Saturday, October 30, 2010

Roberts Week 8 NFL Plays: Six Games Starting With Broncos In London

Denver (+2 ½) vs. San Francisco: What a nice exhibition of football England gets to witness this year as the two participating teams in this goodwill match are a combined 3-11; it’s not exactly the type of gift a friendly country should give to an ally. However, this could turn out to be a pretty entertaining game. The 49ers’ Troy Smith will be making his first start since his rookie season of 2007 and can’t be much worse than what we’ve seen out of Alex Smith this season. Frank Gore should be licking his chops after seeing what Darren McFadden did to Denver last week.

The Broncos defensive meltdown last week can be attributed to not having two of their starters playing in the secondary, most notably, defensive leader Brian Dawkins patrolling the field. Both players will be back this week which should plug some of the gaping holes witnessed last week. Denver still doesn’t have a pass rush which should help Troy Smith gain a little confidence in the game and have a few successful drives helped by Gore.

On the Broncos offensive side, Kyle Orton will move the ball. He’s been able to do his thing against the best defenses in league such as the Ravens and Jets and should be able to do the same this week against the 49ers. I have a lean towards the Broncos to win the game outright and like the total to go over 41 ½ even more. This should be a pick'em game and getting +120 on the money line due the significant spread move this week presents good value.

Jacksonville @ Dallas (-6 ½): The Cowboys might get the spark they needed this week with any kind of shuffle within the organization by not having Tony Romo running the offense. Firing Wade Phillips might have been the best option, but a new quarterback runing the show is a good shake-up. Backup John Kitna surely doesn’t have Romo’s talent or raw ability, but he may help the Cowboys be more well rounded offensively and it’s doubtful he can be any worse in key moments of games like Romo has been this year. I like the Cowboys by 14 over the Jaguars 30th ranked defense.

Tennessee (+3 ½) @ San Diego: At what point do we say the Chargers just aren’t a very good team. We see they have the NFL top rated offense and defense statistically, but they also have one of the worst records at 2-5. Their Jekyll and Hyde routine home and away was disproved last week when the Patriots beat them at home the same way the Rams did in St. Louis two weeks earlier by taking advantage of Chargers mistakes and protecting the ball. However, the Chargers will make their run at some point and probably go on a six of seven game winning streak. If it’s to begin this week, it will be very close. I’ll go with the roll the Titans are on, along with taking the better coach at +3 and the hook.

Houston (+6) @ Indianapolis: This is a nice revenge spot for the Colts; at home, division rival and of course having the best quarterback in the league. However, my concern with the team rests with their injuries. Manning not having his reliable outlet of Dallas Clark, trusty hands of Austin Collie and the underrated Joseph Addai is a lot of pieces missing from his regular arsenal.

I think the Texans will have just as much motivation for this game as they did in their season opening win against the Colts. This is their franchise’s nemesis and they can take their next step in having their best season ever by winning Monday. I’ll take the points in this one as well as a small play on the money line at +210 or higher.

The best value on this game if liking Houston is to wait until Monday morning when all of Sunday’s final parlay liability is figured into Monday’s what-if scenarios. The Colts are a huge public team and the extended risk for each sports book on them will be much higher than the Texans which will force a move to -6 ½ or -7.

Green Bay (+6) @ NY Jets: The Jets are coming off a bye while the Packers come off the emotional high of finally beating Brett Favre for their fans. It could be a dead spot for the Packers, but I think of it more as a building block for them to get on a roll and take control of their division. I see the Packers playing well enough to win outright.

Buffalo @ Kansas City (-7 ½): I’ve been very impressed by the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills, but I love what the Chiefs are doing this season. They have the luxury of always having their ground game as the foundation of their offense. The two-headed monster of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are on their way to having 1,000 yard seasons each. Over their last four games, no one in the NFL has a better QB rating than Matt Cassel. I see the Chiefs winning by 14 or more in this one just because they have a nice fluid rhythm going and their not big headed enough yet to take the Bills lightly.

Other Games I have yet to bet but Leaning Towards
Miami @ Cincinnati (-1 ½): The Dolphins are a few plays away from being 5-1 on the year while the reality show driven Bengals are a few plays away from being 0-6. The Bengals run too loose of a ship and rely on emotion to carry them game to game. Right now, that emotion is on the down swing. Finger pointing by the disgruntled loose cannons on the Bengals are about to occur. The Dolphins are well coached and being 3-0 on the road is a perfect example of that. I’ll take the Dolphins to win.

Carolina @ St. Louis (-3 EV): At some point, I’m going to have to get on board with the Rams and acknowledge they are for real. They have been one of the best teams ATS (5-2) this season and Sam Bradford has been a very good leader minimizing turnovers. There aren’t a lot of positives going for the Panthers even though they won their first game of the year last week. They are also without DeAngelo Williams which helps me side with the Rams even more.

Tampa Bay (+3 EV) @ Arizona: Who would have thought that this would be one of only three games this week where neither team had a losing record. Each has played with a lot of heart and have been well coached maximizing the minimal talents they have. I’ll side with the better quarterback in Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman in what should be a very low scoring game.

Seattle @ Oakland (-2 ½): I like the direction both teams are going in. The Raiders are beaming with confidence after last week while the Seahawks are playing with a college football type enthusiasm inspired by their rah-rah coach. It could be a let down spot for the Raiders, but I don’t think their fans will let it happen as the bikers, grim reapers and Darth Vaders of the black hole will help the team feed off their energy. I could see Seattle resorting back to their road woes from week 2 and 4. I’ll lay less than a field goal with Oakland.

Pittsburgh (+1) @ New Orleans: Just when we thought it safe to count on the Saints after beating Tampa Bay with big plays two weeks ago, they follow it up by returning to their 2010 norm by losing at home to the Browns. Who are these guys; it‘s looking they are experiencing the same Super Bowl hang over that has afflicted many of the champs over the last decade. Laying less than a field goal at home with the Saints seems like a deal, but I‘m not buying. The Steelers defense will lead the way to a win against a team whose confidence has been shattered.

Washington (+2 ½) @ Detroit: Only two teams are worse defensively than Jacksonville and the Redskins are one of them. Matt Stafford returns for the Lions and all should appear to be well for the home team, but I like the Redskins to expose the Lions through the air and be the deciding factor in this one.

Minnesota (+6 ½) @ New England: Whether Tavaris Jackson or Brett Favre starts, the Vikings game plan is sure to feature the ground game of Adrian Peterson which is good news for Vikings supporters. If the Vikings could have gone that way for their first six games they could have limited the 14 turnovers caused by Favre this year and been leading comfortably within their division. I like the toned down version of the team led by Peterson this week allowing their solid defense not to be put in tough positions to stop opponents due to Favre’s mistakes. I’ll take the points with the Vikings whoever starts.

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