Live NFL Sunday Tips: Rawls holds the key for Seattle

Thomas Rawls to coming out of Marshawn Lynch's shadow in Seattle
Thomas Rawls to coming out of Marshawn Lynch's shadow in Seattle

Two games with four potential play-off teams live on Sunday evening and Neil Monnery is backing teams from coast to coast...

"This game will be won and lost by the Steelers WR v Seahawks DB battle, whoever wins that I expect to walk off of the field on Sunday with the victory."

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

It is hard to find a worse division than the AFC South but these NFC East teams are really trying to get that title. The Giants though are probably the cream of the crop and following Tony Romo going down again on Thursday and Philly's implosion, a win on Sunday and they will very much hold their play-off dreams in their own hands.

Much-maligned Eli Manning has had one of his better years so far, with only six picks through ten weeks. His six TD performance against the Saints three games ago should come with the asterisk of being against a Rob Ryan coached defense but even without that, in his other nine games he has thrown for 15 scores. They don't have much of running game but they can't put the game on the shoulders of their QB and their defense.

Out of the other dressing room, Washington just can't be a play-off team, they just can't. I know Kirk Cousins has come on in recent weeks but I just have no trust in him whatsoever. He has a 3:2 TD/INT ratio for the season so far and that isn't going to get it done unless you have an elite rushing attack or an elite defense, neither of which they have. They are an average team in a less than average division.

Matt Jones has a bit of burst about him out of the backfield but four fumbles in 90 carries is bad. Alfred Morris is a far safer bet but he has been slowed by a rib injury but is expected to play on Sunday.

This is not a game I'm emptying my Sunday evening calendar for but I have little social life so no doubt I'll be watching. Bets wise I like the Giants to win and I also like it to be relatively high scoring. On the Sportsbook you can get 12/5 on the Giants -0.5 and over 48.5 points and I'll get on that. In the first TD market everyone loves OBJ (and rightly so) but I hate taking the favourite so I find myself gravitating towards him at 15/2.

Recommended Bets
2pt Back New York Giants -0.5 and over 48.5 points at 12/5 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Odell Beckham Junior to score first at 15/2 on the Sportsbook

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

The late game is far more appetising than the early fare as we get to be the biggest disappointment in the NFL along with a team who are staying afloat despite a raft of injuries. The Seahawks were my tip to win it all, they are now my tip to win the worst offensive line award. Russell Wilson is a great scrambling QB but when free runners are in the backfield seemingly on every play then you have problems.

Marshawn Lynch is out but his understudy Thomas Rawls might even be a better player at this stage of their respective careers. He has three 100+ yard rushing games from four starts. Last time out he cleared 200 yards (although that was against the 49ers) but he has power and a burst, a lethal combination. He is the short 5/1 favourite to score the first touchdown on the Sportsbook, that shows just how much he has impressed early.

Jimmy Graham came in with the expectation to be the big TD target for Russell Wilson. Through ten games he has only caught two touchdowns and hasn't scored since September 27. That is an insanely long time for such a class player. Defensively Seattle are not what they once were. A fortnight ago Carson Palmer kept attacking Richard Sherman and beating him. That is a worrying sign for this team.

For Pittsburgh a 6-4 record keeps them very much in the hunt for a wildcard spot but looking at their record and you'd only have one win that you'd say was a 'quality' one. They beat Arizona but in the other five wins, the best one was Oakland at home. I do think they can keep in games against anyone but I need to see them against better quality opposition before I find that trust level in them.

I like Big Ben as a gutsy winning QB but 10 TDs to 7 INTs is not a good record this season. He has lost his star running back but still has a plethora of players to throw the ball to down the field. This game will be won and lost by the Steelers WR v Seahawks DB battle, whoever wins that I expect to walk off of the field on Sunday with the victory.

Betting wise I really want to take the Steelers. The Seahawks have disappointed all season long and don't deserve any money to be put down on them but I think I'm going to go with them. I think I'm going to go with them big and I'm glaring at Thomas Rawls to make it happen. A full three point back using the alternative -6.5 point line at 27/20 on the Sportsbook. I'm going full on Rawls too as even though that 5/1 for first TD is short, I'm going with it but also a point on Antonio Brown at 7/1.

Recommended Bets
3pt Back Seattle to win with a -6.5pt handicap at 27/20 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Thomas Rawls to score first at 5/1 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Antonio Brown to score first at 7/1 on the Sportsbook

Neil Monnery NFL P/L 2015 Season

Staked - 122pts
Returned - 154.80pts
P&L - +32.80pts

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