October 29, 2015
The NFL action gets underway in week 8 with an AFC East showdown on Thursday Night Football in Foxboro. The undefeated New England Patriots welcome the 3-3 Miami Dolphins to Gillette Stadium for a prime time matchup. Entering the season many experts predicted that these two teams would battle it out for the AFC East crown.
So far that hasn’t been the case as the Patriots have jumped out to six wins over the first seven weeks of the regular season. That hot start has them two games up in the divisions over the New York Jets while the Dolphins sit just ahead of the Buffalo Bills for third place in the division.
Now before jumping to fast on the Patriots bandwagon this week for your weekly pick em league or sports bets we recommend you looking at the Dolphins recent success. That success started two weeks ago after the Dolphins elected to let go Joe Philbin after three consecutive losses including back to back against division foes the Bills and Jets.
Since then the Dolphins offense has been rolling posing 82 points over the past week while their defense has allowed just 36. Even those 36 points look deceiving as they jumped out to a commanding 41-0 lead last week before halftime against the Houston Texans. The Texans would score 13 points in both the third and fourth quarter but most of it coming in mop up time.
The one key to the team’s recent success could go to Ryan Tannehill who has completed 30 of his last 48 passes for 548 yards, six touchdowns and just two interceptions in the two game winning streak. The second key has been the team’s defense that has forced 10 sacks over the past two weeks while allowing less than 75 yards on the ground in each contest.
While the Dolphins have played well of late the Patriots have played extremely well while having a chip on their shoulder. Most of their success has come from behind center with quarterback Tom Brady. Brady will be the key to this matchup for the Patriots and if the Dolphins front seven can’t force pressure he will continue his MVP like season. In six games, Brady has thrown for 2,054 yards to go with 16 touchdowns and just one interception.
Previous Meetings: Last season these two teams split with each of the home teams picking up wins. The first meeting came in week 1 as the Dolphins picked up a 33-20 win after a strong second half performance outscoring the Patriots 23-0. The Dolphins defense limited the Patriots to just 67 yards in the second half allowing their offense a chance to lead the comeback.
The second meeting went the completely opposite as the Dolphins defense couldn’t get it going in the second half. That includes allowing Brady and the Patriots to score 24 points in the third quarter to roll to a 41-13 lead. LeGarrette Blount capped off an eight play 79 yard drive to start the scoring while Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman for his two touchdown passes.
The last time the Dolphins picked up a win in New England was back in 2008.
Betting Trends: The one trend that stands out has been the Patriots dominance at home over the Dolphins. The Dolphins have also struggled against the spread in New England posting just a 1-4 record in their last five trips up North. Along with that the home team has dominated against the spread of late going 6-0 in NFL against the spread over their last six meetings while the favorite has posted a 4-1 record against the spread.
Now the question we all want to know is can the Patriots roll to a commanding win to cover the eight point spread? If not we should all turn our attention to the over/under line that sits at 51 points. Each of these teams have struggled at times on the defensive side of the ball this season and both have shown the ability to score points at will.
Who is the NFL public betting on in this game?
The trends support the over as well as these two teams have combined to cover the spread in eight of their last ten games this season. The Patriots have also combined to cover the spread in 37 of their last 53 games at Gillette Stadium.
October 29, 2015
Things are getting pretty dicey around the Indianapolis Colts’ camp these days, and the future of both head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson might be in the balance. Not only has this team not been performing well, they have been getting embarrassed at home, and that just won’t do. Well, now they have to take their act on the road, and against one of the NFL’s remaining unbeaten teams, when they square off with the Carolina Panthers in the Monday night game, slated to begin at 8:30 PM ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
Pagano has been the subject of “organizational talks” surrounding whether he will be kept much longer. It seemed already a foregone conclusion that he would depart Indianapolis anyway at season’s end, as his contract runs out. So it’s not a surprise that he isn’t real worried about his job. After all, he has already beaten cancer; everything else would seem minor after that.
