The San Francisco 49ers are the best team in football, while Kyle Allen looks set to become a bigger star than Cam Newton.
Five weeks is a long time, but it’s a very long time in football. It’s also particularly relevant to the playoff hunt for one very specific reason – only one team has ever gone 0-4 and made the playoffs.
If you’ve gone 0-5 – I’m looking at you Washington and Miami – then I’m afraid you’re already looking ahead to the draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers (-2): -110
Sunday 13th October, 9:30AM
I don’t truly believe Christian McCaffrey can be stopped.
That’s not me being some sort of fanboy who can’t appreciate good defensive alignment, it’s the ability to accept that true superstars find ways to make things work.
Tampa Bay are the best run-stopping team in the NFL this year and they made McCaffrey look ordinary in the second week of the season.
But if Norv Turner has anything about him as a coordinator, he’ll make adjustments to involve the best player in the league.
That alone would be enough for me to consider backing the line, especially given home advantage, but I’m sweeter on this line because of the Cover 4 that Carolina frequently implement.
If Mike Evans isn’t involved deep, he isn’t involved at all and Winston isn’t a good enough game manager to make things happen with patience.
Back the Panthers to bite back, here.
BET | Carolina Panthers (-2) @ -110 with CanPlay
Cleveland Browns @ Seattle Seahawks (-2): -110
Sunday 13th October, 1PM
If this was filed on a Monday, we could have taken advantage of one of the worst lines I’ve ever seen in the NFL.
Opening up, the Browns were made two-point favourites coming into Washington state.
Given that Russell Wilson is the early-season MVP front-runner and Cleveland just went and got spanked by a fellow NFC West team in San Francisco, I’m struggling to see how, either figuratively or literally, the Browns can be anything other than 4.5-point underdogs.
So, it didn’t take much convincing for me to jump on this line, especially as I’d gladly jump on when handing the Browns another two points on top of this.
Mayfield’s disrespect, or alleged disrespect towards Richard Sherman last week is exactly what scouting departments feared would come of his antics – and we’ve now arrived at that conclusion.
He’s going to go into Seattle, thinking he can easily work around that base Cover 3 system, and he’ll get his collar felt again.
San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) @ Los Angeles Rams: -116
Sunday 13th October, 4PM
This line opened at 4.5 points and I was slightly more comfortable, but when you still factor in a three-point homefield advantage for a 90-minute flight, I feel I can trust my instincts and be safe with this position.
The Niners and the Rams possess the two best offensive play designers in football: Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay respectively. It’s why the line for O/U is set at 50.5 – there will be points.
There’s a big reason why I’d like to bet this in-play, because the opening score of this is so crucial. It’s a lot, lot easier to scheme situationally when you’re ahead. Kyle Shanahan’s biggest lesson to date was how to accommodate for being ahead in the playbook.
He knows he threw away a Super Bowl because of conservative play-calling. That simply won’t be a problem this time ‘round.
BET | San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) @ -116 with CanPlay