New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys
The first Saturday night game of the season brings what looks like a very one-sided matchup between the Jets and the Cowboys. This Dallas team, despite not being mathematically eliminated, is a mess and I really don’t see them being a match for a Jets team that is playing well and and currently sitting on a 3 game win streak – Jets -3 for me.
During this win streak, the Jets put up 91 points and currently sit 10th in the league in terms of offense, putting up 371.2 yards a game. A big reason for this is their WRs Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker – they both are in the top 20 WRs in terms of yards and as a duo are tied for the most TDs with 20. Dallas have a decent pass defence, but Marshall and Decker are some of the best they will have faced and given how anaemic the Cowboys offense has been I don’t think the Jets will be needing to put up 30+ points to win this one.
With backup QB Matt Cassel at the helm, the Cowboys are averaging a lowly 15.2 points a game and given that they will be facing a top 5 defence this week, I can’t see this average moving too far up. The strengths of the Jets defence should nullify the moderate strengths of the Jets here. WR Dez Bryant will be locked up with CB Darrelle Revis and the Cowboys’ running game faces one of the best defensive lines in the league.
I don’t feel this is a good matchup for the Cowboys and if the Jets continue to play how they have been recently, they should come out with a good win.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: New York Jets -3 at 1.91
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
The Chiefs were far from their best last week – especially on offense – and they needed a last second goal line stand to scrape past the Chargers. Scrape past they did however and they’ve now won 7 in a row. I believe they bounce back, so to speak, with a convincing win against a beat up Ravens team to make it 8 straight wins. Kansas City -6.5 is the bet.
The QB position for the Ravens is still up in the air as I write this, with Matt Schaub looking like he may return, but quite frankly it doesn’t matter if Schaub or Clausen starts as I don’t think either of them stand much of a chance against Kansas City defence that is playing superbly at the moment. They have allowed a ridiculously small 84 points over their last eight games (10.5 a game) and you would think this is about what the Ravens could hope for in this one too.
This is partly due to all the injuries they have suffered, highlighted by the fact that their leading receiver (Kamar Aiken) has only played in 7 games and their 2nd leading receiver (Steve Smith) was injured in a game against San Diego 6 weeks ago.
But it’s also down to the fact they turnover the ball far too often. They have given the ball away at least twice in five straight games and their turnover differential (takeaways vs. giveaways) currently sits at -12. You can’t win that way and given that the Chiefs are the polar opposite of this with a +12 differential, this should be a comfortable win for Kansas City.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 at 1.92
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
This is a big AFC South matchup, with the winner putting themselves in the driver’s seat to win the division. As with what seems to be an unfortunate theme in the NFL this year, this will be played out with backup QBs at the helm for both teams. For the Texans it’s TJ Yates, who didn’t even start the year on the team and the Colts will most likely be going with an injured, 40 year old Matt Hasselbeck.
As usual, Houston goes as far as their defence takes them and I believe they’re more than a match for Indianapolis so, despite them coming off a hiding from the Patriots, will be backing the Texans on the road.
There’s a reason that the Colts’ backup QB is injured and despite being listed as Probable, will no doubt be playing a little hurt – the play of Indianapolis’ Offensive Line. They have given up exactly 100 QB Hits so far this season, which is only “bettered” by Cleveland’s total of 101.
Jacksonville punished Hasselbeck last week to the point of him having to leave the game and now he has to face JJ Watt and company. It really is a nightmare for opposing OLs because if you double / triple team Watt, then Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus are going to beat you. Indianapolis may have to set up a quick-release game plan and this will lead to routes being jumped by Houston’s CBs.
It’s not all about Houston’s defence and given that the Colts have given up 96 points over the last two weeks I would think Yates fancies his chances of putting up a decent score. He won’t have to though as I see Watt and the rest of the DL taking this game over.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Houston Texans to win at 2.10
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