Your Expert NFL Tips for the 2018 Season

The Expert team at Champion Bets will be providing their best NFL Tips for the entire season, including the playoffs. For all of the prime time Games, Champion Bets will have full in depth previews for each match, regardless of the Conference or Division.

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Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks

Friday, November 16th, 12:20 PM AEDT

For GB, they will be without LB Nick Perry, CB Kevin King, S Kentrell Brice and WR Randall Cobb. They also list LB Blake Martinez as questionable.

For Seattle LB K.J. Wright is doubtful.

GB qualifies in a momentum situation, which is 93-51-6, although that situation hasn’t performed as well later in the season. My numbers favor Seattle by two points and project about 47.5 points.

GB has lost six straight road games with five of them with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback. The Packers have struggled on the road as a dog in recent years. Since the beginning of 2016 they have allowed 29 or more points in 12 of their 14 road games as dogs. Those games are 11-3 to the over.

The offence, when Rodgers has been playing has scored at least 21 points in each of those games as well with the exception of their last game at NE, where they scored 17 points. Road game on a Thursday night is a tough situation for any team and that doesn’t change for GB, especially missing some key players.

This game has a chance to be high scoring because GB is likely to give up points and certainly has the capability to score points. But, since week three Seattle run the ball at least 53% in every game except against the Chargers, where they ran the ball 43% because they fell behind early and had to throw more.

If Seattle is able to run the ball that could help move the clock and keep this game a little lower scoring.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Seattle Seahawks -2.5


New York Giants v San Fransisco

Tuesday, November 13th, 12:15 PM AEDT

The Giants qualify in a road underdog situation that plays on road dogs of three or more when two average to below average teams are playing each other. That situation is 178-120-6. My numbers favor SF by 1.5 points and project about 45 points.

SF is in the top ten in the league in generating big passing plays as a percentage of their passes. Both teams are in the bottom ten in the league in allowing sacks. But the Giants don’t really generate any sack pressure while SF is in the middle of the pack. That’s also probably a reason why the Giants are in the bottom ten in the league in allowing big passing plays.

Nick Mullens had the game of his life last week against Oakland in his first NFL start. That was only the second win by a SF QB in the last two years other than Jimmy Garoppolo. The last win was by CJ Beathard over these Giants last year 31-21. The Giants appear to be the same mess they were last year.

At least the 49ers have a sound coach that can dial something up for his team. We don’t know how good Nick Mullens is or how bad, but he has been in the system since last year so he at least knows the system.

As bad as the Giants have been this year they are actually 3-0 ATS on the road as a dog and scoring at least 20 points in each of their games, which are the only games they have scored more than 18 points in. They’ve also allowed 20 or more points in every game this year. The other saving grace is the 49ers are 1-14 ATS as a home favorite in their last 15 games.

Last week they ended up going off as a home dog and they are 0-3 ATS as a home favorite under Kyle Shanahan. The Giants look to be pretty healthy for this game and I’ll wait to see where the 49ers land on their injury report as they have some players who can play an important role for them on the injury report.

The 49ers defence had allowed 24 or more points in their first seven games but that was either because they had played some of the league’s best offence or turned the ball over to give their opponents very favorable field position that then turned into points.

The last two weeks they’ve played two of the league’s worst offenses and held those teams to 18 and 3 points. Although holding Arizona to 18 points when they only average 14 points isn’t a great feat.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New York Giants +3.0

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

Monday, November 12th, 12:20 PM AEDT

The Cowboys will be missing many players this weekend. They are without WR Tavon Austin, DE Taco Charlton, DL David Irving, LB Sean Lee, LB Joe Thomas and G Connor Williams.

Philadelphia will be without CB’s Sidney Jones and Jalen Mills and RB Darren Sproles.

The Eagles qualify in a couple of negative home favorite situations which play against large favorites who are average teams. Those situations are 191-103-7 and 295-197-9 and play against the Eagles here.

Philadelphia also qualifies in a negative situation that plays against average home favorites, which is 178-120-6. This game also qualifies in an under situation, which is 377-252-10. My numbers favor Philadelphia by four points and project about 38.5 points.

The Cowboys are near the bottom of the league in generating big passing plays. Both teams are in or near the top ten in allowing sacks on offense. The Cowboys are in the top ten in defending big passing plays and also the top ten in creating sacks on defense. This is a really tough scheduling spot for the Cowboys as they lost at home on Monday night and now face the Eagles off their bye week.

The last couple of years the games played here really didn’t matter because it was the last game of the season and one or the other team had wrapped up the division and rested their starters. Prior to that Dallas had covered four in a row here.

These two are 7-2 to the under here the last nine years with only two of the games totaling more than 41 points. With both teams hurting on defence and a lower total it becomes a little harder to suggest the under.

Since 2015 Dallas is 11-3 to the under in road games as a dog. They’ve scored more than 20 points just three times in those games. They are also just 1-4 ATS in their last five road dog games, having going 5-0 to the under and not scored more than 16 points in any one game.

Doug Pederson is 11-4 to the under in his 15 games as a home favorite, including 5-0 to the under in his last five games. They’ve allowed more than 19 points in just six of those 15 games. Pederson is also 0-4 ATS in his last four games as a home favorite.

I’m not interested in laying the points here but also not interested in taking the points with a banged up Cowboys defence. More interested in the under.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 44.5

Carolina Panthers v Pittsburgh Steelers

Friday, November 9th, 12:20 PM AEDT

Carolina is averaging 5.2ypr against teams allowing 4.3ypr but is just average throwing the ball. Overall, they average 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.8yppl. The defence has improved and their pass defence now allows just 6.3yps against teams averaging 6.6yps. Overall, they are about average on defence.

Pittsburgh is still below average running the ball at 4.3ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr but they average 7.0yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Overall they average 6.1yppl against teams allowing 5.8yppl. The defence has improved week by week and now allows just 5.9yps against teams averaging 6.6yps and overall allows 5.3yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

Carolina will be without WR Torrey Smith again. C Matt Kalil is questionable but did not practice.

The Steelers will again be without T Marcus Gilbert.

Carolina qualifies in a negative 69-27-4 situation that plays against teams coming off of successful high scoring wins. This game also qualifies in an under situation, which is 377-252-10. My numbers favor Pittsburgh by three points and project about 49 points.

Cam Newton and Ron Rivera are now 22-13-1 ATS as a road dog and 23-13 to the over during that same time frame. The Steelers are now 9-1 to the over in their last ten games listed as the home favorite. They’ve scored 28 or more points in nine of those ten games with the lone game under 28 their 26-14 loss to Baltimore earlier this year.

Carolina lost by seven at Atlanta before the Falcons sustained all of their injuries, lost by six at Washington and came from 17 behind in the fourth quarter at Philadelphia to win 21-17. Pittsburgh is in the top ten in the league in big passing plays while Carolina remains in the bottom ten in generating big passing plays.

Both of these teams are just outside the bottom ten of the league in defending big passing plays. Carolina is playing better week after week but they still haven’t shown a ton on the road yet this year. Maybe because they have been looking very good the last few weeks that changes this week, but until I see it change I can’t bet on it.

The Steelers played another good offensive team in Atlanta and held them to 17 points. I’ll lean Pittsburgh based on the situation but I would probably need this line to go under thee before I would get too excited.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Pittsburgh -3.5

Tennessee Titans v Dallas Cowboy

Tuesday, November 6th, 12:15 PM AEDT

When we last saw the Chargers they were holding on for a 20-19 victory over Tennessee in London after the Titans missed on a two point conversion to end the game. The Chargers out gained Tennessee 7.8yppl to 5.8yppl, were out rushed without Melvin Gordon 5.0ypr to 2.9ypr but out passed Tennessee 10.6yps to 6.6yps. Tennessee only had eight possessions in the game but scored on four of them, threw an interception, missed a fg and punted just twice. The Chargers scored on four of their only seven drives but two big scores on passes of 75 and 55 yards. And, as the season has gone for Tennessee, they can’t get any big plays out of their offense. When a team like the Chargers hits you with those big plays and you have no big plays of your own, it becomes tough to win in the NFL.

The Redskins held on defeat the Cowboys 20-17. Both teams averaged 5.3yppl while Washington averaged 4.1ypr to 3.3ypr for Dallas while Washington averaged 6.7yps to 6.4yps for Dallas. The Cowboys were minus two in turnover margin. While the YPPL were equal Washington ran the ball ten more times and passed the ball 13 fewer times to dilute their overall numbers. Washington also scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

Tennessee is averaging just 3.9ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr and 5.5yps against teams allowing 6.3yps. Overall, they average a very paltry 4.8yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl. The defense has been about average overall allowing 5.5yppl against teams averaging 5.5yppl.

Dallas is running the ball well right now at 4.9ypr against teams allowing 4.3ypr and 137 yards rushing per game against teams allowing 110 yards rushing per game. The passing offense is still well below average at just 5.6yps against teams allowing 6.3yps. Overall on offense they average 5.3yppl against teams allowing 5.5yppl. The defense has been very good allowing just 3.6ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr, 6.3yps against teams averaging 6.5yps and 5.1yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

Dallas qualifies in a couple of negative situations that plays against average home favorites. Those situations are 178-120-6 and 190-103-7 and play against them. This game would also qualify in an under situation if the total goes to 42 or higher, which is 377-251-10. My numbers favour Dallas by seven points and project about 36.5 points.

Dallas is just 9-18 ats in their last 27 games as a home favorite. It’s the same story for Tennessee as they’ve yet to score more than 20 points in regulation this year. And, now they face a Cowboys defense that has allowed more than 20 points just twice this year. Both of these teams are in the bottom ten of the league in generating big pass plays while both are in the top ten in defending big pass plays. That seems to indicate there will be long scoring drives for scores with hardly any big plays happening in the offense. Tennessee has been pretty good as a dog this year going 4-1 ats in all of their games. The Cowboys added WR Amari Cooper during their bye week. It’s up for debate how good Cooper is but he should upgrade a Cowboys wide receiver unit that was lacking talent. I much prefer to side with Tennessee and the points versus laying it with an offense that won’t be really aggressive but it’s not a strong play. I’d also look under in this game if the total went up to 42 for some reason.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 40.5 Points

Green Bay Packers v New England Patriots

Monday, November 5th, 12:20 PM AEDT

GB used their bye week to prepare perfectly for their game at the Rams and led for about 2.5 quarters before the Rams finally caught up. A costly fumble and the only turnover of the game denied Aaron Rodgers one last chance to bring GB back and get the late win in the Rams 29-27 victory. GB out gained the Rams 6.9yppl to 5.5yppl and out rushed them 5.6ypr to 4.0ypr as well as out passing LA 7.7yps to 6.9yps. But, in the end, the Rams made less mistakes which allowed them to remain unbeaten.

