By PST Staff Writer: Stef Penner
October 14th, 2014
Despite what we’d like to report, it’s difficult to find teams that have any kind of consistency through all 6 weeks.
– Cincinnati showed some league-leading trends in weeks 1, 2, and 3, but then they completely lost the plot versus the New England Patriots in week 5 after their bye.
– The San Diego Chargers went from blanking the Jets in week 5 to allowing the worst offense in the league, the Oakland Raiders, 28 points in week 6.
– Teams are going from good to bad and vice versa.
The question is, “can we find some rhyme in the reason?” Well we’ve done just that.
New York Giants (48.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys (-5)
One team that might be worth highlighting in terms of consistency would actually be the Dallas Cowboys. When considering their opponents, the ‘Boys have reached an even keel across the last 3 weeks. While their defense had a slight stutter in weeks 1 and 3, that’s the only 2 points in their season where either their defense or offense has been overall poor.
For the last 3 weeks, Dallas has shown a consistent defense as well as a ‘fair to good’ offense. Nothing they’ve shown lately has been less than par.
The same can’t be said for their opponents the New York Giants.
The Giants lost their main component last week and we saw the degree this past week when they tried to mount an offense without their key star RB Rashad Jennings. In 2015 NFL, many injuries have been superfluous due to the depth of most NFL teams; however, RB Rashad Jennings is not one of those. The Giants appear completely dependent on the 4.4 average yards per carry that Jennings contributes to the team. The Giants have no real play-action to fall back on, and with WR Victor Cruz out indefinitely, they have no kind of presence downfield. The Giants are effectively dead in the water and without some kind of star RB to help them earn their first downs, or some kind of choice to throw at downfield, the Giants aren’t only in deep trouble for this coming Sunday, but they’re on pace to finish this season as a bottom 5 team.
The Giants getting blanked by Philly’s mid-fare defense this week speaks volumes about where they’re at. With Jennings not looking likely to play next week, picking the Dallas Cowboys to keep rolling would be a great bet. On this pick, bettors will be wise to get in with the Cowboys on the ground floor because this pick could easily move to as high as -7.5. Getting in now while the spread is still less than 2 small scores, is a great idea.
We’ll have to see what ATS Stats Database has to say about this contest a little later in the week, but so far, the ‘Boys don’t look like just another pick…they look like the 7-star pick.
Dallas Cowboys -5 ATS
Atlanta Falcons (49.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)
In week 6, we saw the Falcons’ offense completely shut down compared to where they were since in weeks 1-4.
Atlanta is the 4th highest scoring team in the league so for them to only manage 13 points off the mundane defense of the Chicago Bears, speaks volumes.
Atlanta will definitely have to do better than that when facing the Baltimore Ravens this coming Sunday.
The Ravens brag not only a top 4 offense, but also a top 3 defense, making them arguably the best NFL team of the 2015 season thus far. To think that Atlanta can come anywhere near a win here would be a stretch to say the least. The Ravens are one of the most consistently formidable football teams so far this year and with Atlanta on their turf, the Falcons will have their work cut out for them.
Injured Atlanta’s WR Devin Hester has 1 TD across 15 receptions, averaging 15.7 yards per touch. While this isn’t necessarily a make or break role, without someone to step in for him in week 7, this could possibly cost the Falcons a few 1st downs. Hester is listed as “questionable” for next week so it’s something to keep tabs on.
The Ravens are not without their own woes. WR Marlon Brown hasn’t seen the ball since week 4, but he is not necessarily an integral part to the Baltimore offensive machine. Last week the Ravens marked 48 points without Brown, so obviously the Ravens are rolling with some considerable depth. More noteworthy are T Eugene Monroe, DT Timmy Jernigan, DE Chris Canty, on the Raven’s defensive line, that are not expected to show on Sunday and could leave the Ravens somewhat vulnerable.
Considering their defensive issues, Baltimore at -7.5 is a little bit of a stretch, but they should be able to cover. We’ll be looking at the ATS Database a little later in the week to get some better insight on this contest. But for now, the Ravens are most definitely a comfortable pick for a lower unit consideration..
Baltimore Ravens -7.5 ATS
Carolina Panthers (49) vs. Green Bay Packers -7.5
The Packers are relatively injury free headed into week 7 which hints that their solid scoring may continue. Defensively, the Panthers are 6th last in the league and should pose as a proper mark for the Packers to exploit so there is nothing stopping this matchup headed into the high 50s or even 60.
Green Bay took 31 off the the Jets in week 2, but most noteworthy was them taking 42 points off of Minnesota.
In their latest showing, they took 27 points off of Miami’s defense which is ranked 11th in the league.
RB Johnatan Stewart is rumoured to return to action this Sunday vs the Packers which should put the Panthers’ scoring machine back on line. RB DeAngelo Williams will be sitting out again so this could be tough on the total…but with that said…Carolina marked 37 points this past Sunday and that was vs the top 7 defense of the Cincinnati Bengals.
It’s their outing vs the Bengals that leads us to believe that Carolina has compensated for their injuries and with the Packers’ defensive injuries, this most certainly has every opportunity to cover the total.
Green Bay Packers OVER 49.