Live NFL Sunday Tips: It's all about the points bets on Sunday

Brock Osweiler will be under intense pressure from the Pittsburgh rush on Sunday
Brock Osweiler will be under intense pressure from the Pittsburgh rush on Sunday

Carolina's trip to the Giants will see lots of offense, whereas Denver's trip to the Steelers will be dominated by the defenses. NFL tipster Neil Monnery takes a look...


"Brock Osweiler played very nicely in his first two games but the league now has film on him and they have caught up. He has thrown very few deep passes and takes an eternity to release the ball. He struggles mightily when he can't go straight to his primary read."

Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants
Start-time: Sunday 18:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports 2
 

The undefeated and chronically under-valued Carolina Panthers travel to New York (well New Jersey) in what is in all likelihood their only legitimate test before the play-offs. The Giants are in a battle to win that horrendously hideous NFC East so will be gunning not only to end the perfect season of their visitors, but more importantly keep themselves in contention to win their division.

For Carolina, they are led by MVP candidate Cam Newton a man in the middle of a fantastic season. His current record stands at 28 TDs to 10 INTs with a QB rating of 96.9. This is by far higher than his previous high mark for QB rating (88.8, in his sophomore year). In the past five weeks though he's taken that up a notch again throwing only one interception in the face of 14 touchdowns. He has also rushed for seven scores this term.

He is being helped by receivers who are stretching the field. Ted Ginn Jr has a case of the dropsies but keeps getting wide open for big gains. Greg Olsen is only a very small step below Rob Gronkowski in the best tight end stakes. Jonathan Stewart pounds the ball down opposition throats. When you add Cam's x-factor in the running game, certainly when running the option then you can see why they've done so well.

Eli Manning is one of those feast or famine quarterbacks. Last time out he threw for four scores and a 151.5 QB rating and looked great. Yet we've all seen with our own eyes that he's had some clunkers this season. The last time we saw them on UK TV in the 18:00 slot he gave up three early interceptions to Washington and despite trying to lead a comeback, he fell short.

The Giants though have OBJ. These are his receiving yards in his past six games in order, 130, 105, 104, 142, 149, and 166. Could I possibly interest you in that? Here is the kicker though, in four of those games the Giants lost. It just goes to show you can have one of the most dynamic players in the NFL and it still not be good enough.

I think both defenses are good, I have written before about the Carolina ball-hawking linebackers here on these pages, but they are terrific. The Giants though don't throw much inside the numbers and therefore their effectiveness in this game will be limited. The Giants can get after the opposition QB, but Cam Newton is tough to corral.

Now on to the crux of the column - the tips. I am avoiding the Moneyline as the value is strongly in the points market. This will be a high-scoring affair and you can get 11/8 on over 51.5 points total and 11/10 for Carolina to score north of 27.5 on the Sportsbook. I'm on both big. I like a small one-point play on the first TD scorer and always pick one from both teams, and OBJ and Ted Ginn Jr are at 7/1 and 12/1 respectively. Good value, that.

Recommended Bets

3pt Back over 51.5 points on the extended spread at 11/8 on the Sportsbook
3pt Back Carolina to score over 27.5 points at 11/10 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Odell Beckham Jr. to score the first touchdown at 7/1 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Ted Ginn Jr to score the first touchdown at 12/1 on the Sportsbook


Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Start-time: Sunday, 21:25
TV: Live on Sky Sports 2
 

The Denver Broncos are 10-3, have the best defense in the league and are available at 3.613/5 to beat at Pittsburgh on Sunday evening on the Exchange. That says everything about the NFL. It has plenty of acronyms but after the 'No Fun League', my favourite is 'Not For Long'. The Broncos are a potential Super Bowl team but they still need to put up a few points on offense to win games.

In his Week 15 NFL Tipsheet, my colleague Luca Bercelli has said, 'Osweiler has been playing well, much better than Pick Six (his nickname for Peyton Manning).' If leading an offense on 23 consecutive drives without a touchdown is playing well then he has set the bar very low.

Brock Osweiler played very nicely in his first two games but the league now has film on him and they have caught up. He has thrown very few deep passes and takes an eternity to release the ball. He struggles mightily when he can't go straight to his primary read. I have no doubt he'll get better in time but Sunday's game is not a favourable one for him as the Steelers pass rush will get to him. He needs a very good game to keep his job and if Betfair had a market on who starts as QB on Monday week against Cincinnati, my money would be firmly on Peyton Manning.

For the home side, they are gunning to be the hot team coming into the play-offs in the AFC. If they win out they'll make it as an 11-5 wildcard (or if Cincinnati collapse in the AJ McCarron era) then they could win the AFC North and take the #3 seed.

I was about to pronounce Ben Roethlisberger back after his injury issues but his outstanding effort against the abject Colts a fortnight ago masks his less than stellar numbers in recent weeks. DeAngelo Williams has taken up the mantle of RB1 following the injury to Le'Veon Bell and has looked more than serviceable. He'll need to be on his A game on Sunday as Denver's strength is in their secondary, so they'll need to run the ball. The absence of TJ Ward with an ankle knock is problematic for Denver's D but on the plus side, DeMarcus Ware will return and will once again form the most feared linebacker sack combo in the league with Von Miller.

Betting-wise, like the early game my love in in the over/unders markets as this will be a low-scoring, tight affair. I always like the extended spread because you can gets odds-against and at 13/10 for under 42.5 points, I like it. I think it'll be a 20-16 type of game with the Steelers walking away with the win. The spread has been set at Pittsburgh -6.5 and I think that is about right but I'm swerving it completely. I'll put up three small plays for first TD scorer, all at 10/1 or longer instead. The top two are obvious but Osweiler seems to trust Vernon Davis, so at 20/1 he is worth a small punt.

Recommended Bets

3pt Back under 42.5 points on the extended spread at 13/10
1pt Back CJ Anderson to score the first TD at 10/1 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Heath Miller to score the first TD at 12/1 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Vernon Davis to score the first TD at 12/1 on the Sportsbook


Neil Monnery NFL P/L 2015 Season

Staked - 159pts
Returned - 210.55pts
P&L - +51.55pts

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