Brady and Manning Highlight Pats hosting Broncos

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Sunday afternoon in New England is usually about seeing the foliage or picking apples at the neighborhood orchard. This Sunday however will be about the New England Patriots hosting the Denver Broncos in a matchup of two of the league’s top teams and two of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL.

On Sunday afternoon, the Broncos will take on the Patriots in what is expected to be a high scoring back and forth contest that likely will be determined by who has the ball last.

During New England’s current winning streak of four games, the Patriots are averaging just less than 40 points a game. During that stretch, New England quarterback Tom Brady has 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

Nevertheless, the Patriots are home ‘dogs in this game by 3 points. Each team enters the matchup having won 4 consecutive games and something has to give today.

A number of odds makers are undecided on this matchup. One system that uses just computer calculations with trends and recent play has New England favored in the game and not the Broncos.

Thus far, Brady is averaging 292 yards passing per game. If he can throw for at least 300 yards and have at least 2 touchdowns passing then the Patriots chances of winning improve dramatically.

On the other side of the ball, Peyton Manning is having another strong season for the Broncos. The veteran is averaging just over 300 yards per game, but has thrown an impressive 22 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions.

The rivalry between the two star signal callers will be the focal point of this game.

Brady’s teams have been able to defeat Manning’s teams (Indianapolis, Denver) 10 times in 15 career head-to-head meetings.

However, the Broncos last season were able to get the win when it really mattered in the AFC Championship.

Denver will come in rested as they played on Thursday night in their last game and have not played since October 23.

On defense this season, the Broncos have improved dramatically. Von Miller their defensive end was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Month in October. Aqib Talib was a Pro Bowl cornerback for New England last season and now suits up for Denver.

New England is 5-0 SU over its past five games played at home. The Pats have won SU or ATS at home versus Denver the past four games the two teams have played and Manning played in two of those games.

I like Denver 35-24. I think their defense can get in Brady’s face and disrupt the Pats offense.

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Patriots: One of the Teams to Beat in the AFC

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The NFL season is only three and a half weeks away. Teams have had their first preseason games and are quickly preparing for 17 weeks of the regular season that start on September 4.

One team expected to be at or near the top at season end is the New England Patriots.

According to Bovada and sportsbook.com, the Patriots at this time are 10 to 1 to win the Super Bowl.

Last season the Patriots were 12-4 SU and 8-8 ATS. At home, New England was 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS, while on the road the Patriots were 4-4 SU and 2-6 ATS, according to data from betonline and topbet.

New England reached the AFC Championship last season but the Denver Broncos won that game and represented the AFC in the Super Bowl.

One big reason the Patriots returned to the AFC Title game was due to Rob Gronkowski the talented tight end returning to play after being out injured. When Gronkowski was hurt however, Tom Brady the Patriots quarterback was not anywhere near as effective.

Gronkowski played just seven games but had 39 receptions for 592 yards with 4 touchdowns.

He will be an important part of the team his season again and thus far remains healthy.

Even thought the tight end played just seven games, the receivers for the Patriots were No. 7 in yards per game and No. 3 in points scored.

New England wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are not the best in the league, but are talented and do the job in the complex offense for Bill Belichick.

Giving Brady more time in the pocket this season is a priority for New England as he suffered 40 sacks last season.

Three of the five interior linemen for New England are set, but a center and right guard still need to be decided upon.

The running attack for New England is usually by committee and Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley will be the two main runners but Wisconsin’s James White could a pleasant surprise for New England fans.

Last season the Patriots defense suffered two huge losses with Jerod Mayo a linebacker and Vince Wilfork a defensive tackle both suffering season ending injuries in the 5th and 6th weeks.

However, with both returning and with Donta’ Hightower, Rob Ninkovich and Jamie Collins, the front seven of the Patriots defense could be very strong.

The Patriots also signed Darrelle Revis at cornerback to help their secondary, which now is much stronger.
New England has reached the AFC title game in the past three seasons and has 10 regular season wins or more in each season since 2002.

The AFC East is weak again and New England should easily win the division. The Patriots are 34-9 over their past 43 AFC East games.

New England likely will be favored in 13 of their 16 regular season games.

Denver will be their biggest rival, but the Broncos must face the NFC West this season, which will wear them down.

New England will finish 13-3 SU and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

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AFC East Preseason Trends

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The AFC East has been dominated by the New England Patriots for the past decade or more. Tom Brady starts his 15th season in the NFL and hopes to direct his team to another deep run in the postseason. However, the preseason and getting remember for another season represent different things for different teams.

Bill Belichick likes to keep his cards close and not give anything away to anyone, much less his opponents. A good example of this is during preseason. All NFL teams have their starters play the third preseason game into the third quarter, with the exception of Belichick. He does not take that game seriously and that is likely why his team is 0-6 ATS in preseason game threes the past six seasons.

Last season the Patriots faced the Detroit Lions in the dress rehearsal game as a 1-point underdog. New England lost 40-9, according to Bovada and sportsbook.com. This preseason that game will be August 22 against Carolina.

