The Ravens sit at a disappointing 4-4 on the season in what was supposed to be a vastly improved team this year. The Ravens enter this matchup having lost back to back games to NFC South opponents and three of their last four. The Steelers struggled to start the year amidst chaos in the locker room but have gotten it together the past few weeks and enter this game at 4-2-1 with wins in their last three. Two key offensive linemen will be out for the Ravens with OT Ronnie Stanley and OT James Hurst both sidelined. However, the news is a bit more encouraging on the defensive side of the ball with LB CJ Mosley, CB Marlon Humphrey and S Tony Jefferson all expected to play. The Steelers enter this game relatively healthy OT Marcus Gilbert doubtful and cornerbacks Artie Burns and Cody Sensabaugh questionable. Defense will be key for the hosts who limited the Steelers to under 300 yards in their first matchup and 0 points in the 2nd half. However, their makeshift offensive line will be tested by an aggressive Steelers defense that should limit the downfield opportunities in our opinion and lead the Ravens to lean on their ground game. We expect a physical defensive matchup like those of old between these storied rivals and this number appears a tick too high by our estimation.
The Redskins sit atop the NFC East and enter this game at 5-2, looking for their 4th straight win when they host the Atlanta Falcons at FedEx Field today. Defense has been what's gotten them this far having allowed none of their past three opponents to score more than 17 points and none of their past five foes has rushed for more than 100 yards. Nevertheless, the Redskins' offense hasn't been lighting it up either and QB Alex Smith hasn't been able to surpass 180 yards of passing in any of his last 3 games. Injuries have been an issue for Washington despite their recent winning streak and it's again the case today as WR Jamison Crowder and RB Chris Thompson are both out and WR Paul Richardson is questionable. OT Trent Williams is also sidelined with a thumb injury. THe Redskins will again have to rely on RB Adrian Peterson who lacks explosiveness at this stage of his career despite breaking off a long touchdown run late in last week's game against the Giants. Jordan Reed is one of the better tight ends in this league but one of the few things the Falcons do well defensively is guarding opposing tight ends. The Falcons sit at 3-4 on the season and injuries on their defense have limited their success this year with LB Deion Jones, and safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen out for extended periods of time. RB Devonta Freeman is also on injured reserve leaving the Falcons to rely on Tevin Coleman but they've still managed an efficient and explosive passing game with their talented group of wide recceivers. Falcons QB Matt Ryan generally plays better in his home domed environment but we just can't see the Redskins go toe to toe with their anemic offense that will be down at least a few skill position players.
If you had witnessed yesterdays 1-1 draw between Strasbourg and Toulouse, you might never bet on French football again. The hosts had so much dominance in that match, and a 4-0 win would have been justified. However, the game ended 1-1, and all you could do was shake the head in disbelief - Here’s hoping for better luck with one of our three France ligue one bets today. Join premium if you want the very best bets from our proven syndicate firstname.lastname@example.org —————Don’t even think about Montpellier’s cup defeat to Nantes in midweek, since coach Michel Der Zakarian made eight changes to his side. If their is one backlash from that game it is Mendes being sent off, because that means the 28 year old won’t be available here. The hosts come into this league match third in the league table, and they only lost one game in the league this season. In the last round La Paillade won 0-3 in Toulouse, and the way they controlled that away game was super impressive. Home wins against Bordeaux (2-0), Nimes (3-0) and Nice (1-0) all ended without the opposition scoring! Marseille are three points and three places behind todays host. The other thing which stands out with Les Phoceens is they lost three games on the road, and conceded 12 games in those 5 games. It’s been a disappointing start to the season for Marseilles. Afterall, not only are they down in the table, they also look like heading out of the Europa league. At these odds, we would take the host every time!
Mainz tried very hard against Bayern (1-2), but basically they were outplayed and the 1-2 scoreline suggests it was closer than it actually was. Nevertheless, coach Sandro Schwarz can be happy with his players effort, and during the week they again tried hard in the cup against Augsburg. And, while they lost that away match, at least the coach saw his attackers come alive and score a couple of goals. Despite a slow start to the season, the Nullfunfer shouldn’t be underestimated at home. Teams such has Augsburg and Stuttgart have left empty handed, and they look like a team which is about to hit form! Werder had a really good start to the season (5-2-2), but they were absolutely thrashed in the last round by Leverkuesen (2-6). Since then the visitors bounced back to win a cup game against a lower league side, but that doesn’t mean anything in the context of this match! Mainz are waiting on whether GK Müller is available. Other than that, another GK Adler is still sidelined, meaning Robin Zentner would take the gloves. To be honest, we would like that has we rate him higher than the other pair, and his only league start this season ended with a 0-0 against Hertha. Baku is the only other player to have started that won’t be available for the hosts! Werder have four players sidelined, but none of them started during the current campaign! Take Mainz to nick it, with the insurance of draw no bet!
