SNF – Week 1 – Televised write ups and Tips

Quick bit of housekeeping first – I’ve set up a telegram channel to help people get the tips as they may get lost on twitter – http://t.me/TDtips to join that!

Steelers (-9) at Browns (+9) – O/U 47pts – 1800 – Sky Sports Action.

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The postponement of the Miami vs Tampa Bay game due to Hurricane Irma means we get the pleasure of watching these scumbags vs the team who had the worse record last year. Sky chose this because the Browns are coming to London and are therefore more worthy of air time than the Raiders v Titans match, or the Eagles v Redskins? I can see why they did it, that’s apparently their way of building the game over here, but I’m not sure on the logic of showing a likely one-sided affair rather than the scorefest I expect the Hipster-bowl to be.

The Cleveland Browns seem to have used their plethora of draft picks very well this year, they picked up a lot of talent. Myles Garrett was the first pick, he’s a machine, an absolute beast (see his high school or combine photos) He’s going to be good… BUUUUUUUT the one good thing that may have come out of watching this game is now injured for probably the first month of the season with a high ankle sprain., Balls. They’ve looked a good defensive unit in pre-season, not allowing many points in any of their games, rookie Jabril Peppers showing his versatility all over the secondary and adding to Jamie Collins who is a quality corner back offering good protection against WRs.

So the betting relatable guys, well they announced Deshone Kizer as the starting QB and will give him a long rope, no pulling him out if he messes up, which is the right thing to do for the future, he seems to have a good link with Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt is the other guy in that attack who is decent enough, Kizer is a rookie, and will make rookie mistakes, he’s having his full debut against a very good Steelers defence so it definitely won’t be easy for him, expect quite a few check downs and a couple of downfield bombs, he showed he can do it in pre-season but was guilty of staring down his receivers, if he does that here the Steelers have the athleticism to capitalise. – I like Coleman in this game because of the apparent link he and Kizer had in pre-season, but it could be Seth DeValve and David Njoku who get the targets from the rookie. Njoku was a highly regarded prospect in the draft and possesses all the physical attributes you could want from someone in his position but he didn’t take too well to the NFL in pre-season and DeValve did pretty well, I’ll be keeping an eye on the markets around him. If there are any.

They bolstered their Offensive line, and have said they’ll be using Crowell as much as they can, coach Marvin Jones admitting he should have used him more last year, but unfortunately it might not be as easy as wanting that to happen, if the games go against them as they frequently did last year they won’t have the time to make run plays to get down the field so will more than likely take to the air, this happened a lot last year with Crowells touches falling off badly in the 4th quarter of matches. 3rd down back Duke Johnson was pretty good last year and broke off a few runs in pre-season as well so he’ll see some decent action.

The Steelers should win the AFC North but are prone to slipping up when you think they’re going to stroll to a win as the bookies seem to think they will this week, they’re one of the biggest faves of the day, but they’re just not as good on the road as they are at Heinz field, especially QB Ben Roethlisberger – It may be my natural dislike of the Pittsburgh Steelers (as a Bengals fan it’s something that is required, but I have the feeling he’s on the downward slope of his career, he’s a bloody drama queen too which doesn’t help, every little injury is the worst thing that’s happened to anyone ever, then he’s back the following week, and don’t get me started on the “retirement” rumours from the off-season. He loves the attention. On the field, he’s not as good on the road. It’s a fact.

They do boast, in my eyes, the best 1-2 combination of WRs in the league though, Martavis Bryant (the Alien) is back from his smoking weed ban and has apparently put on 2 stone of muscle whilst getting himself sorted out. He’s a very dangerous player opposite Antonio Brown and the Steelers on average score 7 points more per game with him in the team, unfortunately it seems the bookies realise this and have priced him accordingly, I can’t take 11/8 on his first game in 12 months or so. Antonio Brown is one of the leagues best receivers, in this team anyway, he makes the offense tick and is capable of big plays from seemingly nothing. Other than the 2 main guys they’ve got Eli Rogers in the slot who proved to be pretty good last year when called upon, there’s Darius Heyward-Bey who can be a downfield guy(?) They have a duo of tight end options now after signing Vance McDonald from the 49ers, he can make plays, but he’s very hit or miss, I’d imagine they’ll use Jesse James when they need to try and move the chains and McDonald on earlier downs with the possibility of running the length of the field.

