NFL Tipsheet: Mini previews and recommended bets for Week 5 fixtures

The Red Rifle is on the charge
The Red Rifle is on the charge

Luca Bercelli followed up his nine winners in week three with eight in week four. There should be plenty more where those came from in week five

"This appears to be the perfect opportunity for Carrot Top and co to nudge themselves right into serious Superbowl contention - currently 16.015/1"

Recommended Bet
Back the Cincinnati Bengals to win @ 1.75/7

Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans Sunday, 18:00

Rex Ryan is trying to hide the fact that for every one step forward for the Bills, they take two steps back. He came out fighting in his post-match press conference and might have actually exploded if it had gone on much longer. His team's problem is penalties, and all 17 of them killed the Bills against the Giants. Put that in the minus column, along with the absence of top offensive playmakers Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy and you have a K2 to climb. The worrying news for Bills' fans is that Trent Richardson's name has been bandied about as a possible addition to the RB corps. That is a ridiculous solution to a serious problem. (Stop press - they sensibly went with Boom Herron instead). Quarterback Tyrod Taylor continues to impress, however, and he could be the difference against a rested but mediocre Titans.

Recommended Bet

Back the Buffalo Bills to win @ 1.758/11

Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 18:00

This is a crap shoot with minimal shoot and a lashings of crap. Both teams are 1-3 after starting the season with high expectations and not providing too many glimmers of light; although to be fair they've both been the victims of brutal scheduling. If you focus on last week's results you have to give the edge to Kansas as they were competitive against a fully functioning and potent Bengals outfit. Da Bears, meanwhile, got lucky against the Raiders and although they've got a handy 10 point start, I'll still go with the Chiefs at home.

Recommended Bet
Back the Kansas City Chiefs -10pts @ 2.111/10

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens Sunday, 18:00

The Browns played pretty well against the Bolts last week, but ultimately paid the price for getting a bit too blitz-happy and bumping into an inspired Philip Rivers. Still, a little tweak here and an adjustment there (and a dose of John Football), and they won't be far away. Baltimore look fairly solid and will have gained confidence from their come-from-behind win over the Steelers. However, losing receiver Steve Smith to injury, and having a quarterback in Joe Flacco who could be more susceptible to the blitz might hamper their chances. I'll take the Dawgs and the points.

Recommended Bet

Back the Cleveland Browns +6.5pts @2.01/1

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, 18:00

In a battle of compulsive losers the key to this game could be exciting rookie running back T.J. Yeldon versus Tampa's 30th ranked rushing defence. TJ looked explosive last week against the Colts and could run wild in Florida. Blake Bortles has settled down at QB for the Jags but Jameis Winston is still very much in the learning phase for the Bucks. He lobbed up four interceptions against the Panthers last week, and that's something Jacksonville will be studying very closely pre-game. A tough one to call so I'll take the overs on what looks like a fairly low line.

Recommended Bet

Back over 42.5pts @ 2.01/1

New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, 18:00

Should we feel sorry for Chip Kelly? I don't think so, after all, everything coming his way now is as a direct result of all the decisions he's made since he parked his considerable butt in Philadelphia; decisions that can be categorised as, puzzling, misguided or downright mindless. He'll be back in college football before the end of the season, but in the meantime his players will be the ones taking the hits and fighting lost causes. This week sees the Birds matched up with what appears on paper a vastly inferior Saints side. New Orleans are no great shakes but finally got their season rolling with an overtime win v the decimated Cowboys last week. The mood down in the Big Easy won't be comparable to Bourbon Street at Mardi Gras, but there should be a degree of extra bounce in the steps of Drew Brees and co. Over in Philly there's more doom and gloom than in a Sunderland supporters' club. A loss in this one makes me fear for Lincoln Financial Field; it might get burnt down.