Champion jockey Richard Johnson isn’t here for the Cumbrian air, thus LOOKSNOWTLIKEBRIAN should be taken serious. However, 3/1 does’t entice and he will need to improve. Nigel Twiston-Davies is 1/27 over the past fortnight, we shall pass on his BALLYCROSS. COOKING FAT should run his race, but it’s got to be BAKO DE LA SAULAIE for us. Rose Dobbin’s seven year old should have more to give, and he’s going to be suited by this step up in trip.
ROBIN DES FORET didn’t find much off the bridal at Tipperary, but on the other side he’s won 9/18 races. Nevertheless, he’s giving 6 pounds to the potentially better WINTER ESCAPE, and we prefer the latter. Aidan Howard’s seven year old should be a much better chaser, and he looks like he’s improved for his move to Ireland.
Dr Richard Newland has his string in excellent form, thus KATPOLI could be interesting. With that said, he wasn’t that good in France and he’s worth taking on. BOLD REASON was highly rated on the flat, and he’s joined a very good stable. This easy two miles should be perfect for this hurdling debutant, and conditions look spot on. If this was a flat race OI THE CLUBB OI’S would be receiving 13 pounds from the selection. And, he was a middle distance runner in that sphere, meaning he might need a stiffer test!
Dropping to ITF is clearly helping Kateryna Kozlova, albeit her last three matches went the distance. On that note, the 24 year old would have been expected to beat Alexandra Cadantu, Sherazad Reix and Jessika Ponchet easier than she did. We are not convinced that Kozlova’s form this week entitles her to be the clear favourite! Quirine Lemoine missed six months upto march, thus the 26 year old is collecting free points. That will clearly help the the Dutch girl with improving her ranking, because she’s clearly a lot better than her current number of 316. Lemoine benefited from two retirements this week, and on the top of that she beat Conny Perrin and Bianca Andreescu. We should mention that she made two finals this year, and she’s also the winner of 15 ITF tournaments. Lemoine is good value!
Luksika Kumkhum is clearly benefitting from conditions here, and she looks a ‘’good thing’’ to win her 16th ITF title. The 25 year old from Thailand has already beaten players such has Saisai Zheng and Margarita Gasparyan, and that suggests she should be way too good for Irina Khromacheva. The Russian is clearly having a good week, but she did need three sets to get past Grammatikopoulou and Radwanska. We believe this will be done and dusted in straight sets, because Kumkhum is decisive player and this fast surface suits her better than her opponent!
We’ve been telling anyone who would listen that Toulouse are far from special. While Mikael Deveve’s side started the campaign in great style, they have just gone seven league games without a win. One of the reasons for this demise, opposing teams have learnt how to handle their pacey wingers. With all due respect, Gradel and Dossevi might be able to run like greyhounds, but their final ball is appalling. In the last round, the Montpellier defenders made the aforementioned run outside the lines and the result was an easy 0-3. Strasbourg might lack a bit of class, but from a watching stance they are the best team in France ligue one. Furthermore, they are stronger than last season, and they won their last three at home. Racing have great support, and it won’t be long before Toulouse are on the ropes and getting a pounding!
An overtime win over preseason PAC-12 favourite Washington in Oregon's last home game had first-year head coach Mario Cristobal's team generating some modest playoff talk. However, losses at Washington State and Arizona have likely taken the Ducks out of any playoff or conference title aspirations. Both sides have QB issues as Dorian Thompson-Robinson missed the last two games for UCLA and it's unclear whether he or Wilton Speight will lead the Bruins today. NFL prospect Justin Herbert suffered a concussion last week against Arizona and he is questionable for the Ducks. We believe the Bruins are situated better as either Thompson-Robinson or Speight is both capable of managing an offense that should be run first against an Oregon team that surrendered 276 yards on the ground to Arizona. RB Joshua Kelley eclipsed 100 yards in four straight games for the Bruins before finishing last week's loss with 90. Meanwhile, Herbert's backup Braxton Burmeister is a major downgrade in our opinion and we're not certain Herbert is 100% healthy even if able to go. This will be Chip Kelly's first return visit to Autzen since he was Oregon's head coach for four years so we expect this to mean a bit more than usual. In any case, Kelly has his team well coached and playing hard despite the poor results and we believe it should be enough to keep this within single digits!
No. 9 ranked Kentucky hosts No. 6 ranked Georgia in a pivotal SEC East game as the winner will be crowned the SEC East Division champion. The Wildcats have been one of the big surprises of the 2018 season and coach Mark Stoops has done it with a resilient defense to go with a solid ground game. They have given up just 74 points in six conference games and won in rather improbable fashion last week with a walk-off touchdown on the final play of the game against Missouri. It should also be mentioned that the Wildcats held the high octane Tigers offense to just 14 points! Georgia bounced back from their lone loss of the season to LSU with a 36-17 thumping of Florida but we believe the Bulldogs have shown some flaws on the defensive side of the ball, especially in their young secondary. Nevertheless, the Wildcats passing attack ranks in the bottom 30 of the nation by efficiency metrics and we expect a ground heavy gameplan for both sides. Neither side turn the ball over much so we expect a field position game with a heavy dose of ground and pound and plenty of punts!