After another profitable week, marking four from four for the season so far, Neil Monnery steps with trepidation into the first game in Philly before looking to win big in the big D in the second.
"The over/under in this game has been set at 49 points on the exchange. If you asked me whether I think New England can put up 49 points on their own I might be tempted to say yes."
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles
Live on Sky Sports 3
The Sunday night action for UK viewers starts in Philly as Chip Kelly is battling for his job as Drew Brees and the Saints come into town. Both teams are 1-3 and both really aren't very good. However because of the state of flux in the NFC East, the Eagles are still very much in the running for the post-season and so this represents a huge game for them.
The Eagles spent a lot of money in the off-season by bringing in star running back DeMarco Murray but the former Cowboy hasn't been able to get anything going. He isn't being helped by an o-line that would struggle to stop the pass rush of the local JV team but 47 rushing yards for the season so far (he did miss one game) isn't good enough. The Eagles need Murray to shine as their decision to put Sam Bradford in charge of this offense is already looking like a bad one.
On the other side we see a Saints team led by a clearly hurting Drew Brees. They already sit three games behind two other teams in their division, meaning their hopes of the play-offs are already dangling by a thread. NBC's Cris Collinsworth had an excellent replay during last Sunday's telecast showing how Brees' motion is different this year because he is dealing with shoulder issues. A hurting QB is rarely a good bet.
The running game is also not great. Mark Ingram had his best outing of the season on Sunday but that was still only 77 yards on the ground. This game is going to be ugly, folks.
I am though here to provide betting tips and not to lament the quality of the action. I don't like either team and when you don't like either team go for value. Therefore a very small bet on the Saints at 3.052/1 and a couple of 25/1 long-shots for first touchdown scorer, both of whom had a TD last week, is where I'm going.
1pt Back New Orleans to win @ 3.052/1 on the Exchange
1pt Back Riley Cooper to score the first touchdown at 25/1 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Miles Austin to score the first touchdown at 25/1 on the Sportsbook
New England Patriots @ Dallas Cowboys
Live on Sky Sports 3
I've been told by the editor here on the US Sports section of betting.betfair that I can't tip anything below 1.51/2 because anyone can pick that. But the only sub 1.51/2 pick I've tipped all season lost last week in a crazy game between Arizona and St. Louis, which Arizona flat out dominated but ended up on the losing side. Any Given Sunday, as they say...
So I can't just say the Patriots are going to win and end my tipping at that point. Still the Patriots are going to win. A month ago this would've been a great game but with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant watching from the sidelines and seeing how great the Patriots look, I'm not expecting much apart from a New England blow-out.
The over/under in this game has been set at 49 points on the exchange. If you asked me whether I think New England can put up 49 points on their own I might be tempted to say yes. The Cowboys do get back Rolando McClain and Greg Hardy this week, plus Sean Lee practised on Thursday. On paper this is a fearsome linebacking corps but we haven't seen them play together yet.
After Greg Hardy's bizarre comments about Tom Brady's wife and her sister this week, I fully expect Brady to shove it down his throat and keep the accelerator pedal very much down. At 1.9420/21 the over 49 points is a market I'm all over. I'm also taking the Patriots with a nine point handicap at 1.9620/21.
Looking at who'll score first, I'm clearly looking at the Patriots players and I don't think the Cowboys have anyone who can stop Rob Gronkowski. Well not many teams do to be fair. It is hard not to back him to score first but Julian Edelman will also cause problems with yards after the catch. I'm spreading myself in this market and I'll always put a buck on Tom Brady to sneak one in at long odds because he's a great QB sneaker, although he hadn't snuck one into the End Zone since 2012.
3pts Back over 49 points in over/under 49 points market @ 1.9420/21 on the Exchange
3pts Back New England to win with a nine point handicap @ 1.9620/21 on the Exchange
3pts Back New England to win with a -9.5 handicap and for over 41.5 points at 6/4 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Rob Gronkowski to score the first touchdown at 9/2 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Julian Edelman to score the first touchdown at 15/2 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Tom Brady to score the first touchdown at 40/1 on the Sportsbook
Neil Harvey will be here to preview the Sunday Night and Monday Night games.
Neil Monnery NFL P/L 2015 Season
Staked - 33pts
Returned - 66.66pts
P&L - +33.66pts