A look, now, at the biggest games on the slate this weekend for NFL football betting. All sports betting lines are courtesy of Sports Interaction.
New England Patriots (6-2) at Indianapolis Colts (8-0) Colts -3.0, Over/Under 50.0
Arguably the best NFL rivalry from the 2K era will wrap up this Sunday as the Pats travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Colts. While the New England vs. Indianapolis feud has been great to watch, it hasn’t been that balanced lately. Manning and the Colts have won four of the last meetings, including an 18-15 win last year (which, it should be noted, came against Matt Cassel, not Tom Brady). The games, however, were all remarkably close:
2008: Indy 18, New England 15 2007: New England 24, Indy 20 2007: Indy 38, New England 34 (AFC Championship) 2006: Indy 27, New England 20
So it’s no surprise that oddsmakers have the Colts as just a three-point home favourite this weekend. While the Colts are 8-0, they’ve shown some flaws offensively lately when it comes to protecting Peyton Manning. After getting sacked just twice and throwing 15 TDs in his first six games this year, Manning has been dropped five times and thrown just one score over his last two. This probably has something to do with Indy’s putrid 29th-ranked run game; neither Joseph Addai nor Donald Brown have been able to chew up much yardage on the carpet, forcing Manning to drop back and pass far too often. If New England can exploit this and send pass-rushers effectively, they’ll be in good shape to cover and possibly win straight-up.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) at San Diego Chargers (5-3) Chargers -2.0, Over/Under 47
Funny how things work. Both of these teams are at 5-3 and second in their respective divisions, but only one is happy about it. See, last week it seemed like Philly was in the driver’s seat for the NFC East…Until they lost to Dallas 20-16 and saw the Cowboys move atop the division. San Diego, meanwhile, was just looking to keep pace with the Broncos…until Denver got blown out in Pittsburgh and the Chargers had a stirring last-second comeback win over the Giants. Now, San Diego is just a game out of first in the AFC West. So yes, two teams with identical records that are going in very different directions. Should be interesting. Of note: the Chargers have not beaten the eagles since October of 1998. San Diego’s quarterbacks that year? The immortal Craig Whelihan…and Ryan Leaf.
Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) Steelers -7.0, Over/Under 41.5
The number-one rushing defense in the NFL? Belongs to Pittsburgh, allowing just 70.4 yards per game. The number-two rushing defense in the NFL? Belongs to Cincinnati, allowing just 83.9. Crazy, right?
It’s safe to assume that each team’s big ground-gainer from last week – Rashard Mendenhall and Cedric Benson – will have to work for their yardage on Sunday. Or is it? When these two met in late September, Benson had an efficient day: 16 carries for 76 yards and a TD. Mendenhall didn’t even play, but he’s been on fire in recent weeks (155 yards against Denver on Monday night) and seems to be finally putting it all together behind Pittsburgh’s improving offensive line. Seven points is a lot to be giving a 6-2 Bengals team, and we like their chances of covering – Cincinnati is 3-0 ATS this season on the road.