Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys – Falcons +5 @ 1.91 with Red Zone
After opposing the self anointed best team in the NFC last weekend, I’m happy to do so again. If this game doesn’t have at least 700 yards passing I’m going to be very disappointed, as it’s very much both teams strengths, their wide-receivers, pitted against both teams weaknesses, their secondary, mainly their corners. For me, the Falcons simply took far too many risks against the Seahawks last weekend, going for it on 4th down 4 times, and failing on every single one, giving the Seahawks great field position and not taking the points that were on offer. Matt Ryan looked in fine touch, and should have another great day against a Cowboys defence that has already been decimated by injury. The loss of Gerald McCoy in pre-season was huge, and now they’ve lost both Sean Lee and Leighton Vander Esch, turning what was one of the best line-backing units in the NFL, into pretty much just Jaylon Smith running around trying to do it all. I can see the Falcons eeking out a ‘W’ here, so more than happy to take the 5 point head start.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins – Dolphins +6 @ 1.91 with Red Zone
So much for the demise of the Patriots, both of these teams know that if they’re going to make in into the playoffs they have to win these key divisional match-ups, and hope they can at least split the divisional series with Bill Belicheck’s men. The Bills started off extremely strong against the Jets, but cracks did begin to show as the game wore on, allowing the Jets to score 14 unanswered points. Once again Josh Allen’s running ability was the difference maker, so I would expect the Dolphins to probably use Jerome Baker as a spy to try and contain him this week. The Dolphins played well at times vs the Patriots, but just couldn’t convert those key 3rd downs. Their defence look vastly improved, with last years 1st round pick Christian Wilkins slowly turning into a star up front. With a limited number of spectators being allowed at Hard Rock stadium I feel like that may be the difference maker, so take those home ‘dogs’ once again.
Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans – Texans +7 @ 1.97 with Unibet
What a horrific schedule for the Texans, to start in Arrowhead against the reigning Super bowl Champs, then fly home to face a Ravens team that went 14-2 in the regular season. The main thing working in the Texans favour is that they’ve now had an extra 3-4 days to prepare for the Ravens. Yes, I have huge concerns about the Houston run defence, and it looks like letting D.J. Reader go could be a huge mistake, when they basically need someone huge in the middle of that 3-4 defence to protect Zach Cunningham and Bendarick McKinney. The only real positive for the Texans was the performance of David Johnson, who looked somewhat like he did in his pro-bowl seasons. The Ravens pretty much picked up where they left off last season, and yet again should be Super bowl contenders. That being said, there’s just too much value in the Texans at +7 when you consider that over the last 2 seasons (16 games) they have only lost by more than 7 on 3 occasions, and one of those was against the Titans at the end of last season, when they had nothing to play for.
Game Total Selections
Lions at Packers – Under 49.5 points
Ravens at Texans – Under 51.5 points
There was a lot of value to be had in both the Redskins and Patriots this week, but I have too many questions over the Redskins offensive line, and the Patriots ability to put points on the board against that Seahawks defence. I also liked the overs in the Saints/Raiders match-up, but given the injury to Michael Thomas I’ve had to back off.
All selections are advised at 1 point each, with a 100 point bankroll.