The Buffalo Bills enter their second season this year under Doug Marrone their head coach.

There are not many preseason trends to watch out for the Buffalo Bills as Marrone has only been around as a head coach for 1 season.

He likely will want to make a good impression at the first home game for Buffalo in the preseason. The Bills are 4-0 ATS in their first preseason home game over the past four years.

The New York Jets have been consistent in both their first and their last games during the preseason.

The first game is meaningless to Rex Ryan and that is evidenced by a 0-4 ATS record in his four seasons with New York, according to betonline and topbet.

In the fourth game, the defense and their coaches take the day off. The OVER has cashed each of the past four seasons in the fourth game of the preseason for the Jets. Those are two things to watch out for on the Jets.

The Miami Dolphins will be starting their third season under Joe Philbin. He does not put much effort into the outcome of the games during preseason.

Over his first 9 preseason games, Miami is 1-8 ATS. The sole win was against Jacksonville and that can be accomplished by just showing up to play.

The betting trends are valuable to have for even the NFL preseason as bookmakers like to get a good start to their NFL and by knowing certain trends the bettors can better prepare themselves for the regular season.

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Buffalo Bills Have Hopes, but Dareus Remains a Question Mark

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On Sunday, the veterans for the Buffalo Bills reported to training camp. The players faced questions regarding the team’s future that has once again been predicted on Bovada, topbet and other online bookmakers to be in the bottom third of the NFL.

The team started its training camp minus Marcell Dareus the talented defensive tackle, who on Saturday was put on the active/non-football injury list.

There is also a big question about the ownership of the club as potential owners are jockeying trying to take ownership following Ralph Wilson’s death during the offseason.

Buffalo is the first NFL team to have its veterans report to camp and they know there is plenty of work needed to be done. Predictions and naysayers are something that is not new for the team.

One veteran said that the same thing happens each season everyone is hyped up for a great season and then fans are let down with a 6-10 season or worse.

He said he and his teammates are tired of that happening each season and they intend not to let it take place again this season.

However, betonline and sportsbook.com see things different, both have the Bills ranked as the 27th team amongst the 32 teams in the NFL.

Dareus could be an important factor in the Bills turnaround or a season of more of the same – disappointment.

During the offseason, Dareus was arrested on two occasions. May 5 his first arrest was on felony charges that involved drugs. His personal problems could hurt the team’s defense.

Buffalo will also open camp minus Kiko Alonzo at linebacker, who tore up his knee during workouts this summer.

Leodis McKelvin, one of the team’s cornerbacks was amongst players on Sunday to be but on the active list after having hip surgery during the offseason.

Mike Williams a wide receiver picked up Tampa Bay is also coming off a hamstring injury.

The biggest worry though is management and coaches are losing their patience with Dareus.

Dareus failed a conditioning test in pre-training camp and Doug Whaley the team’s general manager said the situation with Dareus was cause for much concern.

Nevertheless, Whaley thinks Dareus is not far from being fit and expressed confidence over the two arrests for reckless driving and drug possession during May.

Head Coach Doug Marrone starting his second season did not comment on his defensive tackle.

Dareus was not at Sunday’s practice and was not seen at the facility where training camp is being held.

Dareus could be disciplined by the NFL for his troubles off field with a suspension or fine.

The talented tackle’s trouble goes back to last season when Marrone benched him for the last two games of the season for not following team rules.

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Patriots vs Ravens: Pats Poor Road Team Against the Spread

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Just two weeks remain in the NFL regular season and a number of teams are either fighting for a division championship or a wildcard spot in the postseason.

Two of those teams meet today in Baltimore when the Baltimore Ravens host the New England Patriots in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game from last season that was won by the Ravens 28-13.

Baltimore, which is 8-6 SU and 7-7 ATS, has won four straight games. The Ravens control their own destiny in the battle for the AFC North. If Baltimore can win today versus New England and next week against Cincinnati, they will win the division.

New England, which is 10-4 SU and 6-8 ATS, needs to win today or have Miami lose one of their two remaining games to win the AFC East title. New England is also battling with Denver for the No. 1 seed for the conference. However, the Patriots, like the Ravens have yet to secure a playoff berth.

These two teams have met six times prior to this game over the past four seasons. Last season, the Ravens defeated the Patriots during the regular season and in the AFC Championship.

Currently Bovada has the line with Baltimore favored by 2 points, with the point total resting on 45. However, on topbet the line opened with Baltimore -1.5 and a total of 43. Check those two sites and others such as betonline and sportsbook.com prior to kickoff for the latest in point spreads, point totals and the all-important weather.

The Ravens have a record of 3-2-1 ATS versus New England in their last six meetings head to head. All three of Baltimore’s wins ATS versus New England, have come during the playoffs, while Baltimore is 0-2-1 ATS during the regular since 2009 against the Patriots.

New England on the other hand is only 1-6 ATS playing on the road this season, while the Ravens are 4-3 ATS playing at home.

In the 14 games Baltimore has played to date this season, just five have finished OVER.

New England is 0-3 ATS in their past three games overall.

