just suck. If Miller fails to do it, Alfred Blue is there as second choice and could come in.
Texans -3 (20/21, 11/10 is available at PP, but i’ll be doing a treble so needs to be the same bookie) Jaelen Strong – 5/1 (2pts PP) Hilton and Hopkins both to score – 3/1 (2pts)
So, treble on the handicaps and totals (Eagles -3, Texans -3 and o45 pts in Seattle) – 3pts @ 6.45/1 on 365.
Also going for a trixie on the BPTS selections, 1pt, 4pt in total
Assorted other things to look at from around the league.
The 49ers are starting Colin Kaepernick, that doesn’t change them much, they’ll still be crap. The Bills have little in the passing game, but having been involving TE Charles Clay a lot more, unfortunately he’s not exactly enticing at 9/4, but he’ll be going into my TE Trixie for the week. Shady McCoy should run all over San Fran, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him scoring multiple TDs, however at 10/3 for 2+ I can’t recommend it, it’s very likely, just far too short to risk anything on. Mike Gillislee is a personal favourite of mine, and at 10/3 to score anytime is far more tempting.
I’ve got Brandon LaFell on my shortlist for the week, he’s playing for the Bengals v the Patriots, and it seems likely that the Bengals will have to air it out, as they’ll probably be behind, he scored 2 last week, and it’s a REVENGE game for him, he’s 11/4 in places which is pretty enticing to be fair! I’ll be adding Bennett to the TE trixie as well at 15/8
John KUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHN is a TD vulture for New Orleans, even going as far as stealing catches intended for team mates, and they seem likely to be involved in yet another high scoring match vs the Panthers, both teams struggle in their secondary, if they get within a yard of the goal line, they’ll bring him in. He got 3 in his last game, for a total of 6 yards. I think he’s overpriced at 15/4 on 365 and a ridiculous 50/1 for 2 or more, so i’ll be having a little play on both of those (150/1 for 3+ ?!)
A few others on my shortlist, Eli Rogers or Jesse James for Pittsburgh, they’re playing the Dolphins and should annihilate them, the Dolphins could be the worst in the league, while the Steelers are clicking nicely. Sammie Coates is likely out, 7 stitches in his hand isn’t great, so it’ll be Rogers, however the Steelers home/road splits are putting me off this game, so i’ll be avoiding them.
CJ Spiller is on there, I mentioned him in the Seattle write up, but his odds are too short for me personally, and one week action isn’t enough to go on.
DeMarco Murray is playing vs the Browns, general rule of thumb, is you will score vs the Browns, he’s been the best RB in the league this year statistically so should go in again for at least one, he’ll be my NAP for the day, 5pts on him anytime, (10/11 at Paddypower). Delanie Walker should also get a score here at 15/8, he’ll be the last in the TE trixie.
Oh, and i’m also on Justin Forsett anytime for the Lions as it was available at 7/1 last night, i’ll post anything like that on twitter @FootbawlTips so make sure you follow and turn on notifications, as he’s best priced 5/2 now
Summary of bets for the day – As usual, 2 pts unless stated
- Eagles -3 – 20/21 (3pts)
- Wendell Smallwood anytime – 9/1 (1pt at Ladbrokes)
- Ryan Matthews and Jameison Crowder both to score – 5/1 (Trixie at Skybet)
- Total points – o45 – 10/11 (3pts)
- Freeman and Baldwin both to score – 9/2 (Trixie)
- Texans -3 (20/21, 11/10 is available at PP, but i’ll be doing a treble so needs to be the same bookie)
- Jaelen Strong – 5/1 (PP)
- Hilton and Hopkins both to score – 3/1 (Trixie)
- Treble on Eagles -3, Texans -3 and o45 pts in Seattle – 3pts @ 6.45/1 on 365
- BPTS Trixie – 2pt, 8pt in total
- Mike Gillislee anytime – 10/3 (365)
- Brandon LaFell anytime – 11/4 (unibet, 888)
- John Kuhn anytime – 15/4, 2 or more – 50/1 (1pt)
- DeMarco Murray anytime – 10/11 NAP – 5pts (PaddyPower)
- Tight end Trixie – Clay (bills) Bennett (pats) Walker (titans) – 4pt total
Total outlay – 39 pts
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