Buffalo played hard against NE on Monday night but at the end of their day their offense is so bad it just can’t generate any points. The game was closer than the final 25-6 score. NE out gained Buffalo 5.4yppl to 5.3ypp, out rushed them 3.0ypr to 2.4ypr and out passed them 6.6yps to 6.5yps. NE also got an interception returned for a touchdown. One of Buffalo’s two field goals came on a drive they started at the NE 35 and picked up another two yards and then settled for a field goal. They just can’t move the ball with the lack of weapons they have on their roster. The defense continued to do all it could for them and played a very good game against a good NE offense.

The Packers are getting it going on offense. They now average 4.8ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr and 6.8yps against teams allowing 6.5yps. Overall, they average 6.2yppl against teams allowing 5.6yppl. The defense is average across the board and allows 5.5yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

NE is averaging just 4.1ypr against teams allowing 4.4ypr and about 7.0yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Overall they average 5.7yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. The defense is also about average across the board allowing 5.8yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

WR Geronimo Allison is doubtful for GB. WR Randal Cobb, LB Nick Perry and S Jermaine Whitehead are questionable.

As usual the Patriots list just about their whole team as questionable.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor NE by 3.5 points and project about 54 points.

Green Bay is in the top ten in the league in generating big passing plays while NE is surprisingly in the bottom ten in the league in big passing plays. The Packers traded away S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix who was having a very good season for them. Clinton-Dix was going to be a free agent and didn’t really fit into Mike Pettine’s style of defense that needs quicker players so GB saw an opportunity to get a draft pick rather than just outright lose him. The Packers have young players in the secondary and are banking on them continuing to develop. The Packers have struggled on the road as a dog in recent years. Since the beginning of 2016 they have allowed 29 or more points in 11 of their 13 road games as dogs. Those games are 11-2 to the over. The offense, when Rodgers has been playing has scored at least 21 points in each of those games as well.  Meanwhile, NE is 18-5-3 ats laying seven or less points at home since 2012. NE has played a very easy schedule so far this year with the only game against a good opponent being KC which they won 43-40 at home as a 3.5 point favorite. The Packers looked very good last week and that same kind of effort this week could get a win against the Pats but I’m not really interested in going against a team that just seems to cover as a home favorite. The over has the best potential in this game if it keeps coming down.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 56.5 Points

Oakland Raiders v San Francisco 49ers

Friday, November 2nd, 11:20 AM AEDT

The Raiders continue to be able to move the ball, averaging 5.9yppl against teams allowing 5.8ypp. But, the offence still continues to average only 20 points per game against teams allowing 24 points per game, primarily because they turn the ball over or can’t finish drives that end in points.

Moving the ball isn’t a problem. Scoring is. The defence is below average against both the run and the pass but allowing a whopping 8.3yps against teams averaging 6.7yps. Overall on defence they allow 6.7yppl against teams averaging just 5.9yppl.

The 49ers offence averages 4.8ypr against teams allowing 4.5ypr but is 0.7yps below what their opponents are allowing throwing the ball. Overall, SF averages 0.2yppl less than what their opponents are allowing. The defence has been pretty good. They allow less than what their opponents are averaging against both the run and the pass. Overall SF allows 0.3yppl less than what their opponents are averaging.

The Raiders list CB Daryl Worley and Gareon Conley as questionable along with G Kelechi Osemele as well.

The 49ers list QB CJ Beathard as questionable. They list both safeties Antone Exum and Jaquiski Tartt as out along with LB Rueben Foster as out.

Oakland qualifies in a situation that plays on dogs when two bad teams are playing each other. That situation requires Oakland to be getting three or more points and is 178-120-6.

SF is now 1-14 ATS as a home favorite in their last 15 tries. They’ve allowed at least 23 points in 16 of their last 18 home games and at least 20 points in each of their last 18 home games. Something will have to give as Oakland has scored 20 or less in 13 of their last 15 road games.

Oakland is 11-4 to the under in those same 15 road games on the road. The Raiders are also 4-10-1 ATS in those same road games. The Raiders have allowed at least 26 points in all but one of their games and 20 or more in every one of their games. They haven’t scored more than 20 points on the road.

Other than their game against offensively challenged Arizona, SF has allowed at least 24 points in every game this year. Since CJ Beathard became quarterback, the 49ers have scored 20 or less points in four of their five games.

They scored 27 against the Chargers but seven came on an interception returned for a touchdown. Beathard is hurt and is listed as questionable for this game and with the game playing on Thursday it may be hard for him to be ready for this game. If he can’t go Nick Mullens will make a start for SF.

Neither one of these teams are very good but this isn’t a difficult game for the Raiders to travel to. It’s just down the road so the typical Thursday night advantage probably doesn’t apply to this game. The Raiders appear to be a healthier team as well.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Oakland +3

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills

Tuesday, October 30th, 11:20 AM AEDT

NE has been a machine on offense since getting back their receivers and trading for Josh Gordon. They have averaged 40 points a game against teams, allowing just 25 points per game. Built into those numbers are their two special team scores from last week but they are still rolling on offense.

They are averaging 6.4yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl during that time frame. The defense remains about average on the year allowing 5.9yppl against teams averaging 5.8yppl.

Buffalo has just been brutal on offense this year. They’ve used three different quarterbacks and it should be Derek Anderson again this week. In his one game against a bad defence, he averaged 5.1yps, which is much better than the 3.9yps Buffalo was averaging prior to Anderson.

They likely lose the 25 yards or so that Allen was averaging rushing each game as well. The increase in the yards per pass more than makes up for what they are losing in the running game. The Buffalo defense continues to play well as they allow just 5.8yps against teams averaging 6.5yps. Overall, Buffalo allows 5.1yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

This game qualifies in an under situation as long as the total remains above 43, which is 53-18-2. My numbers favor the Patriots by 14 points and projects about 44 points.

Buffalo has played an incredibly tough schedule this year and it doesn’t get any easier this week. This is only their third home game this year. They lost 31-20 to the Chargers after getting blown out early and scoring garbage touchdowns in the end and defeated Tennessee 13-12.

Now, they get the Patriots who have rattled off at least 38 points in each of their last four games. Again, last week’s score was a little misleading as they picked up two defensive scores. We must remember had they been forced to have drives with those possessions they could have just as easily scored so we can’t say they wouldn’t have scored 38 anyway although it probably would have been something less.

This is a Buffalo team that has scored more than 13 points just twice this year. They scored 27 at Minnesota after multiple turnovers gave the Bills favorable field position and then scored 20 vs the Chargers after falling behind 28-3 and the Chargers going into cruise mode. This is not a series that is typically close when these teams play here in Buffalo.

The Pats won by 20 here last year and by 16 the year before. If NE gets to 30 points in this game it probably becomes tough for Buffalo to cover unless they get some backdoor score late in the game when nobody cares.

Laying two touchdowns on the road in the NFL isn’t normally a great idea either, but it’s my slight preference here in a game where it’s hard to find value

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New England -13.5

New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings

Monday, October 29th, 11:20 AM AEDT

The Saints are a machine right now. Although they are not running the ball nearly as well as they did last year as they average 3.9ypr against teams allowing 4.3ypr. I wouldn’t be surprised if that gets better as the year moves on.

The passing game is very good again, averaging 7.8yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Overall, the Saints average 6.2yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. The rush defence has been outstanding this year. They allow just 3.1ypr against teams averaging 4.0ypr but they are allowing 7.8yps against teams averaging 6.7yps and that is where the Vikings are most likely to strike them as well. Overall, the Saints allow 6.0yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

The Vikings offence is averaging just 6.4yps against teams allowing 6.3yps despite the fact they throw for 293 yards per game. Overall, the Vikings offence is slightly above average. The rush defence has also been good this year allowing 3.7ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr. But, like the Saints, Minnesota has struggled to defend the pass, allowing 6.9yps against teams averaging 6.1yps. Overall, the Vikings allow 5.7yppl against teams averaging 5.4yppl.

The Saints are healthy for this game.

Minnesota is not healthy. While they get back DE Everson Griffin, they are without RB Dalvin Cook, G Tom Compton, S Andrew Sendejo and LB Anthony Barr. T Riley Reiff is also doubtful and I wouldn’t be surprised if CB Xavier Rhodes, who is listed as questionable, does not play in this game either.

I don’t have any situations in this game. My numbers favor the Saints by 1.5 points and project about 52 points.

New Orleans is in the top ten in the league in big passing plays while Minnesota surprisingly sits tied for tenth worst in the league in generating big passing plays. That doesn’t bode well for the Vikings historically. And, on defense, the Vikings sit in the bottom ten of the league in defending big passing plays as well while New Orleans is just outside the bottom ten of the league.

The Saints added Eli Apple to their secondary this week and while Apple is just a guy, he is just what the Saints need in their secondary in terms of bodies that can at least play average cornerback play for the Saints. Minnesota has really only played two good offences this year and the Rams scored 38 on the Vikings while GB scored 29.

The Packers got a blocked punt returned for a touchdown so really only scored 22 points in that game. The Saints have really only faced two good defences this year and scored 21 against Cleveland and 24 last week at Baltimore. But based on what I’ve laid out above, we can’t currently consider the Vikings defense good.

They’ve been hurt by a rash of injuries at the wrong time. The Saints are 6-3 ATS as a road favorite in their last nine attempts. The Vikings have a long history of being very good as a home underdog. They are 13-3 ATS since 2012 and 6-2 ATS under Zimmer as a home dog.

They’re also 6-2 to the under with Zimmer as a home dog. With all that said this is a tough matchup for them this week, especially with their injuries and the current state of their defence. This total keeps rising and I doubt I would play the under because the matchup favors a higher scoring game.