They’re not too shabby at running back either, they have a fellow weed lover in LeVeon Bell. He’s probably the joint best RB in the league and has a running style unique to himself, the way he runs to the line of scrimmage and waits for his blockers to develop the gaps is frankly, brilliant and only possible because of the guys in front of him. He’s fantastic to watch and could well challenge David Johnson in rushing and receiving yards this year if everything falls right for him, the one worry for him would be that he’s not trained with the team all summer and coming straight into 70-80 snaps probably raises the risk of injury to him. Which would be a real darn shame. If he does go down then rookie James Connor (The highest selling jersey in the country because of his cancer beating story from college) would take over, he didn’t look too bad in preseason.

The Steelers should win, and i’d be a lot more confident of Cleveland beating the spread if they had Garrett playing, but I still won’t be taking the Steelers ATS.

  • Seth DeValve anytime – 13/2 (betstars, 6/1 on 365) – 1pt
  • Steelers to score every quarter – 13/8 (365) – 2pts

Seahawks (+3) at Packers (-3) – O/U 51 – 2125

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Perhaps unsurprisingly the last 5 matchups between these teams have gone to the home team, the Lambeau faithful and the 12s in Seattle make a big difference even between two stellar teams such as these, Seattle in fact haven’t won at Lambeau since 1999. I actually have this as the eventual NFC Championship match so it’s a great way to open the season.

The Packers blew the Seahawks away last year winning 38-10 against them just 9 months ago. But the Seahawks were missing their defensive Jenga piece with Earl Thomas out with a leg break, he’s a big loss for them, and the previous win for the Packers came against a Seattle team missing Kam Chancellor, so there were possibly reasons for those defeats.

I shouldn’t have to tell you about the Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best QB in the league and behind the offensive line of last season he got all the time he needed to get the job done, that OL has weakened slightly with a few players leaving in free agency but should still get the job done and give him the time he needs. Jordy Nelson will probably be the go-to guy in the endzone, and in fairness all over the field, he’s the guy who seems to get open when Rodgers is scrambling across the field and he’s definitely the most trusted of the pass catching crew. Randall Cobb and Devante Adams will battle it out for the WR2 spot, Adams was the man last year catching 12 TDs from 75 receptions, but this year I wouldn’t be shocked to see Cobb getting better stats over the season, I like the skillset of Cobb so it will be interesting to see how he does in his personal battle vs Adams. The cheeseheads don’t make big signings in free agency, but did this year with Martellus Bennett, the Black unicorn joined after winning the ring he wanted with the Patriots last season and will add to the redzone targets for Aaron Rodgers. Nelson will be the first look when they’re down that end of the field, but Bennett definitely helps out.

Ty Montgomery will be the starter in the run game, the converted wide receiver apparently struggles a bit with pass protection, but looks very good now with the ball in his hands, he did a great job filling in last year and I think he’ll get the large majority of the carries this season over rookies Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. Obviously being a former WR he’s very good catching from the backfield as well which is a great asset for Rodgers. One guy that may be worth keeping an eye on is Ripper, Aaron Ripkowski, the big full back could be used as a weapon inside the 10 zone when needed.

They struggle on defence though, and drafted a couple of guys to help them out in that area, but lost their safety Micah Hyde. Haha Clinton-Dix is a brilliant player though so it will be interesting to see how they do. This is a pretty rough start for them!

