Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Handicap Betting Preview – Sun 13th Dec by @DarkDyson

Raiders at Broncos – Sports Authority Field at Mile High at 21:05

Right this week, it is back to basics and back to winning ways with my main pick of the week!

This AFC Western divisional match-up is a crunch game for both teams involved, as the 10-2 Denver Broncos take on the 5-7 Oakland Raiders. These two teams have been moving in different directions recently, with the Broncos putting together a well-timed three game win streak and the Raiders struggling to 1-4 in their last five.

Injury to nailed on Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning had left the fate of this hugely talented Denver team, in the inexperienced hands of fourth year back up QB Brock Osweiler. However, the six foot eight inch former basketball player has proved in just four short games, how well his skill set fits into the Broncos offensive scheme.

He is by no means setting the world alight with his play but, he does enough to give the offence the chance to score points and with the number one ranked defence in the league on the other side of the ball, that is all the Broncos need to be win games.

 

Brock Osweiler

As mentioned they have won three on the spin now, including a hugely moral boosting win over their AFC rival New England Patriots. During this three game streak they have conceded just 14 points per game and so hosting an out of form, misfiring Raiders offence this weekend, will not hold any fears for them.

The Broncos do have an almost endless injury list to deal with but with the likes of Evan Mathis, Matt Paradis & DeMarcus Ware, amongst others likely to return to the line-up, Oakland will do well to eclipse that 14 points per game average in Denver on Sunday.

After an impressive start to the campaign the Oakland Raiders have fallen away badly in the last month or so, their young stars perhaps starting to feel the pace of life in the NFL. QB Derek Carr has remained relatively consistent but poor protection of late has led to errors and their defence has also struggled, as injuries take their toll.

An average of just 17.7 points per game over the last four weeks and against some far inferior defences to Denver’s, does not bode well for their hopes this weekend. Historically, they come up short against their divisional rivals as well, with five straight defeats against the Broncos.

Ultimately, if the Broncos defence plays anywhere close to their potential then Osweiler and the offence, should only need to score a couple of touchdowns to win this one and move on to 11-2.

The other teams I like this weekend are, Panthers, Lions, Seahawks and Giants.

Handicap Betting Pick: Denver Broncos -7 at 1.83 with Bet365

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DarkDyson

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Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Handicap Betting Preview – Tue 8th Dec by @DarkDyson

Cowboys at Redskins – Fedex Field at 01:30 live on Sky Sports 1

It seems as though not more than a week goes by and I find myself writing about another crappy NFC East team and this week I have chosen to write about two at once!

However, as woefully bad as this whole division has been in the 2015/16 season so far, it does make for a painful and yet interesting race for the playoffs. Unfortunately, for the four teams involved (yes I am still including the 3-8 Cowboys) it might be better in the long run to start playing for a high draft pick now, rather than a place in the playoffs.

I say that partly because, whichever one of these useless franchises manages to claim the divisional crown, are highly likely to be nothing more than cannon fodder in the Wildcard round, when you consider that the two most likely Wildcard teams are currently the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks!

So, a race for the poisoned chalice it is then and although I earlier said that the Cowboys are not yet out of it, having lost QB Tony Romo again, this time to a season ending shoulder injury. There really is very little chance of them finishing anywhere but dead last in the NFC East and based on Romo’s ongoing issue with staying healthy, a high draft pick for a new franchise QB would not go a miss in Dallas.

Looking at some stats for this one, the Dallas Cowboys offence rank a lowly 29th in Points Per Game and 27th for Redzone TD Conversion. However, their defence is still a respectable unit who are 6th in Opponent Yards Per Game and 16th in Opponent Points Per Game.

Without Tony Romo under centre, it will again be down to their ground game and defence to keep the Cowboys in this game, unfortunately they are just 2-7 Against The Spread and 1-8 Straight Up coming into this crunch divisional match up.

The Redskins are by no means a match up nightmare for the Cowboys and their stats so far would not scare many teams to be honest. Their defence is 20th in Opponent Points Per Game and 22nd in Opponent Yards Per Game.

On the other side of the ball, it is a similar story with another 20th place ranking for their offence in Points Per Game and 14th in Redzone TD Conversion. However, I believe this inconsistent team has more than enough to overcome the Cowboys tonight.

They are 5-1 so far at home this season and 2-1 against divisional rivals, plus with the Eagles claiming a shock victory over the New England Patriots last night, the Redskins need a win to maintain their advantage over the rest of the NFC East.

Unfortunately, they are on the wrong side of a key number this week on the spread at -3.5, but I still think they will get the job done at home as long as their RBs can establish the ground game early and Kirk Cousins is given time to throw by his offensive line.

Sadly with this game coming after all the other Week 13 matches, I was unable to advise you on my others picks and needless to say they went 4-1 (my own Bears team the only ones to let me down, despite having a gimmie FG to win on the last play of regulation!), of course I will not include these in the official records for the season.

Handicap Betting Pick: Washington Redskins -3.5 at 2.00 with Matchbook

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DarkDyson

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Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks Handicap Betting Preview – Sun 29th Nov by @DarkDyson

Steelers at Seahawks – CenturyLink Field at 21:25 live on Sky Sports 2

Another week and another critical clash in the NFL as the 6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers visit the 5-5 Seattle Seahawks, with both teams desperate to stay in the post season picture as the regular season reaches it’s climax.

Despite having to deal with injury after injury so far this season, the Steelers find themselves just two games back from the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North and with the whole AFC conference looking top heavy this year they have a great chance of at least claiming a playoff birth if not the divisional title.

Over in the NFC, life looks much tougher for the double conference champion Seattle Seahawks. Their 5-5 record means that the NFC West divisional title is all but mathematically beyond them and their playoff place is also under serious threat from other NFC conference teams who have found form at just the right time.

Seattle’s problems have come from and unusally generous defence which, despite now looking a much better unit than earlier in the year are really struggling to shut down opponents when it really matters. Arizona, Carolina and Cincinnati have all put up big scores against the Seahawks in their past five games.

Now facing a rested Steelers team with elite QB Ben Roethlisberger and his two sensational WRs, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, it will be a real test of their underperforming Legion of Boom secondary and one which could ultimately decide their longer term fate this season.

The Seahawks have also not been at their best on Offence either, with Russell Wilson struggling without protection, Marshawn Lynch injured and TE Jimmy Graham unable to settle in to their schemes. The Steelers defence has actually performed better than expected this season and another strong showing here would give them the platform for the upset road win that I think they are capable of.

However, to get that road win the Steelers have to be able to get some production out of backup RB DeAngelo Williams, who seems to blow hot and cold on a weekly basis. In the four games where he had over 15 carries, he has a range of 3.2YPC (Yards Per Carry) to 6.3YPC and if they can get him to the higher end of that scale this week, it will give them the opportunity to throw down field to Brown and Bryant.

The spread for this game is set at Steelers +3.5 and being on the right side of the key number here makes all the difference. It is always a big ask for any team to win in Seattle but the Steelers have the tools to do exactly that, especially if they can shut down rookie RB Thomas Rawls who has been the only real bright spark for Seattle so far.

Other teams I like this weekend are Chiefs, Vikings, Giants, Jaguars & Broncos (just, maybe lol)

Handicap Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 at 1.94 with Matchbook

Prices correct at the time of writing.

By @DarkDyson

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