I would have loved to have played the over in this game but my numbers just aren’t getting me there.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Orleans Saints -1

Miami Dolphins v Houston Texans

Friday, October 26th, 11:20 AM AEDT

Miami is now about an average team on offence, gaining 5.9yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl. The defence has struggled, however, allowing 4.5ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr and 7.6yps against teams allowing 6.5yps. Overall, they allow 6.2yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

Houston is also now about an average team on offence. They gain 5.5yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl. The defence, which has been below average for most of the season, is now about average allowing 5.0yppl against teams averaging 5.2yppl. Their rush defence has been very good allowing just 3.4ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr. The pass defence is slightly below average.

Miami will be without DE Charles Harris, WR Kenny Stills, WR Albert Lewis and QB Ryan Tannehill.

Houston is without CB Aaron Colvin and Shareece Wright, WR Coutee, G Zach Fulton, TE Ryan Griffin, LB Brian Peters and S Andre Hal.

This game qualifies in an under situation which is 375-247-10. My numbers favor Houston by 6.5 points and project about 42.5 points.

Miami is hurting. They will be without WR’s Albert Wilson (their best receiver) and Kenny Stills. A few weeks ago they lost their starting center and guard. They haven’t performed well on past Thursday nights losing 40-0 in Baltimore last year and 22-7 in Cincinnati in 2016.

Adam Gase is just 6-11 ATS as a road underdog with Miami. They’ve scored more than 20 points in just 4 of those 13 games. And, they’ve allowed 27 or more in 10 of those 17 games. Luckily for Miami, they get a Houston offence who is also struggling to score points and a Houston team who struggles to cover against the spread.

Houston is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a home favorite, including 0-3 this year with DeShaun Watson at quarterback. Houston is just 2-10 ATS as a whole in their last 12 games. They’ve also gone under 11 of their last 15 games overall. Houston has scored between 17-22 points in six of their seven games this year.

The other game they scored 37 at Indianapolis but that took OT where they scored and they were gifted 17 points between short drives and the extra opportunities in OT. So, they’ve really struggled to score more than twenty points this year in any one game. In addition, Miami sits near the bottom of the league in generating big passing plays and defends them equally as bad. Although they are now healthier than in the past in their secondary.

Houston meanwhile has defended the big passing plays well this year but they haven’t faced a lot of great offences to this point. They won’t face one this Thursday either. Miami hasn’t fared well on Thursday nights as of late. They haven’t scored much on the road, they are down key pieces on their offence, including their starting quarterback, two offencive lineman and two key receivers, including their best explosive receiver.

That doesn’t sound like a recipe for success on a short turnaround. If Houston continues their ways on offence, this game should be a lower scoring game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 45

NY Giants v Atlanta

Tuesday, October 23rd, 11:15 AM AEDT

The Giants are averaging 4.6ypr against teams allowing 3.8ypr thanks mostly to Barkley breaking long runs for them. They average just 6.2yps against teams allowing 6.6yps and are about 0.2yppl better than what their opponents are allowing.

The defense has been slightly below average defending the pass and about average overall but allowing three points worse than what their opponents are averaging.

Atlanta averages 7.5yps against teams allowing 7.0yps and 0.2yppl better than what their opponents are allowing. The rush defense allows 5.1ypr against teams averaging 4.2ypr, is about average defending the pass and allows about 0.3yppl worse than what their opponents are averaging.

Average win percentage large favorites of more than six points don’t fare well in the NFL. If this line goes higher than six points the Falcons would qualify in a negative 190-100-7 situation that would play against them. My numbers favor Atlanta by only one point and project about 54.5 points.

Despite all of their defensive woes, Atlanta is in the top ten in defending big pass plays while the Giants are in the bottom ten defending big pass plays. From the line of scrimmage, these two teams are about even. The real difference is in the offensive efficiency between these two teams. The Giants struggle to score and turn it over while Atlanta isn’t turning it over and is having a lot of success in the red zone, which is something they didn’t do last year.

The Giants success on offense this year has come against the few below average defenses they have faced in Carolina (31 points) and Houston (27 points) although they only scored 18 points against New Orleans. In their last three games, they’ve played some pretty good offenses and surrendered 33 or more points in each game.

Since Atlanta started having defensive injury issues they have allowed at least 29 points in every game. They’ve also scored 31 or more in every game at home. They’ve totalled a minimum of 55 points in each of their four home games this year.

Bottom line in this game is Atlanta is going to get their points and the Giants have a very good chance of getting their points considering the poor Atlanta defense after their key injuries and the fact the Giants have some explosive weapons on offense that can likely exploit the Falcons defense.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 54 Points

Cincinnati v Kansas

Monday, October 22nd, 11:20 AM AEDT

Cincinnati’s offense has come back down to earth somewhat. They now average just 0.2yppl better than what their opponents are allowing. Their rush defense is below average allowing 4.6ypr against teams averaging 4.1ypr and the pass defense has been about average. The defense, overall, allows 0.2yppl more than what their opponents are averaging.

KC has not run the ball great this year but they are throwing the ball extremely well at 8.4yps against teams allowing 6.5yps and they average 6.8yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. But, the defense has been poor. They allow 5.4ypr against teams averaging 4.7ypr, 7.1yps against teams averaging 6.9yps and 6.6yppl against teams averaging 6.1yppl.

The Bengals are without several players. RB Giovanni Bernard, CB Darqueze Dennard, TE Tyler Kroft, C Billy Price and LB Nick Vigil are all out.

KC will play without C Mitch Morse as well as S Eric Berry and LB Justin Houston.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor KC by five points and project about 58 points.

Both of these defenses are in the bottom ten of the league in allowing big passing plays while KC is in the top ten in the league in offensive big passing plays. The Bengals sit just outside the top ten. The Cincinnati offense has not been the same since TE Tyler Eifert went down in the Atlanta game three weeks ago.

They scored 27 at home against Miami but 14 came on defensive scores and then managed just 21 last week against Pittsburgh. Granted they will face a Chiefs defense that isn’t nearly as good as Miami or Pittsburgh. But, this is a Cincinnati defense that allowed 31 and 36 in their last two road games against what were better than average offenses when they faced them – Carolina and Atlanta.

There’s no reason to believe KC won’t get into the 30’s again in this game. The question becomes can Cincinnati do the same. Since the beginning of last year KC is now 8-3 ATS as a home favorite. And, they’ve allowed more than 20 points just twice in those 11 games.

As a matter of fact in their last 27 games at home as a home favorite, KC has allowed more than 22 points in just three of those 27 games and just once in their last 19 games as a home favorite. If this holds true again this week it’ll be hard for Cincinnati to cover if KC is getting to their usual 30+ points per game.

But, with all that said, it’s hard to lay a bunch of points with a defense as bad as KC so this is not a strong play.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Kansas City -5.5


LA Rams v San Francisco

Monday, October 22nd, 7:25 AM AEDT

The 49ers hung tough with GB on Monday night only to lose it at the very end on a field goal by GB, 33-30. Both teams ran the ball well with SF averaging 5.8ypr and GB 5.5ypr. Both teams threw it well as well with SF averaging 9.1yps and GB 8.3yps.

Overall, SF averaged 7.3yppl to 7.4yppl for GB. The problem for SF is they were minus three in turnover margin. GB was able to muster six points on field goals started inside the 49ers territory based on those turnovers.

The Rams average 5.1ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr and 9.0yps against teams allowing 6.9yps. Overall, they average 7.2yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl. The Rams defense has not been great, however, allowing 4.8ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr. The pass defense has been about average. Overall, the Rams allow 0.3yppl worse than what their opponents average.

SF runs the ball almost equally as well as the Rams at 5.1ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr. The difference for SF is they average 0.4yps worse than what their opponents are allowing. Overall they are about average on offense. The defense has been slightly better than average but they are allowing five points more per game than what their opponents are averaging thanks to turnovers.

WR Cooper Kupp is out otherwise the Rams are healthy.

SF will be without WR Dante Pettis. They also list several other players as questionable. Most notably CB Jimmie Ward, WR Pierre Garcon and CB Richard Sherman.

This game qualifies in a couple of under situations, which are 320-228-3 and 52-18-1. My numbers favour the Rams by seven points and project about 52.5 points.

Since CJ Beathard became the starting quarterback the 49ers offense has actually averaged 6.7yps against teams allowing 6.5yps so they have been just above average throwing the ball. They are also averaging 25 points a game against teams allowing 25 points a game so their scoring has gotten better as well.

Last week was the first week the Rams have scored less than 33 points in a game. Their defense has allowed 20 or more points in four straight games, granted last weeks last touchdown by Denver in the final minute was basically a meaningless touchdown. They now face a 49ers team in their third straight road game who has scored 27 or more in four of their last five games.

The only game they didn’t was their 18 point effort against Arizona here in SF. But, that was a five-turnover game for SF. Unfortunately for SF, their defense has allowed at least 24 points in every game as well, partly because of the turnovers. They are minus-eight in turnover margin and Beathard has a very high 4.4% interception rate.

SF hasn’t been a great home dog going just 4-8 ats in their last 12 but they are 3-0 ATS as a home dog against these Rams the last three years. Last week marked the first time in seven games as a road favourite under Sean McVay that the Rams haven’t scored at least 27 points.

The situations point to the under but the value points to the over so no play on the total for me. There does seem to be a little value on the 49ers

Betting Strategy

 BACK – San Francisco +10

Arizona v Denver

Thursday October 19th, 11:20 AM AEDT

Denver covered the spread but lost 23-20 last week to the Rams. They allowed the Rams to rush for 270 yards at 6.9ypr while gaining only 60 yards at 3.5ypr. The Broncos did average 6.9yps and actually held the Rams to 5.3yps. Overall, LA out gained Denver 6.2yppl to 6.0yppl. Seven of Denver’s points came after an interception on a 12 yard drive.

Arizona fell 27-17 at Minnesota and were out rushed 6.1ypr to 3.1ypr but managed to out pass the Vikings 5.9yps to 5.7yps. Overall, Minnesota out gained Arizona 5.9yppl to 4.9yppl. The Cardinals got seven points on a fumble return. Minnesota picked up ten points on drives that began inside Arizona territory.

