Mike Carlson previews all the NFL match-ups ever week and he has picked a trio of bets for you to consider...
"The Chiefs' D may be allowing too much, but they also need to stop being so sloppy with the ball, and that includes Patrick Mahomes. Everyone raved about his no-look pass last week: did they not notice it was intercepted? I think the Chiefs can get back to winning ways; the spread is 7 now and I'd grab that before it goes up."
Sunday 18:00 Kickoffs - Saints can cover handicap
Washington (1-2) at Atlanta (1-2)
WTF is not as good a defensive team as billed (Chase Young has zero sacks thus far this season, and Matt Ryan is not the prolific passer of old. In fact the Falcons' game-winning drive depended on Cordarelle Patterson and rookie Kyle Pitts. The Falcons are home dogs, and the Team are not as good as their rep gets.
Detroit (0-3) at Chicago (1-2)
The Bears have scored only 40 points in three games which would be the worst in an NFL that didn't feature the Jest. Detroit has hung tough, but they are very limited. I think the road upset is on the cards; that's 6/5 on the moneyline.
Tennessee (2-1) at NY Jets (0-3)
Clash of the Titans! Before they were called the Jets, the New York entry in the AFL was called the Titans. The present Titans, of course, also were charter members of the AFL, as the Houston Oilers. But the only oil in Tennessee was the crude Jed Clampett found while shootin' at some food, and wound up in Beverley Hills, going to Rams' games at the Coliseum. The Jets have scored only 20 points in three games, half as many as Da Bears. What does that tell you? The double of Titans to win and under 46.5 is good value at 7/5.
Cleveland (2-1) at Minnesota (1-2)
Coach Stefanski Bowl! One of the two seemingly finely balanced games this weekend; Stefanski came out of the Vikings system and ought to know what Mike Zimmer wants to do. Of course, so does everyone else. Adam Thielen at 11/10 and Kareem Hunt at 6/4 as anytime TD scorers are tempting.
Indianapolis (0-3) at Miami (1-2)
Jacoby Bowl! Dolphins' QB Jacoby Brissett was traded by the Pats where he'd started two games when Brady was out, to the Colts before signing with Miami, where he's the starter with Tua out. He's a gutsy player, but a relatively deliberate passer: the Colts' probably wish Carson Wentz were more like that, because this would be their best shot at a first win until they see the Texans.
Carolina (3-0) at Dallas (2-1)
The Panthers added CJ Henderson from the Jags to try and replace rookie Jaycee Horn, who was already their best corner. Adding from the Jags is not always a formula for success but I really like the way the Panthers have been playing defense. I do worry that without Christian McCaffrey their offense becomes one-dimensional enough for the Cowboys to handle.
NY Giants (0-3) at New Orleans (2-1)
Against the Pats, the Saints looked a lot like the '20 Pats with Cam Newton, though it takes them two quarterbacks to do it: a lot of shorter, deliberate passes with Jameis and running with Taysom. Their D remains very good, and their rush ought to be too much for Daniel Jones. The Saints giving 7.5 was my podcast best bet; if you can get it with a closer spread jump at it.
Kansas City (1-2) at Philadelphia (1-2)
Andy Reid Bowl! With all the attention on Tom Brady's return to Foxboro, how about Andy Reid, just out of hospital, returning to Philly, where they threw snowballs at Santa Claus. The Chiefs' D may be allowing too much, but they also need to stop being so sloppy with the ball, and that includes Patrick Mahomes. Everyone raved about his no-look pass last week: did they not notice it was intercepted? I think the Chiefs can get back to winning ways; the spread is 7 now and I'd grab that before it goes up.
Houston (1-2) at Buffalo (2-1)
David Culley put on another fourth down coaching clinic last week, but it's Davis Mills against a very good Bills' D. You might consider the Texans covering a 17.5 spread; they don't often get much bigger. Dawson Knox (21/10) and Mark Ingram (13/5) as anytime TD scorers are tempting.
Sunday 21:05 - Rams can go 4-0
Arizona (3-0) at LA Rams (3-0)
I'm not sure anyone suspected this would be a battle of the unbeatens, but Matt Stafford has proven to be just what the Rams needed, and Kyler Murray is playing at a very high level, even if they trailed Jax 19-10 in the third quarter last week. I think the Rams can make it two unbeatens in a row at home, and if you think they will the under may be the way to go.
Seattle (1-2) at San Francisco (2-1)
Honk if you can play tailback for the Niners! The key to this matchup is likely the SF defense against DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but I think SF will be able to take advantage of Jamal Adams if he's in coverage against George Kittle. I note the Seahawks are evens to win the fourth quarter.
Sunday 21:25 - Ravens can win in Denver
Baltimore (2-1) at Denver (3-0)
The week's most interesting match-up, basically rated a toss-up even though the Broncos are at home. Denver has beaten three teams with a grand total of zero wins, but the Ravens' win over Detroit required the officials to overlook a delay of game penalty to allow Justin Tucker to hit a 66 yard field goal. Teams tend to wear out in Denver, which might be a problem, but at altitude, Justin Tucker might hit from 71, which is what his kick should have been last week. Lamar Jackson might appreciate Hollywood Brown curing his propensity for dropping passes too. Even so, I lean towards the Ravens to break Denver's unbeaten streak.
Pittsburgh (1-2) at Green Bay (2-1)
A battle of two late 30s quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers is like a guy in California who's running the beach every morning; Big Ben is like the guy who's driving his pickup for breakfast beers with the boys in Beaver Falls. If the Steelers have TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith back they could make it interesting, but their O is so one dimensional it reduces Ben to a ribbon.
Best Bet: Green Bay to win (-6.5 at 9/10)
Sunday Night Football (01:20) - Brady to score!
Tampa Bay (2-1) at New England (1-2)
Brady Bowl! The Biggest Game in NFL History This Week! I don't suppose the Pats will be as much psyched to spoil Brady's return as to just do their jobs and win, but the Bucs' weak point is deep pass defense, and the Pats have not been able to throw deep with Mac Jones, while the Pats want to be a running team and run D is the Bucs' stronger point. I kind of like the idea of Brady scoring on a QB sneak (he was the Bucs' leading rusher against the the Rams last week) and that's a tempting 7/2.
Outside Bet: Under 49.5pts in Tampa at New England @ 1.910/11
Monday Night Football (01:15 Tues) - Chargers for the W
Las Vegas (3-0) at LA Chargers (2-1)
The Chargers have benefitted from fumbles in each of their two wins, while the Raiders have been two touchdowns down and won in OT in two of theirs. This game is like being stuck between a nerf ball and a soft place. But Justin Herbert has shown he can pass under pressure, and the Chargers' D might give the Raiders a bit of trouble.
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