NFL Sundays are well underway so we asked boff Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) to pick out his best bets.
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers | Saturday 18.00
I have to start with a game that was on my radar immediately after Week 4 games had ended. Whilst the Jets were getting taken apart ay home by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, Ben Roethlisberger was giving Kansas City a masterclass in Pittsburgh.
This was the same Chiefs lineup that intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick six times just a week earlier on the way to what proved an easy win. That was a Chiefs outfit led by Jeremy Maclin and Charkandrick West.
This week, New Jersey’s finest take on Antonio Brown and a very in form and hungry LeVeon Bell. That is turning it up a notch at the very least.
When you consider that the Jets will almost certainly be without Darrelle Revis to defend the deep ball and add rapidly improving Quincy Enunwa to a receiving corps already missing Eric Decker, this could be a very long day indeed for Gang Green.
‘Big Ben’ has been more than a little inconsistent over the last couple of years. His five touchdown showing against the Chiefs was preceded by a 0 TD performance in Philadelphia.
I’m not tempted by passing lines for Roethlisberger this week as the Steelers may well choose to pound the ground game. The deepfield threat of the Steelers will mean that the Jets are unable to stack the box leaving Bell likely to go well over 100 yards and Pittsburgh to dominate possession of the ball.
The 80.5 rushing line offered by Skybet is not an easy one to resist at 10/11.
You would really need some faith to see New York get anything from this game. Marshall is the only real threat through the air but Fitzpatrick will need to improve enormously to realise that threat against an elite defence.
Matt Forte started the season hot for his new team but his production and number of carries both halved in Week 3 and 4 and that just adds to the pressure Fitzpatrick must overcome.
An easy win beckons for the Steelers. There are threats all over the field and they should cover the 7-point handicap (10/11 SkyBet) with some ease to kick off many a Sunday accumulator.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions | Saturday 18.00
It was researching the Jets-Steelers game that sort of confirmed my next pick.
There are a few games that stood out. I quite like Denver but am a bit reluctant to go all in on a rookie quarterback making him s first start. Tom Brady should be a very driven and angry man who returns to tear Cleveland a new one but what part will Gronk play?
No, the game that caught my eye was firmly rooted in what happened last Sunday. Detroit lost to my Bears for god’s sake.
Whoever they were playing this week was always going to be a potential pick. The fact that it is the Philadelphia Eagles who with some ease, beat this weeks napped Steelers made it a fairly easy pick, if I’m honest.
What’s not to like about the Eagles right now? I was fairly dismissive of them pre-season when they were due to be led by the permanently average Sam Bradford.
However, under star rookie Carson Wentz, they have been this seasons surprise team. The Offence is working nicely. Nothing spectacular but Wentz looks like a three year, not three game starter.
Wentz has yet to throw an Interception in his fledgling career. This offensive unit is nothing spectacular but they are up against a defence currently ranked 26th in the NFL. A banged up defence at that and one which just surrendered 300 yards to the Bears.
Matthew Stafford really struggled at Soldier Field not managing a touchdown and also chucking a couple of interceptions. He now faces an Eagles defence ranked in the top three in most of the team stats with the likes of Fletcher Cox running wild.
Stafford’s offensive line will struggle to keep Cox and his colleagues getting to the quarterback repeatedly. Tight End, Eric Ebron said is missing which will severely limit downfield options.
Since losing Ameer Abdullah in Week 1, Detroit has been unable to get its ground game going.
The general line in this fixture gives Philly a 3.5 handicap. I expect an easy win for the Eagles and will happily take the 5/4 on offer from Paddy Power with an extra point on that line.
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Pittsburgh Steelers -7 handicap (10/11 SkyBet)
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers – LeVeon Bell Over 80.5 Rushing Yards (10/11 SkyBet)
Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions – Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 handicap (5/4 Paddy Power)