Patriots (PK) and first half under 24 One thing about Super Bowls is they don't tend to start with a bang.
Good action picks: NFL Week 9
The bad news for gamblers is that for the second straight week, the NFL lineup is a mere 13 games. Furthermore, bettor-friendly teams like the Broncos, Lions and 49ers are among the six byes. The good news is after Week 9, things will start to open up, which will make for more bountiful value to be found. In the meantime, let’s try to pull a few good-action plays out of an otherwise meager slate.
Titans -140 at Rams
The public always has a short memory, so naturally everyone remembers the Rams being a yard away from pulling a big upset of the heavily-favored Seahawks on Monday Night Football. It was an impressive effort, but it was also a gut-check game for St. Louis, which found itself getting 10 points at home when the line opened before closing as a two-touchdown underdog. Teams always get up for primetime games, particularly against divisional foes. Add in the lack of respect for the Rams from all angles and you had the recipe for a (near) upset. Spinning forward to this week, St. Louis is now coming off a short week against a rested Titans team that had two weeks to stew over an embarrassing home thrashing at the hands of the 49ers (and an extra week for Jake Locker to heal). After hard-fought losses to the Chiefs and Seahawks preceded the San Francisco game, Tennessee figures to come out strong against one of its weaker opponents all season. The books clearly shaded this line toward St. Louis because of the public’s short memory.
Texans +120 vs. Colts
By and large, playing short home ‘dogs on the moneyline is a sound strategy. In this matchup, the Texans have a lot going for them. Taking away Houston’s 2-5 record, you have a team that’s eighth in the NFL in total offense and No. 1 in total defense, having outgained its opponents by over 100 yards per game. Turnovers have killed the Texans during their five-game losing streak, which has included a fourth-quarter collapse vs. the Seahawks and a one-point loss in Kansas City before the bye. With two weeks to prepare for an Indianapolis team they haven’t lost to at home since 2009 – not to mention their season on the line in a primetime game – the Texans will leave it all on the field. The Colts, meanwhile, rolled into their bye with a rousing win over Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Going into a week off on a high note is never a good thing, because it serves as a momentum killer. Conversely, Houston’s bye couldn’t have come at a better time. Expect the best the Texans have in this one.
Chargers at Redskins – under 51.5
This total is reflective of Washington’s 45-21 loss to the Broncos last week. What’s easy to overlook is the Redskins held Denver to 14 points through three quarters and were doing a great job of keeping the ball on the ground and winning the time-of-possession battle. Then the wheels came flying off in the form of five fourth-quarter turnovers. San Diego is a team that can be run on, and there’s no doubt Washington will look to establish and stick to the ground game from the outset in this one. Philip Rivers, meanwhile, has been a tactician with the football this season, completing a league-best 73.9 percent of his throws. One thing the Chargers aren’t, however, is a home run team, as they have averaged 11.4 plays over nine scoring drives during a two-game win streak. They’ve also run the ball a combined 77 times in that span. The total in this game would indicate a shootout, but two teams looking to keep the ball on the ground and extend drives would indicate the opposite.
Overall picks: 10-5