New England’s Tom Brady knows the Baltimore defense well. He will take what they give him and at times go over the top to stretch the defensive secondary.

With numerous injuries to receivers and tight ends, Brady has two main targets in this game, wide outs Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. Shane Vereen at running back has turned into a popular target for Brady out of the backfield.

Baltimore’s defensive front is tough, but their secondary has been suspect at times this season. However, they played well versus Detroit on Monday night holding Calvin Johnson the All-Pro wide receiver in check.

Baltimore’s offense is deep now that Dennis Pitta has returned as the tight end. Joe Flacco has Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith at wide out and Pitta at tight end, which will create havoc for the secondary of New England.

Some odds makers believe the line is inflated in Baltimore’s favor and that New England should be favored at -1. Regardless, check Bovada and other reputable sites such as topbet, sportsbook.com and betonline for the latest lines prior to the 4:25 p.m. kickoff of this game.

Pick: New England 28-24

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New England Patriots 3-1 at home ATS

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The Pittsburgh Steelers visit the New England Patriots in a Sunday late afternoon matchup. The Patriots are 6-2 SU and 4-4 ATS, while the Steelers are 2-5 SU and ATS.

Ben Roethlisberger the star quarterback for Pittsburgh has called this game a must win for his team. However, to accomplish that their quarterback must step up, as he has played mediocre over his past four games.

Last week he posted a 70.1 passing rating, which was his lowest of the season with two interceptions. In the first 7 games of the season, Big Ben has 7 picks compared to only 8 all of last season.

Tom Brady, the starting quarterback for New England has also struggled. He has hit only 52% of his passes the past four games for just 810 yards, with two touchdowns. However, it should be noted that Brady has had a lack of a talented and experienced receiving corps nearly all season.

The Pats also lost Sebastian Vollmer their starting right tackle to a leg injury for the remainder of the season. Marcus Cannon will replace Vollmer, but has only started one game in his career.

The line on Bovada and topbet has New England favored by 6 points with the point total on 44. The Patriots opened at -7 on most books including betonline, but it was bet down to its current -6 for New England.

Pittsburgh is 3-8 ATS over their past 11 games and over their past 20 are 6-13-1 ATS.

New England is 5-1 ATS over their past six games in November and 5-2 ATS over their past seven games at home

The UNDER has cashed out in all of the last seven games for Pittsburgh against opponents from the AFC. The UNDER has gone 4-1 in the past five games New England has played at home.

New England is 9-3 ATS in its past 12 games versus Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh’s defense has played well this season. The D is No. 2 versus the pass allowing just 181 yards a game and No. 4 in overall yards allowed at 303 per game.

Offensively Pittsburgh has struggled with only 18 points per game scoring which is No. 28 in the league.

The running attack has sputtered most of the season. However, it could find room to run against the Patriots who are giving up more than 130 yards each game on the ground.

Pick: Patriots 20-13

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Cincinnati Making Impressive run ATS

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Cincinnati at the halfway point of the NFL season is the big favorite to win the AFC North. Putting it simply, they have played very well winning four straight, while the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers are not.

Baltimore’s offense has been inconsistent, the Browns’ lost Brian Hoyer their quarterback to season ending knee surgery and the Steelers are mediocre at best.

The Bengals however are playing well winning four straight and have a lead of 2.5 games on the Ravens, 3 over the Browns and 3.5 over the Steelers.

Tonight, the Bengals face the Miami Dolphins in south Florida. Cincinnati is 6-2 SU and 5-2-1 ATS this season. The Dolphins are 3-4 SU and ATS.

Miami started the season 3-0 but have lost four straight. Last week, the Dolphins held a 14-point lead at halftime against the Patriots, only to see it wilt away. New England won the game 27-17.

The Dolphins are 2.5-point dogs at home in this matchup.

The odds for the Dolphins to win the Super Bowl have skyrocketed. Five weeks ago the Dolphins had odds of 25 to 1, on Tuesday when new odds came out on sites like Bovada, topbet and betonline, the Dolphins had odds of 175 to 1.

At the same time, the Bengals have 15 to 1 odds for the Super Bowl at those same sites. Only seven other teams in the league have shorter odds than the Bengals do.

Since the 1990 season, Cincinnati has only had winnings seasons ATS in 6 of 22 seasons. Of late however, Cincinnati has been good ATS. In 2011 the Bengals were 8-7-2 ATS and in 2012 9-7-1.

This season they have covered 5 of 8 games and have an ATS record of 12-3-1 in their past 15 games during the regular season.

However, having said that, Cincinnati is 0-2 ATS when they are a favorite on the road this season, the role they will start the game with on Thursday.

The line opened at -2 for Cincinnati with the point total on 42. The spread has been bet up a point to -3 and the total as well to 43.

The line is a tough call on the spread as Miami is tough at home and will look to put the frustrating loss to New England behind them. The point total is a bit easier. This season the Bengals are 5-3 on the OVER and the Dolphins are 5-2. Three straight have cashed on the OVER for the Bengals and 5 of 6 for the Dolphins.

Pick: OVER

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