Earn with Earl on Sunday

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: December 2 2012, 8:46 GMT

David John previews Sunday's live Sky NFL games and thinks Earl Bennett can make an impact for Chicago.

Earl Bennett: Can thrive against Seattle
Earl Bennett: Can thrive against Seattle

Seattle at Chicago (1800GMT)

Rookie Russell Wilson has settled in well to his role as starting quarterback for the Seahawks - a job he edged out big-money signing Matt Flynn to get during training camp in the summer.

He adds a great deal of dynamism to the role and although they remain a force at home - they are 5-0 - they have shown the usual signs of a young team suffering growing pains on the road.

Last week's defeat in Miami was a decent case in point as head coach Pete Carroll described it as "60 minutes of sloppy football" following the bye week and demanded his side be a lot sharper.

Their record on the road is 1-5 and they face another stern examination against the Bears, who continue to be the team to catch in the NFC North.

They looked a far more effective outfit with Jay Cutler back under centre in last week's comfortable win over Minnesota and the task at hand will once again being keeping him upright.

They lost Lance Louis from the offensive line following a hit from Jared Allen but they have signed decorated veteran Andre Gurode in a bid to bolster the protection for Cutler.

Seattle's defense has dropped in productivity lately - they allowed 435 yards of offense against Miami - so that could give Cutler a slightly easier time to find his targets.

Brandon Marshall was the main man against the Vikings but Seattle do have a couple of rangy, physical cornerbacks in Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner who will be intent on taking Marshall out of the game.

That could well see Earl Bennett step up after a relatively quiet spell which has been down to a hand injury sustained during training camp.

He used to be Cutler's favourite target in college at Vanderbilt and the former said this week he has not forgotten his old ally by any stretch of the imagination.

The advice is then to get on the Bears to add to Seattle's away-day woes and top up the profits with a bet on Bennett to score a touchdown anytime at 2/1.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore (2125GMT)

Perhaps the greatest current rivalry in the NFL but this one is shrouded in mystery with almost everyone second guessing who will start at quarterback back for the Steelers.

Ben Roethlisberger continues to recover from a horrible upper-body injury which involved damage to ribs, clavicle and shoulder and although he threw some passes in practice this week, he has understandably struggled with velocity and also the deep ball.

Third-stringer Charlie Batch has taken most of the first-team snaps but he had three interceptions last week against the Browns while Byron Leftwich is still battling the effects of two cracked ribs suffered against the Ravens on November 18.

Baltimore staff have watched film on all three quarterbacks this week but Jim Harbaugh summed things up well enough "we are in the dark".

It was Baltimore who gained the day 13-10 in mid-November and the most obvious bet will be in the points market as neither are likely to light up the scoreboard.

The line is set at 36 and I am inclined to think that is fair - so we shall sit this one out and stick with the two bets on the earlier game.


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