It's week six of the NFL season and Mike Carlson is making the case for a bet on the Seattle v Oakland match at Wembley, as well as Pittsburgh at Cincinnati and Jacksonville's trip to Dallas.
"I'm going to go for some home cooking here, especially as there is no home field advantage in this game (although I am sure there will be more Raiders fans and they will make far more noise)."
The Department of Over-reaction has issued a recency bias warning to NFL followers. I wrote last week about the high-scoring, pass-crazy NFLb, and recommended going over 58 with the Steelers/Falcons matchup. If you took that, it wound up a push at 58, but if you were one of those who waits closer to game time, you might have picked it up at 57.5, and registered a win. The Rams and Seahawks did deliver on my 50.5 over recommendation, and both the Chiefs (easily) and Bengals (with difficulty) covered, so only my 'best' bet Panthers let us down.
But look at the scores around the wild scoring NFL in week five. 13-12 (Tenn/Buff), 12-9 (Balt/Clev, and in overtime!), 19-16 (Dall/Hous again with OT). It took overtime get to 21 and 35 points which is less a sign that the NFL is getting back to Old Time Football and more that there are some match-ups of teams without a lot of offensive talent, although even the Cardinals at the Niners managed 46 (though it took some fourth quarter desperation going back to do it).
Improving Seahawks to take home spoils from London trip
I'm going to go for some home cooking here, especially as there is no home field advantage in this game (although I am sure there will be more Raiders fans and they will make far more noise). The Seahawks are better defensively, and their offense seems to be getting some cohesion, even if a run-first game isn't ideal in today's NFL, especially if your Legion of Boom has turned into the Legion of Gloom. The odds aren't that welcoming, so I might also consider going Over (48.5 at 19/20)
Big Ben can make the difference for Steelers
I think the Steelers could actually take this one outright, which may be underrating both the Bengals' run game and their defense. But they need to get to Ben Roethlisberger, and that has been the one thing the Steelers have been good at doing, giving Ben time to make plays, and last week he was making them to Antonio Brown, which is always a good thing. I also like Minnesota (-10.5 at evens vs Arizona) even though that's a big number. But the Vikes are at home and their defense might be able to wreak havoc with the Cardinals' rookie QB Josh Rosen. I look at Baltimore and Tennessee and don't see a lot of points going up; yes the Ravens have some big play potential, but the Titans' D is good at stopping that. Under (42 at evens) seems like a good value to me.
Jaguars will have too much bite for Dallas
The Jags are the better team, and the Cowboys' D won't likely be able to force as many errors out of Blake Bortles as the Chiefs did. Even if they do, Dallas won't be as able to take advantage. The Chiefs' offense got 23 points against the Jags in Kansas City; I doubt Dallas can get more than 17. Therefore Under (41 at 9/10) also looks like a nice outside shot.