The Seahawks added to their already top 3 defence by bringing in Sheldon Richardson from the Jets, and sending Jermaine Kearse their way. Kearse was going to be cut anyway so it wasn’t a tough choice for the ‘Hawks. He further shores up the legion of boom who should be fully fit coming into the season

Russell Wilson is apparently looking great this year having changed his diet and bulked up whilst keeping his agility, it’s an essential thing for this team because his offensive line is one of the worst in the league. He may leave the pocket a little too quick on occasion, but is second to none when scrambling. Back fully fit after carrying an injury for most of last season, I can see him having a great season and deserving of the MVP hype that seems to be gathering behind him.

Doug Baldwin is a frustrating man but will be the main WR for Seattle, he’s very streaky but always ends up as a top 10 fantasy receiver, despite not matching the numbers of 2015 he had a good year last year and again with Wilson fit he will be the first look. Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson will fill the other positions at WR, I love Lockett, but as with seemingly everyone else in this team his fitness is his major negative point, he’s coming off a leg break from last season, hopefully he’s listed as questionable for week 1 which is frustrating! Richardson too is carrying a knock after making a fantastic catch in pre-season, his emergence last season was a major factor in them letting go of Kearse, but it seems he will be good to go this week. At tight end Jimmy Graham was looking back to the old days last season having a pretty damn good year on his return from a Patella tendom injury, something that a lot of guys don’t manage to get over at all, he seemed to have good chemistry when Wilson was scrambling and I’m expecting an even better year from him this year.

Good luck trying to figure out the backfield in Seattle, Thomas Rawls should have been the starter, and I think he’s great but once again he’s always banged up and is questionable for this game with an ankle injury, I think he’ll be the go as he trained fully in practise this week but it’s still worth considering. He will be sharing carries with Eddie Lacy after his move from the Packers in the pre-season. He’s hit his weight targets over the summer and it would be somewhat poetic if he went and scored against his former team in the opener, he’s promised to do the Lambeau leap if he does… We’ll see how well that goes down! – Their pass catching back will likely be CJ Prosise, as with everyone on this roster, a talented kid with injury worries, he is ready to go this weekend though and priced quite high at one bookie when compared to others, he’s as low as 6/4 at a lot of them, but a standout price at 8/1 at one in particular.

A very tough game to call, but I’ll be taking

  • Seattle to win on the moneyline at 29/20 at William Hill – 2pts
  • CJ Prosise anytime – 8/1 (William Hill) – 1pt
  • Rodgers rushing yards – 

Giants (+4) at Cowboys (-4) – O/U – 47.5 – 0130

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The Cowboys won the NFC East last year and look to be the first in 14 attempts to keep hold of their title, they face a tough start to the season though against a team that has got their number. The Giants won both games against Americas team last year, 20-19 in the opener where they held Zeke to 51 yards from 20 carries, and then 10-7 in the return match later in the season.

The big news in this game is obviously the status of star running back Ezekiel Elliott, on Friday he managed to get an injunction from a Texas court which prevents the NFL from actioning the 6 game suspension that they handed down to him for domestic abuse. It’s a tough one as he was found not guilty in a court of law, but the NFL did their work and decided it probably happened and the standard ban for domestic abuse now is 6 games. Whether he did it or not, he’s shown himself to be an immature guy with various incidents so I think he may well have deserved the ban, but that doesn’t matter for this game, or seemingly the season as it seems he will likely play the full 16 games for the Cowboy this year. He will be running behind an OL which while not as good as last year, after they lost 2 pieces of it in the off-season, they were incidentally the 2 who weren’t pro-bowlers so it isn’t as big a blow as it could have been

Sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott has had a full pre-season without any issues and while I’m not ready to induct him into the hall of fame quite yet as seemingly everyone else wants to do after one (very impressive) rookie season, I do respect that he’s a good player. I think they will open up the playbook even more with him this year and will mix in some more designed runs as he’s a very athletic kid.

