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Saturday, 8 October 2011

NFL Week 5 - Shootout in the Charlotte

It's the fifth round of games in the NFL & last year's Super Bowl champions the Green Bay Packers are tightening their grip at the top of the betting market for the title this year as one of just two unbeaten teams along with their NFC North rivals the Detroit Lions, it will be interesting to see how long both teams can stay unbeaten as they aren't due to meet until week 12. At the other end of the scale two of the winless teams, Indianopolis & Minnesota are both favourites in home games to get off of the mark at the fifth time of asking, with plenty of other intriguing matchups it should be an interesting week of games & as usual we've found the best bets available.

(Philadelphia Eagles LeSean McCoy can shred the Buffalo Bills defense)

The champions from two seasons ago the New Orleans Saints take their high powered pass first offense to Charlotte, North Carolina to face up to the Carolina Panthers & number one draft pick quarterback Cam Newton & this looks like being a lot of fun. Both teams have thrown for monster yardage in thir games so far with Drew Brees & Cam Newton ranking 2nd & 3rd in passing yards in the league behind only Tom Brady, Brees has also attempted more passes than anyone else  rates 2nd in completion percentage showing just why he deserves to be rated in the elite pack of QBs. Teams that like to pass the ball tend to be involved in high scoring games as there are normally more plays carried out as the clock is stopped every time a pass is incomplete & completed passes usually go for more yards than run plays. It all sets up for this having the potential to be the highest scoring game of the week & with the total points line at 51 backing the game to go over is an excellent bet. It's possible that the Saints alone could put up the points needed but we expect that Carolina can put up a few of their own to help this go easily over as they've scored 20+ points in 3 gaes so far & the Saints have been involved in two massive scoring games with 76 points in the 1st week & 73 against the Texans in week 3. The Saints are a much better team than the Panthers & the handicap line seems to have been set much too low in Carolina's favour & they should be taken to win starting with -6.5 points.

The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tennessee Titans in a game between teo of the toughest sides in the NFL, the Titans have lost just once this year whilst the Steelers season have had a somewhat stutter start season after reaching the Super Bowl last year. Matt Hasselbeck joined the Titans in the offseason from Seattle & was not expected to be performing to the level he has shown so far this year where he's ranked 4th in terms of passer ratings & has thrown for 1152 yards & 8 touchdowns helping supplement an offense that have struggled on the ground ranking last in terms of rushing yards. Star back Chris Johnson eventually got his game going last week running for over 100 yards against the Browns but Cleveland have been letting in well over 100 yards rushing in every game. Last year the Steelers barely let anyone run against them with just over 60 yards conceded on the ground per game, they did have slightly suspect cornerbacks but this year their defense seem to be much moe resistant to the pass ranking 2nd in yards allowed through the air but they've struggled against the run, the Steelers will be determined to improve & defensive co-ordinator Dick Le Beau will have ben working with the defensive line all week to put right what's wrong. The Titans will undoubtedly be weaker in the passing game with their star receiver Kenny Britt being ruled out for the season with a torn ligament. The Steelers could be missing their 1st choice running back Rashard Mendenhall but their running game no longer tends to be a focus plus Isaac Redman & Mewelde Moore will share running duties & are both capable. The Steelers biggest worry is that quarterback 'Big Ben' Rothelisberger keeps gettting hit & has been hobbling around in a surgical boot, he'll play & if they can keep him upright he'll be able to hit his underrated group of receivers with lots of plays at various distances. The Titans 3 & 1 record is somewhat misleading as they've played some very ordinary teams in the last two weeks & the awesome result against the Ravens in week two was the result of favourable matchups & an abberation of a performance from Baltimore. Steeler games often seem to be tight affairs but they can win this one convincingly with home field advantage & beat the -3 point handiap.

The Philadelphia Eagles 'Dream Team' will be looking to get their season back on the rails after losing thir last 3 games when they face this year's surprise package the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles were many people's idea of Super Bowl winners this year after making eye catching signings in the off season backed up by their phenomenal quarterback Michael Vick, he's been hit & hurt a few times but he should play this week & the Eagles have enough offensive weapons to hurt the Bills. LeSean McCoy fancies himself as the best running back in the league & he is a threat both on the ground & out of the backfield when they use him as an option in the passing game, he's scored 6 TDs so far & he can add to that total against Buffalo who've given up 12 touchdowns already this season, he's a best price 4/6 to score a TD anytime & 7/1 to score first. Buffalo' running back Fred Jackson has been great this season getting 4 rushing touchdowns & he'll be wanting a big game against the Eagles who've been dreadful against the run, however as well as he's been running the pass has been a huge part of their game with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing bombs deep down the field, he's thrown for 9 TDs so far. The Bills might struggle to pass quit as well against the Eagles great defensve backs who will be looking for potential inteceptions at every opportunity, their bubble was burst last week when the lost to the ordinary Bengals & they are unlikely to be underestimated by the opposition anymore in their remaining games. Philadelphia have lost three times but two of those were very tight games & they really should have won against San Francisco last week, back the Philadelphia Eagles to bring some normality back to the league & win at general odds of 4/6.

Over 51 points in the New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers game at 10/11
New Orleans Sants to beat Carolina Panthers with -6.5 points on the handiap at 10/11
Pittsburgh Steelers to beat Tennessee Titans with -3 points on the handicap at 10/11
Philadelphia Eagles to beat Buffalo Bills at 4/6
LeSean McCoy to score a touchdown at anytime at 4/6 & to score first touchdown at 7/1 (Paddy Power)

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