If you’re in an NFL survival pool, chances are you got burned last week when the New England Patriots managed to lose in their home opener to the Arizona Cardinals. If you’re a betting man and you laid down the points you had no chance as the Patriots couldn’t even win the game outright. Not even the best sports betting minds could have predicted the Cardinals winning on the money line.
Which of course highlights the perils of betting early in the NFL season. Even with teams like the Patriots, we’re learning what the 2012 version is all about. For example, who would have predicted before the season that Wes Welker’s playing time would be reduced significantly and that there would be rumors of him being on the trading block. With the injury to Aaron Hernandez that might change a bit, but now the Patriots are bringing in Kellen Winslow so we may see Welker continue to spend many offensive snaps on the bench.
Of course this is early, and we might see Welker and the Patriots get back to their old form, but betters need to be careful, while fantasy football owners to drafted Welker high have to be bummed out.
The Patriots have been one of the most consistent success stories in the NFL, but things do change over time, so watch closely and be careful about laying down big money.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters on Media Day during Super Bowl week on January 31, 2012 in Indianapolis. The Patriots will face the New York Giants on February 5 in Super Bowl XLVI. UPI/Brian Kersey
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New England Patriots Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer react after a touchdown in the third quarter against the New York Jets in week 10 of the NFL season at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on November 13, 2011. The Patriots defeated the Jets 37-16. UPI /John Angelillo
Conference opponents battle on Monday Night Football tonight when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs at 8:30PM ET.
Oddsmakers have installed the Patriots as massive 16.5-point favorites over the Chiefs, while the over/under total for tonight’s game is sitting at 46.5 points. Kansas City enters with a record of 4-5 and 2-2 on the road, while New England is 6-3 overall and 3-1 at home.
Kansas City has covered the spread in 45 of the last 72 games after having lost two of the last three games and they have covered the spread in 11 of the last 13 games as an underdog of ten points or more.
New York is getting 3 1/2 points pretty much everywhere offshore and in Vegas. Go ahead and buy the 1/2 point insurance at anywhere from 3 to 4 1/2.
Make no mistake, the public is all over the Patriots in this contest, and that alone should have their backers extremely worried. This is one of the biggest most anticipated games of the season, I know, you know it, and oddsmakers know it. Therefore, fading the public is immediately a sound strategy here, because the action on this game will be huge, and it’s all one-sided.
Both offenses have been rock-solid of late (Patriots get the slight edge), but the difference here is the Jets don’t need to score as much. Why? Because they enjoy a big edge on defense. Jets have some guy named Darrelle Revis, maybe you’ve heard of him (sarcasm)? And coupled with a solid # 2 CB in Cromartie the Patriots receivers are going to be limited to say the least. A lot of Patriots backers are touting the Hernandez/Gronkowski match up against the Jets linebackers, but they’ve been inconsistent at best, and if you think the Pats are going to win because of their TEs, then you’re in for a disappointment.
And don’t read too much into the Jim Leonhard injury. Yes, he made the reads for the defense, but this is a very talented group, and Ryan is one of the better defensive minds in the game. He’ll have his team ready, especially with the extra time to prepare. It doesn’t hurt that their expecting winds in excess of 20 mph, which should limit the deep passing game somewhat.
The biggest key/edge the Jets have is with their ground game against a soft New England rush defense, which allows 110 rushing yards/game (4.2 ypc). Ryan has been smart to conserve Tomlinson’s energy by splitting carries with Green lately, and both should be fresh for this match up. As much as they’ve been serviceable, the New England tandem of Woodhead and Green-Ellis is going to be in for one of their toughest match ups all year, as the Jets are superb vs the run (86 ypg on just 3.4 ypc). Tom Brady can’t hurt you if he’s on the sideline watching the Jets move the chains.
Finally, for all of you out there fading Sanchez, remember what he did to this Patriots secondary the last time they met: 21 of 30 for 210 yards, 3 TDs and no picks. That was in Week 2, before he got game changer Santonio Holmes back, and with 299 yards or better in 3 of his L4 games, I’d say the young Pats secondary is in for trouble tonight. Based on everything we’ve talked about, there’s no question I’m taking the Jets plus the points (remember to buy the 1/2 point insurance as instructed above) over the Patriots Monday. I hate the Jets but the Thrill isn’t Winning, the Thrill is Collecting!
Week 4 in the NFL wraps up tonight with a clash between AFC East rivals. Who has the edge between the Patriots and the Dolphins and what’s the top play in tonight’s game?
Both teams come into tonight’s game at 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the AFC East after the Patriots and Dolphins both lost to the Jets and both beat the Bills. This is a pretty big game this early in the season as far as the division goes and also the bigger playoff picture for later in the season. They both have a bye next week so neither team wants to go into their off week off a loss, and in Miami’s case, they would head in off back-to-back losses. Because of the situation, we expect both teams to play a terrific game tonight, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
New England’s offense has played fantastic in their three games so far. The Patriots are averaging 30 points and 370 yards per game while scoring 38 points in two of their three games. Quarterback Tom Brady is in great current form as he has thrown for over 750 yards while completing 67% of his passes; he has thrown 8 touchdown passes and just 2 interceptions. They’ll be without running back Fred Taylor (toe) tonight, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a legitimate NFL back who has a ton of talent. He’ll keep the Patriots offense balanced so Miami can’t just play coverage to try and stop New England’s potent passing attack.
The Patriots’ defense has been abysmal so far this season; they allow 27 points and 380 yards of offense per game. Miami’s offense has played much better at home under head coach Tony Sparano. Last year, the Dolphins scored 20 points or more in every home game while going Over the total in 7 of their 8 home games. And they did it again last week as they scored 23 points against the Jets in a game that also went Over the total. New England’s defense has allowed 22 points or more in five of their last six road games, and for a defense that hasn’t stopped anybody this year; we just don’t see them fixing things this week. We expect both offenses to be the best units on the field turning this game into a wild, high-scoring shootout between the Patriots and Dolphins.