Denver averages 5.3ypr against teams allowing 4.8ypr but is averaging just 6.4yps against teams allowing 6.5yps. Overall they gain 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.8yppl  so they have been slightly above average but are scoring only 20 points against teams allowing 22 points so their point production has been below average. The defence is allowing 5.6ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr but the pass defence has been better allowing 6.7yps against teams averaging 7.2yps. Overall, on defence they allow 6.2yppl against teams averaging 5.9yppl. But, they are allowing only 26 points per game against teams averaging 27 points per game so they’ve been a little better than average in terms of points allowed.

Arizona struggles to run the ball at 3.2ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr and their passing offence is gaining just 5.1yps against teams allowing 6.6yps so they’ve been well below average there as well. Josh Rosen has averaged 5.9yps, however, against teams allowing 6.7yps so they are still well below average but not nearly as bad as their year to date numbers.

Team News

Denver will be without G Ronald Leary who is out for the year and T Jared Veldheer. They will also play without LB Shane Ray, S Dymonte Thomas and CB Adam Jones.

For Arizona they will be without G Mike Iupati and their other G Justin Pugh is questionable with a broken hand. S Tre Boston is also out.

Verdict

This game does apply to an over situation, which is 168-107-3 if the total is 43 or lower. My numbers favor Arizona by ½ points using just Josh Rosen stats and project about 43 points scored.

Denver is 1-11 SU their last 12 on the road, including losing 16-34 and 14-27 already this year. The problem for Denver on the road has been both their offence and defence. They’ve scored more than 19 points just twice in their last 12 road games. One was a 23 point effort at Philadelphia last year but that was only because they gave up 51 points and were so far behind they were scoring in mop up time. Their other effort was a 25 point effort at Indianapolis against a back up quarterback. They’ve allowed 21 or more in ten of those twelve games. That will be tested this week against an Arizona offence averaging just 21 points with Rosen but a good portion of those points have come directly off turnovers or turnovers that gave Arizona great field position. But, it’s hard to take a road favorite on the road who has allowed every team to score 23 or more with the exception of lowly Oakland, who still got 19 points. Now, they will face an Arizona team who doesn’t figure to give up too many points, especially with Denver missing two starting offensive lineman. Arizona is 13-6-1 ats as a home dog since 2012, including 5-2-1 since the beginning of last year so they’ve been consistently a good home dog. Those games are also 13-7 to the under as well.

Projected score: Arizona 23. Denver 20

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arizona Cardinals +1

San Francisco v Green Bay

Tuesday October 16th, 11:15 AM AEST

Arizona went to San Francisco last week and got out of town with a 28-18 victory. They were plus five in turnover ratio and sacked SF four times. They outgained Arizona 447-220 yards but only 4.9yppl to 4.5yppl. Arizona was outrushed 4.3ypr to 2.4ypr and 147 yards to 56 yards. But, the Cardinals out passed SF 6.3yps to 5.2yps.

Those passing numbers are a little deceiving, however, as Arizona was only 10-25 but threw a 75 yards touchdown pass. Without that pass, they would have averaged 3.6yps. Arizona started out the game with that 75-yard touchdown pass. They recovered a SF fumble and scored a touchdown on an 18 yard, four play drive after that fumble.

They returned another fumble for a touchdown and picked off SF to score another touchdown on a 26-yard drive. So, Arizona’s offence really did nothing. Their offence really averaged just 3.0yppl after that initial touchdown pass.

The Packers fell behind 24-0 before they knew what hit them in Detroit. It was a game GB statistically outplayed Detroit in. GB out rushed Detroit 4.9ypr to 3.4ypr, outpassed them 7.6yps to 5.9yps and outgained them for the game 6.9yppl to 4.6yppl.

Detroit won the game 31-23 but they scored touchdowns on drives of one yard (after a fumbled GB punt was recovered at the one), 29 yards after a fumble recovery and a field goal on a drive of one yard after recovering a fumble on the GB 22 yard line. In other words, they scored 17 points on drives of 29 yards or less and two drives that literally went one yard each. Meanwhile normally reliable kicker Mason Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point. GB never punted in the game.

The 49ers running game has been pretty good so far this year averaging 5.0ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr but their passing game has averaged just 6.1yps against teams allowing 7.0yps. CJ Beathard’s numbers for his last two games are the same as the 49ers year to date passing numbers and they are scoring about the same amount of points when compared to the competition level they are playing, which is about two points below the level of competition they are facing.

The 49ers defense, however, has been pretty good allowing just 3.7pr against teams averaging 4.0ypr, 6.3yps against teams averaging 6.9yps and 5.3yppl against teams averaging 5.8yppl.

The Packers have also run the ball pretty well this year gaining 4.6ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr and have been about average throwing the ball. The defense has also been about average, allowing 5.2yppl against teams averaging 5.2ypp.

Predictions

GB qualifies in a couple of negative situations that play against large favorites who don’t have that good of a record, which are 189-100-7 and 295-197-9. But, GB is also headed to their bye week after his game.

Big favorites who have their bye week the following week are now 42-14-0 ATS after New Orleans covered last week prior to their bye week this week. My numbers favor GB by nine points and project about 46.5 points.

Both of these teams are in the top ten in defending big pass plays. The 49ers defence is giving up points even though they have played well from the line of scrimmage. Turnovers aren’t helping their defence. They’ve allowed at least 24 points in every game this year.

Meanwhile, the Packers have scored at least 22 points in every home game this year and their defence has played pretty well against below average offences, holding the Bears to 16 points (Chicago had a defensive score) and shutting out Buffalo. The 49ers are banged up on offence while GB seems to be getting a little healthier on offence.

I’m not sure SF can get into the twenties in this game and that probably leads to a lower scoring game. Since the beginning of 2015, SF has been a road underdog 25 times and allowed at least 20 points in 21 of those 25 games.

In that same time frame, they have been road dogs of more than seven points 13 times and failed to cover in eight of those games, allowing 26 or more points in 11 of those 13 games. Since 2015 GB has been favored by 7.5 or more at home six times and held their opponent to 20 or fewer points in each game.

I don’t see SF getting a lot of points in this game. Those six games all went under the total as well

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 46.5

Kansas City v New England

Monday October 15th, 11:20 AM AEST

Jacksonville fell at Kansas City last week 30-14. They outrushed the Chiefs 5.9ypr to 4.2ypr but were out passed 7.6yps to 6.1yps, sacked five times and committed five turnovers. Overall the yards per play numbers were pretty close at 6.0yppl for Jacksonville and 6.1yppl for KC. But, KC ran the ball 13 more times while Jacksonville threw the ball 27 more times to skew the yards per play numbers.

The Colts were decimated with injuries last Thursday, playing on the road, and they came up short at New England 38-24. In some ways they actually played pretty well considering the circumstances. They were out passed 7.8yps to 5.9yps and out gained overall 6.5yppl to 5.4yppl.

Kansas City’s offence continues to roll as they average 8.2yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Overall they are averaging 6.5yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. The defence is allowing 5.8ypr against teams averaging just 4.7ypr. The pass defense has been closer to average and overall they allow 6.5yppl against teams averaging 6.0yppl.

New England’s offence is still just average on the year from the line of scrimmage but that should continue to improve as they get their offensive weapons back. The defence is slightly above average.

Kansas City will be without their best S Eric Murray and what would be their best S Eric Berry if he was playing this year. They will also be without their second best linebacker this year in Justin Houston.

As usual, the Pats list several starters as questionable.

Predictions

I don’t have any situations in this game. My numbers favor New England by 3.5 points and project about 58 points.

Kansas City is in the top ten in the league in generating big pass plays while NE is in the bottom ten but I expect NE to move up the ranks as they get their offence healthy. KC is also the worse team in the league defending big pass plays while NE is in the top ten in defending big pass plays.

The Patriots are 18-4-3 ATS at home laying seven or less points since 2013. Two of those losses Brady either didn’t play or left the game early because it was a meaningless end of season game. So, they are really 18-2-3 ATS.

Nobody is getting rich fading the Patriots at home and I won’t do it here either. The Pats have scored at least 27 points in each home game this year and 38 in each of the last two. Counter that with a KC team that has scored at least 27 points in every game this year as well and defeated NE 42-27 here last year to open the season.

Kansas City is also 7-1 ATS in their last eight attempts as a road dog and 6-2 to the over in those eight games. They are also 18-7 ATS in their last 25 road games as both a favorite and a dog so they have been very tough on the road. As for the total, it’s obviously a high number and stands a good chance to go over the total and I will lean that way.

Consider when NE faced a similar type quarterback last year, their games at home totaled 69 (KC), 69 (Houston and DeShaun Watson) and 63 (Carolina and Cam Newton). This is likely to get in the 60’s as well

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 60

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants

Friday October 12th, 11:20 AM AEST

Philly lost at home to the Vikings last week 23-21. They out rushed Minnesota 4.8ypr to 3.3ypr but were out passed 7.8yps to 7.4yps. Overall, they out gained the Vikings 6.6yppl to 6.1yppl but were minus one in turnover margin, which included a sack and fumble returned for a touchdown to break up a tie game. Philly actually scored almost 29% of their potential points and limited Minnesota to about 25% of their potential points but the turnover for a touchdown was too much to overcome. Minnesota only scored one touchdown on offence and otherwise had to settle for three field goals and two missed field goals.

The Giants lost a heartbreaking game at Carolina 33-31 as Carolina kicked a game winning field goal of 63 yards to send the Giants back home for their fourth loss of the season. The Giants held a very good Carolina rushing offence to just 3.8ypr in the game but gained just 3.1ypr themselves. NY threw for 10.1yps and held Carolina to 6.4yps. Overall, the Giants out gained Carolina 8.0yppl to 5.2yppl but Carolina controlled the clock for about 11 more minutes. The Giants had a couple of big passing plays in that game but even if you take them out they still averaged a very healthy number in the passing game.

Philly has averaged just 5.7yps against teams allowing 7.1yps this year. But, a lot of those horrible passing numbers were achieved with Nick Foles at quarterback. Since Wentz came back three games ago, Philadelphia is averaging 6.2yps against teams allowing 6.8yps. So, they are still well below average throwing the ball but getting better than the first two games. The defence has been above average allowing 5.6yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

The Giants offence hasn’t been good but it’s actually better than Philadelphia, averaging 5.6yppl against teams allowing 5.6yppl (Philly is 5.2yppl against teams allowing 6.0yppl and in games with just Wentz at quarterback 5.6yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl). The Giants defence has also been above average allowing just 5.7yppl against teams averaging 5.9yppl.

