Let’s take a look at three select games where the Trends, combined with current play of the teams, may offer some decent value in both the Sides and Totals marketplaces.
Buffalo Bills -5½, 42 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The second NFL game from England this regular Season kicks off early on Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS) face the Buffalo Bills (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) in an AFC inter-divisional matchup from Wembley Stadium in London. This game seems like a pretty good spot on the schedule for Buffalo and Head Coach Rex Ryan and the Bulls should be in a foul mood after losing at Home at Ralph Wilson Stadium last Sunday to the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals, 34-21. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened this one up at Buffalo -7½ in its NFL Games of the Year and there was no Advanced Line with the status of Bills starting QB Tyrod Taylor (Knee) then a bigger question than it is now. This morning (Wednesday), NFL.com is reporting that Bills starting QB Tyrod Taylor took snaps with the starting Offense in practice while on Tuesdsay, Taylor said he thought he’d being playing in this game across the pond. But backing a mad Buffalo side and laying the jolly old lumber against maybe the worst team in the league is advised even if backup EJ Manuel does end up getting the start here over Taylor on Sunday.
The last time these two teams met was in 2013 where the visiting Bills won and covered as 4-point favorites in Jacksonville, 27-20. The Jaguars—who lost 31-20 to the Texans in Jacksonville on Sunday—and QB Blake Bortles had scored the 3rd-lowest number of points in the AFC (119)—behind only the Dolphins (103)—who have played one less game (5)—and Titans (112). The Bills are 4-1 ATS the L5 against the Jaguars and Buffalo is 7-3 ATS in its L10 vs the AFC. As far as Totals Trends, the over is 15-7 ATS the L22 October games while the Under is 16-5 in the L21 Bills games overall. The money coming in on this game (Monday-Wednesday) has driven this line up to (Bills minus) 5½ where it is in most sportsbooks although Offshore move-leaders Pinnacle (-6 Even) and 5Dimes (Bills -7 +120) seem to be ahead of the market. so in short, if you like Buffalo, seek out this 5½ (and buy the ½ point if you can and are feeling strong) as this Point Spread will probably keep rising with few wanting to put their hard-earned money on the lowly Jaguars although Buffalo has some Injury concerns with WR Percy Harvin (Hip) didn’t even make the trip over to the United Kingdom and may be out for some time according to reports while WR Sammy Watkins (Ankle) arrived in London (Sunday Forecast: Partly Cloudy, 58°) in a walking boot and crutches. If Watkins can’t go and Buffalo heads in with those two WRs out, RB LeSean McCoy, TE Charles Clay and WR Robert Woods will be called upon and the Bills Defense will also definitely have to rise to the occasion here.
NFL Pick: Bills -5½ (The Greek)
Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins -4½, 44½
The Houston Texans (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS) head to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Garden, Florida on Sunday afternoon to face the Miami Dolphins (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) and new Head Coach Dan Campbell, fresh off a 38-10 win over the Titans in Nashville in Week 6. So are the Dolphins re-energized and ready to go under new Head Coach Campbell, or were they just well rested after getting their Bye week after getting spanked in London by the Jets and playing a crappy Tennessee team in the throes of a 4-game losing streak? The last time these two AFC clubs met, the Texans won 30-10 as big double-digit favorites (-14) in Week 1 at NRG Stadium in Houston in 2012, while the last time these two met here in sunny South Florida, the Texans won and covered, 23-13 as 3-point favorites in 2011. The Texans are 3-0 ATS the L3 overall vs. Miami and 3-0 ATS the L3 here at Sun Life Stadium. And, the Dolphins are just 1-7 ATS over the L8 vs. AFC opponents and Miami is a sad 2-8 ATS over its L10 overall. In their first four game, the Dolphins had just 14 3rd-Down Conversions in their first 4 games and with Steve Tannehill, aren’t much better off at the QB spot than the neurotic Texans who actually got a pretty decent game from (now) starter Brian Hoyer (24/36, 293 yards, 3 TDs, 119.3 rating) with WR DeAndre Hopkins (10 receptions, 148 yards, 2 TDs, 14.8 ypc) being the big beneficiary of Hoyer’s start in Houston’s Week 6 31-20 Win over the Jaguars in Jacksonville. The Advanced Line here was Miami -1½. Listed as Questionable and injured for Houston are WR Nate Washington (Hamstring), S Quintin Demps (Hamstring) and LB Jadeveon Clowney (Ankle), but even though main sharp bettors, NFL pundits and handicappers are quick to write this Texans (128 PF-155 PA) team off because of the 2-4 start, it’s important to remember both teams have played a very soft schedule to date and that Houston has been, and probably still is, a little bit better football team overall than the Miami Dolphins at this point in time. And taking a shot on Houston on the Money Line (+186, Pinnacle) is also advised here.
NFL Picks: Texans +4½ (Bovada), Texans Money Line +186 (Pinnacle)
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants -4½, 44½
The Dallas Cowboys (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) are still without starting QB Tony Romo and WR Dez Bryant but at least the Cowboys should be well-rested, coming in off their Open Date here at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon against the host New York Giants (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) in this Week 7 NFC East affair. But with Romo’s backup Brandon Weeden (11 straight SU Losses, 11 straight ATS Losses)—who hasn’t won a start at QB since bad boy Walter White was still just an honest High School Science Teacher in Albuquerque—Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett (36-42-1 ATS) has decided it’s now time to give new-acquiree Matt Cassel (Bills) a spin—thus the 4½-point spread with the host Big Blue. Last year, New York and QB Eli Manning (43-50-1 at Home) lost 31-21 to America’s Team at AT&T Stadium in Arlington as 4½-point underdogs—failing to cover ATS—while in this game in the Garden State, the Cowboys won, again, 31-28, but failed to cover by a point, giving 4 points to New York and WR Victor Cruz. Hopefully, superstar WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Cruz will both be healthy for the G-Men who are 2-3 ATS L5 against the Cowboys after a Week 1 cover as a 7-point underdog in a 27-26 loss at that aforementioned House of Football (AT&T Stadium), Jerry World in Arlington. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lined this game at Giants -6½ in its NFL Games of the Year while the Advanced Line (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) here was 5½.
As far as the Totals and Trends and probability here, all signs point to the Over, but best to bet it early as most General Public tend to vak Overs in primetime TV games and it seems SNF, MNF, and TNF games do skew to the Over, and at 45 (Pinnacle; was 44½ at beginning of assignment) that’s a reasonable number with Eli Manning putting it up for one side or the other to profit from pointwise and Cassel trying to prove his worth for Dallas in his first start against a team which gives up the points. The Over is 7-3 ATs in the L10 Cowboys games on the Road while the Over is 9-3-1 ATS the L13 here in the Garden State. And although the Under is 6-2 ATS the L8 Giants games in October—where it rains M&Ms and snows mini-Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the fourth week of the month—the Over is an overwhelming (see what I did there?) 15-5-1 ATS the L21 meetings in this NFC East series with Final Scores in the L10 games of DAL 27-26, DAL 31-28, DAL 31-21, DAL 24-21, DAL 36-31, NYG 29-24, DAL 24-17, NYG 31-14, NYG 37-34 and DAL 33-20 or a gaudy average of 53.9 ppg (8-2 ATS Overs, 6 straight). Most of the Trends and situation say Over, so Over it is. (Note: This Total ticked up ½ point from 44½ to 45 (Pinnacle) during the writing of this story.)
NFL Picks: Over 45 (Pinnacle)