NFL Week 7 Betting Preview – Monday 24th October by @DarkDyson

Last week’s pick looked dead and buried early, as the Panthers fell 21pts behind the Saints before half time!

At least Carolina made a game of it and came back to tie the game at 38-38 in the 4th quarter. But, ultimately they did not deserve to win and Will Lutz won it for the Saints, with a 52 yard field goal.

 

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals – University of Phoenix Stadium at 01:30

This weekend I am previewing the big Sunday night (Monday morning for us) match up, between NFC West divisional rivals.

Pete Carroll’s Seahawks travel to Arizona, to take on Bruce Arians and his Cardinals. These are two of the best teams in football and it should be a great game to watch.

 

Arizona Cardinals…

The red birds have not started this season looking like the contenders that they were last year. They currently sit on a 3-3 record, if they lose this week, they will effectively be 3 games back in the division.

Although the .500 record does not look that bad on the face of it. The three teams they have beaten so far, have a combined record of just 4-13! Plus, the Cards also managed to lose at home against the low scoring LA Rams.

Seattle are a defence first team, perhaps the best D in the league right now, but they also have way more weapons on offence than the Rams.

 

Seattle Seahawks…

Seattle seem to revel in slow starts, as this season they struggled badly against Miami and LA, ending with a 1-1 record after two weeks.

However, over the following three weeks they were able to get back into their stride on offence. Facing the San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons, Russell Wilson’s offence has averaged an impressive 30 points.

They are not the strongest defences in the league, but it is not easy to score 30 points every week.

 

Pete Carroll

Match up…

Neither team has found their best form yet, but with Seattle’s defence as strong as their Super Bowl winning team. They are always going to be extremely hard to beat, even on the road and especially for the Cardinals.

In the past three seasons, the Seahawks have won in Arizona by 36-6, 35-6 and 34-22. With Arians team struggling to find a winning formula on offence, reversing this trend seems unlikely at best.

Arizona’s ground attack is one of the best in the NFL, powered by David Johnson they rank in the top 10 in most key rushing metrics.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the Seahawks rank in the top 3 for both Opp Yards per Rush and Opp Rush Yards per Game.

Carson Palmer and his passing attack has had to evolve this season, due to the regression of their deep passing threat.

The Seahawks famously won Super Bowl 48, thanks largely to their ‘Legion of Boom’ secondary and although the personnel has changed slightly, Richard Sherman and co are still one of the best secondary’s in football.

Add all this up and I think Seattle are a great bet to win on the road this weekend, plus they are getting two extra points on the spread, not that I think they will need them.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Seattle Seahawks +2 at 1.88 (including OT) with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

A bit pushed for time this week, but I have highlighted a few player rushing yard props (line dependent) I like for this weekend below.

McCoy (if fit)

Murray

Ware

Jones

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DarkDyson

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NFL Week 6 Betting Preview – Sunday 16th October by @DarkDyson

Apologies for the delayed start to my NFL betting preview this season. Hopefully some of you will have seen my picks on Twitter over the first few weeks of the season anyway.

I am putting up my favourites picks from the points spread (handicap) or total points markets each weekend.

However, I will also highlight a couple of player prop bets as well, where there is often great value available.

 

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints – Superdome at 18:00

Last season’s surprise NFC Champions, the Panthers seem to be suffering from an extended Super Bowl loss hangover.

After five weeks of the 2016 campaign, Ron Rivera’s team are last in the NFC South with an embarrassing 1-4 record.

The fact that their two most recent losses both came at the hands of divisional rivals, means that their whole season is now effectively, on the line.

The Saints are another NFC South divisional rival, but their 1-3 record leaves these two battling to avoid last place.

New Orleans struggles are almost entirely down to their historically bad defence. They rank last in Opponent Points per Game at 32.5 and second last in Opponent Yards per Game at 422.8. They have also allowed the most Opponent Touchdowns per Game, with an average of 3.8.

Carolina’s defence is way off the dominant displays of last season and have allowed an average of 27 points per game themselves. However, they are still a far better unit than their hosts defence this weekend.

However, Sean Payton’s offence do know how to score points and they rank in the top six across many of the key offence metrics. But, they really lack a quality rushing game which will allow the Panthers D to focus on the wide receivers.

However, the most important factors in this match, is the likely return of both Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart.

With these two star players returning to action, we should see something more like last season’s top ranked offence from Carolina again on Sunday.

Ultimately, I believe that with these two players in pads again, the Saints porous defence will be in a world of pain.

This could well turn out to be a high scoring shootout, but one that Payton’s team will struggle to win. However the Total Points line is set at 53, which is a big line even for these teams with their poor current form.

Carolina absolutely have to win and Cam can lead his team to victory, though it could be close.

However, I was expecting a bigger line than the -2.5 spread available on the NFC Champs, who I believe can get their season back on track in the Superdome. So, I am happy to back the Panthers to win by at least a field goal on Sunday night.

Handicap Betting Pick: Carolina Panthers -2.5 at 1.95 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Player Prop Bets

The player prop bets I mentioned earlier will this year be primarily focused on Running Backs this season. There is no doubt the NFL is a pass heavy league and this shows no signs of slowing any time soon.

