The NFL Odds have Carolina as a -3 home favorite, however you can get +1 Patriots at some shops. With a spread that has yet to settle, let’s take a look at some of the better prop NFL Odds from Bet365, as I think I have found two that present great value.
broke yesterday and I think it gives this prop much more value. Patriots’
cornerback Aquib Talib looks to be set to return for this game, which is great
news for the Patriots defense, and really bad news for Steve Smith and Cam
Newton. Talib has missed five games, but if he is indeed healthy and ready to
play, he should be glued onto Steve Smith the entire game.
Talib started the year shutting down opposing number one receivers for the Patriots, and only Julio Jones has had more than 61 yards receiving against Talib this season. He has shut down A.J. Green, Vincent Jackson and Stevie Johnson this season, and I think he will do the same to Smith.
Smith only eclipsed 57 yards receiving three out of nine games so far for the Panthers this season, and with little else to throw to, teams have been blanketing Smith the entire season. Bill Belichick will devise a way to take out Smith, and I doubt he gets over 50 yards receiving in this game. Two backup secondary players are out for the Patriots in this one, which means that Talib and Kyle Arrington will have to play a lot of snaps.
At -110, I think this prop has much more value for your NFL picks than a bet on either team ATS. If it weren’t for Jones going for over 100 on him, opposing wide receivers would be averaging only about 3.5 catches and 48 yards per game against the Patriots when Talib is playing. Take the under.
My Pick: Steve Smith ‘UNDER 57.5 receiving yards (-110)
This prop also relies on an important player making his return to the Patriots, as Shane Vereen makes his return after missing eight games with a broken leg. Even though this is a stretch, I think there is value in the TD price for Vereen tonight at +225. However, make sure it’s a smaller wager, because there is a small chance Vereen doesn’t see much of a role this week. I wouldn’t recommend more than one unit, but at +225, Vereen’s chances of getting into the end zone are good as long as he sees the field for enough snaps.
This should go back to being a two-headed backfield with Stevan Ridley as the other back, and Vereen should see all of the third down work. Vereen was killing the Bills in Week 1 and looking like one of the key new weapons for Tom Brady in both the run and pass game before he got hurt. I think he will jump right back into that role for New England, because despite being good on defense, (especially against the run) the Panthers have trouble covering pass-catching RBs.
The Panthers have given up the third most receptions (62) to opposing running backs so far this season, and most teams have played 10 games to their nine. I doubt Ridley is very successful tonight, and I doubt Josh McDaniels or Belichick will hesitate to put Vereen in for meaningful/red zone situations. Tom Brady trusts him, and I think he could break off a nice reception OR run for a TD in this game. Yes, it is a stretch, but for a unit or even half a unit, it is a nice value.My Pick: Shane Vereen TD Scored (+225)