Grigson tenure might not last a lot longer either. And don’t think he and Pagano would be walking out the door arm-in-arm; one of the problems with the Colts is that these guys have not agreed at all on personnel, and that also seems to be the bone the owner has to pick with Grigson as well. There was reportedly a very heated argument between him and Jim Irsay in the locker room following last Sunday’s 27-21 loss to New Orleans, in which the Colts were down 20-0 with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
And guess what? Through all of this. the Colts are in first place in the weak AFC South. Carolina had a division just as weak last season, and a “surge” at the end brought them a second straight division title with a 7-8-1 record.
In the Monday NFL odds established on this gam, the Panthers are the favorites:
Carolina Panthers vs Indianapolis Colts MNF Matchup
Carolina Panthers -7 (+100)
Indianapolis Colts +7 (-120)
Over 46.5 points -110
Under 46.5 points -110
Grigson is said to be in over his head as a GM, but he at least made a few bold moves to try to plug some holes in the Indianapolis offense and give quarterback Andrew Luck some support. He signed Frank Gore as a free agent and acquired Andre Johnson as a veteran presence in the receiving corps to help take some pressure off TY Hilton. You can’t necessarily classify these guys as “busts,” but there is no escaping the fact the Luck is not having a banner season. He has been picked off nine times already and his completion percentage (56%) indicates he has been missing the mark a lot.
WagerWeb Sportsbook patrons have seen the Panthers sail along with a 6-0 straight-up record in which they have covered five of those games against the football pointspread in NFL spread picks. And they have scored 20 points or more in each of those games. But Cam Newton’s completion percentage is similar to Luck’s, and he has tossed five interceptions over the last two games. What Carolina wants to do is rough up Indy at the line of scrimmage; the Saints ran for 183 yards last week, and certainly the Panthers, despite not having glittering rushing stats, are going to try to establish a ground game regardless.
On the technical side, the Colts have gone 5-7 against the spread as a road underdog with Luck as their quarterback. The Panthers have played nine of their last twelve games in Charlotte under the total, while Indy has gone “over” in eleven of their last 16 road games played during the regular season.
October 29, 2015
Could it conceivably be said that things have hit rock bottom in Motown? That’s one conclusion you when a team is in the middle of a season and fires not only its offensive coordinator, the offensive line coach and HIS assistant. Naturally, when you see all that, you can tell what ails the Detroit Lions, who will hope not to stink out Wembley Stadium in London when they play the Kansas City Chiefs in a special 9:30 AM ET start. The game will be televised on Fox Network, unlike last week’s game between Buffalo and Jacksonville, which was live-streamed on Yahoo.com.
Detroit lost its first five games of the season, and a few of those were against good teams (Seattle, Denver, Arizona). In fact, they probably should have won their game against the Seahawks. Their only victory came in overtime against the Chicago Bears, and that could have easily gone the other way
Any hope of gathering some momentum from that victory was lost for this 2014 wild card team when it imploded against Minnesota at Ford Field. The Lions not only did a minimum of business on the ground (77 rushing yards), they also yielded SEVEN sacks of Matthew Stafford. And that’s why Jim Caldwell, who may get a pink slip himself before long, was firing assistants. Someone has to take the heat.
In the NFL odds that have been posted on this international game, the Chiefs are favored:
Who does the betting public like in this game?
View the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Detroit Lions Matchup
Kansas City Chiefs -5
Detroit Lions +5
Over 45.5 points -110
Under 45.5 points -110
Detroit has had a hell of a time running the ball, and that is probably something they weren’t expecting when they drafted Ameer Abdullah out of Nebraska. He had a couple of nice runs in the opener against San Diego, but has largely been quiet. The Lions have gained fewer yards on the ground than any team in the league. In fact, there are currently EIGHT individual running backs who have more yards than they do as a team, and at least two of those hadn’t even been starters at the beginning of the season.
As a result of all this, Detroit is the most unbalanced team in the league, with 317 pass plays and just 136 runs. That makes Stafford susceptible to a good pass rush, and Kansas City has the guys (Tamba Hali and Justin Houston) who can throw the proverbial fear of God into him.