Roster News

The Eagles will be without S Corey Graham, DT Haloti Ngata and RB Darren Sproles. They also placed RB Jay Ajayi on IR this week. Remember they also placed S Rodney McLeod on IR a few weeks ago.

The Giants will be without TE Evan Engram. TE Rhett Ellison is questionable. If he can’t play they will be hurting at TE. It looks like they will finally get back DE Olivier Vernon this week.

Predictions

My numbers actually favor the Giants by 1.7 points and project about 44 points.

The numbers here favor the Giants and past history also favors a higher scoring game than usual. Philadelphia has controlled the Giants here, winning 9 of the last 11 games played in NY. However, the situation does not favor them Thursday night. Philly has allowed at least 21 points on the road as a road favorite in 15 of their last 17 games.

In addition, we know how hard it is to go on the road on a Thursday night. Those Thursday road teams are now 0-4-1 against the spread this year and have not won a game yet, going 0-5 SU.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Giants +3

Washington Redskins v New Orleans

Tuesday October 9th, 11:15 AM AEST

Washington is off their bye week and an impressive 31-17 victory over the Packers when we last saw them. They outgained GB in that game 7.0yppl to 5.2yppl, outpassed them 11.0yps to 4.9yps and rushed for 166 yards.

The Giants were brutal last week and very hard to watch. They were beaten soundly by the Saints 33-18. The only thing that kept the game close was NO settling for field goals multiple times. The Saints scored on seven of nine drives but settled for field goals four times, including after taking over from the 11-yard line following a turnover. The Giants were outgained 5.8yppl to 5.1yppl and combined with two turnovers that calculated to about a 13 point loss so pretty close to their 15 point defeat.

Washington averages 7.2yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and is above average as a whole on offence. The defence is allowing 4.5ypr against teams averaging just 3.9ypr but is allowing just 4.8yps against teams averaging 5.4yps.

The Saints average 7.4yps against teams allowing 7.0yps. Their rush defence has allowed just 3.2ypr against teams averaging 4.0ypr but are allowing a whopping 8.7yps against teams averaging 7.0yps.

The Saints get back RB Mark Ingram this week from suspension.

The Saints would qualify in a very good Monday night situation if this line drops below six, which is 43-12-2. My numbers favor the Saints by only .5 point and project about 50.5 points.

The Redskins are rushing the ball nearly 50% of the time this year. But, that will be tested this week against a very good Saints rush defence allowing just 3.2ypr. Washington has also thrown the ball very well and they will face a Saints pass defence allowing a whopping 8.7yps against teams averaging only 7.0yps.

On the flip side, Washington has struggled to stop the run this year but has been well above average defending the pass, which is the strength of the Saints offence. But, at the end of the day, this is still an Alex Smith led offence, which is in the bottom of the league in generating big passing plays while NO is near the top of the league in creating big passing plays.

But, again, this will be tested as Washington sits near the top of the league in defending those big pass plays and the Saints give them up with great frequency. Why Pat Shurmur and the Giants didn’t roll out Eli Manning and try to push the ball downfield last week is beyond me. Washington jumped out to a big lead here last year only to cough it up late and lose 34-31. The Redskins are 10-4 ATS as a road dog in their last 14 games.

They are also 9-4-1 to the over in those same games, having scored 23 or more points in 10 of those 14 games. For the most part the games they didn’t get to 23 they were facing very good defensive teams. Saints are 14-6-1 to the over in their last 21 as a home favorite. They are 9-3 to the over with totals in the 50’s in those same games.

The Saints have allowed 37 and 48 points to the better than average offences they have faced this year. It’s really hard to guess what Washington will do as they’ve been all over the board this year making them hard to predict what we will get from them. More than likely, however, Washington should be able to move the ball against this team.

The value is on Washington but the situation greatly favors NO if the number comes down below six.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 52.5

Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys

Monday October 7th, 11:20am AEST

Detroit gave up a last-second field goal in their 26-24 loss at Dallas. They outgained the Cowboys 7.2yppl to 6.4yppl but were outrushed 183 yards to 96 yards and 5.2ypr to 4.8ypr. They outpassed Dallas 8.7yps to 7.7yps.

The game featured no turnovers and only 16 drives not counting the kneel down at the end of the first half (a normal game is about 22 drives). Dallas scored on six of their eight drives, while Detroit scored on just four of their eight drives but stayed in the game because they scored mostly touchdowns while Dallas settled for field goals.

Last week’s game may have ended with a high score of 37-34 in favor of Houston over Indy but the stats did not translate to a high scoring game. In addition 17 of the 37 points Indy gave up came on very short drives or direct turnovers. The first touchdown was scored by Houston’s defence following a fumble.

Another touchdown later in the first half came following another fumble and Houston recovered on the Indy eight-yard line. And, the game-winning field goal came on a 24-yard drive following Indy going for it on fourth down in their own territory in OT. Indy averaged only 2.4 yards per rush while allowing 3.4 yards per rush. They threw for 6.6 yards per pass which isn’t that impressive against a very bad Houston pass defence.

They allowed the Texans 7.1 yards per pass. Indy sacked Houston seven times while being sacked four times themselves. Overall, Indy gained 5.8 yards per play while allowing 5.5 yards per play and was minus-one in turnovers. The Texans controlled the clock for eleven more minutes than Indy.

The Cowboys average 5.8ypr against teams allowing just 4.9ypr but are averaging just 5.2yps against teams allowing 6.3yps. Their rush defence has been very good this year allowing just 3.6ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr and the pass defence has been average so far.

Houston is averaging 7.0yps against teams allowing 6.3yps but also allowing 7.1yps against teams averaging just 5.8yps.

The Cowboys will get back DL David Irving this week from suspension. LB Sean Lee is out again. C Travis Frederick remains out and WR Terrance Williams is also out.

Houston will be without CB Aaron Colvin.

This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 110-57-3. My numbers favor Houston by one point and project about 46.5 points.

Houston sits near the top of the league in generating big passing plays while Dallas sits near the bottom of the league. Dallas has defended the big passing plays well this year. Dallas has struggled on the road this year and their passing offence has been well below average so far.

They’ll face a Houston defence that has been horrible defending the pass this year so maybe there is hope for the Cowboys. There may also be some hope for Houston as they look to get back CB Kayvon Webster who can maybe help their secondary. The strength for Dallas is their rushing offence but they will meet a very tough match with this Houston front who allows only 3.5ypr this year against teams who average 3.8ypr.

Dallas is better than that averaging 5.8ypr against teams allowing 4.9ypr but they won’t have an easy time running the ball this week. Dallas does get back David Irving this week from suspension, which will help their pass rush but they will be without LB Sean Lee again this week. Leighton Vander Esch has filled in admirably for Lee so far but the Cowboys are still worse without Lee.

Dallas hasn’t allowed more than 24 points this year and prior to last week, Houston hadn’t scored more than 22 points. But, as noted above Houston scored 17 of their 37 points on very short drives because of turnovers so their offence really only generated about 20 points again last week. The Texans have allowed at least 20 points every week as well.

The question is can Dallas get there having scored just eight and 13 points on the road so far this year. The Cowboys have been a dead under team as a road dog since 2015 as they are now 10-3 to the under in that time frame, including 2-0 this year. They’ve also failed to cover their last four as a road dog, going 0-4 ats and have not scored more than 13 points in those games, while giving up at least 24 in three of those four games.

But, does Houston deserve to be favored over anyone? My numbers just don’t get me there.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Dallas +3

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots

Frdiay October 5, 10:20am AEST Lucas Oil Stadium

Last week’s game may have ended with a high score of 37-34 in favor of Houston over Indy, but the stats did not translate to a high scoring game. In addition 17 of the 37 points Indy gave up came on very short drives or direct turnovers.

The first touchdown was scored by Houston’s defence following a fumble. Another touchdown later in the first half came following another fumble and Houston recovered on the Indy eight yard line. And, the game winning field goal came on a 24 yard drive following Indy going for it on fourth down in their own territory in OT.

Indy averaged only 2.4 yards per rush while allowing 3.4 yards per rush. They threw for 6.6 yards per pass which isn’t that impressive against a very bad Houston pass defence. They allowed the Texans 7.1 yards per pass. Indy sacked Houston seven times while being sacked four times themselves. Overall, Indy gained 5.8 yards per play while allowing 5.5 yards per play and was minus one in turnovers. The Texans controlled the clock for eleven more minutes than Indy.

On the other side NE did what it always does to Miami at home. And that is beat them badly and hold them to a low point total. NE won 38-7, out passing Miami 7.8 yards per pass to 4.3 yards per pass and out gaining the Dolphins 6.0 yards per play to 3.8 yards per play. The game was never close.

Both of these teams come in below average on offence (although I expect NE to pick it up) and above average on defence. Indy is averaging just 5.4 yards per pass against teams allowing 6.4 yards per pass and 4.9 yards per play against teams allowing 5.5 yards per play. Their defence has been surprisingly good allowing just 5.4 yards per play against teams averaging 5.7 yards per play.

New England is averaging 5.3 yards per play against teams allowing 5.4 yards per play and their defence is allowing 5.5 yards per play against teams averaging 5.9 yards play.

For NE they are without WR TY Hilton, RB Marlon Mack again, TE Jack Doyle, T Denzelle Good and CB Kenny Moore. They also list several players as questionable who missed practice, most notably CB Nate Hairston, S Clayton Geathers, C Ryan Kelly and LB Darius Leonard.

NE lists the usual multiple players as questionable, most notably TE Rob Gronkowski and CB Eric Rowe. They also get back WR Julian Edelman from suspension and could potentially see more out of WR Josh Gordon this week.

This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 372-243-10. The Pats also qualify in a couple of negative situations, which are 189-100-7 and 295-197-9 and play against NE here. Those situations play against large favorites who are average to below average teams record wise. My numbers favor NE by 7.5 points and project about 45.5 points.

While the line value and situations greatly favor Indy, I’ll repeat what I said last week. Nobody has gotten rich fading the Patriots at home over the years. And, while there was a period where NE wasn’t a good big favorite (pretty common in the NFL), that is no longer true.