Recommended Bet

Back the New Orleans Saints +5.5pts @ 1.855/6

Seattle Seahawks @ Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, 18:00

Seattle were flattered by the winning scoreline against the Lions last week. Their offensive front looked more like something out of Strictly than the NFL, and Russell Wilson spent most of the afternoon perfecting his Houdini impression as he was hunted down relentlessly and from every angle. Any other quarterback would've been splattered all over the field, and I'm sure Mr Fox has had an easier time with the hounds in full pursuit. Wilson doesn't have many weapons to aim at, and with Marshawn Lynch a massive loss at running back, this appears to be the perfect opportunity for The Red Rifle and co to nudge themselves right into serious Superbowl contention (currently 16.015/1).

Recommended Bet

Back the Cincinnati Bengals to win @ 1.75/7

St Louis Rams @ Green Bay Packers Sunday, 18:00

There has been an incredible amount of hype surrounding first-round draft pick Todd Gurley. The running back finally took to the field last week v the Cards and ran riot, notching up 146 yards in the process, and looking like the star he's been predicted to be. I like the Rams a lot, and with Gurley and constantly underrated Foles at quarterback I'm backing them to have a winning season. Green Bay are the in-form team in the whole league and favourites to win the Superbowl; but they found it tough against a mediocre San Francisco last week and I'm more than happy to snag the 9.5pts on offer.

Recommended Bet

Back the St Louis Rams +9.5pts @ 2.01/1

Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons Sunday, 18:00

The Falcons absolutely smashed the Texans last week and did it by dominating their much vaunted defensive line. Such were the size of some of the holes they were able to punch that even Ainsley Harriot could've sachayed through some of them untouched. No, Atlanta hasn't compiled a 4-0 record by chance, it's a direct result of excellent protection for Matt Ryan and the freedom of the park for Devonta Freeman and Terron Ward (yep these names don't get any more sensible). The Skins come into town on Sunday, and although they seem to be slightly under the radar and gradually improving under Kirk Cousins, this task could be too much too soon despite their stout run-defence. Use small change on this one, not the full wad.

Recommended Bet

Back the Atlanta Falcons -7.5pts @ 2.26/5

Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions Sunday, 21:05

The Big Cats did everything but win against the Seahawks last weekend. Megatron sprinted into the endzone for the go-ahead score as time was running out, only to have the ball poked out of his grasp an inch from the goal line. Doesn't life suck...well it sure does if you support Detroit. They've actually been performing pretty well despite a big fat zero in the win column, but the Cardinals should condemn them to an ignominious 0-5 start after Sunday. They look to be going places with a fit again Carson Palmer at the helm, and can compensate for the continued loss of Andre Ellington by utilising a wider range of offensive tools than they had last season. This should be close but Arizona just sneak it.

Recommended Bet

Back the Arizona Cardinals to win @ 1.748/11

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders Sunday, 21:25

Mad Dog Manning brings his experimental knuckleball into Oakland in what promises to be another sad episode in the new series: 'the disintegration of a once-great quarterback'. He won't be around next season so enjoy if you must the pitter patter of frightened feet, the sound of the knuckleball as it flutters gently into the hands of an opposing defender, and the endless cries of 'Omaha' that will no doubt reverberate around the Coliseum from 9.25pm onwards. This really is like a farewell tour and a car-crash all rolled into one. On paper, Denver should hose up here, but the market makers aren't stupid and their skinny 5.5pt start for the 2-2 Raiders just about sums it up. Denver's D can't keep bringing home the bacon forever, and one day the horror show on offence will eclipse the lights out stuff on defence. Skinny but tasty - take the points.

Recommended Bet

Back the Oakland Raiders +5.5pts@ 2.01/1

New England Patriots @ Dallas Cowboys Sunday, 21:25

In a parallel universe somewhere, Tom Brady is a mediocre quarterback and the Patriots are an under-performing pack of perennial plonkers. Unfortunately in this one he's a once in a generation player and his team is a winning machine. Brady must be licking his lips this week at the thought of facing a Dallas secondary that is weak at best and a disaster at worst. This despite the fact that the Cowboys welcome back a couple of key defenders in Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain. On the other side of the ball Romo's replacement Brandon Weeden can expect to be schematically battered by the full might of Bill Belichick's brain. Good luck Brandon.

Recommended Bet

Back the New England Patriots -9pts @ 2.01/1

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