BetAnySports patrons know that a couple of weeks ago the Chiefs may have been wondering how they were going to run the ball themselves. Jamaal Charles had been declared out for the season with a knee injury, and they stood at 1-5. But Charcandrick West came to the rescue last Sunday against Pittsburgh, with 110 yards, and so there is hope. That Steeler team was starting Landry Jones at quarterback, though, so in a sense maybe the jury is still out on this defense. But if they can keep Detroit one-dimensional, they can have some success defending the pass – or at least more than they’ve to date (they’ve surrendered 15 TD passes). Perennial Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, in the midst of a comeback from Hodgkins lymphoma, had a big game, with an interception and six tackles.
October 24, 2015
The NFL action is in full force on Sunday as Drew Brees leads his New Orleans Saints into Lucas Oil Field to take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Leading up to the 2015 NFL season this might be one of the top matchup but that doesn’t look like the case anymore.
Each of these teams were expected to compete for division titles this season while many had the Colts walking away with the AFC South division. That might not be the case anymore after a rough first six weeks that saw the team play to just a 3-3 record. Luckily for Luck and the Colts the rest of the AFC South has struggled as well allowing them the opportunity to sit in first place.
Over in the NFC South that isn’t the same case as the Colts currently sit at 2-4 after last weeks big time win over the undefeated Atlanta Falcons. The loss handed the Falcons their first loss in the NFC South but that still puts them at 5-1 on the year while the Carolina Panthers pushed their record to 5-0 with their win over the Seattle Seahawks.
For us this game could be one of the top offensive matchups of the weekend something not only sports bettors will look to cash in NFL picks on but also fantasy sports owners. Currently the Colts are a four point favorite while the line that many experts will be looking at is the over/under that currently sits at 52 points.
One key stat could play an important role in the outcome of this contest is the costly interceptions thrown. Brees enters this weekens contest having thrown 209 passes for 1,616 yards to go with seven touchdowns but has only thrown three interceptions in that stretch. Luck on the other hand hasn’t had the same results throwing the ball just 166 times for 1,065 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.
If the Luck can’t protect the ball against the Saints on Sunday, it could be a very long day for the Colts defense. A defense that has had its difficulties slowing down opposing passing attacks this season.
Previous Matchups: These two teams have not crossed paths very often with their last meeting coming back during the 2011 season. In that contest Brees and the Saints blew out the Colts 62-7 handing the Colts one of many losses that contributed to the team landing the first overall pick to draft Luck.
Brees did most of the damage through the air throwing for 325 yards to go with five touchdown passes. The Saints rushing attack also added 236 yards on the ground to go with two rushing touchdowns. Now these two teams are completely rebuilt but could we see a high scoring contest like this one for both teams if the defenses don’t show up.
Betting Trends: As we start to look at the trends neither of these teams have been good against the spread this season. For the Colts the team is just 2-4 on the year while going just 1-2 at home against the spread. The Saints on the other and are 3-3 against the spread but are just 1-2 away from the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Now that being said the favorite in this series is 5-1 over their last six total meetings.
Along with the head to head trend another key trend to monitor is the over/under numbers for each of these teams. The over is 8-3 during the last 11 Saints road games as well as 6-2-1 in their last nine games in the month of October.
Will one of these defenses show up to slow down one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL or could see see the highest scoring game in the NFL take place during week 7?
October 23, 2015
The Baltimore Ravens are at the point where they have just about played themselves out of the AFC North race. They need to get moving, and quickly, and the only step is the next step, which is a date with the Arizona Cardinals in the Monday night NFL matchup that is set to begin at 8:30 PM ET at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
The Ravens are now 1-5 on the season, and that is the result not only of losses to teams that are doing extremely well in the league this season (Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals) but teams that aren’t (Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers). In other words, it is their own damn fault that they are where they are. What has happened to them? Well, aside from not getting the same kind of performances from the key offensive contributors from last season, they have also suffered injuries on defense, most notably to premier pass rusher Terrell Suggs.
They are going to need some heroics in a hurry, and a good place to start might be quarterback Joe Flacco, who has been intercepted seven times and is averaging just 6.5 yards per pass attempt, which is sort of a low figure for someone who is know to the throw the ball down the field.
Arizona’s offense was slowed down a bit last week against Pittsburgh, but by and large the Cards have been extremely effective advancing the ball. They have been forced to punt less than 33% of the time, and they are third best in the NFL (behind New England and San Diego) in yards per drive.