Going back to 2015 the Pats are now 10-1 ATS as a favorite of ten or more points. They haven’t allowed more than 17 points in any of those games except the non-cover against Houston last year (36-33). At the same time they have scored at least 26 points in each of those games. If they get to 27 points again and don’t allow more than 17 points it will be hard for them to not cover. The Colts defence has played well this year but this is a tough assignment.

Indy just played almost a full overtime game and now must travel to NE for a Thursday night game. The Thursday teams have yet to cover this year (0-3-1) and now they must travel extremely banged up, including missing their most explosive player in TY Hilton. Not to mention they must face a NE team that is probably still looking to take out their revenge for deflate gate. Pats have just been too profitable at home and in this price range to go along with a really bad spot for the Colts.

The Colts offence just hasn’t been that good this year and I would expect them to struggle to get points in this game. And, the Pats, who are healthier now on defence figure to hold them down as well. If Indy can field some of their defensive guys this game could stay under the high total.

NE is in the top ten in defending big pass plays and both teams are in the bottom ten of the league in offensive big pass plays. I do expect NE to get their offence going once Edelman, Gordon and Gronkowski all get on the same page.

Lone danger with this under play would be NE putting up 40+ points, which they are always capable of doing. I’ll put NE in for 27 points but they could get to 33 or so as well.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 51

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos

Tuesday October 2, 10:15am AEST Sports Authority Field at Mile High

SF out gained KC 6.4 yards per play to 5.6 yards per play, out rushed KC 6.1 yards per rush to 2.8 yards per rush but were out passed 7.7 yards per pass to 6.7 yards per pass. The Chiefs scored touchdowns on their first five drives.

Baltimore defeated Denver at home 27-14. Baltimore out passed Denver 6.3 yards per pass to 4.7 yards per pass but were out rushed 5.0 yards per rush to 2.8 yards per rush. Overall, Baltimore gained 4.9 yards per play to 4.8 yards per play for Denver.

Denver’s first score came on a six yard drive after blocking a Baltimore punt. They scored on their next drive and never scored again despite getting inside the Ravens twenty yard line in each of their final two drives of the game.

The Chiefs have been incredible throwing the ball averaging 9.1yps against teams allowing just 6.9yps. Overall they average 6.8yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl. The defence is allowing 6.7yppl against teams averaging 6.3yppl and below average against the run and the pass.

Denver has averaged 5.2ypr against teams allowing 4.8ypr, 6.3yps against teams allowing 5.9yps and 5.8yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl overall. The defence isn’t as bad as Kansas City’s but does allow 5.5yppl against teams averaging 5.3yppl.

Denver will be without TE Jake Butt who is out for the year after tearing his ACL this week in practice.

The Broncos qualify in my best fundamental rushing situation, which is an automatic play whenever it pops. That situation is 98-37-4 and is 1-0 for us this year already. My numbers favor KC by just ½ point and project about 56 points. They also qualify in a home dog situation which is 41-19-0, including 9-2 ats when the visiting team comes in undefeated.

Both of these teams are in the top ten in big pass plays on offence and both are in the bottom ten in defending big pass plays on defence. KC is 4-0 ats their last four games here in Denver but they lost one of those games as a big dog but covered and won the last two by three points, which would be a non-cover in this game.

The Chiefs had a run of covering ten straight road games as a road favorite but have lost their last three as road favorites. Meanwhile the Broncos are 6-2 ATS as a home dog their last eight tries. Broncos figure to be able to run the ball here and will be able to throw it when needed as well. Denver’s defence isn’t as good as it has been in the past but its good enough to give KC some challenges and the Broncos should be able to stay with KC in this game.

A great situation and value on their side in an environment that is tough to play in make this a solid play on Monday night.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Denver +4.5

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers

Monday October 1, 10:20am AEST Heinz Field

Baltimore defeated Denver at home 27-14. Baltimore out passed Denver 6.3 yards per pass to 4.7 yards per pass but were out rushed 5.0 yards per rush to 2.8 yards per rush. Overall, Baltimore gained 4.9 yards per play to 4.8 yards per play for Denver. Denver’s first score came on a six yard drive after blocking a Baltimore punt. They scored on their next drive and never scored again despite getting inside the Ravens twenty yard line in each of their final two drives of the game.

TB fell a little short on Monday night in their 30-27 loss against Pittsburgh. The Steelers out passed TB 8.2 yards per pass to 7.4 yards per pass while both teams gained 6.6 yards per play. TB threw the ball 12 more times while Pittsburgh ran the ball six more times. TB was minus three in turnover ratio. Pittsburgh picked up a pick six for a touchdown and another touchdown that started at the TB 33 yard line.

The Ravens are struggling to run the ball gaining just 3.1ypr against teams allowing 3.8ypr and they have been average throwing the ball. Overall, they average just 5.0yppl against teams allowing 5.3yppl. The defence has been very good, especially against the pass, allowing just 4.3yps against teams averaging 5.9yps. Overall, they allow just 4.3yppl against teams averaging 5.3yppl.

The Steelers have been just slightly better than average on offence gaining 6.3yppl against teams allowing 6.1yppl. Their rush defence has been horrible, allowing 4.6ypr against teams averaging 3.7ypr but the pass defence has been fantastic, allowing just 6.7yps against teams averaging 8.0yps. Overall, they allow 5.9yppl against teams averaging 6.1yppl.

Baltimore will be without CB Anthony Averett. It appears LB CJ Mosely and DT Michael Pierce will play despite being listed as questionable. They list many other players as questionable such as CB Brandon Carr, T Ronnie Stanley and LB Terrell Suggs.

Pittsburgh is listing CB Mike Hilton and S Morgan Burnett as doubtful.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor Baltimore by two points and project about 51.5 points.

Both of these teams are in the top ten in big pass plays on offence. But, on defence the Ravens are in the top ten in defending big pass plays while Pittsburgh is in the bottom ten in defending big pass plays. The Ravens are 3-0-1 ats at Pittsburgh the last four games.

Baltimore is 4-1-1 ats as a road dog their last six games and 12-6-1 ats over their last 19 road games as a road dog. The Steelers are 0-5 ats their last five home games as favorites and have gone over the total in seven straight games as a home favorite.

They’ve scored 28 or more in each of those seven games but they’ve also allowed 24 or more in each of those last five games as well. Better defence, getting points is enough to keep this game close and probably get the outright win Sunday night.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Baltimore +3

Minnesota Vikings v LA Rams

Friday September 28, 10:20am AEST Memorial Coliseum

The Vikings got behind the eight ball very quickly last Sunday. They allowed the Bills to take their opening drive the length of the field to score a touchdown. But the drive was initially aided by a Viking 15 yard penalty and then advanced later in the drive by another 15 yard penalty.

The Vikings then fumbled on their first possession and Buffalo kicked a field goal off that turnover. Minnesota fumbled again, giving the ball to Buffalo deep inside Minnesota territory that they converted to a touchdown.

Before they knew what hit them, Minnesota was down 17-0. Buffalo would go on to score on their first five drives of the game. Minnesota was out passed in the game 6.6 yards per pass to 4.7 yards per pass. They were also minus three in turnover differential.

The Rams defeated the Chargers 35-23 and were in control the whole game. They out gained the Chargers 7.2 yards per play to 6.8 yards per play, including out passing them 9.5 yards per pass to 6.7 yards per pass. In their eight meaningful drives the Rams punted just once, scored four times, missed a field goal and had a fumble and an interception. So, the Chargers really didn’t stop them.

The Vikings are scoring only 21% of their potential points to this stage of the season while the Rams are allowing just 18%. On offence the Rams are scoring a staggering 45% of their potential points while Minnesota is allowing 27% of their potential points.

The final injury report has not been submitted as of yet but the Vikings already know they will be without one of their best defensive lineman in Everson Griffin again this week. CB Marcus Shields, who missed last week’s game did not practice yesterday and T Riley Reiff also did not practice making an already shaky Vikings offensive line even shakier.

For the Rams, their win over the Chargers was costly. CB Aquib Talib will be lost for several weeks and CB Marcus Peters may be lost for several weeks with an outside chance of playing in this game.

The Vikings qualify in two different bounce back situations after their SU loss as a 17 point favorite last week, which are 64-31-6 and 86-37-5. My numbers favor the Rams by six points and make this total about 44 points although some adjustment may need to be made for the loss of the Rams two best corners.

Mike Zimmer had a run of nine straight road underdog covers with his Vikings team back in 2014 to early 2016. But, since early 2016 his teams are just 1-4 ats as a road dog. They are also 13-5-2 to the under as a road dog under Zimmer. They have scored more than 20 points in only five of those twenty games. They’ve also only given up more than 23 points five times in those twenty games so defence does travel as well.

Since Sean McVay arrived in LA last year, his Rams are 5-2 to the under as home favorites but have scored 33 or more points in four of those eight home games and 26 or more in five of those eight games. What’s interesting with their games is they played the Andrew Luck Colts last year without Luck and held them to nine points.

They faced Houston without DeShaun Watson and held them to seven points. They faced the Cardinals this year with Sam Bradford but they are just a bad team in general and allowed zero points. The other five games were against Kirk Cousins (Wash), Russell Wilson (Sea), Drew Brees (NO), Matt Ryan (Atl), and Phillip Rivers (LAC).

They allowed at least 16 points in each of those five games and 20 or more in four of those five games. The 16 points in the Seattle game did feature a pick six as well. They lost three of those five games and only won one of those games by more than six points, which was last week’s game. They also allowed 43 points and lost to Philadelphia as a home dog last year.

Without both of their new superstar corners the defence is a little more like last year’s team and may not be able to win by a large margin. This could play out more like their games last year. But, travelling a long distance for a non-division game on a Thursday night is no cupcake for the Vikings either.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 49.5

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tuesday September 25, 10:15am AEST Raymond James Stadium

The Steelers fell behind 21-0 before they knew what hit them, came back to tie it 21-21 but couldn’t hold on in a 42-37 loss to the Chiefs in Pittsburgh. KC out gained the Steelers 8.3yppl to 6.4yppl, out rushed them 5.1ypr to 2.5ypr and out passed Pitt 11.1yps to 7.2yps. KC scored 60% of their potential points to 45% for Pittsburgh.

