Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for this Sunday to build your bankroll on Week 7, highlighted by the Sunday Night Football game between the 49ers and the Broncos in Denver.
Despite a hiccup on Thursday night, we are off to a strong start in this 2014 NFL season as we are currently 33-25, +7.96 YTD as documented in the Sportsbook Review Forum. Hopefully losing the ‘under’ Thursday night is not a precursor for how our Sunday will turn out, as we are back again as usual with another of our customary Friday 5-Packs of NFL picks for Sunday of Week 7.
We lost that wager Thursday when the New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets in a tighter game than many expected 27-25, and the Jets had a chance to force overtime but missed on their two-point conversion try after scoring the game’s final touchdown with a shade over two minutes left. The Jets easily covered as 9½-point favorites thanks to a whopping 218 rushing yards, but we lost our wager once the contest went ‘over’ the total of 44½.
Undaunted and still hitting at a 56.9 percent clip this season, we now move on to Sunday where we have four sides and one total this week, with all four sides being underdogs and the total being an ‘over’. As has become our custom, all NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, October 19th
Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers ‘over’ 50 (-110) (1:00 ET): The Panthers have steadily improved offensively as Cam Newton has gotten healthier this season, and in the last two weeks, they outscored the Chicago Bears 31-24 and tied the Cincinnati Bengals 37-37. Last week was the healthiest Newton has looked all season as he seems to be over the cracked ribs he suffered in preseason, once again running freely while rushing for 107 yards in 17 carries to make up for the lack of production for the depleted Carolina running back corps. Those rushes nicely complimented his 284 passing yards as Newton finally looks like the dangerous dual threat that he was his rookie year again. That is bad news for a Green Bay defense that allowed an absurd 6.4 yards per play last week despite the Packers rallying to beat the Dolphins 27-24 in the final seconds. If the Packers can make Ryan Tannehill look that good, imagine what Newton can do and remember that Green Bay has had difficulties vs. mobile quarterbacks in recent years. Even Tannehill did his best Newton impression last week with a 40-yard run on a read-option play! Unfortunately for the Panthers, while the offense is getting better, the defense has been atrocious after carry this team to the playoffs last season. Carolina is now 26th in the NFL in total defense yielding 392.5 yards per game and dead last with 6.3 yards per play allowed overall including an ungodly 8.3 yards per pass attempt. Now, that unit only needs to stop one of the elite quarterbacks in the league in Aaron Rodgers! In other words, expect a score-fest on each side.
Minnesota Vikings +6 (-109) over Buffalo Bills (1:00 ET): First of all, the Vikings were horrible last week while losing at home 17-3 to the Detroit Lions as Teddy Bridgewater looked nothing like the quarterback that passed for over 300 yards in his first NFL start the second time around, as he completed only 23-of-37 passes for 188 yards with three interceptions. Secondly, the Minnesota offensive line was terrible as Teddy was sacked eight times. So naturally, we are all over the Vikings this week! You see, one thing Minnesota does do is play defense and that unit did hold a potent Lions’ offense to just 255 total yards in the defeat. It should now have an easier time defending Kyle Orton and the Bills, as Orton was guilty of holding the ball too long several times vs. the Patriots last week and doing so again should lead to some sacks vs. this Viking defensive line. And oh by the way, did we mention that the Bills are coming off of a game against the Patriots, a huge game against the best team in the division and a game in which more that a few experts picked them to upset Tom Brady & Co. at home? Well, instead, the Patriots rolled 37-22 and Brady looked like Brady again passing for 361 yards and four touchdowns. Perhaps that Buffalo defense could now allow Bridgewater to duplicate his first start, especially with the Bills being in a huge letdown spot facing. a non-conference opponent following that New England game with another divisional game vs. the Jets up next.
Kansas City Chiefs +4 (-107) over San Diego Chargers (4:05 ET): The Chargers are 5-1 with Philip Rivers garnering some early-season MVP votes, but they are no longer perfect ATS following a 5-0 start vs. the number as they needed to rally to beat the lowly and winless Oakland Raiders 31-28 last week, failing to cover as 7½-point favorites, and although they are now returning home they do not figure to have an easy time of it vs. the Chiefs either, who have been very impressive since an ugly opening week performance at home vs. Tennessee. In their last four games, the Chiefs went head-to-toe with the Broncos before losing by just seven points in Denver, then beat Miami 34-15 impressively on the road, then dismantled those Patriots 41-14 on Monday Night Football, and finally lost a tough battle vs. the 49ers 22-17 on the road two weeks ago before their bye. And remember that Coach Andy Reid is 13-2 straight up when coming off a bye! Although this is a division game, the Chargers have an even bigger one coming up just four days after this one as they visit the Denver Broncos on Thursday, so the Chiefs may not have their full attention. That is not a good thing considering they will probably see heavy doses of Jamaal Charles after he did not get enough touches in the Kansas City loss at San Francisco.
Oakland Raiders +3½ (-107) over Arizona Cardinals (4:25 ET): The Raiders are 0-5, but they showed marked improvement in the first game under Coach Tony Sparano after he replaced the fired Dennis Allen, as they had the Chargers on the ropes until San Diego won it 31-28 one a one-yard run by Branden Oliver with 1:56 left. Still, it was an encouraging performance as rookie signal caller Derek Carr threw for 282 yards and four touchdowns, Andre Holmes emerged after being under-utilized by Allen as he was on the receiving end of 121 of those yards and two touchdowns and running back Darren McFadden turned back the clock rushing for 80 yards on 14 carries. Normally the Raiders would be considered longshots to continue to duplicate that kind of performance vs. Arizona, but the Cardinals have key injuries on defense, most notably to Calais Campbell, and as a result they allowed 354 passing yards to Kirk Cousins last week and 4.2 yards per carry when the Redskins ran the ball. Then there is the horrible scheduling spot for the Cardinals here as it is very easy to look past this non-conference game vs. a winless opponent when their next two games are against the 5-1 Eagles and 5-1 Cowboys in conference. If the Raiders show the same enthusiasm they showed last week in the first game under Sparano, the Cardinals may need to guard against an outright upset.
San Francisco 49ers +6½ (-102) over Denver Broncos (8:30 ET): While Peyton Manning is three touchdown passes away from breaking the all time record of Brett Favre, has anyone noticed that the Broncos are only 2-3 ATS this year and it took a miracle to get their second cover against the Jets last week on an interception return for a touchdown with 15 seconds left? Furthermore, their only other cover came when third string quarterback Logan Thomas was pressed into duty for the Arizona Cardinals! And yet Denver remains overvalued in this game, favored by nearly a touchdown vs. one of the best defenses in football, not to mention one of the better teams from the stronger NFC, and thus a better team than Denver is accustomed to facing inside the AFC. And do not bet on Manning breaking the record this game as the 49ers are fourth in the NFL in passing defense surrendering 210.2 yards per game through the air and they lead the entire league in yielding just 5.7 yards per pass attempt. That is a problem for a Broncos’ offense that does not have the same offensive balance as when they had the departed (and now injured) Knowshon Moreno running the ball so effectively last year, as this 2014 Denver version is 26th in the NFL in rushing with 91.2 yards per game on a mere 3.5 yards per carry.