Mark Callanan look at the Top 5 NFL Bets of the Weekend, starting with New England Patriots -9 @ 10/11
Indiannapolis Colts @ New England Patriots
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are more than used to facing a Colts side containing an overall first draft pick at quarterback. This year is slightly different though, given that it won’t be Peyton Manning facing down Bill Belichick’s outfit. Andrew Luck has started the season in a manner befitting the amount of hype that came associated with the former Stanford QB, showing not only sublime passing skills but also a devastating ability to rush. Luck has rushed for five touchdowns so far this term, setting a franchise record in the process and sitting only behind fellow rookie RGIII in the quarterback rushing stakes for touchdowns. Brady, Belichick and co. have successfully dealt with supremely talented QB’s in the past and the reality is the Patriots, despite having lost three games so far, could easily be 9-0 considering their three defeats have been inflicted by a combined four points. While Luck will, fitness permitting, go on to be one of the all time greats, this weekend’s game at Foxboro my be too much for the rookie.
New England -9 @ 10/11 with Boylesports
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
When the Steelers welcome their arch rivals to Heinz field on Sunday, they will do so without Ben Roethlisberger who is carrying a rib injury. The Ravens, too have their own injury issues with defensive veteran Ray Lewis still out with a torn tricep. Both teams are perennial play off participants and this season looks set to be no different with the Ravens leading the AFC North with a 7-2 record, while the Steelers sit a game back. Normally home field advantage would enough to swing such a tight encounter but the loss of Big Ben could be the difference in this match up.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
Michael Vick was another quarterback who was forced to leave the pitch last week following concussion. While the loss of Big Ben for the Steelers will hamper their chances, this could in fact be a blessing in disguise for the beleaguered Eagles. Rookie replacement Nick Foles looks a promising prospect and if his offensive line can give him some protection, the Eagles may be able to turn the Redskins over. A more likely scenario however, involves RGIII dominating in the air and on the ground to lead his Redskins to a 4-6 record. Considering the Redskins have home advantage, they look well worth a look by 3.5 points.
San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos
All the talk at the start of the season centred around Peyton Manning and whether a serious neck injury would render him only a shadow of his former self. There seemed to be some validity to questions regarding the damage caused to Manning’s precocious throwing motion at the start if the season as Manning struggled. In the Broncos’ first two games, Peyton threw for a paltry(by his standards)494 yards with three interceptions to boot. In his last seven games he has only failed to break the 300 Mark once, throwing eighteen touchdown passes to only three interceptions. The Chargers have lost four of their last five.
Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers
The battle of the concussed quarterbacks. At least it would be if both were playing. Both suffered heavy knocks last weekend. 49ers Alex Smyth looks the more likely to start given he has resumed training. Although Jay Cutler is an oft maligned figure, the simple truth is Chicago need him playing to pose an effective passing threat to allow their ground game and defence to snuf out teams. San Francisco possess the sixth best defence against the run meaning Cutler’s loss will be more keenly felt. If Smyth plays and Cutler doesn’t, which appears likely, take the 49ers depending on the handicap.
No betting available