In the Sunday night football odds that have been posted on this game, the Cardinals are solid favorites in MNF NFL football picks:
View Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens Matchup
Arizona Cardinals -8.5
Baltimore Ravens +8.5
Over 48 points -110
Under 48 points -110
Has Baltimore’s defense failed it? Well, yeah. Sure, they have figured out a way to get to the quarterback, chalking up twice as many sacks as Arizona (18 to 9), but they are also allowing 7.7 yards per attempt, which is not the kind of figure that is going to get them closer to wild card contention. They allowed Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco to throw for 340 yards in last week’s loss to the Niners, and prior to that they yielded big days to both Cleveland’s Josh McCown and Oakland’s David Carr. Carson Palmer is having a better season than any of those guys, as he’s averaged nine yards per pas and has turned Larry Fitzgerald (43 catches, 583 yards) into a Pro Bowl candidate once again.
Baltimore has a real chance here may want to point to a few things, one of which is the courageous veteran Steve Smith, who was a game-time decision last week but shook off injuries to catch seven passes for 137 yards. The Ravens, despite their underachievement, are still a team stocked with players who are used to going to the playoffs, so by definition it is tough to write them off. And they are still pretty good against the run (allowing 3.6 yards per carry).
And even though they have lost, they have lost close. Their five defeats have come by six, four, four, three and five points. Two of those losses were to undefeated teams. That might suggest they can be trusted getting points.
October 23, 2015
The Carolina Panthers may be the most unlikely of the NFL’s spotless teams right now, because they have a quarterback completing just 55% of his passes, a top running back averaging just 3.8 yards a carry, and only one wide receiver with more than eight catches. But they are atop the NFC South, and they have to keep winning because the Atlanta Falcons are not far behind. On Sunday night the Panthers will play host to the Philadelphia Eagles, who are coming off consecutive wins that were decisive to say the least. The game starts at 8:30 PM ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (televised by NBC).
Last year’s meeting between these squads was rather odd, in the sense that even though Philadelphia won by a 45-21 score, they only had 37 yards on the ground. They also scored touchdowns with the defense and special teams. The Panthers turned the ball over five times in that meeting at Lincoln Financial Field, which took place before Carolina went on its little roll that allowed the team to capture its second straight NFC South title.
This time around, the Panthers are one of five unbeaten teams in the NFL at 5-0 (4-1 against the football pointspread) while Philadelphia of 2-3, both straight-up and against the number.
And Carolina stayed undefeated with a gutsy effort up in Seattle, where they battled the “12th Man” and overcame a nine-point Seahawk lead in the fourth quarter, pulling off a 27-23 upset. This is one of those teams that doesn’t ever seem to throw impressive numbers at its opponents, but nonetheless they are making things work at the right time. For instance, Cam Newton threw for 169 yards in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s win.
In the Sunday night NFL betting odds posted on this game, the Panthers lay points at home with NFL betting picks:
View the Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles matchup
Carolina Panthers -3 (-120)
Philadelphia Eagles +3 (+100)
Over 46 points -110
Under 46 points -110
Is Philadelphia making some progress offensively? The answer is that it looks that way, with 519 yards against New Orleans two weeks ago, followed by 428 against the Giants. It’s not a matter of how good the defenses are that they are facing; it’s the idea that they executing now. And the backfield is deep, at least when it is at full strength. The problem is that Sam Bradford is still making those silly mistakes; he was picked off three times last Monday night, and that kind of effort isn’t going to do against a Carolina team that has already intercepted eight passes.
Luke Kuechly came back last week to add some leadership to the mix, and he came up with five tackles and nine assists.
But the most pleasant surprise; that is, if you were a Panther backer last Sunday, was that this team was able to put together a pair of 80-yard drives in less than four minutes, and Greg Olson exploited a curious weakness on the part of Seattle when it comes to defending opposition tight ends, as he had 131 yards in receptions. In fact, he was the only Carolina receiver to total more than 24 yards, and that’s curious, although not completely unexpected on this team that does not have a whole lot of punch on the outside.
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