However, a number of teams are blessed with franchise level RBs and as everyone knows, you can’t run an effective passing game without some sort of ground attack as well.

I believe this affords bettors a great opportunity to cash in, as bookies often underestimate/undervalue RBs week after week. This week there are a few favourable match ups worth considering. The only major couple of major concerns to note are that, these prop markets are often not priced up until very late in the day.

Plus, if the team your RB plays for falls behind by a couple of TDs, they will often increase their focus on the passing game. In an effort to gain big yardage in chunks and obviously score quick TDs to close the gap on their opponents.

Jordan Howard has burst onto the scene in Chicago over the last two weeks, in which he has racked 111 and 118 yard games. Admittedly, these have come against the low level defences of Detroit and Indianapolis, but the Rookie also had impressive 7.3 and 5.0 yards per attempt stats against Philadelphia & Dallas.

For some reason the Bears were just not using his obvious talents as much in the opening weeks of the season. This week the Bears host the Jaguars, who actually do not a bad record when defending against the run. They have allowed 105.8 yards per game on the ground, at 4.0 yards per rush.

But, again the level of opposition has contributed towards this relatively decent looking run defence. Green Bay, San Diego, Baltimore and Indianapolis are not known for their high power ground games. None possess a talent like Howard and with an average of 5.8 yards per attempt, he could potentially just need 14 carries on Sunday to cover his Over/Under line of 78.5 rushing yards.

Other RBs with favourable looking match ups this week are Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy, Kansas City’s Spencer Ware and potentially LA’s Todd Gurley. Last season’s rookie sensation is overdue a big game this year and facing one of the leagues worst run defences, could be perfect timing for the explosive back.

Finally, this season’s rookie sensation, Ezekiel Elliot has given the Dallas offence a near unstoppable ground game. This week they face the number one run defence of Green Bay, but they too have had a soft schedule in terms of the RBs they have faced. This week could be a rare chance to back Elliot on a lower than average yardage line, I would back him with a line of around 80 yards or ideally a little less.

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DarkDyson

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Super Bowl 50 Handicap Betting Preview – Sun 7th Feb by @DarkDyson

Carolina Panthers v Denver Broncos – Levi’s Stadium at 23:30 live on Sky Sports 1

Finally, the wait is over and Super Bowl 50 will be kicking off in the early hours of Monday morning for those of us in Greenwich/European time zones. Unfortunately, I am not nearly as excited about this year’s Super Bowl as in recent seasons because this game simply looks like a mismatch to me.

People often talk about how defence wins Championships and indeed it was Denver’s defence that got Peyton Manning to this final game of his career, at Super Bowl 50. Their performance against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game was something to behold, they hit Tom Brady a season high 20 times!

However, New England’s offensive line has been the most banged up all year and the line that got mauled by Denver a couple of weeks ago, has to be one of the worst in Conference Championship history.

Carolina’s offensive line is markedly better than New England’s and even with that woeful line, the Patriots were still able to rack up 336 Total Yards, compared to Denver’s 244. When you add into the mix Cam Newton at QB and the Panthers 2nd ranked rushing attack, it is difficult to see how the Broncos will be able to contain the league’s best offence for long enough to give Peyton a chance to get Denver on the scoreboard.

That is also notwithstanding the fact that Denver’s average offence (18th in Points Per Game), will be up against a Panthers D that ranks 6th in the league for both Opponent Points Per Game & Opponent Yards Per Game.

 

SB50

Peyton Manning and Cam Newton

So, basically I do not think that defence will win this Super Bowl, the Panthers are simply too good and deep on both sides of the ball and in almost every position to lose this game. Even Denver’s wrecking crew of Line Backers, Von Miller and Ware are almost matched by Kuechly and Davis. I would rate the Panther duo on par with the Broncos pair but for Davis’s broken arm.

The one key factor which could potentially swing the match towards John Elway’s team is experience, they have been to the Super Bowl as recently as two seasons ago and have numerous players, not least Peyton Manning who know how to handle the day.

But, will Cam Newton freeze on the biggest day of his NFL career so far, on the biggest stage in sports?

Based on what we know of and have seen from this seasons MVP, I would say it is highly unlikely/virtually impossible that he gets stage fright at Super Bowl 50. In fact I would even go as far as to say that, he is more likely to have his best game of the season on Sunday, than he is to choke.

Obviously, there is only one way I can be betting in Super Bowl 50 but to be honest, price on a spread which has moved quite a long way since the market opened is not great. The Panthers were available with -3.5, but now the spread is -5.5 and though that is not ideal, I expect them to win by at least 7 points.

For an interest elsewhere, I like the look of Cam Newton Over 38.5 Rushing Yards and Ted Ginn Junior Over 44.5 Receiving Yards. Good luck and enjoy the spectacle, if not what could be a very one sided game on Sunday night.

Handicap Betting Pick: Carolina Panthers -5.5 at 2.04 with Matchbook

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DarkDyson

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