Settling beautifully back into the groove on the tipping front, with another 2-from-3 to report from last week

Given the fabulously explosive nature of the NFL, that’s a return I’m more than happy with, and if we’re not completely exhausted from Grand Final thrillers and Las Vegas maulers there’s lots more fun to be had today.

It’s Week 5 already. Just one outfit, the Arizona Cardinals, stand at 4-and-0. A host of the usual suspects are breathing down their necks.

As is our way, I’m going to pop the microscope upon three of this week’s more intriguing affairs. The LA Rams have already played – a fine Thursday night win against Seattle.

That remedies somewhat a very surprising (to me at least) reverse the previous week against Arizona, but those Cards are just ripping it up a tad at the minute – Arizona are in to 12/1 right now for ultimate Super Bowl glory.

There’s London action, too, as the Jets face the Falcons, but it’s to the Paul Brown Stadium that we go first up.

6pm, UK

Green Bay Packers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Two 3-and-1 sides meet in the early slot, and injury depletions particularly on the Green Bay side make things that little bit more problematic.

Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow had arguably his finest start last week, throwing for 348 yds, 2TDs, and no picks. The Pack however will doubtless prove a tougher nut to crack that the Jags – some defensive absences notwithstanding.

Leading Green Bay going forward is of course one Aaron Rodgers – how lucky we are to enjoy such talent, year on year. He managed the Steelers out of contention last week; his usual outlets in the form of RB Aaron Jones and WR Devante Adams doing the necessary, alongside AJ Dillon and Randall Cobb.

The Pack have too many of these weapons, in my view, for the Bengals to handle. Most of the rumbling in the Jungle this week will be Rodgers-inspired, and if GB can’t cover what looks a very manageable spread they surely will be struggling to maintain Super Bowl aspirations at present levels.

Experience has taught me that when something looks too good to be true it usually is – but there’s no fool like an old one, as they also say!

Green Bay -2.5 @ 5/6

 

9.05pm, UK

Cleveland Browns @ LA Chargers

What a cracker in prospect here, at SoFi Stadium. Two very serious postseason contenders, but with Browns’ QB Baker Mayfield coming off a tepid week he won’t be relishing a hounding from the likes of Joey Bosa.

LA have their own QB Justin Herbert in very fine fettle, and there was lot to like about how they put the Raiders away last time, a side who have illuminated these opening weeks themselves.

I find myself thinking about LA’s chances in much the same way as I ponder those of Green Bay – it’s in both their hands for me. Show up, trust the process, let the big players make the big plays.

LA Chargers -2.5 @ 20/23

 

01.20am UK early hours Monday

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs

If you can manage to stay up late tonight it should be more than worth it – and if you watched Tyson Fury at around 4/5am this will be a cakewalk in comparison.

Two huge shouts to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 56 face each other at Arrowhead, and the Chiefs, it’s fair to say, have a little bit to prove. Two defeats have jolted their confidence, while the Bills have for the main part continued last term’s impressive resurgence.

KC’s offense relies on several elements, but notably Tyreek Hill. The Cheetah roared back into prime nick last time, but the Bills’ D is built on firmer foundations than that of the Eagles.

The Chiefs are shipping points – far too may for an elite outfit – and Buffalo QB Josh Allen has weapons at his disposal of the calibre of Stefon Diggs and Devin Singletary.

It’s hard to be anything like confident about the eventual outcome, but given KC’s defensive concerns I feel sure that Allen and company can move both the chains and the scoreboard. That will jolt Mahomes, Hill, Kelce and company into what could be some fantastic responses, so I’m going for a scoring bonanza as the safest option.

Game total points ‘over’ 56.5 @ 20/21

Have a cracking day or so of NFL action.

Alan Firkins

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