We’re back for Week Five and the NFL just keeps on giving us some huge match-ups and huge storylines to follow, and more excitement to keep on top of on Red Zone.
We’ve had more late drama than ever before this season, with 15 games decided in the final minute or overtime so far – with at least one game needing the extra period every week. What game will it be this week?
The Arizona Cardinals are the last unbeaten team standing, with Kyler Murray leading the MVP race, while a QB is leading the rushing TD charts and it’s not Murray, or Lamar Jackson or even Josh Allen.
It’s Sam Darnold! Proof, if ever it was needed, that anything can happen in the NFL, that’s why we love it.
The NFL is back in London for the early kick-off but it’s business as usual in NFL Red Zone with some more tasty 6pm kick-offs.
Here’s the pick of the best bets.
Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
An emotional Tom Brady won on his return to New England, but not everything is rosy in the Tampa Bay garden with the Super Bowl champs banged-up in a big way – especially in their secondary.
Rob Gronkowski has been a huge miss with Brady uncomfortable with any other tight end on the team, and it’s unclear if Gronk will recover from a rib injury in time to play in this Florida derby. Coach Bruce Arians was less than helpful, saying: “He’s riding the bike, so we’ll see how it goes.”
The Bucs should still have enough to win as even with those secondary issues, Miami don’t pose a huge threat with Tua Tagovailoa out and Jacoby Brissett under centre. With Tua set to return last week though look for Brissett to air it out when he can in a nothing to lose situation for him.
I see a Bucs win, but I don’t like the 9.5-point line one bit. What I do like is Miami to score a receiving TD due to Tampa Bay’s injury problems, and I really like the 3/1 on tight end Mike Gesicki to be the man to do it. He’s got a much bigger role under Brissett than Tagovailoa and scored last week to emphasise the point.
Best bet: Mike Gesicki to score a TD at 3/1
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New England Patriots @ Houston Texans
And what about the losers in that emotional Tom Brady game? Well, for Bill Belichick he didn’t lose all that much as he was within the width of a post of beating Brady and also found out that his new QB Mac Jones looks like the real deal after handling the game and the occasion brilliantly.
After giving the GOAT all kinds of problems last week, now Belichick gets to mess about with Houston rookie Davis Mills who threw four interceptions in a 40-0 defeat last week. Belichick is 22-6 against rookie QBs.
I still wouldn’t expect Belichick to let Jones go throwing the ball about all night though, and they’re still having problems putting up serious points, while Houston will have to try and run the ball as often as possible to stand a chance. So I’m not convinced this is a points fest in the making.
So while I can’t sign off on backing the Pats to win by a landslide, I do think that with Jones having tight end touchdown targets Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry warming up that the Pats can top 25 points
Best bet: Patriots to score over 24.5pts at Evens
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee’s poor 2-2 start means they’re only 4.5-point favourites here to beat a team that’s 0-4 and currently on the second-worst losing streak ever in the NFL – with the Jags suffering 19 straight defeats.
Losing at home to the Jets last week will not have gone down well with Titans boss Mike Vrabel, and he is not man to be messed, with so his team will come out fighting. Cross reference that with Jags coach Urban Meyer, who was pictured dancing in a bar with people he shouldn’t have just after last week’s loss to the Bengals.
Meyer, in his first NFL job after a stellar college coaching career, didn’t even fly back with the Jags players after the loss, has been forced to apologise and has reportedly become a laughing stock among the team. That’s not what you want in such a tough sport like this.
They have Trevor Lawrence of course, but they also need so much more and after allowing over 20 points in 22 straight games they could get blown away again here.
Derrick Henry is the most likely to do the job, as he always seemingly fills his boots here – scoring 11 rushing TDs in 10 games against the Jaguars and rushing for 215 yards and two TDs on his last trip to Jacksonville.
Best bet: Derrick Henry to have 100 rushing yards & 2 TDs at 3/1
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s starting to look like the end for Ben Roethlisberger with the 39-year-old veteran Steelers QB looking slower and a bit more fragile as he nears the end of his career. He’ll need to raise his game to get Pittsburgh out of this slump.
Denver’s 3-1 record is slightly misleading as they’ve beaten three very ordinary teams and they’ve got their own problems at QB with Teddy Bridgewater in concussion protocol meaning the unpredictable Drew Lock may get another shot.
Neither side has been a points machine, with both sides going under on the points totals in every game so far this season, under 40.5 points at 3/4 here looks like a stand-out this week.
With dodgy, error-prone QBs under centre, both teams would do well to keep the ball in hand and run it with their rookie rushers Najee Harris (Steelers) and Javonte Williams (Broncos). That’ll make this a slow, low scorer with the edge just given to Denver.
Best bet: Broncos (-2.5pts) to beat the Steelers at Evens
Hunter Henry (NE), Derrick Henry (Ten) & Dalvin Cook (Min) to score TDs at 33/4
Hunter Henry scored last week and the tight end is building a rapport with Mac Jones to do exactly what the Pats paid him all that money to do – score touchdowns.
Dalvin Cook had his lowest rushing yards total for two years last week, but the Minnesota man gets Detroit this week and he’s scored six TDs in six games against the Lions.
Derrick Henry we’ve spoken about above but after 11 rush TDs in 10 games against the Jaguars you just have to include him in any touchdown acca.