NFL Week Seven Tips: LA to charge to victory in London
The second of three Wembley games is part oil Monnery's look ahead to week seven in the NFL...
'Tennessee were the team shutout by Baltimore last week and over their past four games, they've averaged a lowly 12 points per outing. That says everything you need to know about their offense. It is putrid and don't expect much better on Sunday.'
The big game of the week
The biggest game this week isn't live on TV over here in the UK, which is a bit of a surprise as the 4-1 Saints travel to Baltimore to take on the 4-2 Ravens. Both teams have shown Super Bowl potential so far this season so the decision to pick the Dallas @ Washington is a stunner to me. They are also two of the top four teams in the Sportsbook's Super Bowl winner market.
Drew Brees seemed to have all his weapons back in his arsenal following the return of running back Mark Ingram from suspension. He provides the thunder to Alvin Kamara's lightning giving the NFL's newly-minted all-time passing yards leader multiple options coming out of the backfield. Yet the announcement that Ted Ginn has been put on IR late on Thursday night robs him of his second best deep option.
Michael Thomas hasn't caught a touchdown in nearly a month following grabbing three in the opening two matches this season. He's still going for an average of 11.3 yards per catch, however, and it is fair to expect him to have a good outing on Sunday as Baltimore push up to guard against the run.
The Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV due to their outstanding defense and the 2018 version is starting to remind people of that team. Over Baltimore's past four outings, they've not given up more than 14 points and last time out they ensured Tennessee didn't trouble the scorers at all.
Led by the ageless Terrell Suggs who has been around for as long as I can remember, the defensive line constantly gets pressure to opposition QBs. This will happen again on Sunday, so it will lead to Drew Brees having to utilise the hot read more often than usual.
Offensively, they pound the rock with Joe Flacco managing the game instead of relying on his big arm. Despite the strength of their team being on D, this game is likely to come down to whether they can keep up with the Saints offensively. It would be a shock if the visitors didn't score at least in the mid 20s. If Flacco can find the likes of John Brown, Michael Crabtree and former New Orleans man Willie Snead IV for chunk plays then they'll be in the game.
The over/under line is at 50 and that is pretty much where I'd have it. A day for plenty of Field Goals and a 26-23 type game. I'd lean on the under and the visitors are getting 2.5, which as I think it might be a three point win for the home team, shows that the odds makers often know what they are doing.
Wembley hosts another game this week where the Chargers and Titans make their way over to London to play in the breakfast time window in the States.
Tennessee were the team shutout by Baltimore last week and over their past four games, they've averaged a lowly 12 points per outing. That says everything you need to know about their offense. It is putrid and don't expect much better on Sunday.
I like the Chargers this season with the likes of Melvin Gordon and Philip Rivers leading a very efficient offensive output. They are giving 6.5 on the spread but that is an easy pick for me. The running back is 7/2 to score 2+ touchdowns and that is a fair bet.
Acca of the week
A four-fold this week all from the over/under lines. Over 46 in Vikings @ Jets, over 49.5 in Patriots @ Bears, over 50.5 in Browns @ Buccaneers and over 54 in Giants @ Falcons. This is available at the time of writing at 15.97 on the Sportsbook
Last week I adored the over line for the Jets and they paid me back big time. A very similar scenario this week as I expect a shootout.
The Patriots are starting to roll once more on offense and Mitchell Trubisky is getting it done for the Bears. Another high-scoring game beckons.
Cleveland and Tampa Bay both have huge defensive question marks but compare them to New York and Atlanta, well they look like the 2015 Broncos. Lots of points to be put up in both these matches.
So far this season the overs are just crushing the unders.
Last week all three of the teams I wrote about in this section covered and Miami won straight up.
Carolina are getting five points at Philadelphia and that seems an awful lot to me. Cam Newton was poor last Sunday but still had a chance to win it late. Philly stomped all over the Giants but that isn't much to write home about this season. The value is with the Panthers but I think they'll only cover.
Houston are also getting five points on the road, this time it is at Jacksonville who have come back to Earth with a bump after back-to-back beat downs at Kansas City and at Denver. With Leonard Fournette still on the sidelines, I think the Texans could well pull off the surprise in a divisional match-up, despite their shaky offensive line. A rare low-scorer here.
My last pick is the biggest spread of the week where the 49ers are getting ten points at home to the Rams. This is just way too big for me. The visitors have won close road divisional games in the past two weeks and a third would be mightily impressive. San Francisco could've easily won at Green Bay on Monday night so getting that many points at home really stuns me.
Houston (7/4) and San Fran (16/5) are both excellent value to win straight up.
The long-shot of the week
These plays are always 100/1 or more and twice this season they've been just a touchdown away from landing. Agonising!
A five-way this week at 197.3 on the SBK at the time of writing. All of them for a player to score at anytime in their games this week. My selections are Austin Hooper, Julian Edelman, Greg Olsen, Chris Godwin and Adam Thielan.
If you are a fan of the 3TDs for both teams in each half bet then the best choice this week is New England @ Kansas City at 150/1
From this week a syndicate has been set up for those who want to win more. You can join here and play for £100,000 but in it, seven games are picked with a variety of score margins.
My picks this week are as follows:
Eagles to win by 1-6
Jets to win by 1-6 or 7-12
Bears to win by 1-6 or the Patriots to win by 1-6 or 7-12
Cowboys or Washington to win by 1-6
Rams to win by 1-6
Chiefs to win by 7-12 or 13-18
Giants to win by 1-6 or Falcons to win by 1-6 or 7-12
Now I know I've tipped up San Francisco for the 10 point upset in the superdog section, this is based on the very tempting 16/5 price. Los Angeles have won two close road games on the spin and the best bet is they'll follow up with something similar but that big number screams out value in the straight up market.
The full picks
Each week I'll pick every game bar the Thursday game according to their handicap on the SBK at the time of writing (home team in caps):
CHARGERS (-6-5) over Titans (in London)
JETS (+3.5) over Vikings
Patriots (-2.5) over BEARS
BUCCANEERS (-3.5) over Browns
Lions (-3) over DOLPHINS
Panthers (+5) over EAGLES
COLTS (-7.5) over Bills
Texans (+5) over JAGUARS
RAVENS (-2.5) over Saints
WASHINGTON (-0.5) over Cowboys
49ERS (+10) over Rams
CHIEFS (-6) over Bengals
Giants (+4) over FALCONS
Last week: 8-6
Season Record: 44-41-1
Back Melvin Gordon to score 2+ TDs at 7/2 on SBK (Sportsbook)
Back the over in New York, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Atlanta at 15.97 (Sportsbook)
Back San Francisco to win straight up at 16/5 on SBK (Sportsbook)
Back each team to score over 3TDs in each half in New England @ Chicago at 150/1 on SBK (Sportsbook)