TB connected on a 75 yard touchdown pass on the game’s first play from scrimmage and never looked back in their 27-21 victory over Philadelphia. TB out gained Philly 7.5yppl to 5.5yppl and out passed Philly 11.2yps to 6.4yps. Philly did out rush TB 3.8ypr to 1.9ypr. Philly scored just 23% of their points while allowing TB to score 33% of their potential points.

Pittsburgh has been average on offence and slightly above average on defence by playing poor rush defence but very good pass defence.

TB is lighting it up on offence gaining 8.0 yards per play against teams allowing 6.5 yards per play. But, they also allow 6.6 yards per play against teams averaging 5.4 yards per play.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor TB by 3.5 points and project about 63.5 points.

Since 2015 Pittsburgh is 22-7 (23-6 with a favorable week one number against Cleveland) to the under on the road, including 15-4 (16-3 under if you got a favorable number in week one at Cleveland) to the under as a road favorite. We rode this trend many times last year.

Since the beginning of 2014 Pittsburgh has allowed more than 24 points on the road as a favorite just twice. Pittsburgh is also 10-1-1 SU as a road favorite in their last 12 games. TB is now 9-3 to the under in their last 12 home games. They have not allowed more than 24 points in their last 13 home games. That includes two games against the Saints, one game against New England and one game against Atlanta. Dirk Koetter is 5-1 ats as a home dog in his last six games.

The numbers scream to play the over in this game but I am going to respect the fact Pittsburgh plays these road games different than their home games and TB has played good defence at home the last two years. TB should also be getting some defensive players back this week in DL Vita Vea and CB Brent Grimes that may help them to improve their defence.

On the other side Pittsburgh could be down a couple of offensive lineman, which isn’t a good thing against a pretty stout TB defensive front. I’ll lean over but the better play here may be on the home dog and they might just be the better team as well.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Tampa Bay +1

New England Patriots vs Detroit Lions

Monday September 24, 10:20am AEST Ford Field

The Pats were blown out at Jacksonville from start to finish in their 31-20 loss. They were out gained 7.0yppl to 5.0yppl, out rushed 4.3ypr to 3.4ypr and out passed 8.4yps to 5.9yps. The Jags scored 44% of their potential points and held NE to 28% of their potential points.

Detroit fell behind 30-13 before making it a game in the end but finally falling 30-27. Both teams averaged 5.8yppl while SF out rushed Detroit 6.8ypr to 5.4ypr but they were out passed 6.0yps to 4.9yps.

New England is basically average on both sides of the ball in the early going.

Detroit is averaging 5.5 yards play against teams allowing 5.1 yards per play while the defence has been about average. But, they have been down badly in both games and accumulated some garbage stats at the end of the game that may be skewing what their offence actually looks like.

The Pats list S Patrick Chung and DE Trey Flowers as doubtful. They also list TE Jacob Hollister as out. As usual they also list many other players as questionable.

The Lions list many starters as questionable such as CB Darius Slay, G T.J. Lang, WR Marvin Jones and DE Ezekiel Ansah.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor NE by 4.5 points and project about 53 points.

As home dogs the Lions have allowed at least 23 points in 12 of their last 15 games. It’s more likely they will allow something in the 30’s to these Patriots who have been brilliant off a loss in the Tom Brady era. Since Brady arrived the Pats are 24-2 ats on the road as a favorite of less than seven points or a dog (0-1 as a 7 pt favorite) with an average score of 31-17. Last week we uncovered the perfect situation to go against the Pats when they are on the road against a very good defence. Not so this week. In fact when NE is coming off a loss, on the road and facing a defence who is allowing at least 23 points a game at the time they play them (Detroit allowing 39 points a game), the Pats have scored 30 or more points in seven of those eight games and won seven of those eight games by at least nine points. Stafford has scored at least 23 points in six of his last eight games as a home dog. It would seem to reason that NE will get into the 30’s in this game and that Detroit can get into the 20’s in this game.

NE is likely without two of their best defensive players in Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung, which should only aid Detroit getting into the 20’s. The values lies in Detroit’s favor but the situation is clearly screaming NE. I’ll lean NE but I think the better play here potentially could be on the over. CB Darius Slay will likely miss this game as well. Oh by the way Belichick has never been known to take it easy on his assistant coaches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 54 Points

NY Jets vs Cleveland Browns

Friday September 21, 10:20am AEST First Energy Stadium

The Jets outgained Miami 5.7yppl to 4.4yppl but only managed to rush the ball for 2.2ypr while allowing Miami 4.4ypr. They did out pass the Dolphins 7.3yps to 4.5yps and threw the ball about 17 more times to skew the overall yards per play numbers. They scored just 15% of their potential points while allowing Miami to score 27% of their potential points.

The Browns have to be disappointed for the second week in a row, this time not because they tied but because they lost at the end, 21-18 at New Orleans. They outgained NO 5.5yppl to 4.5yppl, out rushed them 3.4ypr to 2.7ypr and out passed NO 7.1yps to 5.6yps. Both teams scored 26% of their potential points.

My numbers make this game a pick ‘em and project about 37.5 points. Cleveland qualifies in a negative early season situation, which is 140-70-8 and plays against them here. This game also qualifies in an over situation, which is 168-107-3.

These two have met each of the last two years in Cleveland with the Jets winning both games by three points, 17-14 and 31-28. Cleveland dominated the game here last year but turned the ball over in different ways, including four straight miscues of some kind inside the Jets 34 yard line.

They punted only twice but still could not walk away with the win. The Jets are only 5-9-1 ats the last two plus years as road underdogs. Cleveland is just 4-9 ATS as a home favorite the last five years. They are just 6-17-1 ats at home the last 24 games. They are also 15-4 under in their last 19 home games. I don’t have much of an opinion on this game.

This is a very tough road start for a rookie quarterback on such short notice to prepare for this game. But, at the same time, for a team who has won only one game in their last 34 games it’s tough to take them as a favorite.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 39.5

Seattle Seahawks vs Chicago Bears

Tuesday September 18, 10:15am AEST Soldier Field

Denver was very impressive in their 27-24 victory over Seattle. They outgained the Seahawks 6.5yppl to 5.6yppl, out rushed them 4.6ypr to 4.0ypr and out passed them 8.1yps to 6.2yps. Denver scored about 28% of their potential points to just 18% for Seattle.

GB outgained the Bears 6.3yppl to 4.5yppl and 7.3yps to 4.0yps. Chicago did out rush GB 5.1ypr to 3.8yps. Chicago cashed in on about 25% of their points and GB about 34% of their points.

The Seahawks are hurting. They are without WR Doug Baldwin, LB K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. They are also likely without G D.J. Fluker and CB Tre Flowers who are doubtful and CB Shaquill Griffin who is questionable.

Chicago qualifies in a negative early season situation, which is 140-70-8, and plays against them in this game. That situation plays early in the season and isn’t quite as good in week two as it is in weeks three and four.  This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 91-51-5. My numbers favor Seattle by one point and project about 40 points.

Since losing in the SB to NE, the Seahawks have won 10, 10 and 9 games. That may not sound bad but they had won 11, 13 and 12 games the three years previous and this year they may well win less than eight games. Since that time in 2015 they have been a road underdog 12 times. They have lost eight of those games by at least three points (six by at least six points).

This team is a shell of what it used to be. But, how good is Chicago? That remains to be seen. Their offence did not look very good last week. Chicago is 4-11-1 ats as a home favorite since 2013. You’ll have to go all the way back to 2013 to find the last time they have scored more than 21 points at home as a home favorite.

I would normally think about Seattle in this spot but they are really hurting with the injuries and missing some of their most important people on both sides of the ball.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 43

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys

Monday September 17, 10:20am AEST AT&T Stadium

The Giants played well last week at home in a 20-15 loss to Jacksonville. A pick six did them in but they outgained Jacksonville 5.2yppl to 4.9yppl. Both teams scored on roughly 17% of their potential points in the game.

Carolina dominated what appears to be a challenged Dallas offence in their 16-8 victory. They outgained the Cowboys 4.8yppl to 4.1yppl and out passed them 5.0yps to 3.9yps. Dallas scored just 10% of their potential points while Carolina cashed in on about 24%.

LB Olivier Vernon is out for the Giants.

For Dallas C Travis Frederick, DT Datone Jones, DE Randy Gregory and S Xavier Woods are out. DE David Irving remains suspended.

Dallas qualifies in a negative early season situation, which is 140-70-8, and plays against them in this game. That situation plays early in the season and isn’t quite as good in week two as it is in weeks three and four.  My numbers favor Dallas by about one point and project about 37 points.

Since the beginning of the 2014 season the Giants are just 5-19 SU as a road underdog, including being just 1-5 SU during their 11-5 2016 season. They are also 9-4 to the under since 2016 as a road underdog. They have scored 19 or less points in 10 of those 13 road games since 2016, while allowing 20 or more in 10 of those 13 games.

Since Dak Prescott became the starting QB for Dallas the Cowboys have scored 26 or more points in 10 of the 12 home games they have been listed as favorites. One of those two they did not score 26 or more was a 19 point effort against these Giants to begin last season. As a matter of fact Dallas and Prescott have played the Giants twice in Dallas with the Cowboys scoring 19 points in both games. The totals for each of those games were 39 and 22 points. Even the two games with Prescott at qb in NY have been low scoring totaling 17 and 40 points.

The Giants have better skill people to go along with a good defence and capable quarterback. Dallas has a capable defence and quarterback as well. They obviously have a very good running back but their receivers are not great and both teams offensive lines are not good either because they aren’t that good (Giants) or they are facing injuries (Cowboys).

This figures to be a low scoring game and the Giants are the better team, in my mind, right now as they play this game. They have the better capability to get some explosive plays on offence. I expect the Giants to win this game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – NY Giants +3

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinatti Bengals

Friday September 14, 10:20am AEST Paul Brown Stadium

Both teams come off impressive week one victories. The Ravens crushed the Bills 47-3, scored almost 50% of the potential points they could have scored and held Buffalo to less than 5% of their potential points. They out gained Buffalo 5.0yppl to 2.5yppl, including holding Buffalo to 1.8yps. Buffalo was sacked six times.

