Drew Brees might not start for New Orleans on Sunday but Neil Monnery isn't too sure that it matters either way for the faltering Saints ahead of their trip to Carolina...
"The sad fact is that the injured Brees doesn't inspire me either. Throw in the fact that the Saints traded away Brees' security blanket in Jimmy Graham over the summer and you have to question what is going on down in Louisiana."
Before we get into the previews for the two lives games in the early and late windows, can I just say what on Earth were Sky thinking when they chose these games? Neither is the most attractive in either TV spot, in fact both are being called by the fifth commentator teams for both CBS and FOX. Just crazy. We'll need to make some bets to keep us interested...
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
Live on Sky Sports 2
Before the season started I could see why this might be an attractive match for the TV schedulers, but we go into it with the Saints 0-2 and with Drew Brees a questionable starter with a rotator cuff injury. He has been officially listed as 'limited' in practice but says that he is 'pretty confident' that he'll line up on Sunday. Here's the thing though, even if he does start if his numbers are as putrid as last week then it doesn't really matter.
If he doesn't make it then can I interest you in the numbers of backup Luke McCown's last start in the NFL? Six of 19 passes completed for 59 yards, oh and four interceptions in a 32-3 loss at the New York Jets. I won't be stampeding to my PC on Sunday evening to back the Saints if McCown is named as starter.
The sad fact is that the injured Brees doesn't inspire me either. Throw in the fact that the Saints traded away Brees' security blanket in Jimmy Graham over the summer and you have to question what is going on down in Louisiana.
It must be said that the Panthers aren't very good either. I have never had any trust in Cam Newton. I don't think he's a very good QB. They don't have any stand-out receivers or running backs. This game is going to be turgid but we need a bet or two to fulfil the brief.
I don't like New Orleans whoever starts under center so I have to back Carolina to win. The handicap is set at the Saints +3.5 and I think that is small. Carolina win by more than that so at 5/6 on the Sportsbook I'm going there. I'm sticking there for another 5/6 bet on the Saints scoring under 21.5 points.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Live on Sky Sports 2
The quality level isn't upped much in the 21:25 game. We saw Buffalo getting a beat down from the New England Patriots last week. It was only close when the Pats eased off the gas, but in reality the Bills got smashed.
We saw Tyrod Taylor for what he is in that game, a solid but completely unspectacular quarterback in the National Football League. The Buffalo D is going to be OK though. The Pats possess one of the most dynamic passing attacks the game has ever seen, so it is hard to be too critical. This week they aren't up against Tom Brady.
Miami QB Ryan Tannehill has a big arm, but it's not very accurate and despite a lot of talking heads thinking he's going to make the step forward, I'm rather sceptical. I need to see it with my own eyes.
Miami spent big on Ndamukong Suh in the off-season and through two games he has registered exactly two tackles and one assist. He has yet to get to the opposition QB. They need to find a way to get him into the game.
I'm a bit surprised that Miami are the favourites on the exchange. Not that I think Buffalo are any good (I don't) but because I don't think either team are very good. I'm rolling the dice and backing Buffalo straight up on the exchange at 2.3811/8. Over on the Sportsbook the Buffalo + 1.5 and over 38.5 points is available at 12/5. I like this bet.
2pts back of Buffalo to win at 2.3811/8 on the Exchange.
1pt back of Buffalo to win +1.5 and over 38.5 points scored at 12/5 on the Sportsbook
Neil Monnery NFL P/L 2015 Season
Staked - 8pts
Returned - 27.5pts
P&L - +19.5pts