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Sunday, 21 October 2012

NFL Week 7 - Raiders of the Lost Jags

It was a pretty tough week for NFL bettors in week 6 as 10 underdog sides won out & we didn't far at all well here either with Indianapolis looking as bad as they did last year up against the Jets & Cincinnati underperforming in Cleveland. We'll have another got though & try to bring some of our Saturday (3 form 3 fottball/soccer picks) form to the game as we take a look at a couple of games featuring this year's lesser lights.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders

In the game at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland the Raiders host the Jaguars in a battle of teams with just one win each from 5 games, clearly neither side is great but there are reasons to believe the home side Raiders are superior to the Jags.

(Darrius Heyward-Bey should be fit & ready to take the Jags apart)

Jacksonville are ranking stone last in offensive yards (241.2) & points (13) per game & they just don't have the players at skill positions to be able to pass the ball at all effectively, in the modern day, high scoring, passing NFL they are sorely lacking even with one of the best running backs around in Maurice Jones-Drew. At quarterback they have Blaine Gabbert who has a laughable career passer rating of just 67.5 & has a league low 5.5 yards per pass this year, he's got a promising rookie in Justin Blackmon to pass to plus we like Laurent Robinson but they are hardly a great set of receivers plus he just doesn't have the skills regardless of the targets. In 2011 the Jags' saving grace was that they were pretty tough defensively (ranking 6th overall) but that isn't the case this year as they rank a lowly 29th & have been giving up 163 yards per game on the ground, that isn't a good sign as they come up against one of the better backs around in Darren McFadden.

Oakland nearly came up with a huge result last week as they ended up only losing by 3 points against the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons & that bodes well in this game if they can take the momentum gained in the Atlanta Dome & use it in front of their own fans. The Raiders have actually been pretty poor at running the ball this year thanks to their poor defensive blocking meaning that Darren McFadden gets hit earlier in his runs than any other back, coming up against the Jaguars & their poor run defense might be just the cure for that problem though. Quarterback Carson Palmer has been having a pretty solid year & is averaging 286.5 yards through the air with his pretty good wide receiver corps that has been bolstered by Derek Hagan who rejoined after being with Oakland for the first part of last season. Tight end Brandon Myers has stepped up all of a sudden & leads the team in receiving yards with 290, his previous best for a whole season was just 151 yards so he's added another option, they've also got Denarius Moore & Darrius Heyward-Bey (who's been struggling with injury but should be fully fit here) & their options far outweigh Jacksonville's.

Oakland are excellent on special teams & can rely on Sebastian Janikowski to kick field goals from anywhere inside of 65 yards, even though they're 1&5 they should have too much for Jacksonville, however rather than take the handicap of -6 points we far prefer the half time/full time bet of Oakland/Oakland at odds of 21/20, they can control the game from beginning to end.

Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills

(The Buffalo Bills' C.J. Spiller could be in for another big day running the football)

The Titans & Bills are two sides with plenty of problems yet the Bills somehow find themselves with a .500 record thanks to a forgiving schedule that has seen them beat the lowly Browns & Chiefs plus run into the Cardinals just as they faced a quarterback crisis. Tennesee have been stuffed out of sight 4 times but come up with narrow 3 point wins against Detroit (in overtime) & Pittsburgh (last week when the Steelers were inconvenienced by being the away side for the Thursday night game). It hardly makes this game an inspiring one but there is a good bet to be had here.

The total points line for this game is set at 46.5 & from their 12 games combined these two sides have seen 47 or more points on 9 of those 12 occasions. The Titans are giving up a league worst average of 34 points per game & the Bills are giving up the second most with 32 per game, with two such poor defenses this is set to be a high scoring free for all. The Bills just can't stop the run & although the Titans are averaging a paltry 70.2 yards rushing per game this could be just the tonic for their star back Chris 'CJ2K' Johnson who has struggled to replicate his incredible form from 2 & 3 seasons ago. The Bills have one of the league's most potent rushing attacks with Fred Jackson & C.J. Spiller always ready to unload on opposition defenses & they should see plenty of joy against the Titans, if they get into the red zone they should be able to push ahead & convert for touchdowns instead of settling for field goals. Neither side is great but Buffalo are deserving favourites, we still like the over 46.5 total points bet as the best value option here & odds of 5/6 for C.J. Spiller to score a TD at anytime also look on the big side - he's got touchdowns in 4 of his 6 games & Tennessee struggle to stop anything.

Oakland Raiders to beat Jacksonville Jaguars Half time/Full time at 21/20 (BlueSquare & 888Sport)
Over 46.5 points in Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills game at 10/11 (General)
C.J. Spiller to score a touchdown at anytime at 5/6 (Ladbrokes)

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