The Bengals went to Indianapolis and won 34-23. While the game was much closer than the final score thanks to an 83 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown for Cincinnati in the last minute of the game, the Bengals really out played Indianapolis in this game.

Cincinnati scored almost 43% of their potential points on all of their drives while Indianapolis scored only about 33% of their potential points. The Bengals out gained Indianapolis 6.6yppl to 4.9yppl, out rushed them 5.1ypr to 3.4ypr and out passed them 7.6yps to 5.5yps.

While both games were impressive victories the Cincinnati win on the road over a bad Indianapolis team was more impressive than the Ravens victory at home over what may be the worst team in football in 2018.

Cincinnati qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 143-80-5, assuming they are a dog in this game. Baltimore qualifies in two negative letdown situations, which are 257-181-9 and 68-30-3, and play against the Ravens here based on their dominating home victory in week one.

My numbers make this game a pick ‘em and project about 39 points. I’ll hold off on getting in on the total in this game because both of these offences may be better than they were last year.

The Ravens will play this game without CB Jimmy Smith again due to suspension and Cincinnati will miss LB Vontaze Burfict due to suspension. Baltimore may be better this year as their offensive weapons at the receiver position look to be vastly improved from previous years. But, Cincinnati, who watched their once strong offensive line fall apart the last few years, has restocked that line somewhat this year and has healthy receivers.

Their offence is much better than it has been the last few years and they always bring a good defence to town. The Ravens also usually have a good defence but I think the jury is still out on their defence. The Ravens defence beat up on some of the worst quarterbacks in the league last year. Week one saw them at it again, beating up on Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen. The Bengals are 8-1-1 ats as a home dog in their last ten games as home dogs. They have the better defence and may have the better offence as well.

The situations are in the Bengals favor, getting points at home, on a Thursday night, which makes this travel that much tougher for Baltimore. Cincinnati has won five of the last six played here between these two and seven of the last nine games here between these two. I had Baltimore here in week one last year (Ravens won 20-0) but the situations are in favor of Cincinnati this year.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cincinatti +1

Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles

Friday September 7, 10:20am AEST Lincoln Financial Field

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta brought in a new offensive coordinator last year and for whatever reason their red zone offence took a major step back in 2017. Whether that corrects itself or not time will tell. But, the Falcons have been a lower scoring team on the road for a long time now with Matt Ryan and Philadelphia was lights out at home last year on defence.

Atlanta has gone under in 17 of their last 25 road games as a road dog. Philadelphia has been an under team at home under Doug Pederson having gone 12-6 to the under with Pederson as the head coach. They’ve allowed more than 15 points in just six of those 18 home games. The Eagles are down some defensive players in this game that played major roles for them last year. Those losses are felt across all three lines of the defence with Vinny Curry on the defensive line, Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham at Linebacker and Patrick Robinson at CB.

And, Atlanta has come into Philly riding high before but been stopped dead in their tracks against the Eagles. In 2016 Atlanta came into Philly after scoring 30, 33 and 43 points in their three games previous to arriving in Philly and left with a 24-15 loss. Last year they came in after upsetting the Rams in LA to begin the playoffs and left with a 15-10 loss. In those last two losses at Philly the Falcons have scored only two touchdowns on 21 drives and settled for just four field goals. Atlanta scored only about 18% of the potential points they could have scored on those drives.

Atlanta lost NT Dontari Poe, DE Adrian Clayborn and WR Taylor Gabriel. They have added CB Justin Bethel and G Brandon Fusco. They also added WR Calvin Ridley in the draft.

Philadelphia Eagles

Meanwhile, Philadelphia scored about 29% of the total points they could have scored on their 19 drives in those two games. In 2016 it was Wentz and last year it was Nick Foles, who will get the start in this game. Both games saw about the same efficiency from Philadelphia’s offence. The Eagles defence was much better at home last year than on the road. They allowed just 12 points per game at home. In 2016, they allowed just 15 points per game at home.

Philly lost their offensive coordinator and quarterback coach and Nick Foles did not look great in the preseason. Philadelphia does have the head coaching edge and they should be right there again this year. But, something tells me this is going to be a tough game for them after an off-season of being told how great they were last year. But, Philadelphia has been tough on good teams coming into Philly the last few years.

Just ask the 5-0 Vikings of 2016 who left 21-10 losers and the Vikings last year in the NFC Championship game who left 38-7 losers. Oh, and the Falcons the last two years as well. I can’t see both teams being extremely efficient on offence out of the gates. I won’t go against the situation on Philadelphia but not sure how efficient they will be to start the season.

The Eagles experienced what most Super Bowl winner’s experience – a run on their players during the offseason. Gone are TE Trey Burton, LB Mychal Kendricks (probably headed to jail for insider trading), CB Patrick Robinson, DE Vinny Curry and WR Torrey Smith. They have added WR Mike Wallace, DT Haloti Ngata and DE Michael Bennett. LB Nigel Bradham is suspended for one game and LB Paul Worrilow is out for the year.

WR Alshon Jeffery will likely miss this game for Philadelphia. DL Tim Jernigans is also out for at least the first six weeks.

Verdict

The Falcons qualify in a poor week one road situation that is 10-37-5 and plays against successful teams from the previous year. This game also qualifies in a very good week one under situation, which is 44-16-1.

My numbers favor Philadelphia by 2.5 points and 45 points looks too big.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 45 points.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers

Monday September 10, 10:20am AEST Lambeau Field

The Bears lost G Josh Sitton, WR Kendall Wright, LB Jerrell Freeman and LB Pernell McPhee. They added WR Allen Robinson, TE Trey Burton and WR Taylor Gabriel. TE Zach Miller will miss the season.

The Packers lost CB Sam Shields, WR Jordy Nelson, S Morgan Burnett and CB Damarious Randall. They added CB Tramon Williams, DT Muhammad Wilkerson, TE Jimmy Graham and QB DeShone Kizer. LB Jake Ryan will miss the season. RB Aaron Jones is suspended the first two games.

Chicago is pretty healthy, including having Khalil Mack on a pitch count.

GB is without S Josh Jones. LB Oren Burks is questionable.

My numbers favor Green Bay by nine points and project about 35 points using just Trubisky stats and Rodger stats from last year. But, Chicago’s offence will be more aggressive and better than last year so those numbers aren’t real accurate.  The Bears qualify in a week one situation, which is 81-35-4 but they don’t qualify in the best part of that situation.

Since 2016 the Bears have played 15 road games as underdogs. They’ve scored more than 17 points in just three of those games. Their offence will get much better this year but the question is how quickly will the offence show up? Green Bay is 18-6-2 ats when favored at home by less than ten points since the beginning of 2014 and 11-3 ats if this line were to go under -7. The Packers opened at home last year against another good defensive team in Seattle and walked away with a hard fought win 17-9. Aaron Rodgers and many of the starters didn’t play much in the preseason last year and they were a little sluggish against a good defence in week one. I can easily see a similar story this year as GB walks away with a win and possibly a cover but a grind it out victory will not surprise me.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 47 points.

New York Jets v Detroit Lions

Tuesday September 11, 9:10am AEST Ford Field

The Jets said goodbye to DE Kony Ealy, DT Muhammad Wilkerson, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and LB Demario Davis. They have added C Spencer Long, RB Isaiah Crowell, C Travis Swanson, CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, WR Terrell Pryor and DT Henry Anderson. They also drafted QB Sam Darnold.

The Lions lost TE Eric Ebron, C Travis Swanson, LB Tahir Whitehead, DT Haloti Ngata and DE Akeem Spence. They have really added no new names.

My numbers favor the Lions by 9.5 points and project about 46 points using only Lion home games as a favorite last year and Jets games with McCown as road dogs. The other Jets quarterbacks were horrible. The Jets qualify in a 77-40-3 week one situation as well as a 45-26-0 over situation.

The Lions are 8-3 ats as home favorites in their last 11 games and have allowed more than 19 points in only three of those games while scoring at least 24 in 7 of those 11 games. Meanwhile the Jets are just 2-9-1 in their last 12 games as a road underdog and have scored more than 19 points in just 4 of those 12 games and they’ve allowed at least 24 points in 9 of those 12 games. This looks like a game where Detroit gets to about 24-27 points and I don’t see the Jets getting to 20 points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Detroit -6.5


Los Angeles Rams v Oakland Raiders

Tuesday September 11, 12:20pm AEST Oakland Coliseum

The Rams were busy during the offseason. They lost WR Sammy Watkins, CB Trumaine Johnson, CB Kayvon Webster, S Cody Davis, LB Connor Barwin, DE Robert Quinn and LB Alec Ogletree. They added big names in CB Sam Shields, DT Ndamukong Suh, CB Marcus Peters, CB Aquib Talib and WR Brandon Cooks. RT Jamon Brown and CB Sam Shields are both suspended two games.

The Raiders said goodbye to WR Michael Crabtree, CB T.J. Carrie, LB NaVarro Bowman and WR Cordarrelle Patterson. They added LB Tahir Whitehead, WR Jordy Nelson, S Marcus Gilchrist, CB Rashaan Melvin, RB Doug Martin, CB Daryl Worley and WR Martavis Bryant. DT Ahtybn Rubin is out for the season.

My numbers favor the Rams by 3.5 to 5.5 points depending on how I calculate last year’s numbers for the Rams and project about 46.5 points. Oakland qualifies in a week one 77-40-3 situation. This game also qualifies in a week one under situation, which is 44-16-1.

Monday night home dogs are 15-5 ats in week one and Oakland figures to give the Rams everything they can handle on Monday night. If this line goes as high as six, and it might, Oakland may become a required play just based on the number. The Rams have added an all-star lineup to their roster and are on a short list of favorites for the Super Bowl. But, they didn’t play their starters during the preseason and could come out a little sluggish. In addition the Oakland Coliseum should be rocking for Chucky back as the Raiders new head coach. In Derek’s Carr’s career Oakland has allowed at least 20 points in all but two of the sixteen games they have been home dogs.

The Rams were 2-2 ats last year as road favorites winning by 4 as 5.5 point favorites at Tennessee and winning by 2 as 3 point favorites at San Francisco. They scored at least 27 in each of those four games.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – LA Rams -4.0


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