I would expect the link between Dak and Dez will be better than it seemed last year and that he will be used more and more in this passing attack, he is still considered one of the best in the game at WR, although one caveat is that he seems to struggle in bad cornerback match-ups, of which they have a lot this year so it will be worth seeing how well he does against them this year, this is classed a tough matchup against the very good NYG defence. The favourite target of Dak last year with slot receiver Cole Beasley who proved a very effective way of moving the chains when they didn’t hand it off to Zeke, he should have a good season again this year but not as good as last season if they target Dez more. Terrance Williams is there too. Jason Witten is roughly 57 years old and showing no signs of stopping any time soon, he has a good rapport with Dak and provides a good release valve in the middle of the field as well (if he gets injured keep an eye out for Rico Gathers, massive kid who joined the team this year, high hopes for him)

They haven’t really strengthened their defence though which was an issue they masked last year by running the ball a lot, taking time off the clock and minimising the time the D was on the field, expect them to do that again this year.

The Giants are stacked on offence now, and it will be on on Eli Manning to get them working, he’s getting older and his arm doesn’t look as strong, but if he can’t use these weapons then he probably can’t play in this league any more. I have concerns with his ability this year especially behind a pretty poor offensive line, but it remains to be seen how the Giants will do.

Star wideout Odell Beckham Jnr. may well miss this game with a high ankle sprain from a big hit he took in pre-season which he was very lucky to get away with as it would have been a season ender had his boot caught in the turf, he is looking like he’ll be a game time decision here, if he misses out they’ll still be left with Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, Evan Engram and a mix of WR4 guys. Shepard is entering his second year in the team after a successful 8 TD (from 65 receptions) rookie season last year, he was used a lot in redzone situations but I think they’ll use him increasingly around the field this year which will bump up those yardage numbers, I highly rate him. I would imagine if OBJ doesn’t go (my feeling is that he’ll miss out) then Brandon Marshall will revert to being the #1 receiver, a job he is used to at pretty much everywhere he has been, he’s a big bodied guy who can mask inaccuracy from Eli. The Giants played 3 WR sets more than any team last year, the 3rd guy in this game (should OBJ not be there) will probably be Dwayne Harris, Roger Lewis or Tavarres King, I think it will be the former getting more game time. I love the pickup of Evan Engram, he was the tight end I was most excited about for betting/fantasy purposes in the draft. He’s essentially a giant WR and adds even more for Eli in the endzone.

The Giants running game doesn’t provide much help for Eli and the pass catcher, if you can’t establish the run then you’ll likely struggle with the pass. Paul Perkins is probably the starter but really hasn’t impressed and he’s being pushed by Shane Vereen for reps in the backfield. That’s about all there is to say about this area of the game tbh. Not much to see here.

Another really tough one to call, I think the Giants will repeat their feats of last year and win a close low scoring one.

  • Under 47.5 total points – 10/11 (most places) – 2pts
  • Giants +4.5 and Under 50.5 points – 15/8 (skybet) – 1pts
  • Evan Engram anytime – 11/4 (Bet365) – 1pt

Well done if you managed to read through all of that, the reason I do the write ups is a) to try and justify my picks, and b) to give you some information on some bets you might want to place yourself. There’s usually a few things I’ll be looking at that I don’t want to tip as I’d be staking more than i’m comfortable with on a weekly basis, but I will generally hint towards some in the writeups.

Summary

  • Seth DeValve anytime – 15/2 (unibet, 6/1 on 365) – 1pt
  • Steelers to score every quarter – 13/8 (365) – 2pts
  • Seattle to win on the moneyline at 29/20 at William Hill – 2pts
  • CJ Prosise anytime – 8/1 (Skybet) – 1pt 
  • (Dal v NYG) Under 47.5 total points – 10/11 (most places) – 2pts
  • Giants +4.5 and Under 50.5 points – 15/8 (skybet) – 1pts
  • Evan Engram anytime – 11/4 (Bet365) – 1pt

11 points total outlay.

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