After a winning week three NFL expert Mike Carlson is back to pick three bets for week four including the Packers to out score the Falcons...
"I don’t care how high this one goes, I believe at home, even without crowds, Green Bay will be able to win a shoot-out over the Falcons."
With the NFL's first positive covid test results from players after game day, the league faces a real challenge. Their test, trace and isolate protocol really had to cancel the Steelers at Titans match-up, which is now going to be rescheduled in a way that removes Pittsburgh's bye week, but that is a small price to pay.
I suspect the Minnesota at Houston game will hang in the balance of late testing on the Vikings, who played Tennessee last Sunday, before it goes ahead. So I am going to leave that one out of the equation for the moment, although given Minnesota players hadn't even been at their facility before Thursday, you'd have to like Houston at home.
Week three was a winning one for Mike
Last week was a very good one. I hit everything but the outside under with Minnesota and Tennessee, but doubled down with the over on my best bet Niners over Jets, who squeaked in to cover by 23.5 points, and got good results from Cleveland and Indy. In the end I avoided my own temptation with the Seattle/Dallas under and I stayed away from the Chargers Carolina for just the reasons I outlined. I must point out, however, that LA should have won that one on the game's last play, although they still wouldn't have covered.
After week three what we do know is that the Chiefs are really good, the Ravens still have problems playing from behind and New York might just as well disown its two teams that play in New Jersey and concentrate on the one team that actually plays in New York state - that is, the Buffalo Bills. We watched two coaches breathe an immense sigh of relief after the Bengals and Eagles tied at 23, and we saw the Bears somehow move to 3-0 with Nick Foles pulling out a win in relief of Mitch Trubisky. Think about that, and then try to make your picks!
Packers can win shootout against Falcons
This was also my pick on Betfair's NFL Only...Bettor podcast on Wednesday, and I am sticking with it. The Falcons made NFL history by becoming the first team to blow leads of 15 plus points in the fourth quarter of games in consecutive weeks. The math geeks had the Falcons, who blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, remember, as 99% winners both weeks - so given there are 267 games in the NFL season, the one per cent chances to win have just been used up. Remember too the Bills threw away a 28-3 lead in week two against the Rams, but came back to win that game against the Rams.
You might say that with refs not calling offensive holding, but calling defensive pass interference, and with tackling looking like something out of junior high pre-season, high scores are to be expected. But I don't care how high this one goes, I believe at home, even without crowds, Green Bay will be able to win a shoot-out over the Falcons, and wonder if Aaron Jones might have a bigger day than Aaron Rodgers. Both Davante Adams and Julio Jones were at practice on Thursday, which is a good sign that both might play in this Monday Night game, which in my mind would cancel each other out. The over under on this one has slipped a point during the week, down to 56.5 but it still might be vulnerable.
Returning Kittle can help Niners overcome Eagles
The Niners have been good the last two weeks on the road against the Jets and Giants, and that was with an horrific injury list and Nick Mullens at QB for the whole of the win last Sunday. George Kittle is expected back for them, which gives their offense another level, and one which ought to help Mullens, and Deebo Samuel might be ready. Add Dee Ford to the injury list, and there are questions at cornerback as virtually everyone but the injury-probe Jason Verrett is out at their outside corner spots. But the Eagles aren't very healthy at wide receiver, and their strongest point might be pass rush. This actually has the possibility for being a tighter game than seven if Philly can put their offense together, and maybe harass Mullens into the kind of mistakes Carson Wentz has been making. But for now, I like the Niners at home.
Dolphins should be able to contain slow-starting Seahawks
I was going to take Carolina here against the Cardinals, but that line has tightened from five to three, meaning a lot of folks got in there before we did. I mentioned the Vikes above, and you'll have to check in to see what the story on that game is. The Ravens -13 has gone up to -14 against Team in Washington so I'm going to stay away from that too. In the end I think the under in Miami is actually more safe than outside, because Seattle might be slow starting, and Brian Flores' defense ought to be able to stay with them. But, and here's the big 'but' which makes it an outside bet: Seattle has given up nearly 1,300 passing yards in its three wins, so if Fitzmagic gets hot and the game goes wild, this could suffer.
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