Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for this Sunday to build your bankroll on Week 2, highlighted by the late afternoon Chiefs at Broncos matchup.
Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season is in the books, and it was a good week for our NFL picks as we are off to an 8-5 start for a pick-up of +3.65 units as documented right in the Sportsbook Review Forum! Let us now hope our good fortune continues into Week 2, as just like every week for the rest of the season, we are back again with another of our customary Friday 5-Packs.
This week actually began with Thursday Night Football, where the Baltimore Ravens more or less had their way with the Pittsburgh Steelers in an easy 26-6 triumph. Ben Roethlisberger did pass for 217 yards for the Steelers, but Pittsburgh had trouble stopping the running game of a Baltimore offense that finished last in the NFL in rushing last year as the Ravens ran for 157 yards. The combined 32 points went easily ‘under’ the closing total of 44.
We had no action on the Thursday contest, but we have our usual fare of underdogs and ‘unders’ for this Sunday, as our plays are divided into two sides (both underdogs) and three totals (all ‘unders’). As has become our norm, all NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, September 14th
Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills ‘under’ 42½ (-110) (1:00 ET): The Dolphins pulled off a nice upset on Kickoff Weekend knocking off the New England Patriots, and the defense deserves a lot of the credit holding New England to just 89 rushing yards and Tom Brady to just 29-of-56 passing for 249 yards. Granted Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill only threw for 178 yards while completing 18 of his 32 passes, but big off-season acquisition Knowshon Moreno rushed for 134 yards on 24 carries in his first game as Dolphin, and Lamar Miller also spelled him well with 59 rushing yards on 11 totes. Look for Miami to put a heavy emphasis on the running game again here as that would both slow down a good Buffalo pass rush led by Mario Williams and also take advantage of a weak Bills’ linebacker corps that struggles to contain the run. Thus look for some time-consuming drive to help this ‘under’ along. The Bills went ‘under’ in their opener while upsetting the Bears in Chicago in overtime 23-20, and they too were powered the run as they had more rushing yards in the game (193) than passing yards (167). And that rushing attack was spread around with C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Anthony Dixon all rushing for at least 50 yards. Thus look for both teams to stress the run and keep the clock running, which could improve the ‘under’ to 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings.
Jacksonville Jaguars +6 (-109) over Washington Redskins (1:00 ET): There has been some lively banter regarding this game inside the Sportsbook Review Forum, as we are on record saying that the Redskins do not merit being favored by this much, not even at home against the lowly Jaguars. After all, many people are overlooking the fact that the Redskins have still won just three games since the beginning of last season after losing 17-6 to the Texans last week while allowing Houston to snap its 14-game losing streak, and those three wins are actually one less than Jacksonville has in the same span! Washington insists on keeping Robert Griffin III in the pocket, which takes away his biggest strength which is improvisational runs. Yes Griffin passed for 267 yards last week, but he needed 37 passes to do so with the Redskins playing from behind, and all of those yards resulted in just one scoring drive in the second quarter. The Jaguars actually had a 17-0 lead on the Philadelphia Eagles as 10½-point underdogs at halftime, and yet they blew the cover as the fast-break Eagles outscored them 34-0 in the second half. The Jags face no such offensive juggernaut here and their defensive front seven is greatly improved compared to last year. They are also improved along the offensive line, so if rookie wide receiver Allen Hurns can continue his emergence after catching two touchdowns from Chad Henne last week, and outright upset here is not impossible.
Minnesota Vikings +3 (-114) over New England Patriots (1:00 ET): Speaking of outright upsets, we are actually calling for the Vikings to drop the mighty New England Patriots to 0-2 in this contest. Now we are very well aware that quarterback Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick both have excellent records coming off of a loss, but this just might be the worst New England team since that duo arrived in Foxboro. That is not to say that the Patriots are bad and they are still probably good enough to win the AFC East again this year. However they have some severe issues on the offensive line and those issues became compounded when the Pats traded away one of their best blockers in Logan Mankins in exchange for tight end Tim Wright. That makes for a dangerous matchup here vs. a Minnesota defensive front that can pressure the passer, particularly defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Sharrif Floyd. And when the Vikings have the ball, Adrian Peterson is almost certain to have a better game then he did last week, although he still finished with 75 rushing yards on 21 carries. Minnesota still went on to a 34-6 romp over the St. Louis Rams, as wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson lined up all over the field including running the ball three times for 102 yards. Add in an excellent pass catching tight end in Kyle Rudolph and we do not expect the Vikings to be in many third-and-long situations.
Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders ‘under’ 39½ (-105) (4:25 ET): The Texans lost their last 14 games last season after beginning the year 2-0, and they now have a chance for another 2-0 start after beating the Washington Redskins 17-6 on kickoff weekend. We are not expected a case of déjà vu though as it is fairly obvious that the Texans have more weapons than their record indicated last year. Still, the offense figures to be conservative with heavy doses of Arian Foster, and that worked out well in the opener when Foster rushed for 103 yards on 27 carries and added 17 more yards on two receptions. Houston is going with more of a game manager at quarterback for now in Ryan Fitzpatrick, although he did pass for 206 yards in the opener. However, 76 of those yards came on one pass to DeAndre Hopkins. The Houston defense played very well though, and should do so again here vs. what is now a one-dimensional Oakland offense. The Raiders lost 19-14 to the New York Jets while getting basically nothing from the running back combination of Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden, as Oakland amassed a grand total of 25 rushing yards, and now McFadden will probably have to go it alone with Jones-Drew out this week with a broken hand. That should put more pressure on rookie quarterback Derek Carr, and while he did not turn the ball over in his NFL debut, he was not exactly electric either while passing for only 152 yards.
Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos ‘under’ 51 (-105) (4:25 ET): For whatever reason, the Denver offense went AWOL in the second half vs. a supposedly bad Indianapolis Colts’ defense last week, as Peyton Manning all of a sudden looked every bit of 38-years-old while completing only 6-of-14 passes for just 70 yards after halftime. Can it be that the Broncos miss Wes Welker more than many people expected? Frankly we think Manning will be fine, but this does look like a high posted total considering that a Broncos’ offense not yet hitting on all cylinders will most likely have to carry the scoring load with not much expected from the Kansas City offense. The Chiefs lost at home 26-10 last week to the Tennessee Titans with their biggest asset Jamaal Charles touching the ball just 11 times to blow up fantasy teams across the universe! Charles should see a heavier workload this week (how can he not), but while that should run up his yardage total it may not necessarily equate to more scoring. In fact, it would probably serve the Chiefs well to be very conservative and use up a lot of clock on offenses with Charles runs and with short passes to Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery, as that would keep Manning and the Denver offense off the field and Kansas City lost not one but two defensive starters for the season last week in Mike DeVito and Derrick Johnson both to torn Achilles tendons!